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Unique gifts for nurses

Nurses are a unique bunch. You love to give back to others, and don’t really expect much in return. But for the holidays, you should expect at least a little something. If you’re not sure what to ask for, direct your friends and family to this article!

We put together some ideas of fun gifts for nurses, nursing students, assistants, or anyone else in the medical care field. We know how much you all do for others throughout the year, the holidays are your chance to get a little something in return.

Many of these items are just plain fun, others are relevant to the nursing profession. Let us know if you receive any during the holidays by commenting below!

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Nurse Clipboard
Sure, it looks a bit nerdy, but once you’re on the job and need to be taking notes while walking around, while also having a few extra papers stashed away you will love this thing. Be careful, your coworkers may want to steal it.

Travel Mug
Early mornings, late nights, long days, nurses know the pains of lack of sleep and exhausting hours. Grab this travel mug which keeps coffee hot for up to 8 hours!

True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
This book is great for students or those just starting out.

Aeropress
If you need something a little stronger than that watered down coffee from the communal pot, get the Aeropress. Just add your grounds and hot water, push down, and you’ve got fresh coffee!

Art Prints
You need a little motivation before and after a day of work. Grab a few of these nursing inspired prints to put around the house.

Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul
Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then, especially nurses. This book has 101 stories of appreciation and wisdom for nurses.

Otterbox
Running around on the job is not safe for delicate smartphones. Put your phone in an Otterbox to prevent cracked screens.

Registered Nurse Buttons - Set of 10 Pinback Buttons - nurse flat back, nurse love, nurse gifts, RN, Registered Nurse

Nurse Buttons
Add a little fun to your scrubs or bag with these nurse pins. Give a few to nursing friends as well.

Ok nurses! Which of these gifts are you going to ask your friends and family for? Or better yet, which are you going to give to your fellow nursing friends? Let us know in the comments below! And feel free to leave your suggestions as well.


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Ways to give back for the holidays

How do you plan to show your gratitude this holiday season? Will you give gifts? Volunteer? Visit far away family and friends?

There are tons of ways to give back not only to your friends and family, but also to your community. The holiday season is a time of giving, and it’s the perfect time to go out of your way for a stranger or someone needing a little joy or helping hand.

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We’re putting this guide together focused on the Lee & Collier County area, as that’s where we are based. We hope you take a chance to look this over and plan to give back a little something to someone in need during the holidays.

Salvation Army

We all know about the bell ringers (which you can volunteer for) but did you know they also need assistance sorting and packaging toys and food boxes for holiday distribution? Click here to find out more.

St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew’s House is known for helping fight hunger, homelessness, and addition in Collier County. They are always accepting donations for:

  • Cars
  • Stock
  • Cash
  • Material donations (free pickup of large items)

You can apply to volunteer online.

  • Staff support
  • Help retail staff & stock merchandise at thrift store locations
  • Kitchen assistance
  • Serve holiday meals
  • Serve meals at Justin’s Place Feeding Ministry
  • Hold a fundraiser
  • Admin support
  • Pack groceries and organize in food pantry

Stockings 4 Kids

Stockings 4 Kids gives less fortunate kids in the SWFL area a filled stocking for Christmas. They’re always accepting donations and each stocking costs $15.

Brook’s Legacy Animal Rescue

Give a dog or cat a loving home this holiday season, or volunteer to be a foster parent. Volunteers are always needed, especially for adoption events.

Collier County Hunger and Homeless Coalition

This group is dedicated to preventing and ending hunger and homelessness in Collier County. Donations are welcome any time of year.

Cancer Alliance of Naples

The Cancer Alliance of Naples formed 13 years ago to help those touched by cancer. Donations are always welcome and there are plenty of volunteer opportunities.

  • Volunteer in the office
  • Speakers on cancer-related topics (nutrition, beauty, stress reduction, etc)
  • Sponsorships

Habitat for Humanity

Help build homes for the less fortunate. Volunteers 16 years of age and older are welcome on the job site. Those younger can help by setting up refreshments for volunteers. You can also volunteer in the office, fold newsletters, and help in the Habitat Store.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank has been helping to fight hunger in Collier, Charlotte, Lee, Glades, and Hendry counties. Volunteer to hold a food drive, become a partner, or a general volunteer. Donations of money go a long way, every $1 donated helps distribute $8 worth of food.

Meals of Hope

This Naples organization has packaged over 36 million meals to date. Join a food packing event or host one yourself. There are also volunteer opportunities and an online donation section.

Youth Haven

Youth Haven’s Holiday Angels runs from November 23-January 5. Each donation amount provides something to a child in need such as supplies, one week enrichment summer camp, animal assisted therapies, and more.

Besides donating they also have various volunteer programs:

  • Open Windows art program
  • Healthy Starts pantry program
  • Helping Hands program
  • Admin support
  • Special events


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How to get in the holiday spirit

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The holiday season is officially upon us. No matter where you go, you’ll see some sort of reminder that celebrations are forthcoming. There are Christmas tree lots on every other corner, dreidals and menorahs for sale, festive treats, red and green colors, and that never ending bell-ringing.

Whether you like it or not, there’s almost no way to avoid that holiday cheer (unless you don’t leave the house all month long). You might as well get in the spirit! We’ll give you a few tips on how to start enjoying the holidays rather than dread them or feel stressed.

Get on that Santa hat, put on some tunes, and start baking some cookies!

How to avoid holiday stress

This is one of the biggest reasons people don’t like the holidays. Stress can come from many things like having to think of gifts for friends and family, hosting them at your home or going out to holiday parties, and spending money.

If you’re worried about spending too much, try doing something a little different this year. Let all your friends and family know that you would prefer to do a food exchange. You cook or bake something for everyone, and they do the same in return. There’s a lot of love that goes into making food, and the thought is there, plus it is relatively light on the wallet to bake cookies or make some treats for everyone.

If you are tight on money, let everyone know you’d prefer not to receive gifts this year. That way they don’t feel obligated to purchase something for you and vice versa. This article has tips on how to tell your family you don’t want to exchange gifts this Christmas.

Another cause of stress is hosting friends or relatives. This time of year is when everyone is traveling to stay with family. A few days with family members is usually OK, but any longer and we start to feel stressed out. If you’re having family coming into town and are having them at your home, make sure to plan some activities to get everyone out of the house. You can lend them your car or have them rent one to do a day trip.

How to enjoy the holidays

Now that you have some ideas for avoiding stress, here are some tips for enjoying the festivities.

  1. Find time for yourself- Get out of the house on your own and unwind.
  2. Don’t create an action-packed schedule, leave room for relaxation
  3. Don’t take on too much responsibility, learn to delegate
  4. Don’t leave everything until the last minute (especially shopping)
  5. Set aside a day for decorating
  6. Bake some treats you wouldn’t normally make
  7. Treat yourself!
  8. Show gratitude to your friends and family


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Thanksgiving Recipes & Decorations

Thanksgiving is coming up so quickly this year! It seems like just yesterday was Halloween, some of you may still have your decorations up in the yard.

Here at Just Like Family, we love a good Thanksgiving meal. It brings everyone together around a shared common interest: food! It’s a great way to get everyone thinking about the present and what they are grateful for, right before the rush of Christmas and the winter holidays comes along.

If you’re like us, you can’t wait to start making that delicious stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. We have some fun recipes that are a little different from the usual, along with a few decoration ideas to make your space feel festive.

At the bottom of the article, we also have links to a few of our other Thanksgiving-themed posts that include tips for not going crazy during the holidays and more fall decorations and recipe ideas.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

We’re starting with dessert! Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie are two favorites for this holiday, so why not combine them?

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Bacon Cheddar Chive Petite Scones

Don’t force yourself to eat plain rolls this year. Spice things up with these scones that have bacon, cheddar, and chives.

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Stuffing Cupcakes

These stuffing cupcakes are so cute! Use stuffing for the base and mashed potatoes with gravy for the “icing” part.

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Apple Cider Moscow Mule

Have a little pick me up ready for the big day with this made-for-fall drink recipe.

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Apple Pie Turnovers

Too full for dessert? These bite-sized apple pie turnovers are just small enough that you won’t feel too guilty about eating them.

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Maple Bourbon Tamarind Toast Turkey

Of course we can’t forget the turkey! To spice things up from the traditional turkey, add a bit of maple, tamarind, and bourbon.

Bonus!

If you haven’t seen our other holiday related articles here are a few you should check out. They cover topics like staying sane during the holiday rush, decorating ideas, recipes, and more.

How to enjoy the holidays without going crazy

Thanksgiving recipes

Age-friendly Thanksgiving

Fall decorations


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Podcasts for Older Generations

If you’re from the older generations, you’ll remember a time when radio was the thing everyone listened to. Now, we have the internet, streaming music, YouTube, movies, Netflix, TV, satellite radio. It’s tough to keep up with what’s going on, and there’s no way you can listen to everything.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, podcasts are like on-demand radio shows. There are podcast shows on every topic you can think of from this year’s election to economics to America to history to language and more.

Just think of a topic, let’s pick the news. Now, this is a broad topic but you’ll be able to narrow down. Do you want world news? US news? Business news?

The beauty of podcasts is that you pick your topic and show, as well as which episodes you are interested in, and that’s what you listen to. You’re not stuck listening to a 1 hour show only because you want to hear 5 minutes from your favorite author. If you want to hear from that author, just search for him in a podcast app and you can find every podcast episode he has ever been on.

How do I get podcasts?

Podcasts are easy to listen to. All you need is either a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can also use an iPod that is wifi enabled.

If you choose to use a computer, you can usually just Google the podcast you want to listen to and are able to stream the episodes from the website. If you go to a site like This American Life, you will see every episode on there.

If you use a smartphone, tablet, or iPod, you will need to download a podcast app.

Here are a few to try:

Then you just start downloading podcasts!

What are some good podcasts to try?

You won’t like every podcasts I write here, but this is a wide array of shows that have been popular over the years.

Lux Radio Theatre
For the older generation, these episodes will take you back in time. They are live radio shows of favorite classic movies.

This American Life
Episodes with themes like the financial crisis, summer camp, Americans in China, and much more. Topics cover everything about life in America and the episodes are very well made.

Radiolab
If you love science and learning new things, you will love the fascinating things you learn from Radiolab. One of their best episodes is about mysterious, giant balloons landing in American during World War II.

The Sporkful
Everyone enjoys food. This show is all about food, eating, cooking, and it will leave you hungry.

Planet Money
They make economics and finance fun and exciting to listen about.

Freakonomics
If you’re a fan of the books, you will enjoy this podcast that delves into interesting topics centered around economics like “Should tipping be banned?” and “Why are we still using cash?”.

Serial
This is the podcast that has helped bring podcasting into the mainstream. Season 1 followed the host as she dug into a cold case about the murder of a teen. The second season followed the story of Bowe Bergdahl who left his post and was captured by the Taliban.


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How to enjoy the holidays (without going crazy)

The holiday season is upon us, and boy are we excited! Halloween just came and went, now we get to look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah. It’s no wonder this is the “Most wonderful time of the year”.

But for many of us, we greet the holiday season with a sense of dread. We think about the money we’ll be spending, all of the relatives and guests we’ll have to host and see for multiple days on end. And don’t forget about all the cooking, decorating, and preparation that goes on.

The holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful, but many of us have let it become just that. Here are some ways to start enjoying the holidays this season without going crazy.

  1. Limit or forgo gifts
    You don’t have to do this, but if buying gifts and receiving them makes your heart race and your palms sweat, maybe this is a good year to start this tradition. Now, it’s harder to do with kids, because they all want tons and tons of gifts. It may be best to ween them off the gifts slowly. If you have very little kids, order a box of toys on eBay and save yourself the hassle of going to the crowded mall. Your family and friends my call you a Scrooge or cheap for doing this, but if it helps relieve some stress, then it’s worth it. Ask friends and family not to give gifts, and if they must they should abide by the 4 gift rule.
    Not only will this help limit the stress of thinking of and buying gifts for others, and receiving things you don’t really need, it will also help you feel relieved when you look at your bank statement on December 26.
  2. Pay attention of bad holiday habits
    This is a tough one, because certain traditions and routines are a staple of the holidays. Many of us don’t stop to think “Why am I going to the mall and stressing myself out just to buy someone a bottle of perfume I don’t even know they’ll like?”
    Think about what caused you stress last year. Was it going to visit family? Was it stuffing yourself for Thanksgiving? Think about these habits and routines that occur during this time of year. Once you acknowledge them, you can start to work on them.

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  1. Set aside “me” time
    You need some time to yourself. If you have family staying at your home, or went to go stay with family, or even if you just need to get away from your own family, do it. Maybe you just need to sit in the park with a nice book, go for a run, take a walk. Whatever it is, do it. It will allow you to reset and feel calm enough to get back into the rush of the holidays.
  2. Say no
    It’s ok to say no sometimes, but many of us feel a sense of guilt when we do. If you have too much on your plate, and a friend asks you to go shopping with them, just let them know this isn’t the best time and that you’d love to reschedule for another time. Saying yes to everything will only continue to add stress to your busy holiday schedule.
  3. Savor little moments
    Stop and take in the holidays. We spend too much time rushing around: the mall, the store, buying a tree, decorating, running to get new Christmas lights, buying last minute gifts, cooking. Many of us don’t stop to take in the holiday season. Sit down with that cup of eggnog or hot chocolate and savor it slowly. Take a stroll down 5th Avenue South here in Naples and enjoy the decorations.
  4. Get some sleep
    It’s never a good idea to run on empty. Sure, it adds hours to our day, but it takes away from our health and well being. Many of us end up grumpy or in sour moods which can ruin the day. It’s best to set a time to sleep and set an alarm for 8-9 hours later if you’re worried about keeping a set schedule.


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How to be breast cancer aware

October is a commemorative month for many causes: Bullying prevention, domestic violence awareness, Hispanic heritage, LGBT history, and more.

The most well known cause happening in the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness typically through the Susan G Komen Foundation.

Now, many stores and corporations will sport pink outfits or sell pink products to support the cause, but there’s much more to do than this.

What are some steps you can take as a woman to learn more about breast cancer. And for everyone, how can you support those with breast cancer besides just buying “pink” products.

Learn about breast health

The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a free breast health guide to get you started. This includes tips on how to be aware of the health of your breasts and questions to ask your doctor.

The site also has an explainer video letting you know what exactly breast cancer is. There is also information on male breast cancer, although it is rare it is still possible for men to develop it.

breast-cancer

This article and video go through some of the myths and truths of what causes breast cancer. Items like microwaves and cell phones don’t cause breast cancer, while known risk factors like drinking alcohol or a family history of breast cancer can be a factor.

There are also genetics involved in breast cancer, and you can get a genetic test for certain breast cancer gene mutations. The site helps you understand the results if you do decide to take a genetic test, because a positive result often is not a guarantee you will get the disease.

How to raise awareness

Besides donations or purchasing items, there are many other ways to get involved in the fight against breast cancer, not just in October but year round.

Some easy ways to raise awareness are sharing messages from the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s social media as well as the Susan G Komen Foundation, and other breast cancer organizations. But raising awareness should not stop here.

You can also host or plan a fundraising event. The NBCF helps you create a fundraising webpage where you can help raise money for the cause.

This article from the New York Times in 2013 describes the ease with which many of us feel that we are helping the fight against breast cancer by purchasing pink ribbons or sporting pink outfits or even buying a pink oven. It requires much more than that.

You can donate your hair to those who go through chemotherapy. Organizations like Locks of Love will accept certain lengths of donated hair to create into wigs.

Volunteer your time to drive patients to their treatments. The American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program provides transport to those who cannot drive or do not have reliable transportation to their treatments.

Be a cosmetology volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better program. The workshops provide skin care and make up demonstrations, instructions on hair loss, nail care, wigs, and clothing styles to help make patients feel great while still undergoing treatment.