Why Traveling Should be on Your To-Do-List

The idea of traveling to some may seem exhilarating, yet to others may seem like a burden. Whether it’s financially a concern, overly time consuming, or just plain intimidating to travel for you; don’t let minor concerns stop you from an opportunity to grow. Traveling has many benefits that can result from expanding your mind and opening up to new things. Here’s a list of reasons why traveling should be on your to-do-list:

  1. Traveling is a chance to continue learning.

Learning is such an important factor in continuous growth. Whether you learn simply how to get the best flight deals or you learn how about some rich regional history while on a tour, having an opportunity to learn develops a deeper understanding altogether. Take advantage of any and all chances to learn while traveling because you never know when you can apply what you learned later down the road.

  1. Traveling allows you to gain perspective.

While traveling, you can gain insight from taking in other’s perspectives. Depending on where you travel to, you may be exposed to new situations you’ve never seen before. Overall, you can become more culturally sensitive and gain a deeper understanding for others.

  1. Traveling allows you to step out of your comfort zone and learn more about yourself.

When traveling, don’t be afraid to try new things. Take a chance and try a new food that you’ve never experienced before. Jump on that opportunity to sky dive or snorkel in a coral reef. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so you can grow and learn more about your likes and dislikes. You’ll never know until you push yourself outside of your own bounds.

Traveling can really open your eyes and allow you to challenge your mindset. It allows people to step back and slow down the average rush of their everyday lives. Allowing yourself to get exposed to other cultures will allow you to be able to better connect with people different from your usual crowd. Take the time to stop and plan your next trip, the only regret you will have is if you keep making excuses to not go.

Traveling can really open your eyes and allow you to challenge your mindset. It allows people to step back and slow down the average rush of their everyday lives. Allowing yourself to get exposed to other cultures will allow you to be able to better connect with people different from your usual crowd. Take the time to stop and plan your next trip, the only regret you will have is if you keep making excuses to not go.

How to be a Better Active Listener

One of the greatest skills to have is to be a good listener. It’s easy to think that listening is just a skill that comes naturally and yet it really is something that takes practice to get better at. This type of skill takes time and effort since it’s easier to hear than listen. When it comes to truly listening to someone, there are some easy tips to consider that can help you grow into becoming a better active listener. Here are a few tips to consider and why they will be helpful to you:

  1. Pause your Thoughts

This tip may seem odd, but the intentions of your actions really go a long way with this one. Just taking a moment to hold that thought of, “What am I cooking for dinner tomorrow?” or “What am I forgetting to do today?” helps narrow your focus. You have an easier time giving your whole attention to someone when you get rid of all your distractions.

  1. Watch your Nonverbal Cues

Nonverbal cues can make or break a conversation and can be easily overlooked. Eye contact shows where your attention is focused and that you aren’t wandering away from the conversation. Keeping your arms and stance open shows you aren’t closed off to them and can give them a sense of your openness to what is being discussed. Meeting their level means if one person is sitting down, both should be sitting down for the conversation. If someone is trying to open up to you and they are sitting, they may feel they can’t completely open up to you because you are in a position of power standing over them.

  1. Ask Open-Ended Questions

When listening to what someone is telling you, wait until they are finished talking before forming your response back to them. Asking open-ended questions other than simply yes or no questions allows you to get more information from the conversation. Open-ended questions commonly start with words like why and how. Allow yourself time to process what they are telling you before you respond to them. Be thoughtful and insightful, instead of judgmental.

These tips can help you hone in on your listening skills and grow in your interpersonal skills as well. Active listening can be applied to any situation whether at your job, in your household, or just having a conversation with a friend or family member. Next time someone confides in you, take these tips and apply them to your conversation.

Ways to Appeal to Someone's Love Language

To some Valentine’s Day is a way to show a little extra appreciation to that special someone in their lives. Others might not enjoy the holiday as much though. There are five main love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Everyone’s love language is personalized to themselves and some even relate to having multiple languages speak to them. Here’s how to appeal to each love language:

  1. Words of affirmation

This language can be shown appreciation in multiple ways. Simply writing a card or having a deep conversation with this type of person can really go far in their eyes. They dwell on the words that you say and thrive off of them.

  1. Quality time

Quality time is pretty self-explanatory and simply goes back to just spending time with that person. Some people enjoy doing this by staying in and watching a movie, others enjoy getting dressed up and going out to dinner or a local event going on.

3. Receiving gifts

This type of love language is straightforward. They appreciate the materialistic things that you bring to the table. Some basic ideas to gift someone for Valentine’s Day could be giving them flowers, candy, or a picture of the both of you.

  1. Acts of Service

This language can be hard to get right at times. In doing acts of service for someone, you appeal to making their life easier by going the extra mile to do something for them. You can do this by simply helping them run an errand or assisting them in a project they are working on.

  1. Physical Touch
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Physical touch is also more self-explanatory. Simply giving them a hug, kiss, or holding their hand really helps them to feel appreciated and cared for.

Love languages can be confusing at times and also change as people do. When it boils down to it, if you want to show someone that you care for them just make an attempt to appeal to their likes. Try to stop and take the time to show someone you care about them this week whether it be your significant other, a friend, or a coworker.

Snacks to Make for Any Valentine's Event

Valentine’s Day Rice Krispie Treat Cupcakes

Whether you are a mom trying to come up with a last minute snack to send to school with your child for their Valentine’s party or you were simply asked to bring a snack to a Valentine’s themed event and you are struggling to come up with an idea, these easy to prep ideas will be a solution for you. All these ideas are creative and can even be given out to a few friends or coworkers you want to show appreciation to.  Each treat has a festive twist that will be sure to woo any crowd.

1. Cupid Kabobs: These fruity treats are easy to make and add a healthy twist to an already sugar filled holiday. Pick from a variety of fruits to customize them to your liking.

2. Valentine’s Day Rice Krispie Treat Cupcakes: Kids always love rice krispie treats and this treat adds a little extra love to them. Top of this treat with white or colored icing and a candy piece of your choice.

Peppermint Candy Pops

3. Peppermint Candy Pops: Using candy canes, you can make these cute little hearts really pop at any event. Add ribbon to the sticks to add a cute decoration to this candy.

4. Valentine’s Popcorn: This mix is sure to add a splash of color to any array of treats at a party. This treat allows you to also be creative by taking out any of the ingredients and adding whatever else you want to snack on.

5. Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies: These sweet treats pop with their marbled color at any event. This recipe includes a step by step video to show you how to make these showstoppers.

All these treats will impress at any event and can be an easy snack to bring to any occasion. Comment below if you try any of these recipes on your own and let us know what you think!

Easy to Make Handmade Valentine Decorations

In a few days, the month of February begins and it’s crazy to think that January has already flown by! With the month of February, comes the celebration of Valentine’s Day as well. If you are looking for a gift to give that special someone or just want to add some more holiday decor to your home, check out these crafts. Here are some crafty ideas to add a little extra love to your home during this time of year! All these crafts are inexpensive and can be stored to be reused every year too.

1. Hanging Paper Hearts 

Try hanging these paper hearts around your home to add a rustic look to your living space. Choose to make a few strands or a whole bunch!

  1. Giant String Heart

This giant string heart can add a pop of color to any room and also can serve as a great gift to a loved one. This craft can be one that the kids can even help with too.

  1. Ribbon Valentine Wreath

Looking for an inexpensive piece to go on your front door? Try making this curly creation! Add your own twist by picking whatever ribbon you’d like to have.

Hanging Paper Hearts 

Try hanging these paper hearts around your home to add a rustic look to your living space. Choose to make a few strands or a whole bunch!

  1. Heart Wreath

This heart wreath can be hung by a fireplace or draped by a window. This crafty piece adds a bit of simplicity wherever it’s hung and can also be made using colored yarn as well.

5. Wire Heart Picks 

If you are a plant lover, this is the home decor piece you’ve been looking for! All you need is wire, wire cutters, pliers, and any kind of plant you wish to have.

Any of these decorations can add to your home and show off your crafty side as well. All of these crafts only require a few things to make the entire piece. With all this love in the air don’t forget to treat yourself this time of year as well.

Healthy Easy Snacks to Curb Those Cravings

Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries #SundaySupper
Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries

Looking for new snack ideas for the new year? Trying to spice up some of you new kitchen creations? Here are some unique healthy recipes to tryout this year that are sure to crave those late night cravings and midday munchies!

  1. Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries

Try this healthy snack that is easy to prepare and even better for you to indulge in!

Healthy Baked Carrot Fries - 2Teaspoons
Baked Carrot Fries
  1. Baked Carrot Fries

Looking for a healthy alternative to swap for your love of fries? This recipe is definitely one to help curb those cravings.

  1. Apple Nachos

This recipe is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, while also being a healthy treat for all ages.

  1. Crackers and Chocolate Hazelnut Spread with Banana

A salty yet sweet combination that is easy to prepare and enjoy.

  1. Banana, Kale, and Almond Milk Smoothie

Wanting to try a new smoothie recipe? This simple creation is sure to give you a healthy does to start any morning.

  1. Roasted Garbanzo Beans

If you are pinched for time to make a snack to bring to an event, try making this snack that can be thrown together in a pinch!

  1. Almond Butter, Yogurt, and Fruit Parfait
Dark Chocolate and Nut Clusters
Dark Chocolate and Nut Clusters

This mouth-watering treat is sure to be the perfect substitute for that late night ice cream craving and also allows you to customize it to your liking! 

  1. Dark Chocolate and Nut Clusters

Here is a recipe that includes healthy fats and protein to fill anyone up.

  1. Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Going to that family gathering or party still and don’t know what to make? Try this easy to prep recipe that definitely leaves a savory taste.

  1. Crunch Coated Bananas

Try this recipe that is easy to bring on the go and easy to make.

These easy to make snacks will be sure to help you change up your snacking habits this year and can be a great dish to pass at any event!

Breaking Bad Habits

Happy New Year! With the new year here, many people have probably made New Year’s resolutions in hopes of breaking some bad habits that they’ve deemed need to be resolved from their lives. Resolutions don’t always work out though because people struggle to break out of their old ways. Instead of creating those cliche resolutions that usually fall through; we should focus on setting realistic goals to break those bad habits we have. Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Make it Conscious

The first step is to realize that there is a bad habit that needs breaking in the first place. Whether it is something as little as cracking your knuckles or something bigger, it helps to know a target for what to work on bettering.

  1. Have a Better Reason for Quitting

Dig deep and find a bigger meaning for why you should give up on this habit. Make it personal so you find a fulfilling purpose in what you’re doing.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

Fixing something, in any case, usually just doesn’t happen overnight. It’s easier if you set attainable goals to set yourself up for success.

Bad habits rub us the wrong way, but it depends on you and your level of motivation for change to occur!

Sources: https://time.com/5373528/break-bad-habit-science/ 

10 Activities To Do This Holiday Season With Your Family

Written By: Emma Passig

With the holidays approaching quickly, how do you have time to prepare and also brainstorm ideas to get the whole family into the festive spirit too? Don’t worry about the brainstorming part! This article contains multiple ways to get the family to join in on the holiday festivities.

  1. Write Letters to Santa

If your family writes letters to santa this holiday season, you can send your letters to this address!

  1. Spend a Day Making Holiday Cookies

Cookies are always a great treat to bring to the holiday parties this season, so why not just make a day out of it by making cookies with the kids? Here are some of the best holiday cookies to make with links to the recipes: 

Eggnog Cookies, Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Candy Cane Cookies

  1. Build a Snowman

With all the snow we get during the winter, what better way to brighten up your yard than to add a snowman! Use any old hats and scarfs you have to bundle up your snowman too.

  1. Make Holiday Cards for those in Local Nursing Homes and Deliver Them

What better way to spread Christmas cheer to all then to hand-craft cards to those who may not get to spend time with loved ones this holiday season? A simple card can go a long way to brighten up somebody’s day and mean the world to them.

  1. Create New Ornaments for your Christmas Tree

Homemade ornaments always add an extra touch to the tree. Here are some crafty ornaments to make to add to your decor collection this year: 

Snow Sled Ornaments, Sprinkle Ornaments, Peanut Snowman Ornaments, Snowball Ornament

  1. Go Sledding

Struggling to squeeze in a workout with your busy schedule this holiday season? Need a way to spend time with family and friends? Then go sledding!

  1. String Popcorn for Edible Decorations

Grab some popcorn, string, and a needle to string popcorn up to hang in your home this holiday season. Warning: pets don’t always appreciate the food hung up taunting them (spoken from experience!)

  1. Go Ice Skating

Need a date night idea or an activity for the kids to do? Why not take them ice skating? Local rinks rent skates if you don’t have any. If you don’t know how to skate that’s okay too, you will learn with practice and time.

  1. Create Paper Snowflakes 

A way to decorate your windows this holiday season is by cutting out some snowflakes with paper. Fold the paper and cut your snowflakes out to your liking.

  1. Learn how to Roast Chestnuts

Get a fun new snack to try with this activity and enjoy learning how to keep your family away from eating this treat too fast.

Friendsgiving: How to Host Your Best One Yet

Written by: Madi McDonald

Ready to host your first Friendsgiving? Well then you found just the right place. We are here to give you the background of Friendsgiving, ideas/tips on how to host, and activities to make the night a blast.

What is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving comes from the blend of Friends and Thanksgiving. Even though the term “Friendsgiving” seems to have been around for a long time, it is surprisingly new. The term Friendsgiving first appeared around the year 2007 in twitter posts, and around 2008/2009 it started to show up in lifestyle pieces. It wasn’t until 2011 when Friendsgiving appeared in a national ad campaign for Bailey’s Irish Cream. 

Just like how Thanksgiving is typically spent around the table with close friends and family, the new tradition of “Friendsgiving” is just the same, except just with your close knit friends. Friendsgiving is a time to show your thankfulness for your friends and to enjoy with less expectations and stress of an actual Thanksgiving. Friendsgiving is typically hosted around/near the time of Thanksgiving, with the most popular and common days on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving or the Friday after.

Ideas/Tips for Hosting

Being a host can be stressful, but we want to ease that stress and make your Friendsgiving a stress free time. It is important to plan ahead, when you are hosting Friendsgiving, especially when it comes to cooking. A suggestion we have is that you cook the turkey beforehand, so if anyone of your friends need to use the oven or the kitchen, it won’t be crammed in the kitchen. Another piece of advice to hosting, is to ask your friends to bring items, such as food, drinks, games, etc. Make sure that you tell your friends specifically what food/drinks to bring and how much to bring, so you as the host can stay organized and no one will bring a duplicate item. Another tip, is at the end of Friendsgiving, have everyone help in the clean up so you can all get back to enjoying each others company. The last tip I have for you is as a host you may want to include decorations, such as, a festive table display. That could include a festive tablecloth, festive napkins, special plates/silverware, and cute festive centerpieces. Get creative in your decorations, as there are many DIY projects out there with decoration ideas for your Friendsgiving.

Fun Activities

If you are wondering what to do during Friendsgiving besides just sitting down and eating, consider doing some fun activities. We have a list of options below of activities you can do throughout your Friendsgiving. Feel free to get with your friends and plan/make up other types of activities though. There is not limit to what fun activities you can plan during your Friendsgiving!

Halloween Party Treats

It’s that time of the year again, Halloween! Whether you are hosting or attending a Halloween themed party, these treats are sure to make everyone want the recipe. Are you looking for something cute and simple? Make some Reese’s Bats. Interested in a pumpkin-flavored dessert? Try the Pumpkin Fudge! Here are some treats that your friends and family are sure to love!

Candy Corn Ghost Cupcakes

These cute cupcakes are the perfect traditional treat for a party. If you want something that is cute that everyone will enjoy, these cupcakes are the perfect treat for you!

Halloween Candy Bark

Candy Bark is a common treat during the holidays and this Halloween version adds a colorful twist! This recipe is a simple, unique, and delicious option to impress your friends.

Ghost S’mores Dip

S’mores are a campfire staple that kids and adults will enjoy. This spooky dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for parties with all ages!

Reese’s Bats

These cute bats are a fun treat for any Halloween party! Chocolate and peanut butter is a crowd favorite at any occasion. These cute bats are sure to go fast!

Pumpkin Spice Blondies

These delicious treats require a little more time to make, but it is definitely worth it! Blondies are a classic party treat and these Pumpkin Spice Blondies add a yummy fall twist.

Pumpkin Fudge

If you want to go the extra mile with your fall treats, this Pumpkin Fudge is the perfect dessert for you! It may seem like extra work, but the prep time is only 10 minutes before it chills in the refrigerator until it is set. 

This wide variety of Halloween treats are sure to impress your guests. Whether you are looking for something cute and simple or a divine dessert these treats are perfect for your party!
For more Halloween Treats click here!