Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Instead of letting a greeting card company craft your sentiment, why not write a love letter from the heart? Take a seat at your writing desk and let the words flow. We promise it will be cherished forever. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five love letter writing tips from the folks at Hallmark.
1. Start off Right
Instead of “Dear,” why not try “My Darling…” Get creative. Nicknames are definitely allowed.
2. Offer Affirmations
What are your beloved’s best qualities? Has he or she done something lately that you’re grateful for? Mention this!
3. Look into the Future
Are you looking forward to something? Seeing him tonight? Going on that romantic vacation? Growing old together? Yep, mention that, too.
4. Finish Strong
Scrap “Sincerely,” and go all in with something like “All my love,” or “Forever yours.” XOXOXO is good, too.
5. Make it Special Delivery
Leave the love letter somewhere you know he or she will find it – like on a pillow or car seat. The element of surprise will make it more special.
Want to boost your productivity? Put your head down and take a nap. It sounds counterintuitive, but napping is the best cure for the post-lunch dip, sharpening your attention and boosting your creativity better than that candy bar or double shot latte. One of the best investments you can make in your health is purchasing furniture for napping.
Here are some tips on napping from the National Sleep Foundation:
The best time to nap is early afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; napping later can be troublesome, impacting the quality of your nighttime sleep.
The length of your nap is key to getting its benefits. A brief 20-minute nap will sharpen your attention and motor skills, while a 60- to 90-minute nap will help you with problem solving and creativity.
The ideal spot for sleep is one that dark, quiet, cool and comfortable. Close the blinds to keep out the afternoon sun, and try to minimize noise. Using a sound machine or fan can help eliminate distracting sounds.
If you’re able to take a nap at home in bed, perfect! If not, here are three perfect pieces of furniture for napping:
Max Genuine Leather Chair
Imagine sinking into the decadent Max Genuine Leather Chair! The pillow-top seating and arms create the ultimate laidback experience. You’ll be drifting off to sleep in no time, feeling quite luxurious, too.
Getting the kids back into a regular bedtime habit at the end of summer can be daunting. Tucking your child into bed at night is supposed to be a special and calm moment, but it can often turn into a struggle when kids don’t want to go to sleep. (Particularly after a summer of later bedtimes and sleeping in!) These tips can help you get your kids back to a regular bedtime routine that supports healthy sleep habits and happy, productive days.
Start in the morning. Teach your child to make their bed when they get up in the morning. People who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night, according to the NSF. While it’s not clear why, we’re guessing there is a connection between feeling good about where you sleep and your tendency to sleep through the night.
Pay attention to texture. Select soft linens and pajamas. Three-quarters of us claim that comfortable sheets and bedding are important to a good night’s rest. Since kids tend to kick off their covers at night, dress yours in pajamas made of breathable fabrics that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Provide the right bedtime snack. Think about what you offer your child to eat or drink before bed. Foods containing tryptophan – the amino acid that is a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin – could encourage drowsiness. Turkey is a well-known source, but so are eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts. Another good bedtime snack is a light carbohydrate, such as whole -wheat crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, or cereal with milk. But avoid fatty, fried or spicy foods before bedtime that will upset the stomach and can interfere with sleep.
Set a bedtime routine.An early bedtime is important for kids – between 7 and 8 p.m. works best for most, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Since kids thrive on structure, creating a bedtime routine can take away the stress. Start 15 to 30 minutes before their actual bedtime by turning off the television and playing relaxing music. You might even dim the lights and talk softer. The most important part of your bedtime routine is that it’s consistent.
Create the ideal sleeping environment. If your child’s room is filled with too much excitement, it could be physically hard for them to fall asleep. Keep things calm, quiet and soft. A nightlight can provide just enough illumination to make your child feel safe. Soft fabrics for pillows and comforters can also be soothing.
Remove electronics. Limit screen time before bedtime, which can activate your child’s brain. Also keep technology, such as televisions, computers and video games, out of your child’s room. The light these gadgets emit mimics daylight and tricks the brain into thinking it needs to stay awake.
It’s August and that means it’s time to create a summer bucket list – things to do before the kids go back to school. Make the most of Midwest summers by putting a few of these summer activities with kids on the calendar:
1. Backyard Campout
Pitch a tent and go camping in your own back yard. If the weather doesn’t cooperate or if you miss your comfortable bed, you’ll be steps away from home. Roast hot dogs, make s’mores, and share stories under the stars.
2. Visit the Zoo
There’s always something fun going on when you visit the animals. Pack a picnic lunch, and make a day of it. And check your local zoo’s website to see if there are any special activities gong on. If it gets hot, cool off with the penguins.
3. Set Up a Lemonade Stand
Your kids will learn business skills by making and selling lemonade. Help them design signs, pass out flyers and set prices.
4. Take A Trip to the Lake
If you live near a lake, pack up the car with towels, drinks, beach toys and lunch, and soak up the fun. Bring a few kayaks if you’ve got them. And don’t forget the sunscreen.
5. Go On a Nature Walk
Count how many different types of flowers you see. Search for colors. Or collect pine cones and fallen leaves for craft projects. You’ll learn something and get some exercise.
How much do you know about your bed and sleep environment? You might be surprised at a few facts. Take this better sleep quiz to see if you’re “sleep smart.”
1. How often should you replace your mattress?
a.) Every three years
b.) Every five to seven years
c.) Every 10 years
d.) Every time you get a new bedroom set
Answer: Replace your mattress every five to ten years. Sleeping on older mattresses causes unnecessary back pain.
2. True or false: Your mattress can double its weight without a proper protector.
Answer: True! Dirt, oil, skin cells and dust mites get trapped inside, weighing it down as well as causing allergic reactions.
3. True or false: Sleep is more crucial to survival than food.
Answer: True! A human can survive two months without food, but only 11 days without sleep.
4. How often should you replace your pillow?
a.) Every 12 months
b.) Every three years
c.) Every five to 10 years
d.) The age of the pillow isn’t important
Answer: Replace your pillow every 12 months? Hair and body oils soak into a pillow’s fabric and stuffing, making it a breeding ground for bacteria.
5. How long should it take you to fall asleep?
a.) As soon as your head hits the pillow
b.) 10 to 15 minutes
c.) 30 minutes
d.) 45 minutes
Answer: If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep, you’re probably sleep-deprived. Ideally, falling asleep should take 10-15 minutes.
How did you do on this better sleep quiz? Let us know in the comments below. And if you need to update any of the items in your room, head over to Art Van PureSleep for the latest technology and sleep solutions.