Today's Lifestyle News!

Thanksgiving is just a week away, and while some folks will be relying on family and friends to cook their Thanksgiving meal, there are plenty of people who’ll be hosting the festivities, and it sure isn’t easy…or cheap.

According to a Lending Tree Survey, the average Thanksgiving host will be having 11 dinner guests for their festivities, and will shell out about $334 - $254.11 on the meal and another $83.23 on things like housewares and decorations. And that’s not the only financial strain of the holidays. Believe it or not, 42% of people say they take off work to get ready to host, with the average being about 1.8 days, which can translate to an average of $587.62 in lost wages.

And all that hosting can be stressful. The survey finds that 25% of hosts wish they had more help, with about 50% saying they get stressed hosting, although only 18% are very stressed. But in the end,  while hosting Thanksgiving can be expensive and stressful, 76% of folks say they simply love hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks and practicing gratitude by voicing what you’re grateful for is a great way to show it. If you’re in a relationship, you’re probably really thankful for your partner, so why not practice gratitude with them this holiday? Mindfulness meditation teacher Ora Nadrich believes practicing gratitude together can be a great way to improve your relationship because it helps you appreciate each other and keeps you from taking each other for granted.

So if you’re new to the gratitude game, here are some easy ways Nadrich says you and your S.O. can add some gratitude to Thanksgiving together:

  • Start the day with love - Of course, you should try to show your partner how much they mean to you every day, not just on Thanksgiving, but make a special effort on that day to tell them why you’re grateful for them. You can do it with words, a card, flowers, or whatever works for you to demonstrate what you’re thankful for in your S.O.
  • Meditate together - If the concept intimidates you, try to just think of it as a calm, focused period of time. Nadrich suggests two different techniques you can do as a couple, one is a “gratitude meditation” you do together that starts by saying out loud or silently, “I am grateful for you.” And if that’s not your thing, the other is called “soul gazing” or “eye gazing” and it involves sitting across from your partner and looking into each other’s eyes, without speaking. It’s more intimate and Nadrich says it can make you “feel closer, appreciative, and more grateful for one another.”
  • Turn your words into actions - Don’t just tell your partner how you’re grateful, turn the words into actions as a powerful way to show how you feel. If they’re in the kitchen cooking your holiday feast, find a way to help even if they say they don’t need any. Or communicate your gratitude by running an errand for them, doing a chore for them, or filling their car up with gas. These may seem like no-brainers for couples, but consciously practicing gratitude helps maintain mutual respect and admiration, which keeps you from falling into the trap of taking each other for granted.

Source: Elite Daily

While a lot of us are excited to sit down with the family and eat some turkey next week on Thanksgiving, there are always some people more interested in what comes next. No, not leftovers...Black Friday. Plenty of people get pumped for the sales and the craziness that happens the day after the holiday, but how do you know you’re getting the best deals possible?

Well, WalletHub is here to help. The site just came out with their list of the Best Stores for Black Friday, looking at 7,000 deals from 35 of the biggest U.S. retailers’ 2018 Black Friday ad scans.

Overall, the site says retailers are offering on average discounts of 37%, which is about the same as last year. As for the store retailer the best deals, that would be Belk, where the average discount is a whopping 68.9%, followed by JC Penney, where discounts can run about 65.1%. As for the worst deal, you’re going to find that at True Value, where discounts average only about 16.3%

Top Ten Best Stores For Black Friday

  1. Belk
  2. JC Penney
  3. Stage
  4. Kohl’s
  5. New York & Company
  6. Payless
  7. Dick’s Sporting Goods
  8. Macy’s
  9. Fred Meyer
  10. Shopko 

Check out the complete list of stores, and their average discount, here

  • As for what items will likely have the best discounts, WalletHub notes that 23.26% of discounts are for apparel and accessories, while 12.96% are for computers and phones and 11.04% are for appliances.

Source: WalletHub

The holidays are a time for giving, and maybe helping out those less fortunate than ourselves, but according to a new report, folks have been doing that all year, and more than ever before.

According to a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, more Americans have been volunteering this year than ever before. In fact, the report finds that 77.4 million adults, or 30.3%, volunteered through some organization last year. Just how big is that? Well, those folks put in about 6.9 billion hours volunteering, which translates to about $167 billion in economic value.

And that’s not the only way folks are helping others. The report finds that about 51.4% of folks have done favors for neighbors, while 52.2% have donated to charity. And folks who volunteer are also more likely to donate a well, with nearly 80% of volunteers also donating to charity, twice as much as those who don’t volunteer.

Source: National & Community Service

With Thanksgiving just a week away, ‘tis almost the season to start decorating for the holidays. And if you need some inspiration to get your home ready, Pinterest has you covered. These are some of the biggest holiday decor trends for 2018, according to Pinterest’s top trends “holi-YAY” report.

  • Asymmetrical wreaths - Traditional circles are so last year, now the cool holiday wreaths have taken a modern, minimalist twist. Think a simple metal ring with greenery and holly only on the bottom half.
  • Leaf place cards - This season the prettiest way to show someone to their seat at the holiday table is with lovely green leaves with their names written in metallic paint pen.
  • Temporary tattoo ornaments - Turn glass ball ornaments from the dollar store into unique decorations by painting them then dressing them up with temporary tats.
  • Tree vessels - Christmas tree skirts are a tradition that’s not going anywhere, but if you want to try something more polished this year, alternatives like tree collars and urns are becoming a trendy way to finish off the bottom of the tree.
  • Marbled ornaments - Create your own swirled baubles with inexpensive glass balls and a little paint and you can DIY just like Martha Stewart.
  • Letterboard decor - This staple is endlessly versatile for the holidays, you can use it as a festive front door display to greet guests or as a holiday menu board.
  • Zero waste gift wrap - This year the biggest trend if gift wrapping is reusable, giftable paper alternatives. So start tying your holiday packages up in pretty scarves, tea towels and such and save the trees.

Source: PureWow

Everything from your sleep schedule to your workouts can affect how many calories you burn during the day, but according to a new small study, time could be a factor too. The research finds that there may be a time of day when your body naturally burns the most calories.

Researchers wanted to find out if our circadian rhythm, the body’s “internal clock” that controls when we feel alert, sleepy, or hungry, affects how many calories we burn during the day and night. And it seems when our body is at rest, we burn about 10% more calories in the late afternoon than late at night, the lab experiments showed.

Sure, 10% doesn’t sound like much, but it equals about 130 extra calories burned in the late afternoon and evening without you having to do any extra work. Not bad, huh? Even a small increase could have an impact on health. “If it’s happening every day,” study co-author Dr. Jeanne Duffy explains, “you can imagine that over time it could add up.”

But before you reschedule all your fitness classes, keep in mind this was a really small study where seven participants lived in a lab for 37 days, so the conditions were unique. Scientists say more research is needed to understand exactly how these findings affect us, but it does give more insight into how circadian rhythms impact overall health.

Source: Insider

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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