Five Signs Your Job Isn’t for You

1. Values Do Not Align

When employees’ core values are out of sync, there are key signs of disengagement: decreased health, low productivity, complaining, inadequate nutrition, and lack of pride. If you notice that your values do not align with the company’s culture or values, it may be a sign that you are not employed at a business that is the best fit for you.

2. You Have No Idea How Your Role Impacts the Company

The best way to determine whether your job is a good fit is to know your role in the company and the impact of your work on the company’s bottom line. Are you pleased with the way your skills are being utilized? Have you figured out how your role impacts the firm? If not, you’re most probably not a perfect fit for the position. Instead of leaving, look for a way to make the position match your strengths in a way that you feel like you impact the firm.

3. Your Daily Activities Do Not Match the Job Description

Employers frequently define job titles. However, these descriptions often do not fit the roles individuals perform. People fill jobs based on what they read in job descriptions, not what they do. Discuss what you think of the role and its differences from what you thought it would be. Once you are certain that the job is not what you expected, embrace it as a new opportunity to seek employment elsewhere.

4. You Feel Negative About Work

When you are not able to derive joy from your work or when you cannot feel good about finishing a task or being happy when a new one is offered, you should recognize that your skills and interests are not appropriate for the job. You might, for example, experience negative effects such as apathy, sluggishness, or uneasiness about your work.

5. You Have Lost Your Passion

When your dedication to your career and contribution to the company no longer motivates you each day, you have thus far verified that you are in the wrong job. Family demands, a difficult boss, and other inconveniences may cause your passion for work and involvement to disappear. Look for any way to re-energize your enthusiasm. If not, it might be time to change jobs.

5 Budget-friendly Date Ideas For Valentine’s Day

1. Enjoy dinner and a movie at home.

Dinner and a movie is a total date night classic—but it can get real pricey real quick. Dinner at a nice restaurant means leaving a tip (always tip, especially on holidays!). And movie ticket prices are so high it feels like you ought to at least get a high five from the actors in real life for what you just spent to watch them on the big screen. Here’s how you can take this classic date and give it a thrifty twist. Set up a candlelit dinner at home and watch a romantic movie on whatever streaming service you already have. While everyone else is scrambling to find a reservation and a babysitter, you can relax at home.

2. Go on a picnic.

If the weather is nice, get outside. Pack a couple sandwiches or visit Aldi for a bottle of wine and everything you need to make a delicious and budget-friendly charcuterie board–complete with cheese, crackers and fruit. Yum! Then find a quiet spot together to kick back, relax and enjoy each other’s company. You don’t have to splurge at a four-star restaurant to connect with your special someone.  And if the weather outside is too cold for a picnic (you know, winter and all), then lay out a blanket, turn on a YouTube fireplace, and have a cozy picnic right there on the living room floor.

3. Have a game night.

This is an ultimate cheap date night. Who doesn’t love a good board game and a little friendly competition? Dust off a few classics from your closet or buy (or borrow) a new game. Are video games more your thing? Then you can go that route too. All that gaming will probably make you hungry, so have some Valentine’s-themed snacks on hand. Pick up some red velvet cupcakes, candy conversation hearts or the gold standard—a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

4. Visit a museum.

Tickets to a local museum usually aren’t too crazy expensive. And sometimes you can even find coupons or free culture passes through your local library. Learn a little about art or history—and each other—as you wander through the marble halls. Point out your favorite (and least favorite) pieces. Or, if you want to give the date a fun new twist, make up new names for the artwork or pretend to be stuffy art critics. Combine this idea with your home-cooked dinner and a movie or game night, and you’ll have a packed day full of fun.

5. Take a hike or enjoy an easy nature walk.

Pack a lunch, grab a few water bottles (or kombucha, for you super healthy people), and hit the trail. There’s nothing like getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and getting into nature to help you connect. You’ll be amazed at the quality of conversation you can have with someone while you’re hoofing it up a mountain or moseying along a quiet trail in the woods. And bonus points for all the fresh air and exercise you’ll get in. It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, so why not get your heart in shape while you’re at it? (And if the great outdoors is so not your thing—ahem, guilty—a long walk through the neighborhood works too.)

Prompt from 150+ Best Blog Post Ideas for February at HappilyDwell.com

Six Facts About Valentine’s Day

Origins to a Bloody Pagan Festival

Some trace Valentine’s Day origins to a Christian effort to replace a pagan fertility festival that has been dated as far back as the 6th century B.C. During the festival of Lupercalia, Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood-soaked hides to slap women on the streets, as a fertility blessing. According to legend, women would later put their names in an urn and be selected to be paired with a man for a year.

Letters Addressed to ‘Juliet’ 

Every year, thousands of romantics send letters addressed to Verona, Italy to “Juliet,” the subject of the timeless romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet.” The city marks the location of the Shakespearean tale, and the letters that reach the city are dutifully answered by a team of volunteers from the Juliet Club. Each year, on Valentine’s Day, the club awards the “Cara Giulietta” (“Dear Juliet”) prize to the author of the most touching love letter.

Box of Chocolates

The Valentine’s Day tradition of giving a box of candy was started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury, a scion of a British chocolate manufacturing family. With a new technique recently established at the company to create more varieties of chocolate, Cadbury pounced on the opportunity to sell the chocolates as part of the beloved holiday.

First Valentine Was Written From a Prison

History’s first valentine was written in perhaps one of the most unromantic places conceivable: a prison. Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote the love letter to his second wife at the age of 21 while captured at the Battle of Agincourt. As a prisoner for more than 20 years, he would never see his valentine’s reaction to the poem he penned to her in the early 15th century.

‘Vinegar Valentines’ Discouraged Suitors

During the Victoria Era, those who didn’t want the attention of certain suitors would anonymously send “vinegar valentines.” These cards, also called penny dreadfuls, were the antithesis of customary valentines, comically insulting and rejecting unwanted admirers. They were later used to target suffragettes in the late 19th and early 20th century.

‘Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve’

The term “wearing your heart on your sleeve” may have origins in picking a valentine. Smithsonian reports that during the Middle Ages, men would draw the names of women who they would be coupled with for the upcoming year while attending a Roman festival honoring Juno. After choosing, the men wore the names on their sleeves to show their bond during the festivities.

Eight Timeless RomComs That I Recommend To Watch On Valentine’s Day

Clueless (1995)

As if! Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, this Valley Girl classic starring Alicia Silverstone is filled with not only unexpected love, but the way friendships can evolve over time. The clothes! The quotes! This timeless film is well worth at least one annual screening.

Roman Holiday (1953)

Audrey Hepburn flexes her serious talent as a bored Princess Ann, who gives her guardians the slip for an adventure with American newsman Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) in this romantic comedy classic. You may already know the iconic scooter scene that basically created the trend of tooling around city streets in a Vespa.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Some of the technology in this late ’90s standard might be charmingly old-school, but the message goes the distance. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have starred in three films together, but You’ve Got Mail — a riff on the classic The Shop Around the Corner — really makes the most of their undeniable onscreen chemistry.

Pretty Woman (1990)

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere make a really cute couple, but Roberts’ antics are what really earned this one its place in history. “Big. Huge.” became part of our lexicon after watching the scenes of her shopping in Beverly Hills and no polo match feels complete without Roberts stomping divots.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Peter (Jason Segel) takes a trip to Hawaii to heal from a breakup. But then his ex Sarah (Kristen Bell) shows up at the same resort. This heartwarming comedy of errors shows that even the worst possible circumstances can work out just fine by the time the credits roll.

The Proposal (2009)

The overbearing Margaret (Sandra Bullock) pretty much forces her employee Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her so she can avoid deportation to Canada, which is awkward enough. But when they visit his family in Alaska, sparks start to fly in the snow. If the gorgeous Alaskan setting isn’t enough for you, check out Betty White‘s turn as Andrew’s lovably risquĂ© grandma.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Pass the Windex, bake a bundt and tune in to watch a woman (Nia Vardalos) from a very, very Greek family fall in love with a non-Greek man (John Corbett). Romance is a family affair in this movie that shows how you really do marry your in-laws, especially if their personalities are stronger than Sambuca.

Serendipity (2001)

Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) spend one amazing night together in New York City, but then fall out of touch for years afterward. As they prepare to marry other people, they both get cold feet and decide to hunt each another down instead. If you don’t believe in fate, let this classic change your mind.

Top 10 Ideas For Valentine’s Day Gifts

1. The most popular Valentine’s Day gift – sweets

Red boxes of chocolates, heart-shaped cakes, and other edible gifts are among the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. It is a symbolic, sweet, and thoughtful gift that will certainly not gather dust on a shelf.

2. Perfume to make you happy 

Perfume makes a sophisticated and often desirable gift for both men and women. Show your loved ones how well you know them by gifting them their favourite fragrance.

3. A trip or a relaxing weekend for two Even the biggest Valentine’s Day sceptics would not turn down a romantic weekend at a holiday resort, spa, or an adventure holiday abroad.

4.  Jewellery for the fans of luxury

It doesn’t have to be precious stones – a small piece of jewellery can also serve as a constant reminder of your beloved one. Accessories are something that can make both men and women happy – and it’s not just earrings or necklaces, but also leather bracelets, watches, and so on. Jewellery stores often offer discounts for Valentine’s Day, so don’t wait and find something elegant and timeless for the ones you love.

5. There will never be enough flowers

Even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, a single flower or a bouquet is likely to make most women happy. But, make no mistake – many men love fresh flowers too. Even if your loved one is far away, nowadays you can order flowers online.

6. Enjoy a good bottle of wine for a romantic evening 

Time spent together is priceless. And it’s not only the time spent cooking together that can create a romantic evening atmosphere, but also sharing a glass of good wine. You can order your favourite wine online or even send it to your significant other if you cannot be together.

7. Gifts for exploring your relationship 

Gifts to explore and diversify relationships have become particularly popular in recent years. Couples cards, massage oils, and other intimate little things for adults can be an original gift and a great investment.

8. Personalised gifts 

It’s always nice to receive a gift that shows that it was thought of not on the last day, but long before. A custom painting, a box of things that the loved one would like, matching bracelets or tattoos –  there are plenty of personalised ideas online.

9. Something that cannot be bought 

And yet, the best gifts are often those that can’t be bought or wrapped – a hike in nature, a home-cooked dinner, or a heartfelt handwritten letter. Even if you don’t have a significant other, you can still do something memorable with your friends, family, or treat yourself. After all, February 14 is the day of love, and love comes in many different forms.

10. Dinner for two

Invite your other half to a romantic dinner for just the two of you. It’s not only a gift that will leave warm memories but also a sustainable way to celebrate your love. An invitation to dinner is the perfect consumable gift and the time spent together is simply priceless. For a special occasion, choose a special place. There are no rules, but consider what would suit you most.

Eight Fun Facts About The Wooly Mammoth

1. Woolly mammoths were big but not huge! They were about the size of a modern African elephant. But the very biggest of the mammoths (probably Steppe mammoths) were 13 feet tall at the shoulder and weighed more than eight tons. The relatively puny woolly mammoth, by contrast, was only about nine feet tall and weighed a mere five tons.

2. The coat of a woolly mammoth was made up of very long hairs with an undercoat of shorter hairs. This layering would help to keep them warm.

3. The ears of a woolly mammoth were shorter than a modern elephant’s ears. Like their thick fur, their shortened ears kept them warm in the very cold weather.

4. Mammoths used their curved tusks to dig up the ground. They also used them to rub bark from the trees and to fight.

5. We can tell the age of a woolly mammoth from the rings of its tusk, like looking at the rings of a tree. There is a line for each year and the thickness or thinness of the rings tells us how well the mammoth was during that time. A thicker ring would suggest a good year with plenty of food.

6. The woolly mammoth was not the only woolly animal. The woolly rhinoceros was around at the same time, and they died out around the same time too. We are not sure why they died. Humans might have hunted them all, or perhaps they did not like it when the Ice Age ended.

7. We believe the large lumps on a mammoth’s back were extra stores of fat to help it survive winters when food was not easily found. Mammoths ate grass and grazed like cows do today.

8. Mammoths Were Around When King Tut Was. Woolly mammoths and early human beings shared the planet for thousands of years. Most mammoths went extinct about 10,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene; however, some stuck around for thousands of years in isolated island locations; the very last woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island off the coast of Russia. There were living mammoths on the planet just 3,600 years ago, at the same time that King Tut ruled ancient Egypt.

14 Romantic Things You Can Do On February 14th

Go to An Amusement Park. Funnel cake, popcorn, roller coasters and big stuffed animals to be won? Talk about the best Valentine’s Day date ever.

Watch Your Wedding Video Together. Watch your wedding video together and reminisce about the big day. Nothing gets you in the romantic Valentine’s Day mood more than looking back on the momentous day that you said, “I do!”

Bottle Your Own Wine. Looking to try something new? Certain vineyards and organizations let you stomp your own grapes and then will bottle the wine for you to take home. Talk about a treat specially made just for you — by you!

Take a Tropical Trip. Take that trip you’ve been putting off for the last few years because you “didn’t have enough time.” Even if it’s only for a weekend, a sweet escape to somewhere warm is the perfect mid-winter pick-me-up.

Slow Dance to Your Favorite Song. Cue up the song that you danced to at your wedding or a ballad that you both absolutely love and let the music move you.

Dinner with Friends. You can always plan a romantic dinner for two, or you can get your friends in on the fun and host a group dinner. Make it a potluck to cut prep work in half and have everyone bring a dish they absolutely love.

Have a Photoshoot. Have you recently gotten engaged and have been meaning to take some engagement photos? Perhaps it’s been a while since the entire family took a group shot together? Dedicate time on Valentine’s Day to create photo memories and check something off your “To-Do” list with a photoshoot by a professional photographer.

Sign Up for a Cocktail-Making Class. Why go to a bar to grab drinks when you can take a cocktail class to learn how to make your favorites yourselves? Use it as a chance to show off your skills and at the end, you get to enjoy all your tasty creations — win, win!

Make Fondue. Calling all foodies. Have some fun with food by making cheese or chocolate fondue and see what combos pair perfectly with whatever you serve up.

Take a Bike Ride. If the weather is nice enough, take advantage of the fresh air and gorgeous scenery as you bike alongside your significant other. Perhaps you can grab brunch together after logging some miles on the open road?

Play Hooky. Take off from work and spend the day sleeping in, cooking breakfast together and doing pretty much whatever you want together — even if all you want to do is lay in bed all day and enjoy some R&R.

Have a Valentine’s Bake-off. In true Great British Baking Show fashion, have a friendly competition in the kitchen to see who can make the best (and most festive) Valentine’s Day desserts — extra points for anything heart-shaped, of course. Maybe you’ll even get a Paul Hollywood-style handshake at the end.

Enjoy Breakfast in Bed. Start the day off right by serving up a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast, then enjoying it together while lounging in bed while still in your pjs. Don’t forget the champagne!

Take a Scenic Drive. Put together a road trip-worthy playlist and hit the pavement, even just for a spin around town. There’s something about driving that gets conversation flowing, especially if you’re just tooling around looking out the window.

Three Ways To Become A Digital Nomad

1. Become a remote employee

Becoming a remote employee is the safest way to start living the digital nomad life without worrying about your finances. As long as your employer permits, you can travel to and live anywhere in the world where you can reliably carry out work duties online. To be a remote employee, you first need to become proficient in certain digital skills. Digital marketing, content writing, web development, graphic design and customer support are among the most desired digital skills by remote employers. Even some of the traditionally human-facing roles such as UX design are rapidly becoming remote-friendly.

2. Become self-employed remotely

If you don’t want to stick to a rigorous work schedule as a remote employee, consider going self-employed. Most digital nomads I know are self-employed which means their livelihood consists of contracting with paid work part time, and working on their own business on the side. Being self-employed while location-independent seems to fit the bill perfectly: you could be working a four-hour/day customer support job on the beaches of Bali, while spending the rest of your day bootstrapping your travel blog/SaaS tool/mobile app to profit.

What is work life balance if you can’t find the time to pursue your passions after all? Freedom is the new luxury. According to Statista, in 2020 freelancers made up 35% of the US workforce, with that number set to reach over 50% in 2027. At the same time, more and more niche freelancer job sites are popping up everyday, as are support tools.

3. Run your own remote company

For the most audacious, today’s remote workforce presents the golden opportunity to run your own remote team. With careful planning and out-of-the-box management, you can run your own company from anywhere in the world without relying on investors or bank loans. In fact, while other digital nomads are trying to take advantage of currency exchange rates to lower their cost of living, the more money-savvy entrepreneur can think of lowering operating costs by hiring where you can afford the best of local talents.

For example, you can hire top notch app developers in Ukraine, well-trained customer support staff in Romania, incredibly talented designers in Brazil and hard working system admins in Malaysia. Your global team can cost you much less than hiring locally and yield the same return.

Six Awesome Facts About The Snowy Owl

1. Snowy Owls Have an Enormous Range

During the breeding season, snowy owls inhabit the Arctic Circle tundra. Popular breeding sites In North America include the western Aleutians in Alaska, northeastern Manitoba, northern Quebec, and north Labrador in Canada. During the rest of the year, this nomadic bird regularly ranges from latitudes corresponding to Canada’s southern border to the Arctic sea ice. If living on the ice pack, they hunt sea birds in the open ocean. This range can vary quite a bit, however. A mega-irruption, periods when bird counts are unusually higher, occurs every four years. During these periods, owls have traveled to Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Bermuda, Korea, and Japan.

2. Their Feathers Make Them Heavy

Snowy owls have an abundance of feathers to keep them warm, which adds to their weight of around 4 pounds. This thick feathering makes snowy owls the heaviest owl species in North America; they’re a pound heavier than a great horned owl and double the weight of North America’s tallest owl, the great gray owl. Female snowy owls are larger than males, as they’re over 2 feet tall and have wingspans of up to 6 feet.

3. They Follow the Lemmings

While snowy owls eat a wide variety of small mammals and even other birds, their diet consists primarily of lemmings, particularly during the breeding season. An adult snowy owl can eat 1,600 lemmings a year. Because of this, their local numbers rise and fall with that of the lemming population. During times of lemming population booms, they can raise double or triple their usual brood.

4. They Store Their Food

During the breeding season, snowy owls create a cache of prey.3 Females store food the male has brought to the nest, generally in a wreath-like formation around the nest. Typically the stock is 10-15 items, but scientists have recorded as many as 83 carcasses. Additionally, males will create caches at separate perches with around 50 lemmings. These caches provide food during times when hunting is scanty.

5. They Are Not Night Owls

The expression “night owl” originated because of the nocturnal habits of most owls. However, snowy owls don’t fit the mold. They aren’t strictly nocturnal or diurnal. Their activity varies depending on location and the amount of sunlight. The type of prey available in the area also determines when the owl sleeps. This ability to hunt during the daylight is a good thing, since they breed in areas where the sun never sets.

6. They Have Several Different Names

Snowy owls have a variety of names: Arctic owl, ghost owl, Scandanavian night bird, great white owl, the white terror of the north, and Ookpik. These names reflect their appearance and ghost-like silence. Their scientific name is Bubo scandiacus. Until 2004, the snowy owl’s scientific name was Nyctea scandiaca. At that point, genetic evidence indicated that snowy owls’ closest living relative was great horned owls. This resulted in snowy owls, formerly in a genus of their own, getting renamed in the taxonomy. This reclassification is controversial because of the percentage of difference in DNA as well as other differences the owls have from other owls in the Bubo genus. Bubo is the same genus as all other horned owls and the eagle-owls. Scandiacus is a Latinized form of Scandanavia, where taxonomers first noted the owl. Carl Linnaeus, known as the father of modern taxonomy, thought the males and females were different species. He named males Strix scandiaca and females Strix nyctea.

Eight Interesting Facts About Siberian Huskies

01 Huskies Originated in Siberia : As their name implies, Siberian huskies originated in—yep, you guessed it—Siberia. About 3,000 years ago, the Chukchi people, a semi-nomadic tribe in Siberia, wanted to expand their hunting grounds but needed a little help pulling their sleds over such long distances. So, they set out to breed the ideal sled dog—one that required some serious endurance, a thick, winter-ready coat to protect them from subzero temperatures, and the ability to survive on minimal food. The result? The Chukchi dog, a distant relative to today’s modern huskies.

02 Huskies Have Built-In Winter Wear : Because they originated in subzero climates, Siberian huskies are always ready for severe winter weather. They have a double coat, comprised of a very thick, short undercoat that helps them retain body heat, and a long outer coat that’s water-resistant, while their almond-shaped eyes offer protection from loose snow and strong sunlight reflecting off of snow. What’s more? Their long, bushy tails can be wrapped around their faces for extra warmth while they sleep.

03 Huskies Have a Lot of Energy—and Make Great Jogging Buddies : If you’re adding a high-energy husky to the family, be prepared to exercise your dog a lot. According to the American Kennel Club, Siberian huskies need regular exercise.1 How you achieve that is up to you and the doggo—whether you choose to walk, swim, run, play, or even sled. Huskies were bred to run, so unsurprisingly, they make excellent jogging buddies. Just be sure to build up your husky’s mileage slowly. It shouldn’t run a 5k straight out of the gate, and only exercise outdoors on cool days with low humidity. Huskies’ super dense coats may make them less tolerant of activity in the heat. If you live in a warm climate or want to exercise your husky during the summer months, stick to water activities, like swimming or playing in the sprinkler.

04 Many Huskies Have Blue Eyes : Blue eyes are pretty rare in most dog breeds (unless the doggy in question has the merle gene, which prevents pigment from fully developing in the eyes and coat), but many huskies are born with bright, blue peepers. Heterochromia—or eyes of two different colors—is also fairly common among huskies, and often results in blue, gold, brown, or orangey-colored eyes.2

05 Huskies Have Super-Friendly Personalities : Despite their tough, wolf-like appearances, Siberian huskies are incredibly friendly— sometimes to a fault! Anyone looking for a husky guard dog will be sorely disappointed, because huskies are simply too friendly and too trusting of strangers. The upside to this charming character trait? They make amazing furry family members. So, if you live in a cooler climate, have a big backyard (a pup’s gotta get his energy out somewhere), and have kids, a husky might be the perfect pick for your family.

06 Huskies Have Incredible Metabolisms : Here’s a fact about huskies science can’t even explain: huskies can sprint for hours upon hours, without food, and without fully depleting their bodies’ glycogen (carbohydrates) or fat stores. How do they burn so many calories without using all of their reserves? They must regulate their metabolism for performance. Keep in mind: If we humans attempted to run for hours without any source of energy, we’d fatigue pretty quickly—and have to stop. Huskies were bred to run for long distances with minimal food supplies, so it makes sense that their bodies have evolved to perform with hardly any fatigue. But it’s still pretty amazing, right?

07 Huskies Can Have Colorful Coats : We often think of thick gray and white or black and white coats when we think of Siberian huskies, but the colors of their coats can vary greatly. According to the American Kennel Club, huskies’ coats can be one of six colors—black, agouti, gray, red, sable, and white—but there are tons of variations out there.

08 Huskies Are Very Talkative : If you have a husky, you know they are very talkative. They’re known for their jabbering, groaning, and grumbling. Many will howl at sirens and other high-pitched noises. But did you know a husky’s howl can be heard from miles away? Talk about chatty, huh?

10 Steps For A Sunday Night Routine To Make A Great Start To The Week 

Someone people take Sundays getting themselves organized, refreshed, and reset for the new week that is approaching. Some say & believe that making good routines and habits is the key to a successful life!

Step 1: Take a Relaxing Shower

A recommended way to set the mood for the perfect Sunday night is by winding down with a relaxing shower routine. I always feel so refreshed and rejuvenated after taking a nice shower.

Step 2: Tidy Up Your Space

After a shower and freshening up and head into your room and do a quick tidy. Pick up clothes that are on the floor, organize you desk  and put away anything else that is left out. I love to start my week with a clean space. Having a tidy home allows you to have a tidy mind! So, to give yourself the best start to the week possible, make sure your area is all picked up!

Step 3: Plan Meals and Groceries

Do a big grocery restock on Sunday or Monday. If you didn’t do it during the day on Sunday, definitely make a plan during you Sunday night routine. To make a grocery list, always start with a meal plan for the week. At the least, make a rough idea of some simple dinner ideas that you want to make that week.

Step 4 : Prep Healthy Snacks

While I’m in the food frame of mind, I like to go ahead and prep some healthy snacks for the week. If I don’t take the time to make some nutritious snacks for myself, I know I’ll snack on foods that don’t make me feel as good! I’d rather plan ahead and make some energizing and nutrient-packed foods for the week! Some favorites are overnight oats, energy balls, and fresh fruit! I always make sure to pre-wash my fruit and store it in produce keepers to keep it fresh all week long
 That way I can just grab and go!

Step 5: Plan Your Week

I am not a huge planner. Some love planning out my months, weeks, and days ahead of time. Every Sunday night, make an effort to do a brief overview of you week ahead. This is nothing super intense or intricate
 just a basic outline of the week’s to-dos. Then, throughout the week you can add to it. Use a planner to plan the big things down. Any due dates, classes, work meetings, appointments, etc
 all the things that feel solid and sure to not change!

Step 6: Make Tomorrow’s Breakfast

A lot of people always like to plan and prep a healthy breakfast for the next morning. This isn’t something I ALWAYS do
 if I know I’ll have extra time in the morning I will plan to make breakfast then. But it can be really helpful to have something prepped if you have a busy morning coming. A big favorite is overnight oats, but you can make whatever sounds best to you!

Step 7: Fill Up Vitamin Containers

I have a couple of vitamins and a Calcium supplement that I take on a daily basis. I notice a huge difference in how I feel when I up my vitamin routine. The only way I stick with this is if I have them all laid out for me. I always take 5 minutes of my Sunday night to fill my pill container for the week ahead. The  importance of vitamins is mind-blowing! Getting on a good vitamin routine is so important for you and your health! Again, setting them all out and getting them organized for the week every Sunday night helps me stay on top of it!

Step 8: Prepare for the Morning

There are always a few small things we can do at night to prepare for a successful morning. If I am being honest, this is just something routine that I like to do almost every night to set myself up for a successful day. This applies to my Sunday night routine too – I just go a bit more in-depth. Keep in mind that I am preparing for a new WEEK, not just a fresh DAY.

Some of these things include:

  • Ironing a shirt an keeping it on a hanger
  • Planning for my breakfast & coffee for the morning
  • Set intentional alarms
  • Clean my water bottle

Step 9: Take Time to Relax

One of the best parts of a Sunday night is the time to relax before you get back to business in the new week. So be sure that you are taking some time to relax and refresh in your Sunday night routine. Relax with a favourite movie, maybe a rom-com or a comedy but be sure to not stay up late into the night. Some might love to relax by reading! No phones, no work, no stress
 just relaxation! You deserve the rest. You are setting yourself up and filling your tank for a great week!

Step 10: Get to Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a successful week. Resting is essential for your productivity, happiness, health, and overall wellness. Make sure you are prioritizing sleep, especially if you are looking to get yourself ready for a new week.

The Phenomenon Of The Stanley Tumbler Craze

How the heck does this happen? People – well so far I think it’s only in the USA – are losing their minds and going crazy over the Stanley Tumbler. How did a $45 water jug spark such chaos? (And since when do water jugs cost $45?) Stanley, the 110-year-old brand usually associated with outdoor enthusiasts or dads with boats, is milking the craze for their tumblers.

The thirst for Stanleys really took off in early 2022, when the product was profiled in the New York Times. Influencers on #WaterTok, a corner of TikTok where people with very plump-looking skin take hydration seriously, praised the cup as a holy grail, listing out its purported virtues: it fits in a car’s cup holder and has a straw for easy drinking, and a handle too. From there it caught on with the people most likely to succumb to targeted ads or influencer endorsements. The New York Times called Stanley fans a “sisterhood”, reversing decades of macho branding.

CNBC estimates Stanley made over $750m last year, compared with an average of $70m a year before 2020. On social media, users show off their collections, flaunting cupboards filled with cups in every hue. Many have also bought accessories – such as plastic “spill stoppers” that seal up straws – to personalize their Stanleys. By January 2024, TikTok videos of Stanley cups had been viewed over 201.4m times. We have people are camping out for, rushing into stores for like it’s Black Friday, and causing to sell out across the country. The popularity of the Stanley cup may have hit its all-time mainstream high this past November, when a viral video of a car fire showed the interior of a woman’s car completely charred, but her Stanley Quencher intact (with ice in it!). The Stanley Quencher has been called an “adult sippy cup”, an emotional-support item that comes in 26 colors. Stanley wasn’t always a hit among women.

Technically, the Stanley story starts in 1913, when William Stanley Jr made the first vacuum-insulated steel bottle. Mid-century ads promised that “IT WON’T BREAK!” and fashioned the product as a worksite essential. The reputation stuck, and Stanley (the brand) marketed its classic “hammertone” green products mostly to men for about a hundred years or so. And to now where here are so many colour choices and event led designs and limited editions. Right now, arguably the most sought-after versions are the limited-edition pink Quencher tumbler, a special collaboration between Starbucks and Target, as well as Target’s exclusive Stanley “Galentine’s” Collection. And over 24 million people watched this video of people racing to snag the limited-edition Galentines cups, which were limited to two per customer. This was possibly to prevent reselling — they’re already being sold on eBay for more than $100 (the original price for the 40-ounce Stanley is $45).

Oh and young girls are getting bullied for having a “lesser known” brand instead for drinking water iin school. What is this craziness? It’s a cup. People, it’s a cup. Lighten up!

Leather Adapter Case For The Dangling Cables In Your Room

I happened to see this item on an advert on Facebook. It’s a mustard colour leather adapter case. If you are like me, with a bunch of chargers/adapters lying here and there – two mobiles for me, 1 adapter each for my dad and mom’s phones – I think this would be a nice little purchase to tidy up the dangling wires.

It’s odd how some item that is almost random just makes a lot of sense to get. I mean, if nothing else it will clear up some of the clutter and you don’t have to reach for the end of the charger that is just lying on the floor, whenever you need to charge your device. It is actually something that drives me crazy, seeing these cables lying across the floor near my desk.

So I think I will pick up one or two of these and see how good they are. They have these cases in red, green & blue as well. I love the mustard yellow so maybe that one and for the second I will get a red one. Or perhaps a blue one!

Five Hobbies That You Can Take Up In 2024

1. Blogging : Did you know that a lot of people blog just for fun? You can start a blog and express your thoughts on whatever topic you want. Feel like cracking a joke about the corporate world? Go right ahead. The best thing about hobby blogging is that there is no pressure to follow a certain format or schedule, so your brain feels brighter and happier. What’s more, you can practice blogging from the comfort of your home.

2. Reading : Had a rough week? Grab a book, curl up in bed, and see the world through someone else’s eyes. Studies show that just six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by 60 percent. Seriously, reading is one of the best hobby ideas for relieving feelings of anxiety and fatigue. And it doesn’t cost much either. You can get old books for practically nothing at your local library.

3. Learning a new language : Few hobbies are more helpful in today’s global world than learning a new language. App developers have made learning another language fun and engaging (example: DuoLingo), and some podcasts even record current events at a snail’s pace to help listeners practice their listening skills.

4. Gardening : Gardening is the perfect hobby to enjoy more fresh air and to grow your own produce. All it takes to start is an inexpensive pack of seeds, fertilizer, soil, and basic gardening tools. If you’re new to gardening, growing some herbs or even just flowers is a pretty good starting point.

5. Playing an instrument : Playing an instrument is one of the best hobby examples because it is relaxing and can bring you and others joy. Masterclass has courses for singing, ukulele, guitar, production, mixing, drumming, violin, and composing from people like Itzhak Perlman, Danny Elfman, and Christina Aguilera, but you can always make up your own music like internet sensation Abby the Spoon Lady.

Some Tips Before You Start Your Own Podcast

Develop a podcast concept

Choosing the right podcast concept for your new podcast is a big part of attracting the right listeners and staying committed to your show.

Follow these tips to narrow your niche and clarify your message.

Define your goals

Why do you want to start a podcast? It’s important to know your why, even if it’s to have fun with friends.

Some good reasons for starting a podcast are:

  • to generate leads for a business
  • be recognized as an industry leader
  • share an important message

Pick a podcast theme or topic

You should feel excited to regularly discuss and research your podcast topic. The more you enjoy your topic, the less likely you’ll experience podfade. Once you have some ideas, do some market research to survey the competition in your genre.

Make it specific

When you zero in on a niche, you attract a more specific and engaged audience. Podcasts that appeal to a broad audience can end up reaching fewer people. People are also more likely to recommend a niche podcast to a friend than a generic one. To make your podcast niche, focus on a sub-category or sub-demographic. Drill down on what makes your podcast different. What unique perspective can you bring to your podcast’s topic?

Three things you love about Christmas and three things you hate about it

Make a list of three things you love about Christmas and three things you hate about it.

Three things I love about the Holiday season

  • I love the idea of a Christmas/Yule holiday season or atleast what is shown on North American and some European countries. Snow outside, a fully decorated, tree inside the house in the corner of the living room, with lots of presents at the bottom, Hot chocolate, marshmallows, coffee with Baileys, eggnog, roast chicken, lots of other good food, cake and what not. Kids in pjs excited over their breakfast and gifts and the family dogs & cats also getting their gifts. It’s a warm cozy feeling.
  • The giving and receiving of gifts. Ok, we don’ really do that in India but atleast we have the obligatory office Secret Santa thingy and do atleast get 1 gift a year :D But yes in the countries that do, I find it to be a very nice thing.
  • The overall feel good thing about getting a day off from the grind of work. I wish we get a few days of like a lot of countries do or how the school & college kid get. But yes getting a day off from work is good.

Three things I don’t like about Christmas

  • The terrible religious aspects of it. Christianity stole from European Paganism and in particular converted Yule to make it like it’s the birth of some Jewish carpenter. It is not!
  • The fake “piousness” and the “formal singing” of some of these artists & even regular people when they have to sing a Christmas themed song. He wasn’t the son of god and he wasn’t born on this day either!
  • That we here in India do not get the full effect of snow and gifts.

Traditions & Symbols of Yule

Decorate a Yule Tree : The Yule tree is an extremely important and prominent part of the holiday. Originating many many centuries ago. For early Pagans this tree was a representation of the Tree of Life. Traditionally it was adorned in pine cones, berries, and fruit. Sometimes also with items such as coins and corn to represent the hope for abundance and prosperity in the new year. However, it is Queen Victoria that we have to thank for popularizing the modern day Christmas tree. In the 1840’s Queen Victoria came back from a trip to Germany where she saw them and decided she wanted to have one. She made it a trend. Thus, the tradition of the Christmas tree was born. To that I will say thank you Queen Victoria!

Make a Yule Log : The Yule Log was another incredibly important aspect of this time of year. The tree for the Yule Log was  very carefully selected. The log was meant to protect the home and would be burned in the hearth throughout the 12 days of Yule. Some may still craft a Yule log but they have largely been replaced with Yule Log cakes or centrepieces. Especially since not many people today are lucky enough to have a working fireplace or are able to go grab a tree from the forest real quick lol. And there are some fun tutorials out there on how to craft your own, modest sized Yule log centrepiece, like this one from The Painted Hinge.

Hang Mistletoe : Mistletoe was thought to represent the fertility of the goddess and the seed of the Oak King. The Druids would harvest it and hang above doorways for protection. The kissing under the mistletoe tradition likely began due to this association with fertility and life.

Honour Nature and Welcome back the Sun : Do a ritual at sunrise to welcome the light and warmth of the sun back to the land. Honouring nature and this cycle of re-birth is a key element in appreciating and living in tune with the seasons.

The Season of Giving : Gift giving is an appropriate activity as we are celebrating a birthday. The birth of the Sun! Gift giving at this time is a long-standing tradition. It is wonderful to show tokens of affection to our loved ones, donate to charities and offer our time volunteering. Helping to spread the magic of the season to others is part of what makes this holiday so damn special.

Bake Gingerbread : Long ago ginger was considered sacred and gingerbread was a real delicacy.  According to some it was only allowed to be made during the holidays making it a key symbol of winter and Yule. Today we are lucky enough to have ginger and all of it’s amazing benefits readily available to us but having gingerbread around the holidays is still a staple tradition.

Go Carolling : In times past, young children would go from house to house singing Yule songs. They would be rewarded with treats and small gifts. These small tokens were sometimes considered symbols of prosperity given to children by the Mother Goddess.

Ring the Bells : We all know the carol jingle bells
but why bells? Bells would be rung in the morning to drive away the demons that arise in the darker part of the year. The bells were meant to chase away the dark and bring forth the return of the light following the winter solstice.

Craft a Wreath : Wreaths represented the wheel of the year. They were often given as gifts as a symbol of friendship and happiness. Traditionally made with evergreens and decorated with pinecones and berries.

Light Candles : Candles symbolize the light and warmth of the sun. They were also another means to chase away demons. They were a way to bring the bright energy and light of the sun into the home.

Decorate with Symbols of Yule : Indulge in elements like evergreen, holly, pine, yew, and of course, mistletoe. Evergreens represented everlasting life and were hung around windows and doorways. Holly was thought to repel unwanted spirits. Pine was said to bring healing and joy and the yew tree was a symbol of rebirth. Colours as well were a big part of the season. Red, green, white, silver, and gold are the quintessential colours everyone thinks of this time of year.

Red for prosperity and love. Green for abundance and the promise of the spring time. White for cleansing and light. Silver to symbolize the moon. And gold of course to represent the sun and the radiant energy that comes along with it. Nothing makes the holiday come to life quite like incorporating these symbols into your home decor for the season.

Your Business Won’t Succeed If You Don’t Fix These Things


Source Image – CC0 License

If you know something is wrong in your business, you’re going to fix it, right? Of course you are, because it will be hindering your success rate otherwise. So, why then are more business owners not putting the effort in when it comes to figuring out what isn’t working within their business? It’s important that you are identifying the problem as soon as possible, making the correct change, and then your business can go on as a slightly better version of itself!

If you’re not sure where to start with this, we’re going to be giving you some suggestions as to where you can start.

Your Business Website

One of the first things you need to make sure of if you want your business to succeed is make sure your website is up to standards. There may be other businesses similar to yours that have an outstanding website, so customers will take their business elsewhere if they can’t navigate yours. You need to think about making it easy to use for all target audiences, for instance elderly people and young people. This can be a bit of a balancing act when it comes to navigation and what content you have on your page.

Designing your website so that people can easily find the page or product they are looking for means you will get more orders and sales. If you are unsure of how to do this yourself then it may be worthwhile using a website design company.

Your Payment Options

If you are not offering people enough payment options, this is going to be a massive problem. People want ease, they want convenience, and it’s your job to give it to them, not to be another issue that they have to battle just to get what they want. You need to ensure that your system is working flawlessly from checkout page to payment gateway, all the way to the thank you message after a purchase because if it isn’t, you’re going to lose sales. Accepting the likes of Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay and others like this will make your customers life easier, which makes your business thrive.

Your Business Reputation

Did you know that around 80% of customers check out business reviews before they shop somewhere? This could be detrimental to you as a company if you have any negative comments floating about. Show that you take all of your customers seriously and reply to all the reviews you receive, even the negative ones. This proves to customers that you try to right your wrongs and you are not a bad company to do business with.

So, there you have it. The future of your business is now in your hands more than it ever was before now that you have the information that you need to be successful. You are never going to see success if you are not willing to make changes when things aren’t working. Put the effort in if you want to see success – there really isn’t much else to it.