Author: Charlotte Lamontagne

Lifestyle

The Complete Guide to Picking the Best Laptop Bags Online

A laptop bag plays a crucial role in keeping your precious laptop safe while traveling. A high-quality and stylish laptop bag can also complement your overall look. The quality of laptop bag you pick will determine its durability and your laptop’s safety and well-being. This article will provide a complete guide to picking the best laptop bags online.

Consider the shop’s reputation.

Ensure that you buy a laptop bag online from a reputable store. This is the best way to protect your money. www.canvasbackpack.net is an authorized and reputable online laptop bag shop. It is well stocked with a wide variety of laptop bags. Their laptop bags are durable, stylish, and very comfortable. Their customer service is also impeccable.

Consider size

Pick a laptop bag size that suits your needs. For instance, if you want to store more things in the bag, pick one that is spacious. Measure the size of your laptop first if you are not sure which laptop bag size to choose.

Guide to Picking the Best Laptop Bags Online

Consider durability

Also check how long the laptop bag will last. This means checking the quality of the material that the laptop bag is made of. We recommend laptop bags made of leather because they are strong and durable.

Consider protection

Check if the laptop bag is equipped with important safety features like padding and waterproof material. The best way to ensure the safety of your laptop is by picking a bag that is equipped with excellent protective features.

Consider style

Besides guaranteeing your laptop safety, a good laptop bag should also be stylish and trendy. Its overall look should meet your taste and preference. For instance, if your dress code is casual, you should pick a casual laptop bag to complement your look.

Final thoughts

When choosing a laptop bag online, it is important to buy from a credible online shop like www.canvasbackpack.net. The laptop bag should also be of the right size, durable, stylish, and equipped with the right protective features.…

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Lifestyle

Buying Guide for Apple Watch Bands in Different Colors

When you buy an Apple watch, it usually comes with a band. However, there being so many band colors out there, you don’t have to settle for the basic band that came with the watch. Switching to a different-colored Apple watch band is an opportunity to customize your accessory and add a personal touch. At Cxsbands you can find a range of Apple Watch bands in various colors and styles. But the big question is – what Apple watch band color should you choose?

In this buying guide, we will explore some popular Apple watch band colors so it can be easier for you to choose the most suitable option.

Apple Watch Bands in Different Colors

Which Apple Watch Band Color is Right for You?

Here is a list of different Apple watch band colors and some things that make them stand out.

• Black

A black strap blends well with not only a black Apple watch but all colors. Black is a neutral color. Therefore, it will blend with a grey, white or red Apple watch. Another pro of buying a black strap is that it always looks clean and is easy to maintain. Therefore, if you are looking for an everyday wear Apple watch band, black should be your top choice.

• Brown

For decades, Brown has been a popular watch band strap color. When paired with an Apple watch, it’s easy to mix and match. Plus, you can choose a lighter or darker hue, depending on your preferences.

• Rose Gold

The thing about black and brown Apple watch straps is that they are subtle colors. A rose gold strap is an excellent choice if you have a bold personality and don’t mind drawing attention. Rose gold is a symbol of luxury, and it looks great on all skin tones. And even though this strap color is rare, you can buy rose gold apple watch bands online.

• White

A white Apple watch band is pretty versatile. It can blend with most Apple watch colors, from blue to red. It also stands out and looks unique. White bands also go well with a wide range of attires, from casual to official. It’s worth mentioning that white straps get dirty quickly and are hard to maintain.

• Midnight Blue

The last Apple watch band color recommendation on our list is midnight blue, also known as navy. This is a neutral color that has some element of uniqueness. It’s super easy to maintain and rarely shows dirt. Midnight blue will look good on any Apple watch.

Tips on How to Choose the Best Apple Watch Band Color

• Choosing contrasting colors is the best way to make your Apple watch look interesting. If the Apple watch is black, don’t hesitate to go for rose gold or red straps.

• Complementing colors is a fun way to create a unique design.

• Matching the strap with the dial is a brilliant idea for those who prefer a subtle option.

• The material also contributes to the …

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Recipes

Cookies & Cream Puffs

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on expanding my kitchen skills. Because of my busy work and blog schedule, I’ve turned to the internet for options I can do on my own time.

Cookies & Cream Puffs

First up? Salted TV. Salted is a subscription service that offers a wide range of cooking classes that range from how to make the perfect bone marrow, to mastering the croissant and everything in between. I loved this option but there were so many videos I quickly got overwhelmed by the choice, did a little of a bunch of them and then forgot I had subscribed.

Cookies & Cream Puffs

Next up was YouTube. I know, it sounds silly but I’ve actually gotten some great food tips from YouTube. Did you know that you can make fresh pasta dough in a food processor without getting your hands dirty? Neither did I until last week but it worked so well! The videos are free to watch (a nice change) but the downside of course is that anyone can add videos so there’s no telling how qualified your instructor really is.

Cookies & Cream Puffs

Unlike Salted TV, on Craftsy you buy one class at a time but each class is so in depth that it’s worth it. Earlier this month, I took a pâte à choux class. Eclairs have always been my favorite so I thought that if I could master pâte à choux I could make them for myself all the time. Dangerous right?

Cookies & Cream Puffs

As with all things, I started small with cream puffs to get a handle on pâte à choux. Even though they are made from the same dough, in my mind the their smaller shape made them easier to master.

While not overly challenging, pâte à choux was time consuming and took an attention to detail. If your dough gets too wet there’s no fix – you have to toss it and start over.

If you get the cream puffs done and have the energy to make a pastry cream filling, more power to you. I got so antsy to eat these that I went straight for the ice cream in my freezer to use as filling.

Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ Cup (125ml) water
  • ½ Cup (125ml) milk
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 Large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 container of cookies and cream ice cream
  • Chocolate sauce

 

Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Line two sheet pans with a non stick baking sheet and fit a large pastry bag with a large open plain tip and set both aside
  • In a 2-quart, heavy saucepan, combine the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter
  • Stir over low heat until the sugar, salt and butter have completely melted
  • Turn the burner to high and let the mixture briefly come to a rolling boil.
  • Take the pan from the heat and add the flour
  • Using a large wooden spoon, stir the mixture vigorously until smooth and there are no lumps of
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Recipes

Cookie Dough Footballs

You may not love football, but you will definitely love these chocolate-dipped cookie dough footballs.

Cookie Dough Footballs

Growing up abroad, I never really understood the whole football thing. I watched my first Super Bowl my senior year in college, but that was only because my roommates hosted a viewing party. I made it through about the first quarter before I moved to a different room to watch The Proposal with a couple other football novices. Football < Ryan Reynolds

Cookie Dough Footballs

I’ve come a long way since then. In fact, I’ve watched countless football games and even have Red Zone. Sure I didn’t know what it was until Colin insisted we needed it but now that I have it, I make the most of it.

Cookie Dough Footballs

A few years ago, I attempted to make little chocolate cupcakes look like footballs. They failed miserably but I loved the concept. My icing skills haven’t improved much since then but these are much easier – I promise!

Cookie Dough Footballs

If you’re heading to (or hosting!) a Super Bowl party, make these easy mini footballs and impress everyone. People love cookie dough so why not take the eggless version, dip it in chocolate and decorate it on theme!

Ingredients

  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ Cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup (50g) brown sugar
  • ¼ Cup applesauce
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ Cup (218g) flour
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup mini chocolate chips
  • 12 Ounces of semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tube of white decorating icing (I had a 4.2 ounce one on hand but you can definitely get away with a smaller tube)

Recipe

  • Cream together butter, sugars, applesauce and vanilla extract in a large bowl
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt
  • Set mixer to low and mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  • Mix in chocolate chips
  • Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and then use clean hands to form into the shape of a football
  • Refrigerate until the chocolate is ready to dip
  • While the balls are in the fridge, melt the chocolate over a double boiler
  • Place the cookie dough footballs one at a time on a fork and dip in the chocolate before placing back on a cooling rack
  • Once all the footballs are covered in chocolate, return to the fridge until hard, about 30 minutes
  • Cut the tip of your decorating icing tube and add a small piping tip
  • Decorate footballs as you see fit
  • Refrigerate until ready to enjoy
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Recipes

PB & Berry Breakfast Bowl

I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary of living in Arlington, so I figured I might as well take this opportunity to talk about a few of my favorite neighborhood spots. First up? South Block.

PB & Berry Breakfast Bowl

When it first opened back in 2011, South Block was a burrito and smoothie joint. As the neighborhood shifted and established itself as a health and fitness hub in Arlington, so did South Block’s menu. Today, South Block serves healthy smoothies, acai bowls and wheatgrass shots to its lululemon-clad clientele and its busiest times are when the spin, yoga and barre studios around the block let out classes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a fan of the shift and have remained a loyal customer over the last four and a half years. I mean, I am a lulu-wearing yoga/spin/barre lover after all.

PB & Berry Breakfast Bowl

One of the upsides of the South Block’s menu being focused on health is that I don’t feel badly about dropping $9 on a bowl of what tastes like a mix between a smoothie and melted ice cream. Well, less badly than when I spend $9 on gelato from Dolcezza when I know I have ice cream at home. I’ll save that story for another time.

PB & Berry Breakfast Bowl

Since my Instagram feed has been littered with beautiful smoothie bowls of late, I thought I would join in and try to recreate one of my favorite South Block creations: the PB&J bowl (formerly known as the purple smile smoothie).

Berries, banana and peanut butter are such classic smoothie ingredients but acai had me a little skeptical. A quick Google search filled me on the basics (South American fruit similar to the baby a grape and blueberry might produce) but the reviews I read online seemed unsure as to whether the health benefits everyone applauds the acai berry for having are actually that incredible. Is it a superfood? Likely. Are there other better superfoods to be had? Maybe. Is it a yummy addition to my morning breakfast bowl that makes me feel good? Absolutely.

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ Cup blueberries
  • ½ Cup peanut butter
  • ⅓ Cup almond milk
  • 2 Teaspoons freeze dried acai
  • Optional toppings: Banana slices, almond slices, blueberries

Recipe

  • Blend all the smoothie ingredients together until just blended
  • Pour into bowl and top with optional toppings or enjoy as is
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Recipes

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

Have you heard that Valentine’s Day is around the corner?

For years, it was always just me, Ben and Jerry on February 14th. And then I realized that this Hallmark holiday is the perfect excuse to eat decadent chocolate and pink treats. I won’t bother filling you in on how that that took because I’m embarrassed by all the years I wasted by not maximizing my chocolate intake.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

This year, I’m excited to share some of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats, starting with these cinnamon chocolate truffles!

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

According to Match.com, more than 25% of adults would prefer to eat dinner at home as opposed to going out for Valentine’s Day. I don’t know about your plans but I’m definitely all about making a nice dinner at home. Of course, the best part of Valentine’s Day dinner is dessert.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing quite as decadent as chocolate truffles. I like mine small enough to enjoy in one or two bites – just the right amount of chocolate. Side note – I make them small so I can eat more than one and be guilt-free.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles
Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

This recipe is flexible in that, cinnamon lovers can be generous in measuring out the ground cinnamon but people who just want a hint of cinnamon can lower it to 1 tablespoon.

Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles

Truffle Ingredients

  • 10 Ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • ¾ Cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Imperials (optional)

Recipe

  • Place chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside (If it is in bar form, break apart with your hands)
  • Heat the heavy cream over medium heat on the stove top until it starts to simmer
  • Pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Stir chocolate mixture until completely melted
  • Once completely smooth, mix in the ground cinnamon
  • Place in fridge until hard – about 2 hours
  • Once chocolate has hardened, remove from fridge and using a spoon or clean hands, form into 1 inch balls
  • In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients
  • Roll balls in topping and top each with a cinnamon imperial
  • Refrigerate until ready to enjoy
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Recipes

Mary’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

Crowded restaurants, slow service and uncomfortable PDA from the tables on either side of me are not things I enjoy so I’ll do be dinner at home on the 14th. Well, since I’m flying home that afternoon from a weekend trip up north, my dinner will realistically end up being Chinese take out topped off with some version of chocolate for dessert. I’m still finalizing the menu but this cake is definitely on the short list.

Mary’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

I talk a lot about recipes my mother has passed down because that’s the food I enjoyed most during my formative years. It’s only natural then that the flavors my mother cooked for me me have shaped what I like and don’t like about food today.

Mary’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

My mother’s flourless chocolate cake was always a staple for my family. Easy to make, it’s a delectable treat for every occasion ranging from afternoon tea to fancy Valentine’s Day dinner. See what I did there, I made this delicious chocolate dessert from my childhood relevant for next week’s ‘holiday’. You’re welcome.

Mary’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

I can’t say enough good things about this fudgey cake. I like to cover mine with powdered sugar, because why not, but ice cream, fresh whipped cream and berries are also delicious additions.

What are your favorite desserts from your childhood? Do you still make them today?

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 Ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 Large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 Cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the center
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside
  • Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until completely melted, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly
  • Whisk in egg yolks
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form, about 8 minutes
  • Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form, about another 4 minutes.Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula
  • Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, 45 to 50 minutes
  • Cool completely on a wire rack; remove sides of pan
  • Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar
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Recipes

Peppermint Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

When it comes to festive baking, there are two trains of thought. One is all about festive flavors: eggnog, peppermint and gingerbread. The other, is all about the colors, baking and icing in shades of green and red. If like me you can’t decide between flavors or colors, rest assured because these cookies utilize both!

 

Last Saturday, I attended a cookie exchange party hosted by my friend Katie. Can you believe that this was my first one? I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew enough about holiday gatherings to anticipate a lot of sugar cookies and gingerbread. Whatever I was going to make, it was going to have to stand out. I have a baking reputation to uphold so I couldn’t show up with just anything. I was definitely a little nervous showing up with my cookies (as I am anytime I bake something for an event – do other people get that too?) but these kiss cookies were a big hit so I didn’t have much to worry about

 

Peppermint is my go-to holiday flavor and since I had some candy cane kisses lying around I was inspired to go with the red and white theme! Side note: If you haven’t tried candy cane kisses, finish reading this post and then head straight to the nearest CVS to grab a bag of them. You’ll thank me later.

 

I always turn to red velvet around Valentine’s Day (because red, obviously) but they work just as well during the holidays as part of candy cane (ish) cookie! Add a little peppermint extract and voila, you’ve got a festive and delicious treat on your hands.

 

Some of you may be thinking at this point “Charlotte, you’ve been talking a big game about these kisses but we don’t even see them.” Fair point. Let me explain. Over the years, I’ve realized that eating cookies with kiss candies in them is an awkward experience. My solution? Adding the kisses to the cookies while the cookies are still very warm so I can melt them down and make them easier to eat! Genius right? If you want to leave the kisses intact, stick the cookies in the fridge for a few minutes after adding the candies to prevent melting.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (187g) flour
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150g) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 dozen Hershey’s candy cane Kisses

Recipe (Adapted from a recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Once lighter in color, mix in the egg, followed by the milk, the peppermint extract and the
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Lifestyle

Ultimate Packing List: Packing like a Pro

Packing can be overwhelming. Whether a weekend getaway, a business trip, or a music festival, travel is a fantastic activity; however, packing might bring you down—a solo trajectory when packing makes work easier. Check out our men’s ultimate packing list that will make you pack like an expert traveler.

Packing Tips Every Traveler Should Know

Before dwelling on what you should pack on your next trip, several fundamental packing strategies will save you a lot of time and energy when packing. If you use these strategies correctly, you will avoid heavy bags and save many bucks on additional luggage. Check out the basic packing rules.

#1. Don’t fold, roll. A tightly rolled cloth takes up less space than folded clothes. Travel experts will agree that folded clothes have deep wrinkles compare to rolling. Try this out.

#2. Having a packing list. An adage says, failing to plan planning to fail, begin packing preparations days or weeks before you travel day. Buy men’s bomber jacket green or travel backpacks or any other requirement in advance. Every day you will realize there is something you have not included. Some people who pack in a rush forget their expiry passports, which might cancel the entire trip on travel day.

#3. Understand the airlines’ baggage policy. Baggage fee policy is key to budgetary packing. Most airlines restrict a lot of luggage by charge costly fees. If it is not a necessity, leave it.

#4. Use the 3-1-1 rule. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA, 3-1-1 rule on luggage indicates clear the amount of foodstuff and liquids you are supposed to carry on board. Get familiar with the agency rules others; you risk being detained on the security line and confiscating your luggage.

#5. Never check in your essentials. Carry things like electronics, jewelry, credit cards, or passport to the plane. Should anything happen to them in the luggage section, you will have no one to blame. Ensure that, should your luggage get lost, you can continue with your stay.

Ultimate Packing List

Men’s Travel Clothing Checklist

Shoes: Have at least two pairs of shoes in total. A pair of casual shoes for night outs and a pair of official shoes if on a business trip. Don’t forget flip-flops if you plan to spend in a hostel. Don’t mistake putting your hiking boot in the backpack for travel hikers instead of hung then on the backpack. It saves you space.

Cardigan or a light jacket: A stylish men’s bomber jacket green will work fine when landing on a cold destination. It’s a lightweight multipurpose jacket for either cold or moderate weather conditions. You can use many lightweights and warm travel jackets for your travel.

Pants: Three or four pairs of pants would work well, depending on how long your plan to stay. Have loose travel clothes as well, especially when using a flight.

Socks/ underwear: Bring enough of these to carry you through the time of your stay. Socks and underwear take less space and are …

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Lifestyle

Best Women’s Weight Loss Shakes for Meal Replacement

Weight Loss Shakes

The weight loss journey is not an easy process. Especially due to the hectic modern life’s pace, individuals have turned to unconvinced weight loss programs or diet plans.

Weight loss shakes for women for meal replacements, accompanied by exercise and diet, offer an effective, alternative solution to weight management and weight loss.

The aids are based on the suitability of meal replacement shakes, their capacity to please hunger, and also giving nutrients that our body requirements every day.

As soon as it comes to weight loss and dieting, many individuals choose to go for low fat, low protein, and high carb diet plan. But they did not know that protein is essentially the most substantial macronutrient.

Protein shakes produce an ideal means to get further protein in our diet plan, whereby growth can assist suppress hunger and keep us fuller for a long time – meaning you consume fewer snacks.

Not just this, but growing your protein consumption can act to upsurge your metabolism and also promote fat burning procedures when united with a decent training routine(soure: https://www.fitness-china.com/).

We have got a variety of protein shakes that comprise higher levels of protein as well as several healthy elements – with a negligible fat, lactose, and carbohydrate content.

What to Look for in The Best Meal Replacement Shakes

 Weight Loss Shakes

You must aim to intake roughly 325 calories to 400 calories, 15 g protein to 25 g protein, 10 g fat to 13 g fat (healthy unsaturated), and 5 grams of fiber. Or else, you may feel starving way before the time of your subsequent meal.

In case you decided to include meal replacement shakes in your diet for weight loss, then you should check the below elements in your meal replacement shake before buying it.

Ingredients of the Meal Replacement Shake:

Before you purchase a protein shake for weight loss, ensure you read the label of ingredients. Check for flavors, colors, and artificial sugars.

Similarly, keep your eye open for unacquainted ingredients in it. Take a look at the total amount of protein and added sugar.

Dietary Restrictions:

While choosing the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss, you have to take into account any food sensitivities or dietary restrictions you might have.

There are meal replacement shakes to put up most diets, together with gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and also vegan options, in addition, those that do not have artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.

In case you have any queries about including meal replacement shakes in your diet plan, talk to your registered dietitian or a doctor.

Taste:

You do not have to sacrifice flavor for nourishment just to acquire a few additional grams of protein in your diet plan. Several organic plant-based protein shakes for meal replacement come with natural sweeteners or are unflavored that do not leave any chemical taste afterward.

Top Weight Loss Shakes for Women

Weight Loss Shakes 

Protein powders or shakes have long appealed to individuals who wish to become stronger and build muscle. But do you …

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