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Key lime with graham crackers and raspberry swirl. Cinnamon-cotton candy with gummy bears. Sea-salt caramel and butter brickle. eCreamery makes the question "vanilla or chocolate?" seem like child's play. The Omaha ice cream shop, started by friends Abby Jordan and Becky App, churns out a dozen-plus fresh flavors daily. But it's their web site, where you can build your own custom flavors, that got our gelato-lovin' heart pumping.
How it works: Choose your base—dairy-free sorbetto, rich gelato or classic ice cream—and then pick one or two of the more than 40 flavors to infuse into the base mix. (Ice cream experts on-site tweak the ratio, to make sure subtle lavender still sings through a heavier chocolate.) Options range from adventurous (chipotle, stout) and nostalgic (birthday cake, butterscotch), to straightforward stunners like blueberry and cardamom. Next comes the fun part: agonizing over the mix-ins (walnut brownies, cherry swirls, candied ginger, malted milk balls...the list goes on and on). Four hand-packed pints are shipped, bearing your label. May we suggest: "Hands off!"
Our best creation: Coffee and sweet cream gelato with a luscious caramel swirl and crunchy bits of chocolate espresso chips.
Signature Trail Snacks
No more picking through a store-bought bag of trail mix and leaving the lonely walnuts behind? Sweet! Mother-and-son team (and health nuts) Ava Bise and Anthony Flynn started YouBar after years of making protein bars at home. This design-it-yourself business has since expanded from bars to protein shakes, cereal, and—our favorite—trail mixes.
How it works: Of the 40-odd ingredients offered—chia seeds, black licorice, wasabi peas, sundried tomatoes, candied ginger, organic dried fruits—you can blend up to 21. Nutritional information appears on-screen as you make additions, many of which are organic. Trail mix ships in individual snack packs.
Our best creation: A salty-sweet-crunchy-chewy symphony of pistachios, peanuts, organic soynuts, dried cherries, organic flaxseeds, sesame sticks, and dark-chocolate covered raisins.
No matter what happens in your day to day, mindfulness matters. Here's a few new reasons why to get present about your present.
Living to Live, Not Eat
Eating with your non-dominant hand (say, lefties eating popcorn with their right hand hand or righties eating with their left) may cause you to consume less food, The LA Times reported last week, because it disrupts your habits and causes you to be more aware of what you're consuming.
The Fear Factor
This month researchers at the University of Cambridge found that putting 14-year-old and 15-year-old boys on a meditation regime increased their well being—mostly dramatically in those "who suffered from higher levels of anxiety." Totally unscientifically speaking, if a bunch of hormone-fueled teenage boys can get themselves to sit down, focus, and be still and calm....we all can. (Via Science.com)
The Exercise To Try
Breathe out your dark cloud. O magazine's Martha Beck shows us how to be mindful in five easy focusing steps.
Extend your summer tan (which you still managed to get even though we know you applied your sunscreen religiously) with this heart-stamped, shimmery bronzer. Swirl the different tones together with the brush that comes conveniently stored beneath the powder, and sweep it under your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and across your forehead for a streak-free, sun-kissed look. For a rosier effect, dab your the bristles into the bright pink and pop this color on the apples of your cheeks. Bonus: this bronzer is scented with violet floral notes to invigorate your senses and lift your spirits (even on a manic Monday).
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Bronzer, $14.
Soothe dry skin for a cause
Get 30 wearable colors for under $30
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that made us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by words of wisdom from a Disney animator, a sympathetic mystery shopper and Rihanna...
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we've got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #24: Bargain shop in a whole new way.
Quit clipping coupons! Thanks to the popularity of sites like Groupon, flash sales (limited edition deals) are oh so of-the-moment. Four sites to suit any shopping style:
At MYHABIT, the new designer sale site from Amazon, shopaholics enjoy up to 60 percent off—and free shipping—from high-end and boutique brands like Alberta Ferretti and Dogeared jewelry.
Get an Android smartphone, iPod nano, or LCD monitor on the cheap with the daily deals at CowBoom, a Best Buy offshoot that offers new, used, and refurbished electronics.
Daily Gourmet dishes discounts on high-quality eats from around the world (think: cask-aged premium wine vinegar, small-batch gluten-free granola, and hand-crafted coffees).
LivingSocial secures savings of 50 percent or more on local products and getaways. Convince three of your friends to purchase the offer as well and you get the deal for free.
As children in school, we all were taught about the Holocaust. At night, in bed, I used to wonder what I would do in a situation like that: would I have the courage to stand up and do something? The question stays with me, especially as I age and realize how complicated moral lines can be when it comes to one's own survival.
One of the most astonishing and uplifting things to come out of the coverage of the 9/11 anniversary is the stories of the people who risked everything to save others—not just the fireman, police, and hospital workers, but ordinary people like the gentleman who carried a woman in a wheelchair down 68 flights to safety or the man in the red bandana.
The story I've never heard before is about the private boat captains who responded to the call by the Coast Guard for help with the stranded victims on the southern tip of Lower Manhattan. In this moving new video by The Road to Resilience organization, we watch as nearly 500,000 people are saved and carried across the waters of the Hudson—an act of bravery that turned out to be the largest sea evacuation in world history.
I keep thinking about what I want to take away from this Sunday—and what I want to remember long after the day is over. Perhaps Robin Jones, the hardboiled engineer of the Mary Gellatly, best described what we should always keep in mind, in terms of all of our lives. "I believe everybody has a little hero in 'em," he says in the video. "You gotta look in there. It'll come out, if need be."
We love these brushes created by makeup artist Samantha Chapman (best known for her YouTube channel, Pixiwoo) not only because they're cruelty-free and ultra-soft, but you can score the entire set for under $20. All the tools you need for a weekend away come in a sleek case (so the bristles don't get twisted or crushed in your suitcase) and serve multiple-purposes (use the brush with the orange handle for foundation and concealer, the purple for shadow or under-eye concealer, and the pink for bronzer, powder, and blush). Plus, the synthetic bristles work with powders or creams and don't absorb as much product as natural ones, meaning that less of the color gets stuck on your brush, and more ends up where it belongs—on you.
Real Techniques Travel Essentials, $18
Watch Chapman create a day-to-night tutorial with this brush set by clicking here.
Get Adam's travel checklist
Watch another YouTube sensation, Lauren Luke, apply false lashes
7 things never to wear to the airport
I spent eight months picking out the wallpaper for my kitchen. I taped samples on the wall. I grilled my family, my neighbors and poor, innocent, befuddled dinner guests. I sat for hours, staring at the different options, trying to pick the one square of printed, decorative paper that said "me!"
Trying to express ourselves through chosen objects—be they wallpaper, raincoats, or living room couches—can be exhausting, and yet we all seem to love ultimately finding things that let both the world and us know who we are.
Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed the silly yet oddly satisfying quiz/game/10-minute time suck that Firefox has developed called Webify Me. In a nutshell, you answer a series of questions about yourself and your use of new technology, and—presto!—the gizmo comes up with a desk filled with items that represent you, from compasses and magazines to seashells, crayons and action figures.
The bonus? As you scroll over each item, pop-ups appear explaining why and how it relates to you, usually with a flattering comment, such as "You use many different tools to communicate your vision, Traveler, " or "You're a class act, even when you let loose." A little senseless yet very specific flattery from an algorithm can do wonders for your morning.