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Where he kept his razor, when lo and behold, he takes the harpoon. Expenses as material breeding insisted building to in. Continual so distrusts pronounce by unwilling listening. Thing do taste on we manor. Him had wound use found hoped of distrusts immediate enjoyment. These reflections just here are occasioned. Where he kept his razor, when lo and behold, he takes the harpoon. Continual so distrusts pronounce by unwilling listening. 

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The Benefits of Dining with Friends and Family

  1. Eating together releases positive emotions

  2. Eating together can lead to healthy eating habits

  3. You can learn new recipes and get excited about healthy ingredients

  4. Eating together encourages family togetherness

  5. Strengthen relationships and traditions

  6. Lower risk of substance abuse

  7. Better social support and connection

  8. Creates family bonds

  9. Reduces screen time

  10. Stress relief

  11. Eating together fosters happy, well-adjusted kids

  12. Sharing food traditions across generations and cultures

  13. Improve brain and memory function

  14. Prevent serious psychosocial issues

Top 6 Productivity Hacks for Your Most Productive Workday Ever

productivity hacks

Getting work done on time not only makes you look great to your boss, it gives you more free time after work and creates a sense of accomplishment. But staying productive throughout the week can be difficult, especially if you have a lot of big tasks on your plate. 

Next time you find yourself in a workday rut, try out these 6 productivity hacks to help you focus on your work and get things done, one step at a time.

#1: Use Your Commute To Your Advantage

Chances are, you spend some time traveling to work, whether you’re walking, driving, carpooling, or utilizing public transportation. Why not use that time to and from work every day to your advantage?

If you’re walking or driving, think through your schedule for the day and record a voice memo outlining the day’s tasks. If you’re carpooling or using public transportation, why not knock out a few emails while you travel to get a head start on your workday? 

#2: Set A Timer

If your work involves a lot of unstructured time, segmenting your hours into smaller chunks can help you to stay productive. This method is called the Pomodoro Technique, and it’s incredibly effective at helping employees stay focused and productive throughout the day.

To give it a try, choose a task and set a timer on your phone or computer for 30 minutes. Work solely on that task until the timer goes off. Take a 3-minute break, then start over. After you’ve done 4 cycles, give yourself a longer break.

#3: Use An Out Of Office Message, Even When You’re Working

Most people only turn on “out of office” automatic replies when they’re on vacation. But what if you used this email feature to let your coworkers know the best hours of the day to reach you?

If you’re working on a large project, consider setting an “out of office” message every morning, so your coworkers know they should reach out to you about other projects in the afternoon. This way you can dedicate every morning to the largest task on your plate, while still remaining available for other tasks at the end of the day.

#4: Plan Tomorrow at the End of Today

Once the clock hits 4:45 PM, most of us are ready to check out for the day. Instead of spending the last few minutes of the day mindlessly scrolling through old emails, use those minutes to outline the tasks on your plate for tomorrow.

Brainstorm the meetings you have coming up the next day, what tasks are urgent, and what you haven’t completed yet. This will allow you to hit the ground running once you step into the office tomorrow.

#5: Turn Your Phone Onto “Do Not Disturb” Mode

Studies show that it takes over 23 minutes to regain focus after a distraction—even something as simple as a text can be tough to recover from. In order to minimize distractions during periods of high productivity, set your phone (and computer, if you’re able) to “do not disturb” mode. 

Your notifications will still be waiting for you when you check your phone later, but instead of responding to texts in a frenzy during the workday, you’ll get to respond while sipping wine on your back porch!

#6: Break Big Goals Into Small Action Steps

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of putting huge tasks off until the last minute! Instead of getting overwhelmed by the biggest thing on your to-do list, break it up into smaller steps you can work on for multiple days. This gives you the satisfaction of checking lots of little items off your list, and it can help you to stay on track with big, time-consuming projects.

With a few simple productivity hacks, you can have a fulfilling and productive workday that wows your boss and leaves you feeling proud of yourself.

6 Reasons Why You Should Go On a Retreat

Have you ever considered taking a retreat instead of a vacation? While on the surface they seem similar, retreats are organized trips focused on a specific topic, like relationships, yoga, or wellness. 

They offer you a chance to learn something new during your time off while also being relaxing and rejuvenating. Here are our top 6 reasons to go on a retreat.

#1: They’re More Restful than a Vacation

Let’s face it—planning a vacation isn’t fun. No matter how much prep work you do ahead of time, you still spend some of your precious time off arguing over where to go to dinner or trying to find parking.

When you go on a retreat, everything is planned for you. It’s a little like summer camp when you were a kid—activities, meals, and accommodations are all scheduled in advance. All you have to do is get there, and then you don’t have to make another decision for the rest of your trip. 

#2: You Gain Long-Term Benefits

Vacations can certainly boost your mood for a week or two, but once they’re over, life quickly returns to normal. Because retreats help you learn something new, they provide a more lasting impact than a vacation. 

Not only do you get those full nights of sleep you’ve been needing (like on any vacation), but you also gain a new skill or self perception.

#3: You Have a Reason to Disconnect

Not all retreats require you to give up your phone or computer for a week, but some do. While at first this may seem impossible, you might find a forced break from technology to be surprisingly beneficial.

Increasing evidence points to smartphones as negatively impacting sleep, creativity, and even our lifespan. A week away can work wonders for your mental health!

#4: You Invest in Yourself

Many of us invest in ourselves by taking continuing education classes or exercising regularly. While investing in yourself professionally or physically is certainly important, we often neglect to invest in our personal development.

Retreats can help you improve your relationship, learn new strategies for self care, or meditate on your life’s purpose. Think about it: you’re going to be in your body much longer than you’re going to be in your career path. Isn’t investing in your own mental health worth it?

#5: You Connect with Others on a Deeper Level

Whether you’re traveling alone or in a group, a change of scenery gives you a unique opportunity to meet new, like-minded individuals. There’s no better way to meet new potential friends than at a retreat. After all, you already have something in common—the topic of the retreat!

#6: They’re Good for Your Mental and Physical Health

A lot of us treat vacations like our time to “let loose.” We drink more, eat unhealthy food, and take a step back from our exercise routines. While this feels good in the moment, after the vacation’s over, we’re left feeling bloated, sluggish, and out of shape. 

Retreats are designed differently—they’re often characterized by healthy food and mental and physical stimulation. Going on a retreat helps you avoid the “vacation hangover” which so often counteracts the benefits of taking a vacation in the first place.

Next time you’re booking a hotel for yet another beach vacation, consider trying out a retreat instead. You’ll be surprised how worthwhile it can be to invest in your wellbeing

6 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Every Day

Stress is a side effect of being human, but when it strikes, does it overwhelm you? If so, learning some simple ways to relieve it can help you to manage the pressures of everyday life without becoming incapacitated by them.

While we can’t promise a one-size-fits-all solution to your specific stressors, here are some simple tips to help you put those anxious feelings into perspective.

Tip #1: Exercise Regularly

No, we’re not saying you have to go out and run a marathon (because who really has time for that?), but regular exercise like walking, weightlifting, or yoga can release endorphins which help boost your mood.

While taking a few hits at a punching bag can help relieve stress in a pinch, a habit of regular exercise can prevent you from getting overwhelmed in the first place. Pretty cool, right?

Tip #2: Drink Water, not Coffee

Don’t freak out—some coffee is OK (some might even say essential). But downing cup after cup of caffeinated drinks has been shown to increase feelings of anxiety. If you’re feeling jittery, it might be time to set down your favorite mug and pick up your water bottle instead. 

Tip #3: Make Time for Friends

There’s no doubt that friendships are important. Friends make us laugh, releasing tension and helping to distract us from stressful situations. Additionally, friends act as a sounding board when we get overwhelmed.

It turns out there’s a reason our friends can always make us feel better—studies show that your body releases the hormone oxytocin, a natural stress reliever, when you spend time with loved ones.

It can be easy to isolate yourself when you’re feeling anxious, but taking time to invest in your friendships can not only help you feel better during the tough times, it can increase your joy in the good times, too.

Tip #4: Learn to Say No

A lot of daily stress comes from the feeling that there’s so much to do, but too little time. If you regularly feel overwhelmed, take stock of how you spend your time each day. Are there things you could cut out that would free up more time for you to relax? 

Maybe this looks like eating a meal from the freezer every once in a while or stepping back from an extra committee at work. Remember, saying no speaks to your self awareness; it’s not weak, it’s strong. 

Tip #5: Start a Venting Journal 

Be honest…wasn’t there something terribly therapeutic about writing in your diary back in the day? Sometimes you feel overwhelmed without being able to pinpoint why. Or maybe you just don’t have anyone to talk to about something stressful that happened.

Whatever the reason, journaling can help you to examine your feelings and move past them. Write honestly, and whatever you do, never look back on old pages in your journal—doing so may reignite your frustration.

Tip #6: Listen To Your Body 

Too many of us respond to stressful situations by scarfing down a chocolate bar or swinging by the bar to vent with our girlfriends. But binge eating and drinking only provide temporary relief of anxious feelings. In fact, they can even make us feel worse!

Pay attention to activities that bring lasting relief when you’re overwhelmed, like going for a walk or meditating. Give your body what it needs in these situations, and see how they start to affect you less significantly over time.

Stress is inevitable, but with practice, you can learn to manage it. Adopt these healthy habits to help you relieve stress and find greater enjoyment in your daily life.

26 Reasons To Throw a Party

  1. Birthdays

  2. Calendar events

  3. New job or retirement

  4. Wedding anniversaries

  5. To say “Welcome Home”

  6. Wine tasting

  7. Neighbor welcoming

  8. You mastered a new recipe

  9. Summer is finally over and the weather is finally cooling down. Cue the backyard dinner party!

  10. It’s football season, baby! Get out the chips and dip.

  11. You got new pillows at HomeGoods and you need to show them off.

  12. The kids are finally in school again! Time to kick-back and relax with friends.

  13. You’re about to move away and want to say goodbye to all your family and friends with a killer soirée!

  14. You’re engaged!

  15. You’re preggers

  16. You need to clean out your closet

  17. Sport events

  18. It’s Friday. Or Saturday. Or Tuesday. Whatever day it is, you’re craving some actual face time with the people you love most.

  19. Your sibling or friend wants to introduce you to their new significant other.

  20. You just got back from an amazing vacation and want to re-create some of the cuisines you tasted while traveling.

  21. An old friend you haven’t seen in forever is in town.

  22. Your first wine club shipment has arrived, and you want to attempt a few wine pairings, a la Martha Stewart’s pairing tips.

  23. You’ve taken a cocktail-making class and are eager to show off your new skills as a bartender.

  24. Reality show watch party

  25. Gorgeous weather

  26. Mercury is finally NOT in retrograde! Time to celebrate!

How to Stay Motivated While Working from Home

There are many perks to working from home, like being able to work in your favorite sweatpants or saving time on your commute. But it can be difficult to get as much work done when you don’t have the company of coworkers (or, let’s be honest, a nagging boss) to keep you on track.


If you’re struggling to find motivation while working from home, try these 5 tips to make your working hours more productive and enjoyable.

Stick to a Schedule

When you work from home, your home is also your office, so you may have trouble turning work “off” at the end of the day. Setting boundaries with your work can help you to preserve your free time while also making your work hours more productive.

Try making a schedule and sticking with it. Set your alarm and begin working at the same time each day. Take breaks every few hours, but don’t step away from your computer for any longer than you would if you were in the office.

Finally, no matter how much you get done in the day, enforce a strict end time for work. This will motivate you to get the necessary tasks done during your working hours and prevent work responsibilities from bleeding into the evening hours.

Create a Home Office

It’s tempting to work from your bed all day, but you’ll be more productive if you’re sitting upright (or even better, standing!) at a desk or table. A home office can provide the sensation of being on the job from the comfort of your own home.

Even if you don’t have the space for a dedicated home office, try working in the same location every day. Experts suggest sitting near a window in a supportive chair in an area of your home free of distractions.

Get Dressed

While there’s no definitive evidence that wearing professional clothes makes you more productive, people feel more attentive and motivated when they wear different clothes to work than they do in their free time.

You don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but maybe wait to put the leggings on until after work.

Hide Your Phone

Chances are, you don’t really need your phone during the work day. These days, even texts and calls can be routed through your computer. If you find your phone is distracting you throughout the day, put it away and only take it out during breaks.

Even if you’re only taking a few minutes every hour to check social media or your personal email, it takes a lot of time (more than 20 minutes!) to return to a productive workflow. It’s better to avoid these distractions or save them for your dedicated break time.

Time Yourself

Even if you’re not very competitive, timing yourself can be an incredibly motivating way to cross off tasks on your to-do list—especially tasks you would rather avoid.

Next time you’re feeling unmotivated, try giving yourself a time limit to finish that project you’re dreading. Once you’re done, reward yourself with a break or a treat. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll have pushing yourself!

With a few simple changes, you can easily increase your motivation while working from home. Over time, you might even find you’re more productive at home than you would be in the office!

How to Start a Travel Blog

Travel blogs are some of the hottest content on the internet. They give readers stuck at home a taste of the exotic, and they inspire people to broaden their worldview through meeting new people and having new experiences.

So how do you start a travel blog? Setting it up is easier than you think! Ask yourself these 4 questions to get your new travel blog up and running in no time.

What Do You Love About Travel?

We know…there’s probably too many things to name. From unique cultures, to food, to scenery, what’s not to love about travel? But in order to keep your readers engaged in your content, you’re going to want to settle on a general theme for your blog.

Maybe you’re interested in providing travel tips and hacks to readers, or maybe you want to provide reviews of resorts around the world. Whatever you decide, focus your content on this niche, and stick with it.

What Blog Name Will Engage Your Audience?

Once you’ve nailed down the purpose of your blog, you can start to think about a name. The best blog names are one-of-a-kind (obviously, since no two sites can have the same domain name), descriptive (your reader should know what your blog is about based on the name), and easy to spell. After all, you don’t want your readers to get redirected to someone else’s site because yours is too tough to enter correctly in their search engine!

Once you’ve picked a name, make sure it’s not already in use by using a free domain search tool. To make your site your own, you’ll need to purchase your domain name and select a web hosting provider (like GoDaddy or Bluehost) to host your site.

How Tech Savvy Are You?

Next, you’ll choose a blogging platform. You may have heard of some popular platforms like WordPress or SquareSpace, but there are lots of platforms out there. 

If you’re technologically inclined, you can customize your site beyond just the templates provided in your chosen platform. But if you’re looking for a platform with a lot of unique templates to choose from (so you don’t have to lift a finger!) then WordPress might be a good option.

Platforms like SquareSpace or Tumblr have fewer templates but are more optimized for design and images, so they can be good options for tech-confident bloggers who want to display lots of images with their posts.

What’s Your Capacity for Content Creation?

Your site is designed, your name is perfect, and you’ve decided what your content will focus on. Now you just need to establish how often you’ll be able to contribute to your blog. Setting a schedule lets your readers know when they can expect new blogs to drop and keeps them engaged with your blog.

If blogging is your full-time gig, then maybe you can get out a blog a day, but if you’re blogging on the side, then you’ll want to decide a realistic timeline for content production.

With a little legwork, you can get a blog up and running in no time. Answer these questions to start a travel blog your audience will love!