How to Stay Productive in the Office

These days it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t, at least during a portion of their week, work in an office environment. Offices are calm, quiet and cushy compared to other, more labour-intensive workplaces, however this excessive comfort can equally be the downfall of office-based companies, boredom and laziness taking over leaving bosses and employees similarly unhappy. There are some ways to keep boredom and procrastination at bay, however.

Spend Breaks Outside

CoffeePhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Coffee by duncan

One of the main problems with working in an office is that you’ll spend far too much time indoors. The same old surroundings, coupled with a distinct lack of fresh air, can really put a dent in your productivity, so when you have a break or lunch period, try and spend it outdoors. You’ll feel fresher, more awake and more productive as a result.

Eat Well

tea salad | teanyPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Salad by nchoz

If you’re under deadline and work pressure, it can be quite easy to throw in the towel and pug out on highly fattening, calorific foods, but such choices can easily put a dent in your working regimen. Sugary and fatty foods will only make you bloated and sluggish, two things that are not particularly conducive to improved productivity. Try sandwiches, salads, green teas or couscous instead- basically any food that is energy rich, calorie-lacking, and only partially dependent on bloating carbohydrates.

Play Mind Games!

Game Boy Micro, macro

Solitaire has long been a mainstay for bored office crowds, but there are some other games you can play during lunch breaks that’ll similarly give your brain a work out. Casinosagafans is a great gaming site that has a host of casino-themed games that you can play, but poker should be your first choice; the strategic tos and fros of the game will put your mind to work and might even earn you a little extra cash in the process!

Create Mental Deadlines

Rhombic Dodecareuleaux Calendar 2013

Projects need to be formulated, paperwork needs to be written, reports need to be drafted; every week you’ll likely receive a load of different tasks, and although you can be fine simply working through these tasks, if you have a lot on simply working through won’t cut the mustard. By setting yourself deadlines for different tasks you can maximise your time, massively boosting your productivity in the process. Plus, you’ll be less inclined to procrastinate if you’ve set yourself a mental deadline to complete a task in a certain time period.

Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Gameboy by coderkind/ Calendar by oschene

Four Tips to Make the Most of Your Holidays Leftovers

Christmas and New Year are usually filled with delicious foods, overflowing drinks and some fun and laughter with the whole family. It’s the season wherein we spend a lot on gifts, decor and of course with food. Most often than not, we prepare more food than we can eat and they usually end up in the fridge. They’re usually forgotten until you notice them again and their next destination will usually be the trash. What a waste right?

Here’re some tips on how you can minimize this wastage on food during the holiday season:

Four Tips to Make the Most of Your Holidays LeftoversPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Christmas Leftovers by Kalleboo

Plan Your Meals (and have a backup plan too)

Plan the meals that you will serve during holidays and plan on what you could do with the leftovers (in case there’s any). Encourage your family to eat the ones that will easily spoil like the foods that have creamy sauce or tomato sauce.

Take Away Boxes

Before your guests leaves your home, prepare some foods that they can bring home so they wouldn’t have to prepare their dinner later. Put them in microwaveable boxes so it’ll be convenient and easy for you to prepare it.

Refrigerate Leftovers Right Away

To slow down spoilage, refrigerate your leftover foods right away while you write down a spin off menu for the following days where you could use your leftovers as ingredients.

Kid’s Lunch Box

Maybe you can make a sandwich from the leftover ham that you can then include in your kid’s lunchbox. The internet is full of free recipes that you can utilize for your leftover foods.

These are just some ideas on how you could make the most of your leftover food. Feel free to add more tips and suggestions.

Five Simple Benefits of Cooking Your Own Food

Are you a busy person who always eat out? How much is it costing you on a daily basis? Have you tried computing the total cost for a month? It costs a lot right? Have you ever thought of cooking and preparing your own meals? Most people especially those who are working in a corporate setting often thinks that it’s waste of time to prepare your own meals, but we think otherwise.

Here are five simple benefits of cooking your own food:

Plum Pasta SaladPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Plum Salad by JeremyBronson

Eat Healthier

If you cook your own food, you can choose your own ingredients, you can minimize salt and oil or use healhier alternatives. You can also choose to use fresher ingredients.

Customize the Flavor

You can add more spices if you want to. You can also minimize it to suit your taste. Cooking your own food gives you the upper hand with the flavors of your food.

Eat Smaller Portion

You can prepare smaller portion instead of finishing what was served to you.

Minimize Waste

If you don’t finish your food, you can put it in the fridge and save it for later thus minimizing wastage. You could also use your last meal as an ingredient to your new meals.

And of course, Save Money

If you prepare your own food, you would be able to save more money and use that money to build your savings or use it for other forms of investment.

These are just some of the basic advantages of preparing and coking your own food. Feel free to add your tips and suggestions on the comment section below.

Five Tips on How to Save Money on Groceries

Do you spend a lot of money on groceries and want to cut back on spending without compromising your basic needs. There are plenty of ways on how you could minimize spending and still buy the things that you and your family need..

Here are a few tips on how to save money on groceries:

Five Tips on How to Save Money on GroceriesPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Grocery Cart by GabrielaP93

Use Coupons

Coupons are available in a lot of countries and it’s very popular especially in USA. You could save a lot of money by using coupons which bears a variety of discounts for a variety of items. You could get coupons in magazines, newspapers, brochures and online.

Buy Large Quantities

Buying large quantities is like buying ‘wholesale’ in a smaller scale. Instead of buying a 100ml shampoo, check out the price of the 1L, how about the 2L? Try to compute then on how much it would cost per 100ml. Did you see the savings. Make sure though that you would be able to consume the products that you’re buying in large quantities before the expiry date.

Check the Clearance Items

Every now and then, supermarkets and grocery stores bundle together some items to encourage better sales. Take advantage of this opportunity and buy bundled items. Compare the prices of the individual items if they’re not bundled and you’ll notice that you’ll be able to save more when you buy the bundled items.

Buy Before the Store Closes

Some items like breads and other highly perishable food items goes on sale before the store closes. More often than not, they sell it with more than 50% discount to encourage sales. Visit your supermarkets and grocery stores an hour or two before it closes and you’ll surely get great deals on some food items.

Stick With Your Budget and Buy Only What You Need

And of course, the best tip to save money on groceries is always the simplest one. Stick with your budget and buy only what you need. Supermarkets and groceries often have enticing deals that are very hard to resist, make sure to ignore these deals if it doesn’t fit your budget and if you’re not going to use it anyway.

Do you have additional tips and suggestions? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

How to Stay Fit and Healthy on a Budget

A lot of people equate being fit by frequent visits to gym and engaging your body in a workout program. It’s a good idea if you have money to spend for it but if you don’t have money to pay the gym or if you’d rather use that money to spend for something else that you feel more important then worry not as there are plenty of other ways that can help keep yourself fit and healthy.

Here are a few tips on how you could stay fit and healthy on a budget:

Jogger im OlympiaparkPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Jogging by dustpuppy

Eat Healthier and In Smaller Portions

Avoid eating fatty foods so you wouldn’t have to worry on how to burn those fats later. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables and lean meat. There are many websites online that offers free recipes for healthy meals. If you want to eat cakes, ice creams and other foods that have high calories then just eat smaller portion. Depriving yourself of a particular food will just lead to craving thus will encourage you to eat more.

Drink Plenty of Water

Depending where you are, drinking water can be free. But in some places where tap water is not potable, then it’s still cheaper than sodas and other kind of drinks. Drink plenty of water to help your body stay hydrated and to help flush out the toxins out of our body. Drinking water also helps in keeping our skin good looking.

Walk, Walk and Walk (and Jog)

Instead of taking an elevator or escalator to the second or third floor then just use the stairs. If the place that you intend to go to is just a couple of blocks away then walk instead of taking a cab. Walking will definitely help you lose some of those unwanted fats. If you also have time every weekend or every morning, then take a short run around your village.

Watch Online Exercise Routines

There are plenty of websites that offer video tutorials on a variety of fitness routines. Take advantage of this and invite your family to join you as well. This can be a great way to save money on gym fes and at the same time to spend fun and quality moments with your family.

Sleep Well

Rest is a crucial part of staying healthy as we give our own body some time to recuperate from all the stress that we went through for the day. Invest a few bucks in making your bedroom conducive to rest and relaxation. There are plenty of tips that you can find online on how to DIY in case you need to do some repairs or overhaul the entire design of your bedroom.

Do you have additional tips and suggestions? Feel free to share it in the comment section below.

Five Easy Steps in Eating Cheap and Healthy Food

Food sometimes eat a huge chunk of our budget especially if we frequently go to restaurants or eat at fastfood joints. There are ways on how to eat tasty and healthy food without busting your budget. Here are five easy steps in eating cheap and healthy food on the road:

1. Eat Local Food – Local foods are cheap, tasty and gives you a perspective about the culture of the place that you go to. If you go where the locals usually eat, then chances are you wouldn’t pay a lot of money for your meals.

2. Buy Fruits in the Market – Buying directly from the market is the cheapest way to eat cheaply. Eating fruits everyday will help you supplement your body’s daily vitamins and nutrients needs.

3. Eat at the Local Markets – Local markets and supermarkets don’t only sell raw foods but also cooked foods. Go to their cooked food section and you’ll find a lot of appetizing option that will surely fit your budget.

4. Cut Down on Oil – Some cuisines are heavily loaded with oil. Choose dishes that are cooked with less oil or at least cooked in healthier oils such as Canola.

5. Drink Plenty of Water or Juice Instead of Softdrinks – Drinking plenty of water during your travels will help keep yourself well-hydrated and drinking water is healthier and cheaper than drinking softdrinks.

Five Easy Steps in Eating Cheap and Healthy FoodPhoto Credits (Flickr CC): Street Food by LWY

Feel free to share additional tips and recommendations.

Three Fridge Freezer Features That Homemakers Should Consider

Fridge freezers come with a number of features that affect how they work. Thus, before buying, it’s important to know what to look for so that you are sure to get an appliance that will keep your food fresh for the longest time. If you are in the market for the said appliances, below are some of the key features you need to consider:

Fridge Freezer Features That Homemakers Should Consider

 

 
Design
 
Today, many fridge freezers out on the market come with sleek and modern design to give the kitchen a more stylish feel. If you want something that will serve the purpose and still make your space look chic therefore, you can settle on the fresh designs and colours. Keep in mind though, white versions are always cheaper; so if you are on a tight budget, these may work best for you.
 
Capacity
 
A freezer is an effective way to chill or freeze your drinks and food. For the equipment to serve this purpose well however, it must have enough storage capacity to match your habits and needs. Thus, as you shop, you should think about the number of freezer drawers you require and the amount of food that each one of them can hold. The ice trays, shelves and salad boxes are also things that you need to look into before you make up your mind on the appliance to go for.
 
Energy Efficiency
 
Prior to buying a the said appliance, you need to factor in its energy efficiency as well. An energy efficient model can impact your utility bills in a great way considering the fact that it can chill fresh food fast and also maintain the temperatures at a constant level. In general, freezers come with labels that indicate their efficacy levels and with these, it becomes easy to tell which options will cost you less to maintain in the long run.
 
A fridge freezer is an essential appliance in any household. Buying one that blends in with your kitchen décor is therefore important, though not nearly as important as acquiring an energy efficient model that is also in the right size. With reference to this, it is good to look beyond pricing when purchasing a freezer as spending just a little more may enable you to get hold of features that will remain useful for a very long time.

 

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by one of our partners.
Photo Credits: Fridge by Jamal Fanaian

Five Dining Experiences in New York City That You Shouldn’t Miss

New York City is one of the biggest melting pot in the whole world. It’s where the East and West culture congregates and with this comes the variety of foods brought in from different cultures. There are so many places to dine in the Big Apple and we will list five dining experiences in New York City that you shouldn’t miss.

Dinner Cruise

Sail around New York Bay and get a great view of Statue of Liberty and Manhattan while sipping your favorite cocktail or while having dinner. One of the best time to do this is on New Year’s Eve where you’ll see fireworks adorning the skies of Manhattan. Be sure to book early as seats sell out fast. NewYork.com has a list of numerous dinner cruises that you can take, so be sure to check it out.

Brooklyn Pizza Tour

Take a tour of Brooklyn and visit popular pizza joints and learn a bit of history about this place. It’s a great way to learn a bit of history of Brooklyn and at the same time get to taste the best pizza in town. Make sure to bring along your camera so you can take a snapshot of the Brooklyn Bridge as well.

Visit Little Italy

Little Italy

Little Italy in New York

Get a glimpse of the immigrants past history and visit one of the very popular immigrants neighborhood in this city – Little Italy. Make sure to wear comfy shoes as you’ll be strolling along the neighborhood and visiting various local specialty restaurants. Get ready to taste delicious prosciutto, homemade mozzarella, pizza, pasta, cannoli and more.

New York City Beer Crawl

It’s said that there are around 1,700 independent brewers in US aside from the major international breweries and the choices of flavors is almost endless. Join a pub crawl tour and visit a variety of local bars selling hard to find brews.

Chocolate, Dessert and Wine Tours

For chocolate, desserts and wine lovers out there, worry not as there are tours specifically made for you guys. Get a chance to visit popular wine bars and local shops specializing in chocolates and desserts. Some tours start in SoHo so make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking along this historic neighborhood while sampling the best desserts and wines that this city has to offer.

These are just some of the dining experiences that you shouldn’t miss in this city. Extend your stay for a few more days and discover more gastronomic delights and wonderful sights in New York City.

 

Have you joined any food tours in New York City? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations in the comment section below.

 

 

Photo Credits: Little Italy by (vincent desjardins)

Cruising Cuisine

(Editor’s Note: This is a Guest Post) One of the best things about going on a cruise is the fact that you don’t have to do anything while you’re away. You board the ship and everything is laid on for you to enjoy, with everything from evening entertainment to personal pampering. You’ll also be able to enjoy the wonderful cuisine prepared on board, as well as the local delicacies available at your port calls.

Last year I went on a cruise around the Mediterranean, which was absolutely divine in terms of culinary experience. I mean, it was fantastic all round, but the food was really exquisite. There’s usually a choice of times when it comes to dining, so you should have a think before you go about when you’d like to eat. Maybe you prefer the early slot so you can enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Or if you’re hoping to fit in a lot of sightseeing during your port calls, a later dinner might be better so you don’t have to worry about missing a meal. From my experience I’d probably recommend avoiding the buffet on offer; not because there’s anything particularly wrong with it, I just found the food in the restaurant to be of a higher standard.

trufflesTruffles

On board the ship we were offered traditional restaurant fare, but the nice thing about changing location every day is that you can sample food from several different places within the space of your journey. Our Mediterranean adventure meant that we stopped off in France, Spain and Italy amongst others. Italy was a personal highlight for me. I tried truffles for the first time here, over carpaccio with olive oil. I thought I might die of delicious. Fortunately I didn’t, so now I can recommend it to you! Affogato was also a very decadent treat – gelato immersed in coffee. It may sound a bit odd, but I really enjoyed this little treat.

Our stop in France gave me the chance to try something I’d been curious about for a while; Le cuisses de grenouilles. Any guesses? Frogs legs! And the rumours are true; they really do taste like grilled chicken! Be careful in France if you’re watching your weight though; everything is very indulgent – lots of butter and cheese and few vegetables. But you’re on holiday, so why not go wild for a day?

Fried frog legsFrog Legs

In Spain I had a fantastic Tortilla Espanola, which, in plain terms is a Spanish omelette. The basic recipe consists of egg, potato and onion, and from what I can tell, they vary from restaurant to restaurant in terms of texture and thickness. You’ll really be spoilt for choice wherever you end up. I’m sure your taste buds just won’t know what to do with themselves!

Spanish TortillaSpanish Tortilla

Photo Credits (Flickr Creative Commons): Frog Legs by metaxin, Truffles by qwrrty, Tortilla by E Vön Zita