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For Your Consideration 

An Xmas app, a buttery blog, a healthy snack

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WEBSITE | I'm one of six adult children in my family. To make the holidays a little less expensive, a few years ago, my siblings and I decided to do Secret Santa for Christmas instead of individually exchanging gifts. To accommodate our busy schedules and geographic distance (I live in Spokane; they live throughout Ohio and the Midwest.), we coordinate our Secret Santa using ELFSTER.COM, a free, easy-to-use social networking site for organizing gift exchanges. You can log in using your email address or Facebook account, start a Secret Santa, invite participants, create wish lists and anonymously ask questions between members of your group. Elfster, meanwhile, "draws" the names. No folded slips of paper required.


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BLOG | The internet is full of crap: fake news, faux outrage, racist memes and that same damn viral video of a bear playing on a golf course. THE BUTTER, a new vertical on the women's site The Toast, is none of these things. Run by acclaimed novelist and feminist writer Roxane Gay, The Butter publishes cultural criticism, personal essays and short fiction on topics like body image and sexual violence, Bollywood and Bill Cosby. It's smart, irreverent, probing and thoughtful; the Internet full of heart. Read The Butter at the-toast.net.


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SNACK | Let's get this out of the way first — these are not chips. Not the greasy, salty, satisfyingly crunchy, deep-fried junk food we love to mindlessly munch on at backyard barbeques or alongside a sandwich. QUEST PROTEIN CHIPS are unequivocally a health food, and they taste like it. I bought a bag of the BBQ flavor earlier this month on a whim during a protein-bar run at GNC because I was impressed with the stats: one large serving has 21 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbs for just 120 calories. For a protein-rich, carb-conscious alternative to a bag of Lay's from the vending machine, these may just do the trick. ♦

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