Claudia

Balancing act: Find your happy place during the busy holiday season

holiday stress blogThree French hens, two turtle doves, and a headache as big as the moon!  Is this how you feel when thinking about the impending holiday season? A common complaint about the holiday season is that there is just so much to do: Responding to party invitations, writing cards, visits with family and school events.  The upcoming weeks can be a time of magic, or a time of panic and stress.  Finding a balance between what we have to do and what we want to do can be a real challenge.

In talking with friends and observing general comments about this balance, I have reached one conclusion:  The most important step in achieving a balance is recognizing what is within your power to control!  Once you identify what those things are, then you can determine how to change them, and take steps to do so.  The extra pressures of the holidays make this all-the-more important, so I have some helpful tips. Continue reading »

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Posted in Health and Fitness, Holiday | | 4 Comments
Dale

Family, friends & puppy dog kisses: What things are you thankful for?

thanksgiving blog photoThe holidays are a time many of us reflect on the things we can be thankful for in our lives.  In fact, a daily gratitude initiative has gone viral on Facebook –a lot of my friends have been posting notes of thanks each day this month.  I’m starting to see some common themes of things people are thankful for, such as: Continue reading »

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Posted in In the Community | | 1 Comment
Danielle

Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month: Paying homage to the spreadable treat

pb photoI don’t need a specific month to celebrate peanut butter. Nope. In fact, I celebrate it almost every day! But since November is Peanut Butter Lovers’ month, it seemed only natural (get it?!) to write about it.

I have the whole peanut butter situation on lockdown, and as it turns out, there is most likely a peanut butter gene that has been passed down from generation to generation on both sides of my family. So, join me as I pay homage and work my way from tame treats to what some people may call just downright weird. Continue reading »

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Posted in Health and Fitness, Unique holidays | | 22 Comments
Kim

The Great American Smokeout: One year later, Sandy is still smoke free!

smokeout photoThe American Cancer Society is marking the 38th Great American Smokeout today by encouraging smokers to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and quit smoking that day.  It’s also a good opportunity to learn more about taking steps that can lead to healthier lives and reduced risk of cancer.

Last year, I introduced you to my colleague, Sandy, who was two months into her tobacco-free journey.  I hadn’t talked to her in a while, and thought I would reach out to her to see how she was doing with her quest. I was nervous as I sent the email, knowing I may not get the answer I was hoping for. Within minutes she responded with the news I wanted to hear: She was still tobacco free! Continue reading »

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Posted in Health and Fitness | | 3 Comments
Danielle

The Language of the Millennial: A #tbt look at the #2000s

2000sIt’s the final blog in our ‘memories of the decades’ series and at first I thought to myself, ‘I have to cover the 2000s? That was like, yesterday!’ I didn’t think my content would be as nostalgic as the ‘60s or ‘70s blogs, but contrary to my initial belief, a lot happened in the first decade of the new millennium. I mean, we survived Y2K for crying out loud! All joking aside, I feel grateful to share some pieces of the decade through my eyes and I hope you enjoy it as well. Continue reading »

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Claudia

November is National Adoption Month: For those considering adoption, help may be available

iStock_000022194839XSmallWhat do actress Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie fame and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas have in common?  They were both adopted.    So was figure skater Scott Hamilton, as well as Apple founder Steve Jobs.   You probably know someone who was adopted, even if you aren’t aware of it.

You may also not be aware that November is National Adoption Month.  It started in 1976 as Adoption Week, established by the  Massachusetts governor as a way to highlight the need for adoptive families for children in foster care.   In 1984, the first National Adoption Week was declared, and in 1995, November was declared National Adoption Month. Continue reading »

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Alison

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you should), is one million meals! And, good news, it’s not impossible!

Million Meal Mission Logo_wSBI Logo_RGBIn 2010, we launched our first-ever online food drive, #Tweet2Feed. At the time, we were social media newbies and had no idea what to expect, but the response was overwhelming!

In the first year, with our followers’ help, we donated 200,000 meals to local food banks. We continued the program in 2011 and 2012, expanding it to Facebook, and three years later our total number of donated meals stands at 830,000.

This year, we’re changing things up a bit because we have a milestone goal we want to attain: A million meals donated. Yes, part of it is we can’t resist a challenge. But mostly it’s because of heartbreaking statistics like the fact 49 million Americans are currently living in food insecure households (including 16 million children). That’s why we’re turning our #Tweet2Feed Campaign into a Million Meals Mission. Continue reading »

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guest

Scarier than Halloween: Cybersecurity attacks

Hacker downloading information off a computerTake a walk outside tonight and there’s a good chance you’ll find ghouls, goblins, vampires and maybe even zombies roaming the streets.

Hey, it’s Halloween. These things happen.

But potentially more frightening are threats inside your computer.  As October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s a great time to talk about the types of threats and tips to help prevent attacks.   Continue reading »

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Amy

You may be ready for winter, but what about your yard and garden?

Winter garden blogI’m an avid gardener and love to have a beautiful yard, flower beds and flower pots.  I love trying new plants and color variations and my Pinterest boards are exploding with ideas to try.

But I will admit that most of my flower creations seem to look nicer in my head or online than they do in real life. Hey, I’m still learning!

I have even tried my hand at planting a garden and know now that seven tomato plants is entirely too many to maintain – at least for me! I’ve had enough tomatoes in the last few months to last me years – I don’t want to look at another tomato for a long, long time! Continue reading »

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Posted in Mortgages and Homeownership | | Leave a comment
Claudia

Eat Better, Eat Together: A great idea for October and every month

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal At Home In this blog, we often write about unique holidays or commemorative months. Some can be frivolous and fun, some educational and others philanthropic in nature. October is home to one I think is really special, and one we can all benefit from – National Eat Better, Eat Together Month.

We all know the drill – if you have kids, changing gears from the relative leisure of summertime to a packed fall schedule can be overwhelming. Sports, scouting, music lessons and homework all clamor for attention and time. It’s easy to feel like we’re on an out-of-control carnival ride, zooming past home and family time on the way to the next activity, and grabbing snacks on the run.

But this month we’re reminded of the pleasure and value of dining as a family.

Continue reading »

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