Tag Archives: life hacks

13 So-Called Healthy Foods That Really Aren’t So Great For You

You know what’s better than sitting down in front of a big bowl of kale? Sitting down in front of just about anything else.

A cup full of razor blades? Yup. A dish piled high with rusty nails? You bet. A plate of discarded dreams? Pretty much.

Very obvious (and probably abnormal) distaste for kale aside, green stuff is good for you. If you feel lethargic, irritable, sluggish, or generally out of shape, you’re probably not getting enough of it. That being said, there are some fruits, veggies, and dishes out there that get off on masquerading as health food just to watch us squirm. Here are a few culprits that your body really wouldn’t miss if you replaced them with chocolate.*

*Don’t replace vegetables with chocolate.

1. Peas

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Okay, so here’s the deal with peas and why they’re the worst. Not only do they taste like a combination of moth balls and sadness, but they’re really not all that good for you because they’re high on the glycemic scale. High-glycemic foods have been linked to weight gain and acne. Bye, peas. Bye.

2. Bell Peppers

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Because the universe has a personal vendetta against me and wants to rip the vegetables I actually like from my weak, unhealthy hands, bell peppers contain something called solanine. Basically, this little chemical can lead to inflammation that can eventually morph into diabetes and/or heart disease. The only domino effects you can count on in life are bad ones. Remember that.

3. Frozen Veggie Burgers

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Bad news, veg friends. The frozen veggie burgers we all know and love are usually packed with highly processed soy. To enjoy veggie burgers that actually contain vegetables, try making some from scratch.

4. Coconut and Almond Milk (in Cartons)

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Because drinking dairy milk is hands down one of the weirdest things human beings do, plenty of us opt for almond and coconut milk. And that’s fine. The downside is that those of us who have made the switch also purchase our milk of choice in cartons at the supermarket. Commercial producers of the stuff have to extract a lot of it in a short period of time, which leads to the addition of artificial vitamins like vitamin D2. These artificial versions have been linked to birth defects and brittle bones.

A substance called carrageenan is also used in this process, which was determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a carcinogen. We’re all screwed.

5. Margarine

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If there’s one thing that sends me into an existential crisis, it’s the fact that I have to live my life knowing that butter is bad for me. While opting for fat-free, oil-based spreads like margarine might make you feel like you’re making a healthy choice, hydrogenated oils turn into trans fats at room temperature, and those are even worse than saturated fats. Everything is horrible and happiness is an illusion.

6. Celery

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There’s no long, drawn-out explanation for why celery isn’t the best choice. It’s just kind of pointless. If your intake of nutrition-packed veggies is adequate, go ahead and make some ants on a log. If it’s not, don’t rely on these crunchy little guys to get you where you need to be.

7. Whole-Grain Bread

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Why can’t the universe just let me be great? Here I am thinking that choosing whole-grain bread over white bread at the grocery store is the best way to go, but nah, nothing works. As it turns out, many of those lying, scheming loaves are dyed versions of their paler counterparts. They also tend to contain hydrogenated oils and added sugar. I love everything! (No I don’t!)

8. Yogurt

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Because I’m apparently wearing a sign that says “please play me” on my back, most yogurt in grocery stores contains as much sugar as a candy bar. Your best bet is to go as plain as possible and add your own fruit and toppings at home.

9. Dried Fruit

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Loved by crunchy people the world over, dried fruit also has a candy-like effect on the ol’ bod. Packed with sugar and preservatives, these snacks aren’t much better for you than gummy bears. And they’re obviously not half as good, so you’re playing yourself here.

10. Agave Nectar

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While artificial sweeteners are horrible, using agave nectar as an alternative just because it’s natural isn’t any better. In fact, it contains more fructose than any other common sweetener. Things just got real sour real quick.

11. Sandwich Thins

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You can just go ahead and assume that anything that calls itself “bread” and also comes with a mile-long ingredient list probably isn’t healthy. Instead, be way too cool for your friends and eat open-faced sandwiches if you want to skip out on some carbs.

12. Egg Substitutes

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Egg substitutes will essentially help you trade a little cholesterol for way too many preservatives (and will rob you of a few key vitamins in the process). Eating a few whole eggs a week isn’t going to hurt you.

13. Wraps

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My whole world is crashing down around me. Basically, tortillas are almost always made with white flour and packed with a third of your daily value of sodium. The other issue here is psychological. Because we’re excited about cutting back on bread, we opt for crispy chicken instead of grilled. We indulge on a little ranch dressing. Those calories add up. Guess everything is a lie, folks.

If you need me, you can find me in the kitchen eating my feelings (and I won’t be using a wrap to find sweet, edible relief).

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/not-so-healthy/

Here Are 23 Uniquely Delicious Things You Never Thought To Do With Cake Mix

When it comes to desserts, cakes made from store-bought mixes are a little bit blah. But if you thought you could only make cake with the instant powdery mix, your mind is about to be blown. Check out these 23 unique and delicious ways to use cake mix…without actually baking a cake. You’ll be drooling by the end of this article.
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1. Cake batter and sprinkles bark sounds like a cavity but I don’t even care.

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2. Cheesecake is delicious and all, but it gets better with batter (obviously).

3. This colorful breakfast treat is made with funfetti cake mix.

4. With white chocolate chips and cake mix, this recipe is deliciously decadent.

5. You only need two ingredients to make this cake mix whipped cream.

6. Breakfast food can be a birthday cake, too with these funfetti waffles!

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7. I need this cake batter “cheese ball” in my life ASAP.

8. These no-bake cake truffles are to die for.

9. Cake batter French toast is definitely as good as it sounds.

10. Funfetti puppy chow has Chex, cake mix, powdered sugar, and white chocolate chips…excuse me while I drool.

11. This cake batter pull bread is a unique twist on just baking a cake.

12. This salty-sweet treat of cake batter-dipped pretzels is sure to please everyone.

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13. Cake batter-covered popcorn is the ultimate movie snack.

14. Bet you didn’t know you can make healthy(ish) oatmeal with cake mix.

15. You can make these milkshakes with whatever cake batter your heart desires.

16. This simple cake batter fudge recipe requires no baking.

17. These cake batter popsicles can be enjoyed year-round.

18. Yes, cake batter macarons exist…and yes, they’re delicious!

19. Donuts are good — ones made with funfetti and without frying are BETTER!

20. It’s impossible to eat just one of these cake batter crumb crispies.

21. Cake batter ice cream is actually super easy to make!

22. I’m salivating just looking at this cake batter smoothie.

23. Cake batter cinnamon rolls — aka So. Much. Deliciousness.

I love birthday cake-flavored ice cream, but I have a hard time finding it in stores. I’m going to try to whip up my own at home…or should I make cake batter fudge first? Which of these recipes had you running to your kitchen pantry in search of cake mix?

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/recipes-with-cake-mix/

21 Weird Parenting Hacks That Are A Little Odd, But So Useful

There are countless parenting books that are aimed at helping first-time moms and dads prepare for all the ups and downs of parenthood.

While these books may contain useful information, nothing can truly ready you for the struggles that come with being a parent. You have to live and learn, and you have to find what works best for you. Luckily, the birth of the internet has given parents all around the world the ability to share their experiences and advice with other parents.

The tips below might be a bit off the wall and unconventional, but for some parents, they may just be blessings in disguise. So moms and dads, listen up! Here are 21 weird and wacky parenting tips that are surprisingly helpful.

1. Have your son or daughter count to 10 after they’ve finished going to the bathroom to ensure they’re completely done and to prevent any accidents.

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2. After a long day, remove your shirt and lay your child down with the shirt to give them the feeling of being close to you while they sleep.

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3. Mix icing with your child’s medications to make medicating your son or daughter easier.

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4. Give your child a place to create (and keep crayon off of your walls) by letting them color the inside of a cardboard box.

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5. When shopping for new kids’ clothes, take an article of clothing with you to eliminate the need for guesswork.

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6. Sprinkle edible glitter on vegetables to make eating veggies more appealing to kids.

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Read More: This Little Boy Found A Gun And Shot Himself…And Sadly, He’s Not Alone

7. Ensure your infant stays asleep at night by placing a warm water bottle in their crib prior to their bedtime.

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8. Use talcum powder to remove sand from your child’s arms and legs.

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9. Tell your kids they can’t wash the car, and watch them get right to work.

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10. To coax children from one room to another, simply turn off the light in the room you want them to vacate and turn on the light in the room you want them to occupy.

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11. Use the ears of a juice box as a carrying tool for young children to prevent spills.

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12. Removing the excess space from sticker sheets will prevent your children from tearing them.

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13. Contain used tissues by putting them in an empty tissue box.

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Read More: Americans Are Divided About Breastfeeding In Public — Meanwhile, In Iceland…

14. Iron small articles of clothing with a flat iron.

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15. Add your child’s medicine to a glass of milk for easy digestion.

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16. Wedge a cooking sheet between your bed and box spring to serve as a step for little ones.

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17. Place toilet paper over the sensor on automated toilets to prevent unwanted noise and fuss.

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18. Avoid a mess by adding condiments to hot dog buns first, before the meat.

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19. Replace shoelaces with elastic for no-hassle slip-on shoes.

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20. Put socks over footie pajamas to keep things in place.

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Read More: What’s It *Really* Like To Have Kids Later In Life? These Moms And Dads Dish.

21. Use pantyhose to store puzzles and other toys with stray pieces.

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(via DailyMail and BuzzFeed)

I guess when it comes to parenting, the new motto to live by is:

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/weird-parenting-hacks/

Guess What — Most Of The Stuff We Eat For Breakfast Is Terrible For Empty Stomachs

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for many people, it’s also the most difficult. Finding time to chow down on something nutritious is almost impossible when you have to get ready for work and get the little ones off to school.

At this point, most of us feel like eating anything at all is an accomplishment. As it turns out, however, some foods that we think are healthy breakfast stapes are actually terrible to eat on an empty stomach.

Even those of us with the sturdiest stomachs can see long-term negative effects on our health by eating the following 10 foods first thing in the morning. But don’t fret! We also have 10 foods that are okay to eat right after getting out of bed. While you might have to trade in a breakfast favorite or two, there are plenty of delicious alternatives.

1. Yogurt and other fermented milk products form hydrochloric acid in an empty stomach. Over time, this can disrupt your gut’s natural bacteria system.

Read More: Here’s Why We All Have To Stop Eating Nutella Because Life Is Full Of Suffering

2. Pastries and donuts are high in yeast, which can irritate the stomach and cause gas. Not to mention they contain a ton of sugar, which brings us to our next point.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/breakfast-food/

Got Bad Breath? The Reason Why Might Surprise You.

Nothing is worse than realizing that your breath smells absolutely disgusting.

I’ve always been terrified of this happening to me, so I make sure to brush and floss like my life depends on it. Even if you are following proper dental hygiene, though, you can still fall victim to the horrors of halitosis. Here are a few ways in which you might be bringing bad breath upon yourself.

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Don’t worry — we’ve got some great solutions, too.

If you find yourself skipping breakfast, this could be causing your dragon breath.

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While we sleep, our saliva is depleted and can’t clean our plaque. This causes morning breath. Try eating sour foods like oranges for breakfast, as these help produce more saliva.

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Working out is great for your body, but overdoing it will make you dehydrated. This also prevents saliva from doing its job and leaves you with a nasty case of halitosis.

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Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day and while you exercise.

Your sweet tooth could be the reason why your breath is scaring people off.

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The bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugary foods and produces a nasty sulfur smell as they break them down. Parsley contains compounds that kill bacteria, so chewing on the herb will get rid of them.

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Going on a low-carbohydrate diet forces your body to get energy from ketones in your blood. This produces a seriously gross odor in your mouth.

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If you’re not ready to give up that diet, try adding crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots. They work to stimulate saliva production and clear plaque.

Coffee and alcoholic drinks are so yummy, but they totally dry out your mouth, leaving you with stinky breath.

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The best solution is to make sure you’re drinking enough water. But If you’re in a pinch and need a quick fix, use a cloth to rub toothpaste onto your teeth — it will scrub out bacteria and give your mouth a minty fresh feeling.

(via Daily Mail)

There, now you’ll never have to worry about assaulting anyone’s nostrils ever again. You’re welcome, world.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/halitosis-causes-and-solutions/

These 9 Health Benefits Of Bananas Will Convince You To Eat Them Every Day

Many parents encourage their kids to eat bananas every day…

But did you know there are solid, scientific reasons why that’s a good idea? It’s not just a silly, quirky thing that parents do. (Unlike saying goodbye on a phone call, only to keep talking. That’s a parental quirk that scientists will never, ever explain.)

As it turns out, eating a banana every day can be great for you, and here are 9 reasons why.

1. You should try to eat a banana if you’re stressed out.

They control your blood pressure, give you energy, regulate your digestive system, and they contain tryptophan, which can help relax you.

2. Believe it or not, bananas can help you cool down.

Bananas are an astringent food. That means they can cause your tissue to shrink, allowing for more water to be absorbed. (Grapes and beans are also astringent foods.)

3. Bananas naturally prevent/treat heartburn.

Although experts aren’t sure why, bananas can act as a natural antacid (and are definitely more delicious than chalky tablets).

4. The fiber in bananas can help with constipation.

Backed up? Eat some bananas. They’re a great source of dietary fiber, the roughage you need to eliminate successfully. They also contain pectin, which may soften up some of the stuff you have in your system.

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5. Eating bananas can help lower your blood pressure.

Since bananas are a source of potassium, eating them can help lower your blood pressure.

6. They’re a great source of energy.

Eating a banana before exercise can give you energy. They’re a source of Tyrosine, Vitamin B6, and natural sugar, all of which will help give you a surge of pep.

7. If you’re anemic, you should eat bananas.

Anemia, which is basically a hemoglobin deficiency, is a very common blood disorder. It can make you feel fatigued (among other things). To help your anemic body out, you can eat bananas, which are a source of iron.

8. Bananas are safe to eat if you’re suffering from a stomach ulcer.

There’s something known as a “sitoindoside” in dried, unripe bananas that can help increase mucus in the digestive tract. That mucus can serve as a protective coating that can help prevent and heal ulcers. Not only that, but bananas can also promote cell growth in the GI tract. Basically, if you’re having stomach issues, eat bananas!

9. If you are feeling depressed, eat a banana.

Or, rather, consistently eat bananas. They contain B vitamins and other helpful compounds that will improve your mood and give you energy.

“An apple a day”? Psht. Eating a banana a day will keep every bad thing ever away.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/banana-health-benefits/

If You Don’t Do These Things In The Morning, You’re Setting Yourself Up For Failure

If you’re like me, your morning routine looks a little something like this:

Within the first hour after waking up, I’ve usually hit the snooze button at least once, gotten my daily exercise by trudging down the stairs, opted out of eating breakfast, showered, gotten dressed, and before the hour’s up, I’m out the door and on my way to starting the day. Probably not the healthiest of morning routines, but in my defense, I’m usually still mentally asleep at this point.

But according to the managing director of CV-Library, Lee Biggins, that first hour of the day can be the most crucial in achieving a productive and successful workflow. “When it comes to staying productive and setting yourself up for a successful day, it’s important to make sure that you’re energized and focused on what you want to accomplish,” Biggins confirmed. Here are some tips you can use to get the most out of your mornings.

1. Get in some pre-work exercise.

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While you may dread working out at any hour of the day, working out first thing before work can help clear the mind and reduce stress levels. This work out can include a morning jog, yoga, pilates, or weight training.

Read More: 15 Surprisingly Useful Body Hacks You Can Use Right Now

2. Eat a healthy breakfast.

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They don’t call breakfast the most important meal of the day for nothing. By properly fueling your body, you can boost both your energy levels and allow your focus and workflow to reach their fullest potential. A high-vitamin, high-fiber diet should do the trick.

3. Clear out your inbox.

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Clearing your email and voicemail inboxes first thing in the morning can allow you to prioritize the important tasks and save time later.

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4. Determine your goals for the day.

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Once you’ve gone through your inbox, the time has come to set a list of goals for the day. It helps to accomplish your goals, if you have a clear mindset of what exactly you wish to accomplish during the day.

5. Create a prioritized to-do list.

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Once you’ve set your goals, the obvious next step is to prioritize these goals into tasks that need to be completed. I’ve always found that a to-do list helps me stay focused and also serves as a visual progress aid.

Read More: 20 Amazing Life Hacks That You’ll Actually Use (We Promise)

Aside from my love of to-do lists, I’ve been going about my mornings in all the wrong ways. I wish someone would have told me sooner I was this bad at adulting.

(via Daily Mail)

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/morning-to-dos/

62 Ridiculously Simple Ways You Can Start Saving Money Right Now

Looking to save a bit of money for a summer trip? Of course you are. We all are.

And the best way to do it is to start small. Although it’s easy to think, “Okay, if I buy fewer shoes this month, I’ll save X amount of money after four weeks,” saving money starts with changing everyday behaviors. Do you end up throwing out a few veggies here and there? Do you grab a latte from Starbucks on your way to work every morning? You’re not alone! Just by doing things like becoming one with your freezer or changing your morning routine, you can save hundreds in the long run.

Here are 62 tips to help get you started!

1. Cut down on Starbucks runs to save anywhere from $15 to $100 per month.

2. Make your own coffee house drinks instead.

3. Making dinner at home instead of eating out saves between $150 and $200 per month.

4. And packing a lunch every day can help you save between $40 and $200.

5. Buy produce in season and then freeze fruit for smoothies or dehydrate it.

6. Set a grocery budget, make a grocery list, and stick to them!

7. Make your own bread to save $15 a month.

8. Make breakfast for dinner.

9. Grow your own vegetable garden.

10. Only shop organic for the dirty dozen.

11. Freeze leftovers.

12. Get into canning.

13. Stock up when you find a deal.

14. Buy a quarter or side of beef.

15. Get produce from local farms.

16. Make your own taco seasoning.

17. Make your own almond, cashew, hemp, rice, or coconut milk.

18. Make your own yogurt.

19. Buy whole chickens instead of parts.

20. Use Pinterest to find new recipes.

21. Take advantage of price match guarantees.

22. Shop organic at Costco.

23. Stop buying lottery tickets.

24. Buy discounted movie tickets, theme park tickets, and restaurant gift cards at Costco.

25. Be content with the money you’re bringing in right now.

26. Learn about money management.

27. Don’t carry a credit card balance so you can save about $30 a month.

28. If you have trouble dealing with credit, opt for cash or debit.

29. Pay off debt as quickly as possible.

30. Use your tax refund to give you a boost

31. Make a budget that covers just about everything from entertainment to food.

32. Shop for gift wrap at the dollar store.

33. Keep it simple when you have company over.

34. Decorate for parties with what you already have.

35. Pack food for breakfast and snacks on vacation.

36. Take the bus, ride your bike, or walk instead of driving. This can save between $30 and $400 per month.

37. Carpool.

38. Commit to being a one-car family to save an average of $400 every month.

39. Save money on gas by getting all your errands done at once.

40. Make sure tires are properly inflated to save $30 a month.

41. Drive the speed limit to save a few bucks.

42. Do your own car maintenance.

43. Keep your eyes peeled for better car insurance rates.

44. Quit smoking to save hundreds of dollars a month.

45. Cancel that gym membership in the summer and exercise outside.

46. Quit coloring your hair.

47. Save manicures and pedicures for special occasions.

48. Use in-network providers for healthcare to save between $30 and $120 a month.

49. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.

50. Try out cloth baby wipes instead of throwing a bunch out.

51. Buy gender neutral baby clothes and gear. That way, you can use them for any other bundles of joy who come along!

52. Switch to cloth napkins so you can save money and look extra fancy.

53. In fact, you can make your own cloth napkins.

54. Do your own home maintenance.

55. Shop for better deals on health and life insurance, and always bundle when you can!

56. Move to a cheaper, more efficient home.

57. Downsize when the time is right.

58. Do your own yard work.

59. Replace plastic bags with reusable food containers.

60. Make your own laundry detergent.

61. Sign up for free samples.

62. Make your own cleaning supplies.

See? That’s not so hard, is it? Most of these changes are so small, they won’t even feel like sacrifices.

(via Growing Slower)

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/saving-tips/

18 Little Things You Could Do Every Day To Live A Better Life

If you’re living an unhappy life, there could be a ton of contributing factors. You could be living an unhealthy lifestyle, you could have just gone through a breakup, or you could have lost a loved one. You might just be fed up with everything, but you can easily take back some control.

Here are a few things that you can add to your routine in order to improve your everyday life.

1. Make a to-do list. Seeing your goals in writing will inspire you to stick to them, no matter how big or small.

2. Plank. It might sound weird, but if you’re looking to improve your physical health and increase your strength, working on your core is a great place to start.

3. Stretch your neck. If you sit in a chair all day for work, or if you are constantly running around, chances are that you are carrying a lot of stress in your neck. This simple daily practice will help you relax.

4. Stay productive. It will keep your mind active and help propel you down the road to success.

5. Do a claw stretch. Every few hours, make your hand into a claw-like shape to avoid cramps that won’t do you any favors if you work on a computer all day.

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6. Get your heart pumping. Doing high knees will help you elevate your heart rate, even if you’re working with limited space.

7. Stretch your ankles and feet. This one sounds odd, but if you have to be on your feet every day, do ankle and foot stretches to relieve pressure.

8. Laugh. It’s amazing how easy it is to go through an entire work day without laughing. Slip a funny video in there or joke around with coworkers to elevate your mood and relieve built-up stress.

9. Squat. Squatting is heralded as the king of compound exercises. You don’t have to use as much weight as this guy, but body-weight squats work so many muscles in your body. You’ll be on the path to physical prowess in no time!

10. Do a few pushups. This is another full-body exercise that will have you feeling physically fit (and proud of yourself).

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11. Close your eyes and massage your temples. It will refresh tired eyes, especially if you are staring at a computer screen all day. Do this once every hour or so.

12. Keep a journal. Keeping a journal of thoughts, ideas, and reflections is a great way to compile your experiences. You can also learn from past mistakes and revel in past triumphs by reviewing your journal now and again.

13. Twist it up. This yoga pose will make your back feel much better by cutting down on physical and emotional stress.

14. Bridge it up. Hip bridges are incredibly important for people who sit down a lot. When you sit, your hips get weak and immobile. Combat that with some simple bridges.

15. Take the stairs. It’s good for burning calories and losing fat as well as building leg muscles.

16. Listen to mood music. If you are feeling down, put on some happy tunes to brighten your mood instantly. That goes for just about any desired feeling.

17. Do some jumping jacks. Anything that gets your pulse up will make you feel better both physically and mentally (after you stop huffing and puffing, anyway).

18. Sleep. It’s very important to get enough sleep each night. A solid 7 or 8 hours every night will help your mind and body recharge. You’ll be ready to take on just about anything if you’re well rested!

These might seem like weirdly small steps on the road to happiness, but it’s amazing how quickly incremental changes add up. If you incorporate a few of these practices into your daily routine, you’ll be feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally revitalized in no time!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/little-life-changes/