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Lindsey Patterson

10 Essential Foreign Foods to Try

4 min read

The world is full of so many amazing foods. If you're tired of your current meal lineup, it may be time to investigate some exciting and delicious foreign food options that are out out there just waiting to delight your taste buds.


1. Pie and Mash

Pie and mash is a British delicacy that hails from London. It's classic working-class fare from the South East region of the bustling metropolis. If you want to eat like a bona fide Cockney, few things can be more authentic than this delightful mashed potato and minced beef pie plate.


2. Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse is essential for people who appreciate warm and hearty culinary creations. If you want to enjoy a signature mealtime staple from France, this seafood stew is for you. It's chock-full of saffron and tomato. It's a great stew option for fans of seafood in general. If you love clams, mussels, shrimp and whitefish, you'll surely adore bouillabaisse.


3. Philippine Adobo

Philippine adobo, as its name indicates, comes from the Philippines. It's a beloved dish that blends together marinated vegetables, seafood and meat. If you want to savor the thrilling tastes of garlic, soy sauce and vinegar, Philippine adobo can be a true party in your mouth.


4. Injera

Delicious cuisine from Ethiopia is gaining a lot of traction these days. People who want to sample mouthwatering fare from the African nation should consider dining on injera. Injera is a round flatbread that has a subtly spongy feel. It also has a sour taste. People who want to nosh on delightfully unique bread that's devoid of gluten should make trying injera a priority today.


5. Takoyaki

People all around the world are familiar with sushi and tempura from Japan. They're often not familiar with takoyaki, however. Takoyaki is a Japanese street food that has a ball-like form. If you want to relish a quick and warm treat that's a combination of tempura bits, cut octopus, onion and pickled ginger, takoyaki should be right up your alley.


6. Kimchi

Kimchi is essentially a Korean national pastime. It's a fermented dish that consists of seasoned vegetables. People who love cucumbers, scallions, radishes and cabbage often can't resist kimchi's charms. The same goes for people who enjoy spiciness in general. Kimchi isn't only tasty, either. It's also highly nutritious!


7. Gnocchi

People all around the globe know about pasta from Italy. They regularly consume spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna and beyond. There are still many people out there, however, who don't know about gnocchi. Gnocchi refers to tiny flour, semolina or potato dumplings. These dumplings are typically topped with sauce. If you like hearty culinary goodness, you won't be ever able to say no to cozy gnocchi.


8. Poutine

Poutine is a food that comes from the Great White North. If you want to revel in the joys of Canadian food straight from Quebec, you can't go wrong with poutine. It's a wonderfully decadent dish that involves French fries, gravy and cheese curds. Poutine is relatively easy to find in locations all throughout Canada. Lucky people in the United States occasionally come across it as well. If you're in a northern region of the United States, you may be able to find a dining establishment that specializes in poutine.


9. Spanakopita

Spanakopita is a Greek specialty that's also commonly known simply as "spinach pie." It refers to a savory phyllo pastry that, true to its name, features spinach. Spinach isn't the only component in spanakopita, however. These pastries are also full of delightful feta cheese. If you want to fill up with the finest Greek delight on the planet, you should look for a satisfying spinach pie as soon as possible.


10. Semla

People who want to enjoy authentic Scandinavian desserts should try "semlor" as soon as possible. A semla is a delectable sweet roll that's popular in Nordic regions of the globe. It's a pastry that features a filling that blends together almond paste and cream. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth the Scandinavian way, you should go out of your way to find a semla to enjoy. These sweet rolls make perfect dessert choices. They're far from overly sweet and overwhelming, however.



Lindsey Patterson

Food That Can Help You When Trying to Quit Smoking

4 min read

Quitting smoking can be one of the most difficult challenges a person has to face in their life. It takes perseverance and determination to push past the urges and avoid those pesky cigarettes. Fortunately, there are many factors that can help increase the chances of quitting for good. One of the most influential factors is our diet. What we eat has a large impact on whether we succeed in quitting or not. When not even the best vape pen will help quit the urge, ere are some of the best foods that can help you on your journey to quitting.



This herb works to reduce the pleasure that is experienced when we smoke cigarettes. More specifically, it has been proven to help reduce the amount of dopamine released when smoking a cigarette. Dopamine is the chemical that provides smokers with that satisfying feeling when they smoke. By decreasing this chemical, it can help to decrease the appeal of smoking. Additionally, ginseng has been shown to help deal with stress by decreasing anxiety and sharpening focus. These are two very helpful factors when dealing with the withdrawal symptoms that are associated with quitting. Just be careful with this herb as it is only recommended to take 3 or 4 times a month or roughly once a week.



Milk itself doesn't provide anything dietary-wise that will help you quit smoking, but it can help to avert you from cigarettes. In a study conducted at the Duke Medical Center, participants were given milk before smoking a cigarette in an attempt to study possible taste-altering effects. A majority of the smokers who participated reported that the milk caused their cigarettes to taste unappealing. It is also effective to soak cigarettes in milk or another dairy product prior to consumption. The taste-aversion will make the cigarette less pleasurable and make you think twice.



Popcorn provides a psychological aid that can help quit smoking. Besides the addictive qualities contained within nicotine, there is also a psychological addiction and habit that helps to drive the urge to smoke. Simply put, smokers have trained their minds to expect a cigarette at very specific times. Chewing on some salty popcorn during your normally designated smoking times can help to provide your mind with an alternative to those cigarettes. It won't remove the addiction, but may help to distract your mind from those nagging cravings. Other salty foods can provide the same benefit such as chips or salty crackers.


Green Oats

Formally known as avena sativa, these wild oats have shown to have mild sedative effects on the mind, slightly mimicking the effects of nicotine patches or nicotine gum. This can be an effective remedy when those hard cravings aren't subsiding while trying to quit. The whole idea behind this progressive withdrawal technique is to mimic the 'good feeling' effects experienced when smoking, yet progressively reducing the amount in order to eventually reduce cravings and overall addiction. There was also a study conducted that suggested that these green oats could ease the symptoms experienced during withdrawal periods.


Some Vegetables

There are a number of vegetables, such as broccoli, squash, and carrots, that have shown to cause cigarettes to taste bitter and unappealing similar to that of milk and other dairy products when consumed before smoking. Additionally, the nutrients provided within these vegetables can help to reduce the dependency on nicotine. At the very least, these vegetables will make for an overall healthier diet that will put your body in a better place to combat those difficult cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Try to avoid vegetable with higher glucose levels that would activate pleasure centers that may trigger more cigarette cravings.


There is no magic cure for nicotine addiction. However, there are several changes that individuals wishing to quit smoking can make to their daily routine that will greatly support them in the process of quitting. Use a grocery delivery service to get these foods to you quickly and ensure you get the right products. Diet is one of those major contributors that can either encourage an individual to continue to smoke, or be used as a tool to help them quit for good. When a diet is structured to help reduce smoking in an effort to quit, that is a daily reinforcement and support that a person provides for themselves. It may seem as though diet isn't very important, but when used correctly it can be one of your greatest advantages on your journey to quit.



Lindsey Patterson

8 Ways To Keep Your House Cool for Summer 2017

4 min read

Your air conditioning unit is one of the most important appliances in the home. You can get the most out of your unit by following a few simple tips. 

1. Replace Old Units

Some older units don't operate as efficiently as new energy efficient units. Replacing an older unit might seem like it would cost a lot of money, but over the years, you will likely save money on your electric bill. The new unit will also likely put out colder air since it hasn't been used. 

2. Filters

One of the ways to keep your unit maintained is to change the filters. These are easy to change, and most units only have one. If you have window units, then you would need to change the filter in each one. There is likely one filter inside the home if you have a central air unit. Some outdoor units have a filter. This information would be listed in your paperwork that you received when the unit was installed. If the filters are clean, then the air that goes through the unit can move freely, making it easier to circulate through all areas of the home. 

3. Insurance

Appliance insurance is something to consider so that you won't have to pay for repairs if something goes wrong with the unit. There might be a limit as to the services that are offered or the length of time that certain services are offered, but some insurance policies can be extended so that you can maintain full coverage on the appliance. This will also beneift you in the event of a storm that causes damage to the unit as most companies will repair or replace the unit. 

4. Fans

Adding fans to a room to improve the circulation of air is a way to keep energy costs down and to decrease the usage of the air conditioning unit. Place fans in areas where the air from the unit will be caught by the fan and blown through the rooms. Hallways and open areas are ideal for placing fans as it's easier for the air to circulate in spaces that don't have anything blocking the flow. 

5. Turn The Temperature Up

If you turn the temperature for the air conditioning unit up just a few degrees, the unit won't struggle as much to keep the home cool. You might have to keep fans on more often, but if the unit isn't on as much, then it won't use as much energy. 

6. Open Windows

Give your unit a hand by opening the windows when it's cooler outside or at night when the temperature drops. If it's going to be cooler for an extended time, turn the unit off so that it doesn't come on during the day. Make sure you turn it back on before the temperatures are expected to rise so that the home gets cooler. 

7. Solar Power

You can help the environment and your budget by installing solar panels. You don't need large panels as they will be placed on the outside on top of the unit. a film panel is less expensive than the larger panels or the panels that have the thicker tiles. 

8. Making It Dark

Keep the curtains closed as much as possible so that the heat of the sun doesn't come through the windows. This will only defeat the purpose of keeping the air on in the first place. Try to place the main unit of the air conditioner in the shade if you get the unit installed after moving into the home. This can help cut back on the amount of energy used as well because there won't be a high temperature putting a strain on the unit, causing it to run more often.

Lindsey Patterson

Pay Your Insurance Premiums Based on “How You Drive”. The New Developments in the Insurance Industry

4 min read

With the ever increasing competition, industries are coming up with new ways of doing business so as to generate more revenue and ensure customer satisfaction. Better service delivery usually results to satisfied customers who will always keep coming back for more. For most of the business, they keep in touch with their clients to ensure that the products they sell benefit them. For other industries, the situation is different. For instance, how can an insurance company ensure that their clients are satisfied with the services they receive?

There has been a lot of generalizing in the industry, and the clients have been treated equally which made some people think it was unfair. Is it fair to charge the same amount of premiums to a careless driver as with the most careful ones? It is from such arguments that insurance companies have incorporated technology in the way they do their business. This is to ensure that their customer goes home satisfied and, on the other hand, the insurance company generates enough revenues to keep them afloat.

Telematics is the new technology that enables drivers to pay for their insurance covers depending on "how they drive" and not in what group they belong to. Telematics technology enables the installed gadgets to send computerized data over long distances to the insurance companies for analysis. By tracking the insured cars through a GPS system, the insurance company obtains relevant information about

• The cars location

• The time spent on the road

• Acceleration Parameters

• Braking patterns

• How well or badly you negotiate corners

The data obtained is then sent to the insurance company's systems where it is used to compute for premiums through actuarialised approximations. The driver can also access logs of their driving behavior from a website and also see how the insurance company is using the information to calculate premiums. The drivers are set to benefit more from the rate of premiums charged based on their driving behavior. The more careful a driver is, the lower the premiums they pay to the insurance company.

It is not only drivers that are bound to benefit from this new development. Insurance companies are also benefiting a lot by being able to pick their clients premiums depending on their driving behavior. This system eliminates the old and unfair concept where insurance premiums were charged depending on the bracket the insured belong to. The new system has led to the influx of more customers to the companies using this technology as they consider it cheaper and fairer. The insurance underwriters also spend less time investigating accident cases since telematics insurance is changing the driving behavior.

How much are you willing to trade a little of your privacy for better service delivery? Privacy tops the concerns for most customers since the development of telematics insurance. There should be little to worry about regarding the new system as one can choose to stop location tracking by the insurance company. The data is, however, very crucial to the insurance company. Without it, they are forced to rely on the actuarial data that focuses on the old concepts such as age and the number of claims you have had before.

The huge amounts of data being received by the insurance companies need sophisticated systems to handle them. This has been made possible by hadoop services that allows insurance companies to handle the huge amount of data and a high velocity including unstructured data for analysis. This is changing the way data handled and also influencing the way organizations does business. It is also becoming easier to get insurance cover. Insurance online quotes enable clients to compare insurance products from different providers.

Lindsey Patterson

Mapping your financial future through "Easy Street"

4 min read


Regardless of income, you can find the road that leads to “Easy Street.” However, “Easy Street” is not defined as living in a huge mansion and summer vacations on your private yacht. It is defined as being out of debt, paying cash for purchases and enjoying spending the fruits of their labor. “Easy Street” is life without ulcers. 

The first essential in planning a trip is knowing where you are. You cannot get to “Easy Street” from here without knowing your current financial position. Your trip requires time and planning, but you can do it if you are willing to exercise self-discipline and carefully plan your spending

Finding your current financial position requires a detailed list of your income and expenses. You must know each month’s income and expenses in order to know how much is available for enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Financial Tools for Making Budgets

Any search engine will lead to a myriad selection of budgeting tools. Some of these are free, and others are available for a price. Regardless of your choice, you should make a budget and stick to it. 

Living within your income and developing a long-term financial plan is the only way to prepare for a financially healthy retirement. The road to “Easy Street” may have a few bumps along the way, but without a budget, your retirement years may find you in poverty.

Ways to Reduce Monthly Payments

Refinancing loans may provide an excellent way to improve cash flow. Mortgages and other loans will usually state the terms of refinancing. However, if you cannot find the refinancing terms, you should contact the lender. Many Internet sites offer a mortgage refinance and auto loan refinance calculator. You may use these calculators to determine how much your monthly payments will be reduced. 

Since mortgages and auto payments eat up most of the family budget, you should pay close attention to them. If these items appear excessive, you should consider refinancing. Of course, refinancing will cost more in the long run and postpone the day that you will be able to pay cash for all purchases. 

On the other hand, the excessive interest on your credit card debt may make refinancing a wise choice. Use the extra money to eliminate the credit card debt. After that, you should pay the full amount each month. By choosing the best credit cards for your needs, you can increase your purchasing power by 1 to 5 percent.

Leveling Payments

Many utility companies will let you levellze payments. You should contact each company to see if you qualify for Levelized billing. Cash flow plans with accounts that have the same amount each month are stable and easier to plan.
You should also levelize your tax and insurance payments. Although taxes are paid annually, you can divide the amount by 12 and deposit each month’s payment into a savings account. This action will allow you to avoid a cash shortage during the month taxes are due.

Personal Finance Tools

There is an abundance of software that will provide the professional or novice an opportunity to take control of his or her financial future. Some of the tools are online and provide secure sites to protect information. Some packages are downloadable so that you can use your computer for financial planning. If you are computer literate, you may want to download free Excel spreadsheets.

These packages let you plan your budget, investments and compute your net worth. Since each transaction increases or decreases your net worth, you need the best financial tools for your trip to “Easy Street.” 

Lindsey Patterson

Live As Londoners Do: 6 Places You Must Go While On Vacation

4 min read

When you make a trip to London, there are so many things you can do to have fun. However, sometimes you get sick of visiting all the classic tourist spots like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London. When you get tired of the tramping along the tourist trail, you should recharge your batteries by experiencing London like a local. There are some quintessential London activities you can enjoy to experience the city from a resident’s perspective. Here is a look at six of the places you must go to experience London like a local.


1. The Palm Tree

No city on the planet takes greater pride in its pub tradition than London. There are so many amazing pubs in this city that you could spend a month-long vacation exploring them and still barely scratch the surface. If you want to visit one of the very best pubs in London, head to The Palm Tree in the East End. This proud pub has stood isolated from the rest of the neighborhood ever since the surrounding buildings were bombed into rubble by Nazi planes during the Blitz. Order a pint and enjoy the marvelous décor that looks like it would be right at home in the 50s, the 1850s that is. The red velvet curtains, brown wallpaper and carpeted floor combine to instantly transport you into the London of yesterday.


2. Hyde Park

London’s most-loved park is an essential stop on any trip to London. The locals absolutely cherish Hyde Park, flocking to it every weekend and on holidays when the sun is shining. If you want to experience one of the most classic London activities for locals, stop at M&S Food to load up a picnic basket with all of your favorite treats and head to Hyde Park. The market has all the best food, wine and cakes in London. Bask in the beauty of this glorious park and enjoy watching a game of football or cricket being played by locals as you dive into a delicious picnic lunch.


3. Broadway Market

If you like farmer’s markets or shopping in general, then you cannot miss a stop at Broadway Market while on vacation in London. This is one of the most amazing markets in the world. As well as being packed with food vendors, Broadway Market also has lots of stalls selling crafts and antiques. There are also loads of amazing stores surrounding the market to explore. Plan on spending at least half a day here to do the Broadway Market justice.


4. Bonnie Gull

If you are in the mood for the signature dish of the city, then you better find a great spot for fish and chips while you are in London. Locals swear by the two Bonnie Gull establishments for the best fish and chips in town. You can go to either Bonnie Gull Seafood Bar on Exmouth Market or Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack on Foley Street in Fitzrovia. Both locations serve up fish and chips that are lovingly crafted with a supremely flaky tempura batter and served with homemade ketchup.


5. National Theatre

London is one of the best theatrical towns in the world, and there is no better place to take in a show than the National Theatre. Located on the banks of the Thames River in South London, the National has been a London institution since it first opened up in October 22, 1963 with a production of “Hamlet.” If you want to save money on tickets like a local, head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square to get great deals for shows at the National.


6. Get a Bicycle

Taking trips on the tube is one essential form of local travel in London, but a more delightful way to travel like a local is to hop on a bicycle. Sometime referred to by locals as “Boris bikes,” you can rent Santander Cycles from docking stations all over the city for just £2 per 24 hours. If you are only going on a short ride, using one of these bikes for 30 minutes or less is free.


London is often remarkably thought of by some people as a tourist trap that does not have its own culture. As you can see, there are no shortage of fun ways to experience London like a local. The city is overflowing with enjoyable things to do that are off the well-trod tourist path. Make sure that you try a couple of these fun activities next time you are in London so that you can sample a taste of life as a local.


Lindsey Patterson

3 Celebrity Brides We Can't Get Over

4 min read

Whether you are planning a wedding or attending one, celebrity weddings can be a great place to look for inspiration. Lavish ceremonies, receptions that spare no expense, custom lace wedding dresses and exotic locations are some of the reasons we obsess over celebrity weddings. The year 2016 has seen many high-profile unions and there are several celebrity brides who we just can’t get over.


Ciara and Russell Wilson

R&B singer Ciara tied the knot with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on July 6, 2016. The fairy-tale nuptials took place at Pickford Castle in Cheshire, England. The couple married in a secret ceremony attended by 100 of their closest family and friends.


The bride wore an exquisite custom gown designed by Roberto Cavalli. Ciara told him that she wanted to feel like a princess and Cavalli designed a gown worthy of royalty. The long-sleeved wedding dress featured belle sleeves, lots of tulle and chantilly lace appliqués. Handcrafted in Milan, the gown required multiple fittings.


The cathedral-length train was 13-feet long and the bride pulled her long brunette hair back into a chic ponytail. Her custom shoes designed by Giuseppe Zanotti featured laced cuffs and slender silver heels. Wilson chose a custom Giorgio Armani tuxedo and the eight bridesmaids wore fitted black gowns created by designer Michael Costello. Ciara’s sparkly 16-carat diamond completed the look.


A traditional reception followed immediately after the ceremony. Guests danced until dawn while Earth Wind & Fire performed.


Hannah Davis and Derek Jeter

Retired Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter married his longtime love, Hannah Davis, in a small and intimate ceremony on July 9, 2016. The couple exchanged vows at a Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena, California. The early evening ceremony was attended by less than 100 people and lasted a brief 20 minutes.


Davis, a former model, chose two custom lace wedding dresses designed by Vera Wang. The first gown was a mermaid style complete with a sweetheart neckline, tulle high-neck halter and a double-tier veil. The second dress was a custom v-neck charmeuse gown covered with white illusion tulle. Her romantic look was accentuated by her updo hairstyle, large white rose bouquet and 6-carat round-cut diamond ring.


The bridesmaids looked stunning in flowing one-shoulder lavender chiffon gowns. Jeter chose a simple black tuxedo with a white bow tie designed by Nigel Curtiss. The groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos.


The reception was held inside a greenhouse on the property. All of the decorations and flower centerpieces were white. The couple honeymooned in Europe for three weeks.


Eva Longoria and Jose Baston

Actress Eva Longoria walked down the aisle with media mogul Jose Baston in a sunset ceremony on May 21, 2016. The couple married at their private residence overlooking a lake in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. The nuptials were officiated by Father Pedro in both English and Spanish.


Longoria wore a white sleeveless dress designed by her friend, Victoria Beckham. The fitted dress featured a sweetheart neckline and flared skirt. The bride wore her hair down without a veil or headpiece. Baston’s three children from a previous marriage were the only members of the wedding party.


Baston wore a gray suit designed by Brunello Cucinelli. The bride completed her look with a strand of pearls and a bouquet of calla lilies tied with a white ribbon. The pair exchanged simple gold bands.


At the reception, guests were treated to cocktails and a traditional Mexican meal prepared by local chefs. The newlyweds finished off the day with a big display of fireworks and a honeymoon to Cambodia.

Lindsey Patterson

How I Make Weekly Meal Prep Easier

4 min read

Trying to stay out of restaurants for your wallet and your waistline? It's a good plan, but coming up with new meal ideas every evening can be a nightmare at the end of a trying work day. Consider doing most of your meal prep on the weekends and invest in a grocery delivery service plan.


Cook Once A Week

First thing in the morning on Saturday or Sunday is a great time to cook most of what you'll need for the coming week. This process is efficient, creates fewer dirty dishes, and lets you face post-work and school hungry family members with confidence.


Get out the chopping board, your favorite knife, all of your ingredients, and get busy. Make a veggie or beef stew in the stock pot, start a what you need to make a casserole or hot dish (but do not bake it yet), and build a chopped vegetable salad with a vinegar dressing. While the stew cooks, you can simplify access to the food you don't have to cook.


Divide and Store

Split snacks such as fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, popcorn and chips into grab and go packets. While foods like apples travel easily in their own single serve portions, grapes can get a bit messier. Rinse fresh fruit and split it into plastic bags for a quick snack or sandwich accompaniment. If you've got fresh citrus, consider pre-peeling an orange or a grapefruit each evening for a quick morning snack.


Put crackers, chips and fresh vegetables in similar size containers for a bit of crunch. Split bread into storage bags, two pieces at a time, for a speedy sandwich or to make toast at the office.


While cheeses, tuna salad, egg salad and other meat-based protein sources will need refrigeration to stay safe, other foods can remain edible at room temperature. Consider hummus, baba ganoush, and guacamole for spreads and dips that are easy to split into single serving containers.


Invest In Freezer Containers

Once your stew is cooked, let it cool and split it into single serving airtight freezer containers. These will become the ice packs for your packed lunches. By the time you get home, they'll be thawed and ready for the microwave.


Refrigerate the unbaked casserole until the middle of the week, then bake it when you get home for a sit down family dinner. To reduce the risk of shocking and breaking your casserole dish, put the casserole in the oven before you preheat the oven, and check the casserole five minutes earlier than you generally wood. While freezing a casserole may work long term, a refrigerated casserole will maintain better flavor for two to three days.


Use Your Crockpot With Care

Crock Pots are ideal cooking vessels for poor cuts of meat and the occasional pot of chili. However, if you're trying to get more vegetables into your daily diet, consider starting your crockpot over your lunch hour rather than letting it work all day. Vegetables can go from edible to mush easily in a crockpot, so over-cooking them not only destroys the texture but reduces their nutritional value.


However, with a bit of practice you can turn your crockpot into a small oven during days when you do not want to turn on the oven. With the pot on the lowest setting, scrub two large baking potatoes and settle the in the bottom of the pot, preferably away from the sides. Atop the potatoes you can layer other vegetables in foil, including sweet corn, chopped beets, a packet of green beans, or asparagus. Again, keep things separate. Add a bit of oil or butter to the vegetable packet, and cook on low from five to seven hours. By the time you get home, your potatoes will be baked and the vegetables roasted. Delicious!


Get Groceries Delivered Before Your Cooking Day

Plan your cooking projects one week in advance, and get groceries delivered before cooking day. You might want to schedule a second, smaller delivery for additional fresh produce if your household goes through a lot of fruits and vegetables. While some groceries offer curbside pickup, services such as Togle will collect your groceries from the store of your choice.


Joining your friends and family for a hearty meal is fun. Standing at the stove while exhausted as you try to cook for your household is not fun. Honor your energy and time by building a repertoire of recipes that freeze and store well. Get your groceries delivered and remove one more errand from your week. Enjoy your time and your food, and see how much better you feel!

Lindsey Patterson

3 Wedding Items You Shouldn’t Have to Compromise On

4 min read

Congratulations on your engagement! This is such an exciting time in your life, and you are probably getting questions from everyone. Have you set a date? Have you chosen your dress yet? Where will you be getting married? It may seem like the questions never end or that you have more decision-making than you could ever handle. Since this is a big day for so many people, you may find the need to compromise with family, vendors, or even your groom on some wedding details. While you may decide to negotiate or delegate certain items to others, there are three important items you shouldn’t have to compromise on.


1. The Setting

Most brides have had visions of their wedding day that include a specific place and maybe even the particular aisle she will walk. Even if this is not true of you, you know what settings make you feel comfortable or create the mood you are looking for in a wedding location. Whether you envision a church, a beach, or a serene mountaintop, this location is a dream that can come true for you.


Since budgets play a big part in picking your location, let’s look at what you can do to make your dream location a reality. After researching popular wedding locations in your area that fit your description, you will have an idea of venue costs. If none of your options fit your budget, do not worry! This is the time to get creative with your connections. When coworkers, friends, and family ask about your wedding details, mention what you are looking for in a location. You would be surprised how many people have just been at a wedding that matches your description in a setting that may fit your budget. With some out-of-the-box researching and thinking, you will often find more than one option that will create the perfect setting for your big day.


2. The Dress

You may have expected this item to make the list, and it definitely deserves the spot. Nothing makes you feel confident and creates the look you want for the day more than your dress. Taking time to make sure it’s the one for you is not a decision you will regret. First, take some time to do some “experimental” shopping. Go to as many bridal boutiques as you would like, try on the dresses, and take pictures in the dresses. Your picture of the ideal dress may even change, and now you know what is out there. Here is where you get creative! Look online for styles that match your favorites. Another great option is to consider vintage wedding dresses. These can be a great way to save some money while still finding a design that fits your personality. Remember that the dress needs to be a good fit or slightly big, but alterations can adjust the look to create your perfect dress.


3. The Photographer

The final item you don’t need to compromise on is your photography. Everyone has seen the difference between wedding photos where the couple invested in good photography and ones taken by a well-meaning relative with marginal photography experience. The difference can be huge, and you will never regret the decision to hire an experienced photographer. Your wedding day will be wonderful, but will also be over when you leave. Your photos, however, will last your lifetime. Look at photographers’ websites, including their galleries. These are their favorite photos; so if you are not impressed, move on to the next one. And while you may know a friend who takes great pictures, take time to ask them about their wedding photography experience before hiring them. Your experience with your photographer and his or her work is definitely worth the investment and will give you memories to cherish forever.

Lindsey Patterson

How to Survive Fall and Winter When You're A Warm Weather Person

4 min read

Winter blahs get their reputation honestly. It is no fun to wake up to another cold, grey day for weeks or months on end. But just when you think you can't wait one more day for the warm sun to return, you might find inspiration to survive fall and winter from these tips!

Tip 1: Buy cute, comfy winter wear.

No matter how much you hate the cold, you will always find it slightly easier to venture outside if you love your winter wardrobe. A down or down alternative coat with a hood will keep you warm and cozy even if it is snowing outside. Knee-high winter boots will insulate your feet and keep them warm and dry.

Choose your winter wear wisely. If you don't love it, leave it on the rack. Look at your winter outerwear as an investment in warmth and morale. If you love your coat and boots so much you can't wait to show them off, you will be more motivated to wear them.

Tip 2: Add a rug....or few.

Few experiences are more miserable than having to get up in the morning and tiptoe across any icy cold floor. Simply adding a plush pile rug to your indoor decor can make your mornings so much brighter and more comfy.

Unless you plan to invest in wall to wall carpeting, however, at some point that area rug will end and you will have to confront the floor again. For this, place a pair of fluffy slippers by your bed. Slip your feet into them first thing and never feel that awful cold floor again.

Tip 3: Be sure to load up on vitamin D.

Vitamin D is one of the new "star" vitamins, cited by leading medical professionals for its role in guarding against cancer, osteoporosis (brittle bones) and other serious health issues. But more importantly, Vitamin D can really boost your mood, especially during the blah winter months.

Ask your doctor about sun therapy, supplements or diet changes to increase your daily intake of Vitamin D.

Tip 4: Order your groceries to be delivered to you.

If you have ever looked outside at the cold, icy weather and wished you could just have someone bring your groceries to you, now you really can! In fact, with the rising number of grocery delivery service options, increasing numbers of cold-averse shoppers are choosing to do just that!

Whether you need just a few ingredients or a whole cart full of supplies, you can stay warm and dry inside all winter long with grocery delivery services.

Tip 5: Notice things you do like about winter.

This can be challenging if you really hate the cold. But maybe you really like how the world looks (from the indoors) when covered in fresh white snow. Maybe you love the winter holidays and all the festivities they bring.

By making a "winter gratitude" list, or simply keeping mental tabs on what you do appreciate about the cold weather months, you can boost your mood when the endless cold gets you down.


Tip 6: Stay active as much as you can.

You may have to make some adjustments to keep active in winter. But one thing that is nearly guaranteed to bum you out is staying inside on your couch all winter long. You won't feel connected to life, to other people and to yourself unless you make a concerted effort to get out there and live even when temperatures are plunging.

Finding an indoor sport you can pursue or a workout class you can take with a friend can be a great way to stay active. Plus, as a bonus, working out in the winter will give you an instant warmth boost from the inside out!


Winter isn't for everyone, and if you love the warm temperatures of spring and summer, you may not ever be able to really warm up to fall and winter as well. But there are many ways to ease the chill of winter emotionally, mentally and physically, and some of those ways can even be fun too!