The Media Uses Righteous Indignation to Manipulate the Masses. You Can Stop Them

How Dare You!

Your blood boils, your pupils dilate, and you feel your cheeks burning red with rage. The anger coursing through your body is tilting, righteous, and purposeful.

The media knows how to push your buttons. It knows the hot topics and what to say to manipulate its targets into seeing red.

It’s by design.

What is Righteous Indignation?

Righteous indignation is a form of anger that we’ve permitted ourselves to experience. Getting mad over spilled milk or things that don’t matter is an affront to common human decency, but righteous anger is justified.

We’re allowed to be angry when someone insults us. We’re justified in our anger when others assault our deeply held beliefs and way of life. It’s okay to get mad when our morals are questioned. 

Anger is justified when it’s righteous.

What Causes Righteous Indignation?

Our own sense of morality often causes righteous indignation. According to The Practical Psych, Clinical Coaching psychologists founded by Dr. Jason Spendelow, those experiencing righteous anger feel the right to be angry based on their morals and beliefs. 

However, he cautions that morality isn’t absolute, as different people and cultures have wide ranges of beliefs about right and wrong.

A person’s beliefs govern righteous indignation, but not everyone believes the same things.

What is an Example of Righteous Indignation?

Examples of righteous indignation abound, and they aren’t all bad. Righteous indignation can be a powerful motivator, but it can also create an atmosphere of “us” versus “them,” forcing us into teams of those who are angry about one issue versus another.

This type of anger has been used for good and bad throughout the ages. Righteous anger is used to oppress and subjugate, but can also be used to create a better world. 

Righteous Indignation To Change the World

Anger over real and perceived injustice is world-changing. Martin Luther King was angry over the treatment of Black Americans. He felt racism was morally wrong and felt justified in marching for civil rights.

He used his righteous indignation about racism to effect policy change and win supporters’ hearts and minds.

Righteous Indignation Used for Oppression

Unfortunately, the Civil Rights Movement also provides numerous examples of righteous indignation from the other side. People marched against desegregation and civil rights, even going so far as to scream at school children attempting to earn an equal education.

Opponents of civil rights thought they were morally justified in their anger. In their minds, the white race was superior, and mixing races was morally wrong. They fought to oppress a massive group of people based on their morality and righteous indignation.

We can see 80 years later that those opposing civil rights were in the wrong, but at the time, millions of people were outraged at the idea of desegregation and used their sense of morality to justify their outrage. 

The Psychology Behind Righteous Indignation

In Psychology Today, Dr. Joseph Burgo expanded upon the allure of righteous indignation. He describes it as a defense against shame and a way to shift blame.

Dr. Burgo also describes the appeal of righteous indignation in the political arena, showcasing how our divided political spectrum creates a breeding ground for righteous anger. Those who oppose us lack empathy and even humanity, while we care about others and our country. 

We’re on the side of moral good, while the other team lacks morals. The other group is clearly inferior, and we feel good about ourselves because we’re right about the issue.

Why Rage Bait Sells

People like to feel good. Righteous indignation helps us feel good about our opinions and makes us believe we are better than others.

Rage bait sells because it gives us that feeling of superiority we seek. It’s like a drug; once we have some, we long for more to maintain that moral boost. 

In a study titled Self-enhancement, righteous anger, and moral grandiosity, researchers found that people who were given something to be angry about were more likely to choose more content on injustice and rate themselves as positive on the morality scale.

Feeling angry pushes our buttons and makes us seek more reasons to be angry.

The study showcases why the rage bait sells: We feel good about being angry and seek more content to support our anger. The more we read about injustice, the more we want to read, creating an endless demand for rage-bait content.

How Media Uses Righteous Anger to Manipulate the Masses

Media companies are well aware that rage bait sells, and they use it to get clicks. The world is safer than ever and is getting safer each year. But you wouldn’t know that by reading the news.

Everything you see is mayhem, from horrific crimes to political rulings meant to make and keep you angry, regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall upon. The never-ending onslaught of the horrific thing the opposite side did today keeps users engaged and enraged.

Anger-inducing headlines get clicks, and media companies make money, all while the masses get madder and madder.

We do it to ourselves as well, with the help of profit-motivated algorithms. Social media follows the same rules as traditional media in that rage-inducing content will get more likes. A Yale Study demonstrated how these social networks reward and encourage moral outrage, leading to increased engagement for the user, and increased profits for the company.

Stop Being Manipulated

Consumers have the power to change the game. We can stop media companies from manipulating our emotions and lining their own pockets off our anguish.

Here’s what you can do to fight against mass media companies trying to manipulate your emotions to gain a buck.

Think Critically About What You Read

The first step is to take a step back and think critically about what you consume. Is the rage-inducing story trying to make you angry? Is there an “us” versus “them”? Who profits from this dichotomy?

Remember that the media’s top goal is to make money. They do this by playing with your emotions and getting you so worked up about a topic that you scour the internet for more and more, which they will happily provide.

Don’t Share Rage-Inducing Headlines

Have you ever shared an article with a headline that made your blood boil? How many times have you done so without even reading the piece?

Media companies write misleading, rage-inducing headlines to get you to do just that. They want the engagement that comes from your anger upon seeing the headline. They may even explain in the article why the headline is 100% wrong, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is you’ve shared it, and people will keep sharing it.

Stop sharing articles with rage-inducing headlines. Look for balanced news, articles that provide nuance, and well-rounded reporting instead. At the very least, read each piece with a critical eye before you share it.

Stop Consuming Rage Bait

Algorithms are designed to keep you inundated with content you will consume and share. Stop falling for the bait. Ignore the morally outrageous headlines you see, knowing it’s just a media company trying to get a click out of you.

The more you ignore these headlines, the fewer you will see them. Ignoring ragey articles has an additional bonus: you will no longer be angry all the time and start to see all the good in the world again.

Share the News You Want to See

We have to fight back against the algorithm. Instead of sharing news that makes your blood boil, share stories that make you happy.

Share funny stories, uplifting news, and all the fantastic human interest pieces that showcase the best of humanity. Not only will your algorithm change, but it might also help slowly change your closest friends’ algorithms.

Remember, good news pieces don’t get as much engagement. You’ll have to accept that sharing happy news may be less fulfilling. You may get fewer likes and shares, but that’s okay. 

Your overall mental health is worth sacrificing a few social media points.

Stop the Manipulation, Stop the Hate

Ultimately, the consumers have the power to mold the media, change the algorithm, and decide what type of news is newsworthy. Use it to stop the hate.

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/righteous-indignation/

You Don’t Need to Jack Into the Matrix to Use this External Brain Hack

Our fast-paced society, fraught with constant changes, competing priorities, and mounting to-do lists, can prove too much for even the most organized minds.  

The solution? An external brain.

Although it sounds like science fiction, an external brain isn’t something you jack into. A simple tool already in use by millions can act as your external brain without complex neuroscience.

What is an External Brain?

According to David Allen, a world-renowned expert on personal productivity, an external brain is any tool located outside of yourself used to track and store information. Allen, author of best-seller Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity and mastermind behind the Getting Things Done productivity methodology, discusses the idea of an external brain in episode 34 of the accompanying podcast, Getting Things Done.

Allen explains that our brains evolved for pattern recognition and action rather than information recollection. We rely heavily on environmental inputs to trigger actions but must work extremely hard to remember details, thoughts, and ideas. His theory on brain development helps us understand why we can immediately jump into action when we recognize something that needs to be completed but struggle to recall simple details from previous days or weeks.

Allen isn’t alone. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin wrote about the benefits of using an external brain in his book The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. In the book, Levitin explains that our minds wander to incomplete tasks if they aren’t recorded somewhere and suggest using an external system to store these thoughts, freeing our minds from focusing on them.

Simple Tools for External Brains

External brains don’t have to be complicated. Allen says anything could be considered an external brain, from your calendar to your journal. He says there’s no right or wrong way to approach externalizing your thoughts, and simple pen and paper are powerful tools for beginners. 

Many people already apply the concept of an external brain without knowing it. Standard journals are fantastic tools for writing things down, but Allen cautions that a simple brain dump isn’t enough. An effective external brain requires follow-through.

A bullet journal is an ideal solution. Bullet journals help you stay organized and keep track of important dates, tasks, and events. Many bullet journal spreads also include space for jotting down notes, ideas, and thoughts, which is critical as Allen stresses that one key to a successful external brain is a place to record ideas immediately.

Journal Sales Continue to Rise

Though they may not be aware of the cognitive science behind journaling, consumers continue to purchase journals, and the industry shows no signs of slowing. According to The NPD Group’s (NPD) Retail Tracking Service Data, personal journal unit sales are up 3% year to date through September 2022. NPD also reported that guided journal sales increased by 24%, reaching 358K in unit sales by mid-October.

These data show that the journaling trend isn’t stopping. However, the external mind is just one of the many benefits of journaling.

Benefits of Journaling

Allen says that journaling is beneficial because it helps you get your thoughts out of your mind, thus creating brain space to help you focus on what matters.

Journaling has numerous additional benefits as well. It can improve your mood, reduce stress, and even help you heal faster. Studies have found that journaling about traumatic events can help individuals work through the trauma and improve physical and psychological outcomes.

Bullet journaling has additional benefits in that it helps users stay organized and focus on their goals. An added benefit of bullet journaling is the customization. Users can design their bullet journals to meet their specific needs

Tips for Using a Bullet Journal as an External Mind

 Leave space for free thought to get the most out of your bullet journal as an external brain. Allen reminds us that free-form writing is one of the best methods of getting stuff off your mind. 

Allen also cautions that bullet journals are more work than traditional journals. You don’t necessarily need all the charts, lists, and trackers common to bullet journals for it to function as an external brain. Simplify your journal to capture essential items you need to remember.

A final tip for using a bullet journal as an external mind is to follow up with what you write. A significant key to an external brain is that you refer to it. You must trust yourself to go back, review what you’ve written, and act on it. If you don’t trust yourself to check your external brain, your internal brain may not be willing to let go.

Reap the Benefits of Journaling and the External Brain

Journaling and external brains have numerous benefits. Combine them to get organized, reduce stress, and clear up valuable brain space. Use this new-found brain energy to be present in your life, enhance your creativity, and focus on the things that matter to you; no matrix required.  

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/you-dont-need-to-jack-into-the-matrix-to-use-this-external-brain-hack/

23 Morning Routine Ideas to Embrace for Your Perfect Morning

A fantastic morning is a lift-off we need for a wonderful and productive day. Creating the perfect morning routine can help you face the day, be in better spirits, and become more productive.

The secret is that since we’re all different, the same routines won’t work for everyone. These morning routine ideas offer tips to design the perfect morning that fits your unique identity.

What’s a Morning Routine?

A morning routine is a system you use every morning to get your day on the right track. Your schedule should include the tasks you need to accomplish, like brushing your teeth and the order in which you will do each thing.

Why is a Morning Routine Important?

Morning routines are important because they provide structure and help us ensure we complete essential tasks. Routines also help us form habits, so our structured schedule will become second nature, even when our lives get busy.

Morning routines are essential to ensuring we start our days off right.

Morning Routine Ideas

There’s not one set morning routine that will work for everyone. Some of us are morning people and don’t need much to get started, while others are night owls trying hard to make a nine-to-five schedule work.

Busy parents have children they need to incorporate into their morning routines, while pet owners may need to walk the dog or feed the pets.

We’ve offered morning routine ideas for night owls, early birds, and folks with limited time in the morning to accommodate these varying needs. 

Tasks Everyone Should Incorporate Into Their Morning Routine

There are certain things everyone should do each morning. Here is a short list of things you should do every morning regardless of which category you fall into.

Personal Hygiene

Make brushing your teeth and washing your face your top priorities each morning. Taking care of your hygiene is vital to a happy life. As a bonus, the invigorating splash of water on your face will kick-start your body into waking up!

Take Care of those who Rely on You

Get the children dressed and make sure they have something to eat. You don’t need to make a complete breakfast like the power Instagram moms. Children can be happy with a bowl of cereal, a bagel, or fresh fruit.

If you have pets, ensure they are fed and walked as needed.

Eat Something

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but too many of us skip it. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Eat something easy, like a banana or a granola bar, to jumpstart your daily energy.

Morning Routine Ideas for Night Owls

Mornings can be a challenge if you aren’t a morning person. Some of us do much better in the evening and struggle to start the day.

If you’re a night person, implement these ideas into your daily plan for an easy morning.

Get Ready the Night Before

If you’re at your best at night, don’t force yourself to get everything done in the morning. The best morning routine idea for you is the easiest one. So get ready the night before. Write your to-do list and plan your day before you even go to bed.

You should lay out your clothes, pre-make breakfast, get automatic pet feeders, and consider anything else you can accomplish before shutting your eyes. Having most things ready in the morning will simplify your morning routine and make it easier for you to start the day.

Stop Snoozing

It’s hard to get up when you’re not a morning person. But snoozing your alarm clock generally does more harm than good. Dr. Reena Mehra, MD, MS, Director of Sleep Disorders Research at the Cleveland Clinic, approached this topic for the Cleveland Clinic’s blog. She reported that snoozing doesn’t help our bodies get the restorative sleep we need.

Dr. Mehra also said that the latest parts of our sleep cycle are essential for REM sleep, and hitting the snooze button often disrupts that vital portion of the cycle.

Instead of snoozing, set your alarm clock for your later, final wake-up time. Shift your evening routine to allow yourself a full eight hours of sleep. Use proven strategies to fall asleep faster, so you don’t need to hit the button.

Have Some Tea or Coffee

Coffee and tea are fantastic day starters. The slight jolt of caffeine can give you the boost you need to wake up fully.

Get a coffee maker with an automatic timer to make your morning cup easier for you. You can get everything ready before going to bed and awaken to the delightful aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

You should add a morning drink to your routine even if you don’t enjoy coffee or tea. Fruit juices or smoothies give you a little morning calorie boost, but even a glass of water will help you wake up and feel more refreshed. Turn curling up with your beverage of choice into a relaxing morning ritual.

Give Yourself Time

Add at least ten minutes to your morning routine for waking up. Get out of bed, but allow yourself to ease into the morning. Use this time to wash the sunrise, wash your face, and get into the right mindset for tackling the day.

The best way to embrace a new day is curling up with that cup of coffee you just made. Let the mug warm your hands, inhale the exhilarating aroma, and savor every drop. When you finish, you will be ready to face the day ahead.

Whether a coffee drinker or not, setting aside a few minutes to fully wake up is essential for night owls.

Focus on the Important Things

If you’re not a morning person, getting everything done in the morning might be hard. Stop trying to fit into a mold you aren’t cut out for.

You don’t need to do everything in the morning. Determine which tasks are essential for a great morning and focus on those. Switch jobs around so they fit better with your schedule and personal body clock.

Switch your showers, workouts, and dog walks to after work. Do the dishes when you get home. Give yourself a break from perfection, and realize you will be much less stressed with “good enough.”

Morning Routine Ideas for Early Birds

Early risers have an easier time in the morning. They wake up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready for whatever day might bring!

The best morning routine ideas for early birds embrace the energy you have first thing in the morning.

Plan Your Day

While fresh, map out all the things you need to accomplish today. Write out your to-do lists, goals, appointments, and plans.

Your early morning routine might be a good time to set daily affirmations and intentions to get you into the right mindset for the day.

Get Organized

The morning is a perfect time to organize your home and your life. Ensure the dishes are clean and ready for dinner, clear the counters, and manage the clutter which compiled the previous day.

Setting aside a few minutes in the morning to clean up and organize your home will help you approach the day with a clear mind.

Work Out

You may want to put that extra morning energy to good use by creating a morning workout routine. Hit the gym, go for a run, or do some early morning yoga.

Working out in the morning can help improve your focus, boost your energy, and elevate your mood.

Devote Time to Side Projects

The morning is an ideal time to focus on your side projects and hobbies when you’re an early riser. Use it to your advantage by dedicating time to things you love to do.

I’m an early riser who loves the quiet solitude of the house before 7 am. I wake up an hour earlier than I have to to dedicate the best hours of my day to writing. My morning routine ensures that I can keep up with my side hustle while working a demanding nine-to-five.

Prep for the Evening

If you’re anything like me, you’re too exhausted by the time you get home from work to do much of anything. Make your evening routine easier by preparing for it while you have energy in the morning.

Decide what you will have for dinner, and defrost any items you need.

Morning Routines for those Short on Time

Many of us feel rushed in the morning. There’s so much to do and strict timelines we have to meet to get where we’re going on time. Here are some tips for streamlining your morning routine when you don’t have much morning to work with.

Automate

Automation is your best friend when you’re short on time. Get automated coffee makers and dog feeders—set timers for important daily deadlines. 

You can also automate yourself by following a strict schedule. Eliminate decision fatigue from your morning by pre-planning and use muscle memory to get through the morning. 

Use Planning Tools

Bullet journals are excellent tools for organizing your life. Use a bullet journal spread to map out your week, so you know exactly what needs to be done each day. Take the planning out of your morning routine and focus on the essential tasks. 

Meal Prep

You can meal prep breakfast. You may want to stick to easy meals like cereal or fruit, but you can also pre-make a variety of breakfast foods. Make smoothies and hard-boiled eggs weekly, or create frozen breakfast dishes that need to be reheated and served.

Set Standards

If other people live in your household, it’s imperative to set standards about how mornings need to go to get out of the door on time. Give everyone morning tasks to accomplish based on their capabilities, and set timelines for completing each task. Everyone needs to be on board for the morning to run smoothly.

Ideas for Morning Routines with Kids

Most people can build their own morning routines with little assistance. Building morning habits becomes far more challenging when you have little ones to take care of. Children have a delightful knack for throwing a wrench into all the best-laid plans.

However, as difficult as it might be, setting strict morning routines with children is essential. To help you develop strategies to make your morning as easy as possible, we asked parents to give us their best tips for morning routine ideas with children.

Do Everything the Night Before

Robyn from A Dime Saved embraces the night-owl idea of getting everything done the night before. She lays out clothes, packs lunches, and prepares the coffee maker ahead of time, so she doesn’t have to worry about it in the morning. Robyn finds that mornings run much more smoothly when there’s not as much to handle.

An Easy Home School Routine

Nicole from Gracefully Abundant has more time than most as she homeschools her children. She incorporates schooling as part of her morning routine. They cook a warm breakfast together as a family, using that time to have discussions which often lead to research and learning in the at-home classroom.

Nicole’s elementary-aged children are full of energy, so after breakfast, they have time to run around the yard, which helps them focus when it’s time to start school.

Getting Up First for You Time

Victoria, from Motherhood, Life, Balance, starts her morning routine with time for herself. She typically gets up an hour before the rest of the household, spending time on self-care. She will read, shower, have her morning coffee, and even complete a 20-minute work. This “me time” gets her into the right headspace to tackle the day.

When the kids get up, she starts prepping their breakfasts and lunches. They are old enough to dress themselves, but she monitors the clock to make sure everyone is ready on time.

Victoria has tried numerous morning routine ideas throughout the years but discovered she’s less stressed and more ready for the day when she gives herself that extra hour each morning.

Use Technology

Monica from Planner at Heart finds getting kids out of the house in time for school to be one of the most stressful times of the day. Many mornings were filled with yelling down halls to finish this; remember that.

The constant yelling wasn’t healthy for the parents or the children, but Monica found a clever solution in technology. She uses Alexa as a secret weapon to set reminders and communicate throughout the house. Instead of yelling, she types reminders for Alexa to announce and always includes a silly noise at the end to add a dose of levity.

This morning routine hack helps her keep her eldest child on task while caring for her little one without resorting to yelling.

Set a Timeline

Nadia from This Mom is on Fire has two kids and has found that setting a specific timeframe for completing each portion of the morning routine has helped keep them on schedule.

She gives her daughter precisely 15 minutes to change and fix her hair. The kids need to be downstairs for breakfast by exactly 820. They leave for school at 840. Setting these specific goals helped get the kids into a structured routine and has made Nadia’s mornings much more manageable!

Using the Clock as a Guide

Jonathan from Parent Portfolio also uses timetables but includes more flexibility as part of the morning routine. He gives himself a half hour to get ready before waking the kids and asks them to get themselves ready by 7 am. After 7, they eat breakfast and brush their teeth, with a hard out-the-door time of 730 am.

Jonathan adds flexibility to his mornings. Sometimes the kids are ready before 7 and can get to breakfast early. When they have extra time in the morning, Jonathan encourages them to practice their instruments so they have extra free time in the afternoon.

Morning Routine Ideas Can Help Everyone Have a Fantastic Day

The great thing about the morning is that there’s no set way to do something. Take these morning routine ideas and use the ones that will help you. Dismiss the ones that don’t fit into your lifestyle.

The key is creating a morning routine that works for you and helps you have the best day possible. Rise and shine to a fantastic morning!

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/morning-routine-ideas/

Move Your Money! Switch Banks to Take Advantage of Rising Interest Rates

Rising interest rates affect far more than mortgages. Many banks are also increasing rates on their savings accounts, meaning you could earn a ton of money by switching banks.

If you haven’t yet, now is the time to check the interest rate you are earning on your savings account and move your money if it’s not competitive.

Big Banks Aren’t Increasing Interest Rates

The big players like Bank of America, USAA, and Wells Fargo haven’t increased their rates on savings to keep up with online banks and credit unions.

As of this writing, Bank of America’s highest interest rate is .04%, USAA’s is .9%, and Wells Fargo’s is 1.01%. Remember that these “high” rates only apply to customers with the largest balances.

Only customers with over $50,000 in savings will see rates over .3% at any of these establishments.

These establishments are banking on customers’ reluctance to change. They assume consumers will settle for nominal rates to avoid the hassle of switching. 

So far, they’ve been right, costing consumers big time. 

How Much Will You Make by Switching?

Even those without much in the bank can make money by switching.

Customers with only $1000 will make an extra $30 per year when they move their money from an account offering .01% APY to one offering 3%, not including interest from additional contributions.

Those with more in savings have even more to gain. A $10,000 initial investment will earn $300 over a year, while a $50,000 savings account will earn $1500.

To determine exactly how much money you will make by switching, head to Investor.gov, where you will find a handy compound interest calculator. Input your initial investment amount and your current interest rate to see what you will make by staying put, and compare that to what you’d make by switching.

The Power of Compound Interest

Compound interest is interest earned on both your initial savings and the principal. You’re making extra money on the interest payments you’ve received.

Most banks compound interest monthly, meaning you will start earning extra money off your interest after each month. In our example of a $10,000 initial deposit, you will earn approximately $25 in interest the first month at 3% APY.

With compound interest, you will earn even more the next month, even if you don’t make any additional deposits, because the interest is based on the new balance of $10,025, earning you an extra six cents.

That doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up over the years.

After five years, your investment will be worth $11616, over $100 more than the $11500 you would receive with simple interest.

Comparing either to the $10020 you will have if you leave your money in an account earning .04%, switching is a no-brainer.

Switch Banks: Consider an Online Bank or Credit Union

Many online banks and credit unions offer far better interest rates on savings than the big banks.

Investopedia offers a running list of where you can find the top interest rates on savings accounts in the US. Some of the most well-known companies offering high-interest rates on savings include Citi, Capital One, and Discover.

Many of these banks offer adjustable-rate savings accounts, meaning that as the Federal Reserve increases rates, they will increase the rates on their accounts. However, keep in mind that the opposite is also true, and rates will go down if the Federal Reserve reverses course and decides to lower interest rates again.

Money Market vs. Savings Accounts

Some banks may offer higher interest rates on money market accounts than on savings accounts. Remember that the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) does not insure money market accounts.

The FDIC insures your money. If a bank goes belly up, FDIC insurance covers consumers. Each depositor is automatically insured for up to $250,000 per insured bank.

Money Market accounts don’t have this insurance. If you deposit funds in a Money Market account and the bank fails, you may lose your deposit.

Consider a CD (Certificate of Deposit)

If you don’t think you will need your money in the next few months, you might consider opening a CD. CDs are FDIC-insured accounts you can open with a bank, but they aren’t as liquid as savings accounts.

With a CD, you lock up your money for a specific amount of time and typically pay a penalty if you need to withdraw early. Investopedia also keeps a running list of the highest-yield CDs available, some of which are over 4%. However, you will commit your money to the CD to access this rate.

CD lengths vary, as do interest rates. You can find CDs with timeframes as low as three months, but long-term CDS holds your money for up to five years. Typically, the longer the term, the higher the interest rate, but some banks offer short-term high-interest-rate CDs.

Obstacles to Switching Banks

The biggest obstacle to moving your money is closing your old account. Most big banks don’t allow you to close an account online, so you need to call and speak to someone or visit one of their brick-and-mortar locations. Both options are giant hassles, but they are worth doing to earn more money over time.

 If the thought of calling or visiting a bank is overwhelming, consider leaving the account open. If you have a no-fee savings account, you can leave a nominal amount of money in it and allow it to stay open. Check your bank’s rules and fees to ensure leaving the account open won’t cost you. Some require minimum deposits for free savings or charge other fees for low balances.

Bottom Line: Move Your Money to Take Advantage of Rising Interest Rates

If your money is locked in a big bank savings account earning paltry interest, you need to move it. It takes about twenty minutes to open a new account with an online bank and set up a transfer from the existing bank.

The additional income you can make from interest is worth the time, even if you don’t have a lot of savings. And as a bonus, it will add up and compound over time, giving you even more free money.

Move your money today and reap the benefits of rising interest rates. 

source https://partnersinfire.com/finance/move-your-money-switch-banks-to-take-advantage-of-rising-interest-rates/

What Do I Want For Christmas? Fill Your Christmas Wish List with these Gift Ideas!

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we often forget to stop and ask ourselves, “what do I want for Christmas”? 

We are usually so busy focusing on everyone else to ask that question, but we deserve a magical Christmas full of delight, too, even if we have to make it happen ourselves. 

Take a moment to consider your own Christmas wishlist to have a wonderful holiday and get everything you want for Christmas!

What Do I Want for Christmas?

When we’re focused on getting everyone else that perfect holiday gift, it can be hard to take a step back and figure out what we want for ourselves. 

If you’re struggling to imagine ideas for yourself, consider the five-gift rule for Christmas gift ideas. 

What is the Five Gift Rule for Christmas?

The five-gift rule is a rule of thumb for buying Christmas presents, but it can also work for making your own Christmas wish list. The guideline is to get someone something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

These four things cover the basics, and there’s a wide variety of ideas on what the fifth gift should be. Sometimes it’s something handmade, and other times it’s something to share. 

These final options have limitations. Sharing gifts can be a little impersonal, especially if it’s one of the only gifts you get. Everyone should get at least one thing of their own. Handmade gifts are great, but can fall into the other categories like a hand-knit scarf to wear.  

An ideal option for the fifth gift is something to do. 

Why the Five Gift Rule?

The five-gift rule narrows down the types of gifts and makes it easier for you to think about what you want for Christmas.

It’s easier to think about something you want to read or something you need than to consider all the possible gift ideas out there. Using the five-gift rule for your Christmas wish list helps you focus on a few critical categories of gift ideas. 

What Should I Put on My Christmas Wish List?

You should consider the five-gift rule when deciding what to put on your Christmas Wish list. The answers will be different for everyone because everyone has different wants and needs. 

However, we’ve compiled a list of ideas and questions to get you started. 

chalkboard with message "what I want the most" with a christmas gift next to it to help you ask yourself What do I want for Christmas

Something I Want

What do you want?

What have you been eyeing that you haven’t bought yourself? The possibilities for things you want are endless. It could be a fragrance you’ve been dying to try or a game just released for your favorite console.

Maybe you just want a cozy blanket and a self-care basket, or you’re a traveler looking for a perfect gift to help you on your next adventure

Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to get started if you are considering a new hobby. Ask for paints, a sketchbook, sewing needles, or even one of those all-in-one gift set kits that can help get you started. 

Think about the things you’ve wanted for the past few months.  These items are probably the best answers to the question, “what do I want for Christmas.”  Put these items at the top of your Christmas Wishlist.

Something I Need

There are a variety of things you may need. You might need new accessories like purses, wallets, shoes, or new houseware items like pots, pans, or bathroom towels.

Be careful not to go overboard with needs. When I was little, my father always gave my mother a new vacuum for special occasions. My mom wasn’t obsessed with cleanliness. She didn’t love vacuuming. While it’s true that the family needed a vacuum, it probably wasn’t the best choice for a personalized gift. 

I always felt so bad for her when everyone else was getting cool toys and gadgets for the holiday, and she got something related to her chores. 

Make sure that the thing you need is something you will enjoy using. Foodies might both enjoy and need a new cookbook, while students or journaling fanatics might want and need a new notebook. 

You don’t have to take one for the team and ask for something that will help you do chores for Christmas. Consider things you both want and need when asking, “what do I want for Christmas.”

Something to Wear

Next, consider asking for something to wear. A new clothing item can fulfill a specific desire, like that fantastic leather jacket you’ve been eyeing or something general like socks, slippers, or winter accessories.

Be sure the gift giver knows your style and size when asking for something to wear. Be specific about what you want so that you get the right thing that fits you. Don’t ask for a new hat; you may end up with a baseball cap when you really wanted a knit winter hat.

Ensure that you are specific enough to get the desired item and avoid confusion. 

Something to Read

Books make excellent Christmas gifts. There are so many books on various subjects, and we can order them with the tip of our fingers! Use the holiday as an excuse to dive into a new series or grab a novel you’ve wanted to read.

Non-fiction is a winning choice as well. Think back to the subjects that interested you most when you were a child, and browse the related books. You may reignite a long-forgotten interest. 

Books are also great gift ideas because they tend to be low-cost. Most can be found for under twenty bucks, making them a perfect item to ask for in a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange.

Something to Do

Activities and events can be far superior to things.  One of the best gifts someone can give is a scavenger hunt or tickets to see my favorite band live. Even tickets to a museum or theme park would be an incredible gift!

The special thing about a “doing” gift is sharing the experience with the gift giver. It will help build bonds and strengthen your relationship more than a material gift. It works for all types of relationships, including parent-child, friendship, or romantic relationships.  

Other Fun Gift Ideas

There’s a reason why so many people have a different number five in their five things gift guides. There are so many kinds of gifts! 

No wonder it’s so difficult to determine what we want for Christmas. Here are two more great ideas for things to add to your wish list that didn’t make it to the big five.

Something Sentimental

Sentimental gifts show how much you care. There’s nothing better than getting a framed photograph of a favorite memory or a relationship scrapbook that shows you how important you are to the other person.

Sentimental gifts can also include things that have special meaning to you. Perhaps you are a super fan of a specific television show or sports team. Getting a keepsake representing the thing you love showcases that the person truly understands you, and there’s nothing more sentimental than that. 

Something Hand Made

It feels incredible to know that someone cares so much about you that they would put time and energy into handcrafting something specifically for you, and this is why homemade crafts make the most thoughtful gifts. 

My best friend’s mother crocheted me a hat and scarf set for Christmas last year, and it was one of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever received. Wearing this set gives me a warm feeling that store-bought items just can’t compete with.

If you have a friend with exceptional talent, see if they will be willing to craft something for you for the holidays. Be sure you aren’t asking too much, though – don’t ask a random acquaintance to make you ten scarves. 

Giving homemade gifts should be an intimate exchange between close friends, and you should return the favor in an appropriate way. 

What Should I Ask for When I Don’t Know What I Want for Christmas?

Hopefully, the rule of five gift guide gave you some ideas of what you might want for Christmas. But you still have options if you already have everything you could want or still can’t come up with anything.

You can ask for traditional gifts that make it easy for everyone or something that helps someone else. 

Traditional Gifts

We get our teachers, hairstylists, friend’s mom, and office acquaintances traditional gifts for Christmas. Consider a scented candle, cute coffee mug, or random pack of coasters for your wishlist. Traditional gifts are little items that it never hurts to have more of. 

These traditional gifts also include gift cards, candy boxes, and those fun gift sets you find everywhere around Christmas time. These things are easy to find and usually low cost, so if your goal for your Christmas wish list is to make Christmas shopping easier for those around you, these are great options. You will probably get good use out of them too!

Something That Helps Someone Else

A more altruistic Christmas gift benefits someone else. Rather than asking for a gift for yourself, you can request that the gift giver donate money to a charity in your name. Charitable giving is an excellent option if you have everything you want, and it shows the giver that materialistic things aren’t always necessary.

Another way you can make your gift help others is by asking for something the entire family can enjoy. The joint gift can be tickets to an event or something to eat, like a lovely cake. If the giver is planning on spending a lot of money on you, you can ask for something like a new television or computer that everyone can use.

Gifts of Time

A final thing you can ask for is help at a charity. If you want for nothing, ask folks to volunteer their time as a gift to you. You can bond with the people you care about while working for a worthy cause. Be sure to check with the charity and ensure they need help before arranging to go – sometimes, occasional volunteers can disrupt the activity and make things harder for everyone.

If there isn’t a charity that needs help, you can organize your food drive or collect box tops for the local schools. You can volunteer to pull weeds at a local park or community garden. You can even go and pick up litter at the local park. You can do many things to help make your community a better place.

Unique Gift Ideas

When deciding what you want for Christmas, a final thought is to consider unique gifts you can find online. Find something that inspires you on Etsy, look for unique shirts on T-Public, or learn something from offerings on Gum Road.

 



An advantage to asking for these things for Christmas is that all purchases support individual creators rather than large corporations. When you buy something on Etsy or Gumroad, you’re supporting a small creator, which adds a bonus to the gift-giving experience.

You can find anything from digital products to handmade jewelry to specially designed mugs and shirts on these platforms, and the creators will appreciate the purchases far more than the Walmarts of the world will.

Stocking Stuffers

Remember the stocking stuffers when thinking about the perfect Christmas gifts! Even if you are the stocking stuffer in your home, that doesn’t mean you should miss out. It just means you can fill your stocking with whatever you want!

Skincare products make lovely stocking stuffers for yourself. Get yourself some luxurious lotions, bubble baths, and bath bombs that you can use for self-care. When getting it for yourself, you can pick the perfect combination of fragrances and indulge in the perfect bath.

Other great stocking stuffers include sunglasses, candies, small gadgets, batteries, and even little sentimental toys. A journal and a fancy pen set might also fit into your stocking!

More Holiday Gift Guides

Although we focused on your personal Christmas wish list, we know that one of your main goals is to create wonderful Christmas memories for your loved ones and enjoy a festive holiday season

To that end, we’ve created various gift-giving guides to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We have specific gift guides for gamers and artists and a general gift guide based on personality types. 

You will surely find the perfect Christmas gift in these guides for everyone on your list!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Christmas is the season of giving. Have a wonderful holiday season, and embrace the spirit by giving gifts and making others happy. But don’t forget to ask yourself, “What do I want for Christmas?” so you can also get your Christmas wishlist fulfilled. 

You deserve it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/what-do-i-want-for-christmas/

35 Amazing Gift Ideas for the Foodies on Your Christmas List

Finding the perfect gifts for foodies can be intimidating, but it’s not as hard as you might think. Sometimes it’s just about finding something unique or unusual they didn’t even know they needed. Sure, a restaurant gift card is welcome, but these gifts will make a better impression.

We’ve rounded up the best gifts for foodies for the gourmand in your life. Whether they love to cook or love to eat, these gifts are sure to please this holiday season.

35 Best Holiday Gifts for Foodies

1. Fresh Pressed Elderberry Syrup

Fresh Pressed Elderberry Syrup is made from superfruit elderberries and has long been used as a healing supplement. Try it drizzled on oatmeal or yogurt to make your breakfast pop.

2. Cult Crackers

These gluten-free, plant-based wonders are made by hand and boast a whopping 4 grams of protein per serving. Made from only a few natural ingredients, these Cult Crackers are the perfect snacks for any food lover.

3. The Jam Stand Jam Set

Jam does not have to be a boring gift, especially in a gift set like this. These delicious flavors are far from what grandma used to make. The Raspberry Jalapeno is my favorite, and it’s delicious served on warm sourdough bread.

4. Holiday Truffle Creation Kit

We are huge fans of gifts that give the family an activity to do together. This holiday truffle-making kit has everything you need to make adorable holiday-themed chocolate reindeer, snowmen, and wreaths.

5. Nuttzo Nut Butter

No more boring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This Nuttzo nut butter is high in protein, low in sugar, and loaded with fun flavors like pumpkin spice and gingerbread. Your favorite foodie can use it in smoothies, cookies, and salad dressings.

6. Doc Popcorn

Sugar and Spice Popcorn is loaded with cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and a hint of cocoa. This is not your average popcornbecause it’s made with the highest quality ingredients, no transfats, MSG, artificial colors, or preservatives.

7. Cheese Baker

Who wouldn’t love a baker that serves the perfect melted cheese? Use this for brie, mozzarella, and goat cheese to make the ideal appetizer to serve guests any time of year.

8. Monogrammed Driftwood Cheeseboard

Monogrammed gifts are so personal; why not add a monogram to a cheese board? These boards can be used as a cheese board or to showcase your favorite appetizers, and it also looks great on the counter when not in use.

9. Revolution InstaGLO Toaster

This is one of the best gifts for foodies that have everything. This Revolution Toaster has sixteen innovative bread modes, including a gluten-free setting for each one, to make your bread turn out perfectly every time. You can even make quesadillas in this toaster!

10. Classic Syrup Sampler

If your foodie is also a coffee lover, give them this classic syrup sampler. They are all sugar-free, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. You can also use these delicious syrups in desserts, oatmeal, and smoothies.

11. Tame To Insane Challenge Box

From mild to extreme, these hot sauces boast eleven different heat levels. This makes a great party challenge, and the hottest sauces are extreme, so use them with caution.

12. Pralines Gift Box

One of the bestsellers from la Maison du Chocolat, this praline gift box has forty decadent chocolate pralines. They make chocolate with a perfectly balanced flavor using precise chocolate-making techniques. It’s the perfect foodie gift for any mom with a sweet tooth.

13. Ember Mug

This mug will keep your coffee at the perfect temperature so you can enjoy it from start to finish. Whether sitting at your desk or enjoying your commute, these mugs keep your drinks warm. The heating component is inside the cup, and they use sensors to regulate the temperature. The Ember Mug is always a favorite gift for foodies every holiday season.

14. Hast Chef’s Knife

You might think you have knives that work well, but after you try these Hast Knives, you will change your mind. The eight-inch is the perfect everyday knife to dice fruits and vegetables and cut through meats. It is an all-purpose must-have for any want-to-be chef or foodie.

15. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Another kitchen classic is the cast iron pan, popular with all home cooks. Use this every day to go from skillet browning to oven baking in no time. It has ergonomic handles, generous pour spouts, and excellent heat retention. This is one gift that will last a lifetime.

16. Always Pan

This Always pan has over twenty-six thousand positive reviews and counting. It replaces your fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. It really does meet up to its name, and it is a versatile foodie gift.

17. Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

Fresh stone-baked pizza in as little as sixty seconds? This Ooni Koda pizza oven is powered by propane or natural gas and reaches up to nine hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit. No more delivery!

18. The Essential Capsule

This olive oil selection has everything you need, like robust and smooth olive oil, raw balsamic vinegar, and double-fermented champagne vinegar. These can be used in salad dressings, soups, stews, marinades, greens, and even cocktails. The opportunities are endless.

19. Bokksu Japanese Snack Box

Gift boxes are all the rage these days, and Bokksu delivers the taste of authentic Japanese snacks, teas, and candies right to your door. Each box contains a mix of flavors that every palate will enjoy.

20. Nespresso Lattissima Machine

Dream of being a master barista? You can make your favorite espresso drinks at home with this gorgeous Nespresso Espresso Machine from Williams Sonoma. Integrated milk frothing means that you can quickly whip up your favorites with just the touch of a button.

21. Hyperchiller

The Hyperchiller is ready to work whenever you are. Just keep it in the freezer; it can cool any beverage in about one minute. If your food lover enjoys an iced coffee every morning, this could come in handy. Use it for coffee, juice, smoothies, wine, cocktails, and shots.

22. Mixed Wood Appetizer Plates

These rustic round appetizer plates are perfect for jazzing up your next party. They have a variety of hues of wood and work well for small bites, tapas, and charcuterie boards.

23. Chefman 2 Quart Air Fryer

Everyone is obsessed with air fryers these days, and this little cutie is a great way to jump in. Air fryers allow for healthier cooking by providing that fried flavor with little to no oil. This mini one is great for small kitchens or apartments.

24. Milk Bar Bakery Gift Box

Milk bar is famous for its delicious cookies, and now you can get a sampler delivered right to your door. This one has chocolate, confetti, corn, blueberry flavors, and one piece of Milk Bar Pie. No food lover will be disappointed with this thoughtful collection.

25. Personalized Pot Holder

Got a favorite pup in the house? Put their faces on these personalized oven mitts and pot holders. They will brighten up your kitchen in no time and makes a thoughtful stocking stuffer.

26. Noble Nest Tabletop Firepit

You don’t have to give up on smores just because it’s cold outside. You can have an indoor smores party with this tabletop fire pit, and it creates a cozy ambiance and runs on isopropyl alcohol.

27. Movie Night Popcorn Kit

Love snuggling up on the couch with your family to binge the latest season of The Crown? This popcorn set will make it even better. Whip up some fresh corn with cheezy white cheddar topping, or maybe you prefer sweet and salty kettle corn. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

28. 12 Days of Canned Wine Advent Calendar

This bestselling gift set fills every day of the holiday season with surprises. Each box contains twelve different award-winning wines, including rose, sparkling, red, and white.

29. Le Creuset Signature 4.5 Qt. Dutch Oven

The Le Creuset Dutch Oven is a kitchen essential used for slow-cooking, braising, searing, roasting, or baking. It can cook just about anything and quickly goes from stovetop to oven. Not to mention it comes in so many lovely shades.

30. KitchenAid 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

For your bestie, this over-the-top gift will be loved and cherished for years to come. It comes in seventy-nine colors and is an absolute workhorse in the kitchen. It has ten speeds and can mix cookie dough to knead pizza dough. Add some extra attachments, and you can make pasta and grind your own meat.

31. AeroGarden Harvest Slim Garden

No more paying high prices for fresh herbs in the off-season. This Harvest Slim Herb Kit will allow your foodie friend to grow fresh herbs, tomatoes, and lettuce on the counter. The LED lights allow the plants to grow five times faster than soil. Just imagine homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh basil all year long.

32. Digital Meat Thermometer

This easy-to-use digital thermometer has over five hundred positive reviews and gives a reading in one second or less. Whether you are grilling out or cooking a roast in the oven, this thermometer ensures perfectly cooked meat.

33. Round Classic Waffle Maker

For breakfast lovers, get them this Round Classic Waffle Maker from Cuisinart. It makes the perfect waffles with a crispy outside and tender inside. Ideal for a smaller kitchen as it stands up for storage.

34. Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day by Eden Grinshpan

This book contains flavorful dishes that mix and match traditional ingredients in new ways. The recipes are easy to follow and perfect for all cooking abilities. Be sure to try the Pistachio Cardamom Coffee Cake.

35. Mistletoe Apron

Comfortable and sturdy this apron can take on the biggest messes your foodie dishes out in the kitchen. It is stain-resistant and machine-washable, so it will always look fresh.

The Best Gifts for Foodies on Your Holiday List

Don’t be nervous about getting a gift for your favorite foodie. Anyone would be happy to receive one of these unique gifts. You may even put a few on your holiday wish list and drop hints for your family.

This article originally appeared on Savoteur.

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/35-amazing-gift-ideas-for-the-foodies-on-your-christmas-list/

Embrace Thankfulness All Year Long for a Happy, Healthy Life

Thankfulness and gratitude are essential components of a happy life. Acknowledging the good in your life works wonders. It makes you happier, healthier, and more content overall. 

Although the Thanksgiving holiday revolves around gratitude, we shouldn’t limit the practice to once per year.  For happy lives, we should embrace thankfulness and gratitude all year long. 

What’s the Difference Between Thankfulness and Gratitude?

Colloquially, we often use thankfulness and gratitude interchangeably. However, the words are slightly different. 

Thankfulness is about the feeling of being happy or relieved by a benefit that you’ve received. Gratefulness is taking it one step forward and showing appreciation for the advantage that you’ve received. 

When you’re thankful, you’re expressing the emotion you feel when something good happens, and when you’re grateful, you’re making a conscious effort to show appreciation for that good thing. 

What is Another Word for Thankfulness?

We use many different words and idioms to express thankfulness. Gratitude, appreciation, and gratefulness are common synonyms, but pleased, delighted, and satisfied can also be used in the proper context. 

We also express thankfulness with various idioms and phrases. The casual “thanks a million” works as a quick one-off, while the formal “My sincerest appreciation for what you have done” may be needed in a traditional setting. Other idioms like the bashful “you shouldn’t have!” or the sly “I owe you one” can also convey gratitude. 

What does Thankfulness Mean?

Thankfulness means being conscious of a benefit and appreciating that we received that benefit. It’s a feeling of happiness and gratitude when something good happens to us.

Although the meaning of thankfulness is pretty simple, expressing it can often be more difficult.

How Can We Express Gratitude?

Saying Thank You to Those Who Help Us

We can express gratitude in numerous ways. A genuine, heartfelt “thank you” to the person who assisted us is a simple yet powerful method of showing appreciation. 

Saying thank you and meaning it does go a long way. People sometimes don’t realize how powerful these two little words can be.

Writing thank-you notes is also a great way to show appreciation. Unfortunately, the written thank-you note is falling out of favor. However, the fact that it’s so rare makes it appreciated even more.

We can also express deep gratitude through our actions rather than our words. We can repay the person who helped us, either in kind or by doing something for them that they can’t do themselves.

Another option is to pay it forward. Instead of repaying whoever helped us, we can model their behavior and help others in similar situations.  

Expressing Gratitude for Our Blessings

Sometimes we are thankful for experiences, ideas, or just our position in life. There isn’t always someone to thank in these instances, but expressing gratitude is still essential.

Showing gratitude for your position or things outside your control helps keep you grounded. It can also improve your life by forcing you to be conscious of the good stuff you have, even when you don’t feel there’s much to celebrate. Although we sometimes feel like there isn’t anything worth being happy about in our lives, when we reflect and actively think about it, we can usually come up with a handful of things to celebrate. 

There are numerous ways to express gratitude for the good in our lives. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Journal

keeping a gratitude journal is a fantastic way to express appreciation for all the good in your life.

 Journaling helps us focus our thoughts. It helps us remember all the blessings we have and helps us get into the habit of cultivating a more grateful heart

When we make it a point to keep a daily gratitude journal, we can go back to previous entries when we feel terrible about our situations, giving us written reminders of all the good we do have.

Saying Thanks Out Loud

You don’t have to write it down if that’s not your jam. Simply saying thank you out loud is enough to express gratitude. 

Set aside a few seconds each day to say a simple thank you to yourself for all the good you have in your life. When something spectacular happens, take a moment to offer a verbal “thanks.” 

Prayer

Prayer is a method of verbally expressing gratitude to a specific deity. If you’re religious or spiritual, you may want to express your thanks to a guiding spirit, your god/goddess, or the universe in general. 

Prayer is a universal way to express thanks to god, regardless of which deity you worship. Many of us find comfort in a higher power providing us with blessings, and conveying your appreciation to this spiritual being is an ideal way to express gratitude. 

Self Care

A final method of showing gratitude is saying thanks to yourself. Many of the blessings you have in your life are due to your own work, diligence, and strength. 

Take a moment to acknowledge your power in creating the good in your life. Thank yourself by indulging in your favorite self-care activities. Treat yourself to a massage, soak in a toasty bubble bath, or take time out to relax with your favorite book. 

The options for thanking yourself are endless. Choose what speaks to you and show gratitude to yourself. 

What Should We Be Thankful for?

It can be hard to think about the positives when life is overwhelming. But usually, there is something that you can be thankful for. 

Many are thankful for good health, a job that pays the bills, or a specific person in their life.

Sometimes when we are at our lowest, we might not have these things. When I struggled with depression, my cat was the only thing I could think of to be thankful for thing I could think of to be thankful for was my cat. Maybe for you, it’s a favorite television show, a nice day, or comfort food. 

Finding that small thing to be thankful for can help you realize that there might be more to appreciate.

Ideas of Things To Be Thankful For

If you’re struggling to come up with something to be thankful for, consider this short list of ideas. Here are examples of people, places, things, and ideas that others are thankful for this year. 

May this list inspire you to find something in your life to be thankful for and use that to create your own short list of the good things you have in your life. 

  • Family and friends
  • Loved ones
  • Zoom/Facetime/Facebook Messenger
  • A beloved pet
  • A significant other
  • A grocery store within walking distance
  • Space heaters
  • Electricity
  • A comfy robe
  • A good book
  • Support groups
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Access to clean water
  • How pretty it is outside
  • The internet
  • A roof over your head
  • A job
  • That warm cup of coffee
  • The ability to read/write
  • A cherished heirloom

Hopefully, this shortlist will give you some ideas of the things you have in your daily life that you can be thankful for. Sometimes we just need to learn to appreciate the small things (like a warm robe!) we have, which can help us realize all the good in our lives. 

Why is Gratitude Important?

Expressing appreciation is important because it shifts your mindset. It helps you focus on the positive things in your life. 

Shifting your worldview to focus on the positive helps you show kindness to others, enhances your well-being, and makes you more content with your life. Practicing gratitude is life-changing in many small ways that add to considerable differences in your daily life. 

Setting Intentions to Be Grateful

It can be hard to remember to be grateful. Life gets in the way, and sometimes we take the good things in our lives for granted. 

Intentions are excellent tools that prevent us from taking things for granted. Setting intentions help you get in the right mindset for doing what you want in life, and if you want to be more appreciative, a purpose of thankfulness can help.

Set your intention to be grateful. Follow through on that intention by starting your gratitude journal and documenting three things you are thankful for every day.

Combining your intention to show more gratitude with the action of journaling will help you build a better appreciation for the things you do have.

Quotes on Thankfulness

Expressing thankfulness and gratitude is vital for a happy life. Don’t take our word for it. Listen to words of wisdom passed on from the ages on the importance of gratitude. 

 “It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy” – Unknown

This quote shows that happiness comes from within and is all about mindset. We will be happier if we change our perspectives and start focusing on the things we do have.

“Reflect upon your present blessings -of which every man has many – and not upon your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” – Charles Dickens

I love this quote because it highlights the fact that everyone has struggles. Everyone has gone through misfortune. No one is exempt from the harsh realities of real life. However, the opposite is also true. Most people have at least a few things to be grateful for, and focusing on the blessing rather than the misfortune is the key to a happier life.

“When I started counting my blessing, my whole life turned around” – Willie Nelson

Your whole life can turn around when you acknowledge all the good things in it. 

Thankfulness is an Art We Can All Learn

There’s no right way to express appreciation, either for your blessings or to someone who helped you. Thankfulness and gratitude are personal journeys. We all have different things to be thankful for and different ways of expressing thanks. 

Practicing gratitude can change your life. It’s an art we can all learn and will lead to a better life. 

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/thankfulness-gratitude/

Top Bullet Journal Supplies You Need for a Perfect Journal

Bullet journaling is a fantastic tool for productivity, wellness, and creativity. You will need to invest in a few bullet journal supplies to get started.

Don’t worry, though! Some may try to tell you that you need fancy pens, stickers, glitter, and a ton of other bling to make your bullet journal great. While those items are fantastic bonuses, they aren’t essential for beginning your journey into bullet journaling.  

What Bullet Journal Supplies Do I Need?

To start your bullet journal, you only need two things: the journal and a writing implement. You could even start with a regular notebook if you’re low on cash.

Ideally, you should start with a journal with tiny, laser-dotted “bullets” covering the page. These marks are spaced equally throughout the entire page, making drawing lines, charts, tables, and anything else you might need a breeze.

While regular lined paper or blank paper can work in a pinch, you may need a ruler or other straight edge to draw any shapes or boxes you will use for journaling.

The second essential bullet journal supply is a writing implement. You can use something simple, like a regular pencil or pen, or you can use graphite, colored pencils, markers, or anything else you want. Pens and pencils are the top choices for bullet journaling, as the writing tends to be smoother, and they smudge less. Those with artistic skills may want to consider watercolor pens, chalk pastels, permanent markers, or other writing implements.

The Best Journals for Bullet Journaling

There are thousands of different journals you can use for bullet journaling. Here are some of the top brands and places to get both your journal and your bullet journal supplies!

Moleskine

Moleskine is the king of journals. They make a variety of journals for various needs. Consider their classic hard-covered notebook in multiple colors for your journaling needs.

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Soothi

Soothi offers gorgeous leather-bound journals. The only problem with Soothi regarding bullet journaling is that they only offer lined and unlined journals. They don’t provide dotted journals.

However, many people prefer plain paper for their bullet journals, and Soothi is an excellent option if you want to combine your bullet journal with an art journal or junk journal.

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Promptly Journal

Promptly Journals is best known for its themed journals, but they also offer a simple, elegant bullet journal.

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Get the Perfect Bullet Journal at the Store

Bookstores like Barnes and Noble and craft stores like Michaels offer wide varieties of bullet journals. Even office supply stores like Staples have great options! These are the best places to shop if you’re looking for a journal that’s easy to use with a beautiful pre-made cover design.

Check out the awesome journal options available at various retailers. Be advised these journals include all different page styles from ruled journals, blank page journals, and dotted page journals. 

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What Pens Do You Use for Bullet Journaling?

The other essential item you need for bullet journaling is something to write with. Although any pen can work, I prefer to use colored pens to color-code my tables. 

My favorite pens are the Pilot G-02 colored pens that come in a box of 10 or 20. They are reasonably priced and offer a variety of colors. I also prefer ballpoint pens and regular ink, as they go on smoothly and generally dry fast.

Gel pens and fountain tip pens provide stunning writing effects, but the dry time and tendency to smear can make them difficult choices for bullet journaling. However, newer gel pens have faster dry times. Zebra brand gel pens are typically easy to use and dry quickly, making them a perfect tool for bullet journaling.

It’s harder to find fountain pens that don’t smear, but if you love how they look and are careful with your writing, you can make it work. The most important thing about your bullet journal pen set is that you love how it looks and feels on paper.

Top Pens for Bullet Journaling

Here are some of the best pens you can get when starting with your bullet journal.

Ball Pens

Those on a budget may opt for simple blue or black ink ball pens. Ballpoint pens are suitable for journaling because they tend to write smoothly, and most don’t smudge a lot. Papermate and Pilot are both great options for reasonably priced ballpoint pens.

Pilot Gel Pens

Pilot gel pens are my favorite because they are reasonably priced, write smoothly, and come in an assortment of colors.  

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Zebra Gel Pens

Zebra gels pens are a second option for a solid, affordable pack of bullet journal pens.

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Calligraphy Pen Set

Consider a calligraphy set if you want to go fancy with your bullet journal pens.

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Gel Pens with Effects

Gel pens are unique because they have so many different effects. You can get metallic gel pens, translucent gel pens, and even glitter gel pens to decorate your journal in various ways. Check out Michael’s selection of fantastic gel pens and grab what speaks to you.

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Top Pencils for Bullet Journaling

Pencils are great for bullet journaling because they are erasable. Sometimes deadlines change, tasks change, or dates get mixed up, so using a writing instrument that has a built-in eraser can make your life easier.

I prefer mechanical pencils for bullet journaling because they write smoothly, and I can simply refill the lead when empty.

Those who want to combine their bullet journal with a sketchbook may wish to invest in art pencils. Faber Castell makes a fantastic set of graphite pencils for sketching, drawing, and doodling in your journal.

Writing Instruments to Avoid When Bullet Journaling

Not all writing utensils are well suited for a bullet journal. When shopping for bullet journal supplies, keep in mind that not all tools are created equal. Sharpies, permanent markers, and heavy felt-tipped pens tend to bleed through the pages unless you opt for an art journal with thicker paper. 

Fountain pens, older gel pens, and some felt tip pens also tend to smudge, making it harder to keep a clean, crisp journal.

You can still use these items if you want. An excellent felt tip pen offers a smooth writing experience and effect you can’t get with a simple ballpoint. Test your pages to check for bleeding before deciding which pen to use.

What Supplies Should I Get for Bullet Journaling?

Many people go beyond the basics to create a unique bullet journal fitting their style and mood. Here are fun extras you can get to add some flair to your diary and make journaling a more creative experience.

Stickers

Stickers make great additions to bullet journals. You can find sticker books dedicated to nearly any niche, from plants and animals to aliens and spaceships.

Bullet journal stickers allow those with little artistic talent to add exciting graphics and effects to their journal without drawing them in. Get creative with a variety pack and use stickers to highlight important parts of your journal.

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Post-it Notes

Post-it notes allow you to write portable reminders in your journal, but they don’t have to be plain. There are tons of decorative post-it notes available which enable you to let your personality shine even in your messages to yourself.

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Stencils

Stencils are great because they help you draw specific letters and images perfectly. Stencils can help you with lettering for your titles or add a bit of flair to your journal with shaded pictographs.

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Stamps

Stamps are one of the best extra bullet journal supplies you can get. You can find tiny stamps in the shapes of hearts, stars, birds, or other symbols. Use these stamps to mark off your to-do lists or to decorate the edges of your journal.

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Highlighters

A highlighter set is a perfect addition to your bullet journal supply pack. You can use different colors to highlight your journal’s most critical tasks or ensure specific items catch your attention.

Ruler/straight edge

Although the laser dots in bullet journals make drawing charts easier, some of us not blessed with artistic abilities still may struggle to make the lines straight. A simple six-inch ruler is a fantastic tool for ensuring all your tables maintain sharp edges.

Craft Tape

Craft tape is a fantastic tool for journaling. Also called washi tape, the thin, decorative tape allows you to underline titles, create boxes, and easily decorate your journal’s margins.

Washi tape comes in various colors and design schemes.

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Craft Box

Finally, you need something to hold your wonderful bullet journal supplies. A simple pencil case will work if you don’t have a lot. However, if you decide to go all out, you may want to purchase a larger craft box to hold everything.

Combining Your Bullet Journal with Other Types of Journals

Though a bullet journal is an excellent tool, many users prefer combining it with another type of journal. Some may use their bullet journal as a scrapbook, while others may add bullet journal pages to their art journals. Experienced journalers may want to put everything together into one massive junk journal.

There’s no right or wrong method for journaling, but you may need different supplies depending on your intended use. If you lean towards crafts and scrapbooking, you may need scissors, tape, and stationery. If you incorporate art journaling into your bullet journal, you may want pastels, watercolors, and art pens.

How Do I Start a Bullet Journal for Beginners?

Starting a bullet journal is simple, but it may seem overwhelming. Don’t overthink it. The best way to learn something new is to dive in and try it. Grab a bullet journal and get started!

For inspiration, check out our massive list of bullet journal ideas. There are ideas on how to use your bullet journal to track goals, habits, and meals, in addition to ideas on creating monthly or weekly bullet journal spreads. There are hundreds of ways to use your bullet journal, so use the inspiration as a guide and do what feels right for you.

Bullet Journal Supplies are Personal

Bullet journaling is a personal journey. Many people love turning their bullet journals into art projects, but you don’t have to if that doesn’t speak to you. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a simple black ink pilot pen and paper craft notebook for bullet journaling if that works for you. Everything else is just a bonus. 

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/bullet-journal-supplies/

Popular Christmas Colors: What They Mean & How To Decorate for the Holidays

With Christmas season getting into full swing, it is time to decorate the house for the holidays. One of the most significant considerations regarding holiday decor is the color palette. 

Traditional Christmas colors are popular for a reason, but modern interior designers remind us that other colors can represent the Christmas spirit just as well.

When deciding which Christmas colors to use for your motif, you can incorporate the symbolism behind specific colors while embracing your love for certain aesthetics.

What Are the Traditional Christmas Colors?

Red and Green are traditional Christmas colors often used in decoration. Although these two colors dominate Christmas decor,  golds, silvers, light blues, and whites often supplement them. 

What Do Red & Green Represent?

Red and Green have long held symbolic importance. Both colors represent life but in different ways.

Green is the color of nature, growth, and renewal.

It represents abundance, prosperity, and new life. The representation comes directly from nature, with fresh spring buds portending the end of winter and the possibilities of spring. 

Green’s historical association with growth and renewal led to further associations with wealth, luck, prosperity, and abundance.

Red also represents life but aligns more with vigor, health, and intense emotions than the calming growth associated with green.

Red, the color of blood and fire, symbolizes passion. It’s what we need to survive and thrive.

Red and Green as Christmas Colors

Red and Green’s association with life are precursors to their fame as Christmas colors, but not the only reason they shine during the holiday season.

Erin Wilson, Christmas enthusiast and holiday expert with ChaChing Queen, believes red and green became associated with Christmas due to their natural occurrence on Christmas plants. The evergreen maintains its color all year long, and holly plants shine with bright red berries during winter.

Pre-Christian holiday traditions support this theory.  Although evergreens are now commonly associated with Christmas, they harken back to an older holiday predating Christianity.

Pagan peoples worshipping the winter solstice originated the late December celebration. The Celtics called it the Yule holiday, hosting a festival to commemorate the longest night of the year and look forward to the eventual return of new life in the spring. At the same time, the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, decorating their homes with wreaths and greenery.

Many Christmas traditions find their beginnings in Yule celebrations. The Celtics held evergreen trees in high esteem, as they are the only plant to maintain their lush coloration throughout the harsh winters. Worshippers hung gifts and offerings to the gods in Evergreen groves; a practice often considered the precursor to our modern tradition of decorating Christmas trees

Red May Not Have Such a Long History

Although associated with the Yule celebration due to holly berries on ivy, red wasn’t always one of the primary Christmas colors.

Coca-Cola solidified red as a primary Christmas color by creating the contemporary view of Santa Claus as the cheerful old man with rosy cheeks donning a fluffy red suit. Before coke’s advertising campaign, varying cultures portrayed St. Nicholas in various ways with differing colors. He was a tall man in bishop’s cloaks, a hunter in animal skins, and even an elf.

The soft drink company changed Santa’s image and helped propel red, its brand color, into the public’s mind as a Christmas color.

Red and Green in Christian Traditions

As we know it today, Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Although many Christmas colors originated with pre-Christian traditions, the religion also imbues them with its own symbolism.

Some traditions use holly to symbolize the crown of thorns affixed to Jesus’s head before his crucifixion. The red berries represent his blood, spilled as an ultimate sacrifice, while the evergreen brush illustrates his (and, as an extension, humanity’s) immortality. Red’s representation of Christ’s blood is a common theme in Christianity and is essential to Christmas and the spring holiday Easter.

What Do the Supplemental Christmas Colors Represent?

The golds, silvers, light blues, and whites associated with Christmas have symbolically significant meanings as well. When choosing your Christmas color palate, you can pick colors based on their meaning or choose an aesthetic based on principles of color theory.

Gold

Gold gets its name from the precious metal and is commonly associated with wealth, success, and prestige. Gold’s association with Christmas has deep roots. The three wise men gave the infant Jesus Christ a gift of gold in addition to frankincense and myrrh.

Silver

Although silver represents wealth, it’s also associated with grace and elegance. Silver’s unique reflective characteristic also leads to representations as a mirror into our own true natures. Silver is also associated with strength and the destruction of evil.

Light Blue

Light blue symbolizes peace and calm. In Christian traditions, it’s commonly associated with Jesus’s mother, Mary, as a symbol of the divine. Secular Christmas traditions often use light blues to represent the snow and ice everyone hopes to see during the holiday.

White

White is a color of purity. It represents virtue, peace, and goodness. The Bible often uses white to symbolize innocence, and Jesus is often depicted wearing white robes. However, earlier religious traditions also used the color for similar purposes.

Which Colors Should You Use When Decorating?

Decorating a home for the holidays is about more than the symbolism behind each color. Choosing colors may be based on various needs, such as your personal tastes, whether the colors match, the mood you are trying to create, and current popular trends.

Personal Aesthetic

Your home may already follow specific color schemes which may not match the traditional red and green. Emily Herrig, Interior Staging Consultant and writer at Hello Sensible, looks at the space she is decorating to see what colors would go well with existing décor.

Because Herrig enjoys a modern look in her own home, she adds holiday decorations with silver and navy blue.

Color Balance

Understanding color balance is key to the perfect holiday décor. Some color combinations work better than others. It’s important to have harmony and ensure that colors match.

A color wheel is an excellent tool for determining which colors go best together. It showcases primary colors and their compliments and helps you pick an appealing motif based on color theory.            

Mood

Some colors are soothing, while others give off a certain warmth. Different shades of the same color may give different feelings. Warm colors may arouse happiness and optimism, while cool colors suggest calm.

Although typically reds, yellows, and oranges are associated with warmth and blues, greens, and purples are associated with cold, different shades of each can lean towards the other side. Choose a more neutral blue with hints of orange if you want to use blue while maintaining a warm atmosphere.

Christmas Color Trends

Sometimes we want our home to look like it stepped out of a magazine, and the best way to do that is to follow modern trends while decorating.

Alicia Richards, the owner of home décor resource For the Love of Decorating, says we are seeing a return to classic Christmas colors in darker hues this year. She recommends choosing burgundy, forest greens, and gold as your primary three colors this year.

Wilson agrees but also indicates that we can expect to see blues and whites in the stores. She says that adding blue to your color palette adds a pop of color, and reminds us that most blue hues will work. Dark navy blue is an excellent choice for a warm, muted motif, while light blue goes well with bright silvers and golds.

Christmas Color Palette Ideas

If you need assistance figuring out the perfect Christmas palette for your home this year, check out these ideas from Pinterest.

1. This warm palette offers traditional Christmas colors in warm, muted forest greens and deep reds. The neutral oranges and browns give the décor an earthy feel.

 

2. A winter wonderland palette offering varying shades of cool blue to represent cold and ice, with a pop of red to draw the eye.

 

3. Embody the spirit of joy this Christmas with a bright, festive color scheme.

 

4. Stick to tradition with cheerful reds and greens balanced by a hint of black

 

5. This color scheme showcases how the same colors can have vastly different effects depending on whether they are brilliant or muted. Though the colors are nearly the same as in the previous palette, they are less saturated and warmer, giving vastly different feelings.

 

More Color Schemes

This pin showcases six more examples of Christmas color schemes you can consider for your decorating needs.

 

Embrace the Holiday Spirit with Whichever Palette You Choose!

You don’t have to stick with traditional Christmas colors when decorating the holidays. Choose a color palette that speaks to you, and enjoy a festive holiday season!

source https://partnersinfire.com/lifestyle/christmas-colors/

Modern Art Masterpiece Overtakes Artist’s Record at Sotheby’s Auction

Piet Mondrian’s epic masterpiece Composition No. II fetched $55.5 million at Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction, surpassing the artist’s record of $50.6 million. The final sale price includes the winning bid of $48 million plus Sotheby’s buyer’s premium. 

Composition No. II  starred in the November 14 auction, which included works by Paul Gaugin, Claude Monet, and Joan Miro. Pablo Picasso’s Guitare sur une table, the auction’s runner-up, retrieved a hefty sum of $37.1 million.

Sotheby’s October press release announced the sale, providing additional information on Mondrian’s work and legacy.

Composition No II Significance 

Composition No II illustrates the bold use of primary colors and striking geometry that thrust Mondrian to fame. The massive 20 by 20-foot square of oil on canvas features a large red square in the upper right corner, blocked off by bold black lines and white rectangles. The blue and yellow corners add a dash of color to the piece, keeping the viewer’s eye engaged.

Mondrian completed Composition No II in 1930, one of nearly thirty works. It last sold for 2.2 million at a 1983 auction, a record for abstract art that has since been greatly surpassed, most notably by Willem De Kooning’s Interchange, which sold for $300 million in 2015. 

Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s Head of Impressionist & Modern Art, Americas, stressed the importance of the work with his press release comments. “Composition No II embodies everything you could want from a Mondrian – it is a seminal painting that is both crucial to the development of Modern art and emblematic of the enduring appeal of the Modern aesthetic.”

Dawes continues to explain that the work is “characterized by a serene sense of compositional balance and spatial order, and with superb provenance.”

Similar Paintings

Composition No II is part of a nearly thirty-piece series Mondrian completed in the 1920s and early 1930s. Art lovers in the United States can view works in the series in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The Met 5th Avenue houses Composition, an earlier work similar to Composition No II in shape and color. The Art Institute of Chicago features the diamond-shaped Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art showcases the rectangular Composition No III.

Additional works in the series are on display at museums around the world, including Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome. Many others remain in private collections.

Piet Mondrian’s Work and Legacy

Although renowned for geometric paintings like Composition No II, Mondrian was a prolific painter with a wide body of work. The Dutch artist began his career at the turn of the 20th century, while post-impressionism was the dominant form. His early works showcase a style reminiscent of Paul Gaugin, featuring bold dark lines and a striking use of value.

Composition No II stands as a perfect example of Mondrian’s lasting legacy. Despite his classic training, Mondrian shifted to explore geometric abstraction and stood at the forefront of the modern art movement. His work gave rise to the complete abstraction embraced by painters of the 1950s and 1960s by changing the rules of contemporary art.

The geometric patterns and simple yet striking colors influenced artists for generations. Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s bold use of line and color is reminiscent of Mondrian’s palette. In contrast, Chinese artist Liu Ye’s squares and rectangles are an obvious homage to Mondrian’s geometric works.

Mondrian’s works influenced the minimalist movement in addition to the modern art movement. The simple aesthetic of black lines and a simple, bold color palette inspired work in various fields, including fashion, design, and architecture. According to Sotheby’s, the Eames House in California, Danilo Solverstrin’s furniture, the Nike brand SB Dunk shoes, and the album art from the White Stripe’s De Stijl are all influenced by Mondrian’s work.

While reflecting on his artistic evolution and use of simple, primary colors in place of a natural color palette, Mondrian explained that his “work unconsciously began to deviate more and more from the natural aspects of reality…The first thing to change in my painting was the color. I forsook natural color for pure color.”

Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

Though the auction set records for Mondrian’s work, the sale price pales compared to world records. Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold for over 475 million dollars during a 2017 Christie’s auction, earning the distinction of being the most expensive painting ever sold. Other artists with works selling for over 100 million include Willem De Kooning, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gaugin, Jackson Pollack, and Mark Rothko. 

While Mondrian’s paintings may never sell for more than a hundred million dollars, his lasting impact on art and culture is undeniable. His legacy shines through wherever you find minimalistic yet bold color patterns. The modern art movement would not have been the same without his massive influence. 

source https://partnersinfire.com/passion-fire-2/art/piet-mondrian/