Digital Downtime Over The Holidays

With all the things competing for your attention over the holidays, it’s a good time to disconnect a little from all the notifications and screen time so you can enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. No one’s suggesting you do a week-long digital detox or anything crazy, but being a little more aware of your tech habits can help you rein them in a little. Think of it like making some healthy food swaps instead of going on a full detox cleanse. These are some easy ways for you to get some digital downtime over the holidays.

  • Turn off your notifications - If you’re not working and don’t need to respond to your boss’ “urgent” requests, then make the most of it. Silence or snooze some of your apps with push notifications so you don’t get distracted from the fun you’re having in real life.
  • Set a tech schedule - It may be unrealistic for you to go a day without checking email, so set aside an hour every day for the task and ignore it the rest of the time. You can do this with other apps you could ignore, Apple’s new Downtime feature can help because it grays out apps after you reach a pre-set time limit.
  • Shift your media diet - Use your time off to ignore news and book apps and buy a newspaper and an actual paper book to read instead. It’ll cut down on your daily screen time and it’s more fun to read a real book in front of a fireplace anyway.
  • Go analog with your musings - If you’re trying to disconnect but still feel like sharing your thoughts and opinions, try writing them down in a journal instead. You won’t get the same feedback, but research shows that journalingcan help make you happier.
  • Do something where you can’t bring your phone - Sign up for a yoga class, go to a holiday concert, or take the family to the movies for some bonding - none of which require you to use technology.

Source: Well and Good


When starting a new life together with someone, the last thing you want to do is start out that union in debt, and that certainly could happen when it comes to buying that all important engagement ring. But it turns out guys, your gals doesn’t necessarily need you to break the bank for that bauble.

A new poll by Lending Tree finds that 53% of those who received a ring say they would have been perfectly happy with a less expensive ring it if meant being able to pay off debts Meanwhile, of those who gave a ring, 47% said they too would have been happier with a less expensive ring if it meant they could pay off their debts.

Although the truth is, most people aren’t going into debt for the ring, with 66% of people saying they paid off the ring immediately, and 17% paying it off within the first six months. Overall,  45% of folks say they paid for the ring in cash, while 27% used a credit card.

  • But debt can be a huge issue for couples, and sometimes it can actually play a role in when a couple ties the knot. In fact, 10% of married couples say they delayed popping the question because of their or their significant other’s debts.
  • And for too many couples, debt is something they aren’t even talking about. The poll finds that only 22% of people say they’ve talked about credit scores before getting engaged, as compared to 62% who have spoken about kids, 56% who have talked religious views, and 34% who have talked politics. What’s more, 31% of married people say they didn’t know how much non-mortgage debt their S.O. had before they got engaged.

Source: Lending Tree 


A survey by Ancestry finds that 34% of people can’t trace their family tree past their grandparents, while those who do are still missing key information. For example, 21% of people don’t know what city their grandparents were born in, while 14% don’t know what any of them did for work. Even more astonishing, a third of Americans say they can’t name all four of their grandparents, while 21% can’t name even one of their great-grandparents. 

But even with this sad information, it seems a lot of people do want to know their family history. In fact, 80% of people say they care about their heritage, while 84% say it’s important to know their family history.

  • As for the types of things they want to know from their grandparents, 72% would like to hear stories of them when they were young, while 63% would like to hear childhood memories. Other things folks want to know about their grandparents include:
  • Where your family came from (62%)
  • Their heritage (62%)
  • Life advice (51%)
  • About their personal beliefs (48%)
  • Health issues common to your family (47%)
  • General medical history (40%)
  • What kind of work they did (37%)
  • Best trips/places they’ve been (36%) 

Source: SWNS Digital


Everybody loves Hersey’s Kisses, and it seems some folks love them so much they are unhappy with even the slightest change. 

Apparently fans of the chocolaty treat have noticed that lately the Kisses have looked different. While they still have the classic teardrop design, they are being packaged with broken or missing tips, leaving jagged edges in its place. The broken or missing tips seem to be affecting for all varieties of the delicious sweet and bakers in particular are very upset because they say it’s ruining designs of their cakes and cookies. 

So why is this happening? Well, Hershey’s has yet to give an explanation but Jeff Beckman, director of corporate communications for The Hershey Company, did release a statement on the controversy. “We are looking at the issue now,” he says. “We understand that bakers’ expectations are high for an iconic brand that is more than 100 years old because they are proud of their desserts.”

Source: USA Today

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Jay and Dawn

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