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!

Fun in the Snow!

Are you looking for a fun way to spend a day with your family this winter? Don’t let the cold keep you inside all day, go outside and play in the snow! Here are a few fun activities to get you started!

  1. Build Snowmen together

Nothing brings the world of Frozen to life quite as much as building a snowman with your family! Grab a scarf, a carrot, some buttons, and whatever else you want to use to dress it up and get started! You can even build your own little snow family!

  1. Make your own snow forts

Gather together as much snow as possible and make a fort! It is easiest if you build it where snow is naturally collected during the winter like the corner of a yard. You can carve out tunnels, build walls, and make the snow fort of your dreams! The only limit is your imagination!

  1. Have a snowball fight

Put those snow forts to good use with a snowball fight! This has been a tradition for a very long time and is the perfect activity for children and adults of all ages!

  1. Go sledding

Grab your sled and make a trip to the closest hill, or maybe just your backyard! Sledding is easy and fun for the whole family. You could even build a few jumps to change things up a bit!

Now that you have some ideas, go spend some quality time with your family! These are a great way to get some fresh air while creating memories that will last a lifetime!

Toys, Then and Now

It is finally December, and for many people that means holiday shopping. Children all over the world are excited to see what gifts they will get this year and what they are expecting changes a little more every year. New technologies, trends, and lifestyle changes have led to the evolution of toys that we see each holiday season. Some toys come and go, but others seem to be a constant throughout the years. Here are the toys that were most popular for each decade since 1910:

1910s: Teddy Bear

1920s: Yo-Yo

1930s: Shirley Temple Doll

1940s: Slinky

1950s: Mr. Potato Head

1960s: G.I. Joe

1970s: Star Wars action figures

1980s: Cabbage Patch Kids

1990s: Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo

2000s: Wii

What was your favorite gift when you were a kid? Were your presents similar to what kids want today? Comment and tell us about your all time favorite gift!

For more information about the popular toys each decade click here!

Magical Musings of Lake Geneva

This Saturday, Lake Geneva is having a witching and wizarding event you won’t want to miss! Magical Musings of Lake Geneva is an event for people of all ages who enjoy all things magical. Have you ever wanted to play Quiddich, find out which house your would be sorted into, or visit platform 9 ¾? Now is your chance! Magical Musings brings the worlds of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts together for a magical experience like no other!

Magical Musings has something for everyone!

  • Quiddich Lessons
  • House Sorting
  • Fortune Telling
  • Face Painting
  • Potions Classroom
  • And so much more!

Info:

When: Saturday, November 3rd

Where: Downtown Lake Geneva

Time: 10am – 5pm

For more information on The Magical Musings of Lake Geneva click here!

How To Make School Lunches Your Kids Will Love

Packing a delicious and healthy school lunch for your kids can be difficult when you’re in a time crunch. Here are some tips to make your kids love the lunches you pack for them!

1. Switch it up.

Eating the same meal every day isn’t fun. Try and switch up what you send with your kids. Monday can be a PB&J, Tuesday can be leftovers they enjoy, and Wednesday could be a microwavable soup or spaghetti and meatballs. This will keep your kids from getting tired of having the same meal every day.

2. Try and pack one of their favorite foods every day.

Think about some of your child’s favorite foods. What is their favorite fruit, veggie, snack, or meal? Try and include at least one item a day that they really like. This will make them look forward to eating lunch every day because they know they are getting one of their favorites!

3. Don’t forget dessert!

Packing a healthy lunch is great, but don’t forget to pack a little treat. After all, one cookie can’t be that bad can it?

Packing lunches doesn’t have to be boring, keep your kids guessing with these helpful tips. If you aren’t sure what your kids want, ask them. Their suggestions might save you some time and from an unnecessary headache. Happy packing!

Labor Day at the Lake

Go back to school with a splash! Spend your last Monday of the summer on the water at Geneva Lake!

Tips for the Lake

  1. Stay hydrated – bring a cooler with you for water to help you beat the heat!
  2. Sun Screen – don’t forget to re-apply as directed!
  3. Bring Snacks – Cut up some apples, strawberries, and throw in some grapes for the perfect fruit salad!
  4. Safety first – if you are going out on a boat don’t forget your life jackets!

For more activities to do on Geneva Lake you can visit this website!

Back to School Tips & Tricks

Ease your kids into a school bed time.

Waking up early is hard, especially if you are not used to it yet. The week before school starts begin moving up your child’s bedtime and waking them up earlier in the morning. This will make the first week of school easier to wake up for and help with a smooth transition.

Get things together the night before.

This includes lunches, backpacks, and tomorrow’s outfit. Having fewer items to put together in the morning means you are less likely to forget something. This also allows you to set an organized schedule for your kids while giving them some responsibilities of their own.

Have everyone participate in the morning.

Doing everything by yourself can get exhausting. Pass off some of the smaller tasks to your kids. Something as simple as having your child feed the family pet in the morning can save you valuable time and gradually introduces your child into the responsibilities that you want to teach them.

It is important to start organized and healthy habits early on so that they carry throughout the year. I hope these tips and tricks will help your transition into the new school year go smoothly!