I’m nearly certain trying to be nice is in my DNA. Don’t get me wrong, I can be quite mean. But being nice is just way too much fun and I prefer it unless otherwise provoked. I’ve noticed that the LA area isn’t exactly full of cheerful faces, and in that respect it reminds me very much of NYC. Every man for himself? I disagree. I’ve actually shocked people here just by being nice. Two incidents lead to someone getting out of their car to thank me. Can you believe that? While I appreciate the gratitude, I think kind acts should be commonplace.
Here are some ideas:
Put quarters in an expired parking meter.
Laugh at someone’s joke.
Call someone you haven’t talked to in a really long time.
Give your friend a gift for no reason.
Stay by the door and hold it open for the people behind you.
Compliment the person you’re standing awkwardly in an elevator with.
Offer to carry something heavy for someone who is struggling.
Praise a coworker for doing something well.
Compliment a cashier’s nail color during checkout.
Send out a nice email to someone, just because you appreciate them.
Let someone with less items go ahead of you in line to checkout.
Let cars merge into your lane.
Leave an big, unexpected tip to a rushed waiter having a bad day.
Offer your parking spot to someone in need.
Call to compliment a small business owner on a job well done.
Teach someone something you do well.
Offer to lend a book, game, or album to someone who can’t afford it.
Pay for the order behind you at a drive through.
Write a nice thank you note or smiley face on the check at a restaurant.
These instantly make someone smile. Something so simple fills you with a high. Try it, it’s addictive!
Sometimes we can try to be as productive as possible, but we have problems getting up in the morning and staying enthusiastic throughout the day. An easy way to combat this problem is getting enough sleep! But I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t know how or think they’re stuck when they just need to take action. Here are my tips.
1. Cut the Caffeine
How much do you drink? Drinking 4 cups or more of coffee a day can lead to problems with your body, along with this big one — insomnia (1). Now you may think… “I definitely don’t drink four cups a day!” We’re talking units and not physical cups. Your mug could hold multiple cups of coffee. A medium size coffee at Starbucks or McDonald’s could, too.
Caffeine is a drug and it is addictive. People react to it differently. For me, a cup of bold coffee from the gas station gives me tremors and heart palpitations. I’ve even had it trigger major anxiety. But not everyone reacts the way I do.
Make a change. If you start drinking decaf and caffeine-free sodas you’ll eventually start realizing that you can fall asleep faster and wake up more well rested. I did! You may even find your body going through withdrawal after cutting it out, which should make you realize how much you were actually dependent on it.
2. Count the Hours
How long do you sleep? Doctors recommend getting between 6 and 10 hours of sleep each night. This number varies from person to person. Some are fine running on six to seven hours of sleep each night, others (like me) need eight to nine or else we pass out during the afternoon because we’re exhausted. You need to find out what your number is and stick to it. Do something we often forget — listen to your body!
Only need five hours? Your body needs more than that to properly repair itself and keep itself running in top shape. It’s not true that you can make up for lost sleep. A short nap can certainly help but research has shown that uninterrupted sleep is the best type of sleep to develop cerebral skills such as memory retention (2). Give your body time to do what it was created to do! Plus, if you’re taking long or multiple naps each day you will have a hard time falling asleep when you should.
3. Note the Time
Your body has an internal clock. If you’re always going to bed and waking up at different times, you’re confusing your body. It’s best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Granted, I sleep in an hour or two on the weekends… But it’s best not to, or at least keep it as close to “normal” as possible. This helps when it comes to your internal clock. Your body will eventually get tired at the same time every day and wake up automatically. You’ll feel a lot better and probably get more sleep!
4. Limit Distractions
Try to relax before bed. Josh is a big “tv in bed” fan and I’m not at all. But I do put up with it. I’d recommend not watching TV at all at least an hour before bed. It stimulates your mind and makes it harder to fall asleep. Same goes with playing a fast-paced game or reading an exciting book. Try to keep it on low key activities to help ease you into sleep.
5. Don’t Snooze
The snooze button is not your friend. Yes, that’s right. The sleep you’re getting (and interrupting) every five to ten minutes by hitting the snooze isn’t doing anything for you. In fact, it’s probably making it even harder for you to actually get up.
Cut back slowly. If you hit the snooze button five times each morning, cut it back to four times for two weeks. Then three times the next two weeks. Eventually you should be getting up right away. Still can’t do it? Look at this app — it sends out an embarrassing tweet every time you hit the snooze button as a punishment. Now that’s worth getting up over!
I love soup. Especially now that it’s getting colder — there’s nothing better than a warm cup of coffee on the way to work and a hot pot of soup once you get home.
I looked up quite a few recipes on French Onion Soup. I tried to recreate it by researching and came up with a rather large problem for me… All of the recipes called for a long simmer with repeated stirring. Yikes! I work all day, and prefer simple recipes to begin with. Then it suddenly came to me that I own a slow cooker I’ve never had the chance to use. Why not make use of it?
I used this recipe and dumped all the ingredients into the slow cooker during my lunch break. I put the heat setting on low and came back that night to a very nice smelling apartment. Plus, dinner was ready! What’s more simple than letting your food cook itself? Here is my altered recipe:
French Onion Soup Recipe:
2 large onions, sliced
3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon Truvia (natural sugar substitute)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
14 ounces vegetable broth
Mix onions and margarine in slow cooker.
Mix flour, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and pepper. Stir flour mixture and broth into onions. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 9 hours (or high heat setting 3 to 4 hours)
Pour into bowl and top with croutons. Heavily cover in shredded mozzarella and microwave until cheese melts.
Let cool and serve.
I recommend the recipe I used. My soup came out quite thick, but I love thick soup. I substituted veggie broth for the beef because I’m a vegetarian so it came out a lighter color. Instead of buying a whole baguette to bake and set on top, I found some cheap (but huge!) croutons at the ever-awesome Trader Joe’s that I dumped on top and loaded up with the shredded mozzarella. Microwave until the cheese melts and you have one delicious, effortless soup!
I was using a folder style filing system similar to this one, which worked fine for my paperwork up until this year. After combining my files with Josh’s paperwork and living on my own… The paperwork wouldn’t fit into the folders anymore.
I had a few options: buy a filing cabinet, buy a second filing folder, or buy a filing box. I didn’t like any of these options. We don’t have room in our small space for a filing cabinet or a second filing folder, much less a box. So I did some looking around at Staples and found a filing frame for next to nothing! Considering the other options were ranging from $25 and onwards, I’d say this was the best way to go.
I ended up clearing out one of our pull-out boxes by our desks and assembled the frame to fit. Ta-da! Problem solved. Though I do admit… I had to cut off the metal ends of the insert with a Dremel to make it fit. But think of the money, space, and ugly appearance I’ve saved! Fair trade off, I’d say.
Apologies for the bad photos. They were taken at night!