Brain-Power Snacks for the Desk & Backpack

Brain-Power Snacks for the Desk & Backpack

Here it is – 2:00 PM. Whether you’re sitting in a lecture at college, at the office or just trying to keep up with little kids, the afternoon sure does have a way of bringing on that… sludgy feeling. It’s difficult to concentrate. Motivation and productivity take a nose-dive. We may look to snacks to get us through the final hours of the day, but often times, we reach for the wrong things, like chips or a Diet Coke, and it seems to help, at first. But before long we’re right back to that heavy, drowsy feeling, only worse. Do you have a hard time getting through the afternoon slump? If so, you’re not alone. And fortunately, there are tons of great snacks that are healthy, energy-boosting and good for your cognitive function. Here are some brain-power snacks for the desk and backpack that you can bring to work or school and get that boost of mental and physical energy!   Healthy, Energy-Boosting Snacks for Brain Power   Berries Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries have all shown to have a positive effect on brain function. Loaded with antioxidants, berries improve the communication between brain cells. Keep a baggie of these in your lunch box and you’ll be firing on all cylinders.   Nuts & Seeds Nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) are packed with Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients have linked to better brain function and improved cognition!    Dark Chocolate Chocolate’s main ingredient, cacao, is good for your mental health! According to this study, cacao flavonoids encourage neuron growth and blood vessel function (which increases blood...
Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Pinot Noir

Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Pinot Noir

Welcome to the Friday Wine Down! What a week it’s been – doesn’t a glass of wine sound perfect right about now? Here at GiftTree, we’re collectors, sippers and enthusiasts, and when we find a very special bottle, we just can’t keep ourselves from sharing! From Chardonnay on a casual night out to a rare Oregon Pinot Noir for special occasions, every week we’ll feature a fantastic wine available in our gifts. Onward!   This Week’s Friday Wine Down: Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir   About This Wine One of Oregon’s most renowned Pinot producers, Archery Summit is the only Oregon winery with with natural subterranean caves. Modeled after Burgundy’s underground caverns, Archery Summit’s incredible Pinot Noir is aged in the volcanic rock cellar underneath the estate. Never rising above 59 degrees F, this is an optimal condition for storing exceptional wine that is aging in mature barrels. See it for yourself! So if you ever get the chance to visit Archery Summit’s winery, be sure to take a tour! Tasting Notes This seductive Willamette Valley wine leads with vibrant floral notes of lilac and violet. Touches of cherry, raspberry and cocoa powder join the floral components. Following, secondary notes of black licorice, berry bramble and rosemary complement the leading fruit flavors. With flavors so persistent and saturating, the palate is enveloped. Lingering, the wine smoothes out through a refined, balanced finish. Blend 100% Pinot Noir Serving, Pairing & Gifting This is a perfect medium bodied Pinot Noir for pairing with delicious meals. A few of our favorite dishes are coq au vin, pork tenderloin with a cranberry glaze...
Get Organized for the School Year

Get Organized for the School Year

It’s about that time – much to their own dismay, the summer is ending, and the kids are getting ready to go back to school. Will it be a busy year for your family? Homework assignments, projects, study groups and after school activities can get pretty chaotic, pretty fast, especially if you have middle or high-schoolers in your home. Never fear! Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep the agendas on track. Here are a few easy tips to help you get organized for the school year (and stay that way). Five Great Tips for School Organization 📆 Get a Calendar Going. It’s easy to forget important dates. When is that science project due? When is Billy’s first soccer game, or Suzy’s dentist appointment? Whether it’s a family planner or a giant dry-erase board by the front door, write it down. You will be glad you did! 🎒 Clean Out that Backpack – Every Single Day. Often times, kids just stuff their… stuff… into their backpacks and never think about it again. If you take 5 minutes in the evening to clean out their backpack with them, you may just jog their memory about homework that’s due, or a permission slip you need to sign. 🥗 Make Sure Meals Are Planned In Advance! From breakfast to dinner, including packed lunch and the after-school snack, make sure there’s a plan. Serve meals and snacks with nutritious food that powers them up for the day! A meal plan will help you feel a lot more prepared for the day, as well, and it’ll make grocery store trips much more efficient! 📓 Block Out...
De-Stress The Office

De-Stress The Office

What does your company do when it’s up against a deadline? Teams are running around like mad, there’s a definite time crunch and in the air, the stress-levels could be cut with a knife. If you’re in a leadership role, you know those bottle-neck times all too well. Did you know that 80% of employees said the overall condition of their office affected how they perceive their employers?  There are many small changes that you can make to the atmosphere, behaviors and habits that will help de-stress the office. Here are some of our favorite tips. The Best Ways to De-Stress the Office   🌿 Bring in Plants Greenery in the office adds much-needed oxygen and humidity to dry air. Some people believe that they even help build creativity and solution-finding, too! Indoor plants that don’t need a lot of attention, like Peace Lilies, are a great idea.   🖥️ Properly Position Chairs, Desks, Keyboards and Monitors Check in with your team’s setup during crunch time. Bad posture and strained eyes can contribute to a lot of negative effects including stiffness and pain, which definitely cause crankiness. We actually found this (very nerdy) ergonomic calculator to be really handy!   🍎 Encourage Healthy Snacking Fresh fruit, mixed nuts and protein-rich snacks (such as beef jerky or hard-boiled eggs) are great for keeping your brain focused and your stomach full. Chips, candy, sugary sodas, while delish at the time, won’t keep you full, and studies have shown that they contribute to heightened stress levels and poor focus.   🏃‍♀️ Get Moving Exercise is a proven stress-reducer, and sometimes people are looking...
Beat The Heat: No Cook Meal Plans

Beat The Heat: No Cook Meal Plans

It’s HOT. All over the United States, temperatures have been soaring. It’s been sticky. It’s been uncomfortable. And the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove or turn on the oven. Of course, you could always order a pizza or stop by KFC on the way home from work, but these days, health and nutrition are more of a priority than they’ve ever been. We got you! Here are three days’ worth of healthy no cook meal plans with recipes included. No Cook Meal # 1 Main Dish: Best Ever Shrimp Ceviche from My Latina Table  Nothing beats the heat like ceviche. The citrus, the spice… my mouth is watering just writing about this! The amazing thing about this dish? It really is no cook – even the shrimp! Soak the shrimp in lemon or lime juice for at least an hour – it turns pink and is ready to eat. If you’re worried about this packing too much spice for the little ones, this Shrimp & Avocado Salad from Natasha’s Kitchen is a great alternative. Side: Creamy Cilantro Avocado Dip from Rachel Ray Serve it with fresh tortilla chips (Juanita’s are the best if you can get them in your area!) or make it a healthier option with sliced cucumber, red pepper strips or carrot sticks. Dessert: Frozen Mango & Yogurt Pops This creamy dessert is guaranteed to put the chill on the hottest day. Creamy yogurt meets tangy mango to create such a soothing combination – your whole family will love it.   No Cook Meal # 2 Main Dish: Tarragon Chicken...