Ways to Give Back

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As busy as we all might be, it’s important to slow down and reflect on all we have to be grateful for. Giving back in ways big and small is a great way to get involved in your community and improve the lives of those around you.

Here are a few fun ways to create positive change in your community:

  1. Feed the hungry. In every town or city, regardless of where you live, there are people struggling with food insecurity. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen or food bank or organize a food drive to help provide meals for those in need.
  2. Plant a garden. To provide more locally-grown vegetables and fruits, as well as to assist in neighborhood beautification, many people are starting community gardens in their neighborhoods. Try out your green thumb and make some flower beds for people around you to enjoy. You can even invite friends to join in the fun.
  3. Tutor a student. For those who like to work one-on-one with others, tutoring a student in a subject you excel at is a great way to advance someone’s education. Remember: knowledge is a gift!
  4. Join a philanthropic organization. There are so many incredible philanthropic organizations and groups focused on every topic from building houses for the homeless, to helping women in times of need or crisis. Pick a topic you are passionate about and see what opportunities there are to join in with like-minded individuals to enact positive change.
  5. Fill a need. If you have noticed a need within your neighborhood or community that you don’t see being met, take initiative and start a committee or volunteer group to take on the problem. Philanthropic work is often most effective when it is creative.

I’d love to hear about how you choose to get involved in your community!

Travel Tips for 2018














Traveling, as you probably know by now, is something I am incredibly passionate about. In my travels, I have seen various countries, cultures, and foods that have expanded my love for the world around me.


It may not seem it, but traveling is an art. Here are some tips to consider before your next adventure:

Save up. Traveling is most enjoyable when you aren’t overly stressed about financing it. That’s why it is a good idea to start saving as soon as you realize you might want to explore- not just for your plane ticket, transit, and lodging expenses, but also for eating local foods at good restaurants, trying a fun activity, souvenirs, and emergency situations.

Plan Ahead. Getting prepped for your trip involves making some decisions ahead of time. If you want to visit famous attractions wherever you are going, it is a good idea to buy tickets in advance. Booking your lodging before you head out is also a must and saves you from stressing about where you’ll rest your head when you arrive. Doing housekeeping tasks like this before the trip will keep you from worrying about anything but enjoying your stay when you arrive at your destination.

Pack Light. When you travel, you don’t want to bring a bunch of baggage with you. Having too many bags or items to travel with is a hassle and leaves you with lots to carry back and forth from the airport.

Spend Smart. There are plenty of things you can do to save a dime when traveling. For starters, don’t settle on the first hotel you find. Explore Airbnb options, hostels, and hotel deals before you sign up for anything. And, avoid taking expensive cabs by using public transportation like buses, trains, or subways.

Have Fun! Seeing another part of the world is a gift. Whether your exploring another city or another country, be sure to take photos, eat good food, try fun activities, and have fun!

Tips for a Cozy Office Space










When you spend at least eight hours a day in an office, you understand the difficulty of making your work stations feel comfortable. Without any personal touches, offices can feel sterile and dull and lack the personality or you-ness needed to make the space your own. Here are a few things that can make your office feel more like home:

A comfortable chair. A comfortable chair may seem like a small detail, but when you spend all day at your desk it becomes an essential part of your office. An uncomfortable chair can be distracting, and potentially bad for your health. It’s important that you get a work chair that makes you feel physically at ease so you can focus on something besides your back pain.

Have your necessities. When stocking your desk, be sure that you have not only the supplies you need for your work, but also for staying in place all day. Items like lotion, lip balm, tissues, gum, and cough drops are good things to have on hand during your busy day.

Personalize your workspace. Photos of friends, family, and pets can make your space feel more like your own, while fun posters or table decorations can add flare and color to a dull desk.

Good lighting. Having sterile lighting can make it hard to focus on work in the same way that having too little light can. For this reason, bring a lamp that illuminates what you are working on while also providing your desk with a happy, warm glow to work under.

Fun Gathering Ideas for Spring  


Spring has sprung! And with it comes the need to awaken from the daze of the cold and dark of winter and enjoy some time with friends. Here are a few fun ideas for your spring celebrations with family and friends:


  1. Bon Fire. Nothing is better on a cool spring night than a bonfire, some s’mores supplies, and good company.
  2. Garden Party. Got a green thumb? Show off your skills by having some friends for afternoon cocktails in your garden.
  3. Wine and Dine. If you don’t have the outdoor space to enjoy a spring night, try having company over for a bite and a bottle of wine at your apartment. Cheers to spring!
  4. March Madness Bash. March Madness is here, so why not have a basketball-themed celebration of chips, dip, and game-watching?
  5. Game Night. There is no better way to spark some friendly competition between friends than board game night.


Healthy Musts for your Day










Everyone knows what it feels like to get so bogged down in work, social events, and day-to-day activities that you can’t imagine fitting one more thing into your schedule. However, as important as it is to stay busy, it is essential for good health to maintain balance. Here’s four essentials worth finding time for in your day to maintain the best version of you:


  1. Getting sleep. An overwhelming lack of sleep can become dangerous for your health. Making sure you get a healthy amount of sleep every night will keep you feeling good and energized enough to take on whatever comes your way, so be sure to catch some shut eye.
  2. Exercise. It probably isn’t shocking to be reminded that working out is good for your health. However, the importance of exercise can often be overlooked. Getting your heart rate up is important for staying fit, increasing your brain function and keeping your heart muscle strong, and can even help reduce depression and anxiety.
  3. Social time. Be sure to carve out time for spending with friends and family. Making a concerted effort to socialize throughout the week can increase your happiness while also keeping relationships with those you care about healthy despite your hectic schedule.
  4. Alone time. Having time to decompress and do a mental self-check is hugely important, whether in the car in the morning on the way to work, or before you go to bed. Me-time is just as important as social time, so don’t forget to make time for you!


Try to incorporate these health musts into your day and let me know how it goes!

Tips for Raising a Friendly Dog


Dogs have a reputation as man’s best friend that is undeniably true. They lower our blood pressure with their cute looks, make us laugh with their funny behavior, and, most importantly, shower us with puppy love that brightens our day. As cute as they can be, raising a well-behaved puppy is no easy feat. As an animal lover myself, I have a few tips for fostering good behavior that will make your dog a better friend to you and anyone you encounter together.

  1. Exercise often. A dog without exercise is a dog with pent-up energy. Excess energy is a breeding ground for bad behavior, whether it be demolishing your couch, chewing your favorite loafers, or jumping on passersby. To help your dog let off some steam, try taking him or her on a walk before work in the morning and after you get home in the afternoon.
  2. Socialize with other dogs. If you have a little extra time on your hands, the dog park is another great place to let your puppy run out some energy while also imparting another vital skill: socialization. Isolated dogs can be difficult to deal with and, in some cases, dangerous. By bringing your dog to the dog park, he or she will become more comfortable around unknown canines while also letting out some steam.
  3. Socialize with humans. To ensure that your puppy grows up to be people-friendly, it is vital that you take them at a young age into public to encounter folks of all shapes and sizes. By spending some time around those they don’t know, your puppy is learning that not every stranger is a threat, while also becoming more comfortable with children and adults approaching them. Next time you go to the coffee shop, bring your furry friend along for the ride!
  4. Teach basic commands. Teaching basic commands like sit and stay is an important element of good puppy behavior. No dog is perfect, and occasionally your dog might attempt to eat something it shouldn’t or try jumping on someone in a fit of excitement. Having the ability to command your dog to sit or lay down is to be capable of redirecting them from bad behavior quickly.

I hope these tips are helpful to you in your dog training ventures. The most important thing to remember when training a dog is patience and not taking bad behavior personally. With good tricks for better behavior like these up your sleeve, you will end up with a better puppy and a happier you!

Veggies for Dessert? Try these fun Baked Goods


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I love dessert, but am always trying to think healthy. This is a dilemma that many foodies face when their sweet tooth demands to be satisfied. But what if you could include some vegetables into your next cake or cookie? Incorporating everyday fruits and vegetables into your favorite sweets and treats is actually a lot easier, and more delicious, than you may think.

For a healthier twist on traditional baked goods, try some of these (almost) guilt-free recipes:

Chocolate cake. Any chocolate fan understands the value of a decadent chocolate cake. But chocolate cake made with black beans? That’s thinking outside the box.

Brownies. If brownies are more your speed, try this delicious avocado brownie recipe.

Cookie dough. The only thing better than a cookie is cookie dough. For a cookie dough recipe that avoids the dangers of raw egg while adding a veggie flare, try making chickpea cookie dough.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Ice cream is delicious, but isn’t widely considered a healthy option. Mint chocolate chip ice cream made with spinach tastes good and leaves you feeling guilt-free.

I hope you enjoy these non-traditional and delicious sweets! I’d love to know which one ends up being you’re go-to recipe for a healthier dessert.

Avoid the Flu: Tips for Staying Healthy


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It seems like every time I turn on the news lately, someone is reporting on the particularly aggressive flu season in our midst. If you’re like me, you probably can’t afford to get sick as a dog and miss days of work. Here are some tips for staying flu-free:

Sanitize your environment. Whether you are on a plane or at your desk, be sure to clean off anything you will be touching with antibacterial wipes. Remember: your technological devices are breeding grounds for bacteria.

Sanitize your hands. Because it is difficult to avoid physical contact and touching germy surfaces at all times, be sure that you always have hand sanitizer at the ready.

Keep your distance. When working in an office environment, spending time with friends, or walking down the street, you are at risk of getting sick from someone around you. For this reason, keep hand shaking and drink sharing to a minimum.

Treat your body well. When you are sleep deprived, worn out, or generally unhealthy, you are at greater risk of catching something. Be sure that during this flu season you get exercise, eat well, and plenty of sleep to ward off illness.

Hope you all stay well in this sickly season!

Going Grayscale: Cutting the Cord on Phone Addiction

Like most, I must admit that I am on my phone(s) too much. I’m one of those people that is the first on their cellphone when I step into an elevator or am waiting in line for lunch. My phone is chalked full of videos of my dog, texts from friends, and constantly buzzing emails and calendar events.

Hence my New Year’s Resolution: to cut the cord. I didn’t want to continue to fill my empty moments with more screen time, but it was going to be hard to stop when pulling out my phone had become a practically programmed response.

It was then that I discovered “going grayscale.”

Grayscale is a mode on most smartphones that turns everything on your screen black, white and gray. This may seem like a little thing, but altering your phone from being an interface full of vibrant colors to one duller than everything in your surroundings takes away a lot of the temptation to flip to an app in a free moment.

I decided to try it out, and it worked. No longer as drawn to photos, apps, and other mobile distractions in their new state, I found myself much more present in interactions with strangers and aware of little things I was missing in my surroundings like a cute dog walking by or a lucky penny on the street. My phone is still a necessary part of coordinating my work and private life, but now, it is no longer the go-to use of my free time.

So if you are thinking you might like to try some separation from your cell phone, try switching to grayscale. Making your phone look as boring as the time you waste on it is makes it much easier to pass up.

Making Time for Yourself


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Between work, friends, and family, finding a minute alone can seem impossible. This is especially in big cities, where I find much of my time is walking through crowded sidewalks or packed into a subway with strangers.

 Taking time for yourself, while difficult to arrange, is also incredibly important. Meditating, walking around a park, or just reading in my home grounds me and prepares me for the week ahead, no matter the task. Time spent clearing your head between endless meetings and luncheons isn’t a waste; it’s recharging so you can best face whatever comes next in your day with energy and focus you otherwise might not have had.

 The biggest questions you should ask yourself when trying to carve out this time alone can be boiled down to three basics: When am I free? What form of relaxation do I have time for? What am I really needing right now?

 If you only have 20 minutes before your next meeting, maybe the best thing is to plug in some ear buds and do a guided meditation on a park bench. There are plenty of great meditation apps to choose from, like Headspace. Maybe you have three hours, and therefore have time to throw on workout clothes and head to the gym for some much-needed cardio. Or maybe what you are really craving is down time, in which case a nap may be the perfect move. Even if you just have a few minutes before your next event, try sitting somewhere comfortable and closing your eyes, enjoying a few deep breaths.

 No matter how you spend it or how long you have to enjoy it, I guarantee that making some me-time in your day is worth the effort.