Monday, July 12, 2010

Managing Time: Working from Home or Telecommuting

So many people are working from home or telecommuting these days and it's probably hard to effectively manage your time. It can be much different from the 9-5 workday in an office where your time and work is more closely watched by your boss. It is very easy to get distracted by other tasks around the house that can take up time away from work projects.

Here are three easy ways to manage your time while working from home or telecommuting:

1. Rise & Shine: Wake up at the same time each morning to start your workday. This will keep you in a routine even though you may only be walking into your home office for work. Don't forget to brew a good pot of coffee to get you going.

2. Lunch & Breaks: Take an hour for lunch away from your laptop/computer. Plan to have lunch outside on the patio for some sunshine and fresh air. You can even workout, take the dog for a walk, or dash out on errands for an hour. Also, take 15 minute breaks to stretch and refresh throughout the day.

3. Phone calls: It may be hard for your family and friends to get used to the idea that even though you are working from home or telecommuting a few days of the week, you still need time in the day to work. Just like personal phone calls at work are generally a no-no, make the same policy while working from home and telecommuting. Politely inform your family and friends that you will not receive phone calls during certain times of the day unless it's an emergency.

I hope these are helpful for managing your time and keep you focused while working from home or telecommuting. OK, back to work!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exercising in the Heat

The heat is on across the country. I live in Atlanta and we've had many days in the high 90's. This week, the eastern states are experiencing a heatwave with temperatures in the low 100's. Whew! The news channels have shown what people are doing to battle the heat especially those who work outdoors.

For those who enjoy exercising outdoors, it might be a good idea to change up your routine during this heatwave. Here are a few tips to exercise comfortably in the heat.

-->If you are an avid runner or walker, wake up earlier in the morning for your run or walk.

-->Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Nice way to shape your legs and buns.

-->At home: do 2-3 sets of push-ups while watching the evening news, squats while microwave warms your food, and side twists/bends as you work at the computer.

You don't have to nix your exercise routine during the heatwave, just be mindful of the temperatures and plan accordingly. Of course, drink lots of water even inside!

Gallery | Taking home to the next level |

Gallery | Taking home to the next level |

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vacation Meals Tip

Here is a good tip to save on the meal budget during your vacation. Plan to stay at a hotel that offers a free complimentary breakfast each morning. There are plenty of hotel sites that describe all the amenities offered at their location. Perform a Google search to find the hotels where you will be vacationing. Start your day with a stop at the complimentary breakfast bar usually located in the hotel lobby before you set off for sightseeing. The fare varies, but you can bet it will include hot coffee to enjoy. This will be one meal where you won't have to spend any money. Cool Savings!

Friday, July 2, 2010

5 Grilled Dishes for an Elegant 4th of July Party -

5 Grilled Dishes for an Elegant 4th of July Party -

3 Healthy Tips for the 4th!

1. While hot dogs and hamburgers are staples at cookouts, try to add more fruits and veggies to your plate. If the cookout plates are large, don't feel the need to fill it up with lots of food.

2. If there are any outdoor activities like badminton, flag football, frisbee toss, etc. going on at the picnic/cookout, participate to work off the eats. Or, just take a walk.

3. Make sure you drink plenty of water during your time outdoors. More importantly, limit alcohol consumption.

Most of all, have fun with family and friends!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Money-saving July 4th Cookout

If you are planning to host a July 4th cookout this upcoming weekend, plan to make it potluck to cut some of your costs.

There is nothing wrong with asking your friends to bring a dish, dessert, drink, or snack to the cookout. I am sure they won't mind helping out. I find that people have a favorite dish that they love to prepare and would be happy to bring it to the cookout. For some, it might mean stopping by the grocery store and picking something up to bring and that's fine too. The cost of meats alone is an expensive buy so a little help with the other menu items will come in handy.

In these tough economic times, trying to cover all the expenses yourself may be difficult, but you still would like to have a nice time on the 4th. It takes a lot of work to host a party at your home and this money-saving potluck cookout won't empty your wallet.

Don't forget the sparklers!

Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game coming to Atlanta  |

Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game coming to Atlanta |

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gallery | The 2010 BET Awards red carpet arrivals |

Gallery | The 2010 BET Awards red carpet arrivals |

Healthy Eating Tip

Take along at least two pieces of fruit for the day. For a mid-morning snack, eat a banana. When that mid-afternoon drag creeps in, eat an apple. Switch up the fruit varieties so you won't get bored. Also, cut up the fruits ahead of time for easy snacking at your desk or on the go. Stay Healthy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gallery | Family homestead a treasure trove |

Gallery | Family homestead a treasure trove |

5 TGIF Fun Things

Let's have some TGIF Fun Today!

  • Enjoy your brown bag lunch in the park with co-workers
  • Call your pals to meet for coffee or cocktails
  • Stop by your favorite consignment shop and buy a new outfit
  • Order take-out tonight for dinner ->check the frig magnets for coupons
  • Load the CD player in your car with some jams and Rock On!

Simply Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day Trip on a Budget

Here is great day trip idea that won't break the budget:

Plan to take the family out to visit a State Park. Check your state's website for a list of parks and the activities offered there such as hiking trails, lakes for swimming, and other sightseeing fun. Most state parks have a parking fee, but it's usually nominal. Pack a picnic lunch with a variety of eats for the entire family. Take a break at one of the picnic tables and talk about what sights you will see after lunch. Bring along the cooler packed with plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Gas up the car the night before the trip and you will be ready to roll out the next morning.

Have a fun day!

US library to save recordings from Tupac, Cosby  | accessAtlanta

US library to save recordings from Tupac, Cosby | accessAtlanta

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Video: Jada Pinkett Smith Talks 'HawthoRNe' -

Video: Jada Pinkett Smith Talks 'HawthoRNe' -


I would have to say one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing litter thrown out along streets, highways, neighborhoods, stop lights and signs. My community does a very good job with keeping litter picked up. Also, the city uses people who need to fulfill their community service hours and inmates from the local jail to pick up the trash.

I often wonder what people must be thinking when they throw litter into the street. I guess they figure someone will come along at some point and pick it up. They clearly don't want to keep the trash in their car for another minute, heaven forbid. However, it makes more sense to wait and throw out the contents at the next destination or when you arrive home. I simply can't see myself tossing trash out my car window onto the street.

Here's an idea: Keep plastic bags in your car to use for your throwaway items and toss the entire bag in the trash container at your stops. Let's all do our part to be more eco-friendly. Please stop littering!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gallery | Mystical Texas lake fascinates visitors |

Gallery | Mystical Texas lake fascinates visitors |

Workday Tip

Allow yourself to take a 10-15 minute break away from your desk during the workday. If you can, skip the elevator and take the stairs to get a bit of exercise. When you return, drink plenty of water to replenish yourself. I bet you will feel rejuvenated in no time flat!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Wishing Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Brother, and Uncles today. This is such a special day to celebrate and to thank our Dad's for all they have done to help shape our lives. I know some Father's may have passed on, but the memories always live on in our hearts.

Today is the perfect day to remember those special times, conversations, and gatherings that meant so much in our lives. Here are a few I can recall with my Dad:

-->Attending and cheering me on at my school track events
-->Riding the snowmobile after lots of snow had fallen
-->Our summer vacation to Minnesota and eating fresh fish
-->Taking the pontoon boat out on the lake and relaxing
-->Listening ear and providing sound advice just when I needed it

Have a great day Dad!

Friday, June 18, 2010

How to adapt eating habits to your vacation  |

How to adapt eating habits to your vacation |

Dining Out with Coupons

In my mail this week was a restaurant coupon for 25% off the entire check. I have also received buy-one-get-one-free entree meals as well. This got me thinking about my blog post for today as we head into the weekend.

Don't be ashamed to use coupons you receive in the mail for dining out. In these tough economic times, we have to be more money-savvy. Yet we don't have to sacrifice a nice time out with family and friends.

So save those restaurant coupons for a night on the town and share a dessert for added pleasure. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Top 5 Picks of Actors to Play Tupac in Biopic

Our Top 5 Picks of Actors to Play Tupac in Biopic

Remembering My Furry Friend

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my beloved cocker spaniel Coale. I recall that the weather was just like today ->warm and sunny. I knew the decision had to be made to put him down due to a recent illness that he just could not shake. He was 14 years old and had slowed down quite a bit.

I know there are plenty of people who have made this decision as well. Our pets are just like a family member and some consider them their children. I surely did! The thriving pet industry shows just how much we love our pets and the lengths we go through to make sure of their well-being.

My family and friends would always say that my dog is truly living a dog's life. I miss our walks, playtime, car rides and cuddling. I have given thoughts of adopting a dog, maybe two from my local shelter. For now, the memories live on of our time together. I know he is resting and enjoying doggy heaven. RIP my sweet Coale!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cool Tips ->No Cooking Required

Check out these cool tips that don't require turning on the stove:

-->Cut up seasonal fruit and place in refrigerator. Grab some for snacking and to cool off
-->Pick up a rotisserie chicken for days of meal planning
-->Prepare a cool salad with lots of greens for lunch or dinner
-->Fix a veggie sandwich topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and slice of cheese
-->Satisfy your sweet tooth with store bought apple pie, no baking required

Along with these cool tips, always drink plenty of water.