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Easy and Advanced Meditations to Help You Fall Sleep {Infographics}

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Time for bed and struggling to fall alseep? Consider practicing mindful meditations. There are lots of books, YouTube videos, websites and free podcasts with sounds, guided meditation and the like to help you settle your brain at the end of the night.

It works for me every time! Here is a graphic with a few meditation tips for beginners you to download and print out and put near your bed, compliments of our friends at Sleepare.com

There is a graphic for advanced for when you’re ready or if you’re already at that stage:

7 Financial Literacy Gifts You Can Give to A HS Graduate

High School students are having virtual, abbreviated, drive by and partial graduation ceremonies. More important than graduating is being prepared for this next stage of life, whether it is college, the military, work, apprentiship or otherwise.

No matter what comes next, financial literacy and being able to balance earnings, and money with life is essential.

SECU, a credit union in Maryland recently shared its gift ideas in support of financial literacy and wellness as part of their ongoing commitment to enable the financial well-being of the communities in which they serve.

Here are its 7 tips on how you, yes you, can help impart financial literacy with a new Class of 2020 High School graduate:

  1. Write a personalized note on the inside cover of a helpful finance book that offers basic personal finance knowledge.  SECU’s top reading recommendations include:

  2. A year of budgeting software to help the recent graduate better understand their income and expenses so they have a more complete picture of their cash flow and can better identify and articulate their needs.

    Here are some free ones with upgrades and in app purchases:

    • Mint is an all-in-one resource that allows you to make budgets, track spending, pay bills and keep track of your investment portfolio
    • Clarity Money allows you to set savings goals, make budgets, check your credit score, and track your spending.
    • Albert analyzes your finances, spending habits and savings goals and creates a plan based on them.
    • You Need a Budget – Gives you a “job” for every dollar so you know exactly howmuch you have available for purchases.
    • Wally allows you to track your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses against your overall income to see where money is coming in and going out.
    • Acorns saves money automatically by rounding up purchases on linked accounts and moves the differences into savings.
    • Prism is a streamline bill payment system that shows all account balances, bills and payments to creditors in one platform
    • Digit tracks all your loans in one place, along with your payment due dates and debt amounts
    • Settle up keeps track of your shared expenses to show all money owed and who you should pay next
  3. Help jumpstart the recent graduate’s emergency fund so they aren’t tempted to turn to pricier financial cushions in an emergency, such as credit cards.

4. Offer to pay down a debt such as making a payment or set amount of payments towards their student loan or their highest interest credit card.

5. Designate a cash gift that can be used to help them create a retirement account. Thanks to compound interest, it’s the gift that will continue to grow well into the future.
6. Give a financial contribution that can be used to create an investment fund or that can be added towards an existing fund.

7. Become a mentor to help the graduate transition from school to the workforce and to support them in their job search.

It’s never too late or early to start being more financially literate!

6 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your Immunity

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Slowly but surely, our communities are inching toward re-opening after weeks of Coronavirus safety measures. As we begin to consider a return to “normal” life, strengthening your immune system is essential to feeling confident and prepared.

Start right now with these five key steps to naturally boost immunity recommended by the nurse behind Nupeutics Health, Bernadette Judge (Nurse B).

  1. Practice proper hygiene by washing hands frequently, especially after using the restroom or touching commonly used items such as shopping carts or door handles

  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and enjoying alcohol, soda, and other sugary beverages in moderation

    Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

  3. Make rest a priority by ensuring that you get enough sleep (around 8 hours) each night

  4. Reduce mental and emotional stress by getting active, clearly communicating your needs, and talking through challenges with those you trust

  5. Limit nutritional and environmental stressors by eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding too many processed foods

    Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

  6. Supplement your diet with natural herbs, minerals, and vitamins that support good health, such as Zinc, Vitamin C, and Echinacea

Good Luck!


Top Athleisure Brands to Live, Play and Work Out In

Because businesses are closed and will be for a while, women are finding themselves living in their leisure wear.  After a while, it may be time to switch it up and splurge and get something new.

Hey, the grocery store clerk deserves to see the best you!

Here is a rundown of some of the top athleisure wear brands:


ADAY adopts a ‘less-is-more’ approach and a design ethos based on seasonless pieces and sustainability to offer everyday, athleisure-inspired clothes that are both performance-driven and stylish.

Every ADAY piece of clothing features novel technical material properties (sweat-wicking, quick-drying, UV- and chlorine-protected and wrinkle-free).

Tory Sport is the performance luxury activewear for women by Tory Burch


Alala is a super trendy New York City-inspired luxury activewear brand.



Beyoncé’ Ivy Park offers high-fashion meets high-tech performance wear. The collection of activewear is effortlessly cool and includes everything from sports bras to leggings, crop and oversized sweatshirts, bodysuits and more. She recently partnered with Adidas on a collection. SHOP THE BRAND


Athleta (by Gap) The Gap-owned fitness brand Athleta offers stylish athleisure wear for women and girls for a variety of activities including yoga, running, swimming, and hiking.


Kate Hudson’s fitness fashion brand Fabletics features a collection of comfortable workout and athleisure clothing. This American retailer sells sportswear, footwear and accessories.


The Ivory Lane Collective, or IVL Collective for short, is fastly becoming a leader in women’s athleisure wear. Their activewear collection includes everything from cute leggings to tanks, tees, and jackets.


One of the most successful and recognisable sportswear brands in the world, Nike offers everything from quality shorts and t-shirts to shoes and socks that are both fashionable and functional. The brand also sells a lot of high-quality gym gear for your home.


Under Armour The American sportswear label Under Armour launched in 2016 Under Armour Sportswear (UAS), a premium athleisure range designed by Belgian designer Tim Coppens. UAS fuses high-performance sportswear designs with an elevated sartorial touch. They have really cute and sexy gym clothes on their website.  SHOP THE BRAND


FP Movement is Free People’s active fashion line which triumphs both bohemian chic style and function. FP Movement by Free People


Adidas is a sportswear powerhouse that combines quality and style to create modern, street-savvy active wear. The active wear brand’s signature three-stripe motif has gained iconic status in popular culture. (Image source)

No matter which you choose, have it your way!

h./t Luxe Digital

Bedtime Story: ‘So Much’ by Trisha Cooke {Video}

Today, I’m reading one of my favorite bedtime story books I used to read to my children when they were little: “So Much” by Trish Cooke. You may recognize the illustrations because they were done by Helen Oxenbury who is world famous for her board books for babies like “Tickle, Tickle“, “Clap Hands” and “All Fall Down“.

It was published in 2008, but  I enjoyed this book so much that I purchased several copies for my family and friends and shipped them out to them so they could read it to their kids!

If you enjoy this story, you can purchase a copy from Amazon so you can read it to your own kids. It only costs a little over $5!

Celebrity First Mother’s Day 2020

A few celebrity women who became mothers for the first time over the past year celebrated their First Mother’s Day  this Sunday!

Many of them or their partners took to Instgram and other forms of social media to share their joy at being able to partake in the annual holiday in the United States paying homage to mom!

Ashley Graham

Malika Haqq

Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi

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❤My 1st Mother's Day❤

A post shared by Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi (@gg_golnesa) on

Rachel Bloom

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My body made her bones What the fuck

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Shay Mitchell

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the new, sleep deprived moms. To all the newish moms who are finally getting their bearings and adjusting to a new normal. To all the moms of multiples. To all the working moms. To all the single moms. To all the moms of rainbow babies. To the moms who have lost children. To those with difficult relationships with theIr moms. To mother figures in the absence of children. To all the women who are moms in their hearts but their bodies aren’t cooperating. To anyone who woke-up this morning with a pang of sadness because they no longer have their mom here. And let’s not forget the moms who are totally content with fur babies, or nothing to take care of at all. Wherever you are in this relationship, celebrate that today.💕

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

Benji Madden, Cameron Diaz’s husband, dedicated a post to her

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Best Wishes for All the Mother’s, we’re all lucky to have you 💐It’s special day for us this year, Forever grateful to my wife for making me a Father, and taking such good care of us everyday. Best Mom and Wife and Friend. Wether waking up extra early to take care of everyone (3 humans and a dozen animals) or doing all the research and reading to make sure we try our best to be good parents for our daughter, she’s a force of nature and I’m very grateful. 6 years together just get more meaningful and true love each day. What a blessing. For me, I think wise to remind ourselves everyday, when we have a rare special person like this in our life, not to be the foolish person who takes it for granted. Fact is, No matter what happens at work, or what the world thinks/says, Cherish the Mothers and you can’t lose. Everything else you’ll be able to figure out- Happy home is worth more than Gold🙏 Thank G-D for Moms❤️❤️❤️Happy Mother’s Day ❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷❤️❤️❤️😍😍😍😍😍😍

A post shared by Benji Madden (@benjaminmadden) on

As did actor Joshua Jackson, Jodie Turner-Smith‘s husband, on her first Mom’s Day

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Dear Jodie, On this most special of mothers days I want to thank you for the being the light that you are. For the the passion with which you threw yourself into nurturing and protecting our child when she was in your womb. For the dedication and will you showed bringing her into the world. I have never witnessed a more powerful being than you through those moments. Thank you for the depth of grace you have found since our daughter has arrived. The commitment that you make look so effortless but I know is anything but. Thank you for making me a father. For trusting me enough to embark on this journey together. I am humbled more and more every day by that. I love you. I love seeing you enter the pantheon of mothers. And I look forward to walking this path by your side as we nurture this little engine of joy you have blessed the world with.

A post shared by Joshua Jackson (@vancityjax) on

As did Mike Epps to his wife, Kyra Robinson, a first time mom

Who shared her own post too


Tips for Organizing Your Own Summer Camp This Year

Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels


This year, there is uncertainty as to whether Summer Camps will be held.

This means parents may be up to the task and duty of keeping their children entertained, inspired, motivated and educated all Summer long.

To ease the challenge, it is a good idea to establish a strict schedule that includes work time, play time, and other activities in between. Without a routine, your work or project obligations can suffer and you risk having your kids play video games and watch TV all day.

Here are some suggestions of activities I came up with:

  • Use the morning to institute some reading or math drills time.
  • If you live near a library, use its facilities and take advantage of their summer reading challenges.
  • Go to the craft or dollar store and pick up supplies and incorporate an hour on some days for crafts.
  • Use card or board games for non-electronics hours.
  • If restrictions are lifted, do outdoor activities close to home like make visits to the local park. My middle kid, who is a nature and animal lover, enjoys heading down to our town creek and exploring the dragonflies and frogs. My eldestused to like to ride his bike around the block and my youngest used to enjoy playing make-believe with her My Little Pony toys in the front yard.
  • Tack on active play time as well. Take a trip to a local tennis or basketball court. Toss the softball in the backyard. We go on a half mile loop in our town and stop periodically to do jumping jacks, burpees, situps and pushups in the evening. It’s a great way to stave off the summer excess weight gain as well.
  • Plan trips to the beach at least once during the summer, if they are open and you can safely socially distance from other beach goers.
  • Try one of these 60 ideas I came up with from a previous posts of stuff to do with the kids at or near home during the quarantine.

With these being unprecedented times, parents will have to get creative this year and try to make it work! Good luck!

Nurses Appreciation Week: 5 Daily Kind Ways to Honor Nurses

Guest Post

No doubt about it: America’s nurses are being hammered by unprecedented levels of stress. We keep soldiering on (that’s what nurses do), but it’s hard not to give into despair and exhaustion. Rich Bluni says the antidote for pandemic weariness is inspiration. And there’s no time better than Nurses Week—actually we get a month this year, but the traditional week still begins on May 6th—to start creating your own.

“It is possible to reconnect to that feeling of inspiration you felt when you first became a nurse,” asserts Bluni, himself an RN with over 25 years of experience in the ER, Trauma, and ICU and author of best-selling books Inspired Nurse. “But you have to own it. You have to get deliberate and proactive about it. It won’t just happen—especially right now.”

Bluni—who is now sharing stories and tactics from Inspired Nurse in short video segments—offers a fun, energizing five-day exercise to try during Nurses Week.

What You’ll Need to Get Started: Five dollars; five thank-you notes; five stamps, envelopes, and sheets of paper; five minutes; and five prayers/positive thoughts. Over the next five work days, you will use each of these. The order of your “fives” is not important, but the actions themselves are.

Day 1: Give away your five dollars to someone who needs it. This person could be at work, on your way to work, or on your way home. You might buy breakfast for a patient’s family member or for a coworker whose partner is now out of work. You could donate it to a local pet shelter or contribute to your favorite takeout spot’s fundraiser so they can make payroll. Or use it to buy a couple pairs of new socks for a homeless person…just give away your five dollars to someone who needs it. Don’t worry. You’ll find them.

Day 2: Bring your five thank-you notes to work and find five coworkers to thank. Chances are, over the past few months, your coworkers and fellow staff members have gone above and beyond for you over and over (and you for them). This is your chance to acknowledge all they have done. Write them each a thank-you note and give it to them. (Yes…texts count!)

Day 3: Use your five stamps, papers, and envelopes to send letters of gratitude or just to say “hi” to five people for whom you are grateful or whom you miss. This can be done before, after, or at work (if you have a break). If you are quarantined from your family, send a letter to your spouse and kids. Send one to your elderly parents. Send letters to people who have made a difference for you in your healthcare journey, such as a professor, mentor, or anyone who has supported you in becoming who you are or in doing what you do.

Day 4: Spend five minutes doing a simple act of kindness. Maybe you’re caught up but your peer isn’t. Give him five minutes of your time and help him out. Spend five minutes with a new peer and tell her what a good job you think she is doing. This kindness can even be extended to yourself! Go outside for five minutes and feel the sun on your face instead of going to the candy machine for an unhealthy sugar fix.

Day 5: Depending upon your preferences, pray for five people or situations and sincerely wish them well. They could be patients or peers. Be positive in your prayers. Focus on surrounding these people or situations with blessings and peace. In lieu of prayers, you could also think five positive thoughts. Notice five positive things about a person or situation and be deliberate about sharing them with others.

Be purposeful about each task on each day. You might even recruit five others to do it with you. (Imagine what work would be like if even 10 percent of your peers “took five”!)

“Your renewed enthusiasm for your work is stronger than your fear and more lasting than your fatigue,” says Bluni. “Let the love and gratitude you feel for nursing inspire those around you and create a ripple effect that reaches to your patients and coworkers.”

About the Author:

Rich Bluni, RN, is the author of the best-selling books Inspired Nurse, Oh No…Not More of That Fluffy Stuff!, and Inspired Nurse Too. He has an active and popular Facebook page called Inspired Nurse.

Rich has been an RN since 1993. He has worked as a nurse in Adolescent Oncology, Pediatric ICU, and Trauma ICU departments as well as serving as a pediatric flight and transport nurse. He has served as an ED nursing manager as well as a senior director of risk management, quality, and patient safety.

He came to Studer Group in 2007 as a coach working with dozens of healthcare organizations and leaders to drive outstanding results. He is presently a senior director with Huron and a Studer Group national speaker, having traveled across North America to speak in front of hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers and leaders in hundreds of healthcare organizations, large healthcare conferences, as well as virtual webinars.

10 Tips For Getting Motivated to Work Out At Home


People are looking to get gym-level workouts while being socially distant. It can be done and fortunately, there are lots of resources online to help. For example, a lot of gyms have moved remote and their instructors are teaching at home and broadcasting the workouts daily to members on a free, donation or reduced price basis.

My barre gym charges just $15 per month, while my Cycle Gym and Soca fitness class operate on a donation basis. There are also lots of apps like Peloton and Beach Body that offer free trials of one to six months.

Now that you know the options are available, it’s time to get motivated to do the workouts which is a problem that a lot of people have because they are also remote working from home, homeschooling their children and still have the usual family obligations of meal prep, cooking, cleaning and doing other chores.

To offer motivation tips, Nezar Akeel the Founder and CEO of MAXPRO Fitness, created the  MAXPRO, an award-winning ultra-compact “anywhere anytime gym” that works perfectly in any room in the home or anywhere outside and MAXPRO Fitness’ Sabrina Wescott, a certified holistic health coach, have come up with 10 tips people can use to stay fit while being socially distant:

1- Set realistic goals based on prior workouts.

If you normally do 30 minutes of cardio at the gym, you can still do 30 minutes of cardio at home. The same goes for strength training. If you want to take your workout to the next level, increase your weights for the first few reps and then back off of the last few. For cardio, push yourself by adding increments of 2-5 minutes per day.

2- Don’t ‘wait’ around for the best time to work out.

It is important for your success to schedule time to work out at home, just like you would do when physically going to the gym. If kids are home and you are having a hard time finding time, include the kids in your workout routine.

3- Home-based training equipment has been a long-standing option for people not wanting to go to the gym.

If you are used to working out with a coach or a trainer, the MAXPRO coaching app, along with other training apps, are available to give you training programs and even track your workouts.

However, if you don’t have access to these equipment options, bodyweight training can be a good alternative for working out at home. Planks, squats, burpees, push-ups, lunges, frog jumps, mountain climbers, spider crawls, and standing long jumps hit all parts of the body while keeping your heart rate up.

These exercises utilize your own weight to burn calories and build muscle.

4- Meditate.

Meditation can help control stress, anxiety and improve cardiovascular health. Meditation can be as simple as taking in deep breaths through your nose and breathing out your mouth or as guided meditations. The sky is the limit here.

5- Give a boost to boring workouts with at-home Circuit Training.

Try starting with Jumping Jacks for 45 seconds, jump down to pushups for 45 seconds, stand up and do some squats for 45 seconds, switch it up to skaters for 45 seconds, end with some alternating lateral lunges (modify down when necessary). Repeat this circuit 3 times.

6- Go Online to find new classes every day. 

nstructors from all over the globe are constantly making available both “live” classes and daily classes both on Facebook and YouTube. You can find some great stuff that fits YOUR fitness level.

7- Get some fresh air. 

With the weather getting warmer every day, opening a window or door to bring the outside in can get your senses going. Head outside for a brisk walk (fast walking) enough to get your heart rate elevated and get you slightly breathless.

8- Make your workout place feel special.

Make sure that you have an open space without obstacles and add a few photos of your quotes or images that inspire you. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just somewhere you can go to feel relaxed and accomplished.

9- Stretch and Cooldown.

Stretch stretch stretch!! Make stretching part of your cool down. Stretching is so important as it keeps your muscles flexible and allows you to maintain (or grow) your range of motion. Not stretching can put you at risk for joint pain and muscle damage. Use this and deep breathing to help lower your heart rate to normal.

10- Proper Nutrition.

We know how important water is to a healthy body, but another key nutrition needed following a workout is a good quality protein. Eating/drinking a good quality protein within an hour after your workout helps your muscles heal and prevents the loss of lean muscle.

With these tips, you may be on your way to getting and staying fit for the long haul, and ideally way after the quarantine, stay-home orders and other restrictions are lifted.

Teacher Appreciation Week Freebies, Discounts and Deals



Schools across the country may have been closed because of the coronavirus, but teachers are still working. And many are working harder than ever.

This week, teachers are being recognized for all they do to educate the nation’s children. Businesses across the country are offering discounts to educators for everything, from automobile rentals to Apple computers.

Below is a list of deals and freebies educators can take advantage of.

Teacher Appreciation Week deals

  • 1800Flowers.com: NEA members can save 20% on flowers and gift baskets.
  • 23andMe: Teachers save $20 to $100 on select DNA kits.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Teachers save 60% off monthly Creative Cloud subscriptions.
  • Ann Taylor LOFT: Teachers save 15% off full-price purchases.
  • Apple: Apple Education Pricing is available to teachers on select devices.
  • Barnes & Noble: Get 20% off purchases for classroom use throughout the year, and 25% off purchases during Educator Appreciation Days.
  • Ben Franklin Crafts: Save 10% on classroom materials.
  • Bookmans: Get 20% off all purchases.
  • Books-a-Million: Get 20% off purchases for the classroom with a BAM Educator’s card.
  • Budget Truck Rental: Teachers get 20% off local moves and 15% off one-way moves.
  • Bunion Bootie: Teachers get 10% off their purchase with SheerID verification.
  • Coolframes.com: Teachers get a 5% discount on frames.
  • Costco: NEA members will receive a $30 Costco Shop Card with a new Costco membership and access to more than 500 member-only warehouse locations across the country.
  • Dagne Dover: When you register with Dagna Dover, you can get 20% off purchases.
  • Dick Blick Art Supplies: Get 10% off art supplies for the classroom.
  • Eduporium: Get a 20% discount on most products.
  • E-Z Rent a Car: Teachers get a 10% discount.
  • GE Appliances Store: NEA members receive several discounts and free delivery on appliances costing more than $399.
  • GelPro: Get 25% off your purchase of cushioned floor mats.
  • GM Educator Discount: Current employees of a public school, private school, college or university can enjoy special pricing below MSRP on the purchase or lease of eligible, new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles.
  • Half Price Books: Get 10% off purchases when you sign up for the Half Price Books Educator’s card.
  • Hanes: Get 10% off when you sign up with ID.me.
  • Hertz Rent a Car: NEA members can save 25% on rentals.
  • J. Crew: Get 5% off for in-store purchases.
  • Joann: Teachers save 15% on purchases.
  • Karen Kane: Teachers get a 20% discount.
  • Lakeshore Learning: Save 15% when you join the Teacher’s Club.
  • Michael’s: Get 20% off every purchase.
  • Microsoft: Educators will get Office 365 free, plus 10% off Windows devices.
  • National Geographic Geno 2.0: Teachers get $50 off on Geno 2.0 DNA kits for classroom use.
  • National Rent a Car: NEA members save up to 20% on rentals.
  • Pencils.com: Sign up to receive a 10% discount on purchases.
  • Pure Formulas: Get 10% off when you use your ID.me verification.
  • SIXT Rent a Car: Teachers get a 5% discount on rentals.
  • The Container Store: The Organized Teacher program offers educators discounts throughout the year.
  • Thriftbooks: Used classroom book sets are 20% off for teachers.
  • T-Mobile: Save $100 on smartphones and tablets with a new-line activation.
  • TOMS: Teachers get a 10% off their purchase with SheerID verification.