Quick Hits

New research by Home Chef suggests that in their lifetime, Americans spend close to $70,000 on take out and delivery.  82% of folks bring in food at least once every two weeks, spending about $100 a month, or $1,175 a year.  Cravings are the biggest reason people order in (44%), followed by being too lazy (37%) and lack of time to cook (26%).  Pizza is the most popular takeout/delivery option (81%), followed by French fries (27%) and cheeseburgers (27%).

Source: New York Post

If you want to make sure you aren’t a bad gift giver, there are some gifts you should stay away from.  They include: 

  • Crazes – Sure everyone seems to be talking about those fads and crazes now, but in reality they aren’t gifts anyone really wants.
  • High-maintenance gifts – If a gift is going to involve too much effort for someone to actually enjoy it it’ll turn into work, not a gift. 
  • Upsetting gifts – Don’t give anyone gifts that may have a mean ulterior motive, like say a scale for someone who may need to lose weight, or a carpet shampooer for someone whose house you think could use a good cleaning. 
  • Bulked up gifts – Sure you may look generous by stuffing your gift with extra things just to make it look bigger but the truth is you’re probably spending mone on stuff that will never be used. Plus bulking up a gift isn’t good for the environment when you think of all the packaging that comes with it. 
  • The formula or repeat – When you know someone loves a particular thing it’s easy to center your gift around it each year but chances are if the person loves it that much either someone else has gotten them a similar gift, or they may have even got that item themselves. 
  • Vouchers – Nobody wants something practical for their holiday gift. Plus, it seems like the easy and lazy way out since you didn’t actually go out and try and find the person a gift.

Source: New York Post

There are some things you should and shouldn’t be doing at the office party.  Tips to survive your office holiday party include:

  • It’s okay to drink, but don’t go crazy – There’s always a temptation to really let looseat the office party, especially if there’s an open bar, but it’s smart not to overindulge. You don’t want to be the drunk person at the party that everyone is gossiping about the next day. One expert suggest one drink per hour is a safe way to enjoy yourself without overdoing it and notes, “keep the emphasis on office, not party." 
  • Network with higher ups and lesser-known colleagues– The office party is a great time to connect with the bosses on a more social level, just don’t use it as an opportunity to ask them for a raise, or rat out someone in the office. It’s also a great time to mingle with people you don’t get to see often. 
  • Don’t take risks with your outfit – While it’s good to dress up for an office holiday party, just make sure our outfit is appropriate. Take into account the venue and your normal office attire when picking something to wear. Remember it’s still a work function, don’t dress like you’re going to a club.
  • Remember to thank the host – Always remember that somebody is actually throwing the party, so don’t forget to thank your CEOs or executives for the celebration. Make it a point to try and approach them when they have a free moment just to show your appreciation, but don’t take up too much of their time. But if the party has more than 100 guests or so, it probably isn’t necessary to scope out the boss to show your gratitude.

Source: Money

Between letters to Santa, endless toy commercials on TV, and time spent scouring the shelves at Target, it’s easy for our kids to get wrapped up in all the materialism and miss out on the merrymaking of the holidays. So here are some ways to keep their priorities in check and not spoil your kids this holiday season.

  • Start a charity drive - Get your kids involved in giving back by buying a present for a toy drive or adopting a less fortunate child’s wish list and helping make their Christmas wish come true.
  • Make four-part wish lists - The “rule of four” helps keep the present pile within reason. Have your kids choose one gift they want, one they need, one to wear, and one to read.
  • Define wants versus needs - Talk to your little ones about the difference between something they need - like new shoes - and something they want - like a new iPhone. And then set realistic expectations about what they might see from each category.
  • Split big-ticket items - If your kid wants a new laptop or other pricey item, have them help earn part of the money for it. Have them do chores around the neighborhood, babysitting, shoveling snow, whatever they can do to earn some cash to pay for part of the cost and they’ll learn that hard work pays off.
  • Consider a trade-in program - Teach your kids compassion while you cut down on clutter by having them donate an old toy for each new one they get. Maybe you can even convince them to get rid of that obnoxious 12-siren fire truck you’ve been cursing since last Christmas.
  • Send thank-you cards - Even if they can’t write it all themselves, they can get involved in deciding what to write and signing their thank-you cards. It’s never too early to teach about them about gratitude.

Source: PureWow

At the end of a long day, a lot of us turn to wine to help us unwind. But it turns out the bottle we should be pouring is milk, not wine. Moon milk, an old remedy for sleeplessness has gotten a makeover and now wellness experts advise adding spices and colorful natural ingredients to help us relax and rest.

The mugs of milk in shades of red and gold are all over Instagram and their color comes from herbs like turmeric - which helps with inflammation, cinnamon and cardamom - which boost the immune system, and nutmeg - which is a natural sleep aid. Some fans of moon milk are also adding tart cherries, which add a pop of color and contain melatonin, which helps with sleep, too.

And it seems wine - a go-to relaxing beverage for some - isn’t actually helping us sleep anyway. Research suggests that after drinking alcohol, we don’t get the same quality of deep sleep we need to feel rested the next day. “Probably the worst mistake you can make is to use alcohol before bed,” explains Dr. Steven Feinsilver, who directs the Center for Sleep Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital. “It causes abnormal sleep. It might make you fall asleep fast, but you won’t wake up feeling good.”

So instead of opening a bottle of chardonnay, try a moon milk instead to get a good night’s rest. We could all use more of those this year!

Source: Moneyish

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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