In the Next Year

birthday

Today is my birthday. I have spent the day receiving cards and well wishes from friends and family who have taken me on a trip down memory lane, remembering all of the fun things we have done together through the years, and the past awesome ways we have celebrated together.

Last year I rang in another year of life by learning the flying trapeze, eating French vegetarian cuisine, and having the most wonderful happy hour at my favorite neighborhood bar complete with birthday hats, homemade doughnut holes, and the company of the best friends I could imagine. It was the perfect combination of learning new things, and enjoying my favorite everyday people and places. Gosh, it seems like so much longer than a year ago- a sure sign that I have done and accomplished a lot in the past 12 months!

This year, in the same spirit, I have a lot on my agenda. I have always enjoyed reading the lists of some of my favorite bloggers and how they spend their time in between the yearly milestones, so here are a few of the new/exciting/ordinary/bold things I have planned  before my next birthday rolls around.

  1. See the newest Cirque du Solei: Amaluna
  2. Eat Taco Bell Breakfast
  3. March in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
  4. Attend a Huge Family Reunion
  5. Learn to fire a few different kinds of guns
  6. Find a flattering crop top and wear it in public
  7. Read/Watch Game of Thrones
  8. Go to Medieval Times
  9. Visit Chicago
  10. Camp on the beach
  11. Run a 10K
  12. Celebrate the marriages of two of my dearest friends
  13. Watch all the Die Hards
  14. Skydive
  15. Make homemade pickles
  16. Ring in the New Year at the Rose Parade
  17. Go to Coachella

Any suggestions of what else I should try this year?

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An App to Fight Jet Lag

jetlag

I never get tired of thinking, “There’s an app for that!” when I learn of a cool new feature I can download to my smartphone. The stuff we can do with just our cell phones these days, well, let’s just say it really beats walkmans, amirite?

There is nothing worse that going on vacation to a far away locale, and then becoming narcoleptic at all of the wrong times. I have experienced it first hand, falling asleep in the middle of evening barbecues in Hawaii, and being wide awake long into the night in Spain. Jet lag is such an annoying consequence of finally getting to visit that far flung country, especially when you only have a few days to enjoy it before you have to go home and go through the brutal time adjustment process all over again.

Well, friends,now  there’s an app for that! It’s called Entrain, and the friendly folks who created it used data from a University of Michigan study that sussed out how to beat jet lag by using timed sleep and light exposure to reset your body’s clock. All you have to do is input your home time zone, and the hours you are exposed to light and darkenss. Then you tell the app where you’re going, and if you’re travelling for business (read: will be stuck inside all day) or pleasure (and may be lounging on a beach). Then using the statistics from the study, it will give you an ideal schedule for what to wake up, go outside, and go to sleep along with an estimate of when you can expect to feel back to normal so you don’t have to be subjected to the WHEN WILL THIS FEELING ENDDDDDD stress of feeling all out of sorts. I will definitely be downloading it before my next international trip.

New Way to Beat Fear of the Dentist

dentist

I’ll just come right out and say it. I’m scared of the dentist. I can’t even go in for a cleaning without a few butterflies, and have been known to cry and grip the arms of the chair with white knuckles when I have anything like a filling done. And you know what? It’s a pretty common fear (up to 75% of people) – especially for people who have had unpleasant dental experiences in the past.

For me, having straight, pretty white teeth is more important than feeling a little uncomfortable, so I brave my twice yearly appointments even if that reclining chair always makes me sweat a little.

But, there are many people out there who skip the dentist altogether, or refuse to go when they have a tooth problem, and for all of them, there is a new solution on the horizon. It’s called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and a study published in the European Journal of Oral Sciences found that it was effective in reducing fear of the dentist in most people after only three sessions. Basically, patients visualize their fear while a therapist guides their eye movements. It is all about teaching people to gain the courage to relax and say ahhh over the course of 90-minute sessions.

Gendered Word Choice in Job Postings

professional woman

If the news of the new laws Obama plans to sign into effect that will encourage equal pay for women have you thinking of looking for a new gig, here are some things you might want to know. Before you hit LinkedIn, read this piece to make sure you’re not limiting your opportunities before you begin. Because, as it turns out, the mere language the post is written in may impact if you decide to apply – if you are a woman, that is. Women were less likely to apply for positions if the post was written using certain words that call masculine jobs to mind. Words including assertive, independent, aggressive, and determined were found to make women less likely to apply. Whereas words like dedicated, responsible, and conscientious drew more female applicants. Take note before trolling the new postings to avoid being discouraged from applying by the adjectives in play.