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How to stick with your resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions. We hold of our big changes and plans for this moment, but then most of us never follow through to even the next month. What gives?

It’s tough to make a big change so quickly. We all would probably like to lose 10 pounds, but making your goal to do that can seem daunting. So we put it off, and put it off. We make excuses not to go to the gym. We eat an extra slice of pizza because “what the heck” let’s go for it! Then you eventually give in to the fact that you’re not going to make any progress.

That’s the way it goes for many of us, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthy, stopping a smoking habit, picking up an instrument, learning a language.

So how do we get better at sticking with our resolutions and goals for longer than just a few weeks?

Here are a few tips from Life Hack that can help you out.

  1. Pick just one goal
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Anticipate problems
  4. Pick a start date
  5. Go for it
  6. Accept failure
  7. Plan rewards

Picking a goal

Picking your goal can be tough, especially when you have so many things you want to accomplish all at once. Take some time to decide just which one is most important for you right now. Maybe it’s losing weight for your upcoming wedding, or you want to learn French for your summer trip to Nice.

Doing everything at once is a recipe for disaster.

Plan Ahead

Don’t just jump right into your resolution. Break it down into actionable bites that you can do each day. If you tell yourself “Learn French”, you will never want to get started because that’s such a huge, scary goal. But if you tell yourself “Day 1-4: Learn pronunciations”, you will be more likely to follow through because now you know you should be focusing on pronunciation and nothing else.

Anticipate Problems

There will be issues that come up. You get sick, get caught up at work, have a trip that causes you to miss some gym days. Plan for this and don’t give yourself a hard time about it, because that won’t help you succeed.

Pick a start date

It doesn’t have to be New Year’s Day, just find a day where you know you can start taking action.

Go for it

If you plan to go to the gym daily, keep a full gym bag in your car so you have no excuse not to go after work. Take your goal seriously, because if you start slacking or giving excuses, you won’t succeed.

Accept Failure

It’s ok if you miss a day at the gym, or forget to do your vocabulary flashcards for French. Figure out what caused you to skip out on those tasks and try to avoid doing that next time. If you notice that stressing too much at work causes you to not go to the gym, try going before work.

Plan rewards

Have weekly, monthly, and milestone rewards for yourself. If you go to the gym daily for a week, you get to enjoy an ice cream out with the family. If you are able to learn 100 words this month, celebrate with something you enjoy.

Resolutions can be scary and daunting. We wait all year until we start working on them, so it’s time to start giving them your all!


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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!

Storage Clipboard - Blue S-20582BLU

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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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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Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is a time for romance, fancy dinners, and lots of tasty heart-shaped treats! If you’re hoping to make a great impression on your loved one for the most romantic day of the year, you can’t go wrong with baking some delicious treats. We recently did a blog on homemade Valentine’s Day gifts, which included a few baked goods. But now we want to go further. We’ve got the recipes you can’t resist. The trouble will be in picking just one to make.

Alright, let’s get to the baking!

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Chocolate Dipped Krispie Treats {Heart Shaped!}
Mels Kitchen Cafe

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Mozzarella Cheese Filled Hearts with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Hungry Happiness

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Valentine’s Day White Chocolate Bark Bites
No. 2 Pencil

brownie

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies
Kevin and Amanda

pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Love from the Oven

apple tart

Valentine’s Apple Rose Tart
Green Healthy Cooking

Meringue Hearts

Meringue Hearts

Chocolate Dipped Meringue Cookies
Your Home Based Mom

trifle

Individual Fruit and Brownie Trifles
Just a Taste

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Warm Chocolate and Caramel Cakes
Country Living

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
Country Living


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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!

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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

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Red Velvet Chocolate Swirled Brownie Bars
averiecooks.com

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Pink Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls
lovefromtheoven.com

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Pink Velvet Cupcakes
blahnikbaker.com