The Best Ways to Treat Yourself


Sometimes you need a pick-me-up. When you’ve had a hard day at work or school, a stressful time with friends and family, or maybe you’re in the middle of a big change. No matter the reason, you know what helps you relax the most, so get yourself out there and splurge a little for something all your own. If you’re in such a funk you don’t know what you want, here are some great “Just Because,” gifts you can get yourself.


Drinks after a hard day’s work can help you relax like little else. Whether you stop by your local bottle shop for some beer or wine, or have a favorite mixed beverage out on the town, sometimes it’s the ritual above all. It’s as simple as some time spent in a social place, a place where people are laughing and have a good time, that can raise your mood. Treat yourself once in a while (in moderation, of course). It breaks the monotony of a long week.


If you’re a visual person, buy some plants to liven up your home, and make you more comfortable. Whether it’s a piece of local art, a bouquet of flowers, or a more functional item, like a new table runner, make your home somewhere you’ll be comfortable and proud of.

If home decor doesn’t appeal, then buy yourself a new dress or that sweater that’s been on sale — after all, the summer is almost over. When you look good, you’ll feel better. Don’t underestimate the power of how clothes can boost your mood!


Get a massage. When it’s relaxation you want, nothing can help you unwind like a massage from your local therapist. While you can give yourself a massage, it just isn’t the same. A massage helps you work out those tight muscles, and relieves stress.


You can escape from your foul mood in a number of ways. TV is the obvious one. With services like Netflix and Hulu, binge watch your favorite shows, or go on a rom-com marathon. Sure, it might feel indulgent, but isn’t that the point of a guilty pleasure?

If you’re interested in a more cerebral activity why not visit the local bookstore? Pick out a new book and buy it. GoodReads even has a list of best books for escape. Break in the book at the park if it’s a nice day, or curl up on your couch and dive in to the story.


Comfort foods can be. . . well, a source of comfort. Whether you go out for a meal at your favorite restaurant or enjoy cooking, sometimes all you need is your favorite food. If cooking is one of your hobbies, try a new recipe. Experiment with flavors you don’t typically use in your dishes.

Don’t Feel Guilty

No matter what you do, it’s important you don’t feel guilty when you indulge in the activities that make you happiest. Even if you neglect a task you know you should do, let your guilt over that neglect dissipate so you can enjoy the moment you are in. No matter what you do, decide fully and act fully, with no regrets.

How to Improve Your Credit Score


If your credit score is satisfactory you’ll probably qualify for new credit card and loan offers, but you probably won’t receive the best interest rates. A mediocre credit score doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be approved for credit, it just means that you won’t have all the advantages people with higher credit scores do.

A lower credit score means that the lender might ask you to put down a deposit in order to be approved for a credit card, loan or line of credit. But why go through all that trouble?  Why not just improve your credit score and make sure you get all the bells and whistles with the lowest interest rate!

It is said that you can improve your credit score in six to 12 months.  It seems that this short period of time is well worth the effort to improve your financial well being and save hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars on interest charges.

Here are four ways to improve your credit score:

Make sure your info is up to date

Lenders such as banks and other credit companies use your credit score along with  your income and employment information, current debt balances and your payment history to determine if they want to lend money to you a.k.a. to determine if you’re credit worthy.  Keeping this information up to date is a key factor in improving your credit score.

Order your credit report to determine if your personal information such as home address, contact information and employer are  up to date.

Set up regular payments

There’s nothing worse than late credit card and other debt payments.  Even one payment that is more than 30 days late can really hurt your credit score.  If you want to improve your credit score make sure your debts are always paid on time.

Setting up regular payments is the easiest way to do this.  If you have regular income, set up regular payments to coincide with your pay schedule.  This way you don’t even have to think about logging in to your online banking or app because it’s automated.

Make more than the minimum payments

It would be great if you could improve your credit score simply by making payments on time.  Unfortunately it’s just not enough.  Making debt payments on time is only one part of the equation, but paying off the balance is another part of it.

Lenders also look at your outstanding balances versus the total credit limit.  If your balances are too high your credit score is probably low.  Try to make more than the minimum monthly payments on to all your revolving credit accounts.

Keep your bills paid on time

Some people (probably many) don’t know that your other monthly bills – other than credit cards – are also taken into consideration when calculating your credit score.  Utilities such as your cable and cell phone as well as your electric and hydro bills are considered credit accounts and your payment history factors into your credit score.  If you order your credit report you’ll see these accounts on there along with your loans and credit cards.

Photo from Pixabay

Why Being Obsessed with Yoga is Good For You


Taking a professional yoga class at a true yoga studio is probably one of the best things you’ll ever do for your body.  I used to take yoga classes at the gym and I bought three different yoga DVDs to practice in the comfort of my own home, but it wasn’t until I actually joined a yoga studio that I started seeing and feeling the full benefits of practicing yoga on a regular basis.

If you’re not obsessed with yoga yet, you may be after you read all about the benefits.

Six good reasons to be obsessed with yoga:

Improved muscle tone in your arms

I know it doesn’t seem like yoga would be a very good muscle-toning workout at first glance but trust me it is.  My upper arms are becoming quite defined.  There are a lot of push-ups in yoga and that’s always good for the upper body strength.

When you have to hold your body in positions that you’ve never even dreamed of, you discover a whole bunch of muscles you never knew you had.

Gaining overall core strength 

Holding plank position is very common when practicing yoga and therefore your abs get extremely tight.  I’m not saying you’ll have a six pack overnight, but you’ll definitely notice your core – both front and back – getting stronger.

Reduced headaches, stress and anxiety

This is a major hidden secret/benefit of yoga.  I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I suffer from headaches…like all the time.  I rub mint essential oil on my scalp and behind my ears, I spray lavender on my pillows and I pop Tylenol like it’s candy just to get through the day.

Since I started doing yoga regularly I can say that my headaches are less sever and not as often, meaning I no longer live with a constant headache.

Lowers fatigue

I know that yoga my appear to be less energetic than running or taking a Zumba class, but surprisingly it doesn’t make you feel sleepy.   I don’t have a burst of adrenaline when I finish a 60 minute yoga class, but I do feel more energized.  Not in a high strung kind of way, just in a OK let’s get some stuff done type of mood.

improved balance and flexibility

Yoga is like playing golf, you’re always playing against yourself and striving to get better.  If one day you can’t hold a pose, you’ll focus harder and maybe the next day you’ll be able to hold it for five breaths.  That’s why yoga is so good for mind clarity because you’re always trying to improve.  In all honesty you have nothing to focus on for 60 minutes other than trying not to fall over.

Improved blood circulation 

I’m not going to lie, sometime my legs go numb when sitting in certain poses, but that’s just because I put my body into positions that it has never ever been in before.  The more you push your body to twist a little bit further or hold a pose a little bit longer the better your blood circulation and overall health will be.

So have I convinced you?  Are you going to become obsessed with yoga?

Photo from Pixabay


How To Get Healthy by the End of the Year


If your goal is to get healthy by the end of the year, don’t fret because you still have time.  I know Fall is among us and soon the holidays will be here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change your habits and get healthy before we say good-bye to 2015.

As you know getting healthy and being more active have been a goal of mine for some time.  I try to make healthy food choices and be active as often as possible.  Currently that translates into three times a week – although I would like it to be four.

I’ve come to learn that the one thing people can do to adopt healthier habits is to not give into temptation.  We can have the best intentions, follow meal plans and download workouts but if we give into temptation – just one time – all that goes out the door.  So why do it?

If we set super strict restrictions for ourselves the odds are we aren’t going to stick to it because it’s just too hard and too much of a change.  So why not make more realistic changes.  You know the saying “work smarter, not harder”?  Well the same thing is true for your healthy lifestyle.

Here are three small changes that can help you be a little more healthy:

Eat half portions

This is the number one way I’ve lost weight.  I eat out a lot and I’ve come to realize that take out portions are HUGE.  It’s not money efficient to buy several small portions so I still buy the big portion a.k.a. the best value for your dollar, but I only eat half and put half in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow.  Eating half portions saves calories and money.

Give yourself time to adapt

I’m not going to lie, eating smaller portions SUCKED the first couple of days.  I was hungry in between meals, mostly between lunch and dinner, and I was very tempted to snack.  However after a week my body adapted and now I can live off less food.  That’s a very big belly shrinker.

Substitute your sweets

When you get cravings are you craving something sweet? I love a good piece of banana bread to fix the afternoon lull or a piece of chocolate after dinner, but eating too many sweets is a bad habit.

Believe it or not I’ve substituted my afternoon sugar cravings with rice cakes.  It’s true.  I buy the Quaker Chocolate Caramel rice cakes and I eat two every single afternoon.  There is less sugar, fat and carbs than a chocolate bar or pastry and because of the rich flavour you’re still satisfied.  It’s a win-win for both your taste buds and your waist line.

Please share you’re favorite healthy tip.  I’m always looking for new ways to stay fit.

Photo from Pixabay