How To: Use Hashtags

If you know anything about us, you know that we love all things social media. From Twitter to Tumblr, Instagram to Facebook – we really don’t discriminate.

However, with the landscape of social media always influx, it’s hard to keep track of all that’s going on in the world. This is where hashtags come in. Hashtags are something you might be familiar with, particularly in Twitter. We are here to help you get up to speed using this super useful tool!

hashtag

Categorization

Hashtags are often used to categorize and group tweets to make it easier for people to follow a conversation, an event etc…

Next time you want to keep tabs on something, try searching for keywords in the search bar on Twitter. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the wave of information streaming your way.

Example: Tweets regarding the 2012 Presidential Debates used the hashtag #debates, to keep track of the online discussion.

Fun Fact: There were 7.2 million tweets during the second Presidential Debate – WOW

Discoverability 

Hashtags help get your tweet or Instagram photo discovered by others.

Some live by the philosophy that “the more hashtags, the better” and we’ve seen this trend especially on Instagram. We love hashtags and try and attach hashtags that we feel will peak people’s interests and let’s us share the things that inspire us seamlessly.

Example: #breakfast http://instagram.com/p/TGcG7WLQgN

Fun Fact: The most used hashtag on Instagram is (drum roll please)…. #love 

Have Fun 

There are no rules when it comes to social media, the beauty of it is that each person can make it their own – we love that.

Hashtag an inside joke with your friends or hashtag your own tweets so you can easily look back on it and see if anyone else joined in on your parade!

Example: http://go.totsy.com/WJ67nD #momsrule

Fun Fact: Beginning July 1, 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink all hashtags to search results containing all recent tweets mentioning the hashtag

How to Make the Easiest Mozzarella Snack Ever

This idea came to us when our fridge was nearly empty and all that was left in the fridge was some carrots, yogurt and a huge block of mozzarella cheese.  With cravings for something salty and savory, this genius idea of cubed mozzarella and spices from our pantry became the product of our cravings.  It takes less time to put together than deciding what to wear in the mornings.  You can even get fancy and add toothpicks to each cubed cheese to serve as appetizers for your next wine and cheese get-together with the girls ;-).

Cubed Mozzarella & Spices

You’ll Need:

  • Block of Mozzarella cheese – found in your dairy aisle. We like Sorrento.
  • Dried spices: garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano (this is up to you; we even like a little red pepper chili flakes on ours for added heat but we didn’t have any on hand that day)
  • Grounded black pepper
  • Toothpicks – optional

Step-by-Step:

  1. Carefully cut the block of mozzarella into cubes.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just bite-sized.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the mozzarella in and sprinkle in the dried spices.  Toss thoroughly with a wooden spoon and make sure all sides of the cubed mozzarella is covered in spices.
  3. Serve with toothpicks if you’re feeling fancy. Wine is mandatory.

Enjoy!

Have you ever made a snack on a whim with using just the ingredients you found in your kitchen? Share them with us below!

Dine with Diana: Best Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup Ever!

With Jack Frost nipping at our noses (yes, I am in the Holiday spirit!),the hubby and the girls haven’t been feeling too well. Even with my pickiest eaters, they only want one thing: SOUP. I mean who doesn’t like a nice, hot bowl of soup when you’re not feeling too well or on a cold, winter today? Helloooo, it’s the ultimate comfort food! Especially chicken noodle soup! Yup, that’s right chicken noodle soup and it’s super easy to make! My Grandmother would make this all throughout winter, so this soup definitely brings back memories.

Hubs and I have made this amazing soup twice in the last month. First we used the carcass of a delicious roasted organic chicken. Then, of course, we followed that up with our Thanksgiving turkey carcass (also, organic and yes, I swear it DOES make a difference). The carcass of a delicious roasted organic chicken. I told Hubs that if chicken noodle soup could be gourmet, then this would be it.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think.

HINT: Even my 2-year-old is eating this soup daily. She’s addicted.

Xo,
Diana

Best Healthy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Soup Ever

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken or turkey carcass (preferably organic)
  • 6 cups chicken broth, homemade broth or veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 coarse sea salt tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 6 carrots, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise in 1-inch
  • thick pieces (can replace with 2 stalks of celery, but fennel adds a much more exotic flavor)
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • Ka-me Japanese curly noodles cooked (or your favorite healthy pasta or rice)

Directions:

  1. Place broth, water, salt, pepper, onion, 2 carrots, 1 fennel bulb, dill and thyme carcass into a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil then simmer at least 2 hours.
  3. Using a cheese cloth strainer, pour soup over and into another pot.
  4. Remove chicken from the bones and gather any loose chicken, then place into the strained pot of soup.
  5. Discard the rest of the bones and cooked veggies.
  6. Add the remaining 4 carrots and fennel to the soup along with 1 stalk of celery
  7. Bring to a boil then simmer at least one hour. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  8. Put cooked noodles into the pot and serve!

TIP: I like to top mine w/ a few shakes of herbs de provence rather than add too much salt.

Tell us, what soup do your kids enjoy?

Goat Cheese & Spinach Pizza

Sometimes you just want pizza. BUT, you don’t want the fat and high sodium that may come with takeout pizza. So what do you do? Make your own of course! I love this recipe because of the grilled crust. This makes the perfect dinner served up with some chilled white wine. Thanks to marthastewart.com for the inspiration.

You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • All-purpose flour for dough shaping
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts separated
  • 5 ounces of goat cheese
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 1 avocado, haled, pitted, peeled and dicd
  • 2 tablespoons, red wine vinegar,
  • Meat of your choice (prosciutto, salami, etc)

Step-by-Step

  1. Heat the grill to medium and brush a rimless baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. On lightly floured work surface, woll and stretch the dough to two 8” ovals or rounds.
  3. Transfer to baking sheet and brush the top with oil.
  4. Transfer dough to grill to cook – don’t turn over until undersides are firm and begin to char – about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Using tongs and a large spatula, take the crusts off the grill and place back on the baking sheet, grilled side up.
  6. Scatter tomatoes, scallions, cheese, salt, pepper and meats then slide back on to the grill.
  7. Rotate occasionally to cook until the cheese begins to melt; about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a cutting board.
  9. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, avocado, scallion, vinegar and remaining teaspoon of oil and toss.
  10. Pile mixture onto pizza
  11. Serve immediately.

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Holiday Fun with the Kids

Who doesn’t love presents during the holiday season? But those aren’t the only things that make the season special. Spending time with loved ones and getting your creativity on will have you singing holidays tunes in no time.

Baking that Warms the Heart: Search for holiday cookie recipes online and bake them with your kids. Wrap them in holiday colored cellophane paper, tied with a festive ribbon. Then, deliver it to your local nursing home or soup kitchen.

Christmas Tree Collage: Go through old holiday photos and grab about 15 horizontal images. Get prints of them in all the same sizes. Put them in coordinating frames (we love red and green ones!) and hang them on the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree (5 on the bottom, 4 on top of that, 3 on top of that, etc).

Let It Snow: No matter where you live, you can add some snow to your home by using age appropriate scissors and paper towels. Create different sizes and designs with your kids in fun patterns. Hang them from your ceiling in various lengths with ribbons in holiday colors.

Make a Wish: Have a 3×5 piece of paper ready and have your child write down their wish for the year. Roll up the paper and tie with a ribbon, then hang it on the Christmas tree as an ornament.

No matter what you have planned for the holidays, make time for your loved ones. Not only will that make you smile, it will warm your heart all season long.

Happy holidays!