Jawbone UP

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For months I had been talking about this Jawbone UP and constantly going back to the website to see if it would be worth purchasing. With a tagline of: Know Yourself. Live Better, you wonder, do I really know how healthy I am? So, one day I came home and there was a Jawbone UP sitting right next to my phone. “Someone” had enough of me talking about it that they went and purchased it for me. 🙂

So far, I have had the UP for about two weeks and I do feel better and have lost some weight, but not because the band did it, rather because I did it. Because I was able to see what I ate, how idle or active I was and maybe I am a bit of a carb lover, I was able to live a little healthier. I like to call my UP band my reminder. Yes you have to manually log in your food intake and some workouts, like weight lifting, but they have designed it to be soooooo easy. Also, it is very detailed so you don’t feel like you are getting a completely inaccurate reading.  In order for the entire UP system to work you need: a Jawbone UP band, the UP app, and of course yourself.

Here is a list of what the Jawbone UP helps you track:

Sleep and Nap Tracking

24/7 Activity Tracking

Food & Drink Tracking

Mood Tracking

Insight Engine

Idle Alert

Smart Alarm

10-Day Battery

Water Resistant Design

Day and Night Form Factor

Power Nap

Simple Sync

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This is what your home screen will look like on your UP App. This image was taken at the end of one of my days so that you can see how it logs everything in a simple chart. The purple column represents the amount of sleep I got, the orange represents my activity, and the green is my food and water. See how the orange column says 122%? I have a goal programmed into the program of reaching 10,000 steps a day, which can be difficult considering I am at a desk all day. I exceeded my goal this day and so the app lets me know!

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By clicking on the orange (active) column, it will give you the specifics on your entire day. Now, you don’t have to wait until the end of the day to see all of your stats, you can plug in your UP band to your phone, computer, or iPad, at any time and it will five you a reading up to the time you plugged it in.

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When clicking on the purple (sleep) column, this lets you know way more than many think they could know about their sleep.

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The green (nutritional) column, shows you if exactly what you ate. I obviously ate too many carbs and protein that day, but I’m not going to cry about it. It’s a real eye opener to see where you are getting your nutrition from.

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This is the screen that comes up when you are entering your food. Beyond Breakfast & Pastries, there are 7 more categories to choose from. Each category has a wide range of items to select from. In fact, there hasn’t been one food that I have not found. Better yet, at the top of the screen there is a scan button. You click on that and scan the barcode of the item you are consuming and all the info comes up, you just have to adjust how many servings you had. You can also take a photo of the food you ate, just in case you want to recreate it again.

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This image shows the more manual side of things, where you would log in anything that you did. Just like the nutritional part, there are a wide range of activities and you can adjust the intensity of your workout, the duration, etc.

Being active all my life and then becoming accustomed to being sedentary has been a hard transition for me. The Jawbone UP has helped me to remind myself that it is important for me to be healthy and not to just completely veg out. I would recommend this product for anyone who has enough drive to living a healthy lifestyle themselves, but needs just a little something to keep it up.

 

 

DIY Heart Charms

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This Tuesday Tutorial is all about Valentine’s Day coming up. What better way to show someone you love, or show yourself some love, by making a heart charm. This little charm can be placed on a necklace, a key chain, or one of my favorites, my dog’s collar. These were really fun to make and you don’t need to have an arsenal of artist media such as acrylic paints, nifty paintbrushes, or a degree in clay modeling.

Here’s What You Need:

Heart_Needed1. A Block of White Sculpey Clay

2. Lots of Nail Polish

3. Preferably something to make a Heart form out of. I used a Tablespoon measurement.

4. Something to make a hole in your Clay Heart. I used these little Key Rings from Target.

5. Rhinestones, Sequins, any sort of Bling you may want to add.

Step One:

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Knead your clay so that it becomes very soft and pliable. This will make it much easier for you form it even if you are using a cookie cutter or any other type of form. It will make blending out any flaws much less difficult.

Step 3:

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Poke holes in your hearts. Some of them I placed the holes in the center and others in the top corner. It’s just preference. Be sure to make your holes big enough for a chain or key ring to go through, but be careful not to distort the shape of your heart while doing so.

Step 4:

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Bake your hearts at 275 degrees for 15 minutes and then let them cool for about another 15 minutes. These get hot!!!

Step 5:

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Get out your nail polish and go crazy! I love how candy coated they look with the nail polish, rather than a more dull tone with a true acrylic paint. You will have to do at least two coats of paint due to the clay absorbing the paint. The drying time in between coats is very fast though! The back side of my hearts are not painted because I plan on writing a little word or note just for the person (or dog) I give it to.

Step 6:

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Adorn your hearts with rhinestones or anything else to top it off! Most of all, have fun with it!!

Music For Your Monday!

Hello and Happy Monday to everyone! This Monday, Polka Dot Tango decided to share some music with you to give you some pep in your step. These artists are not the kind of artists you are going to hear on the radio, but in our opinion, should be recognized. Let us know if you know of any other artists that aren’t getting the spotlight they so deserve. We love finding new music to keep us going throughout the day.

Fashion Identity Crisis Gone…Good?

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Not so long ago, in a fashion designer’s brain, a high heel met a sneaker and they had a little baby called the “wedge sneaker”. Ok, I’m sure that’s not what really happened but it’s the only possible idea I could come up with. At first glance, this mutant sneaker looks a little unappealing, but the eyes start to soften, the outfit ideas start to conjure up, and suddenly the fancy and not fancy line begin to blur together into “yeah, it works”. I really really want to buy a pair but I feel like I would have to interview my wardrobe to see if there are a couple clothing candidates that would be up to the challenge of matching with the new guy “wedge sneaker”. Since it is Fashion Friday, I thought why not take a crack at putting some outfits together so that maybe you too can find yourself having a soft spot for the “wedge sneaker”.

High Expectations

Walking Tall Commute

High-5 Yo!

Let Polka Dot Tango know what you think of the “wedge sneaker” and if you have them or if you’ve thought of rocking them! Who knows? Maybe they will come out with a “Doc Croc”! Let’s only hope not. Happy Friday everyone!

 

 

Go Ahead and Get a Move On!

Artwork by Laura Laine. Click on image to view more of here amazingly beautiful work.

Artwork by Laura Laine. Click on image to view more of here amazingly beautiful work.

For this Things to do Thursday, Polka Dot Tango decided that one thing everyone should do is make a decision. Each and every day, we are faced with decisions, big and small. Do I want to wear my hair up today or down? Do I really feel like I need a venti or should I just stick with my grande? Should I sell my car or just enjoy not having payments? Should I quit my job or keep it? The only thing in common with these questions is that you have a choice. The difference, some could ultimately change your life.

Who hasn’t had a decision that they had settling in the back of their mind, making a grand appearance more often than not? It’s this decision that can leave you feeling worried, insecure, hopeless, and exhausted. There are so many “what-ifs” that create an excruciating professional ping-pong tournament going on in your head. The stress of wondering and planning can leave you debilitated and overwhelmed.  You feel like an enormous weight is on your shoulders. So, let’s just take a moment and refer back to one of the great legends, Dr. Seuss (Click on link to see entire verbiage:

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Laura Laine

Laura Laine

I know Dr. Seuss made up crazy words and insane little characters, but if you think about it, he started out doing ads and then decided to dive head first into his own made-up world. Because of that…he is a household name that only has positive connotations with it! Applause indeed! So, this Thursday, attempt to get closer to having “that decision” made or if you’re feeling wild, just make it. On tinybuddha.com, there are some tips on how to make a decision, and we have selected a few.

Make the small decisions with your head and the big ones with your heart. -Emily Keith

Take a step back and try to stop thinking so much. -Liz Morton

Ask yourself three questions before diving into something new or daunting: What’s the worst that can happen? How likely is that to happen? Can you deal with it? -Long Ho

Consider whether or not you will be able to look proudly into the mirror the next day. -Marcia Jones

But in the end, no one can tell you how to decide or what your choice should be, only you. I promise that once you do decide, you will be excited and terrified, which are both explosive emotions. So run with that energy and from deep down in our hearts we wish you the best of luck!

Laura Laine

Laura Laine

Get Some Energy!

Lesja Chernish. Click on image to view more of her work.

Lesja Chernish. Click on image to view more of her work.

When you wake up, in the middle of the day, at the end of the day, you may experience this certain state which I prefer to call “tired”.  My first passing thought is to crawl into bed and take a nice peaceful nap, but, I have heard this isn’t the best option. After perusing the internet in search of what to write for Wellness Wednesday, I came across a website I used to frequently visit called zenhabits.net. I had forgotten how simple this website is on such a variety of topics. All of course are to benefit your well being. Lo and behold, an article screamed at me, “55 Ways to Get More Energy”. Hello! I could only really think of one, maybe two. I would also like to note that this article is not a direct product of zenhabits.net, but of Greg Go, co-author of Wise Bread‘s new book, 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget. So, take a look and see if any of these 55 interest you in getting some energy into your day! Let us know if this article missed anything or if you know one of these works for you.

55 Ways to Get More Energy

If you’re tired all the time, a change in what you eat (diet) or what you do all day (activity pattern) may be all you need to turn things around 180°.

You won’t be able to do everything on this list all the time — you’d tire yourself out trying to get more energy — but do try them all to see which ones work for you and your schedule. Add a few of these tips to your regular routine. Or mix them up to keep things interesting.

1. Change your socks for refreshment.

It’s an amazing trick. Bring a change of socks to work, and change your socks midway through the day (say, after lunch). You’ll be amazed at how much fresher you’ll feel. This trick is especially handy on days with lots of walking — like during a hike or family outing to the amusement park.

2. Rock out loud.

Whether you work alone or in a room with coworkers, a quick one-song rock out loud session is an effective way to beat back exhaustion.

In a cube farm? Get everyone to sing along! The key is to choose a song that everyone can sing along with. (I like Kokomo.) The energy boosting effect comes from bobbing your head and singing out loud. One song, 3 minutes. That’s a quick boost of adrenaline that lasts for a bit. You’ll be singing to yourself the rest of the never ending project delivery night.

3. Get rid of the stuffy nose.

If allergies have your sinuses blocked, you may be feeling more tired and cranky. An over-the-counter allergy medication should clear up your sinuses (and your mind).

4. Work with your body’s clock.

There is a natural ebb and flow of energy throughout the day. We start off sluggish after waking up, even after a solid 8 hours of sleep. Our energy peaks mid-morning, and it’s natural to want a siesta in the afternoon. We get a second spike of energy in the early evening, followed by our lowest energy point just before bedtime. Once you understand this natural rhythm of energy throughout the day, you can work on the important tasks during your peak hours and avoid early afternoon snoozefests (meetings).

5. Have a piece of chocolate.

Not too much, but if you’re going to have some candy, it might as well be chocolate. We get an endorphin buzz from chocolate (not to mention the energy boost from the slight bit of caffeine chocolate contains). Dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate.

6. Have an afternoon power snack.

A small healthy snack that is low in sugar and has protein and/or fiber a couple hours after lunch helps you finish off the day strong. Some suggestions:

  • mixed nuts
  • nonfat yogurt
  • apple and peanut butter
  • frozen berrie smoothie
  • trail mix
  • granola bar

7. Hit up the water cooler for inconsequential banter.

A little midday gossip and random banter is a great pick-me-up for your tired mind. It works because it gets your mind on zero-stress thoughts for a while. The mental break for just a few minutes will revitalize you.

8. Eat lots of berries.

Especially berries that are blue, red, or purple. The color comes from anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, that boosts energy. Any kind of berry will contain tons.

9. Wear brighter colors.

This trick is related to the mood you project to people, and the reciprocating mood they project towards you. If you wear dark, somber colors, you project a dark, somber attitude, and people will respond to you with a somber attitude. If you wear bright, happy colors, you’ll get that attitude projected towards you, which will boost your own mood and energy levels.

10. Take a power nap.

But do it in your chair. Don’t lie down on the sofa or you won’t get back up. Keep it short: 5-10 minutes max. Any longer and it will have the opposite effect of knocking you out for the rest of the day.

11. Flirt.

It’s fun, it’s harmless (keep it innocent), and it’s effective. Nothing quite gets the heart pumping like a little flirting.

12. Aromatherapy with lavender.

Research has shown that the lavender scent increases alertness. Test subjects were given math tests before and after 3 minutes of lavender aromatherapy. The group completed the tests faster and more accurately after aromatherapy.

13. Wake up at the same time everyday.

Including weekends. This sets your body clock. Otherwise, you’ll be wide awake when you should be asleep. Or worse, asleep when you should be awake (dozing off in a meeting is embarrassing). The key is to go to bed at the same time every night. If you need to reset your sleep cycle in one day, stop eating for the 16 hours before the time you want to wake up.

14. Drink lots of water.

Dehydration is a sinister cause of fatigue because it slowly creeps up on you. If you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all the time. Get a 32 oz (1 quart, 4 cups) water bottle. Your goal is to polish off 2 of those a day. Try it for a week and see if your general energy level increases.

15. Use caffeine wisely.

Coffee and caffeinated sodas can boost your alertness, but be careful about letting it be a habitual crutch. The temptation to drink more caffeine to get even more energy will be strong. Eventually you’ll be downing 5 double-shot espressos a day just to function. Drink coffee earlier in the day to avoid insomnia, which will make the next day worse.

16. Avoid energy drinks.

Energy drinks provide a near-instant hyperactivity boost, but they always result in a crash. Energy drinks are like energy credit cards — you’re spending future energy to get short-term energy. The resulting energy deficit gets worse until you hit energy bankruptcy.

17. Eat low glycemic (low or complex carb) foods.

Trade in good, complex carbohydrates (low glycemic index) for the bad, simple carbs (sugar). Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index means the sugar is more easily digested by your body. That results in a spike in energy followed by a low-sugar crash.

High glycemic index foods to avoid include white bread, potato, and high sugar foods (like sodas). Low glycemic foods (the good carb foods) include fruits and vegetables, grains (eg., whole wheat bread), low-carb foods (eg., meats), and pasta. Check this chart of foods and their glycemic index before your next trip to the grocery store.

18. Eat more soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is the kind that slows down the rate of absorption of sugars. It evens out your energy levels by preventing a sugar high and crash. (By the way, insoluble fiber is the kind that prevents constipation.) Don’t worry too much about which kind of fiber you’re getting — they’re both good for you. Rotate more high soluble fiber foods like nuts, grains, fruits, plant matter (vegetables), beans, and oats into your diet.

19. Get your Vitamin C.

Get a daily dose of citrus fruits (eg., orange juice in the morning) or a vitamin C tablet. Study after study shows the correlation between citric acid deficiency and chronic fatigue. Vitamin C also helps you absorb more nutrients from food.

20. Sniff some citrus.

In addition to the Vitamin C, citrus scents (like orange, lemon and lime) stimulate alertness. So lather on some of that lemon scented lotion.

21. Cover the B Vitamins.

B vitamins cover a range of bodily functions, but most B vitamins are involved in the process of converting blood sugar into usable energy. To ensure you get the proper amount of B vitamins, eat a balanced diet.

22. Quit smoking.

Ex-smokers frequently report an energy boost of 2-3x when they quit smoking. Nicotine affects your sleep, so you don’t get as good a night’s sleep. That makes you cranky, frustrated and tired the next day. Which leads to more smoking. It’s a vicious energy sapping cycle.

23. Play to relax.

Playing a game keeps your mind working (versus, say, watching TV), but doesn’t have any of the energy-sapping stresses of work. Go ahead and play that quick game of Scrabble on Facebook, but have a strict time limit if you don’t want your boss to say something.

24. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

Snack throughout the day. By eating smaller but more frequent “meals”, you will maintain a steady dose of energy instead of experiencing food comas. Don’t snack on fatty and sugar laden junk food though. You may get a short 30 minute burst of hyperalertness, but it’ll be quickly followed by a debilitating crash.

25. Enjoy a cup of tea.

In a recent study, University College London researchers noted that drinking a cup of tea 4-6 time a day reduces stress hormone levels in your body. The study’s results suggest “drinking black tea may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life.”

26. Splash some water on your face.

Just letting the cool water hit your face washes off the grime and stresses of the day. You could also jump in the pool or take a shower for the same effect. Showers stimulates the circulatory system and metabolism. Get wet to feel more energetic.

27. Stand up, stretch and take a couple of deep breaths.

Stretch your arms, back, legs, and neck. Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it, and let it out slowly and forcefully. Repeat several times. This will take 30 seconds and will be an instant fix. When you sit back down, you’ll have the clear head and fresh feeling needed to power through the tough/boring task in front of you.

28. Get your world organized.

When your world is organized, you don’t have to expend mental energy keeping track of a million things. Here’s how to take back control of your time and productivity:

29. Look on the bright side.

A generally upbeat and optimistic outlook on life will keep your energy level up. Yes, the worst thing that can happen might actually happen, but giving it too much worry will only drain you. Look for the positive in every situation and you won’t be so tired.

30. Take a mini-vacation.

Take one day and just do whatever you want. No work, no chores, no errands. Enjoy your one full day of vacation, then come back to work more motivated and energetic.

31. Eat a satisfying breakfast but a light lunch.

A heavy lunch, especially one with lots of carbs or fat (like a burger combo) will hit you as soon as you get back to the office. And it’ll be a sluggishness that lasts to the end of the day. Eat a big breakfast instead. It provides the fuel you need for the day, at the time when your body needs it the most. Not only will you avoid the afternoon food coma, the big breakfast will make you more productive in the mornings. Double win.

32. Choose protein over fat or carbs.

Foods with lean (low fat) protein help you feel fuller for longer. It also prevents blood sugar spikes, giving you more steady energy. Lean protein foods include fish and other seafood, lean pork, or chicken breasts (“white meat”).

33. Shed a few pounds.

The things you do to lose weight — exercise, drink water, avoid simple sugars — are actions that also have a positive effect on your energy level. Even better, the actual loss of excess fat provides an energy boost of its own. You’ll feel “lighter” and things that use to make you breathless will now seem much easier. Losing weight provides a double-impact to boosting your energy.

But be careful with fad and/or crash diets. Cutting out too many calories (ie., energy your body needs) too fast will cause you to be even more tired. Take small steps, and make it a lifestyle change so you shed the fat for life.

34. Listen to tunes while you work.

It’s well known that our brain’s pleasure centers light up when we hear music. Throwing on the headphones and listening to any music you like while working will give you a productivity boost.

35. Start exercising.

If you have a fairly sedentary life, just the idea of starting an intense exercise program is exhausting. But if you go slow, literally taking one step at a time, you can go from being sedentary to becoming a runner just like Leo.

36. Eliminate stress.

Stress is draining. Sometimes it’s worth it, like when you’re on a deadline to delivery a big project. Sometimes it’s just a waste of energy. Leo says,

Certain things in our life just cause us to be more exhausted than others, with less value. Identify them, and cut them out. You’ll have much more energy and much less stress. Happiness ensues.

Here’s how to eliminate stress from your life.

37. Have more sex.

Talk about an endorphin rush! If you keep those endorphins flowing regularly, you’ll have more natural energy. Literally, more bounce to your step.

38. Move gym time to the morning.

A lot of people go to the gym after work. Try going to the gym in the morning instead to get energy that lasts all day. Sure, you’ll have to wake up an hour or two earlier, but you get that time back at night. That exercise in the morning gets the endorphins flowing, which keeps you happy and productive the rest of the day. By exercising in the morning instead of at night, you spend the same amount of time at the gym, but get the added benefit of having more energy at work.

39. Purge low-value tasks from your todo list.

If you have a ridiculously long todo list that is impossible to get all the way through, you’ll feel tired just thinking about the todo list. If you want to actually cross off tasks from your todo list, you’ll need to throw out the crap tasks that you don’t want/need to deal with. Either delegate those tasks, move them into a second “nice but not critical” list, or just admit that they’re probably never going to get done and move them to the “maybe/someday” list. Shortening your todo list to just the most critical, must-do tasks will give you the “energy” to start knocking out those tasks.

40. Avoid the mid-day cocktail.

If you want to function in the afternoon, avoid alcohol at lunch. Even if it’s just one beer. Alcohol’s sedative effects will take hours to recover from, killing the rest of your afternoon.

41. Get a massage.

Loosen up those tight muscles and you’ll feel more relaxed. A more relaxed you means a happier and more productive you. Trade a quick shoulder rub with a coworker after lunch to perk both of you up for the rest of the afternoon.

42. Dress up.

Feeling better about yourself has a magical way of giving you more energy. Put just a tad more effort into looking your best for work, and you’ll get compliments from coworkers that will make you feel better — and make you a perkier, more energetic worker bee.

43. Don’t drink yourself to sleep.

Alcohol keeps your body from entering deep sleep, so even if you get the same hours of sleep, you won’t feel as rested. Limit alcohol the hours before bedtime to get the best night’s sleep.

44. Get a thyroid test from your doctor.

If you are chronically fatigued, it may be a symptom of hypothyroidism. That’s when not enough thyroid hormone is produced, with fatigue as one of its symptoms. Visit the doctor if you’ve been tired for a long time and haven’t had a checkup in a while.

45. Take a walk outside.

Getting outside for some fresh air, a change of scenery, and a quick walk to get your blood going will do wonders for your mood and motivation. Seeing the sun is a signal to your body that it’s not bedtime yet.

46. Lower your blood pressure.

Besides being a risk factor for a heart attack, high blood pressure makes you fatigued. If you haven’t seen your doctor lately, go in and get your blood pressure checked.

47. Rotate yogurt into your diet.

Yogurt with live cultures keep your digestive system clean, which helps your body absorb all the nutrients from food. That makes you healthier and more energetic. Yogurt is also a good low-fat snack.

48. Have a laugh.

Laughter is great medicine for exhaustion. Make sure you laugh regularly to keep your mood up. Seek out funny people or subscribe to a daily email joke. I like the geeky comic xkcd for a quick smile. What’s your favorite quick funny pick-me-up?

49. Add more cardio to your gym time.

The aerobic exercise gets your blood pumping. It builds stamina and endurance, which is useful for both triathalons and neverending department meetings.

50. Take up yoga.

The stretching, slow controlled movements, and focus on breathing reduces tension (and stress). The benefits include better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and being mentally sharper.

51. Eat eggs.

When people have eggs (mostly protein) for breakfast, versus bagels (all carbs), they feel more energy and eat less at the next meal. Protein makes you feel fuller without feeling stuffed, and they provide a steady stream of energy for your body (versus the quick high and crash of carbohydrates). Eggs are a great for breakfast or as an addition to a lunch salad.

52. Get a good night’s sleep.

We need 7-8 hours of sleep to be fully rested. Consistently sleeping less than 6 hours a night builds up a “sleep debt” that is hard to recover from. If you’re getting enough sleep, it should take you up to 30 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow (or while sitting at your desk), that’s a symptom of sleep deprivation.

53. Get more ginseng.

Ginseng is well-known to have energy boosting properties. It is an adaptogen, which means it build resistance to stress and boosts energy. A ginseng supplement or sipping tea with ginseng can help improve energy.

54. Socialize.

Turn off the Internet and go socialize with friends. Humans are social animals, and we need regular socializing to keep ourselves in peak health and energy.

55. Get on your toes.

Roll up and down on your toes. This stimulates your circulatory system, which will deliver much-needed oxygen and fuel (glucose) throughout your body. You’ll be more energized and sharper. You can do this right now.

Post It Note Packaging!!!

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I love to buy presents for people whether it’s for a special occasion or not. What I don’t love is the part where I am supposed to buy wrapping paper. The cost of wrapping paper is ridiculous anymore and the designs don’t seem to be anything exciting. The other day I received my Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine and noticed that she had an entire section on decorating with Post It notes. The highlight of my work day, more often than not, is the product I create out of a Post It note. It can be tacked to my head with a witty comment written on it, write a “hello” and take a photo of it for a friend, and my memory is not my companion, making Post It notes my ultimate companion. Alas, we create phenomenal and personal gifting for friends and family. I am sure they will smile if you create a Post It note montage on their lovely gift.

What you will need:

Post It Notes

Scissors

Brown Paper Bag, Inside Out (Mine is from the wonderful Trader Joes)

What you may also need:

Pencil, marker, crayon
These are used for either curling of paper or for actual detail on Post It Note paper.

Glitter just because glitter is pretty amazing

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Idea 1:This flower was the simplest to create out of all of Polka Dot Tango’s ideas. If you are going to be creating a shape that can be used multiple times, simply un-stick however many Post Its you need in a group and cut them out all at once. This makes a task, such as a flower, easy to make as well as making the outcome very clean looking.

PostItNote_Bdy_Fish

Idea 2: I used the similar strategy as the flower for the waves by grouping Post Its together and cutting the waves out. To create a very 3-D look I bent the entire sticky part of the Post Its down to create a solid base for them to stand up right.

PostItNote_Bookworm

Idea 3: This little bookworm is created by strips of Post Its. I’m not going to lie, this little bookworm was a little bit of a pain. It took me a while to figure it out, but make sure you make a solid bend on the sticky part and a small bend on the other end. When doing these Post It decorations, there needs to be enough sticky part directly onto the paper or else it will pop off easily.

PostItNote_Butterflies

Idea 4: For the butterflies, you can fold over one Post It note with the sticky side out (that way it doesn’t stick to itself) and cut out a butterfly shape with the sticky area where the thorax would be on the butterfly. For the larger butterfly, I did have to stick two Post Its (face to face) so that I created the same shape for each wing.

PostItNote_Pinata

PostItNote_Pinata_UpClose

Idea 5: The piñata packaging wasn’t the most difficult but definitely the most tedious. All I have to say for this one is that if you have the time, do it! It looks even better in person.

It’s pretty neat to think that just a brown paper bag and some Post Its can create some fun ideas and endless possibilities. The next time you have a gift to wrap, stop and think if you have these items before you go out to the store. You will have a fun time creating it and saving the cha-ching!!

Moody Monday

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Stina Persson

For the last several weeks, I had been waiting for a response to a job I had truly truly wanted. It meant creative freedom, respect from fellow future colleagues, no more partial unemployment. It meant that I had found what I had lost. For the last five and a half years I have been trying to dig out of a hole and I believed that I may have just seen a glimmer of light. I opened my email anxiously on Friday and there it was…the “Golden Ticket”. I clicked on that email and began to read finding that my “Golden Ticket” had in fact been a scalped ticket. “We have decided to hire another candidate…”

Chest pain, stomach ache, head ache from attempting to hold back tears so that my co-workers would not know that I can be weak. My body was rejecting what my mind was coming to terms with. Immediately I attempted to call my dad, my mom, and my husband. No answers. If they did pick up the phone, what answer was I looking for? Finally, my dad picked up my second phone call and gives me wonderful words of encouragement. He always gives me peace of mind with his calm sound advice.  My husband calls me upset that the interviewer had given me the assumption that the job was mine, when in fact, it was up for grabs for anyone who applied. Then, my mom calls and says something strange. With confidence she says, “You know what? Be sad. Let yourself be sad, just don’t over do it.”

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Stina Persson

What? I am allowed to be sad? Myself and many others take pride in the fact that we can just “brush it off our shoulders” and move on. Yes, we might go home and have a balling session in an hour long shower, but no one knows it and all evidence goes right down the drain. “Oh. My eyes are only red because I got soap in them”.

Whenever I cry, I can’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland. Here she is, in this odd world, trusting strangers, and doing everything she can to get home, and she breaks down and cries. Until my mom told me, “Be sad”, I had always seen Alice as a wimp, an annoying cry baby I would try to avoid at all costs. Now I realize that yes, she cried, and so much so, that she was able to successfully move. on.

So that Friday night I attempted to let myself “be sad”. I pulled on my jammies, turned on those lovely Lifetime movies, and cuddled with my pup. Randomly, a crying outburst would sneak up on me and I allowed it to continue it’s path. Once Saturday morning came about, I felt a little refreshed. Not to say I was no longer disappointed, but rather accepted the fact. It was that morning I decided that my mission was to figure out what the heck to do next. Because after all, once Alice rode out her sea of tears, she didn’t stand still.

Stina Persson

Stina Persson

Everyone’s Nailing It!!!

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Fingernails are THE fashion accessory right now. Whether you are topping them with “caviar”, edging them with sparkle, or painting them fluorescent, your fingernails can be your statement piece for any occasion. The options are endless and there are many resources for you to use in order to give yourself a DIY manicure that goes well beyond applying two coats of polish. Polka Dot Tango has collected some inspiration for you to take a look at, going from extreme harajuku nails to simply stated. There is a look for everyone and that’s what makes this fashion trend so fun and possible! Let us know what fashion you like to show on your fingernails! You can tweet us @polkadottango, let us know on Facebook, or leave a comment below!

Caviar Nails are one of the newer trends out there. Customer reviews stated that these manicures are tons of fun for not so much a ton of time….if you catch my drift. Also, rumor is that you can create this look by getting a little creative using products from your local craft store. Here’s a wonderful tutorial I found on creating this same effect on YouTube.

Click on the photo above to view more of Ciatè's products.

Click on the photo above to view more of Ciatè’s products.

 

Glitter, Glitter, GLITTER!!!! So thankful that I have a reason to keep glitter in my adult life. Glitter nail polish is the easiest way to dress up your nails and make them look fabulous without having the talent of a professional manicurist. What’s even better is that if you feel that having glitter on all of your fingernails is too much, now it is acceptable to only paint one of your nails to the max with glitter and such. See photo directly below.

One glitter nail coming up!

One glitter nail coming up!

Glitter nails for those a little more reserved.

Glitter nails for those a little more reserved.

It's like a party on your nails!!!

It’s like a party on your nails!!!

 

Matte nail polish is H…O…T… right now.  It really gives your nails drama and sophistication and having matte nail polish alone will make an impact. Here’s another rumor for you: If you don’t want to spend money on matte nail polish, a little birdie told me you can add just a bit of cornstarch to your top coat, mix it in, paint and PRESTO!!! You have matte nails! Now how cool are you?

Click on this image to go to one of Polka Dot Tango's favorite nail blogs. It's in french, but it's definite eye candy.

Click on this image to go to one of Polka Dot Tango’s favorite nail blogs. It’s in french, but it’s definite eye candy.

How cute is this?

How cute is this?

Never Too Much Glitter posted this fabulous DIY on how to make COLORED matte nail polish. GENIUS!!! Click on the image to see how.

Never Too Much Glitter posted this fabulous DIY on how to make COLORED matte nail polish. GENIUS!!! Click on the image to see how.

 

Pointed nails are a hit right now, but I have noticed that only the brave (or ferocious) have the courage to rock them. They definitely give the wearer a fiercer look and for some reason, the more muted ones seem very mature to me. Maybe this style kind of reminds me of women in the 80’s who were magazine editors or villians who had power.

Love that the middle nail has no white on it. Makes the design not overpower the shape of the nail.

Love that the middle nail has no white on it. Makes the design not overpower the shape of the nail.

ROAR!

ROAR!

 

Patterns, pansies, and prints oh my! I’m not too sure how many people have the steady hand, the eye site, or the patience for these lovely nails, but more power to those that do! How much fun they are! Now that Sally Hansen has come out with the press on nail polish, designs like these are a little more realistic to the average nail polisher.

Reminds me of some Betsey Johnson prints.

Reminds me of some Betsey Johnson prints.

School punk?

School punk?

Tribal 90's inspired. Ahhh, the good old days. ;)

Tribal 90’s inspired. Ahhh, the good old days. 😉

 

Really, the possibilities are endless with what you can paint onto your fingernails! Don’t forget about these types of nail polishes that can make your DIY manicure go from eh to ahhhhhh: Crackle, Opalescent, Magnetic, Gel Strips, Metallic, Fluorescent, and more! So, to tie things off with the post, Polka Dot Tango would like to leave you with some of the most amazing nail trends we could find. These images just go to show you that painting your nails is a true art form. :}

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Lunch Date at the Zoo!

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What a wonderful place the local Zoo is! Here in Fresno, they have the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, filled with more animals than you would expect and a newly added sea lion exhibit. I had not been to the zoo in years and figured it would be great to visit all those lovely animals on the first of the year. There are so many reasons to visit your local zoo, such as supporting your community, learning about animals, getting exercise in an exciting environment, and of course experiencing the petting zoo! Take a look at some of the beautiful animals I encountered during the visit. I am sure that you will want to go soon after viewing them!!! ROAR!

I got to feed a giraffe! Very exciting and very slobbery! Loved it!!!

I got to feed a giraffe! Very exciting and very slobbery! Loved it!!!

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Just woke up from a nap.

This guy had the longest hair I had ever seen, which is probably why his lady friends was grooming him the entire time.

This guy had the longest hair I had ever seen, which is probably why his lady friends was grooming him the entire time.

He was definitely the trouble maker.

He was definitely the trouble maker.

I LOVE flamingos. They remind me of ballerinas.

I LOVE flamingos. They remind me of ballerinas.

Well hello cutie!

Well hello cutie!

Stunning!

Stunning!

Look at those eyes!

Look at those eyes!

Nature always amazes me!

Nature always amazes me!

Ahhhhh yeah...

Ahhhhh yeah…

So, we fell in love with this little guy and were trying to figure out how we could take him home.

So, we fell in love with this little guy and were trying to figure out how we could take him home.

The pelican. My favorite animal.

The pelican. My favorite animal.

I think this snake ate a glow stick.

I think this snake ate a glow stick.

So poisonous yet so adorable.

So poisonous yet so adorable.

She woke up VERY hungry.

She woke up VERY hungry.

Sooooooo relaxing....

Sooooooo relaxing….

How can you NOT smile when you look at this!?!

How can you NOT smile when you look at this!?!