Did you know that the third Monday in December is usually the busiest mailing day of the year? The Post Office will deliver more than 20 billion pieces of mail this holiday season, meaning packages will likely take longer than usual to ship. Who needs the added stress around the holiday wondering if your perfect present gets to the recipient in time?
For domestic delivery through USPS, make sure your packages are sent before these dates:
2015 USPS Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates Calculated for December 25, 2015
Holiday Dates to Remember
Thanksgiving—Thursday, November 28, 2013 (Federal Holiday)
Hanukkah— Wednesday, November 27, 2013 thru December 5, 2013, from sundown to sundown
Christmas— Wednesday, December 25, 2013 (Federal Holiday)
Kwanzaa— Thursday, December 26, 2013 thru January 1, 2014
New Year’s Day— Wednesday, January 1, 2014 (Federal Holiday)
Each year at this time we invite our employees, customers, vendors, friends and family to join with us in collecting toys for the children who end up spending the holidays at the Aunt Martha's Children's Reception Center. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect.
There are numerous toy drives during the holiday season. Many are for children of low income families. While all children are very important, they are spending the holidays surrounded by family and friends. The children at Aunt Martha's are not. Spending time with these children, you can see the heartbreak and desperation in their eyes. They are unsure of their future and what the next few days, weeks and months bring. Where will they be living? Does anyone love them? Are they valued by anyone?
Your small gift or donation can show these children that someone does care! The children receiving services at the Children’s Reception Center range from age 0 – 21, male and female. Gifts for any age is appreciated. We can arrange for our drivers to pick up your gift, or you can drop off gifts at 945 Edgewood Ave, Suite A. Wood Dale, IL. 60191
For more information on Aunt Martha's please go to www.auntmarthas.org
This blog post was originally posted on the Smead Organamics blog
Coping with holiday stress is a huge concern for many people. Many people try to pack months worth of activities into just 6 short weeks. Most individuals admit to having stress directly related to this time of year. For mental and physical health reasons, coping with holiday stress is very important. In fact, there are four holiday stress-inducers that you can try eliminating to make your holiday season actually feel like a holiday:
By: Audrey Thomas, Certified Professional Organizer®
It's that time of year where we stop shaving, brace ourselves for the holidays, and get our turkey pants out of storage. But let's not jump ahead to Christmas quite yet, and reflect on three types of Thanksgiving we all inevitably celebrate.
1. You attend your family's Thanksgiving.
Awkward hugging ensues. We eat and drink to make up for the awkwardness. Cue everyone falling asleep in front of the TV, watching the Detroit Lions lose...again.
2. You have family over for Thanksgiving.
Just put on a happy face and endure those in-laws. Because they need a place to go, too.
3. You spending Thanksgiving, just you and the turkey.
Sometimes it's just better than options #1 and #2.
Whether you're with family, friends, or alone this Thanksgiving, find something to be thankful for. 'Tis the season!
Do you have a paper planner and Microsoft Outlook but can’t decide which to use?
The good news is, you don’t have to give up one for the other – you can successfully combine Microsoft Outlook with your paper day planner for a dependable and productive planning solution.
Here is some practical advice for making them work together:
KNOW YOUR ROLES:
The Outlook and day planner relationship works best if you properly define the roles of each tool. Outlook should be your “master” scheduling device. You should maintain all time-sensitive data here. If it’s tied into your work network most appointments begin here already, and it offers terrific reminder features.
Your paper planner, on the other hand, should serve as your portable all-purpose tool. It works great while on the go or at your desk — just flip it open for access to your daily plan. (Outlook can be a distraction, especially while working in other computer programs.)
FOLLOW THIS DAILY ROUTINE:
NOTES TO REMEMBER:
Stick to your daily plan. As new urgent tasks arise through the email and conversations of your day, you must decide whether they take priority over those that you’ve already assigned yourself.
Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're one of the 40 million or so Americans who travel at Thanksgiving, you know what a hassle it can be. But with a plan in hand you can ease some of the stress and strain by following these dos and don’ts.
Do Plan Your Flight Early. In late summer or early fall, sign up for airline price notifications. Be sure to include flights for surrounding airports, because even if it means a longer drive from your home or to your final destination, the savings could be well worth it. Keep in mind that early bird discounts are often first posted on Twitter or Facebook, so if you're not a social media fan, now might be a good time to start.
Don't Travel on the Busiest Days. The day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the busiest travel days of the year. Avoid the chaos by flying out on Tuesday, or get a really good deal by leaving home on Thanksgiving morning. You can save 15-20 percent on airfare and still make it in time for dinner. If your schedule allows, return home on Friday when everyone else heads to the mall for Black Friday deals, or Monday when the airport crowds have tapered off.
Don't Over Pack. Since most airlines charge for checked bags, pack light and carry it on. Keep in mind that everyone else will have the same idea so take a bag that's small enough to shove under the seat if the overhead bins are full. Consider shipping bulky items or early holiday presents ahead of time versus lugging them onto the plane.
Do Put Your Smart Phone to Use. Everything you need is right at your fingertips! Keep track of your flight status, parking, weather alerts, airport volume, gate changes, restaurants, and last-minute shopping deals by loading up with all the relevant apps. Many airlines are using Twitter to keep passengers up-to-date about last minute changes, another good reason to be a follower.
Do Consider a Plan B - Driving. Driving to your destination can save you time, allow you to pack more, and eliminate airport headaches. It does, however, come with its own challenges. Highways, especially around major metropolitan areas, can become very congested, and the weather can turn dicey that time of year. Follow some of the same advice above: plan ahead, leave early and use technology like your smart phone or GPS system to stay informed.
Don't Forget to Secure Your Home Before Leaving. Do not post your travel plans on social media sites. Stop mail, newspapers, and deliveries and use timers to operate lights at various times throughout the house and day. You can ease your worries further by keeping an eye on your home using a web-based home security system that allows you to check your home via phone or laptop.
Happy safe travels and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
It's on the rise... the virtual office that is. Whether through travel, off-site working arrangements, or office-to-office interaction, our professional interactions are often happening from a distance. But all of this would be impossible without quicker network access, online collaboration tools, web conferencing services, and all the products that jump-start our professional mobility. We can literally act as if everything and everyone is an arm's reach away, because with smart phones, and the cloud, etc., it literally is... from any location!
When on the road or working remotely, it's important to have the tools and services you need to be most productive and better connect with your colleagues and customers. This includes usually having extra battery chargers, drives, etc. It's not just about getting your email any longer.
Here's what true mobility can give you:
Stuck at the airport with low battery life? In the past this was a thing of dread and an inevitable part of traveling on business. No longer. Nifty USB mobile chargers are sleek, compact, and give you the power you need when you need it, for phones, tablets, mobile printers, you name it.
Sometimes looking at your screen for hours on end makes you feel cross-eyed and crazy. Mobile printers are revitalizing the mobile landscape with their neat design, rugged construction, and battery-powered capability. No more waiting for the hotel printer. You may even never need to leave your room.
Which home remedy is a deodorizer, exfoliator, bug repellant, wood stain, hair gloss, compost, and fertilizer?
Simply Shellie tells us how we can use Unused Coffee Grounds
1. Deodorizer – Use coffee in the back of the fridge for odor control. Place clean, unused coffee grounds in an open bowl or cup at the back of the refrigerator to eliminate foul smells. They can be used in the freezer, as well. You can even make closet sachets with coffee. Take cheesecloth or other breathable materials and wrap a small amount of coffee grounds and hang in the back of the closet. Cheesecloth wrapped coffee can also do wonders in the bottom of your diaper pail.
2. Use as an exfoliator - Add clean coffee grounds to a body wash. Massage into skin and rinse. It’s a great remover of dry skin. You can also use them for a great facial. Mix a few tablespoons of grounds with enough water to make a paste. Pat it on skin and let stand for a few minutes and then massage in circles. Rinse thoroughly.
3. A natural bug repellant – Several insects including ants are sensitive to strong smells. Sprinkle fresh grounds around plant beds or any other areas where you would like to keep out pests.
4. Deter Animals – It is also a good way to discourage cats from using your yard as a litter box. Take the grounds and mix with the rind of a citrus fruit to create a pungent odor that turns the local kitties away.
5. Touch up furniture scratches - No need to buy an expensive Minwax pen when you have coffee. Make a paste with a little bit of instant coffee and hot water. Rub it into the scratch. Repeat if necessary until the scratch matches the surrounding wood.
Here’s how to use Used Coffee Grounds
6. Fight Cellulite – Warmed, used grounds mixed with coconut oil are said to help fight cellulite. If Halle Berry does it, so can you! The caffeine is the active ingredient. Rub it into skin in massaging circles. If it doesn’t stop the cellulite, you should at least have soft skin after.
7. Lustrous Hair – Want shiny hair? Coffee grounds have long been known for a great hair gloss. After shampooing, rub warm grounds into hair. Let stand until cool and then rinse. If you have dark hair, this can give a color boost. If you have very light hair, be careful. Keep the coffee weak and don’t leave the rinse in too long. It can stain hair.
8. Composting – The rich minerals left behind in the grounds helps the degradation process. Mix with lye to further the breakdown and worms really like the grounds so it is a multi-faceted support to composting.
9. Fertilizer – Whether you compost or not, those same minerals including nitrogen and potassium make a great fertilizer and enrich the soil. This also works with indoor plants.
10. Household scrub – Use coffee grounds to cleans pans or baked on grime on a stove top. They are mildly abrasive and great for cleaning grime. Mix in with your current creamy cleaner or use on their own.
As daylight hours decrease, many people experience sadness and fatigue. At work it may be difficult to concentrate, you may feel irritable, and your to-do list might feel more daunting than usual. Winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder, affects up to 20 percent of us and there's more to it than just feeling unmotivated. The winter blues can lower your resistance and leave you vulnerable to colds and flu.
So how can you stay healthy and energized at work when all you want to do is hibernate until spring? Here are some easy ways to beat the blues.
Move it. Just ten minutes of activity can do the trick. Take a stroll around the parking lot, walk up a few flights of stairs, even gently stretching your arms, neck and legs can revitalize your body.
Play outside. Physical activity releases endorphins that can boost mood and health. Since most of us spend the majority of our lives indoors inhaling stale air, it's a good idea to take every opportunity to get outside despite the cold weather. It's even better if the sun's shining and you can soak up some mood-boosting Vitamin D.
Breathe. Sit in a chair and slowly count to four while inhaling through your nose. Visualize peace, energy and light filling your body. Hold it for a second then slowly count to four exhaling through your mouth while imagining tension and tiredness floating away. Repeat three to five times during the day.
Help out. Helping others less fortunate keeps your own life in perspective. Organize a group of co-workers to volunteer at a homeless shelter, for Meals on Wheels, or Habitat for Humanity. You'll break up the monotony and see your co-workers in a new light while helping out your community.
Have some fun. What's more fun than food? Plan a regular department potluck to liven things up. Consider adding a theme - say Hawaiian - and ask for tropical food and dress. Doing something different even for a few hours can boost your spirits and immune system.
Eat smart. Since most of us get sleepy in the afternoon, eat a healthy lunch that includes protein, non-starchy vegetables and fat for long-lasting energy. Good examples of balanced combinations include cooked chicken breast and carrot sticks, canned tuna and a lettuce salad, or fish with vegetables. Same principle applies for mid-afternoon snacks. Don't expect to stay energized if you're not eating right.
Set some goals. If you're feeling like every day is the same, shake things up by setting goals for yourself. Tackle your list of must-read books, finish a long-neglected project, brush up on your skills, attend a seminar or take a class outside your comfort zone.
Go fruity. Bananas, apples and grapes can give a much-needed lift because they contain natural sugars, vitamins and fiber. Bananas are one of the few fruits containing both simple carbohydrates, for instant energy, and complex carbohydrates, for endurance. Need something to keep at your desk? Try dates. They also include both simple and complex carbs and are loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins.
Keep it clean. A recent report states that the average desk has 400 times more germs on it than a toilet seat! And under the right condition, these germs can double every 15 minutes on shared equipment like copy machines, light switches, and coffee pots. Think about all the items you touch on your desk alone - keyboard, mouse, phone, pens. They carry a surprising amount of bacteria. Always wash your hands after using the restroom, use hand sanitizer after touching shared equipment, and regularly wipe down your office area with antibacterial wipes. You also might consider upgrading your mousepad, keyboard, and other items to the new antimicrobial products that inhibit the spread of germs.
Don't let Mother Nature wreak havoc on your mental and physical well-being. Check out our Health is Wealth Sweepstakes. You could win $1,000.00 and watch this month for even more ways to keep you happy, healthy and energized all winter long.http://www.twistop.com/WealthIsHealthSweeps.html
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