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...
Give A Home Spa Day

Give A Home Spa Day

It’s HOT. We’re getting into what they call the “Dog Days of Summer”. When the temperature soars like this, if you’re anything like me, you get to feeling kind of… sticky and just not fresh. So what is the best way to feel refreshed? A home spa day of course! Home spa days are perfect to hit the reset button and feel your best. If you know someone who deserves a pick-me-up, spa days also make the PERFECT gift! So invite over a friend who needs a little pampering and indulge! Here is my step-by-step process to a home spa day.   🧖‍♀️  Home Spa Day  🧖‍♀️ Step One: Set the Mood What helps you feel relaxed? Maybe it’s some relaxing music! Spotify has lots of chill playlists, from acoustic folk to chilled-out lounge beats. I also like to use essential oils in my diffuser for some calming aromatherapy. My personal favorite is lavender, but eucalyptus is also a popular calming oil. Step Two: Hydrate Since you’ll be heating your skin up, stay hydrated and cool down with infused water and lots of ice. Slices of citrus, strawberries, cucumbers, blueberries, basil and mint are good additions to ice water. Some people like to use Infuser Pitchers, but really, dropping the produce into any large glass or mason jar will do, too. And if you feel inclined, a little glass of Champagne never hurt anyone, either! 😉     Step Three: Get Steamy It’s time to open up those pores. Draw a hot bath with plenty of bathing salts, oils and maybe even a bath bomb or bubbles! Have a nice long soak...
Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket

Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket

It’s SUMMER! The sun is out, the breeze is perfect and since we’re not in the dog days of summer quite yet, it’s not too hot or buggy yet. Therefore: it is picnic season! Picnics are so awesome – what a great way to relax and enjoy nature! But a fun picnic can go south quickly, when it’s discovered that some key equipment or ingredients were missed. To help avoid that, we’ve come up with the Picnic Basket Checklist! It’s a great way to learn how to pack the perfect picnic basket. The Ultimate Picnic Basket Checklist ⬜ Lightweight Basket, Tote, or Cooler Make sure it is easy to carry, waterproof and durable. ⬜ Blanket to Spread Out You’ll need it if there are no picnic tables at your destination. A table cloth will work, too! ⬜ Low-Seated Beach Chairs Not needed – only if you prefer, but we love having a backrest! ⬜ A Trash Bag or Two Makes cleanup SO much easier! ⬜ Paper Towels Double duty – cleaning up and mealtime napkin use. ⬜ Moist Towellettes / Baby Wipes If there are kids, sauces or both in the picture, you’ll need these. ⬜ Plates Lightweight and eco-friendly are the way to go! If you must get disposable, try compostable bamboo! ⬜ Utensils Depending on what you’re having, you may need serving ware, too. The link above might be perfect! ⬜ Cutting Knife, Small Cutting Board You can pre-chop everything if you’d like, but you may want it for cheese and salami. ⬜ Corkscrew or Bottle Opener If your picnic destination allows alcohol, these are essential! ⬜ Shatterproof Glasses...
Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Dining Al Fresco: Tip, Tricks & Recipes

Ahh, summer. Nothing beats dinner on the patio on a balmy summer evening. But there are a few things you need to know! Here are some helpful hints, tips, hacks and even a couple meal plans to make your backyard dinner extra special. TIP #1 Take It Easy Dining outside is all about letting the atmosphere set the tone for the evening, so keep your recipes simple (and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself more, too). Dining al fresco usually means that there’s lots of fresh produce in season. Therefore, showcase it by preparing it simply. Grilled corn on the cob with butter, crisp asparagus with sea salt, and a colorful, flavorful caprese salad come to mind. TIP #2 Make It Sustainable Yes, it is a little more work, but glass plates, cloth napkins and heavier glasses are much better for the environment than one-use picnic supplies. Plus, everyone hates how those cheap paper plates go limp immediately after dishing up. This tip is actually a two-for-one deal – since you’re not using paper plates, paper napkins and disposable cups, congrats! You’ve wind-proofed your outdoor meal, too! TIP #3 Light It Up If you plan to eat outdoors during the evening, some nice lighting will be needed. There are lots of ways to set the mood – candles, lanterns and string lights come to mind. Get creative! Check out Pinterest boards for patio lighting and have fun. If you can keep the scent of the candle or torches away from the table, citronella does double duty of repelling mosquitoes and adding light. Which brings us to our next...
Warding Off Stress: Helpful Tips & Tricks

Warding Off Stress: Helpful Tips & Tricks

April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress – in one way or another, everyone on this little blue planet deals with it. Whether it’s in the workplace or the home, in our bodies or our minds, with family or among friendships, stress is a real factor that has a huge impact on our lives. It’s an every day battle, and unfortunately for some, it can be a lifelong war. The good news we can fight back! In this day and age, there is an arsenal of weapons to combat everyday stress. Relieve stress with some of these tips.   Three Healthful, Stress-Fighting Tips 1. Get Enough Sleep. It’s crucial to human function that we all get enough sleep. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and our brains to recharge. Studies show that not getting enough – or getting low quality – sleep can have a dramatic effect on mood, judgement, memory and more. Most people between the ages of 18-49 need around six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, especially due to worry, develop a routine that helps you get relaxed and ready for bed. Some gentle yoga, a warm bath with epsom salts, aromatherapy or chamomile tea can all help. And avoid screens! The blue light from TVs, laptops, tablets or smart phones have a directly negative effect on sleep quality. 2. Eat Well. We all want to eat comfort foods when we’re stressed out, and it makes sense: your body is actually craving carbohydrates. Carbs produce serotonin, giving you those nice, happy feelings. But if you’re eating unhealthy carbs in the form of...
It’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day!

It’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day!

Marie Kondo is all the rage these days. Her Netflix series “Tidying Up” is one of the most popular shows on streaming services right now. On the show, she explains her KonMarie Method™ – a simple way to organize the home so that you’ll never have to do it again. But do you think this applies to office spaces, too? Today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. This day is an opportunity to clean off your desk and get the new year off to a fresh, organized start! Here are some helpful tips to organize your own desk create a workspace where you feel productive and energized. First, File Away (or Throw Away) Items and Papers That Are No Longer Needed. You might want to silence your phone & put your computer to sleep to make this step as distraction-free as possible. Then you can rest assured that you probably won’t accidentally throw something away that you still need. Then, Remove Everything Remaining From Your Desk & Set Aside. Take everything off your desk and wipe down the surface with a damp cloth. Depending on the material of your desk, you may want to use glass cleaner, disinfecting wipes or wood cleaner. You can take this time to clean your computer monitor with the appropriate cloth, as well. Next, Place the Used & Useful Items Back. Gently clean each item as you place it back on your desk, from the tape dispenser to the keyboard and mouse. Place every item in a spot that works best for you, strategically. For example, are you left handed? Your journal would...