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7 Little Changes That Will Make a Big Difference in Your Holiday Season

The holidays are exciting, and it is easy to see why. The holidays are all about tradition, which helps to explain why people are so obsessed with them. If you are dealing with less than perfect circumstances, enjoying the holidays can seem challenging especially during the hap-happiest season of the year. If you are looking to enjoy the holidays a little more than you typically would this year, here are 7 little changes that will make a big difference in your holiday season:

Hold Off on the Spending and the Social Media
The constant flood of other people’s pictures can be hard to take, especially if you are not surrounded by your loved ones. Whether you are spending time with your family or spending the holidays alone, the best things to do would be to hold off on social media. Most of what is posted on social media is likely fake anyway so it is best to give it a holiday for a better season.

Simplify
Although the holiday season is known for being one of pomp and excess, you can make a big difference by simplifying the whole thing. Why not settle for a simple meal on the day of with family and friends? You will save yourself from the stress of cooking, shopping, and the imminent cleanup after.

Establish Your Priorities
Trying to satisfy the expectations of everyone else around you will not do any good but ruin your holidays. Although you are expected to play certain roles simply because it is tradition, you should let go of any dynamics that you don’t agree with. The first step to really enjoying the holiday season is to determine exactly what you want from the season. If the perfect vacation and the best gifts are not a priority, then give up on them.

Plan Your Activities
A common cause for stress during the holiday is the lack of control. You can control how your holiday will turn out by planning all your activities for the season in advance.

Control Your Excesses
The holidays are usually a culmination of a long journey, which is why people tend to over-celebrate. Instead of eating, drinking, and spending too much, you should control your excess. Moderation is the key to a successful season free of high credit balances and sudden weight gain.

Nurture Generosity
If you have kids, you should also teach them about the power of appreciating and not just the joy of getting. You should make a plan that can allow the kids to create their own gifts. You should assert creativity without telling them what to make or do.

Lower Your Expectations
The holiday season is supposed to be fun, not perfect. Therefore, if everything does not go smoothly as planned, understand that it is OK and let it go. Stop stressing about the holidays and just go with the flow.

The Art of Thanksgiving

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the first time does not have to be stressful, but it almost always is, and for good reason. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest family holidays of the entire year, and it is perhaps one of the most pressure-filled. Hosting dinner during Thanksgiving is sort of a rite of passage, and there is an art to doing it correctly.

It is always overwhelming to have the baton passed over to you because there are a lot of elements that have to be fairly synchronized. Fortunately, there is a wealth of online resources that can help you throw a Thanksgiving party successfully. With a lot of planning and solid game-day strategy, it is entirely possible to wow your guests.

Here is the art of Thanksgiving to ensure that you throw a successful party:

Always Accept Help
To pull off Thanksgiving successfully, you have to make sure that you develop a foolproof timeline and checklist to ensure that everything goes according to plan. If you can, you should invite family and friends to bring delicacies, sort of like a potluck, to relieve yourself of some of the stress. You should pick the dishes that are most important to your Thanksgiving traditions and delegate the rest to guest who want to contribute. Whether it is your spouse, friends, or family members, their help will be instrumental.

Stick to the Classics
If you know how to make any of the tried and tested Thanksgiving classics, you should consider sticking with them. If it is your first time ever making the turkey, you should leave your brain and schedule free to deal with it. When preparing the turkey, remember to use the meat thermometer in the thigh, stuffing, and breast to make sure that your turkey is cooked evenly all the way through.

Make as Much as You Can Ahead of the Day
There are many Thanksgiving dishes and delicacies that can and will hold up until the actual day of the celebration. Some, in most cases, even taste better when they are prepared in advance. Dishes such as homemade croutons, potatoes, gravy bases, casseroles, and veggies can be cooked ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. If you do not want to cook anything in advance, at least you can prepare it as soon as you need to.

Credit Cards: How to Control Yourself and Not Become Overextended

The credit card crisis has completely gone out of control. Individuals today are grappling with an imminent fiscal crisis of their own doing. The simple fact is that most people are not as disciplined as they should be with their credit cards. Because of how easily accessible they are, overspending on credit cards has become commonplace, particularly with the advent of online shopping, which makes it easier than ever before to live beyond your means.

If you are stuck in a money trap, you may not even realize it until the situation is much worse. More likely than not, however, most people are already aware that their spending habits are a disaster in the making. If you are currently dealing with credit card debt, it is imperative that you stop using your credit card. Here is how:

Stop Carrying Credit Cards
If you cannot stop using your credit cards regardless of how hard you try, then it might be a good idea to stop carrying them with you. Better yet, if your financial situation is disastrous, consider cutting them up. Simply not being able to access your cards will curtail your spending significantly.

Come up with a Budget
You need to come up with a reasonable budget for all your expenses. Don’t forget to factor in your debt in your monthly expenses so that you can start to reduce your overall debt as soon as you can. Let the amount of debt that you have accumulated influence your spending habits as it will help you regulate how much you spend. When planning your spending, it is essential to prioritize – food, rent, and utility bills come before that new pair of shoes or game system you have been eyeing.

Maintain an Emergency Fund
Save money for emergencies so that you do not have to rely on your cards for emergency situations. Try and ensure that your emergency kitty is at least close to $1,000, which is a great amount to handle most emergency scenarios.

Use Your Credit Cards for Day-to-Day Items
Avoid using your credit card to buy things that you cannot afford. Instead, use your card for buying day-to-day items such as food and fuel, paying bills, and so on. Remember that it is important to use your card regularly if you want a good credit score. This is one way to regulate what you use your credit card for.

What We Wish You Knew about Vermont!

What We Wish You Knew About Vermont

 

Nearly every town in Vermont falls under the designation of small town America. Regardless of the actual size of the town or city — the biggest city in Vermont is Burlington weighing in at a little over 42,000 people — it is the people of Vermont that give it that neighborly feel. Not in the nosey, neighbor way either. People in Vermont simply look out for each other. That friendly, helpful attitude carries over to visitors and should make Vermont a highly desirable vacation spot. However, it has remained a hidden jewel. This is due, in large part, to uninformed misconceptions.

When some think about Vermont, they instantly think of a snowy landscape. While The Green Mountain State does have wonderful snowy vistas in the winter, the state does enjoy all four seasons in all their glory. Fall boasts the changing of the foliage into spectacular pallets of crimson, fiery orange, and yellow. Spring spreads a carpet of wildflowers across the many rolling hills and meadows and plays host to excellent walleye and brook trout fishing.

And yes, Vermont even has a summer. With highs barely touching the 80s, Vermont’s summers are relatively mild compared to more southerly states, but that is not always a bad thing. While Vermont cannot compete with Michigan, it does boast over 60 lakes to enjoy during the state’s moderate summers. There are hiking trails lined with some of the most beautiful vistas and waterways to paddle through the otherwise unreachable glory of hidden landscapes.

Another common misconception of Vermont is that it is boring. As author Ruth Burke once said, “Only boring people get bored.” In addition to the kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and hiking mentioned above, Vermont is home to the 50,000 square foot indoor water park know as the Pump House. Open year round, it boasts a 65-foot drop from La Chute and a less than lazy river.

Vermont also boasts a thriving nightlife. Arguably the center of craft brewing in America, Vermont offers a nearly endless list of beers to sample for the first time. Magic Hat in Burlington has been putting on a Mardi Gras festival worth remembering. With an abundance of great clubs and concert venues, you can dance the night away.

If you are looking for something more out of the ordinary, The Rock of Ages in Barre might be right up your alley. This granite quarry is home to a 600-foot deep trench used in the first new Star Trek movie for its alien appearance. You can feel like Fred Flintstone as you throw bowling balls down the world’s only outdoor granite bowling alley. Also, you can sandblast yourself a souvenir.

If that is not off the beaten path enough for you, check out the next two little known things Vermont offers. Lake Champlain puts forward its own version of the Loch Ness Monster with Champ. Sightings go back to the original Native American tribe that lived in that area and continue through to today. Some even report Champ biting them so watch your toes.

Not unusual enough? Try the world’s tallest filing cabinet in Burlington. This 38 feet tall working filing cabinet was made of real filing cabinets welded together. This sculpture has stood since 2002 and gets 4.5 stars on tripadviser.com.

Vermont is full of adventures. Shredding wicked cool snow on one of the five 4,000 foot mountains it boasts is only the beginning. There is always something to do in Vermont. From the laid back pace of maple syrup to the rushing waters of the Missisquoi River, there is nothing dull about Vermont.

Top 5 Vacation Ideas in New England

Top 5 Vacation ideas in New England

America’s birthplace, New England is a famous destination location for people who are looking for an unforgettable experience. The scenery is quite diverse and the regions rather attractive, they will form the perfect backdrop on holiday pictures. Visit New England any time of the year and experience American culture and history. It does not end there however because in the midst of tradition and ancient hints of how the great region came to be, visitors can still enjoy natural beauty of the destination which includes the gorgeous coastline. Are you thinking of visiting New England in your next vacation? You are in luck because there are a couple of best destinations picked out just for you.

The search is definitely over so check out this list of the top 5 vacation ideas in New England for adequate preparation;

  1. Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts

This is one of the islands that lie off the coast of MA. A quintessential getaway, the destination is home to sandy beaches that surround charming little towns. Best picked as a romantic getaway, Martha’s Vineyard sees many couples visiting for their honeymoon. It is also ideal for the family vacation because there is so much to see and enjoy. Want to know who else finds this place worth their time? The president and his family!

  1. White Mountains in New Hampshire

A place where the landscape is a blend of lakes and scenic wilderness, White Mountains is a vacation spot that will make you forget about the hustle of city life. It is no surprise that the White Mountains have for a long time been a popular destination for those looking for a unique holiday experience. Enjoy group activities such as hiking and one-on0nes like horseback riding and golf. There is clearly never a dull day when you are at White Mountains.

  1. Camden in Maine

Everything you can ever think of as an activity to do when out on a vacation will be found in Camden. If you fancy fine dining then you will love the experience that comes with eating fresh seafood obtained from the Atlantic right there. The rest of the day can be spent exploring the Penobscot bay islands and hiking.

  1. Newport in Rhode Island

This is one of the most photographed places in New England. An exciting destination characterized by mansions overlooking the sea, Newport is a home away from home. You get to enjoy the freedom associated with living in your own house but enjoying the view of the sea all the time.

  1. Nantucket in Massachusetts

One of the islands in the Atlantic, this is a population vacation destination for people who appreciate old-fashioned charm and history. While you are there, tour the lighthouses, beautiful coastline, and fishing villages that have been in existence for centuries. The wildlife refuge on the island is unique and great at learning about the various species in this part of the world.