10 Must-Do’s This Spring

S P R I N G is almost here, folks. I could NOT be more ecstatic. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I suffer from seasonal depression, it’s definitely safe to say that I’m not at my peak during the colder months. And, who can be? Barely able to move wearing layer upon layer and applying lotion every 10 minutes to prevent dry skin? Let’s face it, winter is a catastrophe.

But, with freezing temperatures almost behind us and warm weather in sight, I figured it was time to start back up the ol’ blog. After all, spring represents rebirth, right?

So, to kick things off I’m dedicating this post to a list of things I want to do this spring.

1) Get Another Tattoo

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I’m just patiently waiting to be able to wear clothes that will show it off…

2) Plant More Things

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My room could use a little more green and the world could use a lot more oxygen.

3) Take a Nice, Long Bike Ride

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Problem 1: I don’t own a bike. Problem 2: It has been years since I’ve ridden one. Solution? Unclear.

4) Go to the Farmer’s Market

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Is it sad that I’ve never even stepped foot in one? The question is rhetorical, but the answer, for the record, is yes.

5) Run a 5K

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As someone who loves running, it’s time for me to cross this one off. Preferably while being blasted with colored paint or mud.

6) Spontaneous Road Trips

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Heads Carolina, tails California.

7) Go to the Drive-In

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Cinema and the great outdoors…this is the closest I come to camping.

8) Wear as Much Floral as Possible

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The above picture is a prime example of floral prints that are a no-go. It reminds me of the same pattern you’d find on a grandma’s living room couch. Yes, the one you’re not allowed to sit on.

You get the point, though. Floral…but better.

9) Do Something Drastic to My Hair

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I’m looking at the man in the mirror, Michael, and I’m asking him to change his ways. It’s time to finally dye my hair blonde (or something of the like).

10) Get Post-Holiday Easter Candy on Sale

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This is perhaps the most important one on the list. I’ve got my calendar marked…Monday, April 1st. Half-priced white chocolate Reese’s eggs here I come.

Are you looking forward to any of the things listed above? Planning on doing something even more awesome once the temps start to rise? Let me know in the comments!

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My Favorite Blogs, Bloggers, & Websites

By Bradford

For me, reading blogs is just as essential as my morning cup of coffee. I like to stay as up-to-date as possible on the latest fashion trends, news scandals, and health kicks and, to do that, I try to visit a selective list of websites daily. Here’s a compilation of my personal favorites and recommendations for those who are looking to become a little more well-read.

Fashion:

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Fashion Beans:

Stupid name, amazing website. This British-based blog adds content pretty regularly, posts about a variety of style and fashion-related topics, and is always spot on with tips and advice to upgrade your wardrobe game. An added bonus is that the website has a “Street Style” section with real people, wearing real streetwear, which is great anytime you’re looking for inspiration that’s not as crazy as the runway.

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Scout Sixteen:

Ran by media mogul and Instagram celebrity Justin Livingston, Scout Sixteen features short, sweet, and to-the-point posts. Also, Justin’s photo editing skills are astounding and leave me envious every single time. This is a great spot to find outfit ideas and discover trends hot and on the rise.

Lifestyle:

valet magValet Mag:

This one is hands-down my favorite blog. I read the “Morning Report” nearly every morning and I use the “Personal Shopper” feature to find some of the hottest deals on the web. You could stay on this blog for hours without getting bored (and that’s no exaggeration). Posts range from style to food to travel to pop culture.
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Cool Material: 

This website features exactly what you think it would: cool material. Aimed more towards men, you’ll find great articles on restaurants, music, fashion, and things to buy. Speaking of things to buy, the Cool Material shop has several neat and low cost items worth purchasing.

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Greatist:

Great for mouth-watering recipes and helpful workout ideas, Greatist is well put-together and categorized into topics like food, fitness, body, and life. Great reads, recipes, and real life advice. What more could you ask for in a health blog?

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Health.com:

Sometimes, to find what you’re looking for, all you have to do is add .com. Health.com features posts not only about food and fitness but also about mental health and well-being. Often backed with recent studies or personal experiences, this website is always an educational read.

Professional/Self-Development:

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This one can be hit or miss. Sometimes, the articles are incredibly vague and irrelevant, sometimes they’re incredibly profound and thought-provoking. It really all depends. If you don’t mind to do some digging and to practice a little patience, this website might just help you find a new tip to simplify your life.
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Brain Pickings: 

Geared more toward the intellectual, Brain Pickings is for those of you who don’t mind doing a little extra reading.  I’ve found some great articles on here about what made geniuses so smart, what healthy habits create pathways to success, and how artists manage to remain inspired. Definitely worth the read if you’ve got the time!

Let us know in the comments if you have any other blogs or websites you think people should know about!

#Lifehacks: Wardrobe Edition

By Bradford

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With warmer months and brighter days up ahead, it’s no doubt that many of your wardrobes will soon be going through a transformation. Putting away winter clothes, buying more tees, and dropping off some of those ugly sweaters to the local Goodwill are all likely in your futures. We all know this can get messy sometimes. In order to help you keep your closet clean and functional, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks I use to help organize my clothes.

  • Hang only the bare necessities. I only hang clothes that I wear frequently (at least once every month or two). If you have clothes that you haven’t touched in over four months, you either need to get rid of them or put them away.
  • Use mostly all white hangers. This is not only aesthetically appealing, but it also helps your closet look neater. Without the clutter of wooden, metal, and brightly colored plastic hangers thrown into the mix, it makes it easier to focus on the more important things in your closet: clothes.
  • Use colored hangers to represent something. I have a blue hanger to let me know if I’ve worn something once already, just to let me know that it definitely needs to be washed after the next time I put it on. I have a few copper hangers as well to help me find outfits I’ve planned for the week. If you don’t have any colored or varied hangers, you can simply turn the hangers to face the opposite direction.
  • Organize by the details. I go a bit overboard on this. My closet is organized by article type, color, sleeve length, functionality, and a variety of other factors. Obviously, you don’t have to be this extreme, but at the very least you should organize by color. I used to struggle to find certain shirts or jackets in my closet but after I color-sorted them I haven’t ran into this issue. I also organize by article type. My current structure is pants –> button downs –> polos –> short-sleeve tees –> long-sleeve tees –> hoodies –> jackets/coats. It may seem a little extra but, trust me, it makes a difference.

There are so many more tricks and tips out there to help keep your closet organized. Some people incorporate coke tabs, binder clips, and wall hooks to help keep their clothing on track. For most of us though, the four simple hacks above should work well enough. If nothing else, they’ll get you started on your road to recovery. This means no more mornings spent frantically searching through your closet for that sweater that’s gone MIA!

Tuesday Tunes 3/7/2017

By Bradford

This Tuesday we’re giving you a list of some of the best covers to some of the best songs out there. Most of these songs are laid-back and heavily acoustic, as a large majority of covers tend to be. Some major cover artists like Boyce Avenue and the cast of Glee  made the list, but other original artists such as Misterwives and Sam Smith also found their way to the playlist.

Go ahead and give it a listen and be sure to let us know if you have any covers that have a special place in your heart!

 

 

Tuesday Tunes 2/21/17

By Bradford

This week’s edition of Tuesday Tunes is guilty pleasures. We’ve all got them…those songs we would never admit we actually enjoy, yet, despite our strongest attempts to suppress it, we do. The songs on my list are either simply trash, completely outdated, or sung by someone who was never meant to be in the music industry, (*cough*  Hilary Duff *cough*) Either way, I still rock out to them way more often than I’d care to admit. So go ahead and hit that play button, folks. Listen, cringe, and judge your way right through my playlist of the best worst songs of all time.

Find yourself listening to certain songs on the lowest possible volume setting so no one catches you? Let us know in the comments what songs are your guilty pleasures!

 

Netflix: What to Watch

By Bradford

Netflix used to be simple. You’d get on to watch the basics: Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Parks and Recreation, maybe even Orange is the New Black. Now, with Netflix stepping up its game and not only uploading but constantly creating more and more shows/movies for you to watch, it can be a train wreck trying to figure out which ones are worth watching. Fear no more though, because I’ve compiled a short of list of some binge-worthy shows and movies for you to check out.

1) Black Mirror

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Photo courtesy of joe.co.uk

What is it? Ever noticed how insanely materialistic, empty, and internet-obsessed modern society is? The people working on Black Mirror certainly have. This science fiction work functions as a social commentary on the world as we know it in the 21st century.

Why should you watch it? This series is both eye-opening and mind-blowing. I’ve never went through a TV series so fast. You don’t have to watch every episode though, as every episode has a different cast and story line.

2) Sense 8

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Photo courtesy of Sense8.net

What is it? Eight strangers from all over the world find themselves experiencing weird sensations and visions. Eventually, they discover each other and realize that they all have a super deep connection that goes far beyond they first imagined.

Why should you watch it? The show is not only action-packed and super intense, but it’s also culturally engaging. Each episode seems to have the underlying message (among all the badass fight scenes) that we’re all more connected than we think.

3) Barry

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Photo courtesy of newonnetflix.info

What is it? A documentary on the life of former president Barack Obama, focusing on his college years.

Why should you watch it? Because it’s about Barack Obama and he’s perhaps one of the greatest leaders of all time? This documentary manages to be insightful and inspiring without being overly-political.

4) 3%

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Photo courtesy of nerdsonearth.com

What is it? Yet another work about a dystopian society in the future. In this world, everyone goes through a process at a certain age in order to make it to the “better side” of the world where only an elite 3% of the population make it.

Why should you watch it? It’s a super interesting concept. Think Divergent meets Hunger Games. Watch out though…the entire series is in Portuguese so you’ll have to use subtitles.

5) Master of None

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Photo courtesy of netflix.com

What is it? A comedy series that focuses on the very personal, very messy life of a 30-year-old actor.

Why should you watch it? Aziz Ansari. Enough said.

6) Tallulah

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Photo courtesy of netflix.com

What is it? A drama that involves baby-stealing, dissatisfied rich people, and the homeless youth falling in and out of love.

Why should you watch it? It’s quirky and different. Plus, the ending is quite possibly one of the best (and simplest) endings for a movie I’ve ever seen.

7) Lovesick (Previously Scrotal Recall)

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Photo courtesy of netflix.com

What is it? A British sitcom that slowly unravels the history of one man’s past relationships as he reveals to them that he recently contracted chlamydia.

Why should you watch it? I’ve always found British films and shows to be slightly funnier than American shows. With an eccentric sense of humor, a plot you can really get behind, and main characters you can’t help but get invested in, this show is an all-around win.

8) The Fundamentals of Caring

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Photo courtesy of newonnetflix.com

What is it? A retired writer signs up to become a caregiver for a young, paralyzed kid. They take a road trip where they learn both how to inspire each other and how to annoy the hell out of one another.

Why should you watch it? Aside from a good plot and dialogue, Selena Gomez features in the movie and she acts (and looks) amazing in every scene.

9) Crashing

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Photo courtesy of flixist.com

What is it? A group of young adults live as the property guardians of a unused hospital.

Why should you watch it? It’s a British comedy show as well, so the humor is spot on. Each character remains interesting, relatable, and entertaining.

10) Easy

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Photo courtesy of netflix.com

What is it? This Netflix original examines modern romance and culture in various scenarios ranging from a couple trying to spice up their sex life, middle-aged dating, and startup businesses.

Why should you watch it? It has an amazing cast including actors/actresses such as Dave Franco, Orlando Bloom, and Emily Ratajkowski. An added bonus is that, like Black Mirror, all of the episodes can be watched independently.

Be sure to let us know if you have another Netflix show/movie you think is worth watching!

Roommate Roast


Living with a roommate can be hard sometimes. I’m sure many of you all are aware of this by now. It has its ups, but it definitely has its downs. We thought it would be fun (and trust us it was) to let you all know what we absolutely can’t stand about each other. So, without further ado, let the Roommate Roast begin.

From Bradford’s Perspective:

I’ve been living with Austin for around 3 years now, and it’s safe to say that I’ve become well-accustomed to his flukes and flaws over these years. With that being said, I figured it’s time you all come to know the messier side of my roommate. Brace yourself.

The biggest problem with Austin is peanut butter. He’s addicted (a problem in itself), but it’s not his nutty addiction that I find a nuisance. It’s the peanut butter combined with Austin’s tendency to not do dishes. Imagine this: you come home from class to find a mound of dishes in the sink. You put on a brave face and tackle the chore, rolling your eyes in disgust the whole time. Just as you’re in the home stretch, you find it. There, at the bottom of the sink, staring you straight in the face is a knife, a plate, maybe a smoothie cup smothered in peanut butter. You cringe. You gag. You throw your hands up in defeat. After a long-winded self-pep talk, you pick it up and scrub wholeheartedly until it’s clean and ready to put in the dishwasher. You’re scrubbing for what feels like days to get this hardened, stubborn peanut butter off a knife you didn’t use and you’re trying not to throw up. This is the final straw, you tell yourself. I can only introduce Austin to the dish brush and dishwasher (not to mention the broom, the vacuum and several other cleaning-related items) so many times. You decide it’s time to move out. You go to pack your bags.

You can’t pack your bags. Why? Because scattered all over the apartment are Austin’s shoes. You can’t make it to the hallway without jumping over five pairs of sneakers. You’re stuck. There’s no way out. Is this what hell feels like? Me trapped in a room full of Austin’s peanut butter eating utensils and Chelsea boots? You clean them up. It takes forever. You set them in Austin’s room, right by the door. A subtle message: THELIVINGROOMFLOORISNOTASHOERACK THELIVINGROOMFLOORISNOTASHOERACK THELIVINGROOMFLOORISNOTASHOERACK.

Are you starting to see why Austin is actually the worst roommate ever? If not, don’t worry. There’s more. Here is a short list:

  • The snoring. Sophomore year, I used to have to throw textbooks on the ground from my bed on the top bunk to wake him up.
  • The singing. Sometimes I will be mid-sentence talking and Austin will just start singing. I will have to wait until he’s done singing before I can resume talking again. He will make direct, uncomfortable eye contact until he is done singing.
  • The fast food. Almost every night he says either “I want Taco Bell” or “I could really go for some ice cream right now.” Next thing you know, I’m in a car headed to get fast food or dessert, despite my goal to eat as healthy as possible. WHY MUST HE BE SUCH A BAD INFLUENCE?

Now that I’ve officially ranted my brains out, I’d just like to point out that at, the end of the day, despite all his flaws, there’s no one else I’d rather be my roommate. We have our differences occasionally, but we understand that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

From Austin’s Perspective:

I’ll start by saying that living with Bradford for the past three years has been great, and he is undoubtedly one of my closest friends. But since this is Roommate Roast, we’re here to highlight the things he does that make me insane. So grab your popcorn and get comfortable.

On weekdays, Bradford has to be at work at 8 in the morning, which means he wakes up at 6:30 to begin his very specific morning routine. In the process of making coffee, fixing his hair, and walking back and forth past my room countless times, he tends to be loud. Very loud. As in wakes-me-up-everyday-at-6:30 loud. Trust me, getting woken up 2 hours before you need to start getting ready can be quite infuriating.

Sometimes when I get woken up early by my lovely roommate, I decide to be productive and get some laundry done. I get all my clothes sorted out, and take the first one to put in the washer. Oh wait. I can’t. Bradford, once again, left his clothes in the washer. To sit there. And get smelly and musty. Isn’t that just great? But it’s fine, it’s fine. I’ll just wrinkle release my shirt in the dryer. No big deal. But then I open the dryer to find…take a guess….MORE OF BRADFORD’S CLOTHES. Keep in mind, it has been a couple days since Bradford did laundry, and his clothes are still in BOTH the washer and dryer. *sigh*

So as you can see, Bradford does some things that make me want to throw all his stuff out the window. Here are a couple more things you can add to the list:

  • The aftermath of Bradford frantically trying to get to work on time. In his almost everyday failing attempts to be punctual, he leaves the apartment with cabinets open, half-full coffee mugs in random places, and lights on everywhere. He even leaves the freezer open on occasion. THE FREEZER.
  • Netflix shows. We have a TV in the living room of our apartment, and Bradford and I tend to watch a couple of the same shows. This is fine, until Bradford falls six seasons behind and I have to search and search to find the episode that I was on after one of his binge watching sessions. This may not seem like a big deal, but after a few times it can become a nuisance.
  • He holds the world record for smallest bladder of any living creature. Let’s say that Bradford and I were planning to leave the apartment in 30 minutes. We start getting ready, and after brushing his teeth, Bradford has to pee. Then he changes clothes, and has to pee again. Now I’m waiting the usual 15 minutes for him to be ready (surprisingly I get ready faster than him). At last, he walks into the kitchen and says he’s ready to leave. So we open the door and as I step into the hallway, I hear those six words. “Oh wait, I have to pee.” Deep breaths, Austin, deep breaths.

Despite all of Bradford’s frustrating habits, like I said at the beginning, he’s been a great roommate and we’ve made so many memories throughout our three years living together.

Are there certain things your roommate does that drives you crazy? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday Tunes 2/7/17

By Bradford

In stark contrast with last week’s playlist, this week’s edition of Tuesday Tunes is going to be centered around feel good songs. These songs are meant to serve as pick-me-ups to get you through the rest of this week. Some have advice-ridden, positive messages like “Anything Could Happen” and “Never Give Up,” while others simply have catchy and energizing beats. Be sure to add any of these songs that you like to your own music libraries!

Have a song that helps YOU get through the week or always puts you in a good mood? Feel free to share songs you think should have been on this playlist in the comments! Thanks for visiting and Happy Tuesday, folks!

February: Monthly Must-Haves

On the first of every month, we’re going to be giving you all the run-down on our latest favorites. This could be recent books we’ve read, products we’ve tried, apps we’ve grown to like, etc. Whatever the category, these lists are meant to help you make the most out of your month and to save you the work of having to test certain products for yourself.


Bradford’s Must-Haves

Shoes – Nike Tennis Classic CS Casual (White)

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The all-white sneaker has become a major staple in the modern wardrobe. I knew this for a while, but I was extremely skeptical of buying a pair for a long time. First of all, because I was worried I’d look as basic as the group of girls in the recent viral pic where they’re all standing in line wearing Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. More importantly, however, I was worried about having to embrace the full-time job you have to take on to keep them clean. I’ve owned white tennis shoes before and I know how it goes. They’re trashed within six months, no matter how hard you try to take care of them. I saw these on sale at Finish Line, however, and I thought, “Why the hell not?” They were regularly-priced at $79.99 but were discounted at $34.99. After purchasing them and feeding my online shopping addiction, however, I noticed that they were incredibly easy to clean. The premium leather wipes easily and doesn’t seem to cling to any dirt. So far, cleaning has been minimal and my satisfaction is a lot higher than I expected. They’re no longer on sale, but you can still purchase them from Finish Line at the full $79.99 price.


App – Plant Nanny

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Drinking water is one of the most important (not to mention one of the easiest) things you can do to help your body. Benefits of drinking enough water (about 2 liters or half a gallon) range from weight loss to improved mood to healthier skin…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plant Nanny helps you keep track of how much water you’re drinking daily. But wait…THERE’S MORE! An added bonus is that every time you log that you’ve drank some water, you’re simultaneously watering a virtual plant in the app. You can grow dandelions, cacti, and much more! Notification reminders help you to stay on target with your H20 goals and help you develop your virtual green thumb all at the same time.


Book – Then We Came to the End

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It’s rare to find a book that makes the mundane come alive. Then We Came to the End, however, does just that. Written by Joshua Ferris, this book deals with the everyday humdrum of the typical work environment. Ferris has a beautiful writing style and a spectacularly crafted, comedic tone that leaves your emotions all over the place (in a good way). The biggest takeaway from the book, at least for me, seems to be that no matter how much time you spend with someone, you never really fully know them. This idea is both extremely comforting and remarkably terrifying. You can purchase the book online at Amazon for fairly cheap, but I bought mine from Half-Priced Books for less than two dollars.

 

Austin’s Must-Haves 

Skincare – Burt’s Bees Oil Face Cleanser

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Let’s be honest, a beautiful complexion is something we all strive for. I’ve tried several different products in my search for the perfect skin care routine, and this product has quickly become one of my favorites. I’ve always been a huge fan of any Burt’s Bees product I’ve used, and the oil face cleanser is no exception.

This cleanser is made with coconut and argan oils that remove dirt, makeup, and anything else that may clog your pores and moisturize your skin at the same time. A lot of people are skeptical of using oils as a facial cleanser, because of the common misconception that this will further clog your pores. However, natural oils are necessary for skin health, and this product is specifically made to moisturize and leave no oil excess on normal to dry skin. For people with oily skin, I would recommend a product that is more clarifying.

Every time I use this product, I am amazed by how soft and glowing it leaves my skin. In all honesty, I cannot find a flaw in this cleanser. Even better, you can find the Burt’s Bees Oil Face Cleanser at Walmart, Target, and most stores that sell makeup or beauty products for about $15. Long story short, this product is a great addition to your skincare routine.

Food – Halo Top Ice Cream

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A healthier version of ice cream. Enough said. I have yet to comprehend how this low-calorie creation can taste just as good as the most popular ice cream brands that are packed with more sugar and more calories. Especially for people with an insatiable sweet tooth like me, the wide range of Halo Top ice cream flavors are a dream come true. It’s only downfall is that it is more expensive than a typical pint of ice cream. But in my opinion, it’s completely worth it.

Tuscan Garlic Tortellini

By Bradford

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I’m not skilled at cooking. In fact, just last year it was common for me to slap a slice of cheese on some microwaved ramen noodles and call it dinner. Over the past year or so, however, I’ve been trying to get better at it and, slowly but surely, I’m getting there.

Typically, in touch with my ramen noodle roots, pasta is my go-to when looking for meals to make. It’s simple, tasty, and fairly easy to keep healthy. With that being said, I recently tried this Tuscan Garlic Tortellini recipe. In short, it was one of my better decisions.

First of all, you can’t go wrong with tortellini. It’s noodles stuffed with cheese, for God’s sake. What more could you ask for in a dish? This recipe combines the deliciousness that is tortellini with a well-blended mix of healthy vegetables, rich flavors, and creamy textures. Incredibly simple and easy to make, you’ll be grubbing to a great meal in no time.