Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

This Sunday, March 11, most of our country will spring forward an hour and transition to a new schedule for the bulk of the year. Although we're all sad to lose a precious hour of our weekend, Daylight Saving Time is a well-established part of our yearly calendar, and it's a sign that spring is truly on its way. 

Ever wondered why we started changing our clocks or who it actually benefits? Keep reading to learn five interesting facts about DST. 

1. Daylight Saving Time was first adopted at the end of World War I. The states first started setting their clocks differently during WWI and WII, but there wasn't a uniform law establishing the change, so things were pretty confusing. That's why Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, and to this day, we abide by the set annual time changes. 

2. Not everyone in America abides by the time change. Both Hawaii and Arizona, as well as some overseas U.S. territories, don't observe DST. Still, the majority of Americans will be losing an hour this coming weekend. 

3. "Springing forward" can take a toll on your sleep routine. If you feel tired next Monday, it's not just your imagination. Studies have found that people's health tends to deteriorate during DST. Many people struggle to adjust to a new sleep schedule, and in some cases, the risk of stroke can even go up. 

4. Despite what you heard, Daylight Saving Time wasn't established just to help farmers. The thought is that people will use less energy to light their homes and places of business if we are up during the brighter hours of the day. Additionally, retailers tend to benefit from the sunlight later in the evening, and studies have shown that roads are safer later in the day if it stays lighter outside.  

5. Florida might start staying in Daylight Saving Time all year long. Lawmakers recently passed the "Sunshine Protection Act" and are working to end the clock changes throughout the year. However, the bill hasn't been approved quite yet, so nothing is set in stone.

Remember to set your clocks back this weekend and head to bed a little early! 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Ever since 1943, March has officially been designated as "Red Cross Month," which means these following weeks are the perfect time to volunteer or make a donation to the organization. March 28 is Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising campaign, and until then, Red Cross will be working to raise awareness about its humanitarian efforts and how the public can help support them. 

This year, Red Cross asks heroes across the country to help out by committing to any of the following: 

  • Donating blood or platelets. Every year, Red Cross collects more than 4.9 million units of blood in an effort to supply hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. On average, they provide about 40 percent of the nation's blood, and they can use all of the donations they can get from willing volunteers. Keep an eye out for blood donation centers and drives near you. 

  • Volunteering to help with victims of a disaster. Fires, floods, shootings, tornados: whatever the disaster may be, Red Cross does its best to shelter and provide for the people affected. However, they can only do so if the American people generously provide resources, both physical and financial. If you can, donate money to disaster relief. If you're nearby, see if you can volunteer your time. 

  • Assist a veteran or member of the military. Red Cross strives to support nearly 391,000 military members, veterans, and their families. Even a little bit of support goes a long way towards this cause. 

  • Take a first aid or CPR class. Money and volunteer services aren't the only ways you can help. Getting trained in emergency skills is an excellent way to support the Red Cross and make a difference in your community. 

  • Pledge financial support, even if it's just a little. By visiting the Red Cross website, you can donate as much or as little money as you can. You can also text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to easily give $10. Feel confident in your donation because an average of 91 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.

To learn more about the American Red Cross organization and how you can help, visit today. 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

In need of some new content for your Friday night binge sessions? Here are some of the most highly-anticipated movies, documentaries, and shows that will be hitting your favorite streaming service in March.

Flint Town Season 1: A Netflix Original Documentary - March 2 

Find out what's really going down in the town of Flint, which has been haunted by crisis for years. The city's police department takes you on a ride through the area and talks about the efforts they are making to bring it back from the brink of disaster. 

Girls Incarcerated Season 1: Netflix Original Series - March 2 

This gritty new docuseries promises plenty of fights, friendship, and a hefty dose of drama. Prepare to learn just how high the stakes are for these women behind bars. 

Ladies First: A Netflix Original Documentary - March 8 

Learn about Deepika Kumari, a girl born into destitution in India. Her tale is one of dedication and impressive talent as she works to become the best archer in the world. 

Marvel's Jessica Jones Season2: Netflix Original Series - March 8 

Revisit this popular comic book adaptation in its second season. Krysten Ritter plays Jessica, a woman with superhuman abilities and a knack for investigation. Talk about literal girl power. 

The Outsider: A Netflix Original Movie - March 9 

When a former American G.I. (Jared Leto) joins the yakuza after his imprisonment in post-WWII Japan, he's forced into a world of dangerous criminals. Buckle up for plenty of action and drama in this one. 

Love Season 3: Netflix Original Series - March 9 

Continue following the confusing, semi-romantic tale of Mickey and Gus as they navigate the waters of love, life, and what it means to be with someone. 

Santa Clarita Diet Season 2: Netflix Original Series - March 23 

The witty satire (and bloody snacks) continue in 2018 with this second series of the hilarious Santa Clarita Diet. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant will have you laughing before you can say "but zombies don't sell houses."  

A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2: Netflix Original Series - March 30 

Finally, season two of our favorite woeful tale is hitting Netflix! Join the Baudelaire orphans as they try to escape the clutches of the evil Count Olaf through a series of mishaps and misfortunes. 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

What's the perfect companion for February's dreary weather? An amazing new literary release, of course. Here are ten of the most popular, well-reviewed novels that hit the shelves over the past few weeks. Be warned: once you pick up one of these, you won't be able to put it down. 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah 

Set in 1974 in the harsh, untamed landscape of Alaska, this novel follows a family on the brink of change. A former prisoner of war comes home from Vietnam, and he's not the man he once was. In hopes of healing his family and starting a new life, he takes his wife and daughter to the last true frontier in America. They find themselves in a community of fiercely strong men and women, and things seem to be getting better... until they aren't. Fraught with tension and drama, this story will have you just as hooked as Hannah's other beloved tales. 

"Hannah turns the written word into wonderful prose... Times are difficult for so many in this novel and Hannah captures their suffering with sensitivity. The author expertly shows how love, death and birth run the full circle of life." - RT Book Reviews 

The Hazel Wood 
by Melissa Albert 

If you're looking for a read that's creepy, haunting, and downright magical, then this is the book for you. Seventeen-year-old Alice's grandmother wrote a book full of dark fairytales back in the 1960s, but she's never met her. Ever since she was young, Alice's mother has kept her daughter far away from her grandmother's wealth and stories, but when someone kidnaps Alice's mom, Alice must venture into the one mystical place she's been warned to avoid: The Hazel Wood. Can Alice take charge of her own story, or will she be swept into yet another grim fairytale? 

”Highly literary, occasionally surreal, and grounded by Alice’s clipped, matter-of-fact voice, The Hazel Wood is a dark story that readers will have trouble leaving behind. The buzz for this debut is deafening, and the fact that the film adaption is already in the works doesn’t hurt.” - ALA Booklist, starred review 

An American Marriage 
by Tayari Jones 

Celestial and Roy are your classic newlyweds. Roy's a young executive, and Celestial's a successful artist on the rise, and they're wonderfully in love. Everything seems to be going swimmingly, until Roy is arrested and sentenced to prison for twelve years for a crime his wife knows he didn't commit. In his absence, Celestial finds herself taking comfort in her husband's best friend, Andre. However, when her husband is unexpectedly released from prison early, Celestial realizes that things can't just go back to normal. 

“Brilliant, timely... heartbreaking... With spare and shimmering prose that can strike with the shock of a shiv, Jones captures the life-altering losses Roy and Celestial endure in this unforgettable American marriage.” - USA Today 

How to Stop Time 
by Matt Haig 

Tom Hazard may look like a regular 41-year-old, but in reality, he's been alive for centuries. He's done hundreds of incredible things, from performing with Shakespeare to sailing the seas with pirates, but now, he's ready for a normal life. When he moves back to London, he meets a French teacher who seems fascinated by him. Is it possible that a woman can save him from a life out of time, even if he's always forbidden himself from falling in love? 

"A wry, intriguing meditation on time and an eternal human challenge: how to relinquish the past and live fully in the present.” - People

The Belles 
by Dhonielle Clayton 

In Orléans, beauty is traded a commodity. If you have beauty, then you have power, and the Belles are the most powerful of all because they can bestow their beauty upon others. When the royal family takes an interest in the talents of a certain Belle, Camellia, she moves to court and finds out that beauty can be dangerous. In fact, she'll have to risk her life to save those she loves the most. 

"Told in gorgeous prose, Dhonielle Clayton's novel sweeps readers away into an alluring and dangerous fantasy world that shrewdly examines our obsession with beauty... Don't miss out." -

As Bright as Heaven 
by Susan Meissner 

When the Spanish flu invaded the streets of America in 1918, thousands were killed. Pauline Bright and her husband, had hoped to find a better life in Philadelphia, but they are soon terrified of a disease sweeping the area. Amidst the numerous death, a child is orphaned, and the couple decides to take the baby in. Full of heart and spirit, this story follows a mother who must battle a harsh world in order to protect her children. 

“A fascinating historical novel and a beautifully written story of love, loss, and family. A gorgeous, unforgettable book.” - Jillian Cantor, author of Margot and The Lost Letter

Tempests and Slaughter 
by Tamora Pierce 

The first book in Pierce's newest series, Tempests and Slaughter, follows a young man named Arram Draper. He's got a gift, and many think he will become the most powerful mage in the realm. Follow his story as he learns where to place his loyalties, how to channel his powers, and where his future will take him. As always, Pierce's writing is packed with fantasy and adventure, so you won't be disappointed. 

"Tamora Pierce didn't just blaze a trail. Her heroines cut a swath through the fantasy world with wit, strength, and savvy. Her stories still lead the vanguard today. Pierce is the real lioness, and we're all just running to keep pace."- Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Educated: A Memoir 
by Tara Westover 

As a young child raised on an isolated compound in Idaho, Westover was unlike children in many ways. Her family members were devoutly Mormon, they lived in a secluded area, and most significantly, none of the children went to school. She learned about things like midwifery and survival techniques, and she never really questioned the lifestyle she was raised in. That is until her brother went away to college, then returned with stories of a world outside the compound. Lyrical and inspiring, Westover's story of self-preservation and discovery is incredible. 

“One of the best, most absorbing memoirs I’ve ever read.”- Sylist

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death by Maggie O'Farrell 

As you might expect, this memoir takes seventeen in-depth looks at Maggie O'Farrell's life and her many brushes with death. Emotional and illuminating, the book details her experiences with childhood illness, worldly dangers, and her worries as a mother. Somehow, her close calls with death have brought O'Farrell closer to life, and her words will leave you breathless. 

“Gripping… this breathtaking memoir weaves together the author's near-death experiences to create a fully realized picture of what it means to fully live a life… O'Farrell's memoir contemplates not just the frailty of life, but the fortitude of the human spirit in the face of it all.” - Bustle

Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth 

In many ways, this novel is a classic Western. It takes place on the Australian frontier and contains plenty of wilderness and tough men. However, Howarth makes the adventurous tale even more impressive by weaving in themes of race, faith, guilt, family, and morality. Follow two young men as they survive in the harsh environment of 19th-century-Queensland and highlight one of the country's most shameful periods of racism.

"Howarth manages to infuse the old tropes with a depth of emotion and moral complication that will stay with readers long after closing the book." - BookPage 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Last year was a booming time for podcasts. People have shown an increasing interest in audio storytelling and discussions, and it looks like 2018 is going to be another great year for podcast creators across the world. 

If you're looking for the next series to get you through your daily workout or commute, check out some of these brand new shows. 

For the Internet Junkie: Endless Thread

WBUR has teamed up with Ben Johnson and Amory Siverston to create a podcast for the Americans who live inside digital communities. The hosts discuss everything from Fake News to trolls and bots. Reddit might be the site to visit on your laptop, but this is the show to listen to when you're out and about. If you want to stay up to date on the latest and greatest trends online, then you need this podcast in your life. 

For the Romantic: This Is Love 

The people behind the podcast Criminal are back at it, and this time they're tackling a very different subject: love. Delve into stories of messy relationships, fascinating obsessions, and plenty of complicated romance. The episodes will suck you in and spit you back out, so prepare to be addicted. 

For the Wannabe Detective: Atlanta Monster 

If you live alone, you might not want to listen to this chilling crime podcast before turning out the lights. The producers of HowStuffWorks are digging into the horrific Atlanta Child Murders to find the truth, and the journey won't be easy. Join them as they learn what happened to 25 African American children and young adults nearly forty years ago. 

For the Listener With a Vivid Imagination: The Walk 

Even if you're an avid podcast listener, you've never experienced a show quite like this one. In The Walk, you become the hero of the story. It's your duty to get a package from Inverness to Edinburgh, Scotland, but a terrorist attack leads to an electromagnetic pulse that turns off every car and train in the area. Listen as you find a way to survive in this chaotic world and complete your mission, along with the help of others. 

For the Person Who Wants to Be Informed: Night Call 

Even if you don't own a tinfoil hat, you'll get a kick out of this show by Molly Lambert, Tess Lynch, and Emily Yoshida. Together, they dive down a rabbit hole full of conspiracy theories while offering advice on the impending apocalypse. They talk about everything from pop culture to fascinating internet trends, so no matter what you like to learn about, they'll give you something to chew on. 

For the Citizen Who Misses the Previous President: Making Obama 

NPR is taking a close look at the mentors, experiences, and setbacks that made Former President Barack Obama the man we all knew during his terms. If you listened to season one of this series, Making Oprah, then you'll definitely want to check this follow up season out. 

For the Aspiring Writer: Launch 

If you're someone who hopes to eventually write a book, or even if you just love learning about the writing and publication process, then you need to give this new podcast a shot. Screenwriter John August tells listeners about his experience as a novel writer and gives you an inside look at the industry that plays such a huge role in pop culture. 

For the Treasure Hunter: Empty Frames 

Almost 28 years ago, thirteen priceless paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The details of the art's disappearance have remained a mystery, but now, Lance Reenstierna and Tim Pilleri hope to uncover the truth about the missing treasure. The hosts will examine case theories, social impacts of their theft, and the aftermath of this infamous heist. 

What podcasts are you listening to this year? Leave other suggestions in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Even after several days have passed, most American citizens are still struggling to deal with the horror of the shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. If you want to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the tragedy, there are safe, legitimate ways to do so, even all the way from Texas. 

Donating to The Broward Education Foundation will help the county public schools in Parkland deal with the aftermath of this terrible event. Your contributions will fund relief efforts and support of the victims and their families. The organization has been around since 1983 and is held in high esteem, so you can feel confident that your donations will truly be used to help those who need it. 

Unfortunately, there are many who would take advantage of this situation by setting up scams via GoFundMe. If you'd like to donate directly to the Broward Education Foundation, which is the only direct support organization solely dedicated to raising funds for the public schools in Broward County, please visit their official GoFundMe or Public Good accounts. So far, their official GoFundMe has raised more than $1,720,000 for the victims, but their goal is $2.2 million, so give if you can. Don't enter your credit or debit card information with any accounts that are not deemed to be official. GoFundMe is being very vigilant about protecting donators from scams, but it's always a good idea to double check so you know you're funding the right cause. 

You can also donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, which is making visits to the victims of the shooting to provide emotional support in the form of furry friends. They accept donations on their main site

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

February is the month in which most people abandon their New Year's resolutions, regardless of how dedicated they felt back in January. If you feel yourself slipping on your goals for 2018, here are a few ways to reignite your motivation and adhere to your resolutions for a little while longer. 

Re-Evaluate Your Goals 

After thinking about and trying to stick to your goals for over a month, you probably have a new opinion about how realistic they are. If you've barely made it to the gym once a week and you promised yourself you'd go every day, it might be time to make your resolution a little more manageable. Additionally, if you've thought of new goals you'd like to implement in your life, it's not too late to alter your original resolutions. Taking the time to think about your goals will help you remember why you made them in the first place, and editing them will ensure that they fit your lifestyle and needs accurately. 

Find Someone to Hold You Accountable 

It's difficult for anyone to stay on top of their resolutions if they're handling everything on their own. Rope in a friend to keep you on track. Workout buddies are a great way to motivate yourself to stay fit, and friends who are on the same diet can encourage you to keep trying. Even just making your friends and family aware of your resolutions can make it more challenging for you to give them up in the coming months. 

Don't Beat Yourself Up For Slipping 

If you've already fallen off the "better me" bandwagon, don't fret: there's no shame in climbing back onboard. Everyone experiences failures when trying to make changes in their lives, especially if the changes are difficult. Remind yourself that it's not too late to pick up those resolutions you left laying on the ground like a dirty pile of laundry. 

Come Up With a Rewards System 

Although this may sound like a technique used by elementary school teachers, it works. Tell yourself that every week you stick to your resolutions, you get to treat yourself to something. If your goal is to eat healthier in 2018, indulge in your favorite unhealthy food on Saturdays if you've been good the other six days of the week. If you're trying to hit the gym more, allow yourself to watch an episode of your favorite show while you're on the treadmill. Motivation comes in a variety of forms, so adopt whatever method works best for you. 

How do you keep your New Year's resolutions, even as March quickly approaches? Let us know in the comments! 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

According to the federal government, February is officially American Heart Month! National organizations and medical personnel use this month as an opportunity to spread awareness about heart diseases, as well as to promote better understanding about prevention and treatment. 

Cardiovascular diseases lead to 17.9 million deaths worldwide each year, and according to recent studies, that number is expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030. In today's society, roughly one in every four deaths in the United States can be attributed to heart disease. Therefore, regardless of your age or gender, it's a smart idea to learn more about your own heart's health and what you can do to better it in 2018. 

Here are some of the best ways to care for your heart and lower your risk of dangerous diseases. 

Engage in Plenty of Physical Activity Every Week  

Staying active isn't just about maintaining a trim figure or building muscle; it's a fantastic way to protect your body from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes. You don't have to be a marathon runner to reap the heart benefits of physical activity. According to the American Heart Association, getting at least 150 minutes per week of at least moderate exercise is enough. This year, make an effort to take the stairs more often and adopt a hobby that gets you moving. Swimming, biking, walking, running, and stretching are just a few types of aerobic exercise that will benefit your heart. Remind yourself that any level of physical activity is better than none at all. 

Get Plenty of Sleep Each Night 

Countless studies have shown that Americans generally don't get the appropriate sleep, which is detrimental in a variety of ways. People who fail to sleep enough are typically at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, regardless of how much they work out, eat right, or watch their weight. Even adolescents who are staying up too late and waking up too early can develop heart problems, despite their young age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, young adults and teens should be getting between eight and ten hours of sleep. Adults should be sleeping for a minimum of seven hours most nights, regardless of their overall health or busy schedules. 

Switch Out the Bad Fats for Good Ones

Not all fats are unhealthy, and sorting between the good and bad ones can seriously improve the condition of your heart. Your body needs monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in order to function properly. To make sure you're consuming plenty of healthy fats, try to include foods like avocados, olive oil, salmon, nuts, and lean meat in your diet. 

Saturated and trans fats, on the other hand, are firmly on the "evil" side of the fat chart. These bad fats can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Unfortunately, bad fats are found in many of our favorite foods, like desserts, frozen pizzas, margarine, fatty beef, pork, butter, cheese, and dairy products. You probably won't avoid these foods all of the time, but make a conscious effort to eat more good fats than bad if you want to live a long, healthy life. 

Monitor Your Cholesterol Levels 

As was just stated, bad fats can increase your cholesterol levels and put you at risk of serious heart problems. You might also experience problems with your cholesterol levels if you are overweight, have diabetes, are pregnant, or are dealing with other health concerns. To make sure you're not putting your heart in jeopardy, pay attention to your cholesterol levels and work to keep them in a healthy range. Eating foods like oats, nuts, beans, whole grains, fatty fish, and fruits can help lower your levels if they get too high. Try not to indulge in red meat or baked goods too often as they are known to increase your levels significantly. 

Watch Your Sugar Intake 

No matter how old you are, eating too much sugar on a regular basis is a bad idea. Even if you work out and maintain a healthy weight, a sugar-laden diet can seriously increase your risk of heart disease, according to studies conducted at Harvard. Unfortunately, Americans ingest plenty of sugar in their favorite drinks, yogurts, cereals, and desserts. Although indulging in the occasional sweet treat isn't a bad idea, try to ensure that your diet consists of more heart-healthy foods than it does sugary, empty-calorie meals. 

Quit Smoking (For Good This Time) 

You've probably been told time and time again that smoking increases your risk of lung and throat cancer, but did you know that it can also up your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases? The chemicals in cigarette smoke line your blood vessels, which then become swollen and inflamed. This can lead to strokes, coronary heart diseases aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease, and other extremely serious health concerns. 

The good news? Even if you've been smoking for years, quitting now can improve your health drastically. The key is to stop smoking completely. Even the occasional cigarette can leave bad side effects, so kick the habit for good. 

To learn more about American Heart Month and what you can do for your health, visit this page by the American Heart Association

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

As of today, the 2018 Winter Olympics are officially in session! Time to watch talented athletes strut their stuff in the freezing cold of PyeongChang, South Korea. With more than fifteen different sports taking place over the next few weeks, viewers of all preferences will enjoy this international display of competition and hard work. 

To celebrate the beginning of this year's games, here are eight interesting facts about the Winter Olympics that you might not have heard before. 

1. Those Olympic stadiums aren't cheap. In fact, this year's stadium in PyeongChang set the city back by a staggering $109 million. The craziest part? The entire structure will be torn down after the Olympics are over. That means the multi-million dollar stadium will only be used officially four times before it's demolished, which is making many people question the economic worth of such extravagance in the name of the Olympics. More often than not, Olympic stadiums are abandoned and purposeless after the games conclude, such as in the case of Olympic venue in Greece

2. Four new events have been introduced in the 2018 games. This is the first time in Olympic history that big air snowboarding, mixed doubles, mass start speed skating, and freestyle skiing will be included in the competitions. That brings the number of Winter Olympic events to 102 this year, so if you plan to watch most of them on TV, you'll need to clear your schedule. 

3. Figure skating and ice hockey weren't always a part of the winter games. Surprisingly, up until 1924, both were included in the Summer Olympics. Now, the two sports are considered to be some of the most popular with viewers. However, this year the NHL will not be releasing players to compete in the Olympics, which will change up the ice hockey competition a bit. 

4. The most expensive Winter Olympics ever held were the 2014 Sochi Games. As pricey as PyeongChang's stadium and budget might seem, the games in Sochi blew through their estimated costs and ended up spending $50 billion on infrastructural projects, the games themselves, and the stadium. 

5. Norway is the country to beat when it comes to winter sports. The country has taken home more medals than any other in the Winter Games over the course of history, beating out the USA by a total 47 medals. The athlete with the most Winter medals (thirteen), Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, also belongs to Norway. The most decorated U.S. winter athlete, Apolo Anton Ohno, has won eight Olympic medals. 

6. According to recent data, Americans' favorite Winter Olympics sport to watch is hockey. However, it is not the worldwide favorite sport to tune into. Curling is more popular in many parts of Africa, and speedskating is beloved by many in China and Mongolia. 

7. Since their birth, the Winter Olympics have been hosted by eleven different countries across three continents. The United States hosted them four of those times. The last U.S. Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City during 2002. 

8. Only one athlete has ever won a gold medal during both the summer and winter games. American Eddie Eagan won in boxing during the 1920 Summer Olympics and won in bobsledding in the 1932 Winter Olympics. 

Riley Heruska
Pin on Pinterest

Fat Tuesday is just around the corner, and you know what that means: it's time to eat yummy food and celebrate with Louisiana flair. Although you can always bring home a store-bought King's Cake to mark the occasion, why not get a little more creative this year? Here are ten festive recipes to try next week. 

King Cake Monkey Bread

Trisha from MomDot found the best way to make a King Cake: with cinnamon rolls! Pack a couple of ready-to-bake cinnamon roll packs into a bundt cake pan, pop it in the oven, and drizzle plenty of cream cheese frosting over the creation. The results are Instagram-worthy and downright delicious. 

Easy Skillet Jambalaya Dip 

In just fifteen minutes, you can whip up this Louisana Creole Dish in a skillet. Marion from Our Life Tastes Good concocted a simple recipe that's bursting with veggies, shrimp, sausage, cheese, and spicy flavor. All you have to do is plop the ingredients in the skillet, then adjust the temperature as needed. 

Mardis Gras Cookies 

If you're looking to keep things simple, these cookies are the perfect holiday baking project for you. You'll just need some ready-to-bake sugar cookies from the store, frosting, and Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles. Rope your kids into helping decorate the sweet snacks, then serve them with a little Louisiana style. 

Bananas Foster Upside Down Cupcakes 

These mini desserts by Flavor Mosaic are bursting with banana and caramel. Although they might seem complicated to make, the steps are actually pretty simple, and the results will impress the whole family. Plus, you won't even have to feel guilty about indulging in such sweet cupcakes; it's Fat Tuesday, after all! 

King Cake Dip 

You may like King Cake, but you've never tasted it quite like this. Chrisy at Homemade Hooplah decided to kick things up a notch with a decadent dessert dip topped with caramel and pecans. She suggests dipping sprinkle-covered pretzels into this cake batter dip for a treat that's absolutely perfect for the indulgent occasion. 

Mardis Gras Beignets

You'll feel like you stepped right into Cafe du Monde with these homemade beignets. Wonderfully crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, the treats are one of the best parts of this New Orleans-inspired holiday. Remember to cover your creations with plenty of powdered sugar! 

Easy Hurricane Cocktail

If you were to meander through a Mardis Gras celebration in New Orleans, someone would probably thrust a Hurricane into your hands at some point. It's one of the cities' most famous drinks, and it's easy to see why. Partiers love the mixed fruit juice and rum, so give it a try by following the recipe from Grits and Pinecones

New Orleans Gumbo 

What Cajun celebration is complete without a batch of spicy gumbo? Marzia from Little Spice Jar can show you how to make a roux from scratch and bring out every ounce of flavor. Serve with rice for a meal that's both festive and scrumptious. 

Carnival Queen Cocktail 

In the mood for something sweet and fizzy? This adult beverage is a showy blend of lemon, dark berry liquor, sparkling wine, and Crown Royal Regal Apple. Check out Style on Main to see how the creator, Greta, suggests serving it to guests. 

VooDoo Punch (Non-Alcoholic) 

Kids will certainly get a kick out of this colorful, tasty punch. Wheel'N Deal Mama mixed ginger ale, Lime Kool-Aid, raspberry syrup, and Sprite together to make a family-friendly drink that's as yummy as it is creepy-looking.