Summer Fun For All or One

Top summer activities to do with solo or with friends

For most people, summertime means fun with family and friends, or even some much deserved downtime. The days are longer, the weather is warm and it seems that there is always something happening! So whether you are joining friends or alone, here is a list of top activities to explore this summer:

With Friends:
  • Relive your childhood by planning a trip with friends to an amusement park. If you live near a coast line, head to a pier side park. Bonus points if you ride a roller coaster!
  • Nothing tastes better than fresh fruit in the summer. Go with friends and family to pick berries at a farm!
  • Attend an outdoor concert. Your local newspaper should have listings of bands and dates. Pack a picnic and a bottle of Rosé and invite all of your friends!
  • Dining outside is a warm weather must! Invite friends over for a good old fashioned BBQ and assign everyone to bring a BBQ staple; corn, watermelon, hamburgers and of course hot dogs!
  • Plan a camping trip; even if it is in your backyard. It will be fun pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars. Be sure to have enough ingredients for smores!
  • Learn something new. Summer is a great time to try a new sport or activity. Stand up paddle boarding, beach tennis or golf are all fun things to try.

On Your Own:
  • Go for a long bike ride and feel like a kid again with the wind blowing in your hair.
  • Visit a museum that you have been wanting to explore; sometimes it is better on your own so you can go at your pace.
  • Read a trashy novel shame-free.  
  • Make a summer playlist. Listening to music makes everything so festive! Create a playlist that puts you in the mood to have some summer fun!
  • Visit a farmer’s market; Snag some of the fresh veggies and fruits that are in season. Find recipes that fit your purchases and delight in the taste of farm-to-table food!
  • Go for a hike. Hiking is a great activity for exercise and to clear your mind. Take some time to soak up nature and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers!
  • Volunteer. Finding a cause that is dear to you to donate your time to will become the most rewarding part of your summer. 

True Independence

Tips for becoming an entrepreneur

This Independence Day, as Americans celebrate the nation’s founding, when a small group of men with a vision decided to take fate into their hands and found a democracy, why not take a break from flag waving and reflect on the principle? The freedom to do as we wish and be who we are is a fundamental right in our society… a fact that sometimes gets lost in the doldrums of the day to day. However, the opportunity to pursue your own happiness, is always right there waiting should you feel the entrepreneurial spirit. Translation? This Fourth of July, why not think about becoming your own boss… 

Here are three things to consider if the idea inspires you… even just a little bit!

The Potential
Every success story starts with passion. And if you’re thinking about going off on your own – taking a risk to earn big rewards (like free time, control over your schedule and of course, money), you need to be passionate about your product. The idea of where it can take you should set off fireworks in your brain – after all, you’re going to have to be excited about it in order to get up and do it everyday – especially in the beginning. So consider carefully what your ideal job would look like and fashion your business around that. A simple example? If you’re a social butterfly bored to tears by an office job, don’t start an insurance agency. Do something that gets you out and around people, capitalizing on your friendly nature! 

The Pitfalls
Before the excitement settles you’ll want to pause and take a moment to consider the possible pitfalls on your path to success. It may seem like a downer, but nothing is always simple and smooth and there are bound to be months (especially early on) when you don’t hit your financial goals. How will you deal with the difficult times and keep going until you get to the other side? Knowing what could go wrong won’t prevent it from happening, but it will give you the confidence to know you can handle it because you’ve thought ahead. That brings us to…

The Plan
While you may be dying to tell your current boss to take your job and shove it, you’d be ill-advised to make a leap into an entrepreneurial activity without reasonable plans for the short and long term. Where do you want to be in one month? Six? A year? Five? What are the best and worst case scenarios and how will you handle each. Of course, curveballs are bound to come your way despite all of this planning, but charting your course in the first place helps you to adjust accordingly as it unfolds. The important thing is that you’ve got the map!

Seeing Yourself as a Success

How visualization helps you nail your goals

Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose. It’s the process of rehearsing your goals mentally. You can use it for anything — like perfecting your golf swing, acing a job interview, giving an important talk in front of an audience of professionals, even getting yourself to spin class, or making sure you get through a break-up talk comfortably.

Science has proven that when you imagine yourself completing a task from beginning to end, you are training your brain and muscles in the same way as if you were actually physically pumping iron, racing a bike, taking a test, or making a sales call. Athletes, surgeons, musicians, actors and more all count on mental run-throughs to help them perfect their performances. You can combine visualization with actual practice to reach your full potential.

Set Your Sights on a Goal
On the road to reaching your goals, picture how it all happens. You may even want to write this down. Set your goal then use your five senses to determine what it will feel like. What are your surroundings? What will you hear, see, smell, or wear, for example?  If any of your visions bring about stress or other roadblocks, imagine how you will deal with them. If you see yourself getting nervous, imagine taking deep calming breaths, or adding an affirmation like, “You’ve got this!” into the visualization.

See Success
Remember, this is not wishful thinking. Visualization calls for taking the time, about 10 minutes a day, to see yourself experiencing your goal as if you were doing it for real. The process trains your brain and body for success. Imagine going through all of the motions necessary to complete the task, rather than watching yourself from a distance.
The Real Experience
Visualization alone won’t get you where you want to be. You also need to do the real physical work of getting to your goal. You know, like taking practice exams for a test, running and working out at the gym to prep for a race, or having friends put you through practice job interviews for the real thing. You’ll find that the combination of visualization plus practice is powerful preparation for success.

Hair for Thought

Is being a vegetarian affecting your hair?

There are many paths to living a healthy lifestyle; from working out, to mindfulness, to eating a balanced diet. Some people choose to eliminate all animal products (meat, dairy, etc.) and consume only a vegetarian diet, whether it is for health, moral or religious reasons. While a vegetarian diet can be beneficial, it can also affect the health of our skin, nails and specifically, our hair. If you are a vegetarian and are noticing your hair is breaking or thinning, here are some nutrients and foods to discuss with your doctor or registered dietician to ensure that you get everything you need to keep your hair strong, thick and shiny:
Don’t Forget Protein
Our hair is comprised mainly of protein, so a lack of meat or fish can definitely wreak havoc on the strength of our locks. Luckily, there are numerous vegetarian and plant based sources for protein, including nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. If you can incorporate these nutrient-rich protein sources into your diet, you can fuel your hair.
Pump Up on Iron
Another nutrient that is vital to the health of our hair is iron, naturally found in meat sources. Iron is important for the growth cycle of our hair, so adding in plenty of dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale can provide a vegetarian with this mineral.  Other nutrients that contribute to the overall health of our hair include zinc, biotin and vitamin D. Vegetarian sources of zinc include soybeans, oats and wheat germ and vegan sources of biotin include sunflower seeds and cauliflower. Vitamin D can be found in fortified milks, such as almond milk or a daily dose of sunshine.
A Balanced Diet
No matter what kind of diet you follow, vegetarian or not, eating well-balanced meals with a variety of proteins, grains and vitamin sources is essential to having strong, healthy hair. A final key factor to getting healthy strong hair is limiting heat styling. This means  hair dryers, irons and chemical treatments, which can often be a major contributor to thin, brittle and breaking hair.
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