Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Control Emotional Spending During the Holidays

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Many people consider the winter holidays to be the best part of the year. It’s a time to give from your heart, spend extra time with your loved ones and enjoy some tasty food! For others, the holidays are bittersweet. They can get overwhelmed with hustle and bustle of the holidays and find themselves lost in the mix of it all.

Emotional SpendingNo matter which category you fall into, the holidays can add an incredible amount of emotional stress to your life. Without even thinking about it, you may start to change your normal habits to help relieve the pressure. If you’re not careful, these emotions can take control of your spending habits and put you into a further stressful state of mind. Here are some tips to prevent this from happening:

Buy Memories or Experiences Instead of Things
If you shower your children or grandchildren with toys this year, they’ll have a great day or two, but the excitement will soon wear off. In fact, they may not even remember the gifts a year from now. On the other hand, if you treat them to a stay at soccer camp or you take them on their first fishing trip, they’ll remember it for a lifetime. If you can’t afford anything that lavish, give them the gift of your time! This could be as simple as a new baseball glove and someone to actually play catch with.

Remember, Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Better
We’re all so blinded by TV ads that try to make us believe that our life isn’t complete without the latest electronic gadget or an expensive new car. The truth is you’d probably be much happier in the long run with less expensive items and a better sense of financial security. Before you buy something you don’t need or can’t afford, think about whether one day of anticipated happiness is worth months or even years of financial struggle.

Fill Your Needs by Making a Difference in Someone Else’s Life
If you buy, buy, buy during the holidays because it makes you feel good to give to others, why not do something that makes a real difference is someone’s life? If you donate money to a charity, help feed the homeless or share your holiday with a neighbor who’s all alone, that feeling of being needed and making a difference will activate the same pleasure centers in your brain as spending all your cash and some of your credit at the mall. As a bonus, this type of pleasure lasts much longer than the quick-fix that comes in a fancy shopping bag!

Get Organized and Get Stress Free
Take time to plan out your gifts this holiday season.  By organizing your gift giving you will not only save time and money, you will also save a lot of emotional stress.  Start by writing out a list of who you plan to buy gifts for and approximately what you would like to spend on each person.  Take this list with you on every shopping trip this holiday season and stick to it.  Having this list will not only help you maintain your budget this year but it will also allow you to see where splurges or “the forgotten ones” can be squeezed in.

Money Can’t Buy Lasting Happiness
Studies have shown that people with more money are happier than those without, but only by a small degree. The same research found that the reason for this anomaly is that people don’t spend their money on the right things. Like a drug or a sugar rush, an impulse purchase can satisfy your emotional needs for a short time through instant gratification, but that high will quickly wear off leaving you feeling empty again. This is a path that can lead to a true shopping addiction during the holidays and even worse, year round. If you take the time to reflect on the emotions behind your purchases, you may be able to maintain control this holiday season.
Learn to recognize your emotional health and how it may be affecting your decisions this holiday season, both in and out of the stores.  By making choices that provide long-term pleasure instead of instant gratification, you and your entire family will enjoy the holidays more and be happier throughout the year.


15 Natural Aphrodisiacs

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Natural Aphrodisiacs MessageIt’s no accident that Valentine’s Day is placed exactly in the middle of the month dedicated to love. As the cold weather drives us indoors, a little extra togetherness often brings romance to mind.  However, age and poor health can often slow down even the strongest libido. If you’d like to find a natural way to spice up life in the bedroom, try one of these natural aphrodisiac suggestions:

Recipes for Romance
Although oysters have been rumored to be nature’s aphrodisiac for centuries, many common food items are just as effective. A night of romance may be as close as your pantry! If you don’t already have a few of these natural aphrodisiac items on hand, add them to your shopping list:

  • Tomatoes – Known as the “apple of love,” the tomato helps calm pre-coital nerves and promote muscle control.
  • Avocados – The Avocado is packed full of Vitamin E for enhanced arousal and more intense climaxes.
  • Chocolate – This sensual treat actually has the same chemical that our body produces naturally when we first fall in love, phenyl ethylamine. No wonder this is a favorite addition to those shiny, heart-shaped boxes.
  • Celery – This low-calorie vegetable includes androsterone, a male hormone. This chemical has a two-fold effect for women: it increases their sexual arousal directly and promotes the male production of pheromones, another source of female arousal.
  • Chili peppers – The natural capsaicin contained in the chili pepper stimulates the body to product endorphins, a feel-good chemical, as it speeds up our circulation and metabolism.
  • Honey – Spreading this sweet, sticky fluid on each other might get you all hot and bothered, but that’s not the only way honey can help in the bedroom. Honey helps the body produce both estrogen and testosterone, critical hormones when it comes to sexual function.

Supplements for Love
A healthy diet isn’t the only thing that can get your motor running! Next time you’re stocking up your Vitamin supply, look for these supplements:

  • Saw Palmetto – Promotes a healthy prostate and stimulates testosterone production for male sexual health.
  • Horny Goat Weed and Ginseng – These two herbs have been coveted for centuries by Chinese herbalists to improve sexual health.
  • L-Arginine – this all-natural amino acid opens up the blood vessels for a healthy heart and circulation. It has been compared to Viagra.
  • Ginkgo Biloba – another great supplement to promote blood flow to all the right places!
  • Zinc – This is what all those oysters are for! This mineral is reputed to help with both fertility and a healthy sex drive.
  • Fish Oil – If you haven’t heard about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids yet, this natural substance helps with almost everything including your heart and circulatory system.

A Surprising Erogenous Zone
Chances are you never considered your nose a sexual organ. While offensive smells can be an instant turn off, the right fragrance can lead you straight into the bedroom! If you think the magic formula has to be held within a crystal jar with an expensive price tag, you couldn’t be more wrong. Choose from one of these affordable options for the next time you need a little push in the right direction:

  • Dancing Couple | Natural AphrodisiacsPeppermint Oils – This cool scent helps boost a woman’s climax. Opt for the all-natural products because synthetic peppermint aromas don’t pack the same punch.
  • Vanilla – A study once compared men’s preferences when it came to various aromas. Vanilla won out over expensive perfumes time after time.
  • Jasmine, Lavender, and Ylang Ylang – these flowery scents are often used in combination in perfumes at all price levels. Choose these fragrances when buying scented candles, bath oils, or air fresheners to set the mood.
  • Natural Body Odors – We’re not talking about BO here, but the body’s own pheromones. Everyone emits these scents, and they’re often responsible for the unexplainable attraction and chemistry between two lovers.

Massage Is Good for More than Your Muscles
Nothing feels better than a massage! Whether you like a rigorous rub-down or more gently manipulations, this therapeutic treatment increases your blood flow, reduces stress, and conditions your muscles. It is known to increase the production of both serotonin and endorphins for healthy moods and natural pain relief. If you can’t afford a professional massage, give this gift to each other! If either of you is a little shy, even a foot massage has been known to warm things up in the boudoir!

With these natural aphrodisiacs, no one needs any harsh chemicals from the pharmacy for the most romantic February ever!


Chocolate – The Confection for Love and Health!

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Chocolate StrawberryIf you’re expecting a big box of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, you’re in luck! This sweet treat is actually good for you, in moderation, of course. That’s a good thing since over 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold in the weeks leading up to the February holiday.  To put an end to the guilt before opening that heart-shaped box, review this list of healthy facts about everyone’s favorite candy:

Heart-Healthy Treats
Can you believe that anything as decadent as chocolate can actually be good for your heart! It’s true! According to many different studies, chocolate contains flavonoids, an important antioxidant. Not only does it contain this substance, but it contains it in relatively high amounts. In fact, chocolate contains approximately eight times more flavonoids than strawberries – that means chocolate-dipped strawberries are doing double duty! Chocolate’s flavonoids can reduce bad cholesterol levels and hypertension, two big causes of heart disease.

A Psycho-Active Food
Don’t let this technical term scare you away from this creamy, dark confection. This simply means that chocolate contains substances that affect your brain – in a good way!

  • Some studies have shown increases in cognitive function after consuming a small amount of chocolate.
  • Chocolate contains a little bit of anandamide, a chemical found naturally in the brain that promotes feelings of wellbeing.
  • Chocolate contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid required to produce serotonin for balanced moods and reduced anxiety.
  • Best of all, chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, also known as the “love chemical!”

The Healthiest Choices
Although chocolate is good for you, all chocolate isn’t considered equal. If you choose to eat candy with a ton of sugar and little natural cacao, the benefits will be diluted to the point of uselessness. When shopping for the best quality chocolate, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Valentine's Day ChocolateDark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate.
  • For the healthiest options, look for chocolate bars with 75% or more of cacao.
  • Most cacao seeds are harvested in third-world countries. By purchasing Fairtrade chocolates, you can put an end to slave labor and other abuses in the chocolate industry.

When you consider that the scientific name of the cacao tree, Theobroma, can be literally translated into “food of the gods,” it’s no wonder that we’re practically addicted to chocolate.