A Better Breakfast with Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal+

During the week I don’t always manage to eat breakfast. I know, it’s terrible. But I’m determined now more than ever to get the most out of my mornings. Which means adding in a healthy breakfast into my routine. The only problem is that I’m probably the exact opposite of a morning person, I can sleep through pretty much anything, and after I wake up I won’t be coherent for another hour or two. So popping up to make a delicious but healthy breakfast is as realistic as me suddenly sprouting wings and flying (like those Red Bull commercials).

Quaker Real Medleys Apple Walnut Oatmeal

Thankfully, Quaker – a brand I grew up with, came out with their Real Medleys “instant” oatmeal. My mom was actually really excited about the Real Medleys line when it first hit stores, but for some reason or other we never actually got around to trying them, until I was sent one of the Real Medley’s in Apple Walnut in my Influenster Holiday VoxBox. So over the holiday week, I was super busy and therefore even less of a morning person than ever, I just popped it in the microwave and I was actually pretty darn surprised with how tasty it was!

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I know the directions say to just add water and microwave, but I’m a lactose lover so I did a half milk half water mixture. To me milk makes everything creamier and better. SO if you’re like me and regularly add milk to your oatmeal, I’d suggest you edit the directions and add some milk.

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Real Medleys comes in Cherry Pistachio, Peach Almond, Summer Berry, and Apple Walnut – which is the flavor that I tried. It’s really really yummy – and I promise I’m not just saying that. It literally tastes like a hug from the inside – it’s warm, not too sweet, the apple and cranberries add the perfect pop of flavor, and the walnuts give a great layer of texture to the oatmeal. So if you’re in the store, and you’re looking for a delicious, fast, and easy breakfast option totally pick up some of these because they’re so good and only about $1-2 each. To find out more about Quaker Real Medleys click here, to read more reviews on Real Medleys by other influensters click here!

*I received the product(s) mentioned in the post in from the Influenster Vox Box in order to facilitate a review. I am not obligated in any way to review the product. All opinions presented here belong to The NYC Talon, and are not influenced in any way.

BlogHer ’12, Part 1!

Day 1 of my BlogHer 2012 experience started with Lunch with a Dragyn at the Heartland Brewery a short distance from Times Square. Organized by Dana from The Dragyn’s Lair, the service was awful (shame on you Heartland) but the bloggers more than made up for it. I have to send a shoutout to my new favorite people – Dana, Julia (who helped me attain my life goal of being three degrees from Johnny Cash), Kailynn, Dusty, and Megan (seriously love this lady), Jana, Sandy, Amy, and Rachel!

After lunch, Dana, Julia, Kailynn, Jana, and I headed up to the Sheraton Hotel where there was Snoopy, sweets, drinks, and swag! I spoke to the sweetest people from Bongo and Badgely Mischka, and scored a Snoopy Holiday DVD set, a Danskin T-Shirt, and a couple other goodies.

Oh yeah, underneath those cupcakes were giftcards! :O

Feeling pretty loaded down with swag at this point, Julia let me ditch my bags at her place (saving my poor shoulders and back – thank you SO much Julia!!!) before heading up to the Hilton to register.

After registering and picking up my official BlogHer pass, I got completely lost trying to find the exclusive diggs Single Edition Media chose for their California Dreams event – which I was to volunteer at. I know, I know, I’m a New Yorker, I should know how to find my way around- but in my defense, the location was really nondescript in a fancy “forbidden city” sort of way (if you’re confused about my forbidden city reference, click here).

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Image Courtesy of Single Edition Media’s Flickr Page

After finding the location, I headed up stairs and met the lovely ladies behind the event and proceeded to help them load up close to a zillion swag bags. They were super happy that I arrived early to help them out, and I was really happy as I got to take a look around without the loads of guests that were to arrive shortly. After manning the desk for an hour, I enjoyed some cotton candy (yes they had cotton candy! it was so cool!) and networked a bit before heading out.

Back at the Hilton, I headed to the Night at the Expo party – my first time ever seeing the expo, and my first time at an official BlogHer party. It was pure chaos, but in a good way. I was overwhelmed with the number of amazing sponsors, and was really impressed with how many of the sponsors that I spoke to appreciated the influence and importance of bloggers. I was blissfully exhausted, and after meeting up with Julia, headed home with a new set of false lashes (thanks to Kiss – another one of my favorite brands), and a completely new experience as a blogger, person, and a NY’er.

Stay tuned for Part 2!!!

*Special mention goes to the kind folks at buildasign.com for providing me with amazing (and quite popular) magnetic business cards! They also do yard signs, signs, bumper stickers, custom signs, and canvas pictures!

Bloggers Toolbox: Photography!

As a blogger, I know photography is an integral part of each and every post I write. I’ve discovered through other bloggers, personal searches, and trial and error which photography resources out there have worked the best for me. So I’ve created my version of a “toolbox” with recommendations for (free!) sites and software to use when looking for, and editing images – as well as sites that help hone your photo-taking skills!

 

This image is used by permission from Hobbies on a Budget and edited using pixlr

Editing Images- I edit quite a few of my photos, so being a student on a budget naturally means that I can only afford photo editing in the free price range. While an ipad, macbook, and photoshop languish on my perpetual wishlist here are the best photo editing sites that I’ve found and frequently use!

pixlr - I love this photo editor, it’s fast, free, and super easy to use. You can apply a few filters, or you can do serious hardcore editing with this online (no downloads or registration here!) program. They have so many unique, fun ways to play with your images- I could spend hours on here! They also came out with photo collages- so now you can make those on pixlr as well (I used it to create my facebook banner!).

picmonkey – This is another amazing (free) photo editing tool- also, no downloads required. What’s really great is that right now you can edit your pictures to completely (or partially) change the look of a person! Helloooo 70 pounds lighter me! This is a great tool for playing around with lighting, tones, and colors- definitely worth a try, you’ll love it! They also just came out with a “create a collage” option.

photovisi – I initially used this online tool as a way to make fast and easy collages. You can use the backgrounds and formats that they already created for you, and just upload your images into them – or you can choose your own formatting and play with things a little bit. If you’re looking to throw together a fast collage then this is the site for you.

Finding Free Images - Sometimes you might be working on a deadline, or can’t for some reason get a shot of what you’re looking for for your post. Here’s a few really great free photo resources for bloggers:

Hobbies on a Budget Blogger Resources - My blogger friend Sharon, not only runs a great blog, but she also put together some great blogging resources- including her own (taken by Hobbies on a Budget) free images for bloggers! They’re all %100 original and %100 free- in fact I grabbed one of her images to use as my featured image for this blog post! Thanks Sharon! She also has some great posts on how to take great photos- check them out here!

Flickr Creative Commons – A lot of people are utilizing flickr’s creative commons for excellent images, just make sure you read what kind of license the image your using operates under!

Becoming a Better Photographer - Looking to hone your photo-taking skills? Want to learn how to make all your shots “professional looking”? Well these sites can teach you everything you need or want to know about photography- free!

The American Museum of Photography – This virtual museum is a great resource for learning about the history and process of photography (think how cool you’ll sound saying things like “yo this filter I used made my photo look like a real daguerrotype!”). Also they’ve got links to loads of great sites for whatever your photography needs are!

Digital Photography School – Most amazing photography site ever. Loaded up with tips, tutorials, how-to’s, and tons of info on techniques and equipment. This site pretty much provides a free education in photography.

National Geographic – Want your images to start looking Nat Geo worthy? Then head right to the source! Nat Geo offers loads of tips, tutorials, articles, and naturally- inspiration!

Daguerreotype