Mother Earth called… She needs your help!

Small changes in your every day life add up to big leaps towards a better future. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve created a go-to guide of 10 simple tips that will help you do your part in keeping Mother Earth healthy and happy.

Mother Earth

DON’T PRE-HEAT THE OVEN
Which is great since nobody likes waiting around! Unless you are making bread or pastries, just turn the oven on and start baking!

HANG DRY
Get a clothes line and dry your clothes outside.. What says ‘breezy summer day’ better than garments flowing in the wind?

MEATLESS MONDAYS
Or any other day of the week. Try a vegetarian recipe one day a week to save water and trees! Why? Ponder this.. it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

INVEST IN A WATER BOTTLE
We’re all about staying hydrated. But nearly 90% of all bottled water containers are not recycled. Use a water bottle instead to save money and the environment.

SHED A FEW POUNDS
Of paper bills and junk mail that is. Opt for a paperless bill pay system and opt out of spam mail services. If all else fails.. Recycle rather than dump!

SHOP WITH STYLE 
Stock up on reusable tote bags and bring them with you on your shopping adventures. Not only are totes more fashionable, they reduce waste of plastic shopping bags.

USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Carpooling saves you money, and walking, biking or busing to work or social events will be more fun with some company.

LIVE IN THE DARK
Or at least turn off the lights when you leave a room, and use natural light as much as possible.

DONATE OLD CLOTHING
Rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in over a year.. give it up! You will help someone less fortunate who will appreciate it more.

SEPARATE YOUR GARBAGE
Who doesn’t like digging through trash? Throw on some gloves and separate recyclables, compostables and trash. It’s kinda fun and Mother Earth will thank you.

Follow us on Pinterest for awesome recipes, DIY projects and health and fitness tips.

7 Easy Photography Tips

Keep these basic photography tips in mind the next time you venture out on a photo adventure! Perfect for professional, amateur and recreational photographers.

Visualize : Keep a list of things you want to photograph and visualize how you want these photos to look. When you are ready to check a shot off of your list, you can plan ahead and have the details sorted out- time of day, season, relevancy, obstacles, etc. Consider all the elements needed to get that perfect shot!

Photography Tips

Business Man Baby (Baby..check! Hair Gel..check! Nerdy Glasses..check!)

Consider Color: There are endless possibilities in the colors of the rainbow. Color creates mood, emotion and power, so use it to your advantage!

Photography Tips

The bold and daring Red Apple!

Simplify: Make sure that background, props, edits and lighting do not distract from the focus of your photo! Keep it clean and simple to drive your vision home.

Photography Tips

It’s not complicated. I like tea, and tea likes me.

But Don’t Be Ordinary: Make your photographs demand a reaction. Get close to your subject for an awesome macro view. Try different angles to present a new perspective. And please, don’t plop your subject in the center of your photo.

Photography Tips

Things seem much calmer with the lens underwater.

Always Be “On”: Photo opportunities spring up unexpectedly throughout the day so be prepared! Always have a camera on you (even a simple camera phone) and capture those little moments that build big days.

Photography Tips

Life’s little moments create powerful pictures.

Be Discrete: Keep your camera ready at hip height and adjust to take interesting candid photos, evoking true emotion from your subjects when they least expect it. This is a great way to document an event, gathering or special occasion among friends.

Photography Tips

Authentic interactions are captured without interruption.

Keep Quantity: Shoot continuously. Take many photos in the now and worry about deleting and editing later. Your initial reaction to a photo may change. Don’t be too hasty in the moment! You might end up deleting a picture-perfect shot.

Photography Tips

Upon further review, the photobomb became less annoying and more hilarious!

So there you have it! 7 easy photography tips that every photo-taker should keep in their camera bag. And if all else fails.. take a selfie! We have easy tips to perfect those too.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to keep up with the latest trends and photos.

 

What does your profile picture say about you?

Have you ever heard somebody yell out “New profile picture..NOW!” after a photo is taken? Usually those photos are hilarious, but much too incriminating to post on public networks.

Social media is a place to create the best, or worst, cyber version of yourself. So what does your profile picture say about you? Let’s discuss some common types of profile pictures and what they convey about the “real”, or social media version, you.

(Psst.. Don’t feel too bad. I have indulged in every type of profile picture and have included personal examples for each).

Solo Selfie: “Look at me everybody!” This can be good or bad. Maybe you really are that interesting. In which case we’re jealous. However, if accompanied by more than 3 posts a day detailing your every encounter (from how you took your morning coffee to what the traffic was like on your way home from work), then consider one of the following options instead to avoid an inflated ego.

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Duo Selfie: A headshot of you and a friend or pet with a rad filter, great angles and kissy faces goes a long way. Even though you have to share the spotlight, you still have an opportunity to shine. Whether you’re twinning, winning or simply just best friends for life, the possibilities here are endless.

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Group Shot:  A fun photo of you and some friends can make you seem social, fun and popular. It gets sticky with the setting. Is this a photo of you and your friends post marathon? Or you and your bros in the club, ten shots deep. These photos walk a fine line between making you look like the life of the party, or the last person to leave the party..yuck!

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Non-Human: This type of profile picture is one of mystery. Do you love your cat that much? Does your dog really have the cutest face ever? Is your picture an inside joke with friends or are you hiding something? Mystery can be good, unless it creeps people out.

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Non-Selfie Solo: Use body language, setting and props to portray the most awesome you ever. You in a cap and gown, smart. In front of a Mercedes Benz, rich. In Mexico with a margarita in hand, drunk. All you need is a patient friend to snap at least 50 variations of this photo so you can scroll, edit and delete your way down to that perfect profile picture.

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At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which profile pic style you choose, as long as you let your inner awesome shine! As the great Dr.Seuss once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind”.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily inspiration, photography and news.

 

Hilarious Epic Pranks

Every day should be April Fool’s Day… isn’t laughter a priceless gift? We think so. And to make sure you stay happy and laughing, we’ve collected some awesome, and mostly harmless, pranks, fit for novices and experts alike.

But before we get down to business, let’s have a laugh at these hilarious epic prank GIFs, showcasing some brave and heartless jokesters. We will not be attempting any of these, however, and suggest that you just laugh from a distance as well.

Epic Pranks

Window shopping used to be fun.

Epic Pranks

My, what strength you have!

Epic Pranks

Headless people get late night munchies too…

Epic Pranks

Mentos, “the freshmaker”!

Epic Pranks

What’s in the suitcase!? (Actually, nothing.)

Epic Pranks

Slightly dramatic reaction to the ‘screamer’ video.

Haven’t seen the screamer video? Watch at your own risk. But make sure there aren’t any lamps or printers nearby.

And now for our list of easy, yet tear-jerkingly funny, pranks you can pull on family, friends and strangers.

Look out below! Loosen the bottom of a box of cereal until it’s about to rip and fill it with whatever you would like to dump onto your victim’s head when they pull it out of the cabinet.

Holey water. Make sure bottle of water is full and that the cap is on tight. Poke tiny holes with a pin in the bottom. The pressure will keep most of the water from coming out. When your victim goes to take a sip, they will enjoy a steady stream to their shirt and chin.

A glitch in the system? Plug a wireless mouse into your victim’s computer and sit close by – point, click and wiggle your way to hysteria.

It’s my last one, I swear. Dip the mouth-end of your victim’s ciggarette in tooth numbing gel. They will be so freaked out, they’ll be smoke-free in no time.

Do you cry over spilled milk? …How bout spilled beer? Place your hand palm down on the table. Balance a beer on the back of your hand and challenge your victim to balance a beer on both of their hands (you’ll have to help them with the placement of the beers). Then walk away – they will have to spill a beer to regain control of their limbs!

Caught ya! Liberally add food coloring to the handsoap in the bathroom. Red works best. If the victim has good hygine.. they’ll be caught red handed. And if they don’t… keep your distance!

I swear officer— it’s really me! Print out a small picture of an animal and glue it over the photo on your victim’s ID. Next time they get carded, they may get a double take!

All wadded up. Take a needle and thread and and run it once through each pair of underwear in your victim’s drawer. When they go to get dressed they will be tangled and confused. Don’t worry, you can undo the mess with a snip of the thread.

Sweet Tooth. Empty a bottle of toothpaste and fill it back up with frosting using a bag and tip. Make sure to have real tooth paste close by so your victim doesn’t get a cavitiy!

Remember…these pranks are meant to be harmless. So don’t take cheap shots…get creative! Cuz’ you know what they say — Karma’s a b…eautiful lady!

Check out more funny GIFs, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest trends and photos.

 

 

 

The Best Spring Flowers

Winter winds down, the sun emerges from behind the clouds, snow melts, and the earth gives way to beautiful spring flowers.

The Prettiest Perennials: Plant your perennials in the spring so that they flourish all summer. These flowers go into hibernation during the cold months so that they can rest and return season after season. 

Peonies – Beautiful, delicate flowers that are easy to maintain and live strong throughout the season.

Perennials

Peonies can be enjoyed year after year.

Lilys of the Valley - Tiny, delicate flowers that resembles a wedding bell.

Perennial Flowers

A common choice for wedding flowers.

Geraniums - Come in a variety of colors and are easy to grow.

Perennial Flowers

Geraniums can handle more extreme temperatures (hot or cold).

Poppies - Bring a unique look to any garden and are sure to stand out.

Perennial Flowers

Available as both a perennial and an annual.

Candytufts - Soft, white flowers that are great for filling space.

Perennial Flowers

Annual Candytufts also bloom in pink and lavender.

Forget-Me-Nots - Tiny blooms that multiply and spread out quickly.

Perennial Flowers

These flowers stay low to the ground and illuminate at night.

Baskets-of-Gold – Very full and lush and are great for bordering gardens edges.

Perennial Flowers

Also referred to as Goldentufts orAlyssum Perennials.

Bleeding Hearts - The most romantic perennial gets its name from its beautiful shape.

Perennial Flowers

Bleeding Hearts are a unique, distinguishable flower.

Amazing AnnualsPlant your annuals in the spring so that they bloom in the summer. These flowers only last one season but bring originality and character to any garden. A green rule of thumb is to create a balance between annual and perennial flowers. 

Petunias - One of the most popular types of annual flowers, Petunias can stand up to high heat.

Annual Flowers

Petunias come in many different colors.

Marigolds - A cheerful flower that is easy to grow. 

Annual Flowers

Boast gold, yellow, copper and brass colors.

Angel’s Trumpets - Fragrant, trumpet shaped flowers dangle from long, strong stems.

Annual Flowers

This flower loves the heat and tropical climates.

Begonias - A full proof annual that is easy to grow and maintain.

Annual Flowers

Plant after danger of a winter frost has passed.

Pansies  - Have long life spans and grow from the spring well into the fall.

Annual Flowers

Pansies come in many different colors and are easy to grow.

Nemesias - Sweet, pleasant and great as a background flower.

Annual Flowers

Nemesia can survive in cooler temperatures.

Flower Bulbs: Flower bulbs are easy to grow. Simply plant them in the fall and they will bloom in the spring. They are planted in the cooler months because they need the cold to grow.  

Tulips – These elegant flowers come in different colors, shapes and sizes.

Flower Bulbs

Known as the Easter flower.

Crocuses - One of the first flowers to bloom in the spring.

Flower Bulbs

Catch them quickly because they don’t hang around for long!

Daffodils: Hearty, cheerful flowers that will come back year after year!

Flower Bulbs

Daffodils are a sign that Spring has sprung!

Ahhh, spring! It smells so good. So grab your gardening sheers and gloves and head to the garden! These bright and colorful flowers will bring you smiles all season.

Loving these flowers? All photos came from photobucket.com where you can find many more categories to browse and explore!

 

 

 

Around the World in Pie

Happy Pi Day! Although we do not claim to be pi experts, we certainly know a thing or two about pie. Sweet or savory, puffy or flakey – we’ve gathered our favorite dinner and dessert adaptations from around the world, photos and recipes included. Bon appetit!

American Apple

American Apple Pie

A good ole’ fashioned dessert. This American classic has been enjoyed since early settlers arrived baring apple spurs, planting trees that produced a magical fruit. Soft, seasoned apples make this dish irresistible. Get the recipe!

German Chocolate

Chocolate Pie Recipe

Chocolate lovers near and far know that German Chocolate Cake is the epicenter of cocoa awesomeness. But many don’t know that the pie version is just as decadent and addictive. Get the recipe!

Aussie Meat Pie

Meat Pie Recipe

This iconic savory meat pastry is popular in Australia and New Zealand, even being labeled Australia’s “national dish.” These larger or hand-sized snacks are stuffed with meat, gravy and onions, often enjoyed while watching sporting events. Get the recipe!

Mexican Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie Recipe

Thick, substantial tamales are a Mexican favorite that translate fantastically to pie form. Traditionally made with masa, this creative evolution of Mexican tamales mixes modern and ancient favorites. Get the recipe!

Canadian Maple

Canadian Maple Pie Recipe

This Canadian favorite is sweet natured like the country. The element of surprise is in Canada’s preferred pie accompaniments, which include cheese, peanut butter, and even hot sauce. This dessert, however, goes best with ice cream! Get the recipe! 

Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding

Blue Corn Pudding Pie

This North American adaptation of a Peruvian dessert favorite takes the traditional blue corn filling made from boiling fruit and purple corn, and pairs it with a complimenting flakey  crust. Get the recipe! 

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Traditionally, a British-style pie has both a base and a covering of pastry. However, one of the most popular dishes across the pond is Shepherd’s (Cottage) Pie, which doesn’t involve any pastry at all! Get the recipe! 

Nigerian Meat Pies

Meat Pie Recipe

A spicy, curry infused version of a beef empanada. These snack-sized meat pockets are savory and rich. A delicious product of a traditional Cornish pastry combined with an African spice palate. Get the recipe!

In honor of National Pi Day you could brush up on your math skills – or just grab a slice of deliciousness and celebrate! Check out more mouthwatering recipes and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with trending news and photos.

Best St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other holiday? It’s the one day of the year when everybody is Irish! Before you make your St. Patrick’s Day plans, check out which cities are doing it the best. Who knows, you may end up on the next flight to one of these amazing St. Patty’s destinations.

Dublin, Ireland

The obvious choice for the biggest, most authentic St. Patricks Day celebration in the world. The elaborate four day celebration consists of a major festival that showcases the talents and achievements of the Irish people.

St. Patricks Day

Dancers in the St.Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day

Parade goer proves not all snakes were banished from Ireland.

St. Patricks Day

The colors of Dublin, Ireland.

St. Patricks Day

The London Eye lit green.

London, England

The city hosts a large parade that gives representation to all 32 Irish countries. Experience Irish culture for free at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square.

 

St. Patricks Day

Sydney Opera House lit green.

Sydney, Australia

“The Paddy Factor” is a fun event where amuetur performers compete for a chance to take the main stage in the St. Patrick’s Day  parade.

 

 

St. Patricks Day

Guinness consumption sky rockets on St. Patty’s!

 

Toronto, Canada

Toronto graciously allows many young Irish working visas. The city honors their Irish population and celebrates with a Club/Pub crawl and a large parade.

St. Patricks Day

St. Patrick’s Day city lights.

 

 

Dubai

Dubai has a strong Irish community and their St.Patricks Day festivities last for four days in the Irish Village.

The city has held a St. Patrick’s Day Ball for the past 40 years where goers enjoy Irish dancing, drinking and food. Dubai is also home to the famous McGettigans Irish Pub.

 

 

 

St. Patricks Day

Children perform traditional Irish dance.

 

Boston, MA

Known as New England’s most Irish city, Boston offers an elaborate parade and houses more Irish pubs than any other city in the United States, which is why the holiday attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year.

 

St. Patricks Day

Workers dye the Chicago River green.

Chicago, IL

Every St. Patty’s the Chicago River turns green! Many do not know that this is a private undertaking that becomes more expensive each year.

 

Leprechauns in NY

Leprechauns enjoy the big parade.

New York City

The St. Patrick’s Day parade is the most popular parade in New York City, ran entirely by volunteers who plan months in advance. Over 150,000 marchers participate each year in the big event.

 

No matter which city you end up in for St. Patty’s, we are sure that there will be plenty of Irish fun to go around. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

2014 Winter Olympics Highlights in GIFs

The games have just begun but the competition is fierce! From the opening ceremony to the gold medal wins, we’ve captured the best and the worst 2014 Winter Olympics Highlights in GIFs.

The Sochi events began with a grand Opening Ceremony. The colorful bouncy contraption is now a party must-have!

Opening Ceremony in Sochi Russia

Opening Ceremony in Sochi Russia

Conditions in Sochi did not always cooperate.

Extreme fog delayed the snowboard cross and biathlon while workers attempted to aliviate conditions with large fans. The games carried on but visibility issues affected performances.

2014 Winter Olympics

Competitors crash off a drop during the women’s snowboard cross.

2014 Winter Olympics

Richard Freitag (Germany) jumps in foggy conditions.

Slick slopes caused difficulty for even the fiercest of competitors.

2014 Winter Olympics

Snowboard Slopestyle turns downhill.

Figure skating heated up quickly when Russia took the first gold medal with some surprising stand out performances.

15 year old Yulia Lipnitskaya stunned the crowd with elegant execution and helped push her team to the top. Lipnitskaya crushed her competition with style and grace.

Yulia Lipnitskaya

Lipnitskaya’s performance brought the crowd to their feet

Dizzy yet? The Russian team continued to wow with amazing jumps and performances.

31 year old Evgeni Plushenko

31 year old Evgeni Plushenko commanded the ice

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took the gold putting Russia back on top in figure skating. Russia had won gold 12 straight Olympics in the event before the streak ended four years ago.

Russian pair skaters fly high.

Russian pair skaters fly high

18 year old Gracie Gold stole America’s heart with a beautiful entrance. Team USA took the bronze.

Gracie Gold skated with a smile and confidence

Gracie Gold skated with a smile and confidence

American couple skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White set an Olympic record in the ice short dance with a score of 78.89.

2014 Winter Olympics

The animated couple brought high energy.

In other skating news, the Dutch dominated in a clean sweep of gold, silver and bronze in the men’s 500 meter speed skating while their competition fell short. The Mulder brother twins took the gold and bronze while their compatriot, Jan Smeekens, finished second.

2014 winter olympics

Daniel Greig (AUS) falls short

The USA hockey team had a big win on the ice and will have a shot at the gold medal.

2014 Winter Olympics

Backes shoots a goal.

Sage Kotsenburg won the first gold medal for America in men’s snowboard slopestyle, an event that was under the spotlight after Shaun White pulled out at the last minute, concerned with the potential risk of injury.

Sage Kotsenburg

Kotsenburg remained laid-back after he won the Gold

American Jamie Anderson also won gold in the inaugural women’s snowboard slopestyle event.

Anderson wins gold

Anderson danced to ‘Nas’ before her gold medal run

Sharing is Caring: Tina Maze (Slovenia) and Dominique Gisin (Switzerland) were happy to be declared co-gold medalists. In a rare occurrence, they tied in the alpine skiing event although Maze started the race 30 minutes after Gisin.

2014 Winter Olympics

A look at how the competitors took similar turns

Not everybody on the mountain flew quite as high. Bode Miller lost an expected medal in the men’s downhill event citing visibility issues. While Miller had difficulty seeing, his wife’s disappointment was as clear as day.

Bode Miller

Bode Miller’s wife reacts to his unexpected loss

Shaun White’s strategy to focus only on the men’s half pipe fell threw when he caught the edge of the pipe and slipped twice in his run. The two stumbles put White in fourth, missing his chance at another Olympic medal.

Shaun White Misses

Shaun White clips the edge of the half pipe

American figure skater Ashley Wagner was also not impressed and called “bull” when she received the scores to her performance.

Ashley Wagner Face

Wagner disagrees with the judges

As the 2014 Winter Olympics continue, the highs and the lows intensify. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the trending news and photos.

Surefire Tips to Taking a Perfect Selfie

They pop up daily on our Instagram feed. We’ve seen countless “Selfie Sunday” hashtags. They are the norm for Facebook profile pictures and the word “selfie” has even been added to the dictionary. But having the latest smartphone and complementing filters is not enough. Study these simple tips and you will be on your way to taking the perfect selfie.

DO the turtle to eliminate a double chin.. DON’T angle the camera above your head

DO relax and be confident, DON’T over pose

DO imagine your happy place for a natural smize, DON’T make a ‘Duck Face’

DO enhance your photo with an appropriate filter, DON’T over-edit

Not buying it? Check out these celebrity selfie fails if you still have doubts…
Celebrity Selfies

A few other things to remember:

Choose your background wisely. Make sure there are no photobombers, incriminating props or distracting scenery.

Everything in moderation. Taking too many selfies is narcissistic. Limit to one a week maximum.

Keep it classy. Don’t shoot a selfie that you wouldn’t be comfortable showing to your grandmother or your boss.

You’re set…Now snap away to shameless selfie heaven!

 

August Cover Photo Contest

We have a photo finish! The vote count was so close that we’re announcing two winners, and we will feature both as our Facebook page cover photo this August.

Congratulations to Photobucket users It_rs_photos and 1pinto!

Coming in at #1 with a very slight lead, Human Hands by It_rs_photos! 
landscape sunset ocean rocks

Coming in at #2, Owl in Flight by 1pinto.
Owl

Check out the runners-up and download the cover photos.