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Homemade Valentines Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day, like most other holidays, has become all about the spending. You have to go out and buy a card, chocolate, stuffed animals, a nice dinner out. Or do you? Do you really need to buy all this stuff to make Valentine’s Day special? Or can you just stay in and enjoy each other’s company?

Buck the trend! Stay in this Valentine’s Day and make some homemade gifts, and a heartfelt dinner and dessert. Your significant other will love it, I guarantee it (and if they don’t…well…).

Here are some ideas to help you have a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day this year!

diy leather

DIY Leather Conversation Hearts
Polkadotchair.com

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DIY Valentine’s Day Succulent Planters
vitaminihandmade.com

honey

Bee Mine Valentine
eartnesthomeco.com

candy

Candy Bouquet
iheartnaptime.net

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Custom Fingerprint Art
mandmadediy.com

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52 Things- A Year in a Jar
thegunnysack.com

red velv

Red Velvet Chocolate Swirled Brownie Bars
averiecooks.com

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Pink Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls
lovefromtheoven.com

pink cupcake

Pink Velvet Cupcakes
blahnikbaker.com

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Book Recommendations You Don’t Want to Miss

Let’s make binge-reading a thing! There is already binge-watching, that thing you do when you end up cramming a whole season of a show into one day (I know you’ve done it!). So why hasn’t binge-reading taken off? Probably because reading is work. It takes a lot of mental energy to pay attention to the words you’re reading and comprehend them. We prefer watching tv and movies because they are passive, we just stare at the screen, the words and images go into our heads, and that’s it.

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Ok, so now you’ve decided you should probably start reading more. If you can’t remember the last book you read, and don’t know if your library card is expired, it’s time to pick up a book. But where to start? If you can’t think of a book you’ve had on your reading list, then look for recommendations. One of the top lists is the New York Times Best Seller List. These books are on their for a reason! If you don’t want to look there try checking out the top books on Amazon, or look at the new releases at your library. There are so many books, I know you will find something.

Do you want my recommendations? Oh, how sweet of you to value my book choices. I hope I don’t steer you wrong. I’m going to offer a range of books for you to take a look at and I bet you’ll find something!

How to Win Friends and Influence People
By Dale Carnegie
The title is cheesy, I know, but it’s a great book! It’s good for those in any field, or those just looking to make friends. I use some of the advice in my daily life, that’s how much I liked this book.

The Martian
By Andy Weir
This book was just made into a movie starring Matt Damon. Please read the book first! I read the book before they even announced a movie and after I finished I knew they’d do a movie on it. The movie is alright, but the book is so packed with information that just can’t get put into the movie. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy space, science, and books with suspense.

Humans of New York Stories
By Brandon Stanton
This is a bit of a cheat book. It’s not a typical book. It’s a collection of people’s photographs accompanied by quotes or short anecdotes from them. It’s addicting to read! There is also a popular Facebook page which helped make the book possible.

Freakonomics
By Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Have you ever wondered if a swimming pool or a gun is more dangerous? Do parents really matter? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? These are some of the crazy questions that this interesting economics book takes a look at. Somehow they make economics something you want to read!

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
By Jared Diamond
This book won a Pulitzer Prize, so already you know it must have something of worth in it. It is a “brilliant work answering the question of why the peoples of certain continents succeeded in invading other continents and conquering or displacing their peoples.”

The Power Broker
By Robert A. Caro
This is a tale of the hidden demons that ambition and power can bring someone. It discusses Robert Moses “the single most powerful man of our time in New York” and how he shaped politics and the physical city itself.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By Rebecca Skloot
This #1 New York Times Bestseller “tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.”

Outliers: The Story of Success
By Malcolm Gladwell
In this book, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the “outliers” those people who are extremely smart, famous, and successful and why they are the way they are.

A Song of Ice and Fire Series
By George R.R. Martin
If you heard about the Game of Thrones series or watched some of the episodes, you know how good the series is. The show is based off “A Song of Ice and Fire” which is a long series of books encapsulating tons of characters and story lines. The books are so good you will want to binge read them in a week. Currently there are 5 books, and we still await the 6th one from Mr. Martin.


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10 Best Nursing Blogs

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No matter the profession you are in, you likely have sought out a community, hub, or resources online. As a nurse, you are in luck! There are tons of websites out there for you to connect with fellow nurses, read more about the profession, learn new things, have a laugh, and just be in good company. There are websites for nurses in general as well as sites for specific types of nurses like ER or pediatric.

Just a quick google search and you can find tons of blogs and sites for nurses and nursing students. Here are a few of our favorites that we would like to share.

Reddit.com/nursing
This community currently has 26,000 subscribers and is quite active. You will find posts on everything related to nursing and can post items yourself.

Nurse Eye Roll
For when you need a laugh

Nurse Buff
This humor and lifestyle blog is just what the Doctor ordered. There are tons of blog posts ranging from life hacks to funny quotes and more.

Scrubs
This is similar to NurseBuff as they are all about the nursing lifestyle. They are a magazine and have plenty of content to go through. Examples include “10 Ways to Keep Your Nursing New year’s Resolutions” and “5 Things Nurses Can’t Live Without in 2016”.

School of Nursing Blog | Rasmussen College
This is the perfect blog for the nursing school student or the nurse who can never know enough!

Evidenced-Based Nursing Blog
This nursing blog comes from the Evidence Based Nursing Journal. For the nurse who loves research.

Nurse Code
This nursing blog covers everything from funny images to “nurse problems” to inspiration.

Off the Charts
This blog comes from the American Journal of Nursing. Lots of trends in nursing to keep up with.

Nursetopia
“A random stream of consciousness about nursing and the world we impact”.

The Nurse Teacher
This blog is run by a nurse who is involved in clinical teaching. They give tips and personal anecdotes.


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Fitness Tips for the New Year

One of the most popular goals people set for themselves is to get healthy. This can mean different things to different people. For some, they want to cut out junk food, sugar, processed foods. For others, they want to exercise more consistently. And others want to exercise and eat in order to gain muscle. Whatever “healthy” means to you, it probably means you should be exercising.

Running on a treadmill thereby including some aerobic exercising

It can seem hard to get a workout in during a busy day. It is also easier just to come up with excuses to not workout. C’mon you know a few! “I’m too tired, I’ll do a double workout tomorrow”, “I just feel too full”, “I have so much work to do”, “I want to relax!”, “There’s no time”. If you start making exercise a priority, you will find time to get it done. One of the best tips is to just do it first thing after you wake up and have a healthy breakfast or snack. This way, you can’t put it off or say you’re too tired when you come home from work or school or errands.

Another tip is to find exercises you can do at home. A big reason we fail to work out is because we think the gym is too far. Not only is your work out 45 minutes, but it takes 30 minutes round trip to get to and from the gym, then another 30 minutes to shower and change. If you are at home, you can have no excuse not to get a workout in. I’m going to put some great bodyweight exercises below to help get you going. For these you don’t even need equipment!

Now it’s time to set a routine, stick to it, and keep going! It can be tough keeping up the motivation after you have been going for a few weeks, but it’s important to self-motivate. Maybe you need a partner to workout with, to keep you in check, or maybe you need to incentivize yourself. Whatever that secret sauce is, you need to find it and stick with it.

At Home Exercises

Pushups

Crunches

Front Plank

Side Plank

Squat Jumps

Lunge

Glute Bridge

Hip Rotations 

Bonus!
There are lots of great video workouts on the Fitness Blender YouTube Channel. They range from easy workouts to intense!