Summer’s Almost Over, So Give Your Garden One Last Hurrah With These 16 Recipes

One of my fondest summer memories from when I was little was helping my mother and grandfather tend to the garden.

I would spend almost every day of my summer vacation watering and picking everything from zucchini and tomatoes, to cucumbers and yellow squash. And while most people would argue that you can get the same fresh produce at a farmer’s market without all the work, there’s just something rewarding about feasting on the fruits (and veggies) of your labor.

But with summer quickly coming to a close, there’s only a few weeks left to enjoy your home-grown produce. Get the most of all those fresh zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes with these 16 delicious recipes.

1. In the pinch for a quick and easy side dish? This Zucchini Tomato Gratin is the perfect accompaniment.

2. Now you can enjoy the delicious flavors of chicken wings in a healthy zucchini dish with Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats.

3. Nothing says summer like a nice cold glass of lemonade. Add cucumbers to the mix and you’ve got yourself a refreshing drink that doubles as a juice cleanse.

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4. This Heirloom Tomato Galette is sure to bring a dash of color to your dinner table.

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5. Zucchini lasagna is a fit and fresh way to cut out the carbs while still enjoying this classic Italian dish.

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6. Zucchini bread was a summer tradition in my house. But did you know you can make a deliciously sweet bread using cucumbers as well?

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7. Chicken Zucchini Poppers are an excellent way to start off any dinner party, and they’re gluten free, too!

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8. Zucchini bread isn’t the only scrumptious dessert you can make with this summer garden staple. Kick off the end of summer right with a cookie recipe the whole family will enjoy.

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9. Spice up tonight’s dinner with a Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad.

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10. How do you make a home-cooked meatloaf even better? This Tomato Basil Turkey Meatloaf should do the trick!

Little Bits Of

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11. When it comes to summer vegetables, the soup options are endless. But one of my all-time favorites is this deliciously fresh Corn-Zucchini Chowder.

Little Spice Jar

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12. You can stuff tomatoes with just about anything. But to help kick up the heat on your classic tuna-stuffed tomatoes, be sure to add a hint of jalapeño.

Honey and Birch

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13. Ditch the pasta for your classic Rollatini recipe and use a fresh vegetable like zucchini instead.

Skinny Taste

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14. And for the fish lovers out there, there’s a yummy cucumber-dill sauce that tastes as great as it looks atop a nicely cooked fillet of salmon.

A Gouda Life

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15. Most casserole recipes bury the good stuff underneath a pile of sauce, but this Tomato Eggplant Zucchini Bake makes your summer veggies the stars of the dish.

Well Plated

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16. Use some of that fresh zucchini to create an awesome pie that’s delicious and totally filling.

The Seasoned Mom

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/summer-garden-meals/

They Were Walking In The Desert When They Filmed Something Crazy As It Walked By

One of my obsessions as a kid was cryptozoology.

I loved the idea of the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, the Yeti, and other animals being hidden away from the world. Now, as an adult, I have a healthy amount of skepticism. Every once in awhile, however, some footage comes up that makes me question everything.

Someone recently visiting Portugal decided to take a video of the desert landscape, and what they filmed there is shocking.

It’s always possible that the large, gangly creature is the result of some clever editing or a total hoax, but the video will give you chills anyway. Check it out!

(via Boredom Therapy)

Read More: He Kept Talking About A Strange Project. When He Disappeared, His Family Found This.

What do you think? Is this the proof we’ve been looking for? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this strange video with others to get their opinions on what exactly is going on here.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/desert-creature/

Being A Housewife Today Gets A Bad Rap, But Here’s What Women Have To Say

It wasn’t that long ago that women had little choice but to become a housewife.

Up until the 1950s and ’60s, there were very few professions that were open to women. Now, though, that’s not the case at all, and women dominate all types of industries. However, some still choose to be a stay-at-home housewife and mother.

It’s a matter of personal preference, but it gets a bad rap all the same. Housewives are often accused of being “lazy” or “unmotivated,” but what’s it like to actually be one? Here’s what ten real-life housewives have to say.

1. “I am not making money but I am contributing to something way bigger than me and making a difference in lives. I couldn’t be happier. Plus I am available for my daughter anytime and still am able to take care of the home. I really do often feel like I have it all…By the way, no we are not wealthy. We have found that we can live with a lot less than we used to think.”

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2. “I LIKE being a housewife…I like cooking dinner and keeping our house clean and running. I like taking care of my daughter all day. I LIKE IT. I wish everyone would stop acting like I’m being oppressed or I’m bringing women down. It seems like people don’t really believe that women like me really like our situations. Stop feeling sorry for me! This is the role I’ve chosen and I’m happy!”

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3. “I am a housewife, recently transplanted from Salt Lake City, UT, to Mountain View, CA. I stay at home all day while my husband is at work. I make no income and am fully dependent on him financially. I am 23 years old and perfectly content with this lifestyle.”

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4. “I’m a stay-at-home mom of three kids, which is awesome. The housework though bores me to tears. I can’t imagine just doing that.”

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5. “I made the choice to be a stay-at-home mom/housewife as well. I’ve had people gasp and say ‘how very 1950s of you’ with an eye roll. Seriously? I’m sorry this is what works best for MY family…Don’t look down on me for being able to stay home and choosing to.”

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(via BrandyieSavage)

Read More: 5 Parenting Habits We’re All Guilty Of Doing…And Why We Should Stop Them

6. “I am a feminist and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom when our baby was born…My complaint is when people think being a stay-at-home parent is so easy. I hear a lot of ‘what do you do with all your free time?’ Really? I’d like to know if the people who ask that also ask their nanny/daycare that question!”

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7. “People just don’t understand. My husband has said, if you want to work, then we’ll figure it out. If not, then great. He gives ME the choice for what works for me and our family. And to an extent, that’s enough. Just knowing that I have the options. And it does mean a lot to me that I CAN stay home (with our soon to be first). Ultimately, it’s our family decision.”

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(via rightsidejane)

8. “I was a stay-at-home mom for eight years before I rejoined the workforce. I got to see my kids’ first steps, hear their first words. I was able to experience so much that I would have missed out on if I had gone back to work right away…These are people that YOU made going on to make their own way in the world through the guidance that you have given them. There is no higher calling, in my opinion, than that. To me, that is what feminism is about, making your own choices.”

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(via seeingredagain)

9. “I work much harder at home than I do when I go to my outside of the home job, and I enjoy it more. I feel like I’m making the lives of my family better when I’m at home. When I’m at work I feel like anyone can do what I do, I’m not unique or special but at home I feel like I am making a difference.”

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(via Iwantbubbles)

Read More: Kids Do The Darndest Things And If We Adults Did Them, We’d Never Hear The End Of It

10. “It’s a pleasure to be at home. It’s not gender-determined, either. My husband and I talked about the situation years before we had kids. I was talking about pursuing my doctorate degree at the time. If I had, I would probably be making more money than my husband, and would be the working one. It was just important to us that the kids have someone at home with them…whether father or mother, no big deal.

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(via tankerraid)

Thank you, housewives, for speaking out! It’s about time people realized that it’s just as oppressive to tell women they can’t stay at home as it is to give them no other choice.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/truth-about-housewives/

When People Believe Fake News, They Reach Peak Insanity And Do Crazy Things

If the radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds” has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t always believe the “news” you’re hearing.

Unfortunately, many are quick to trust false information without checking the legitimacy of the sources they’re getting it from. But mass panic isn’t the worst thing that can happen.

Twenty-eight-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch from Salisbury, North Carolina, became convinced that an online conspiracy theory was true after reading fake news stories that began surfacing last month before Election Day. According to “Pizzagate,” the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington, D.C., its owner, and even Hillary Clinton and her former campaign manager were involved in a child sex-trafficking operation running out of the eatery.

Although the rumor is obviously false, that didn’t stop Welch from bringing an assault rifle to the pizzeria to “investigate” the matter.

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Read More: He Was Offering A Free TV…If You Just Gave Him ALL Your Bank Details

(via WGNO)

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/pizzagate/

Epic Tale Follows Man As He Befriends An Affectionate Street Cat, And It’s Everything

There are so many stray animals out there who need homes.

Animal shelters and animal control do the best job they can of rounding up animals who spend their lives scavenging and wandering the streets. They take them to the veterinarian, nurse them back to health, and have volunteers give them love and attention while they wait for their perfect pet parent to come along. But despite these best efforts, some animals unfortunately are still resigned to wandering around without a home.

When one man went out walking one night, he never could have predicted how his life would change, all because a tiny kitten decided to follow him home.

Connor Manning was minding his own business when a street cat approached him looking for some love.

He took some pictures and posted them to Twitter, saying the kitty was “the most affectionate street cat.”

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After getting some pats on the head, the stray began following him all the way back to his house.

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The curious feline even wandered inside the house, poking its head in every nook and cranny.

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Manning named the cutie Socks, and they hung out on his porch for awhile just enjoying each other’s company.

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Manning live-tweeted the whole journey, captioning this photo, “We’re in love.”

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She didn’t really want to hang out inside for long, especially when faced with a giant wind monster.

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He didn’t have cat food, but he put out some bread and water for Socks to munch on.

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“She’s a model,” he wrote.

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Manning was sad he didn’t have cat food, but he made her a little bed in case she wanted to sleep on the porch that night. Unfortunately, when he woke up Socks was gone.

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But Socks came back! “I’m gonna buy her food and flea medicine tomorrow and start researching cat things because I have no idea how to cat but she loves me,” he tweeted, excitedly.

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Manning is allergic to cats, but that didn’t stop him from curling up with his new friend. He named her Socks Desiree Manning, a play on the title “A Street Car Named Desire.” This was a street cat named Desiree.

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They went to the vet to find out if Socks had a microchip and another family and to get generally checked out.

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It turned out she didn’t have a microchip, and she was about six months old. He decided to keep her, but then there were some complications…

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Manning’s allergy to cats became unbearable, and his reactions were severe. He thought he was going to have to find her a new home entirely.

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As of his last update, however, it seems things have turned around completely. He was able to manage his allergies, and now Socks has a loving forever home! Awww!

(via BoredPanda)

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/street-cat-story/

This Is The Insanity That Happens When You Are High On Crack

I’m sure we’re all aware of the dangerous effects that drugs can have on our brains.

Paranoia, delusions, and the inability to think rationally are only a few, but apparently being immune to feeling excruciating pain is one of them as well.

When a man in Brazil got high on crack cocaine recently, his altered state of mind made him think that it was a good idea to play in traffic. However, running in front of cars wasn’t the craziest thing he decided to do. You really have to see this to believe it.

This is so painful to watch.

Read More: Devastating Video Shows Child Finding Out His Mother Is Dead From Drug Overdose

Well, if you weren’t already convinced to never do drugs, I’m sure this has definitely done the trick.

If you or someone you know has a drug addiction, please get help here.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/crazy-on-crack/

21 Awesome Ways To Style Your Box Braids And Locs

Show your hair some love with these easy as 1-2-3 styles.

1. Goddess Braid

Turn your braids into one mega braid. See the tutorial here.

2. Bow Locs

If you can make a ponytail, you’ll have no problem creating this bow with an easy tutorial.

3. Twisted Updo

Go for an elegant updo thanks to this step-by-step guide from Jasmine Rose.

4. Side Swept Braids

Call it a bun or a pompadour, but it’s an effortless ‘do you can complete in minutes. See how here.

5. Updo with Bangs

Got a hair tie and a few bobby pins? Then you can achieve this look. See the tutorial.

6. Braided Pompadour and Bun

Similar to the look above, but just braid your bang back and it only takes a few steps.

7. Bantu Knots

Get twisted (and get your hair off your neck) with bantu knots. See the tutorial.

8. Double Bun

What’s better than one bun? Two! See the steps here.

9. Pinup Style

Add your favorite scarf for a retro style. See more here.

10. Loc Petal Bun

If you’re looking for a go-to style, this may be it. See the video tutorial here.

11. Low Bun

Achieve this simple, yet chic style with your locs or braids.

12. Petaled Loc Fro

Create a faux fro with this tutorial from Chescalocs (her channel has tons of other how-tos for those with locs).

13. Faux Bangs

See how to create a flipped bang and other looks here.

14. Scarf Updo

Twist it up and wrap around your favorite scarf for fall. Check the easy tutorial.

15. Box Braid Bang

This is seriously a look you can do right before running out the door. See more.

16. Roll and Wrap

This is a classic style for all loc wearers. See the tutorial.

17. Fishtail Braid

Braid your locs for this easy look. See more style inspiration here.

18. Pipe Cleaner Curls

Add cutesy curls to your locs. Tutorial here.

19. Front Bun

Another elegant updo to add to your arsenal. Watch the 5-minute tutorial here.

20. Side Swept Locs

This is a little combover action that works. See the tutorial here.

21. Add a Scarf

This isn’t really a hairstyle, but the scarf is a chic way to cover up any new growth. See more.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/flyonadime/awesome-ways-to-style-your-box-braids-and-locs-fvfk?b=1&loreal_feed=1&loreal_username=beauty

Something Tells Me This Tiny Tortoise Definitely Has A Thing For Applesauce

You know when you try a food for the first time and wonder where the hell it’s been your whole life? That’s how this cutie feels about applesauce.

Herman the tortoise’s diet mainly consists of leafy green vegetables, but every once in a while, his owner treats him with something sweet, including bananas and different kinds of berries. A few years back, Herman had the absolute pleasure of tasting his first spoonful of applesauce. Now I’m pretty sure he’s addicted to the stuff.

Watch as the adorably tiny tortoise chow down on his new favorite food.

Too cute, indeed. I could watch the little guy eating all day!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/tortoise-eats-applesauce/

My Grandfather Rests On A Hill That Leads To Heaven

I fought sweat and tears to bury my grandfather in the mountains of Jamaica, his last home.

Digging my grandfather’s grave Aaron Edwards

When someone dies in Accompong Town, in the hills of central Jamaica, neighbors dig the grave because there is no one else to do it.

If you ask someone for directions from the airport, you might hear heavily accented Jamaican Patois variations of “follow de sign dem” or “up de way dere, ‘round de back”; we are hours from Montego Bay or Negril. Here, black men in tattered hats and makeshift du-rags sift through weeds and heavy earth to make way for my grandfather’s exit into the ground. As they dig, swelling choruses of old spirituals waft through the air, graced with the salty scent of pimento seeds.

Mud and plaster is pulled to and from the graveyard atop the steep hill that’s overlooked the town for centuries. Goats find their way into the fray and follow along behind the hearse, the funeral band of schoolchildren playing drums, and the SUVs carting family to the final point.

It’s an uncomfortable procession — a disorienting mess of sweat, tears, and sun that somehow ends in solace.

Accompong Town is a rural village of around 2,000 people, tucked away up roads with no names, some roads with two names, and, for a mile-long stretch, what seems like no road at all. There’s a small internet cafĂ©, some battered but charming stores where you can buy coconut milk, plantains, and SIM cards, a primary school, brightly painted houses scattered unevenly among bushes and unpaved dirt paths, and a few friendly dogs. Most things you eat, you grow.

For most of my life it was little more than a dream, somewhere my body had once been but my mind hadn’t quite settled on. From the children’s table at Thanksgiving every year, my family’s chatter about this place resembled that of a storybook narrator waxing poetic on a forgotten kingdom. My family has roots here going back generations  —  the children of Africans marooned on the Jamaican island during the slave trade who built their own communities in the hills and fought for their independence from the British.

I was 7 or 8 years old the last time I came to Accompong, and my only memories of the place were the bumpy car ride up and splashes of color on the walls of houses. The few times I remember dreaming about the town, I dreamed of reds and blues and bugs — some of the biggest mosquitoes I have ever seen.

For this trip, at 22 years old, I pack the best version of summer clothes I own: two pairs of barely worn light-brown khakis, and a few loose-fitting linen shirts that had gathered dust in the back of my closet in favor of preppy, Manhattan-friendly button-downs.

To make the journey up the hill to the graveyard in Accompong is to walk with pain emblazoned on your face, to march against the sun toward God and to trudge with swollen feet as thumps of resounding drums goad the spirit on.

Heat drapes in waves over our somber caravan and funeralgoers use the green-tinted funeral programs as fans to keep cool. A smiling portrait of my grandfather, an entrepreneurial businessman who would wear a three-piece tweed suit and loafers in any heat, is on the program’s cover page. A river of those green programs flap ahead of me as we inch up the path from the church.

Neighbors who see me walking alongside my American family but knew the man on the funeral programs would have little indication that I was his grandson. A familiar face in his life, I’m now a stranger to most of the people around me in his death.

I’m flanked by my mother and her sisters. We lock arms, as if saying to let go would mean falling back down the hill, or into a full realization of what we are about to do. The man who helped bring our family to New York City from Jamaica, the man whose affinity for spaghetti westerns, games of dominoes, and slightly scratched reggae records superseded most things in his life on Friday nights, is making his ceremonious departure.

If he were walking with us, he would deliberately trail about 20 paces behind the last person in the group. Alphonse Edwards, born on May 7, 1940, took his time in his suits and cufflinks and his gait was equal parts languid and present. In his youth, I was reminded, he was smooth with women. In his old age, he once reminded me, he never lost it. My mother wrote in his obituary that he “wasn’t perfect, but made perfect when our Lord called [him] home.”

My grandfather’s home Aaron Edwards

My grandparents were both born in Jamaica (the island) and moved to Jamaica (in Queens, New York) in 1967 to raise my mother and her siblings. After moving back to the island around 2008, my grandfather would take walks up and down this hill with my grandmother, Norma, for exercise until it was no longer healthy for him. Neighbors talked a lot about his rewarding smile and how “wherever Norma went, Mr. Edwards went with her.”

My grandparents’ house, which they began building shortly before moving back to Accompong Town, stands in a clearing at the foot of a steep winding path. It’s a modest, mid-construction home with a small garden and pig shed out front. There’s a large tarp draped high over the house’s entrance and held up by sturdy bamboo, the Accompong version of a garage.

Through the front door is a small staircase, each step adorned with stacks of portraits, magazines, books, and mementos with the titles peeping out from under the organized chaos: Chemical Principles, Evangelical Commentary, The Unique Woman, African-American Religious Studies.

Next to an old black-and-white photograph of my grandfather is a small wooden block with words painted on it in white:

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

A few days before the funeral, it’s becoming more apparent that the father of this house is gone forever. There are no spaghetti westerns playing from the bedroom, and no happy clinking of dominoes. But he’s still alive in the air and in the trees and in the mud and in the books on the staircase.

The mother of this house, a short woman with warm brown eyes the color of her skin, is sitting in the living room, wrinkled fingertips rolling over one another in her lap, shiny with the remnants of tears.

She looks in my direction. “Come here, my son.”

I hear the weight of generations on that phrase. It plays over in my head. “Come here, my son.” I walk to the couch and sit next to her. I’m nearly twice her size, but she wraps her arms around me as I slouch into her shoulder. The air is muggy and the warmth of her arms feels like home against my crumpled linen shirt.

My eyelids start to sink, and I can feel the soft vibrations of her voice over my head. Finding words where there are none to say, my grandmother is whispering a prayer.

The center of town Aaron Edwards

As our walk continues, I start to wonder if my grandparents saw things on the path the way I saw them. I notice my mind beginning to wander.

There’s something numbing about the drums beating as we approach the grave; hearing unfamiliar sounds in an unfamiliar place only makes everything feel more foreign. My eyes dart back and forth as the drums pick up in frequency, and I feel my knees buckle just a few steps from where we would soon place my grandfather’s casket.

I stop in place on a balding patch of grass as others continue to move on — paralyzed from what feels like an unrelenting sickness. Some might call it fear, some might call it sadness, but in that moment it is the chilling sensation of being alive in a graveyard preparing to accept the owner of its newest shrine — like a cube of melting ice hitting the center of a cavity.

Someone — maybe a relative, maybe a townsperson or even a stranger — grabs my shoulder and helps me move forward. Everyone on the hill seems overtaken with the equalizing force of grief. But somehow, crying here is more unusual than cathartic. In this town, surrounded by people who had never seen my face, I feel like I am betraying their space by crying onto their ground. In these moments before stepping up to the hilltop, tears are all I can muster.

Time, which before moved at the pace of thick air, speeds up once we are in place around the grave. Men begin to lower the casket and the town’s pastor gently touches the same shoulder someone nudged to keep me moving earlier. The only thing left to do, I thought to myself, is to walk back. After hugs and nods and a dinner of curry goat and rice in the nearby community center, the group makes its way back to where the procession began: the family home.

My family tells me that Accompong and that house in the clearing is my home away from home, a place where I could one day bring my future husband and children or a place I could choose to grow old. The time I spent saying good-bye to my grandfather there made that seem like more of a reality.

I put him to rest in the mountains, and I left a piece of my soul there. One day, I’ll come back for it.




Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/aaronedwards/my-grandfather-rests-on-a-hill-that-leads-to-heaven

20 Epic Alternatives To Boring Old Pizza — You’re Going To Love These

I’m as big of a fan of pizza as the next guy or girl, but sometimes, I can’t help but crave something a little different than a standard pie.

Hear me out before you call me a traitor to the pizza club…

While I’ll always eat a slice of pepperoni if it’s put in front of me, these fun alternatives to a regular pie will have you running to the kitchen to replicate these delicious recipes.

1. This hash brown pizza will have you drooling in seconds.

2. Or maybe you want sliced potatoes? This pie is for you.

3. Okay, but can we talk about pizza monkey bread?

4. While we’re on the topic of carbs…pizza PASTA.

5. This isn’t your average pizza…it’s made in a Crock-Pot!

6. I need these zucchini pizza boats in my mouth ASAP.

7. But these bite-sized poppers look tasty, too.

8. Basically make anything mini and I’m on board. I give you mini cauliflower pizzas.

9. Eggplant pizza never seemed like a good idea…then I saw these.

10. I love egg rolls and I love pizza…my prayers have been answered.

11. Pizza in a bowl? Yeah, I can get behind this concept.

12. I guess if you insist on being healthy, these quinoa pizza bites look good.

13. How beautiful are these personal portobello pizzas?

14. Or…make them mini (again)!

15. This pizza dip will have the whole family excited for snack time.

16. Or just go with an easy pizza casserole.

17. For all you pizza-for-breakfast fans: easy egg pizza.

18. These pizza waffles also look delicious!

19. Or maybe you’re craving dessert? Well this pizza cake isn’t sweet, but it’s chock-full of meat.

20. This pizza cake is equally delicious, but perhaps less harsh on your arteries?

If these tasty pizza alternatives didn’t make you a believer in the power of the pie — in different forms — then I don’t know what will!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/pizza-alternatives/

The many benefits of healthy living practices