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Making morning habits stick

Rise and shiney, don’t be whiney! As more people return to the office, here are some suggestions on how to become more of a morning person.

Life coach Mhairi Todd says, “Ask yourself, ‘What am I going to use this extra time for? What am I going to gain from this?’ She stresses that change is hard, so suddenly jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn won’t be easy.

Other ways to accomplish your early rising routine include going to bed earlier, getting a good night’s sleep and starting your day with exercise.

And remember, attitude is everything.

Vikki Locke, C2 Communications, The SWFL 100

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Reclaim your space: Declutter for a better work-life balance

The work-from-home revolution brought us closer to our cluttered chaos than ever before. Our homes transformed into office spaces, with laptops in the kitchen and stacks of papers on the dining table. But now, as we head back to the office for in-person interactions, it is time to regain our space and sanity.

Research shows that clutter negatively impacts our cognitive function and overall well-being. Start by reclaiming that closet turned “cloffice,” clearing your kitchen island and recovering your dining table. Embrace the flexibility of multipurpose furnishings and create a workspace that enhances both your productivity and peace of mind.

– Marty Brantley, Engel & Völkers New Orleans, The New Orleans 100

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Water-saving tips for savvy gardeners

While April showers indeed bring May flowers, conserving water is always in season. Keen on conserving water (and saving money) this summer?

Eliminate waste by switching from sprinklers to soaker hoses stat and install a timer while you’re at it.

Combat evaporation by watering at the beginning or end of the day.

Collect rainwater and/or recycle greywater to make the most of what’s (naturally) available.

Choose native plants, which are less thirsty and more likely to thrive in your landscaping conditions, especially those that are drought prone.

Downsize your lawn. Period. The pollinators will thank you.

Read on for more.

– Staff report, The Arizona 100

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Memorial Day BBQ ideas

Memorial Day is right around the corner and barbecues are the perfect way to bring your friends and family together to celebrate. Here are some fresh recipes to bring to the backyard:

BBQ sweet potato nachos – Spice up your grilled chicken with this nacho and sweet potato combo and lots of cheese.

Surf and turf skewers – Combining steak and lobster meat on skewers is a fantastic way to elevate your cookout.

Black bean burgers – Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joy of a delicious grilled burger.

We hope you have fun making these dishes.

– Paula Serrano, C2 Communications, The SWFL 100

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Why wait for a mate? Bestiemoons are trending now

Who says you have to be married to go on a honeymoon?

Bestiemoons” are trending on TikTok with millions of views. Melissa Wasserman, cognitive behavioral psychologist, says when women friends travel one on one together, it fills one’s companionship bucket in a different way than with an S.O. And rather than waiting for a romantic partner to accompany you somewhere, you can do it on your own terms.

Alisa Cohen, founder of Luxe Traveler Club says, “Clients are using travel as a way to reunite and not saving that big dream trip for some time in the future anymore.”

– Vikki Locke, C2 Communications, The Southwest Florida 100

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Live long enough, the pendulum swings back

I was a devoted sports fan when I was teenager. If my teams lost – and they often did – I’d feel sad for days. Later I questioned my choices, but remained loyal to my school and hometown teams. After decades of devotion, some became champions, others may never. 

Things went differently with American politics. I chose one team and they only had one rival. The wins came often enough, but the losses seem to injure more deeply.

And then I realized American voters provide gravity, inexorably pulling the pendulum back towards center. Our founders were genius. I thank God for it.

Chris Schroder, The 100 Companies

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We’ve got your gift list covered with our 2022 gift guide

Enjoy gifts for travelers like a backpack made from recycled plastic, a portable power pack that charges your phone and can jump your car, a floating wet bag and our new favorite travel pillow in this year’s gift guide.

We’ve also got fun items for home, like solar-powered Bluetooth speakers, a gorgeous ornament and a crossbody purse with proceeds that benefit the Ukraine crisis.

Check out the baby massager to soothe your little one and a light sanitizer that clips to your phone that can kill germs on just about any surface.

Enjoy The Travel 100’s 2022 gift guide. Happy holidays!

– Jan Schroder, The Travel 100

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3 tips for planning this year’s holiday party

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and there are several things to consider if you’re the one hosting:

1. Choose the right setting: Where you host a party can play an important role in the mood for the event. Plan on booking a venue or consider hosting in your own home with appropriately chosen music and decor elements.

2. Select an inclusive menu: Make sure the party menu includes a few vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or keto dining options.

3. Stick to a reasonable budget: Set a budget early in the planning stage for the party, and stick to it as closely as possible.

– De’Andra Gaston, 360 Media, Inc., The Atlanta 100

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When do you need to ship presents by this year?

The pressure is on! Not only are you searching for the perfect gift, it has to get there on time to make it under the Christmas tree.

Even if you are sending a card stuffed with concert tickets (or another fun experience), you definitely don’t want it to get caught up at the post office.

The USPS has just announced their holiday shipping deadlines for 2022. They’ve got all the shipping information that you need to make sure your package gets delivered on time – whether it is a loved one in another state or a member of the military serving overseas.

– EJ Ugdang, C2 Communications, The Southwest Florida 100

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4 playlists to keep you jamming – and productive

For some people, music is more of a distraction than a motivator. But if you’re someone who needs background noise for stimulation and focus, here are four playlists that will keep you grooving from your chair, all while allowing you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. 

1. Lofi Café: Smooth, mellow beats to vibe to at your desk.

2. Sweet Soul Chillout: A mix of old and new soul. 

3. Indie Pop: Songs that sound like summer. 

4. Snowing at the Castle: Classical tv and movie soundtracks to spark nostalgia. 

And now it’s time to put those headphones on and get to work.

Maggie Medoff, The Pittsburgh 100