Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone and happy new year!

If  you haven't visited the blog in a while, you'll notice that Buzz, Boots and Berries got a little bit of a face lift.  Oh how I wish I could say this was done intentionally.

 I'm no HTML wiz.
 For some reason, silly me thought I could tweak the old layout and make a few changes. What ensued was a blank layout at the crack of dawn. To make the situation even better, I never backed up my old layout ( even though Blogger tirelessly recommends this! - oops.)  I'm still trying to work some things out-  ahem, like a really cool banner- and spruce up this layout, but for now 'out with the old and in with the new' as the saying goes. How appropriate for this time of the year.

Alright, enough of my spiel. 
Did you  all happen to make a  New Years resolution yet? Or has the whole 'this is going to be my year' mantra  been thrown out the window?

For me personally, my resolution is to just be involved. Whether it be in class, outside of campus or just with my friends and family. I want to make the most of every opportunity that is brought my way in 2014.  I want to cherish the little things and be able to take a step back and appreciate what life has given me to accomplish thus far. 

As a bonus resolution I also want to learn how to properly use HTML so I don't have to scour my brain or internet ever again at 4 in the morning. Just kidding... 
(Errr may not.)

 The beginning of a new year is  just one of many prominent sign posts that pressures us into making a change.  It seems like we all have trouble staying on track especially when it comes to new years resolutions. The main problem is that we forget to start small. We get wrapped up in the rush of a tabula rasa or blank slate and dream of a new and improved version of ourselves without necessarily seeing the practicality. However, one minor change can still make a difference and  lead you closer to a big goal. There's a fine line between being motivated and committed and being wrapped up in an idea and  therefore exerting too much effort at once. Good things take time and being practical, organized and willing will ultimately help you get to wherever you want to be in the next 12 months!

As I finish my first blog post of 2014, I thought it would be appropriate to leave you with two links.

*click the pictures below to redirect to original article*

One is to keep you inspired...

...and one is just out of fun ( but if you stay committed you won't have to break your resolution!)

Whatever your resolution may be, I wish you luck! For those of you haven't made a resolution - you may smarter than the rest of us, but remember 2014 has only begun and a change can happen if you truly want one.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!
Cherish today with your loved ones.

This is my last post for 2013. Live up the last few days of the year and take a moment to reflect on all of the great people, memories or even obstacles that made this year truly unforgettable. 
(and start thinking about what your New Years resolution is going to be!!)

Happy holidays!

Monday, December 23, 2013

C is for Cookie

Good morning everyone!
Here in the garden state this weekend it was unseasonably warm.

I traded in my sweaters for skirts; it was a far cry from the very chilly Vermont. The warm weather was wonderful even though it, ironically, happened to be during the first weekend of winter.  

Did you know that Sunday was national bake something day? 
My family had yet to bake all of our Christmas goodies this year so naturally  it was appropriate to spend the day creating truffles and cookies galore. Luckily, I had my camera nearby most of the day so I took a few shots of our sugary masterpieces.

Each year, our neighborhood  likes  to give out cookies as Christmas gifts. Everyone gets a slew of chocolate chip cookies, so my family for the past seven years have made Ritz peanut butter cookies and Oreo truffles (amongst other things). People can not get enough of them. 

Seven years and everyone still goes on and on about how delicious  both these cookies are. We only make these once a year  so my neighborhood and family jump for joy when the time comes to make these desserts.

Now that I've told you about these specialties I guess it's only fair I also tell you how to make them. From this moment on, you'll have not one, but two insanely easy recipes to make that will impress your friends and family for a long time.

Oreo Truffles
They sound and look fancy, but are as easy as  one, two, three. Literally.

What you'll need:
- 1 pack of Oreos
- one 8 oz cream cheese
- one  bag of Nestle chocolate chips

Only three ingredients? Say what?

1.  Split up all of the Oreos. Have one bowl for the icing and one bowl for the cookie halves. Gradually grind up the cookie halves into a fine powder and set aside. Mix the cream cheese and icing together. Slowly add the  ground up Oreos or powder into the cream cheese frosting mixture to your liking, but keep some left over as garnish for your truffles later on.
3. Roll the  cream cheese and icing mixture into about a 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Let the truffles sit in the refrigerator for about  15 to 20 minutes or until firm.
5. Pour Nestle chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and put in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until thoroughly melted.
6. Using a spoon, take truffles and coat each one thoroughly in the melted chocolate and  place back on the wax paper cookie sheet. Sprinkle your left over Oreo crumbs on top for a decorative touch.

7. Place back in the refrigerator to allow chocolate to harden. After what will seem like a long hour, you can finally enjoy your truffles!

Ritz Peanut butter Cookies
I guess this is not technically a cookie yet the perfect balance of sweet, salty and peanut buttery goodness leads me to believe otherwise.

What you'll need:
- 1 box of Ritz Crackers, any amount will do because it doesn't matter how many you make
- 1 jar of peanut butter, any brand will do
- 2 bags of chocolate wafers which can be found at Michaels of A.C. Moore in their baking section.  ( NOT to be confused with  the plethora of wafer cookies out there) My family usually goes for one bag of red and one bag of green to color our cookies, but you can choose whatever color(s) you please. How many bags you buy will matter only on how many you desire to make.

Again, only three ingredients- fabulous!

1.  Start by making peanut butter cracker sandwiches. Repeat to make as many as you see fit.
2. Pour chocolate wafers into a microwave safe bowl and put in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until thoroughly melted.
3.Using a  fork, take each Ritz cracker sandwich and coat each one thoroughly in the melted chocolate and  place back on to a aluminum foil  covered cookie sheet. 
4. Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator and let the cookies chill for 30 minutes or until firm and then enjoy! 

And there you have it folks.  Two quick and easy recipes that I know will become just as sought after as a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie.

 If you happen to make these, let me know through Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr ( links are on the left side under ' Stay Conncected') by tagging buzzbootsandberries. These goodies are so unique and yummy that you may just eat them all yourself, and that's ok- it'll be our little secret.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Very Merry Weekly Links

Ho, ho, holy cow it's Friday again already.
Also, T minus 6 days until Christmas!

As you can tell from my post on Wednesday and my Gift Guide: How to be the best Santa this year post, I am fully prepared (mentally and physically) for the 25th.

For this round of weekly links I decided  that I would tailor them to the joyous holiday season.

*click the pictures below to be redirected to the original article*

I love looking at advertisements, pictures and television shows from the 50s and 60s. The media seemed to always portray and package that time in a beautiful way. This post from BuzzFeed shows 17 Christmas cards from the 1960s that actually show diversity. I found this interesting and relevant to the  surge of news that recently surfaced about Santa needing to be portrayed as African American (or any ethnicity for that matter) as shown in the articles here and here.

I love watching people get scared. The kind of silly scared where something happens out of good fun.  For an advanced media class, students from Kilgore Texas decided to have teachers record a holiday greeting as a part of their  final project.  However, the teachers had a surprise waiting for them after their greeting was finished. Click the picture above to watch the hilarious holiday fun. ( Well... fun for us anyway)

This couple decided to showcase the best of both worlds for their Christmas  Chrismukkah card this year. This is a pretty cool idea if I do say so  myself and  the end of the article has a photo gallery with even more creatively cheery holiday cards to browse.

Now that I'm on break I can watch the Today show in its entirety with out feeling guilty ( No shame).  On yesterday's show there was a segment- which you can click above to watch- on last minute tech gifts. Hopefully you are done with your holiday shopping, but just in case you're not you can...
1. read my gift guide that is linked at the beginning of this post :)
2. watch this video to get some pretty interesting ideas
It's crazy how many advanced gadgets and gizmos are accessible to us!

One last thing to add to this mix: Who loves orange soda?
Kel loves orange soda.
Is it true?

... and you all know the rest. Nickelodeon during the 90s- early 2000s was one of the best things to happen to me as a kid. All That, The Amanda Show and Kenan and Kel were coveted shows in my house growing up.  My siblings and I often get nostalgic talking about the jokes, particular episodes and even the actors that were on these shows.  So, Kenan, as many know, is currently on Saturday Night Live but what ever happened to his  beloved orange soda loving partner in crime Kel? This week I found out the answer and that's a gift to me in itself.

Have a wonderful weekend- bake a lot of cookies, shop 'til you drop, go look at twinkling  lights and listen to some Christmas carols to lull you to sleep.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Countdown

Good morning everyone!

Wednesdays are always one of the best days of the week. It's a sign post of our hard work and a friendly reminder to us that the weekend is almost here. It's almost like the 7th inning stretch.

This Wednesday is particularly special because....

source: here

Christmas is exactly one week away! 
It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

I'm extremely excited (if you couldn't already tell). This year is going to be a tad more memorable than usual because it'll be this little guy's first Christmas.

Caesar doesn't even know what's coming; needless to say I'm excited  for him.

A new Weekly Links will be up Friday :)
Have a lovely day and enjoy the rest of your week!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Food for thought: Warm & Toasty

Good morning everyone!
In areas where Electra has hit: I hope you're staying warm and toasty inside with little to no problems regarding  the snow it left behind.

Speaking of warm and toasty...
I love toast. 

 All types of breakfast foods really, but I've always had a special place in my heart for a nice slice of golden bread with warm butter on top.

Unfortunately at school,  no matter how hard I try I get to the dining hall when 'breakfast' is over. Who stops breakfast at 10? Oh college

My life would be so much easier if I could just make breakfast whenever I pleased, but my school condemns anything that heats up  ( obviously) so a toaster is a no no and I  then slink to the corner of my room with a bowl of applesauce. I digress.

However, I do commend my school on their great bread selection and its butter and cream cheese spread ( Some days there's even Nutella or Fluff - yum!).  It's all quite tempting when I actually do try to brave the continental section of the dinning hall.

Yet there's nothing quite like being home, making some hot chocolate or tea and creating the perfect slices of toast....especially because when at home, I don't have to stand in a line, maneuver around backpacks or get extreme anxiety as someone breathes over my shoulder waiting to butter their bagel.

Since I love toast of course I've had to take pictures of it while on break thus far.
Plain toast gets boring after a while so I've learned to curate some new things for my taste buds over the years.

The always delicious French Toast

 Babybell, spinach and tomato toast

   Peanut butter and jelly blueberry toast

These were all equally delicious and I can't wait to make some more with avocado on top, or scrambled eggs. Excuse me as I drool.

Today for breakfast, I'm actually parting ways with toast and trying overnight oats for the first time. Super excited for that.

Whatever your Monday may bring make sure to eat breakfast today (and every day) to keep you and your body healthy & happy. 

source: here

Have a lovely day and make things happen!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Weekly Links: Recent Revelations

Hello everyone and TGIF!
Finals are over. Can I get a hallelujah. 


Because of finals, I didn't spend that much time online...
Ok that's actually a lie. A huge lie. 

I found a lot of pretty cool things (most of which relate to topics I *ironically* talked about in class this semester).

"The the things I'm learning in college are actually relevant and I feel like a well informed individual!" - my biggest epiphany as a college Freshman

While most of these are a total 180 to my links last week, I still think they are interesting! Maybe it's just the communications major in me?


* Click the images below to redirect to  the original article.*

Up worthy put out a great video this week  from a new Pantene ad about the double standards of women. In just 60 seconds the video sends a beautiful and powerful message about gender stereotyping...

...But don't give up on hope on all humanity just yet! I am applauding Top Toy Group in Sweden this holiday season for having gender neutral toys and page layouts in their catalog. Hopefully this is a sign that the importance of being androgynous will finally become a "thing" and we won't have these gender issues in the future! Go Sweden!

(Jeff Koons is probably so proud of this; now its 10x more kitch!)

What is art? Is that for us or the artist to ultimately decide? I talked about this quite a few times this semester and I can tell you I still can't define art- maybe it can't be defined. Currenty at Eye Beam in New York, there's a new installment of emoji art (the first of its kind). This day in age, I should have saw this coming. Emoji's are a way for us to express anything with out saying a word just as art continually does. Click the picture above if you're interested in the exhibit and here to see some of the pieces.

This week there was an uprising about University of New Hampshire's new logo. The university felt that they needed a face lift and hired  the design company Chermayeff Geismar & Haviv to create a new logo for up to $100,000. For those (including myself) who think that price tag was extreme: it was. It's reported now that it was only supposedly $65,000. A whole bunch of media ethics are being questioned as to if the University did actually pay this much, different economical alternatives and why would they spend that much money for a LOGO. Come on people. A very interesting read.

All hail the queen.
 B has done it again. 
Without any notice Beyoncé dropped a new album right before midnight last night. Not only that,but the album is all visual. Each song has a music video and won't drop in stores until December 21. This is such a bold move in the music world and Beyoncé is  getting all the hype she needs  with out any prior promotion. Beyoncé didn't spend a dime on advertising and proves that word of mouth is a powerful media tactic- we're doing the work for her!  This is such an unprecedented move in the media industry and just further proves that Beyoncé  is still fierce. 
 ( Sasha fierce that is)

Last but not least, a video to brighten your day.
5 year old Claire Koch has 2 deaf parents. To make sure they got most of her school's holiday concert, Claire decided to sign every. single. song. Prepare to have your heart melt.

I wish you all a safe and wonderful winter break. While classes are taking a hiatus, I won't be! Please, check back in soon- fun things are coming this way.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift Guide: How to be the best Santa this year

Hello lovely people of the internet.
Are you  all excited that it's Wednesday as much as I am?
Finals week is halfway over, but luckily for me I'll be back home tomorrow!

Christmas came early in my household; my family just adopted a black lab beagle mix named Caesar. Just take a look at this little cutie

Speaking of Christmas, I promised earlier this week that I'd post a gift guide and I've kept my word!  I want you to all to be the best Santa this year.

A rule to always remember is that it's the thought that counts. I know, I know it's cliche, but it's true! Here are a few quick rules to remember when you are out holiday shopping:

1. Don't stress!
For all my fellow college students out there, your friends, family and loved ones know that money is tight.  How much you ultimately spend on them or how many gifts they receive from you does not matter. Really. They will love what you get them because they are receiving it from you.

2. Make a list ( and check it twice!)
Take a lesson from the big gift giver himself and make a list of who you are buying gifts for, how much you want to spend and where you may want to look for this item(s). If you are organized you won't spend money you don't have on things other people don't actually  want or need.

3. Get creative
My dorm did a secret snowflake exchange ( aka secret Santa). Our limit was $5 -although many of us spent up to about $10- and I must say many of the gifts were extremely creative!

-The gift I gave was a  small stocking from target filled with candy and a dream catcher ornament. 
- I received a box with two miniature cupcakes, nail polish and Hershey kisses.

- My friend received a little Santa mug and a jug of milk (that girl loves her dairy!)

- A game artist in my dorm received different sharpies, pens and sketchpads and was as happy as a clam.

As you can see from my list above, simple things that play off of a person's interests can be the most memorable gifts one ever recieves.  

We as humans love even the most simplest of things. I promise you that no matter what the gift may be, no matter how much it costs, it will be appreciated. 

Below are some of my favorite gifts that I've found while exploring the web.
I've split this list into  best overall gift guides, favorite websites, gifts for your bff, gifts for boys, gifts for your parents and DIY gifts.

Remember to also look around in catalogs, for coupons or in store instead of all online. Sometimes stores have the cutest stocking stuffers and gifts that  are, unfortunately,  sometimes overlooked!

 I hope my picks inspire you on your Christmas shopping journey whether something sparks your interest or gets you thinking more about what to give your loved ones.

 My favorite Gift Guides:

Favorite overall websites:
1. Fred & Friends The cutest, off the wall gifts

For your BFF:

Titanium Boyfriend Watch $20 at Nordstroms.
This is the best for the friend that wants to look grown up or put together. Hey and for $20? It looks like you spent way more than you actually did! It'll be our little secret.

It's no surprise that girls love to paint their nails. I covet Essie and OPI for their salon quality, but their prices? Not so much. The New Black is starting to gain a cult following at Sephora and for them to release this pack of 2 nail polishes for only $10!? Unheard of! 

Birds on a Wire $12.79 at Perpetual Kid, Urban Outfitters and Fred & Friends
I've seen this little gem everywhere recently. Instead of hanging your photos in a boring arrangement, why not use this clever picture holder?  Birds on a Wire adds some detail to your favorite pictures. I've also seen other animals as well if birds aren't your friend's style.

For the guys:

Guitar Pick Punch $19.99 at Think Geek
This gift is perfect for your fellow musician. Guitarist's seem to always lose their picks and probably don't really care. However, this punch will allow them to make their own, customized picks that they can cherish forever (and think of you every time they play!)

Neff Beanie $16 at Pacsun
  If there's anything somewhat related to clothing that boys actually like its beanies from Neff. I see them everywhere. (Ok, granted I live in Vermont) Beanies are a perfect way for guys to "accessorize" their outfit or hide a bad hair day. These also come in so many colors you can't really go wrong.

Slang Flashcards $10 at Knock Knock
I feel like slang is something guys tend to use most often. This flashcard set on Knock Knock is hilarious and while a bit extreme, definitely entertaining... I may just have to get this for myself.

For your Parents:

Mason Jar Candle $19.55 Primitives by Kathy
Primitives by Kathy are everywhere! Even if you are unfamiliar with the brand name, you have definitely seen Kathy's designs in numerous stores. Instead of getting your mom one of her (insanely popular) tabletop boxes, get her a vanilla scented candle. Moms love candles and will love the heartfelt, rustic saying on the front.

Charcoal Companion Grilling Mitt $19.99 at Sur La Table
Dads love to grill. Even though it may seem impractical to buy a grill mitt in the  of dead winter, this gift is actually pretty cool. Now your dad can grill with ease in the summer and not have to worry about getting singed.

Custom Photo Book Price Ranges at Shutterfly
My aunt makes my grandparents photo books almost every year for Christmas. A few years ago I made my best friend a calendar. Shutterfly has tons of options to personalize and display your photos. Anything from Shutterfly will definitely be a hit for your parents. Also, depending on what you get you could split the cost between your siblings and have a combined  kids gift to your parents. Happiness all around.

Gifts to DIY:

The possibilities are endless on YouTube and Pinterest this year regarding DIY gifts- there's too many to count! Below are just a few of my favorites.

100 Best DIYS via Savvy Sugar
No explanation necessary. DIYs galore!

DIY December Miss Glamorazzi on Youtube
 Oh Ingrid. She never dissapoints me. Everyday this month, Ingrid is whipping up some of the best DIY gifts. All  of them take little time or money to make, but are adorable! There's definitely something to make for everyone on her channel.

Sharpie Mugs A Beautiful Mess Blog
One day when walking downtown I saw a sharpie mug kit and I thought it was one of the craftiest things ever. THANK GOD I didn't spend $14 or whatever the price was on them because Elise's guide on how to make your own DIY mugs is so fast and easy! Go buy a cute mug at Goodwill or TJ Maxx and then do this tutorial. Such a memorable gift.

Have a great day and good luck!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Words of Wisdom

Hello everyone!
Ugh it's Monday already?

I hope you all had a great weekend given our stressful circumstances with finals this week.

I'm keeping this post short and to the point today. If you follow me on Pinterest (click here and I'll follow you back!) you'll know that I love quotes. Below are just a few of my favorite inspirational quotes I've stock piled to keep all of us motivated during this hectic time.

I hope you enjoy these  quotes as much as I do.Weekly Links will be on Friday and a possible gift guide will be coming this way soon.

Good luck with finals and have a lovely week! :)