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Best New Year Resolutions

It seems like the New Year is the best time for people to start new goals. You can start them anytime throughout the year, but it seems like starting it on the first day of the new year is the most popular starting point.

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If you are one of the many millions of people who plan to make (and actually stick) to some New Year’s resolutions, then you’ve come to the right place. Do you have your resolutions written down yet? The first step towards achieving your goals to make them concrete. Sure, losing weight is a great goal but how do you plan to do this? Instead, make the goal to hit the gym 4 times a week, or cut out fast food.

Below are 10 of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, there are plenty more but these can help give you an idea of something you might want to work on. How many of them can you guess?

Top 10 New Years Resolutions for 2015
1. Lose weight
2. Getting organized
3. Spend less, save more
4. Enjoy life to the fullest
5. Staying fit and healthy
6. Learn something exciting
7. Quit smoking
8. Help others in their dreams
9. Fall in love
10. Spend more time with family
(According to Statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ & University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology)

The problem with creating New Year’s resolution is that people tend to give them up quickly. It is well known in the gym industry that sign ups in January are very high and then tend to drop around February and March as people stop going. According to the data on Statistic Brain, only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution. 75% of people will maintain their resolution the first week then the number drops to 46% after 6 months.

So how do you prevent this dropoff in regards to your own resolutions? Time Magazine put out a list of websites that can help with specific goals like doing yoga daily or forming good habits. Another tip is to find someone else with the same goal. Having a support system and someone to hold you accountable is a great way to stay on track. Keep a journal of your progress so you can see how your goals are fairing. You can also reward yourself when you stay on track, and punish yourself (no tv for a day or no soda at dinner for a week) when you don’t follow through.

Resolutions and goals are about discipline. If you can keep yourself focused and disciplined enough to keep going then you can be one of those 8% of Americans who actually completes their resolution!


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Tasty Christmas Treats to Get you in the Spirit

Christmas is a time for family, festivities, and, our favorite, FOOD! Who doesn’t love walking in to the smell of fresh baked Christmas cookies? Or cooking the holiday ham? Maybe you have your own family Christmas traditions. It’s always fun to make those good ol’ recipes, but it’s also fun to change it up and make some new items. Here are some delicious Christmas recipes we think you should be trying this season.

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Christmas Crunch
Cookingclassy.com
A perfect treat while you wait for dinner or snack on while the kids open presents.

peppermint hot chocolate

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Gimmesomeoven.com
It’s a spicy take on the traditional Christmas beverage.

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No Bake Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecakes
Cookingclassy.com
No baking? Count me in!

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Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites
Afewshortcuts.com
Bet you can’t wait to make these.

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Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Amyshealthybaking.com
Combining two of the classics of Christmas: cookies and eggnog.

Christmas-trees

Krispie Treat Christmas Trees
Raininghotcoupons.com
These are too cute not to try and make.

kahlua hot choc

Kahlua Hot Chocolate
damndelicious.net
The hot chocolate for adults.

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
therecipecritic.com
Ok, these aren’t really a treat, but they’re sweet and delicious.

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Oreo Peppermint Bark
Crazyforcrust.com
Oreos AND peppermint? What could be better?

Reindeer Cupcakes
withsprinklesontop.net
These are perfect to make with the kids!

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels
lovefromtheoven.com
Salty, sweet, and just a touch of festivity.


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The Origin of Labor Day

Courtesy of the Dept. of Labor

We all love when Labor Day rolls around, it means a day off of work (for many of us), which means more time to relax and spend with friends and family. Labor Day always occurs on the first Monday of September. That much we know. And it has something to do with working, right? Exactly!

Labor Day was started out of the labor movement, and it’s a day to pay tribute to the achievements of the American worker. It was first recognized in 1885 and 1886. The first state to recognize it as a holiday was Oregon in 1887. By 1894, it became a federal holiday. This was because of a railroad strike called the Pullman Strike. During this strike, 30 workers were killed after President Grover Cleveland ordered US Marshals and US Army troops to quell the event. In order to appease organized labor after this tragedy, Cleveland and Congress made Labor Day a holiday.

The idea was proposed by a machinist named Matthew Maguire in 1882, while he was serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union. There is controversy though, as many argue that Peter McGuire of the American Federation of Labor first proposed it in May 1882.

The holiday falls on the first Monday of each September to mark the end of summer. Now it has become a huge retail sale day, as have many other holidays like Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

There you have it! A brief origin of Labor Day. Now you’ll know why you’re out on the beach on Monday and not having to work.


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Travel Tips for Seniors

Travel Tips for Seniors

travel tips for seniorsThe Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year. And although heavy media attention focuses on crowded airports and bus and train stations on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving, when personal vehicle trips are added to the mix the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reveals that Thanksgiving Day is actually a heavier long-distance travel day than Wednesday.

But, getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling. Now is probably the best time for you to get out there and see the world. There are many discounts you can take advantage of at museums and other attractions. Traveling through the airport is now easier than ever, especially with the added convenience of wheelchair assistance. You can book your whole trip online or contact a travel agent to assist you. Here are some travel tips for seniors on how to maximize your experience other cities, states, and countries.

  • Check out elderhostel.com. This is a budget friendly site offering affordable rooms during your travels.
  • Utilize sites like Kayak and Hipmunk. These sites allow you to compare different airline costs, getting you the best deal for your flight.
  • Medication. Be sure you are well-stocked for your medication.
  • Rolling luggage. If you are worried about lugging bags through the airport, make sure you get one on wheels.
  • Request a wheelchair. If you have a hard time walking long distances, it is a good idea to request a wheelchair at the airport. Wheelchairs also have the added benefit of allowing you to skip security lines.
  • Ground-Floor room. If you have difficulty walking up and down stairs, request that your hotel put you on the ground floor when you make your initial reservation.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Many activities like museums, plays, and tours offer discounts for seniors. See if you can snag some for your trip.
  • Don’t overexert yourself. You just got to a new country and already want to see and do everything. Pick your top three or four activities and focus on them first. This way you won’t tire yourself or your companion(s) out just on the first day. If you feel weak, be sure to sit and rest for a while
  • Drink water. It is important to stay hydrated while you travel. In other countries, the water may not be as safe as you’d like. In these instances you should purchase only bottled water.
  • Travel Insurance. If you want to be extra cautious, you may want to invest in travel insurance. This can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency. Some of these plans will pay for emergency evacuation by air back to your home country. Without insurance this evacuation can put you in debt.

If you have some travel tips for seniors feel free to share!


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Resolutions for Seniors

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Christmas is behind us, New Year’s is ahead!  Which means it’s just about time to come up with new resolutions.  But what to resolve yourself for?  Different things are important to different people!  If you’re heavier than you’d like, your biggest resolution may be to lose weight.  If you want to be more intellectually stimulated this year, you might resolve to read a book a month.  What if you’re elderly or infirm, though?  What kinds of resolution can you make to stay positive and healthy and happy?  A few years ago, a retired teacher and widower named Mary Carol Herwood from the Buffalo, NY area wrote a great article to that effect for Yahoo!  Sure, it was for New Year’s 2010, not 2014, but things haven’t changed that much in four years, and she really did have some great suggestions.  She writes regularly for Yahoo!, including some great movie reviews, so you should definitely check out some of her other content.  But for this time of year, this is the article we’re interested in.  We can’t put the whole article here, you’ll have to read it on Yahoo!, but here’s our favorite of her suggestions to get you started!

“I will make plans more often to call a friend to take in a play or a movie, stop for a bite to eat and chit-chat about this and that.”

This one is our absolute favorite, as maintaining friendships and connections with others into old age is, in many ways, one of the absolute most important things to an elderly person’s continued well-being.  It can be very easy to fall into the trap of letting this part of your life go as you age, as family and health issues take up more and more of your time, but the elderly are just as in need of companionship, friendship and fun as any of us!

“I will read at least one book each month.”

Reading is a wonderfully effective and fun way to keep one’s mind sharp, and has also been proven to be an excellent deterrent to the development of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease.

“I will not make any New Year’s Resolutions in 2010.”

Replace “2010” for “2014” here, but the point stands.  If you feel happy and satisfied with everything in your life, then mission accomplished!  So what better resolution to make than to have no resolutions to make next year?

Read the entire article HERE, and a happy early 2014!


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Extemely Unusual Christmas Trees

Just one week until Christmas, so let’s have a little fun!  Everyone tries to have fun with their Christmas trees when they decorate them.  We know someone who decorates their tree with only white lights, bulbs, and Hallmark Star Trek and Star Wars spaceships, so it looks like a science fiction space scene!  But what about people who want to go even further, and just make something 100% unique?  This gallery is for them!