10 Ways to Beat Insomnia

1034045_56715244Everyone needs sleep, in fact they say a person can die from lack of sleep after about 10 days. So what do you do when you need to sleep but cant? Here are some helpful tips to help you get back into the sleeping groove.

1. Take a bath: Relax in the bathtub. This soothes both body and mind. Try adding some sleep inducing scents into the tub like lavender oil.

2. Drink some warm milk: You thought this was just an old wives’ tale, but it actually works! Warm milk has a tranquilizing effect on the body that can calm you down and prepare you for sleep.

3. Read a book: Try reading a book or watch something on TV. Then once your eyes get droopy get into bed.

4. Write down your task: It seems everytime you lay your head down, all these thoughts invade your mind about what you have to do tomorrow. So instead of laying in bed worrying that you may forget or that you wont get done what you need to get done, get out of bed and make a list of your chores for the next day. Once you have done this, get back in bed and leave those thoughts on that piece of paper.

5. Add some noise: Adding some white noise to the background, such as a fan or natural sounds of nature on a cd, can actually help you sleep. These steady, quiet sounds will block out other, more disturbing noises that might keep you awake.

6. Lower the thermostat: Too hot or too cold and you will keep waking up all night long. Various research has found that temperatures around 62 F (16 C) are very good for restful sleep.

7. The bed makes a difference: Obviously, the type of bed that you have can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep that you get. Changing an uncomfortable mattress to a comfortable one has been found to have many positive sleep benefits, including sleep of a higher quality and a reduction of restlessness at night.

8. Eat a litte midnight snack: Eating something before you go to bed does help some get to sleep, but in most cases the opposite is true; eating rises your metabolic rate, which raises your body temperature and gives you energy.

9. Get a message: Have your spouse give you a massage just before going to sleep. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep.

10. Get your exercise: Try making sure that you get some physical exercise into your daily routine. Even 15 minutes a day of exercise will give your body the activity and oxygen it needs to help you relax more and sleep better.


The Art Of Pulling An All-Nighter

Many schools and students are coming upon class finals in the next few weeks before the long-awaited and much needed week of Spring Break. Students are slammed with studying for tests, writing papers and finishing up assignments in order to get the best possible grade. Many students (including myself) often wait until the last possible moment to do these assigned tasks, crunching information and work sometimes into the night before things are due.

At times, the work load is so high (or the procrastination so great) that an ALL-NIGHTER is needed. All-Nighters take great skill and can be epic moments in the life of a student, or a wasteland of tragedy, resulting in an exhausted student that falls asleep, coffee spilled and in the hair, and misses the test they spent all night studying for.

So here are some tips for those of you that have to pull an all-nighter, either for school or for work. Steps to ensure that your all-night experience is a fun and productive experience:

Step 1: Avoid All-Nighters by getting your work done early instead of waiting until the night before:

a. As fun and cool as an All-Nighter sounds, it will leave you tired and reeling to recover for the next week or weeks.

Step 2: If an All-Nighter is iminent, get prepared by…

a. Laying out the tasks you need to accomplish:

*Being prepared before starting is key to success

b. Find someone else who has to pull an All-Nighter and unite:

*Having an All-Nighter buddy is imperative to keeping you working through the night and helping you study and retain information.

Step 3: During the All-Nighter, make sure you…

a. DO NOT DRINK COFFEE OR ROCKSTARS OR POP:

*Caffeine will keep your energy up for a little while, but will lead to a crash, making it difficult for you to continue for long periods of time. Drink lots of water instead, and eat light snacks every two hours.

b. Take Regular Breaks:

*You will be more effective over a long period of time if you take a 5 minute break every hour, rather than working for three hours and taking a 30 minute break. Taking a 5 minute break keeps you from having the desire to lay down on the bed and ‘take a nap’ resulting in the destruction of the All-Nighter plan.

c. Location, Location, Location:

*DO NOT PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER IN YOUR DORM OR BEDROOM. By 4:00am the urge to sleep will be strong and the bed will begin to call to you like a Siren of the sea. Resisting the temptation to sleep is imperative, therefore, remove the temptation from your location. Pull an all-nighter where the chairs are uncomfortable or where there is activity. Libraries and cafeterias are often open long hours during final’s weeks and are great places to study all-night.

Step 4: Don’t sleep through the test you’ve been studying for all night…

a. Make sure you set three or four alarm clocks to alert you of the upcoming test so that you don’t miss the very event for which the All-Nighter was needed.

These tips are helpful tools to help make your All-Nighter experience successful and potentially even enjoyable. Let us know about some of your all-night experiences in the comment section below. Happy studying!!!

Have Fun Cooking At Home

Did you know that, “Generation Y Americans, those age 16 to 27, eat out 24 times a month on average Generation Xers, age 28 to 39, still dine out 21 times a month, while baby boomers age 40 to 58 make an average of 19 restaurant visits monthly. And the so-called swing generation, those 59 to 71 years old, dine out 16 times a month on average” according to an article at Market Watch?

With the recent turn down in the economy, more and more people are realizing that eating at home can save you a lot of money. Eating at home can be boring and a lot of work, or, with the right attitude, it can become a whole lot of fun. Cooking for the family can be an event that everyone gets involved in extending your family time from not only eating the meal together, but cooking it together as well (and hopefully cleaning it). Put off your favorite TV shows and your other evening hobbies for a few extra minutes and seek to find the joy that can be found in cooking a meal together. It is amazing what the right attitude can do.

Here’s a simple recipe for one of those party favorites, guacamole dip. But what I like about this video is the fun that these guys have with it. So if you’re in the mood for a little kitchen and cooking fun, check this out…

The Guacamole Song

Geni – The Online Family Tree

Have you ever wanted to build a family tree but wasn’t sure how to begin? Have you ever wanted to know more about the people you are related to but thought the process of finding out may be a bit too difficult? Or maybe you want a list of all your family members birthdays and anniversaries?

Check out Geni, the online family tree. You can use Geni to:

  • Build your family tree
  • Preserve your family history
  • Share family photos and videos
  • Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other events
  • Create profiles for your children
  • Memorialize loved ones

I have joined Geni and it really is very easy to navigate. Very self explanatory and interesting when you start seeing your family add stats and info to the tree. I like how you can also send messages to your family members and uploading videos for your family to see. This would be great for families that don’t live close to each other.

Geni is a private place for your family to build your family tree, preserve your history and share your lives.

Did you Miss Part or All of the Super Bowl?

If so, there are so many sites that have all the commercials, highlights and half time fun all free for your viewing and reading pleasure. Check out these site for the best in Super Bowl fun.

NFL.com – A great assortment of NFL videos, commercials, features, history and more.

hulu.com – You can get all the Super Bowl commercials here.

BruceSprinsteen.net – Has an article about his performance at the Super Bowl.

Yahoo.com – Check this out for the SuperBowl half time show.

Super Bowl Snacks

Sunday is the big game!!! The Super Bowl, for those of you who don’t know, is the most watched sporting event in the world. More than the Olympics! What a great chance to crack open some food and drinks and throw a party! I’ll be missing a family party this year, but there are some classic snacks that we’ve always had and some other great ideas at About if you are looking for some recipes for a party you’re throwing or going to.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite snacks and sure-winners at any party you might be attending.

Mini-pizzas: Great for substance and lunch time

Buffalo Chicken Wings: Sure to be popular with the everyone at the party (bring napkins)

Chex Party Mix: A cheaper option and great finger food

Sweet and Sour Meatballs: Makes my mouth water just thinking about them

Guacamole Dip: Standard quality party contribution

Veggie Quesadillas: Si se puede! A good vegetarian option

There’s a list to get you started and to make your food the life of the party. Check out EverdayQB for some insight into the game and some names and breakdowns to make you sound Super Bowl savvy. Enjoy the game!

10 Unique Valentines Gifts For Your Love

1. Lover’s PaintboxThese “paints” are actually sensual chocolates – dark, milk, and white- that are a joy to spread over skin and are completely edible.

2. Sexy Valentine’s Day Costumes – Become other people during a private weekend away together.

3. zChocolate Hand-made French Chocolates –  Whether your loved one is counting carbs or a fervent chocoholic, this is their once-a-year opportunity to take unashamed pleasure in a decadent chocolate treat.

4. Customized Fruit Roll-Ups – Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups® printed with “Happy Fruit Anniversary” and “I Love You” right on them!

5. I’m Nuts About You Key RingThe perfect Valentine’s Day gift – a brass keyring / keychain includes a red pouch imprinted with two intertwined hearts and “Im nuts about you!”.

6. Personalized Lovopoly Gamesheet – Customize the perfect gift with your own special photos and memories. This gift is great for any loved ones and will be remembered forever. It’s intimate, affordable and fun.

7. 6 Naughty Cookies, perfect for Valentines Day – 6 Hand Decorated Sugar cookies.

8. Strip ChocolateStrip Chocolate is the sensual way to enjoy your dessert: Two “players” roll the dice and draw cards to determine who strips and who gets painted with frosting. The last one wearing clothes wins – or do they lose?

9. Lovin It! Personalized Boxer ShortsOur classic Boxer Shorts are custom made for him alone with a bright red heart, personalized with the name (or nickname!) of his significant someone across the front!

10. I’m Yours Tonight Personalized ShortiesLet him know what’s on your mind with our exclusive I’m Yours Tonight© Personalized Shorties!

Look At Life With A Laugh

With all of the crazy things going on in our world, it is easy to look at things and say, ‘what’s the point’ or ‘why bother?’ As the winter months are upon us, seasonal depression can be prevalent in homes and communities throughout the U.S. While I’m not as smart as any doctor, I’d like to offer a remedy to the winter blues: Laughter.

In an interview at Laughter For Health, “Liz Brunner reported that the average American child laughs 200 times per day, while adults only laugh about 15 times.” What is it about kids that make it easier for them to laugh. Is it because they have less problems, less things to worry about? Or is it something inside them that is still open to looking at the world ready to laugh?

About.Com says that, “Research has shown health benefits of laughter ranging from strengthening the immune system to reducing food cravings to increasing one’s threshold for pain. There’s even an emerging therapeutic field known as humor therapy to help people heal more quickly, among other things. Humor also has several important stress relieving benefits.”

Laughing can reduce the level of stress hormones in your body, provide a physical and emotional release, give you an internal workout with your abs and diaphragm and be a distraction. Along with the social benefits of laughter, bonding through telling jokes or laughing with a friend. Laughter can change your perspective. It can make you feel more optimistic, excited about the future, assured that things will work out. Often when a perspective changes, so does an attitude, followed by an action, followed by a result. Laughter CAN change your outcome.

Having the perspective of looking at life with a laugh can be a great resolution for this new year. Looking at things with a different lens. There were two business names I saw this past week that made me laugh and change my perspective. One was “National Self Storage”…a place to store yourself? Or “Sheriff Detention Center” where the cops go when they misbehave in class.

So put on laughter lenses this week and take a look at life with a laugh.

The Art of Worrying

On the way down to California for a family wedding and fun at Disneyland, we stopped at an old 1950’s diner and came across a hilarious book, perfect for a New Year’s gift, or resolution. The book is titled, “The Fine Art Of Worrying: The Official Guide Book For Worry Warts” and has some great information and funny insights from the author Ben Goode.

Worrying is something that we all do to some degree. Yet each of us and our worrying can seem strange to others and often peculiar. A favorite man once said, “Who by worrying can add a single day to their life?” As we prepare for 2009, maybe a resolution could be to tone down the worrying just a bit.

Here are a few of my favorites from Goode’s book:

-two things a cow should worry about:

1. will my master’s hands be cold this morning?

2. where do hamburgers come from

-one thing a fish should worry about:

1. if i decide to practice my backstroke, will my owner flush me down the toilet?

-four things a paranoid schizophrenic should worry about:

1. which car am I driving?

2. what was that noise?

3. why is the light purple?

4. what was that noise?

-one thing a chicken should worry about (my personal favorite):

1. which part of the nugget am I?

Check out the book The Fine Art Of Worrying: The Official Gude Book For Worry Warts (The Truth About Life) at Amazon for only $6.95 and think about lowering the worry level in 2009.

4 Ways to Get into the Holiday Spirit!

In the Hallmark Magazine December/January issue I found this article, “Time to Celebrate, 7 Little Ways to get into the Holiday Spirit”. I just choose the 4 that I found were most helpful. For the complete article click here.

1. Pick a Good Tree – Make sure and check out the tree-lot premises before you buy. “The way the trees are handled gives a good indication of how fresh they’re likely to be,” says Rick Dungey, spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association. Visit the associations website, Christmastree.org, for more tree-selection tips and to find Christmas tree recycling programs in your neighborhood.

2. Make a Wish List – Create an online registry to make shopping easier for friends and family. Check out websites like myregistry.com and felicite.com to make a wish list for any occasion or to identify gifts you want from any store. You can also set up a cash gift option for whatever extravaganza you’re saving up for so that givers can easily contribute through services like Paypal.

3. Adorn Yourself – After making your holiday list, check it twice to make sure you’re on it, whether that means scheduling some alone time with a good book or indulging yourself with a new necklace for the holiday party season.

4. Shop Red – Here is an excellents reason to take a gingersnap-latte break: Starbucks is a new partner of (PRODUCT) RED, the economic initiative that has already raised more than $115 million to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. For every designated beverage you buy, 5 cents goes to the Global Fund. Other (RED) partners, like Gap, Converse and our parent company, Hallmark, have dozens of great new items for the holiday season.