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Easy and Fun Holiday Traditions For You and Yours

Christmas time is a great time to start a new family tradition that you can do every year and your children will remember forever. So if you’re looking for a new one yourself, check out this list of our favorites. 

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Christmas time can be one of the best times of the year for a family. It’s a time to bake cookies together and decorate the tree together and snuggle up in front of the fire together. And it’s a great time for traditions! I will always remember listening to an Oakridge Boys Christmas album every year when my family and I decorated the tree together. It’s my absolute favorite Christmas memory.

So if you have a family, no matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to start a new Christmas tradition! And there are so many great and simple options out there that you and your entire family are sure to love. Here are some of our favorites.

GO ON A DRIVING TOUR OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Christmas lights are one of my personal favorite parts of the holiday season. I just love driving around and taking in all the amazing light displays my neighbors have put up. So, if you’re like me, you might as well have your family in the car with you! You can even walk around the neighborhood if everyone’s up for it and it’s not too cold outside.

And make a little game of it, if you like. You can make your own competition where everyone picks their favorites and then the whole family votes to find out who will win America’s Next Best Christmas Decorations!

VOLUNTEER AT A SOUP KITCHEN

As we all know, Christmas can also be a very difficult time for a lot of people. Especially those without a family or, even worse, without a home. The unforgiving cold of the winter season in some areas can make it especially difficult for the homeless. But seeing as how Christmas is the season of giving, why not give your time to those in need!

Volunteering at a soup kitchen to help feed the homeless is a great thing to do any time of year, but especially around Christmas. And while it’s a wonderful use of your time even if you’re unmarried and have no kids, it’s especially a great activity to do as a family. You’re doing it together, which is special, but you’re also teaching your children how to think of others and help those in need. It’s really a beautiful thing.

GET NEW MATCHING PJs EVERY YEAR

This is certainly an old classic. I know me and my brothers got new matching pajamas every Christmas when we were young and we always loved it. But it doesn’t have to be just the kids! You and your spouse can get pajamas that match your children’s as well. It’s fun and brings the family together, but it also makes for the cutest family photos!

CAMP OUT UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE

I had actually never heard of this tradition before writing this article, but now I love it and am definitely going to try it out with my family. It’s simple, once your Christmas tree is up and fully decorated, just pick a night before Christmas where the whole family camps out around the tree! Bust out every sleeping back, soft blanket, and fluffy pillow ya got and sleep together as a family around your beautiful Christmas tree. How fun does that sound?!

If you’re feeling especially wacky, do it on Christmas Eve! Then you’ll all wake up together on Christmas morning, ready to tear apart those presents.

FIND A FAMILY MOVIE

Another classic that is extremely easy but does wonders to bring the family together and keep the bond strong. All you have to do is pick one out of hundreds of classic Christmas movies and make a point to watch it together as a family every year. It sounds boring or not that special, but believe me, it can be so fun! Especially as the anticipation builds the days before watching the movie.

Pick from any number of great holiday movies like Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and the list goes on and on.

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Dating During Covid

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The coronavirus heavily impacted so many areas in our lives. Finding love, a common preoccupation especially among singles all around the world became even more impossible as lockdowns were established to halt the rapid spread of the COVID-19 infection. A multitude of dating apps suddenly sprung up to cater to the loveless, allowing more people to mingle online instead of offline.

Dating Coronavirus

When quarantine measures first occurred in the early part of 2020, Alan McMahon, a 29-year-old freelance production manager, subscribed to the $30 monthly subscription on one of the dating apps, Hinge. There, he met Brooke, his current girlfriend.

The two eventually decided to hike across the Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles’ popular and scenic trail. During the said hike, they became increasingly at ease with each other until they decided to remove their masks. That was the time when Alan knew this date was different. “All caution was thrown to the wind,” asserts Alan, referring to the famous coronavirus protocol of wearing masks while in the presence of other people.

That was a few months ago. Now, the couple are still together, splitting their time together between her Long Beach apartment and his West Hollywood one. Both have accomplished the impossible and found love during COVID-19.

Alan believes that he has “found his soul mate during the most unlikely of times”. They are hoping to get married in Vegas as soon as the chapels open there.

Dating Exclusively

While this sounds like a perfect, if not improbable, reality for all, dating sites have become even more popular as more and more single people hope to find someone to be with online. Experts assert that the current pandemic has actually made it even more convenient for singles to find possible matches.

“Because we have this dedicated time to find love, there are no distractions — you’re not a bar looking at people around you or looking at your drink. Everyone’s more present and they are more conscious about the way they are showing up to these virtual or real-life dates,” shares Yue Xu, co-host of the ‘Dateable’ podcast.

Indeed, more individuals find it easier to focus their attention to finding more serious, exclusive relationships as they are able to pick their matches using these dating apps. They get to pinpoint possible prospects using these apps’ feature of entering specific traits they may prefer and go on from there.

Love and Companionship

One of the greatest challenges pre-COVID-19 was that there were too many candidates out there. Everyone was preoccupied with work, studies, and other things. Now, however, people get the much-needed time-off from their regular, busy lives. Singles are provided the chance to look into their individual, isolated lives and realize the importance of companionship—and, ultimately, love.

Perhaps, one of the major lessons from this pandemic, then, is that we are all social beings—we all long to be with someone other than ourselves. Like Alan and his girlfriend, Brooke, love during Covid can still become a reality for single adults who continue to long for a partner to share their lives with. The internet is filled with many dating apps to help make that pervasive dream a reality.

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Beauty

Deep Breathing Techniques To Change Your Life

  

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 Breathing is fundamental. If you’re not breathing, you’re not living. But did you know if you actually focus on your breathing you can help lower blood pressure, sharpen your memory and reduce stress? That’s right, taking deep focused breaths can actually save your life. That’s why we want to give you a beginners guide to learn how to breathe deep and better enjoy your life.

4-7-8 BREATHING

     Don’t channel Bill Clinton, because for this exercise you’re actually supposed to inhale. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Try to fill your belly up with air instead of your chest. Then hold your breath for seven seconds before slowly exhaling out of your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this for a couple of minutes and then work up to repeating longer. This is a great way to get oxygen in your blood which is great for your body.

BREATH THROUGH THE CRAVINGS

     Instead of binge-drinking, binge-eating and binge-watching try binge-breathing. If you get a craving just sit up straight and take some deep breaths until you no longer crave those bad body no-nos.

Let’s face it, booze TV and cookies are bad for you, and breathing is good for you. So instead of indulging in those sinful treats, just breathe and feel the cravings melt away. 

DON’T JUST SIT AROUND

     Make sure you get up every house at work or around the house and take a small little walk around, drink some water and take a couple of minutes to breathe deep and center yourself. You will be astonished at how much this improves your attitude for the rest of the day and improves your ability to think on your feet and remain calm as well.

GET SOME APPS

     You don’t have to remember all of these steps yourself, there are apps that are specifically made to make it easier for you to remember these deep breathing techniques. Search your app store for apps like Breathe or Calm. These will all keep you focused on deep breathing for a minute every four hours. Come on, you have one minute to spare every four hours, don’t you? If you don’t then you are probably really stressed out and need more deep breathing than ever.

    Deep breathing may very well save your life, so why not take some time out of your day to give it a try. Let’s face it, everyone could be less stressed and have a sharper memory. Working hard doesn’t mean you have to be hard on your body and sometimes eating right and exercising just isn’t enough. When you need to take that extra step then give deep breathing a try. If you breathe deep every four hours and already sleep for eight hours then that means you just need four minutes per day to focus on deep breathing and the benefits make those four measly minutes worthwhile.



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Beauty

Indulge In These Starbucks Drinks Without Feeling Guilty!

A lot of us are addicted to Starbucks. The coffee chain is the easiest way to get your daily dose of caffeine while on the run. You can rely on Starbucks and you’ve grown to trust Starbucks. But what you don’t know is that many of the drinks you slurp down from this chain are […]

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A lot of us are addicted to Starbucks. The coffee chain is the easiest way to get your daily dose of caffeine while on the run. You can rely on Starbucks and you’ve grown to trust Starbucks. But what you don’t know is that many of the drinks you slurp down from this chain are actually pretty fattening. If you’re getting a venti frappuccino with extra whipped cream and a caramel swirl then guess what, that is not a healthy friendly drink. Also with all that sugar, you are setting yourself up for a serious crash. Which kind of defeats the purpose of drinking coffee in the first place.

You don’t have to sacrifice your diet to drink Starbucks, they have plenty of great options that are all under 100 calories so you can stay alert and slim at the same time.

 

Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee is the best bet when you’re looking for a drink that is low calorie. If you get it unsweetened it is only five calories. FIVE! You probably burn more than five calories when using your lip muscles to slurp that drink down. If you hate unsweetened coffee then get it “lightly sweetened” which will bring it up from five calories to sixty, which is still pretty darn good.

 

Cold Brew Coffee

If you’re looking for more of a caffeine punch than cold brew coffee is the one for you. This drink also only has five calories and you can add some non-fat milk to make it 25 calories. Drinking a cold brew coffee will have you bouncing off the walls and your calorie count will still be unbelievably low.

 

Iced Skinny Mocha

If you want some chocolate in your coffee but still want to keep it reasonable then try the iced skinny mocha. You will hardly believe that you’re only drinking 70 calories, but trust us it’s true. With this iced skinny mocha, you won’t be sacrificing taste as much as a skinny mocha sounds. This drink is still very enjoyable despite a few calories.

 

Caramel Frappuccino

Yes, the caramel frappuccino will have exactly 100 calories if you order it light. You need to ask for it to be light or else you will just get a regular gut-busting caramel frappuccino which is definitely not 100 calories. Also light means no whipped cream.

 

Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte

Lattes are great and this one is no exception to the rule. You can sip on this every day considering it’s only 60 calories. At 60 calories it’s hard to say no to this scrumptious treat.

 

Iced Caffe Americano

Americanos are great because they’re just shots of espresso in water and poured over ice. That means that this drink is only ten calories. Just be careful, as with all of these drinks, that you don’t add too many extras including cream and sugar because each pour of extras means extra calories which can add up quicker than you’d think.



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