To Start Using YouTube or Not To Start Using YouTube

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I’ve spent a lot of time lately discussing social media with friends and colleagues alike.  What platforms are the best, what should I be using, what are you using, what are best practices and many other questions have arisen.

The theme that seems to have a few of us thinking the hardest is videos and social media.  When I first started using the internet back in middle or high school I had to connect using AOL dial-up internet.  Things like Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and YouTube didn’t exist.  We had AIM for chatting, AIM bios for personalization, sites like for dating or sexual rendezvous and general chat rooms for online discussions.  If you wanted a blog you had a account or something of that nature.

We were simple back then, but have come a long way in just the past two decades.  As social media sites started to popup I was one of the first to accept the call.  I joined Myspace and dedicated some of my social time to Facebook back in college, but now I find myself falling behind.

Yes I do have an active Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress account, but what about all the other services out there.  Should I care about Pintrist or Vine?  Should I create a regularly updated YouTube channel? What would my subject matter be?

My colleague had the best idea.  Her thought was that I should put a Nanny Camera, or other affordable hidden camera, in my house to just catch the random musings and interactions of everyone who passes through. From there I could edit the videos down to two minute segments.  Knowing the things that come out of my mouth my colleague banks on these videos being entertaining.

I think it’s a funny idea, but I need more than that.  What can I do on YouTube that I can’t do on WordPress.  What can I say audibly, that I can’t write?  What can I express in a video that I can’t express with an Instagram photo and a little descriptive text?

Maybe I am just too old for this stuff, but I am only 28.  I can’t be too old to figure out the point of a dedicated video service.  Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime and see what you all think.

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Vine and YouTube.  Do you love it or hate it? Is there a point or is it pointless?

AHHHH How do I learn to eat healthier?

Screw your bread free carb free flavor free diets!
Screw your bread free carb free flavor free diets!

How do people jump from diet to diet to diet? I just want to live my life and enjoy my life. That includes enjoying what I put into my body.  Is that really so bad?

Apparently it is!

This is something I have been struggling with for a couple years now. When I was in my teens I could eat anything and everything.  Unfortunately, I did not take full advantage of my youth and fast metabolism.  While I did binge eat at times, I also had a slight eating disorder.  We called it the dancer’s diet. It’s when you don’t eat breakfast or lunch, do a lot of physical activity and then eat a small dinner with your family at night. At this time in my life I needed an eating disorder the least!  I was already skinny, tall and had a metabolism that took every tasks as a sprint instead of a slow and steady marathon like it does now.

Then I was in my early twenties.  You would think this would have changed things, but it really didn’t. I learned that if I just added a little exercise into my life I could continue to eat whatever I wanted. Sadly, I turned 26 and began to enter the later years of my twenties.

When I turned 26 I felt as if my metabolism came to screeching halt. My favorite foods, treats, and deserts all have become my enemies.  Fried chicken is a way of life for me, but how can I continue eating fried foods like I do if my metabolism is all but at a stop?  The USPS is faster at delivering mail than my metabolism is at breaking down fried foods.

Candy! Don’t get me started on candy.  I am obsessed with candy. I crave candy about as badly as I crave coffee… and that is saying something.  When I was a teen and in my early twenties I would eat Twizzlers and Mike & Ikes by the pound like it was my job.  They said fat-free on the package so why not! I would eat tons and tons of them without a care in the world.  Now if I have one I feel as if my stomach needs a wheelchair to hold it up as I walk.

What do I do? I don’t feel like I have visibly put on a ton of weight, but there is no denying that my weight is on an incline.  Coupling a slowing metabolism with medications that cause weight gain as a side effect has rendered me screwed in the battle against my weight.

Now I am about to do something I never do and reveal something I never reveal to anyone. My weight.  I am 6 feet tall and have been since the later part of high school. When I was graduating from high school at the age of 18 I weighed 138 pounds. Yes I do know this to be 100% true.  When I was graduating college and moving to NYC I weighed 140 to 145 pounds.  When I was moving into my own apartment in Astoria in 2012 I weighed 145 pounds.  Now that I am settled in Los Angeles I weigh 170 pounds.

That’s a pretty big jump! Here is a comparison for you:



























You can see from the pictures the visual isn’t 100% a big deal.  Somehow my body has distributed the weight well, but I still want to be fit an in shape.  I can see my abs, but I’d like to have a healthy tight 6 pack again.  How do you do that when you have spent 20 some odd years not caring about what you eat or drink or do?  It feels utterly impossible.

They say everything in moderation and a good workout routine is all you need.  Well I am going to test this out.  It’s hard enough to cut back the amount of junk I eat, let alone to start some crazy diet that doesn’t allow you to eat bread or solid foods.  That’s right I am calling out all you juice dieters.  How do you do it?

Anyways, I’d love to hear from all of you. What healthy things do you eat for lunch, dinner and snacks that are still 100% full of flavor?  What do you snack on while watching TV or hanging out on the weekends at home with friends? I grew up on hardy and flavorful food. I refuse to give it all up now!

It may sound strange, but I don’t think I ever learned how to eat healthy since it’s never mattered to me before.  Well, it matters now!

Finally! A cheaper solution to my daily Iced Coffee addiction!

images (3) Yes, you are correct. I am still searching for the perfect way to make an amazing cup of Iced Coffee at home.  It’s been a dramatic fight over something that probably seems silly to a lot of people out there.  Especially people who don’t drink coffee or understand the cravings that come along with it. Wow, if I can digress for a second I have to point something out.  Did that last sentence sound like something a cigarette smoker would say?  I am 100% of the mind that coffee is extremely addictive. Back to my point.  Iced coffee is amazing, but often feels like either too much work to make at home or that it always comes out bad when made at home.  That’s why I decided to write about my issues surrounding Iced Coffee last week.  I discussed the challenges of finding the perfect recipe or method for preparing the perfect cup of homemade iced coffee.  A solution that doesn’t require me to spend $2 to $3 per day on one cup of iced coffee a day and doesn’t involve me drinking a cup of watered down homemade iced coffee that tastes like bath water.  Oh, and is also the same temperature of bath water. That is just a deal breaker. Three options presented themselves when I approached this issue last week. To refresh your memory those options, found on the Runners World website, included:

Option 1 You need a standard coffee maker, ground coffee, water and ice. Brew your coffee twice as strong as usual (issue with this is that I don’t really know how much coffee I usually use…). Use the same amount of grounds and half the amount of water. When it’s done, pour it into a mug and load it up with ice. The first cubes will melt, bringing the coffee to room temperature and diluting it. Once you have some cubes that aren’t melting, it’s cold and ready to drink.

Option 2 Apparently takes a couple of hours.  You need a standard coffee maker, ground coffee, water and at least one ice-cube tray. Brew a pot of coffee as usual. Pour the coffee into the ice-cube tray and freeze. Use these in standard-brewed hot coffee to cool it down without diluting it. Keep in mind that you’ll need a few to cool down hot coffee and will end up with more coffee once the cubes have melted.

Option 3 Sounds like something I won’t even attempt.  They say you need a Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker*. Nope, the point is to use what I have already so I won’t bother with this.

Those three options really didn’t suffice for me. Option one is too watery and weak. Option two ruins you ice trays.  Thankfully my friend warned me before I ruined any of my current ice trays.  I could just go and buy ice trays specific to my coffee, but my freezer is small and I don’t have room for that.  Option 3 wasn’t tested at all. From there tested a fourth option. That option was to fill a pitcher full of freshly brewed coffee on a Sunday and let it cool off in the fridge over night.  Come Monday morning I did have a pitcher of coffee to poor over ice that didn’t melt the ice down diluting the flavor. The issue that arose was one I mentioned last week.  I still am having a ridiculous time trying to get the recipe right.  How many scoops of coffee grounds do I use for this? That’s when I found Option 5.  Yes, hold onto your panties everybody!  Option 5 isn’t as cheap as the options listed above, but it does cost less than $2 to $3 a day. Today, however, I found an option that is a pretty decent solution. Let’s recap my list of must haves for the perfect Iced Coffee method:

  • I have to be spending less than $10 a business week on coffee.
  • The coffee cannot taste weak, warm, watery or too strong. It has to be perfectly balanced.
  • I must not waste any time in the morning.

Options 4 and 5 are the winning options and I don’t think you can go wrong with either one because they both have their strengths. How does option 4 and 5 compare on these three must-haves? With option 5 :

  • I would be spending $5 a week on iced coffee or less.
  • The coffee taste perfect in flavor and strength.
  • It takes no time to prepare.

With option 4:

  • It cost less than $5 a week to make.
  • The taste typically is good enough, although option 5 has a consistent result in flavor.
  • It takes a little preparation time on a Sunday, but also takes very little to no prep time in the morning before work.

You are probably sitting on the edge of your seat asking what the heck is this amazing option number 5?  Let me tell you, Starbucks has come to the rescue and I never expected it! I never thought I would say it, but I am in love with their pre-made product I found at the grocery store Sunday.  For $5.00 I got a 48 ounce bottle of unsweetened pre-made Starbucks Coffee.  All it requires is a cup, ice and any cream or sugar you may want to add. I do know what you may be thinking.  You probably are thinking this is no different than the single served ice coffee drinks that Starbucks has had on the market for years.  Trust me, it’s better!  Those single served things are always overly sweet and filled with too much milk. This has no milk added and is unsweetened. You can tailor it to your liking! Considering your average glass is about 8 ounces in size or your average reusable iced coffee cup is about 16 fluid ounces.  By the time you add ice to your cup you will only be using around 8 ounces of liquid coffee a day.  That equals 6 cups of iced coffee from one bottle of this product.  That answers all my problems.  I cut my expenditure in half when comparing this to going into a Starbucks or similar coffee shop and buying a cup of iced coffee with a splash of soy every day. Yes, there is the issue that a bag of coffee grounds lasts a lot longer than a one week bottle of liquid coffee. None-the-less it is an easy way to get iced coffee at home for roughly 50% less than I would be paying otherwise. Now for your benefit. My how to guide of Option Number 5: Starbucks Pre-Made unsweetened and uncreamed Iced Coffee!

STEP 1: Open the cabinet that holds your glasses. That’s easy right? IMG_2329








Step 2: Grab a glass. Go ahead, just pick one! IMG_2330








Step 3: Get ice from your freezer and fill your cup with it! IMG_2331 IMG_2332













Step 4: Get the 48 oz bottle of Starbucks Iced Coffee out of your fridge and shake it! IMG_2333 IMG_2336














Step 5: Pour your liquids! Just simply pour the coffee over the ice and add any creamers you like! IMG_2341 IMG_2343













Step 6: Look amazing while drinking your iced coffee at home! Boom! You’re done!

IMG_2349 IMG_2345