The Top 5 Causes of Sleepless Nights

It’s estimated that 50% of us struggle to get to sleep at night, wake up during the night, or stay up too late. That’s half of us regularly not getting a great night’s sleep. Without sleep, our bodies can’t recover from the day, we start each new day a little below our best, we’re less alert and focused, we’re more stressed out, our immune systems can’t work at their best, we can gain weight, and find ourselves feeling agitated and grumpy. Long term not getting enough sleep can even lead to serious physical and mental health problems. Struggling to sleep, or spending the night tossing and turning is often due to one of these five causes.

Money Worries
The average American family owe $8377. Usually, in the forms of credit cards, store cards and overdrafts and more often than not, a combination of all of them. Debt has become a normal part of life. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s stopped keeping up awake at night. So few of us seek help or look at a debt management program when we are having money troubles.

We spend time lying awake at night worrying instead. Don’t make this mistake. If you are struggling with debts, or a change in circumstances suddenly means you can no longer meet payments, get some help.

Not Exercising
Our lives can be incredibly sedentary. If you work from home, or mainly online, you may find that you spend a large portion of your day sat down. Many of us also drive everywhere, even short distances. This can mean that even when your mind is tired, and you want to go to bed, your body isn’t.

Try to move more. Walk short distances instead of driving, go for a walk on your lunch break, ride your bike to work or go to the gym when you are done. You may be amazed at how much better you sleep with even a little extra exercise.

Staying Online Late
Now we’re all online all of the time; it’s easy to stay up late at night scrolling through our social media feeds or playing games online. Both the blue lights emitted by the screen and the content you are devouring can keep you awake.

For a better night’s sleep, switch off and relax for at least an hour before bed. Then, leave your phone in a different room while you sleep.

Work Worries
It’s thought that over 50% of us are unhappy with our jobs. For some people, this is just a phase, or a mild annoyance that passes. But, for others, this is due to severe worries that keep them up at night, dreading the next day.

If you are unhappy at work, speak to your manager about making some changes, or consider a career change in an attempt to find a job that you love.

Environment
Sometimes, it’s nothing as deep as worries or concerns. Sometimes your environment keeps you awake. If your neighbors are loud, your partner snores, you live next to a busy road, or your mattress is uncomfortable, you may struggle to sleep. Make any changes you can, or get some earplugs. It’ll be worth it for a good night’s sleep.

Interestingly Romantic Ways To Spend Valentines

What do you know, looks like it’s that time of year again! Love is in the air, roses are everywhere because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s the perfect time of year to celebrate and appreciate the person you love but if you’re a bit last minute, you may want to plan early.

You might have had several Valentine’s Days before this one or it might be your first as a couple, either way you’re going to want to do something special. You may want to go all out with a helicopter ride tour of the city or do something cosy like chick-flicks and dinner at home. Whichever person you are and whatever your budget, there are special things you can do this Valentines.

Discover some unique Valentines date ideas so by the time the 14th comes, you are ready to surprise your loved one.

 Pick their favourite romantic movies
There’s no time quite like Valentine’s Day to watch chick flicks and order take-out. Pop open the red wine and snuggle up together for this special evening. It’s lower key but can still feel special with small finishing touches.

Go back to your first date
If you want to do something different this year, why not try recreating your first date. As far as unique ideas go, it can’t get more personal than this. Depending on how long you have been together, it may require you going back a bit. The effort you make though will be well worth it when you see the look on your loved one’s face.

Go camping in a quiet spot surrounded by nature
Valentine weekend can also be a good excuse to explore and get away from the normal nine to five. Breaking routine and doing something spontaneous can be so romantic in itself. So why not choose to surprise your partner with this unique gift and take them somewhere you know they’ll love.

Do something action-packed
This can certainly be a little different but it’s good to mix things up every once in a while. Something like going to a shooting range for the day, quad biking or paint balling will be a fun way to celebrate this year.

Drive around the city and check out new spots
Simple enough but may require a bit of planning on the map, this is a lovely idea that enables you to experience new things together. Check out quirky cafes or museums you might have missed on your excursion.

Ice skating
Don’t you just love it when you see couples go by holding hands and giggling on the ice rink? It’s a beautiful way to spend Valentines and do something you wouldn’t usually do.

Enjoy sunset together
Grab some chocolates, wine and maybe a picnic then choose a romantic spot on a hill somewhere.  Staring at the sunset together can offer a beautiful moment and be something simple yet meaningful.

Choosing one of these unique ideas will set your Valentine’s Day off to a great start. So, keep things sweet and enjoy the time you spend with your loved one this Valentine’s Day.

The Journey To Find Out Where We Came From

Hello Wonderful People!

I hope you are having a wonderful week. It’s been bitterly cold here in the Show Me State. I hope you are staying warm and enjoying a good book. I have been reading Time Management Magic by Lee Cockerell, who recently spoke at a reception at our church.

Have you ever wondered about who you are and why you are who you are? Have you ever thought about what makes you, you? If you could find out more about your parents, your grandparents and your ancestors; would you do it? If you could take a test that would tell you more about your ethnic makeup, would you be curious to find out the results?

Taking a Journey To Find Out Where We Came From

For a while now, my wife and I have been asking these questions and curious to know more about us. We wanted to know more about the wonderfully unique attributes that God used to make us. We had been hearing advertisements on TV and online about DNA tests that can help answer these questions. To be honest, I was quite skeptical of them from the beginning; but my wife wanted to take the test anyway. After asking colleagues about it, and doing some of my own research, I decided that it would be worthwhile. So, my wife and I decided to take a journey – a journey to find out where we came from.

Of the many companies out there, I decided to use the testing service from 23 and Me. From my research, 23 and Me offered the most comprehensive results and provided the most details. With this test, it will break down your DNA into ethnic percentages; telling you how much of DNA is from a specific region or area of the world. The results and reactions that I had seen from the people who took the test were amazing and made me a believer.

23 and Me uses your own saliva to analyze your DNA

Why Take The Test
For my wife and I, we have very different reasons for taking the test. Yes, we both wanted to know more about where our ancestors came from; but it was much more to it.

Me
I previously researched my family and traced my them back to the 1850s when they migrated from Germany. Looking at the family tree, all of my ancestors from that point to now where from Germany. I wanted to know if the scientific research matched the genealogical research. I wanted to know with more certainty if this was accurate or if there were other ethnicities in this mix. I had not researched the family prior to the 1850s, so I didn’t know if other ethnicities were in the mix prior to that time. I have always said that my family was German; but now would I have to add other groups into that. Also, in my line of work as a historical researcher, I help people doing their own genealogical research. I wanted to be give my opinion of the testing if anyone would ask me.

My Wife
I just wanted to learn more about my family pure and simple.I first started looking into Ancestry. However, my hubby told me that 23 and Me had a special running during Thanksgiving so we decided to test it out. I have heard some history from family members that I had a Native American great-grandmother and a half-white, half-black Grandfather on my mother’s side, but not sure what region. I know very little about my father’s side of the family. Other than that, I have little known information about my family heritage. I am curious to see what the results will say when I get the percentages back.

We started the journey back in November. We submitted our salvia test and we should be getting the results back anytime now. When we do, we post the results and our reaction. Let us if you have taken the same test or a similar one. Were the results what you were expecting? What did you learn from it?

4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Borrowing Money

Borrowing money seems like it’s just a natural part of life these days. Where it used to be considered a last resort, now most of us just factor debt into our monthly finances. The cost of living is going up but our income isn’t going up at the same rate so there’s often a shortfall that needs to be made up with borrowing. But are we too quick to borrow money? If there’s something that we need to buy, we’ll often just reach for the credit card without thinking about whether we actually need to spend that money. There are some circumstances where it is sensible to borrow, but others where it just isn’t necessary. So, how do you know which it is?

Image Source – Flickr

Do You Need To Make The Purchase?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself. If you are borrowing money because the boiler is broken and you can’t afford to fix it right now, that’s fine. You need heating and hot water so borrowing money for it is fine. However, if you’re spending the money on a new car or a vacation, you don’t desperately need those things. You can still buy that stuff, just put it off for a few months and actually save up the money. That way, you aren’t paying all of that expensive interest on top.

Can You Get A Good Rate?
Speaking of interest rates, how high are they on the loan that you want to take out? If you’ve got a poor credit score, you’ll only get accepted for loans that have a high interest rate on them. That’s just going to get you into more financial trouble. If that’s you, look at how to improve credit score and try to make some changes. Once you’ve increased your score, you’ll be able to borrow that money at a much more affordable rate.

Have You Got Savings?
A lot of people make the mistake of borrowing instead of using their savings because they think that, as long as they’ve got savings, they’re doing well financially. The thing is, if you borrow money and then start paying loads of interest on it, you’ll have less money to put aside in your savings anyway. It’s far more sensible to use your savings for whatever urgent purchase you need and then top it up again later on. You won’t have debts hanging over you and you don’t risk getting yourself into serious financial trouble by taking out lots of loans.

Can You Make Cutbacks?
If you find that you’re borrowing and using credit cards every month just to make ends meet, you’ve got a problem somewhere; you’ve got more going out than coming in. Finding a job that pays more money is one solution, but the obvious thing to do is just spend less money. People will often tell you that they absolutely can’t afford to make cutbacks but this is rarely true. If you tracked every single penny that you spent for a month, you’d be surprised at just how much you’re wasting on stuff you just don’t need to buy. Cut those purchases out and you might find that you don’t need to borrow any money.

There are certain times when borrowing is the right thing to do, but make sure you answer these 4 questions before you do.

Honoring the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Hello Beautiful People,

Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his 89th birthday.

Born on January 15, 1929, we celebrate and remember King’s work as a civil rights leader. 2018 marks 50 years since his assassination in Memphis.

History Fact:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the only person not to be president who has been honored with a national holiday.

Interesting Fact:
President Trump signed legislation that elevates the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site to National Historic Park status. The Park will now includes the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, a site that King used as the headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

On four days in 2018, all National Park Service sites with an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. One of those days is today, Monday, January 15, on his birthday.
Jan. 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 21: First Day of National Park Week
Sept. 22: National Public Lands Day
Nov. 11: Veterans Day

Local Connection:
In the video below, people remember when King traveled to St. Louis University in 1964 and gave a speech to the St. Louis community. He inspired them to be better and to do more to help others.

Favorite Quote:
“Faith is taking the first step
even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

This quote is one of my favorites because it reminds me of the scripture that I read everyday.
For we walk by faith,
not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)
Stepping out in faith and believing that God will make a way for us because He already made a way. We only have to have faith that what we are praying for will come to past.

Final Reflections:

 

The Unexpected Joy Of Our Canine Friends

Many of your pals probably talk to you about the joy their mutts bring to their humble abode. You might hear about their silly antics, their hilarious capers and be shown untold numbers of photos of their pooches in the most ridiculous positions every time you catch up for a coffee. Lately, you’ve been thinking that you quite fancy getting in on the action. Although you know you want a hound of sorts, you have no idea what kind and you don’t know where to start when it comes to puppy training or obedience classes. Don’t worry – that will come in time. The love and affection you will end up giving to your new four-legged friend will be repaid to you and then some. Take a look at these reasons why you should no longer put off getting a dog.

Vinny

Dogs Are Good For Your Health
If you’re a bit of a couch potato, then welcoming a dog into your home could result in you becoming much more active. You will be spending your days initially chasing after a puppy with never-ending energy before taking your pooch on long leisurely walks across open fields and through beautiful countryside. While you will be walking more than ever, the fresh air and scenery will also help you to de-stress, alleviate any depression and take a break from the pressures of modern life. Some studies even suggest that owning a dog can be beneficial in lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and your chances of developing heart problems.

Dogs Give You A New Love
Our beloved pets give us renewed purpose and a focus in life. Dogs are no different. If you’ve come in from a particularly manic and stressful day at work to be greeted by a creature ridiculously excited to see you, jumping up at your lap and licking your face, you won’t fail to smile. The stresses of your day will melt away, and you can relax with your canine pal.

Jay with Gio

Having a pet to focus your attention means that you will do your utmost to ensure they are well cared for and remain healthy. You’ll feed them the most appropriate diet and take care of their health needs. You will ensure that they have a strict monthly anti-flea regimen and encourage them to take their chewable Heartgard tablet to keep them free from worms. Soon, you’ll be caring for your mutt like you would for your firstborn.

Dogs Are Sociable
Most dogs love getting to know the other hounds in the neighbourhood. Because they are such social butterflies, you will find that your social calendar fills up more regularly than ever before. You will meet plenty of like-minded dog walkers on leisurely strolls with your canine buddy. It’s up to you to get talking, arrange some doggy play dates and enjoy spending time with your new circle of dog loving friends.

If you’re thinking of getting a new pet, you should seriously consider the humble hound. A dog will bring you untold levels of unexpected joy and will be your faithful friend through thick and thin.

How To Guarantee She’ll Love The Engagement Ring You Buy

You’ve finally decided it’s time to pop the question and you want to find the perfect ring to surprise her with. The pressure mounts as you begin to wonder what she’ll like. Then it hits you, you’re actually not so sure and certain of her taste in this realm.

When it comes to something that carries so much value and price, you don’t want to be feeling around in the dark. Therefore, we are going to suggest some top ways you can find out exactly what she likes so your engagement ring choice will tick all the right boxes.

When you start looking, you will want to search around online and in shops to get a good idea of what’s out there. If you’re struggling on where to start, there are some wonderful custom engagement rings in Sydney with stunning unique designs.

How to get her the engagement ring she likes:

  1. Give her something she wants

It’s all find and dandy knowing exactly how you are going to propose, the location and exactly how you’re going to do it. If the ring doesn’t tick her boxes, the proposal may go downhill. To start getting a good idea of what you like, it’s a good idea to look into her current jewellery collection. This way you will start seeing common design styles she likes, her favourite coloured stones and so on. Ask yourself as you look through whether her style is more traditional, antique, contemporary or quirky? Maybe she loves her yellow gold or silver.

  1. Question how she reacts to other engagement rings

It’s now or never. One of her friends gets engaged and she makes a comment on the ring. You need to start listening out for key things she likes and dislikes about engagement rings to build a bigger picture of what she will love.

  1. Ask close friends and relatives

Asking the people close to her about her personal jewellery taste will be a good thing to do. It’s important however that you completely trust them to keep your secret. This way you will have a good and accurate picture of her preferences.

  1. Find out her size

You’ll also want to get the correct size on the first hit. It’s best if you steal a ring of hers so you can take it to a sizer to get it accurately measured. This way you’ll get her something that is the perfect fit.

  1. Is she really into any eras?

Maybe she is a big antique jewellery fan and loves wearing or viewing items from historical eras such as Georgian or Victorian times. This might also dictate the style of ring you end up going for.

From the stone’s shape to the final setting, you’ll need to consider and cover all areas before finalising anything. Doing your research beforehand and being a detective can really pay off so you get her an engagement ring she loves.

Creating Headbands From Polo Shirts

Hi Beautiful People,

The place where I work implemented a new branding with a new logo. I have polo shirts with the old logo that I need to recycle. I was inspired to make three headbands. Today, we had a contest to see who could come up with the most creative way to recycle the old logo shirts.
Below is my hubby and I about three years ago, wearing the polo shirts. We worked on the 4th of July and was celebrating the holiday when we came home.

JT and hubby in Polo shirt

I searched Youtube to find a simple and easy to follow DIY plan for making the headbags. This is the one that I found that I wanted to try.

I used a rotary cutter to cut the shirt into six 1 to 1/12 inch strips on my mat. The cutter worked pretty well but you can also use scissors. The polo shirts has a little more fraying so the rotary strip was easier to maneuver over the fabric. The polo material stretches and creates a tube after it is cut.  The video is easy to follow and after I went over the steps a couple of times to make sure I was following the process. I finished the back of the headband with a glue gun and I sewed the seams by hand.

Sewing_Finished_Seam

And this is the finished product. A colleague liked the design, so I gave one of them to her.

Three_T_Shirt_headbands

Well I didn’t incorporate the logo into my design because I don’t think it would look right and it wouldn’t be as versatile, so I didn’t win the contest. Oh well! However, I feel like I did win because these headbands are well made and they can be worn in a lot of different ways. If you like wearing headbands while working out or you want to keep your hair off of your face, give these a try because they super easy and fun.

 

 

 

 

3 Ways To Combat Depression Naturally

Depression is a word that is being brought into the spotlight more and more everyday as we become more in tune with mental health and emotional awareness. Being depressed can make you feel like you are helpless, unworthy and unable to participate in everyday society. It’s not something that anyone can fix for you, as depression is something that blooms in different ways for different people. The important thing to know is that you are not helpless. You are not unworthy, and you are able to participate, if only you are willing to fight back against the black cloud over you.

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Trying to find remedies for depression that don’t include a cocktail of medication isn’t always easy, as medication is the go-to fix for doctors and professionals. The thing is, not everyone likes being medicated. Sure, you can feel less depressed for the tablets that you are taking, but you can also end up with side effects that are far worse than the depression that you felt in the first place. If medication is out of the question for you, then you need to consider natural remedies that will change your life. We’ve listed three natural depression remedies to help you to combat depression and give you a piece of your life back.

National Service Animal Registry. It may not have been something that you have considered before, but an emotional support animal is probably one of the best natural depression remedies there is. Getting an emotional support animal registered is important and the benefits are simply amazing. Not only can you rely on your emotional support animal for your well being, you can bring them with you wherever you go. Depression can make you feel numb, as if you cannot feel, but a dog or other pet specifically trained for your emotional health is there to help break through to those feelings while giving you a companion to rely on.

Exercise. Whether you choose to get a support dog or not, you still need to get outside and into the fresh air. Depression makes you lock into a box in your mind; you can see and hear, but you are numb and cannot connect to those around you. Being outdoors in the elements can force your body to connect with your surroundings while releasing endorphins. Those feel-good hormones have a lot to answer for and you can help to encourage your brain to rewire itself.

Sleep. Have you found that your depression makes you want to stay in bed all day? Taking advantage of that by sleeping as much as you can will help. Get yourself into a solid bedtime routine, where you would be able to help yourself relax into a decent night of shut-eye.

These are not exhaustive ways to dig yourself out of the hole of depression, there are plenty of others out there that would also help. The trick is to find out what will work for you and stick at it. Depression isn’t like a cold, where you sneeze into a tissue that can be thrown away. Give yourself time to heal and go natural with your remedies.

Celebration of Lights: Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, MO

Hi Beautiful People,

Snow Falling

I hope you had a wonderful Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, any holiday you are celebrating. It is a good time to enjoy family and friends and take in the season. It has been cold all over the country; but it has been very cold in Missouri. The temperatures have been blow freezing for the past two weeks.
Even though I was dealing with a head cold the week after Christmas; my hubby and I wanted to make sure we saw the holiday lights in Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, Missouri. I felt good enough to bundle up and pack plenty of tissues and cough drops. We would be in the Jeep driving through the park, so we would not be out in the cold the whole time.
The cost was only $10. It was great because its a minimal donation to keep up the park. And we didn’t pay until we were halfway through the tour of lights. We didn’t think that it would be a lot of people in line because of the bitter cold; but it was a good crowd. Everyone was nice and as we drove through the staff suggested we turn on our local radio station where we would hear Christmas background music as we drove through the park. We also turned off our headlights to get the full effect of the lights.

Celebration of Lights – Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, MO

It made me feel like a kid in a Winter wonderland seeing all the beautiful lights.
The displays were sponsored by local businesses and organizations: the Lutheran Church nearby, and the Girl Scouts, to name a few.

In the collage below, you will see that we actually drove through a twinkling lighted arch, a display with the Grinch who stole Christmas was up too, and shopping display from the Girl Scouts. There were many other displays: from Spiderman, Rudolph, the Polar Express, to the Manger.

Celebration of Lights – Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, MO

This is one of my favorite displays in the collage below because what we need in our lives and in our world today is PEACE.

PEACE Display

Driving through the display was so relaxing and enjoyable that my hubby and I plan to do this next year. The Celebration of Lights is a great way for the family to get together and enjoy the festivities of the season. If you didn’t get a chance to do this in 2017, please plan to do it this Christmas season by checking to see if you have a holiday lights display or tour in your area.

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