Have You Read This?

I couldn't put it down...

What are your thoughts on psychological thrillers or mysteries? If you asked me a year ago, I would roll my eyes and say no, never. I'm convinced when my friend died last year that her love of mysteries, dark twists, and intrigue passed into me. This year, I've been tearing through some amazing ones, like The Girls by Emily Cline and Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Haeberlin. I read them via eBook for free by using my library card (I've talked about it here before). I love the pace, the unreliable narration, and the rush of excitement as it gets going and secrets are exposed. 

This book. This book. I was captivated from the first page, and ended up skipping half a work day to finish it, because I couldn't get over the mystery. Two girls have gone missing from a very small town in North Carolina within the past 10 years, both under very suspicious circumstances, and the main character is wrapped into her past to uncover the truth. Told backwards, you think you have all of the information up front but that is the farthest from the truth.

One of the quotes chosen at the beginning of part three (I believe) is the philosophy that life is better lived forward but understood backwards. I couldn't agree more. I was transported not only into the storyline but also to the place I grew up in New Jersey. All the Missing Girls made me nostalgic, appreciative, and downright in love with the messy complexities of the words 'going home'.

Needless to say, I'll be eagerly awaiting more books by Megan Miranda. 


+ Read any good books lately? I'd love to know!    


9 Great Vibes Links I Love

Embracing our brand and loving our content. 

We took a nice little July 4th vacay, not posting anything new last week, in an effort to sort through some life changes happening around here. To mindfully bring ourselves back to work mode, we wanted this week to be filled with all things mental health. I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is to take inventory of all the great work you've done and be proud of those achievements, no matter how small or far away. To demonstrate this on our end, these nine links we love are a curation of some of our favorite posts on The Guide. Check out the nine GVG content links we still really love ...  
 
1. Going on a date any time soon? Get the Dating 101
 
2. Brunch in bed with The Best Bloody Mary Recipe.
  
3. Feeling the stress? Unwind in 19 seconds
 
4. Cheers to green drinks and your health. 
 
5. Go shopping with this Valentine's Day Gift Guide. Treat yourself.  

6. Honestly, our favorite post: healthy snacks for the office
 
7. Introduce someone the right way. 
 
8. Walk with confidence: these heels are a must-buy. 
 
9. It's summer, say 'cheers!' with a watermelon champagne cocktail

Happy Hump Day! Xx.



Mental Health Weekly Inspiration

Mental health is important. This week, we're trying to take care of ourselves and thought you might need to also. Xx. 

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all the books

sometimes the best way to escape is curled under a blanket, sucked into a new book. this one is filled with wonderful intrigue and twists - plus it's written so well. 

self-confidence boost

sometimes when you're at your lowest, it's hard to remember you've got all the right things going for you. here's a great reminder. 

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this ice cream

when all else fails, sometimes you just need ice cream. chocolate chip ice cream. make a big bowl, watch your favorite movie, and go back to bed. 

try working out

maybe a full trip to the gym is just too much. try this exercise schedule to elevate those endorphins and boost your strength. 

this look

casual and stylish. dressing can be hard when you're struggling with depression. throw this on, and get yourself doing something, like going to the farmers market, for a change of scenery and a mood lift.



Happy Fourth of July

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Happy Birthday, America! 

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday. Xx.



Fourth of July Berry Dessert

What is 4th of July without a red, white, and blue treat?

This was originally posted last July 4th; we figure it's worth a repost. This weekend, we hope you celebrate America's birthday to the fullest. Go all out on parades, red, white, and blue, and yummy treats. Attending a party this weekend? Make this cheerful dessert. It definitely won't disappoint. 

This summer, especially for The Fourth, I wanted to create a tasty treat that satisfied my sweet tooth but didn't sit too heavy on my stomach. With that in mind, I snagged some fresh berries from the market, whipped up some coconut whipped cream, and layered them all together for a festive dessert. It's simple, I pulled it together in under 30 minutes, and it's absolutely delicious.

Pro tip: layer it in a clear glass to see the vibrant colors and top with a sprig of mint and some lemon zest.

Fourth of July Berry Dessert

Ingredients ::

+ blueberries
+ strawberries
+ 1 can of coconut milk (full fat)
+ 1 tsp cinnamon
+ 1 tsp vanilla extract
+ 1/4 lemon, juice
+ 1/4 - 1/2 cups coconut sugar (amount to taste)

Recipe ::

1. Place your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and let sit 12 hours to overnight. This step separates the liquid and coconut meat. 

2. Remove your can from the fridge, flip it over, open it up, and scrape out the coconut meat into your mixing bowl. Set aside the liquid to be used in another recipe. 

3. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and coconut sugar to the coconut in your mixing bowl. 

4. Whip until soft peaks are created. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to solidify more. 

5. When you're ready to plate, add a little bit of whipped cream to the bottom of your glass, top with a layer of blueberries, more whipped cream, a layer of strawberries, repeating until you get to the top.
 
6. Serve and enjoy! Makes at least four. 


+ What's your favorite festive dessert?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make this berry dessert. Share this with people who could use some sweets in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx.