Calling All Bibliophiles: These Pinterest Boards Are for You!

Pinterest is a great way to organize your favorite recipes or browse for home decor ideas, so why not use it to pay homage to your favorite books as well? If you’re an avid bibliophile who hates wandering aimlessly around the bookstore feeling overwhelmed by the endless selection of books, these boards will help you to bookmark ideas for new reading material and connect with other readers.

Book Lovers
Whether you’re looking for the best new releases or you simply want to share your love of reading with other pinners, this board is packed full of literary quotes, book recommendations, and peeks inside of some of the most impressive books stores in the world.

Reading Quotes
If all you’re searching for is a bit of inspiration on a tough day, this board pulls quotes directly from your favorite books to offer some words of wisdom straight from the authors’ mouths. From Annie Dillard and Theodore Roosevelt to C.S. Lewis, the Reading Quotes board has quotes for everyone.

There are few places more relaxing for an avid reader than a beautiful library, and this board offers a virtual tour of some of the most impressive libraries in the world.

Need-to-Know Facts About Energy and Energy Consumption

Driving a car, turning on a light, heating or cooling our homes and offices—it all takes energy. But where does this energy come from? Read on to find some fun facts about energy.

1) Energy has many sources. Most of the energy we use is sourced from fossil fuels, nuclear power, or renewable sources like the sun. New sources, like biofuel, are being developed to help with the growing demand for energy sources.

2) Electricity is not a primary source of energy. Instead, it's considered a secondary source of energy, and it comes from primary sources that include coal, wind, and natural gas.

3) Electricity is a hot commodity in modern America. The demand for electricity in the U.S. is predicted to increase by 26 percent by 2030. Electricity is the second-most used energy source in American homes, second only to natural gas.

4) Heating our homes in the winter consumes the most energy. Space heating consumes the biggest chunk of energy in residential homes, ahead of large appliances such as laundry machines, computers, dishwashers—even refrigerators!

5) The U.S. sources 84 percent of its energy from fossil fuels. What's more, the U.S. consumes 20 percent of the world's total energy. To help with our growing energy needs, many companies have made an effort to cut back on energy usage. Large household appliances are becoming more energy efficient, and the government has mandated that in 2020, all new cars must average 35 miles per gallon. The automobile industry has also been focusing on creating electric cars to help decrease the use of energy.

For more information on energy, read What You Need to Know About Energy on The National Academy of Sciences website.

Feel a Cold Coming On? Load Up on These Surprising Vitamin C-Rich Foods!

If you feel a cold coming on, there are few better natural remedies than to eat foods that are high in Vitamin C. Orange juice is a popular option, but you can also take advantage of the high levels of Vitamin C in a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables. Here are just a few of the best sources of Vitamin C for the next time you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

  1. Papaya. Papayas are just as sweet and refreshing as oranges, and they contain 95.6 milligrams of Vitamin C in just one small fruit. Papayas are also rich in Vitamin A and dietary fiber. To get even more of this valuable vitamin, mash enough papaya to fill one cup; it provides about 140 milligrams of Vitamin C.
  2. Broccoli. Whether you toss it into a stir fry or eat it raw as a snack, broccoli is another great source of beneficial Vitamin C. One 148-gram serving provides about 132 milligrams of C vitamins that boost your immune system and prevent illness.
  3. Kale. Kale isn’t just a trendy so-called “superfood,” it actually does provide a whole slew of health benefits. Just two cups of chopped kale offers 160.8 milligrams of Vitamin C, as well as large amounts of Vitamins A and K, phytonutrients, and fiber.

Surprising Sources of Vitamin C [Berkeley Wellness]
7 Surprising (and Delicious) Sources of Vitamin C [Care2]
7 Foods With More Vitamin C Than an Orange [Huffington Post]

Must-Know Tips When Shopping for Furniture on a Budget

With sofas costing upwards of $1,000 and many discount furniture stores sacrificing quality for a lower price tag, it may seem impossible to furnish your home on a budget. If you know what to look for, however, you can afford to invest in some new furnishings without breaking the bank. Here are some smart tips for budget-savvy furniture shopping.

  • Consider the time of year. Most furniture stores release their new collections in February and August, so they’ll likely try to clear out their old inventory in January and July. As long as you don’t mind having last season’s styles, you can usually find a great price around this time.
  • Check online. You can often find better deals on furniture by shopping clearance websites like and Amazon. You also might get free shipping by spending more than a certain amount.
  • Buy secondhand. Another person’s mistake might be your gain when it comes to furniture. Check sites like Craigslist to find brand new sofas, beds, and other items that didn’t work in someone else’s home.
  • Check consignment stores. If you don’t mind gently used furniture, thrift shops and consignment stores often have great deals on fairly modern styles. Check back often, as you never know what they’ll have from day to day.

How to Choose Furniture on a Budget [Overstock]
4 Tips for Finding Budget-Friendly Furniture [U.S. News]
Best Places to Find Budget Furniture [About Home]

How to Get More Vitamin A in Your Diet

Vitamin A provides a number of wonderful eye health benefits, from minimizing dry eyes to helping to absorb light in the retinal receptors. In addition to improving your eye health, it also supports cell growth and improves the health of the kidneys, heart, and other essential organs. Here are just a few surprising food sources for beneficial Vitamin A.

  1. Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are some of the best sources of Vitamin A out of any food, offering a staggering 561% of the recommended daily amount in just one whole potato. Better yet, the delicious sweet potato offers all of its priceless nutrients while adding only 103 calories to your diet. Simply bake one in the oven for a healthy side dish that’s absolutely packed full of A vitamins.
  2. Carrots. This other favorite orange food is equally as rich with Vitamin A. The carrot has been known for its eye health benefits for quite some time, though many people don’t realize that it’s because of the numerous A vitamins inside. One medium carrot offers a full 200% of the recommended daily intake, and it’s a great source of the Vitamins C, K, and B that your body also needs.

Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin A [Healthaliciousness]
Vitamin A [NIH]
26 Foods High in Vitamin A for Healthy Eyes [Bembu]

Burn Fat and Torch Calories by Walking. Here’s How!

While you might think that you have to run for miles to lose weight, studies show that spending an hour walking briskly around your neighborhood is just as effective at burning calories and helping you lose weight. If you want to begin a daily walking habit, here’s how to get started.

  • Think shorter, more intense bursts. Instead of slowly walking for an hour or two each day, concentrate on shorter bursts of higher-intensity walking. Many experts suggest briskly walking for 30 minutes a day, three days a week to get started.
  • Don’t forget to warm up. Even though walking isn’t as hard on your muscles and joints as running, you’ll still need to warm up to prevent cramping and stress on the heart. Shoot for a five-minute stroll before every walk.
  • Activate your muscles. Instead of just walking like you would in your daily life, turn your walk into a real workout by activating your abdominal muscles, squeezing your glutes, and even pumping your arms back and forth.
  • Ramp up the incline. If you really want to target your legs and glutes, walk on a route that has a lot of hills or rough terrain. You can even take a hike for a more scenic workout.

Walking to Lose Weight [All You]
How to Walk Off 10 Pounds [Health]
Top 10 health benefits of walking every day [Tesco Living]

The Top 5 Most Fragrant Fresh-Cut Flowers

Flowers look beautiful in your home, but you also love them for the lovely scent they emit throughout your space. If you want to fill your home with the unmistakable aroma of fresh-cut blooms, these are the top five best flowers to choose.

  • Lavender. The purple-blue flowers on the lavender plant are instantly recognizable, as are the blooms' soothing, relaxing fragrance. Best of all, lavender flowers last a relatively long time, so you’ll really get your money’s worth.
  • Roses. The flower of love is also one of the best when it comes to floral fragrance. While most common floral shop roses don’t have much of a scent, heirloom and garden roses smell fresh and sweet.
  • Peonies. These herbaceous flowers bloom in late spring and early summer, and their large, showy petals prove them to be as eye-catching as they are fragrant. Peonies boast a citrus-y, woodsy scent.
  • Hyacinth. This spring plant has tight, clustered flowers in shades of blue, white, and pink, and its scent is similar to a sweeter type of lavender.
  • Lilac. Lilac flowers grow on larger trees and bushes, but they are often cut for bouquets. Although they only last for around five days in a vase, their soft, sweet scent is well worth their short lifespan!

Top 10 Best Smelling Flowers According To Florists [Flower Shop Network]
Flower Power: The Best Fragrant Flowers [Divine Caroline]
Stop and Smell these Fragrant Flowers! [Fun Flower Facts]

How to Select Only the Freshest Veggies in the Produce Aisle

Fresh vegetables have a shorter lifespan than their frozen counterparts, so you likely want to make them last as long as possible when you purchase them. Use these expert tips to help you maintain a healthy diet and maximize the lifespan of your produce.

  1. Choose firm veggies. Vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, and onions should be firm, even colored, and free of bruises or other signs of damage. Be sure to pick these vegetables up in your hands and feel for consistent texture all the way around.
  2. Know your leafy greens. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, and lettuce should be crisp and brightly colored, with no visible signs of wilting or rot. You can also give these leafy vegetables a good whiff before buying to make sure that they don’t smell moldy.
  3. Inspect your root vegetables. The best potatoes, carrots, garlic, and other root vegetables may be a bit trickier to identify, but these simple tips can help: Look for cracking along the surface of the vegetable (an indicator that it's too dry), and be sure to avoid root veggies that smell rotten or moldy.
  4. Know your farmers' market veggies. If you regularly buy your produce at a supermarket, keep in mind that these types of stores use different techniques to make veggies look perfect. While farmers' market vegetables may not look as pretty, they’re still just as tasty.

How to Select Fresh, Ripe Produce [Lifehacker]
How to Pick Fruits & Veggies [Good Housekeeping]
Raw Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely [FDA]
Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables [Family Circle]

Feeling Under the Weather? Try These All-Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

If you get a cold or the flu every winter like clockwork, you’re likely always on the hunt for natural ways to treat your illness at home. Before you drag yourself out of bed to go to the doctor, try these all-natural home remedies to help banish your sore throat, soothe that runny nose, and make your aching muscles feel as good as new. (But consult your doctor for professional medical advice first!)

  1. Drink as many fluids as possible. When you’re feeling all stuffed up and congested, one of the best ways to rid your nasal cavity of mucus is by drinking plenty of fluids. Aim for eight to ten glasses of water per day, and supplement them with herbal teas, sports drinks, and even broth-based soups.
  2. Inhale steam. Another way to clear your stuffy nose is by leaning over a pot of boiling water, placing a towel over your head, and breathing deeply through your nose—just be careful not to breathe too deeply and burn yourself.
  3. Adjust your diet. By incorporating things like lemons, garlic, and honey into your diet, you can absorb their vitamins and antimicrobial properties. Green tea or peppermint tea also help to rid your body of cold or flu symptoms.
  4. Gargle with salt water. If a sore throat is keeping you up at night, this old wives’ tale can help to decrease the swelling in the throat’s mucous membranes and ease your pain.

Home Remedies for Colds [WebMD]
Cold and Flu Home Remedies [Doctor Oz]
22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain [Everyday Roots]

Three of Philly’s Best Brunch Spots

There’s nothing better after a long weekend than a mimosa-filled Sunday brunch. Philadelphia is home to numerous brunch spots that will satisfy your craving for eggs benedict or gourmet waffles, and these are three of the best—just make sure you arrive early to beat the inevitable crowds.

Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
With a location in Northern Liberties and one on South Street, Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat offers home-style weekend brunch to folks all across the city. The menu includes breakfast classics like omelets, home fries, lox, and huevos rancheros. It’s also BYOB, which is always a brunch plus.

Sabrina’s Cafe
Sabrina’s Cafe is another great BYOB brunch option in Philadelphia, and its brunch specials change bi-weekly to keep things fresh. These specials include fun twists on the traditional eggs benedict, French toast, and pancakes with unique toppings like dried apricots or toasted coconut, as well as hearty sandwiches with a slew of sauces and seasonings. Sabrina’s also offers many vegan and vegetarian options for meat-free visitors.

Crêperie Beau Monde
If you prefer a more sophisticated brunch option, Crêperie Beau Monde is a traditional Breton crêperie serving French cuisine based on centuries-old recipes. Brunch is served on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. only, and while dishes here are a bit pricier than most, the decadent ingredients and luxurious atmosphere make it well worth the cost. Crêperie Beau Monde's bloody mary is so good that it has won awards, and sweet and savory crêpes offer something for any palate.

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