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How Instagram and Twitter help me be a better person

better person

 

(This is a picture from my recent trip to NYC)

Good morning Loves.  Before you ask, yes the Justin Timberlake concert was amazing!

Ok moving on…I’m what you would call a loner – and you can call me that because it doesn’t bother me.  I wake up, go to work at my 9 to 5, come home, spend time with my boyfriend and then work on my freelance business.  That’s about it – welcome to my life.  Now before you think that I’m some type of closet freak let me explain…I just like to be alone.  It lets me do what I want when I want and I don’t have to explain it to anyone (except you of course).

I’m a good person, but I could be better

I do have friends, four friends to be exact and we do catch the occasional movie or concert (like Justin Timberlake on Saturday night) but other than that I pretty much keep to myself and I like it that way.  I don’t live near my family so that eliminates the need to attend family barbeques and birthday parties.   I like to keep to myself because I’m extremely busy working two jobs which doesn’t leave a lot of time for social engagements.

I am lucky that my boyfriend is the same way, we would prefer to order in than go out to a restaurant and we would rather lay out on our balcony reading a book than spend the day at an overcrowded beach.  But that’s just us.

On the weekends I leave my apartment for a few hours to run my weekly errands like grocery shopping and picking up a few things at the pharmacy then I come right back home and relax or work.

Social media helps me keep in touch

I spend a lot of time on social media, Twitter to be exact.  I am obsessed with Twitter and love catching up with friends all over the country.  I’ve made some great friends through blogging and we keep in touch via Twitter.  I also get my headlines from Twitter and love it because I don’t have to read all about a subject if I don’t want to, I can just get the overview.

I feel the same way about keeping in touch with my friends.  Twitter is an effortless way to keep in touch without being overly engaged in a huge conversation or committing to a long weekend.  It’s also a great way to share photos…or so I thought until I joined Instagram last week.

All things pretty are on Instagram

Last week I signed up for Instagram and I absolutely love it…maybe even more than Twitter.  I know it’s going to sound crazy but Instagram helped me become a better person – honestly.  I used to be so concerned with my schedule and so busy with work that I just never stopped to enjoy the beautiful things around me.

Now when I go out on Saturdays I walk with my head up and look around.  I appreciate everything our wonderful world has to offer because I’m eager to take a photo and share it on Instagram.  Is that weird?

If you want to follow me on Twitter or Instagram you can add me @TahnyaKristina – Send me your names so I can follow back.

Here are some of my recent Instagram posts:

The view from Belvedere Castle in Central Park, NYC

insta 2

 

Little Italy, NYC

insta 3

 

 

Friday Faves: I’m going to the Justin Timberlake concert

Justin Timberlake

Happy Friday.  Tomorrow I am off to the Justin Timberlake concert.  As a child of the 80s I am a huge New Kids On The Block fan and my sister, who is 3 years younger, was really into the Backstreet Boys.  I have to admit I wasn’t a huge Backstreet Boys fan back then but I’ve grown to love them.

So tomorrow night I will be spending the evening with Justin Timberlake and 15,000 other girls who paid $190 to see him.  I also have to tell you that this is the third time I’m seeing JT in concert.  Yep that’s right I’m a total groupie!

Enjoy your weekend.

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Being Zhenya – Twin Cities Travelin’ Como Zoo and St Paul

Science of Parenthood – What Makes Mommy “Scary”?

Broke Girl Rich – What You Can Learn From My Worst Summer Job

Mrs. A O.K. – And Then There Were Five

Photo from Flickr

Finding a work life balance: Does it really exist?

work life balance

Good morning Loves.  My dad gave me some troubling news yesterday, he told me one of our oldest family friends filed for divorce.  This was a picture perfect couple, they have been married for over 30 years, they have two kids who recently graduated college and growing up they were always the first couple I would call when I was in trouble.  To say this news was shocking would be an understatement, but I guess we just never know what happens behind closed doors.

Is there such thing as a work/life balance?

The couple both had good jobs where they’ve worked for several years and the husband is close to retirement.  I thought to myself, if both kids are moved out they have time for themselves, if they have a house that’s mortgage free and if they are nearing retirement, what is there to fight about?  One word…money.  According to my dad his friend filed for divorce because he wife spends too much time at the office in the day and too much time working from home at night.

I guess that’s the catch 22 about money; you need to work hard to get it, but working too much takes time away from your relationship.  We need money to afford the nice things we want in life, but we have to work hard to earn our money.  So how do you find a work/life balance to maintain a happy marriage?

What if you had to choose just one?

There is a line by Nigel (Stanley Tucci) in the movie The Devil Wears Prada when his co-worker (Anne Hathaway) is complaining about her relationship troubles and he says “Let me know when your entire life goes up in smoke, that means it’s time for a promotion.”  As I watched this movie I wondered if this is true.  Maybe there is no such thing as a work/life balance – maybe we can’t have both, maybe we have to choose one over the other.

Find a balance between your work life and your relationship:

Your home is not  your office.  As one half of a long term couple and as a young professional I can tell you that climbing the corporate ladder is not easy.  You want to put in your hours at work, but you don’t want to neglect your sweetheart at home.  My advice to finding a balance is to stay late if you need to but leave your work at the office, don’t bring it home with you.

Limit your overtime.  The truth of the matter is your work will never be done, we always have work to do.  Don’t make working overtime a habit.  Your spouse will be more understanding about your long hours if working overtime is the exception, not the rule.  Unless you are on a tight deadline try not to stay at the office more than an hour every night and not on Fridays.  It’s important to reserve the weekends for your spouse.

Have something to look forward to at home.  Having plans with your spouse will give you an incentive to rush home after work.  If you have to work late try to coordinate with your spouse on the nights they have to work late and set a time to meet at home or at a restaurant for date night.  If you have somewhere to be or somewhere to go you are more likely to cut yourself off from the office than if you are just “going home”.

Photo from Flickr

Save money and your health with electronic cigarettes, say experts

e-cigs

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs as they’re also known, have soared in popularity in recent years as more people choose to use them as a smoking cessation aid.

According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), there are over two million people in the UK using electronic cigarettes, the number having tripled over the past two years.

Of those vaping – the name given to the act of smoking an e-cig – 700,000 are ex-smokers and 1.3 million are using them alongside normal tobacco cigarettes. Just 1% of those using e-cigs have never smoked.

The rise in popularity has led to calls for the industry to be regulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, it has been reported by The Telegraph that public health specialists, including people that advise the NHS, are keen for WHO to hold off.

Save your health

Smoking regular tobacco cigarettes is bad for health. In fact, with 100,000 people dying from smoking every year, it’s one of the biggest causes of death in the UK. It’s also a major cause of illness, with smokers being more likely to develop 50 serious health conditions.

The NHS and the government have been working hard to reduce the number of smokers in the UK. Earlier this year it was reported by The Mirror that fewer than one in five people in England now smoke for the first time in 80 years.

One of the reasons that so many people have successfully quit smoking is by using e-cigarettes. A survey of almost 6,000 smokers found that around 20% had managed to kick the habit with the help of e-cigs.

The 50 researchers that are fighting WHO have sent a letter than says electronic cigarettes could be a “significant health innovation” and that they might save “hundreds of millions of lives”.

Professor John Britton, who leads the tobacco advisory group for the Royal College of Physicians, explained that nicotine is not a hazardous drug and that there are benefits to e-cigs.

He said: “If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.”

Save your money

It’s not just your health that e-cigs can save – the cost of vaping is substantially lower than that of smoking tobacco.

Electronic cigarette starter kits can cost anywhere between £17 and £90, with the majority retailing somewhere in the middle of that price bracket. This kit provides a battery, charger and at least two replaceable cartridges; you can find out more about costs at www.vapestick.com

A four-pack of refills costs around £10-£17 and each cartridge provides the equivalent nicotine to between seven and 25 cigarettes. This is in comparison to the average price of £7.98 for a pack of 20 cigarettes.

It’s quite difficult to do a direct comparison as it depends on the e-cig in question, but it is well documented that they are better for your bank balance.

Robert West, professor of health psychology and director of tobacco studies at University College London, believes that they are at least 20% cheaper than cigarettes. However, he also estimated the price to fall further as uptake increases.

Should e-cigs end up being regulated as a medicine, they will also become VAT exempt, cutting the price further, and could even be prescribed on the NHS.

While there is still a lot of research to be done into the relatively new electronic cigarette industry, it is clear to see that many health and tobacco experts believe that vaping can help smokers save both money and their overall health. However, it remains to be seen what impact the licensing and regulations will have on the industry.