Things we love, things we like and things that ruffle our feathers.

July 29, 2014

New Music Tuesday Featuring "Bang Bang": Adding Some Girl Power to Your Summer Playlist

They're calling it the Lady Marmalade of 2014, the explosive song of the year, the chart-topping hit we've been expecting, but we're just calling it like it is - the PERFECT addition to your summer playlist.

With Jessie J and Ariana's serious pipes and Nicki Minaj's fierce raps, this combination of girl power is beyond epic. No, seriously, it's like the musical version of Charlie's Angels. So here's how you're going to want to listen to this song. Get all your friends, jump in the car, start driving, roll the windows down, BLAST the music.

But what am I saying, this song has no limits. Put it on repeat while hitting the treadmill, play it at work while you're trying to pump yourself up for a presentation, dance to it in the kitchen while cooking dinner. With lyrics like "sure she's got a booty like a Cadillac, but I can send you into overdrive," let's just imagine how sassy this music video will be! But for now, we'll have to wait it out, passing the time with this song on repeat. 

Culture Cram: Hilary Duff's New Single Reminds Us Why We Missed Her

If you weren't feeling the summer mood yet, Hilary Duff's new single will do it for you. Your teen pop icon released "Chasing the Sun" today and we were instantly reminded of why we love her so much.

The track and its video were released simultaneously because Hilary knew we couldn't possibly wait for two separate things. (Our hearts can only handle so much, after all.) The upbeat, mellow song will remind you of the sand, summer and surf. The corresponding video is pretty much your life, as Hilary works in an office job, while dreaming of something more. That something turns out to be a shirtless dream man who looks like Zachary Quinto's long lost brother.

If you can watch this without wanting to run free on an island somewhere, you have no soul. Either that, or your life is perfect.

July 28, 2014

Culture Cram: First 'Mockingjay' Teaser Trailer Gives First Glimpse of District 13

Fellow Hunger Games fans, Christmas has come early for us! If you were at Comic Con, it came on Friday. (Also, we dislike you a little.)

The first teaser trailer featuring actual footage from the film (although that first one may also be featured in the movie) has been released! Not only do we get our first glimpse at District 13 but we also get see Julianne Moore as President Coin and Natalie Dormer as Cressida. You also see the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, which tugs at our heartstrings.

If you're not familiar or forgot, there are a lot of challenges for Katniss as the face of the rebellion; that's along with her coping with what she's done in the games, guilt over the lives lost during the rebellion and worry over what may be happening to Peeta in the Capitol.

If anyone's up to the challenge of this character's journey, it's Jennifer Lawrence. The Mockingjay lives!

July 25, 2014

Recipe: Summer in a Bowl

Show of hands: Who wants to spend their summer evening slaving over a hot stove just so they can get a decent meal prepared? (I don't know about the rest of you but I'm hearing crickets...)

One of the best parts of summer is all the colorful, delicious produce that's in season. From sweet berries to juicy tomatoes to versatile root veggies and more, you'll find all these just ripe for the taking waiting for you at your local farmer's market.
We love farmer's markets because we love to support local farmers and practice ethical consumer behaviors whenever possible. When you eat local, you support members of your very own community, and help preserve and protect the environment we live in.

The fresher the fruit or veggie, the better the taste and the better it is for you. And in these hot summer months, the fewer times you have to turn on the oven, the better. Here's a super simple, super flavorful and healthy summer salad you can make in five minutes for a light lunch, a dinner side or to tote along to your next BBQ.

You'll need (for 2-4 servings):
1 medium cucumber — nearly entirely made of water to help you stay hydrated!
1 medium red onion — packed with fiber and Vitamin C
1 package grape or cherry tomatoes (you can choose larger tomatoes as well, just slice them smaller!) — rich in Vitamins A and C as well as potassium 
Extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning blend (or a few shakes each of dried basil, parsley and oregano)
Salt and pepper to taste

Here's what to do:
Slice up all those veggies until you have the ratios you like. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the olive oil over the mixture, and then toss in your seasonings. Toss gently with a spoon and chill.
Pretty much confetti in a bowl.
See, I told you it was super simple! Bon appetit.

Alyssa Ammirato is the Life Editor of Feather Magazine. She blogs here and you can follow her on Twitter here.

July 24, 2014

Culture Cram: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Releases First Trailer

Fifty Shades of Grey fans, the wait is finally over! The first full-length trailer is here and now we're bummed that we still have so long to wait before the film is released.

There's not a lot of risqué behavior, so don't start looking for any whips, chains, blindfolds or anything else that would be found in Christian Grey's red room. What you will find is, as we suspected, a more sultry version of Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love."

Check out the trailer and tell us what you think.

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