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frozen yogurt
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The holidays are the perfect time to spoil ourselves. Let’s face it, the best gifts aren’t the ones we need but the ones we want. Personally, I love digging into tasty dishes, drinking eggnog while listening to “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells,” spending time with the ones I love and celebrating. For a treat, try a candy cane frozen yogurt. A little bit between the fruit salad and yule log is just enough to bring us back to our childhoods. Go ahead and enjoy some before dancing into the wee hours of the night!

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Young family is playing board-game
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Family traditions don’t have to be complicated or time consuming, but it is good to have them. They give kids special moments to remember, rituals that provide a sense of belonging and identity. They also strengthen bonds in the family and impart family values. What’s most important in the choice of your traditions is to make sure that everyone is having a good time—and everyone takes part. Traditions around meals If Sunday dinners are too much work, you can make Sunday “pancake day.” Or visit a local diner for brunch each weekend, somewhere that starts to feel like home. During a busy week, pick Friday night to get take-out and always choosing a different cuisine—Thai, Chinese, Indian. Even pizza night at home can be fun; everyone gets pizza dough and adds their choice of toppings. Ice cream sundae contests can be a weekend patio ritual in the summer, with everyone competing to build the most creative, delicious ice cream treat! Traditions around playing together Even indoor game nights can get you moving a little when you play charades or create theatre for the family. Movie nights may seem obvious, but you can turn them into “festivals” with animal movies one(…)

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They're a happy couple
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Balancing the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life can feel like adding an extra chore on the TO DO list. The key is to make small changes and allow yourself to take a break. A few small things added (or subtracted) can provide some welcome breathing space in our busy lives. Start the day right : A nutritious and balanced breakfast fuels the body and gives you a sense of well-being.  Some fruit and a yogurt containing probiotics plus a whole-grain homemade muffin can get you out the door fast and recharged. Drop activities that sap time and energy : Maybe you need to excuse yourself sooner from conversations with a gossipy co-worker or organize errands better to save on travel distance.  Small, thoughtful changes can save you time and sanity. Build fun into your schedule : It may sound counterintuitive to plan a good time, but scheduling Friday nights for date night and pre-booking a babysitter guarantees you’ll make the “appointment.” Schedule family time: By blocking out hours when kids are the priority, you can enjoy time together and then tend to other responsibilities with a relaxed and guilt-free attitude. Split chores so they feel fair : Make joint decisions based on preference rather(…)

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Put Some Heart Into Your Gift Giving
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Gift giving means indulging and pampering those we love. But why not give a gift that encourages a heart healthy lifestyle? Don’t press the snooze button yet! Here are five great ideas that are fun and thoughtful. Cooking Lessons: Start with a basic class for the kitchen-shy. Encourage your giftee to start making their own food—or even just packing their own lunch. Every small step will help put cholesterol control into their hands. Or think of a class focused on cooking fish—it’s heart healthy but sometimes intimidating so a few solid tips about grilling and poaching will inspire. Dance Classes If you know someone who needs to find time to exercise and relax, think about a set of dancing lessons. Choose from easy-going waltzes to heart-pumping foxtrots. And for the young at heart try some hip-hop or modern dance. Yoga classes Stress management seems to be important for heart health. By gifting a few yoga sessions you might just spark a passion (and relaxation) that your friends or family will benefit from long term. You can also opt for a yoga mat and a good video. There are many great choices for home-use and for all levels. Life Skills Session:(…)

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