Beach Alternatives for Family Spring Break

I love beaches as much as anyone else, but sometimes it’s fun to go against the tide and explore a city for spring break vacation. Why? There are so many interesting cities, and not enough vacation time! Plus, spring break is peak season for many beach towns, but deals may still be found in some cities.  Chicago, IllinoisYes, it’s worth it to abandon your diet for Chicago’s pizza! We love Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza with its buttery and flaky crust, and Giordano’s super huge stuffed pizzas. I think you should try both and compare. It’s not just about pizza though. Chicago offers just about any type of food … [More]

Eliminate Time-Wasters: The Easiest Way to Improve Productivity

When you think about improving your productivity, do you think you’ll need to learn a complicated time management system or that it will require expensive new technology or software? Good news: you can improve your productivity by simply addressing common time-wasters. After working with hundreds of clients one-on-one, I’ve found that there are common ways that most people waste time. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to get more done in less time. As an added bonus, you’ll probably find you have more energy, feel more focused, and have a greater sense of satisfaction! Interruptions – it takes much more time than you think to get back … [More]

How to Keep Playrooms Organized

As parents with a playroom for our kids, my wife and I are happy, carefree beings walking on clouds. Right? Sure! Having a well-used playroom is good for the rest of the house, but what about keeping the playroom organized? I firmly believe in that old saying about a place for everything and everything in its place. Sure, the playroom is a fluid environment. Things will shift about and you don’t want to be too strict, but it’s important to have a playroom with a good backbone to take it all. So I made a few tips on creating that important backbone that I really want to share. … [More]

Unusual but Brilliant Stuffed Animal Storage

The world of stuffed animals keeps getting more complex. In addition to the beloved teddy bear, kids today can cherish a stuffed animal of almost any type – from a blue-footed booby to a Pekingese! And don’t forget the cartoon and movie characters. It’s easy to get nervous as your child’s stuffed animal collection grows, and there’s good reason to be nervous. Stuffed animal congregations on the floor or bed translate into extra time spent cleaning said floors and making up that plushed-out bed. And what parent hasn’t tripped over a stuffed animal? It’s good news that with the complexity of stuffed animal options, there are also plenty … [More]

Pack a Suitcase to Avoid Airline Baggage Fees

If you exceed an airline’s limits for weight, size or quantity of bags, you could end up paying sky-high fees. Skip the fees by planning ahead, allowing you to fly the friendly skies and still have funds to spend on fun stuff, like riding a bike down a volcano in Maui. Yes, you can do that. Baggage weight and size limits vary among airlines, and may differ depending on whether you’re flying first class, business class or economy. Policies may also differ between domestic and international flights. Check the luggage policies of your airline before packing. Obtain the information directly from the airline, not other sources. It’s possible … [More]

Quick-Hit Productivity Boosters

Boosting your productivity (by my definition, getting more of the right things done), doesn’t have to be a big, complex, or lengthy process. Rather, you’re better off doing a few small things, one at a time, that all add up to a big result. Here’s a few easy ways to get started on the road towards major productivity gains: Get rid of what you don’t use. Since your desk is your “home base” of operations, keeping it clutter free and organized is essential to your productivity. You want to keep on your desk and within easy reach only those things that you need or use regularly. Next Monday, … [More]

Cut Grocery Bills; Cut Coupons

The prices of groceries are surging. This past September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that retail grocery prices had risen 6.3% from the previous year. Many are suggesting that the current trend will raise grocery prices another 4% or more. There hasn’t been inflation like this since the 1970s. (source: WSJ) If you keep in mind that each percentage point equals $12 billion in annual spending, then you might be considering joining the coupon revolution. I know that I am. But where do you start? How can you keep a level of sanity when the idea of couponing conjures up the image of carts full of Gatorade … [More]

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts that Say Love

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid stepping inside a drugstore or almost any store in the last two months, then the Valentine’s Day reminder may not have been pounded obtrusively into your head. While some of us tend to think of Valentine’s Day as a made-up holiday, it actually has extensive historical roots, and they may as well be thorny roots since you can really mess up if you skip this holiday. The general rule is that something is better than nothing, but you want something that says love, right? If you’ve procrastinated to the point of all-reservations-taken duress, there’s still time to create a memorable day. Let … [More]

Bringing Back Valentine’s Day

Growing up, when Valentine’s Day rolled around, everyone would pull out the red and pink construction paper, heart-shaped doilies, paste and markers. If you were really lucky, glitter would be involved. Somehow, over the years, giving out homemade heart-shaped Valentines turned to doling out store-bought manufactured creations with the obligatory candy attached. All you had to do was sign your name. Something happened to Valentines Day and many of us are trying to reclaim the craftiness, thought, and romanticism that started the holiday in the first place. With the invention of sites like Pinterest, all you need to do is search the word Valentine and hundreds of suggestions … [More]

How to Store Your Possessions When You Go Overseas

Like most people, I don’t like moving. When it comes to relocating overseas, things get even more complicated, but with good planning, and a little soul searching, everything will end up in its proper place. You may not intend to stay overseas forever, so obviously there are many belongings that may be left behind. It’s not necessary to sell all those items you’re not taking with you. Self storage is a great solution for cherished family heirlooms and other things you want to keep, but that may not be so useful for your two-year stint in Japan. I can’t imagine getting rid of my old high school yearbooks … [More]