tumblr_mh666j8NFI1qdgauwo1_500It’s been just over a year since I took a leap and quit my clock in and clock out job. I worked there for over five years and the work was becoming less and less satisfying. My hours were continuing to get cut, the work I was handed was intended for the brainless and those who just wanted to skim by to get a paycheck, and my confidence was dwindling by the second. I missed trying to come up with something amazing instead of something just to get the job done. My creative soul was being extinguished and it hurt bad!

I can remember moving here from Los Angeles to be with the man who is now my husband. In LA, I had a two hour commute there and two hours back. I worked as a graphic designer, creating hangtags, labels, and other little tidbits that you find on clothing. It was a blast working long hours, putting together over the top presentations to wow the customers, and to see the Los Angeles skyline glimmer in the sunrise as I took that turn off the 10 freeway. It was exciting and I felt that I had made it, but I needed to follow a different part of my heart. So, I moved here.

First couple of days of being here I landed a job as a graphic designer for a man who ran a small local coupon book. It was good for about a week until I had someone over my shoulder every time my hands hit the keyboard. Designing for the coupon book was fine, but then I started designing for his new printing company, car magazines, and the list goes on, all while he was over my shoulder. The paycheck was what kept me there, until six month later I asked for a raise and got the response, “You will get a raise when you can read my mind.” I left that moment and called my boyfriend balling. I had no back up plan.

Every day I checked to see if jobs were posted online and each one I contacted. One interview I went to, I was told that there was going to be some manual labor and I was actually excited about that! Putting together signage that you designed seemed like an awesome job. But, I was told, “Well, you’re a pretty girl and we don’t know if you can do that”.  Another interview came months later and I was told, “I don’t look like a typical designer”.

Finally the job I stayed 5 years at came along. I was beyond excited to work at a print shop and learn the ins and outs of printing. I worked so hard, coming up with ideas every week, but was shot down. I didn’t let it get me down, and I continued working 150%. In June of 2009, I got married, went on a honeymoon, and came back to a job that had cut my hours. I received one raise 9 months from when I started working there, and my hours were continuing to get cut back. The work was not challenging, the environment was toxic, and my fire was going out. Freelance graphic design work was coming in sporadically, and it was always fun. I just felt that it wasn’t enough for me to continue to pay the bills.

The search had started again for a job, while working for the print shop. I went to a job interview and was asked more questions about what my husband did than about my qualifications. Unless, you would count one of my qualifications as not having kids, because “kids get sick and then you have to take time off”. Several months later I went to another job interview and didn’t get the job because I had too much experience, so they hired a kid straight out of college.

It wasn’t until one night I woke up next to my bedroom door screaming at the top of my lungs. My heart was pounding, I felt like I was going to pass out, and I was terrified. I felt completely cornered, depressed, and hopeless. My health, mentally and physically, was hurting and I was in a very bad place. What was I going to do? I decided I was the only person in charge of my life so the next day I quit my job.

Now, I own my graphic design business and I am happy. No, I am not rolling in dough by any means, but I do have electricity and food, a wonderful relationship, and creative ideas flowing. There is still so much for me to learn and I am scared but more excited. The biggest hurdle for me is to continue to believe in myself and to grow that confidence back to where it used to be. Thanks to the wonderful support I have, I am able to do what I love.

Sending happiness out to everyone!

Jenny

Motivating the Mundane Monday

Oh my oh my….it’s been quite a while. I feel horrible for not posting in such a long time, but life has been happening, and it is happening in a good way. Let’s change this Mundane Monday into a Motivating Monday, shall we?

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Walk, Bike, Pogo This Way!

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Last week I walked to work and it felt great. Yesterday, I rode my bike to work  and I could not stop smiling! I felt like a kid again! What I am trying to get at, is this Things To Do Thursday, try getting somewhere, anywhere, differently.

Here are some options:

Walk – The great part about walking is that you only need a decent pair of shoes, which makes it completely cost-efficient.

Bike – You will get there much more quickly than walking, but cost does go up a little (unless you’re into fancy walking shoes). It’s easier and easier to find a bike at a yard sale or Target!

Skate – Rollerblades or the traditional quad skates are amazing. I know rollerblades may not be the coolest right now, but if you grew up in the 80’s & 90’s like I did, you know you still want to use them.

Carpool – When I lived in Los Angeles I only dreamed of having a co-worker or someone that worked around LA that I could carpool with. I even thought of putting a car seat in my car, but that would have been completely horrible and not to mention illegal. Even if your commute does not take two hours to get there, carpooling is fabulous for your mind and your wallet.

Public Transportation – I am envious of New York or countries where public transportation is king! I would love to hop on a subway or grab the “whatever it may be” into town. To be able to mingle with different people, aromas, and sights on a daily basis would be such a mind massage!

These were the only options I could come up with…besides Pogo, which I do not need to elaborate on. If you have any other ideas in mind, please let Polka Dot Tango know!!!!

If You Thought You Couldn’t, Think Again.

I know that this video has been shown just about everywhere, but sometimes it’s necessary to watch it more than once. So for Motivational Monday, take a couple minutes to watch Arthur Boorman take a hold of his life and beat the odds!!! You’re never too late to start doing what you want. 🙂

It’s Not That Serious!

Change Your View On Things

Change Your View On Things

These days there are so many ways to get motivation that sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “Do these motivators know what they are talking about?” I for one, am not an expert on motivating people. I am not a life coach, a therapist, or everyone’s best friend…I am just me, who in turn, is just like you. 🙂 There are those days where I am frantically searching for “that quote”. You know, the one with the pretty type and the inspiring image in the background that is supposed to give you that “ah-ha!” moment. I am a sucker for those quotes because they are a quick fix, but at the end of the day, can I really even remember what it said? Even after saying all of this, I am going to continue to post quotes, images, stories and other motivation mementos for those who follow Polka Dot Tango. Why? Because everyone is motivated differently and I hope that someday, a little Motivational Monday post will give someone even a glimpse of inspiration! So this Motivational Monday, I am writing a simple list as to what gets me inspired, happy and motivated!

Just wear it!

Just Wear It!

Wear Something Different

If I am feeling like I am in a rut, I try and wear something different. It could be a mix of old clothes you already have that could make a completely awesome outfit! Maybe there’s a piece of clothing you bought and have never worn. Been there done that! Wear it and feel good about it. I often find that I save clothes for a special occasion, but it’s not like I have a plethora of ball gowns in my closet (or even one), so why not wear something that you have been saving. I like to try and remind myself that each day is special and you should dress for you! Not only will you see the difference, but amazingly so will others. You will glow on the inside and out!

I Work Out!

I Work Out!

Move Your Body

Just move your body. This is the old stand by trick that works for most everyone to get a little motivation running through your veins. If you already “move your body”, then try moving your body in a different way. If you are usually lifting weights, try and go for a hike. Changing up your workout can be a challenge, but in the end, it proves to yourself that you can do more than you thought and it feels good!

Get Out!

Get Out!

Mix Up Your Surroundings

Just this weekend, I went to the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market with my family. It was like a detox/workout/massage for my brain and I LOVED IT! Being around new aromas, people, clothing, colors, foods was totally what I needed for some motivation for starting a business. Being immersed in a different scene can be exhausting, but your brain is taking in new information and it’s most likely waking up. The Farmer’s Market made me smile from ear to ear the entire time I was there, motivating me to push myself harder than I ever have before! Thank you LA, once again!

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Pop Open A Can of Creativity

Be Creative

This may seem like a daunting task to a lot of readers, but it is a relaxing and fun way (for me at least) to get motivated. You don’t have to be Warhol or Martha Stewart to be creative, so take it easy on yourself. Just doodle if that’s what it takes. Having fun and creating things is very inspiring and the great part is that everyone can do it. Once you’re done, you can either laugh and throw it in the trash or be proud and display your work!

Let Polka Dot Tango know what motivates and inspires you! We would love to hear all about it!!!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!!

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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