When I was growing up, my mom and grandparents used to buy our house a gift. It was normally new pots and pans for the kitchen or a vacuum cleaner for the carpets. I decided this year to carry this tradition over and purchase our home an Amazon Echo Dot.
Ever since setting it up, I have purchased some items to go with it that have made my life so much easier! Keep reading to learn more about how the Echo Dot can improve your day-to-day life.
STRETCHING YOUR BRAIN
I now load up the machine with coffee grinds and water the night before. When I wake up, I simply say "Alexa, turn on the coffee machine." She turns it on for me and it can make itself while I get ready for the day. After that, I just have to add in my sugar and creamer and I'm on my way out the door!
PRO-TIP: You don't have to spend a ton of money on Amazon products. Check on Amazon to see if the plug, smartbulb, or smart TV is compatible with Alexa!
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WEATHER FORECAST READER
*THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED IN ANY WAY BY AMAZON!
DAY 1: MOVING BACKWARD IS NOT AN OPTION, AND STANDING STILL IS NOT ENOUGH
The first day of TED Talks featured Stacey Abrams, the first black woman in the history of the U.S. to be nominated for governor by a major party. Although Abrams lost the race, her TED Talk showed me that her loss didn’t kill her drive or spirit.
Her reasoning for wanting to become governor of Georgia was delivered through an anecdote, which I don’t want to spoil in case you decide to watch! She revealed that she lost the race for governor and was sad for a while, but she decided to keep pushing forward.
When she said “moving backward is not an option and standing still is not enough, I knew that was going to be what I took away from her talk. But how do you move forward after a loss? Abrams explained it was to ask yourself “what do I want, why do I want it, and how do I get it?”
They are simple questions. Going back to the why will fuel you to push for your how.
DAY 2: THE WORLD NEEDS TO EXPAND ITS RADIUS, BUT THAT IS MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE
Today's speaker was meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd. He talks about the different biases that can effect the way we see the world.
Not unsurprisingly, Shepherd decided to focus most of his talk on the bias many people have on issues such as climate change. He explained that there are three types of biases that you may engage in when you come across dealing with an issue you have an inherent bias toward: confirmation bias (only finding evidence to support your existing belief), Dunning Kruger (believing you know more than you do about a topic), and cognitive dissonance (new info that contradicts our beliefs).
I for one believe that our climate is changing for the worse. However, there are plenty who believe differently. While I agree with Shepherd's premise, I found his speech wanting because he identified a serious problem without presenting a solution. In actuality, overcoming our biases, at least in America, will be next to impossible because we let it get so far before addressing the real problem.
Shepherd did say we should expand our radius, or knowledge, about science and other things. I also found this hard to digest because several things we used to observe as fact (like the age of the universe, medicines, and carbon dating) have since changed. We all need to think critically. That was my main take-away.
DAY 3: PROCRASTINATION EXISTS BEYOND DUE DATES
The speaker for this day is Tim Urban, a writer and illustrator for the website WaitButWhy.com.
Urban spent a lot of his time on the TED stage talking about his personal experience as a master procrastinator, reminiscing anecdotally on completing his 90-page thesis in 72 hours. He explained how the mind of the procrastinator works, saying that both the procrastinator and the non-procrastinator have decision makers, but the procrastinator has an "instant gratification monkey" who is all about fun and joy.
But Urban eventually got to a point where he talked about the dangers of procrastinating on things without deadlines. Things like relationships, pursing education, health, and others. We may seem like we have all the time in the world to meet these deadlines, but we don't, and they can catch up with us and ruin our lives.
I loved how Urban took a rather serious topic and put a funny spin on it!
DAY 4: LYING IS A COOPERATIVE ACT
Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, was today's speaker. Her book details a few was to spot a liar and teaches you how to protect yourself from that liar.
What I learned in this TED Talk was that lying is much more common than I thought, but we are much more to blame than I thought, as well. The signs of a liar are so telling that we are complicient in the lie. The fact that we can let someone get away with a lie is crazy!
I really did learn a lot about spotting lies and hope to change my position in the lie from a cooperative of it to a spotter of it. I think I might actually add Meyer's book to my Audible Wish List!
DAY 5: DON'T LET PAST REJECTION DICTATE FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
The speaker for today was Jia Jiang. He was a marketing executive for a Fortune 500 company and he started his own business when he was 30. He explains that he was long controlled by rejection he experienced as a child when no one in his class complemented him during a confidence-building exercise. He said that his childhood experience kept him from pursuing his dreams for fear of rejection.
Jiang decided to do a 100 days of rejection challenge where he decided to ask strangers for things that they would likely reject him for. His talk really taught me that the past is in the past and being rejected once doesn't mean I will always be rejected!
As I sat in the ballroom, my eyes heavy with sleep after waking up at 5 a.m. to ride almost two hours to a conference at High Point University in North Carolina, I wasn't expecting to learn much in the first hour or so.
Usually conferences like these start out with some mild life lessons many people have already learned, as well as a few announcements before we break off into small groups. I wasn't expecting to go to this conference to have myself challenged personally, but that's exactly what happened.
I have to say that I learned far more in that hour than I think I learned the entire day, which made it the best way to start my day. I want to share with you a few things that I learned, because they really sparked a change in me.
A FOOL SAYS, "I'LL DO MORE WHEN THEY PAY ME TO DO MORE"
CONFIDENCE COMES FROM COMPETENCE
There is truth to the saying "knowledge is power." When you know more, you can speak more confidently. You will have an air about you that will make people stop and wonder what got in to you. That's how I want people to look at me, and that is actually how many people want others to look at them.
SMALL STEPS MAKE BIG DIFFERENCES
NEVER SAY "I'M NOT CHANGING THE WORLD"
They have names of people and experiences lodged in their brains that helped them form in to who they have become. I bet you could ask anyone you know about their favorite teacher, and they could rattle off some touching and inspiring story on what their teacher said to them that changed their life.
You never know if you're communicating with the future president or some other person who will have great power and influence who can make that direct impact on the world. But it is your tutelage and your experience with them that may be a guiding force in making that decision.
Today's blog post is inspired by my two amazing rescue animals: my cat Rum Tum and my dog Maisel.
1. BE PREPARED TO CLEAN
2. DON'T SPEND MONEY ON THINGS YOU CAN DIY
3. YOUR PETS MAY NOT GET ALONG RIGHT AWAY
We've decided to give Maisel the house during the day and give Rum Tum the house at night. We also are slowly acclimating them to one another by letting them out at the same time under very watchful eyes. I think it is going pretty well. I really hope they will be best friends one day!
4. SCHEDULE A CHECK-UP RIGHT AWAY
We had to take her to a vet to get some medicine, and the vet did an exam on her. PetSmart and other clinics may offer a special general exam for your new animal. Have them checked out, especially if they will come in contact with other animals. Don't trust the shelter to have kept them up-to-date on everything.
5. PETS TAKE ENERGY
6. TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM CHICKEN PRODUCTS
7. GET TOYS THAT REPLACE THEIR BAD HABITS
Above everything else, be sure to love your adopted pets. Odds are, they were on the street or were surrendered by someone they really loved. They need the love and joy that comes with a new family!
I started to experience something at the end of each work day that was troubling me: I had no energy.
For someone who literally sits at a desk for the majority of the day, this bothered me. I wasn’t doing anything physical and I just didn’t understand why I was so drained of my energy. This was bothering me because I didn’t even have the energy to do household chores like wash clothes or do the dishes. So, I tried a couple of things and also researched a few things.
So, if you’re someone who seems to be zapped of your energy after a day at work, keep reading for a few things I found that can help you stay energized enough to power through your work at home!
GET YOUR BLOOD TESTED
Low iron levels can also cause weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, food cravings, tongue swelling, cold hands and feet, irregular heartbeats, brittle nails, and headaches. I found in my research that a lot of women my age struggle with this due to menstruation. The fix, however is pretty easy.
In order to improve your iron levels, you can either eat more iron-rich foods (like broccoli, dark chocolate, and lean red meats) or you can take iron supplement pills which are sold over-the-counter.
DRINK MORE WATER
To remedy this, I made a rule for myself that I actually shared in yesterday’s blog post. My water rule is that I must consume my recommended amount of water before I have a soda. My FitBit app suggests that I have about 65 fluid ounces of water a day. I also make myself finish about 26 oz of water before I have my morning coffee. This helps me stay hydrated and keeps me from drinking too much soda!
HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE
Lately, I’ve been saving my unused brewed coffee from the morning in a separate pitcher that I have an iced coffee from when I get home. It keeps me from wasting coffee and from brewing up another batch when I get home.
HAVE A SNACK
CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES
Instead of changing into what I’m going to wear for bed, I have started to change into sweat pants or shorts, a t-shirt, and into my sneakers. I’m less tempted to lay down on the bed and I’m more apt to get up and actually do something productive when I’m dressed and in shoes.
DITCH THE HEAT
As the winter months approach, it is so tempting for me to turn on the heat to stay cozy in my car, but I’ve noticed that heat is one thing that furthers my energy level decline. Instead of putting on the heat, try turning it on until you “defrost” and then turning all air in your car off. You cal also lower the heat setting in your car or even crack your windows for a refreshing cool breeze that will help your eyes stay open on the way home and when you get there!
MOVE MORE DURING THE DAY
I work on a campus, so I can walk around throughout the day if I need to. If someone gives you trouble about it, you can always bring up that coworker who spokes for 15 minutes a few times a day on the clock!
AVOID SUGARY FOODS IN VENDING MACHINES
There are tons of ways to avoid the after-work crash, but these are a few ideas that have worked for me! Do you have any tips to keep us from crashing after a long, stressful day of work? Leave them in the comments below!
I'm always down to save money when I have the chance. That's why I've started to do some things that help to save without majorly interrupting my life. I wanted to share these with my readers in hopes that they help you!
DON'T THROW OUT THAT COFFEE
However, if you just pour unused coffee down the sink, you're just wasting money! Instead, I've started to pour my excess coffee into a pitcher and refrigerate it. When I get home, I have cold coffee waiting. I can simply add in my cream, sugar, and some ice for iced coffee that will help me get through my writing assignments and blog posts!
SIGN UP FOR SAVINGS PROGRAMS WITH YOUR BANK
PICK UP YOUR GROCERIES
This service was first introduced to me by my mom. It is great for moms with children who may not be easy to handle in the store, for people with busy lives, and for disabled people. All you do is order online, reserve a pickup time, and arrive. The employees will load your cart up for you. Sometimes, they may not have exactly what you asked for, but they always give you fair substitutions.
This service is free and is a great way to stick to your list without making impulse buys!
FOLLOW MY WATER RULE
I also don't drink my morning coffee until I've had at least one 26 fl oz glass of water. This helps me to save money because I'm not drinking a ton of coffee or soda. It also helps keep my hydrated and focused throughout the day!
DONATE TO A THRIFT STORE
HAVE A FREE DATE NIGHT
There are so many other things you can do to save money and to live your best life, but these are ones that I've tried and will probably continue to do unless I become a millionaire! Do you have any money-saving tips? Let me know below!