To Die For Blueberry Muffins
Like the rest of the world, we've been baking up storm during the lockdown and have started to covet flour like gold. For us, baking feels like equal parts science, art, and therapy. We've done all the testing for you and have landed on this ultimate blueberry muffin recipe. With a moist interior and crunchy cinnamon crumble on top, each bite is a sweet adventure. Don't judge us if we ate a muffin or two for lunch...
(Makes 8 large muffins)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk, or more as needed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup frozen butter, grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- Pour vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup. Add the egg and add enough milk to reach the 1-cup mark. Mix this into the flour mixture.
- Fold in blueberries until evenly mixed.
- Fill muffin cups to the top. (Should make approximately 8 muffins.)
- Crumble Topping: In a separate bow, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Grate frozen butter into the mix. Work the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. (Use hands to press the butter into pea size shapes, or use a pastry cutter or fork.)
- Sprinkle crumble topping over muffins before baking.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
Making a work-friendly space
With the recent COVID19 crisis upon us, many companies have implemented new work from home (WFH) policies. This has disrupted our normal routines and presented with new realities—from balancing family-work demands and dividing shared spaces, to allowing us to appreciate human connection more than ever. While our commutes have been reduced to the distance between our bed and our laptops, WFH can be difficult with the onslaught of distractions and, in our case, abundance of snacks present.
That's why we've rounded up some easy tips to help you organize and optimize your workspace. With a little effort, it's possible to stay calm and productive during these trying times.
1. LOCATION MATTERS
Choose a dedicated place in your home solely for working. Avoid working from your where you sleep, as a clear physical separation will also help you compartmentalize mentally. Drawing clear boundaries between work and personal life is important for one's well-being. Use a nook, corner, balcony, kitchen table or whatever you have available. If space is limited, then try not to work from the bed itself.
2. THINK GREEN
Researchers at the University of Essex proved the positive effects of nature on human mental health. The experience of simply by being outside restores the mind from mental fatigue and thereby improves cognitive performance. Can't get outside? Bring the green inside. Consider having plants and succulents around your house and workspace. Indoor plants can improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15%)!
Don't have a green thumb? You can even fake it. Using technology to create digital nature also has its benefits. For example, a study found a plasma TV displaying nature scenes was more mentally restorative compared to blank walls.
3. LIGHT IT UP
According to NVision Center, the best kinds of lighting to work with include warm light sources, such as natural light. Your windows can filter and block the UV light from the sun and allow natural warm light in during the day. Here are some more tips by them:
- Use multiple light sources in a room to increase the amount of light without using super bright bulbs.
- Consider warm light bulbs over cool light fixtures and bulbs. Combing different types of light to get as close to a natural feel as possible.
- Use lamps with directed light for tasks like reading and writing.
- Work in areas that are well-lit to decrease potential eye strain related to dim lighting.
- Try to minimize glare by positioning lights and screens appropriately.
- Open blinds and curtains, and allow as much natural light into your home and workspace as possible.
4. SPICK AND SPAN
There are many benefits to having a clean and clear workspace. If you know you'll be on video calls often, it's a good idea to tidy up your workspace. Cleaning up your space can be a cathartic way to stay productive.
- Less clutter means less stress. When your work area gets messy, it can naturally make you feel drained and induce stress. Now is the time to get rid of the clutter and piles of papers laying around. Place items into neat drawers and labeled trays to save you time later by knowing where things are located.
- Gain confidence. A clean work environments give the impression of professionalism, while enabling you to feel pride in your efficient space. When you feel good about your space, this boosts your spirit as well as your productivity.
- Prioritize. Having an organized space allows you to remember what important tasks need to get done. This allows you to work more efficiently and better focus on tasks, projects and priorities.
Do you have tips on how you balance work-life while working from home? Leave us a comment below!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls
We can understand the feelings of anxiety around these uncertain times. Schedules are adjusted, work is now remote, and for some, going to the gym is no longer an option. But we can focus on what we can control, which includes what we feed our bodies. We wanted to share a simple no-bake recipe that we love: Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls. This protein-rich recipe is a great snack to keep us healthy and happy.
Makes approximately 2 dozen.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup flax seed
- 1/2 cup cocoa nibs (or mini chocolate chips)
- 1/3 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until fully combined.
- Roll the mixture into one-inch rounds and place on parchment paper.
- Place in freezer until firm.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Staying Safe: Free Coronavirus Assessment
Take a free Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment
Together with Ro, we want everyone to stay safe and have access to care via telehealth. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of the COVID-19, you can take this online assessment and, if appropriate, get connected to a medical provider—completely for free.
Be kind. Act smart. Stay informed.
5 travel outfits for when you don't know how to dress on the road
Confused about what to wear while en route? Don’t be. We’ve curated 5 of the best travel outfit ideas so you know how to dress well on the road.
We get it. You need to be comfortable but still want to look cute, yet can’t seem to pull together the perfect combination of the two. We’ve curated travel outfit ideas from our Pinterest boards to take the stress out of dressing stylishly while on-the-go.
Everything about this outfit screams classy, yet it is clearly incredibly practical. The sweater jacket layered over the oversized pullover is perfect for staying warm, while not having to carry a bulky coat. The black skinny stretch jeans are sleek but comfortable enough for long plane or train rides.
You adore sweatpants but really want to avoid looking like you are coming from the gym? Well, this is how you pull it off right. A slim fitting pair of joggers combined with a pullover and sweater jacket in high-quality materials is the only way to go.
You could care less what strangers think about how you dress, but are getting pressure from your travel companions to step up your style a bit and want to appease? Go with an athleisure look — a fleece, tee, stretch pants and sneakers in quality fabrics means 100% comfort and 100% style.
You need to walk off the plane looking completely polished because you are running directly to a meeting or event? This outfit has you covered. Pair a chic oversized blazer with a crisp pair of jeans, for first class style and first class comfort.
It’s chilly outside and you’ve got to stay warm, but refuse to be seen roaming the terminal in a sweatsuit. This is the combo you wear when you want your outfit to stand apart from the typical dumpy travel look.