Feed Your Soul

Planning Tips for a Visit to the Zoo

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, April 08, 2016


A trip to the zoo is fun for all ages. Here are some planning tips to help you get the most from your visit.

Go online and spend some time studying the zoo’s layout, making a list of must-see exhibits. When you plan your route you make better use of your time at those must-see places. This is also a great way to have a plan B in case it rains.

If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, opt for visiting the zoo early in the school year when school field trips aren’t as likely. Avoid weekends and holidays too.

The early bird gets the worm where a zoo visit is concerned. Animals are more active in the morning. Get to the zoo early and you’ll not only beat the crowd, but get a better view too.

Check the zoo’s policy about bringing in food. Packing a lunch and drinks can save you money.

Be sure to talk to your kids about safety and not breaching barricades. No place is 100% safe.

If you go to a petting zoo, be sure to wash up after contact with these animals. Hand sanitizer isn’t enough. If you have smaller children, best to stow their bottles, pacifiers and other items before going in to pet the animals.

Finally, teach you kids to respect the animals, that tapping on the glass and throwing their food in the animals’ areas is not good for them.

Make More Room for Creativity in Your Life

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, April 01, 2016


                If you’re creative, you know how drained you are at the end of the day from giving so much of yourself at work. “Creating” can be exhausting. That’s why it’s important to refill your creativity well and nurture your soul so you don’t get burned out. Setting aside time to take care yourself can help. Here are 5 ways to make more room for creativity in your life.

1.       Take pictures. Thanks to smart phones, many of us can take pictures of things that inspire us whether we’re on a walk or out to eat. Take pictures of wildflowers, the cup of hot chocolate at your local café, children with smiles on their faces, anything that inspires you. Taking pictures helps you to appreciate the loveliness of everyday things which will inspire your work.

2.       Honor your time. If you want to finish writing a book, you need to hone your craft every day and not make excuses. Even if they don’t feel inspired, successful writers, artists, photographers and other creative entrepreneurs take their creative time rather than waiting until the creative muse hits.

3.       Live in the moment. You’ll do your very best creative work when you’re fully engaged in the present. Leave yesterday’s mistakes in the past, stop worrying about tomorrow and live for today. When you’re at work and you find your mind drifting, focus your attention on your body and current surroundings and you’ll come back to the current moment.

4.       Make your office a creative workspace. If you want to be inspired by the place where you do your creative work, you’ll want to spend one day at least twice a year enhancing your creative space. Consider hanging a big bulletin board on the wall where you can pin magazine pages, pictures and color combinations that inspire you. One glance at your board and your creative juices will start flowing.

5.       Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Lots of us put off pleasure and fun until we have more time, more resources and more money. Rather than make excuses, why not figure out how to do what you’ve always wanted to do? Have you always wanted to take a European vacation? Maybe you could cut back on monthly expenses over the next year and save enough to go. It’s exciting to think you could do something you’ve always wanted to do and these good feelings lead to creativity and will fill up your creative well.

Easter Made Easy

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, March 25, 2016


                Easter is one of those holiday weekends that seem to fly by. From decorating eggs to the Easter egg hunt and brunch, things get hectic and a little planning can go a long way. If you’re one of the fortunate ones to have Good Friday off, use the extra time to your advantage. Consider boiling eggs that morning while the kids are still asleep, then refrigerate the eggs so they’re ready to decorate that afternoon or evening. If you work on Good Friday, then boil eggs Thursday night.

Friday afternoon is the ideal time to tidy up the house and do any last minute cleaning. This keeps Saturday open for prepping Jell-O salads, casseroles, side dishes and desserts for brunch or Easter dinner. With this cooking done, you can turn your attention to setting your dining and buffet tables. Iron the tablecloths and napkins, polish the silverware and glasses and set out the candles.

Sunday morning it’s egg hunting time, church and then let the Easter celebration begin. Easter is much more enjoyable when you plan ahead.

 

A Plan for Avoiding Awkward Moments

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, March 18, 2016

 

                We’ve all experienced awkward moments—realizing you’ve spoken to a person for an entire year and you still don’t know their name, finishing your presentation and discovering your fly was down the whole time, asking a woman when she’s due only to find out she’s not pregnant. Yikes!

 

The best plan for avoiding awkward moments is to take things slow. In other words, before you speak or take action, consider how your words or actions will impact others. Listening first gives you the opportunity to glean more information so you can make better decisions. As for flys down, best to assess your own reflection in the mirror as your worst critic would before giving a presentation. Though an unzipped zipper isn’t the end of the world, we’ve all had one a time or two ourselves.

Boredom Busters for Spring Break

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, March 11, 2016


                Happy Spring Break! Here are 10 boredom busters to keep your kids from complaining there’s nothing to do.

1.       Gather pine cones from your yard and make a Pine Cone Bird Treat Feeder with pinecones, bird seed and Crisco.

2.       Create a Treasure Dig with sand, brushes and hiding small items in the sand from around your house.

3.       Send the kids on a Scientific Scavenger Hunt with clues like “I am tall with leaves in the spring and summer but lose them in the fall. My roots are deep in the ground (A tree).”

4.       Make poppies of your own with cupcake liners.

5.       If the weather is nice, go to the park and have a picnic.

6.       Take a trip to the top of the St. Louis Arch.

7.       Visit the St. Louis Science Center.

8.       Teach your kids more about animals at the St. Louis Zoo.

9.       Bake and decorate cupcakes.

10.   Bake chocolate chip cookies.

Planning Ahead for Toy Soldier Day

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, March 04, 2016


Happy Toy Soldier Day! Started as the fan club of a talented street performer, musician and internet personality known as Dr. Steel, toy soldiers are famous for doing charity work in uniform, such as clothing and toy drives for the less fortunate.

If you like dressing up in costume and helping others, Toy Soldier Day is a great day to do both. Even if you’re unable to take part in one of the “invasions” the Toy Soldier Army makes on Disney Worlds in California, Florida or Paris every year, you can have an “invasion” of your own, as long as you give the folks in charge a heads up. Consider contacting supervisors for charities like Toys for Tots, the United Way or the Salvation Army on the morning of Toy Soldier Day to let them know you plan to make a donation, asking for the best time for you to drop by. Make sure your costume is kid-friendly so you don’t scare the ones you’re trying to help. Most importantly, wear a smile and have fun as you give back to others.

Planning for Weekends to Maintain Your Diet

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, February 26, 2016


You’ve been good this week. Worked out every day, avoided sweets, had healthy meals. And then along comes the weekend. Let’s face it, weekends are full of temptations—parties, snacks, going out to eat with family and friends. Then Monday rolls around and we’re frustrated with ourselves for falling off the wagon. That’s why it’s good to have a plan before the weekend starts. Here are some tips for maintaining your diet and exercise regimen on weekends.

·         Don’t skip your workout – Treat Saturday and Sunday like any other day of the week and workout, even if it’s an easy walk around the block.

·         Eat like it’s a weekday – Eat the same salad or healthy meal at home that you would during the regular work week. Your body will thank you.

·         Limit alcohol – Studies show that drinking alcohol prevents persons from getting REMs or deep sleep. When you’re tired, you’re less motivated to work out and more likely to eat to stay awake.

·         Increase water –Water helps our bodies control calories, energizes muscles and keeps our skin looking good.

·         One cheat meal – Hey, it is the weekend after all and you know what they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Reconnect with Friends this International Friendship Month

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, February 19, 2016


“One of the most beautiful qualities of friendship is to understand and be understood.”-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

February is International Friendship Month. The bonds of true friendship are marrow deep. These bonds are made when friends experience life changing events together and share their joys, victories, failures, and sorrows. Certainly, sharing can be done over the phone but to connect on a deeper level consider face to face contact over lunch, or, if you have the means and time, a weekend getaway.

Simple Ways to Share the Love on Valentine's Day

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, February 12, 2016


                With a little planning ahead, you can make the valentine in your life feel extra loved. Here are some simple ways to share the love this Valentine’s Day.

1.       Surprise your valentine at work and take him or her out to lunch

2.       Buy your valentine a small box of chocolates and place this on their pillow with a note that says, “Your love is like chocolate—sweet and delicious.”

3.       Mail a Valentine’s Day card and include a list inside of the top ten things you love most about your partner.

4.       Leave a note in your valentine’s car, telling him or her to have a great day.

5.       Go see a romantic movie, sit in the back row and hold hands or cuddle.

6.       Make your valentine breakfast in bed.

7.       Buy a tree and plant it in your back yard as a symbol of your love and how it will grow over the years.

8.       Write your valentine a love letter.

9.       Play hooky from work and spend some fun time together.

10.   Complete that chore or favor your partner has wanted you to finish for a long time.

Draw a Line Through Epilepsy this National Doodle Day

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, February 05, 2016


National Doodle Day is an annual fundraising event organized by Epilepsy Action. Today, friends, family and famous faces join together to draw a line through epilepsy. But you don’t have to be a famous face to draw a line through epilepsy and make a difference. Everyone can take part in the doodling. By doodling and donating, you’ll help the 600,000 people living with epilepsy have access to specialist advice, quality healthcare and live free of stigma, prejudice and discrimination.

Consider holding your own doodling contest, bidding on favorite doodles and donating the proceeds or bidding for your favorite celebrity doodle online at http://doodle-day.epilepsy.org.uk/about/.


 

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