Why You Shouldn’t Be Friends With Your Ex After Divorce

Many people will tell you that it’s healthy and mature to remain friends with your ex. Not everyone can do so. But being friends with your ex has some big downsides.  In reality, it’s best to remain cordial – but don’t be friends with your ex.

You Won’t Be Motivated to Make New Friends

If you were lucky enough to have a spouse that was also your best friend, you both may feel even more inclined to hold onto that friendship after you divorce. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s better to make a complete break so that you feel a void. You won’t be motivated to cultivate new friendships if you hang onto an old one, even if it’s a bad fit. If you feel like you no longer have a best friend, you’ll be more likely to get out there and make new friends, which is ultimately what you need to do after a divorce.

Don’t Deprive Yourself of Being Alone

After something as awful as a divorce, it’s very therapeutic to take time to be alone.  Even after those first few dreadful days, you’ll need to spend time exploring who you are as a single man. As part of a couple, it’s easy to get lost. You may have sacrificed a little part of your identity in order to give yourself completely into that relationship with your ex. There’s a unique, individual inside of you, and you need to be alone in order to rediscover who you are and what you really want. If you don’t remain friends with your ex, you won’t deprive yourself of this introspection. Even if you don’t succumb to a physical relationship with your ex, their continual presence in your life as a friend will keep you from exploring your true self, and figuring out what you want the rest of your life to look like.

You May Get Dumped Again

What’s worse than going through a divorce? Going through a second breakup – with the same person. Don’t be friends with your ex and stay emotionally attached to them or you may feel like you have a good, healthy relationship. So, why end it completely? What usually happens though, is that the ex eventually meets someone new. That someone new is not likely to be thrilled that you’re still in the picture, even if it is platonic. In a bid to please that new person, your ex dumps you as a friend. They may even ghost you, with no explanation why they’re no longer speaking to you. Now you have to go through the pain of rejection all over again, which prolongs your own healing process.

You Could Get Manipulated

If your ex is secretly angry about the divorce, or their motives aren’t entirely pure, you could easily get manipulated by remaining friends with him or her. While posing as your friend, they may intentionally give you bad advice, or keep tabs on you for nefarious purposes. They may even try to wreck your chances with another person. Since you trusted your ex during your marriage and you assume their friendship is genuine, you’ll be less likely to pick up on their actions until it’s too late.

The Perception of Yourself Stays the Same

Everyone you encounter has a certain perception of you, and they use that perception on which to base their interactions with you. For instance, your mother might still see you as a child (even though you’re a grown man), and talk to you as though you don’t know what you’re doing. You can’t do much about a doting parent, but you can do something about the way your ex perceives you. If your ex saw you as something less than who you are, underestimated your potential, or never really “got” you, it’s not doing you any good to continue that relationship in any form, friends or not. You won’t be able to alter their perception of you, and it’s not worth it to try. Worse, their unflattering image of you may stop you from realizing your own true self worth.

You Might Jeopardize Future Romantic Relationships

If you’ve started to move on with a romantic relationship but are still clinging to your ex as a friend, you may unwittingly jeopardize your new romance. Just as your ex’s new romantic partner won’t like you hanging around, neither will your new lover. And the more you try to defend your ex by explaining that you’re just friends, the more likely your new paramour will be to take a walk.

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How to Create a Captivating Elevator Pitch

Opportunity doesn’t just knock. Sometimes it rides … all the way to the top. Often, you’re more likely to get the chance to pitch your business idea during a random elevator ride or a brief restaurant encounter than you are able to get an appointment to see the head honcho. And even if you are able to get that precious appointment, odds are you have five minutes or less to sum up your business idea. Don’t be caught unprepared. Here’s how to create an elevator pitch for your business.

Know your revenue streams.

Whether you’re pitching to one person or a group, one of the first questions that will pop into your audience’s mind is how they can make money from your business. If you can quickly communicate your revenue streams in standard, clear terms, you’ll have a better chance of having your business idea be seen as economically viable.

Explain what makes your business unique.

It’s all been done before, but not the way you’re going to do it. That’s what you need to communicate to your investor in your elevator pitch. Figure out what makes your business idea unique, then find a way to express it with passionate yet realistic terms that will entice your audience to get excited about it too.

Tell them why you’re qualified.

Few people will be eager to invest in your business if you have no previous relevant experience, knowledge or education. Explain why you’re uniquely qualified to get this business off the ground. If it’s a team effort, mention the qualifications of your partners. This will instill confidence in your ability to bring the business to fruition.

Be clear about what you’re asking for.

Without a clear request for action, your genius elevator pitch is just an informative synopsis of a business idea. Be clear about what you want from your pitch audience, ending with a specific request. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than you think you’ll get in terms of time, money or resources, because it’s likely you’ll have to negotiate down.

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Mouthwatering Snacks for Kids (But Grownups Will Love, Too!)

These snacks for kids will make your child’s mouth water. We’ve combed the web for the most delicious, gooey, crunchy, salty and flavorlicious snacks. The grownups in the house will love them, too, so be sure to make a big batch of…everything!

In our opinion, it’s high time we stop denying our natural urge to snack. Just for one day, go off your rigid diet plan/meal plan and indulge in these snacks for kids. Snacks have always been a part of the day or evening. Youngsters pause for snack time at day care. Employees hit the office kitchen for afternoon snacks. The whole family enjoys snacks while playing on the computer, watching T.V., or playing cards with the boys. But all of a sudden, people are trying to malign snacks. We’ve been told to cut out snacks for kids and grownups. We’re only supposed to eat at meal time, with no “in-between” snacking. Where’s the fun in that?

The best thing about these snacks for kids is that they aren’t intended to be healthy. Your kids can eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for heaven’s sake, let them have a snack that just tastes good. These mouthwatering snacks fit the bill. If it happens to have a few nutrients, that’s all well and good, but it certainly wasn’t the reason we chose to include it here. So pick one or two of these mouthwatering snacks for kids and get snacking!

1. Toaster Oven Baked Potato Wedges

baked potato wedges

These baked potato wedges are inexpensive and so easy to make, even your teenager can do it! And aren’t those the best kind of snacks for kids? The recipe is designed so you can make these in your toaster oven. They are kind of a cross between an everything bagel and a proper English french fry. So basically, nothing wrong there! You’ll also find a recipe for the perfect dip accompaniment. Make a huge batch. Seriously. Like, use an entire bag of potatoes. These are totally addicting.

2. Coconut Caramel Popcorn

popcorn-with-coconut-caramel-750x500

Now don’t be put off by the fact that this recipe of snacks for kids is vegan. We are choosing it for its taste, not its health benefits, honest! It has a decadent, salty, crunchy texture combined with a sweet, gooey, gooey caramel flavor. Basically, if your kids like salted caramel flavor, they’ll love this twist on boring old regular popcorn. You can even grab a handful and put them in a Baggie for a school time snack. Get the recipe here.

3. The Ultimate Texas Nachos

Texas Nachoes

We can’t think of one kid on Earth who wouldn’t want to dig into a plate of these spicy hot Texas Nachos when s/he comes home from school. This is one after school snacks for kids that the whole family will enjoy. Be ready with a side of bread or crackers. Water will just send the fire racing around your mouth! Hint: If you have longer kids who can’t take the heat of the peppers, make half a batch using regular black olives instead of the jalapeños. 

4. Crispy Fried Pickles

crispy fried pickles

If you’ve never had crispy fried pickles, you will go nuts after tasting these. You will literally wonder where these babies have been all your life. Of course, if you grew up in the South, you probably are part pickle yourself after eating so many of these tasty snacks for kids. But if you’re new to fried pickles, you owe it to yourself to make a batch right now. If you don’t like frying foods, you can use an air fryer and get the same results.

5. Oreo Ice Cream Cake Pops

oreo cake pops

Okay, these Oreo Cake Pops take a little bit more effort than some of the other snacks for kids we’ve listed here. But the effort will be paid off with a big reward when you see how quickly your kids make them disappear! And the best part is, you can totally substitute different flavors of ice cream – or even cookies – so the taste is exactly what your kids will love!

S’Mores Bars

smores bars

We can’t think of any kid who wouldn’t like to come home from soccer practice and find a batch of s’mores on the table! These chocolatey, marshmallow delights are all the better for being made indoors; even on a hot summer day. S’mores Bars are surprisingly easy to put together, even though they look decadent and complicated. Made with mini marshmallows instead of the full sized ones, these snacks for kids are still packed with creamy goodness.

 

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How to Meet a Stranger Without Looking Like a Lunatic

How to meet a stranger without looking a lunatic is not an easy trick, especially in this day and age. You’re more likely than ever to be hit with a restraining order if you don’t go about it correctly. Stalkers seem to abound everywhere, but you certainly don’t want to be classified as one.

Of course, if you’re Meg Ryan and he’s Tom Hanks, it seems like stalking is considered okay. The first time I saw Meg Ryan creeping around across the street as she watched Tom and his son play in “Sleepless in Seattle,” I just thought, “Okay, now that’s just weird. Does anyone else think this is kinda weird?” Turns out, there’s a whole contingency that does. So if you’re thinking of ditching your life and secretly stalking some stranger clear across the country? Don’t.

Instead, take some of these hints for how to meet a stranger without looking like a lunatic. And don’t forget to let us know how your story turns out! We love a juicy love story!

In the Store

Back when we were all wandering the aisles of our VHS rental stores, I often wondered why more people weren’t hitting on each other. I mean, what better way to meet a stranger than when you’re both standing there, reading the same movie box? The situation just begs for one person to invite the other person out on a date. But no, in my movie rental store at least, everyone just ignored everyone else. And that was before we were all busy texting with our noses in our cell phones.

But let’s just say you are willing to put yourself out there in a store. There are a few ways you can meet a stranger without looking like a lunatic.

  1. Ask if they’ve been helped.

This is a good one. They’ll assume you work there and start talking to you about their needs. After they’re all done describing the product they’re looking for, you can explain that you were just asking because you wondered where all the salespeople were. You can both have a good laugh and then, just as you’re walking away, one of you can ask the other to go for a coffee/drink.

  1. Take Their Cart

After you choose something off the shelf, put it in their cart accidentally and then go rolling off with it. When they come chasing after you, obviously laugh about your mistake, but then make some comment about something in their cart, like “Where did you get those canned tomatoes? Can you show me?” If you have good luck, and the person’s interested, this will lead to more conversation. Otherwise, if they just take their cart and go, assume they’re either already in a relationship or they’re just not that into you.

  1. Pretend You Already Know Them

That’s right. Just make up a name and call them by it. “Reginald, is that you? How have you been? It’s me!” They’ll correct you, and tell you you’ve made a mistake, but this is your chance to be charming and introduce yourself after you tell them how they look exactly like your friend (who doesn’t really exist).

On the Street

Okay, so you’re walking on the street and there’s that person again whom you see everyday on your way to work. They must live around here because you keep seeing them. So how can you meet this stranger without looking like a lunatic? Here are three ideas:

  1. Bump Into Them

You don’t have to knock them on the ground, but just nudge them a little as you walk past. Say, “excuse me” and get some good lingering eye contact going. The next day, do it again. At some point this person will get the hint and either let you know they’re not interested, or start talking to you.

  1. Ask for Directions

Yes, this simple little tactic has worked for years, and it still works. Just ask directions to some place-any place-and see where it takes you. They might respond by offering to bring you there in person, or they might not. But at least you tried.

  1. Trip

Admittedly, this works better if you’re a woman. Most people will respond favorably to a damsel in distress. If you can manage a little trip, you might get a lending hand from that person you’re so enamored by. The rest of the story will be up to you.

Yes, some of these techniques for how to meet a stranger without looking like a lunatic are a little dubious as far as honesty goes. But at least you won’t be hiding behind trees like Meg Ryan. And what’s the harm in trying a few unconventional methods?

 

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6 Most Heartbreaking Celebrity Breakups

Celebrity breakups can be heart-wrenching affairs. For some reason, we tend to become emotionally attached to celebrity couples that we feel belong together. Once that couple has adorned the cover of enough magazines, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes or holding hands like kids on a sidewalk, we start rooting for them. We hope that against all odds, this or that celebrity couple will stay together until death does them part.

Alas, it’s not always to be, as the following heartbreaking celebrity breakups can attest to.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

When beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow married talented Chris Martin in 2003, we were ecstatic. A steady stream of celebrity photos followed, with Gwyneth happily dancing and cheering her husband from the audience while Chris played with his hit band, Coldplay. The match was perfect. They were perfect. They even had a perfect little baby with a perfectly pure name, Apple. And then…something happened. We don’t know what. Was it Gwyneth’s dictator-like rules about healthy eating that drove Chris away? Was it Chris’s fanatic dedication to his (insanely genius) musical creations that made Gwyneth crave attention elsewhere? We may never know exactly what caused this heartbreaking celebrity breakup. But we do know that Chris and Gwyneth are so awesome that they didn’t technically break up. They “uncoupled.”

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

The drama swirling around the Brangelina breakup is almost as chaotic as the drama they’ve stirred up from the moment they first got together. From day one, it’s been a whirlwind of story after story of betrayal, adventure, adoption, adoption again, intrigue, accusations, and conjecture. When will it end, and why did it have to end? Here you had, arguably, the two most attractive celebrities on the planet, and they couldn’t make it work? What chance do the rest of us have? And who’s going to be on the cover of the glossies now? The only good thing that comes from the Brangelina breakup is that they probably won’t do any more bad movies together. There’s some comfort in that.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins

If anyone had it all together in the relationship department, it’s Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Thriving in an open, no commitment relationship—for 23 years!—without the bonds of official matrimony, these two thought they’d be together forever. So did we, and we’re heartbroken over their breakup. Did they start taking each other for granted? Maybe. There are no easy answers. One thing, though. We still don’t like seeing Susan with anyone else, which is why she doesn’t flaunt her young lovers in front of the cameras very often. Yeah, she’d better not.

Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa

The Barbie and Ken of house reno show, “Flip or Flop” called it quits in 2017. We tuned in to their show just to see for ourselves how it was even possible for two perfectly gorgeous people to exist in the world. (Oh, and the house renovations, too.) Unfortunately, according to Tarek, fame and a lack of communication broke down their marriage, along with the stresses of work, illness and constantly being in the public eye. Though the divorce isn’t final-final, we don’t see much hope for reconciliation, since they each are already seeing other people. It’s a shame. No more procreating insanely gorgeous children.

The Beatles

Okay, technically the Beatles weren’t in a romantic relationship, but this is one of many celebrity breakups that hit us just as hard as if they were. The story goes that Yoko Ono’s heavy influence and physical presence—even during studio recordings—coupled with John Lennon’s gravitational pull to spirituality played a big part in breaking up the Beatles. However, the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, also caused significant infighting, when Paul, Ringo, John and George all had to take over the finances and contracts for the business. By 1970, they had each begun recording solo tracks, with varying degrees of success. It became clear that the days of the Beatles as we knew them were over. Strange days indeed.

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

Songbird Whitney Houston sent shivers down our spine when she sang, but also when we read about her descent into darkness over drug addiction. Her beloved Bobby Brown, husband of 15 years, may or may not have played a part in her problems with drugs and alcohol, but that relationship ended once and for all in 2007. Whitney never recovered from the breakup or her personal battles, and the resulting dual tragedies of her death in 2012, plus her daughter’s demise in 2015 still haunt us today. We miss you, Whitney.

 

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6 Best Movies From the 70s

Most cinephiles agree that the movies from the 70s represented the last golden age of American cinema. The economic environment in Hollywood combined with the social movement in the country spawned a decade sometimes referred to as the “New Hollywood.” Major studies like MGM, Paramount and RKO had lost much of their control over the industry. Film stars continuing their battle against studio heads for more creative freedom, a surge in foreign movies, and loosened censorship all gave rise to a new era in movie making. Even the appetite of the audience changed. After the social activism of the 60s, moviegoers were no longer satisfied with cloyingly sweet and superficial films. They were ready to taste the raw meat of creative license, and that’s what they were served.

Movies from the 70s reflect the world views of society with a clearer lens than perhaps any other decade. When given this chance, new filmmakers rose to the occasion by holding up a mirror to the prevailing governing authorities in the film industry. The best movies from the 70s aptly expressed the changing social tide, but they also hold their own to this day. Take any movie on this list and it can stand up next to anything you can throw at it from the 21st century.

This list isn’t homage to snoozer movies that you know you should sit through (with plenty of caffeine on hand) because of their significance in course of history. This is a list of genuine blockbuster movies from the 70s that are awesome even if you don’t give a damn about what was happening when they were made. This is worth the preemo snacks and the imported beer.

So get settled, fire up your Amazon stick, or your Roku, or your streaming device of choice and relive these favorites from our list of the best movies from the 70s:

  1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

“During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.” – IMDB.com

Here you have a collection of movie greats – Francis Ford Coppola directs Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford and Dennis Hopper. An epic movie with a stellar ensemble cast that will never be together again. Worth every second of the 153 minutes runtime.

  1. Taxi Driver (1976)

“A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.” – IMDB.com

Let’s put Martin Scorsese, Robert de Niro, Jodi Foster, Cybil Shepherd and Harvey Keitel together on a project and see what happens. This raw commentary on the true costs of war kept audiences still reeling from the Vietnam War riveted to their seats.

  1. Network (1976)

“A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor’s ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.” – IMDB.co

A population awakening to the lies permeating everyday American life turned this movie with Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall and William Holden into an overnight sensation.

  1. Papillon (1973)

“A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.” – IMDB.com

Featuring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, this mesmerizing convict escape film has unforgettable scenes that are still widely used in epic film montages today.

  1. Jaws (1975)

“A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down.” – IMDB.com

One of Steven Spielberg’s first films, Jaws has been dissected and examined by film critics, teachers and students almost more than a real fish filleted on a monger’s block. Chances are, you’ve either seen it once on screen and many times in your nightmares, or you can’t get enough of this brilliant directorial masterpiece, and have your own personal copy.

  1. The Deer Hunter (1978)

“An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.” – IMDB.com

Another movie about the ravages of the Vietnam War, done with an impossible blending of emotional human connection and horror. A heart wrenching view of courage, fear, and the depths of humanity we should hope to never experience again.

This list doesn’t come close to having all the best movies from the 70s on it. Please help us out by adding some of your favorite movies from the 70s in the comment section below.

 

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Best Alien Movies of All Time

Aliens have been the subject of many movies over the years. The idea of another civilization out in space is tantalizing. We humans love to entertain the notion of these aliens coming to visit us on our big blue marble. Sometimes the creatures in these alien movies are here to help up. Other time, alien movies show us the worst that can happen when hostile inhabitants from another world land on our unsuspecting planet.

This curated list of the best alien movies of all time is bingeworthy. Print it out and cross off each movie as you finish it. And don’t forget to let us know which of these alien movies is your favorite!

Alien (1979)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver

After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life form, and soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. – IMDB

Contact (1997)

Starring: Jodi Foster

After years of searching, Dr. Ellie Arroway finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine. – IMDB

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

Starring: David Bowie

A humanoid alien comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to in order to to build a return spacecraft, falling in love with an Earthling girl in the process. –IMDB

The Fifth Element (1997)

Starring Bruce Willis

In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr Zorg at bay. – IMDB

Independence Day (1996)

Starring: Bill Pullman

The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind’s best weapon is the will to survive. – IMDB

War of the Worlds (2005)

Starring Tom Cruise

As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival. – IMDB

Oblivion (2013)

Starring: Tom Cruise

A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself. – IMDB

The Thing (1982)

Starring: Kurt Russell

A research facility in Antarctica comes across an alien force that can become anything it touches with 100% accuracy. The members must now find out who’s human and who’s not before it’s too late. – IMDB

Avatar (2009)

Starring: Sam Worthington

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. – IMDB

Signs (2002)

Starring: Mel Gibson

A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields, which suggests something more frightening to come. – IMDB

Super 8 (2011)

Starring: Joel Courtney

During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. – IMDB

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Starring: Donald Sutherland

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion. – IMDB

Stargate (1994)

Starring: Kurt Russell

An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra. – IMDB

The Abyss (1989)

Starring: Ed Harris

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species. – IMDB

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Starring: Tim Allen

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. – IMDB

The Forgotten (2004)

Starring: Julianne Moore

After being told that their children never existed, a man and woman soon discover there is a much bigger enemy at work. – IMDB

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Starring: Richard Dreyfuss

After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. – IMDB

District 9 (2009)

Starring: Sharito Copley

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. – IMDB

Evolution (2001)

Starring: David Duchovny

A fire fighter, two college professors, and a sexy government scientist work against an alien organism that has been rapidly evolving since it arrived on Earth inside a meteor. – IMDB

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

Starring: Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humanity from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb). – IMDB

5 Lunchbox Snacks Every 90s Kid Misses As An Adult

Remember the days when mom packed a lunchbox for you? As an adult you have to pack your own lunch for work, or worse, hit the vending machine at the noon hour. Somehow, tearing open a brown paper bag and seeing your smooshed cheese sandwich inside just isn’t the same as finding the lunchbox snacks you had as a child.

The whole concept of the school lunchbox is awesome. There you are, with your own private lunchbox, feeling just like dad swinging his briefcase. Or maybe you fantasized about being a woman executive, on her way to an important meeting in the school cafeteria.

The Lunchbox as a Statement

Your lunchbox made a statement about you, too. You either had your favorite superhero, favorite cartoon character, or a lunchbox that really said something about your interests. Like a lunchbox with the Apollo moon landing, or wild animals roaming on the plains of Africa. You could have a lunchbox made out of metal, or even stamped metal – those were cool. Or, you might have had one of the vinyl lunchboxes that all smelled like the inside of a Barbie Doll house.

Lunchbox Snacks: The Best Part of the School Day

But the best part about the school lunchbox was the lunchbox snacks inside. This was before all the peanut allergies, gluten-free craze, and healthy school cafeteria lunch ladies came into existence. Back then, lunchbox snacks were the most nutritionally irresponsible, totally delicious, scrumptious and tasty treats ever invented on the face of the earth. And we miss them. Which one of these lunchbox snacks was your favorite?

1. Hostess Ho-Hos

Hostess ho-Hos were always one of the most popular lunchbox snacks that a kid could hope for. If you opened up your lunchbox and found a couple of these, you could easily make a new friend just by giving one up. Ho-Hos were special. They came in their own little foil wrapped package, all ready to go. Now, everyone had their own way of eating a Ho-Ho. Here’s mine:

Carefully unwrap the foil. (Save the foil! It can be used to make a fake stick of gum, or bite your teeth into to get a weird shocking sensation.)

With the front of your teeth, carefully bite off the chocolate from the bottom of the Ho-Ho.

Now use your fingers to remove the rest of the chocolate coating. Enjoy!

Now for the cake part of the Ho-Ho: Delicately unwrap the Ho-Ho, tearing off bits as you go. You can enjoy these little by little. At the very end, when you have only a tiny little roll left, bite from one end until your Ho-Ho is gone. Now you have to make the hard decision to either trade your Ho-Ho, give it away, or eat it yourself.

2. String Cheese

string cheese lunchbox snacks

Technically, string cheese is a protein, so the fact that you mom just had to rip one off the set and toss it into your lunchbox doesn’t make it any less. String cheese was great. If you weren’t really hungry, you could just sit there and play with your food. All the while, it looks like you’re eating. String cheese comes off in such tiny little strips, it could take you the whole lunch hour just to eat one.

3. Goldfish Crackers

goldfish lunchbox snacks

Goldfish are essentially little cracker pellets that we used to toss into our mouths like fish food. But what really made them special is the fact that they’re hollow inside. That meant that you could eat a whole packet and still not feel full. When they came out with colored goldfish, the orange ones just never tasted the same, though.

4. Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies

Little Debbie lunchbox snacks

Little Debbie made the best lunchbox snacks in the world. She’s still doing it, but for some reason adults aren’t allowed to have these as lunchbox snacks. But we’ll never forget that soft, chewey gooey sensation as we bit through that outer oatmeal cookie shell and reached the creamy center. (They also made good cafeteria Frisbees!)

5. Squeezeits

Squeezeits lunchbox snacks

Discerning moms who wanted their kids to have juice as part of their kids’ lunchbox snacks included “healthy” Squeezits. They came in exciting colors, with a little funny-faced guy on the box that seemed to say, “Hi there! I’m silly and delicious!” These plastic bottles of juice, which also served as bottle rockets, were nice and sugary; exactly what we need in the middle of a boring school day. Thanks, Mom!

Yeah, the days of fun lunchbox snacks are over. Your own kids will likely never know the joy of a sugar rush in the middle of the day. Those were the days, my friend.

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Effortless Ways to Save Money

Growing a savings account is quite important. Whether you’re wanting to stash away cash for a rainy day, want to save for a college fund, or increase your investments for retirement, being smart with your money takes a lot of discipline — usually. However, the articles about “how to save money” rarely give us easy tips that are handy for people with limited budgets for a lack of knowhow. You might think it requires tons of discipline and self-sacrifice to save, but there are some painless ways to make your savings grow. When you start saving with one or more of these methods, you will notice that more of the money that passes through your hands stays in your possession.

Start a Coin Jar: Place a coin jar, basket or box near the location where you put your purse each time you arrive home. Take a second to empty out the coin compartment of your wallet into the coin jar. When it’s full, bring the coins to the bank and deposit the total into your savings account. It’s the slow and steady approach, but it also requires no sacrifices!

Use Your Ashtray as a Coin Tray: Convert your ashtray into a coin tray. Each time you get change for your drive through order, put the bills into your wallet and the coins into the coin tray. Never use the coins to pay for things—only to deposit coins. When it’s full, deposit the money into the bank.

Deposit Dividends: If you have an investment portfolio that pays out dividends, set it up so the funds go straight into your savings account instead of having them mail you a check, which you might be tempted to cash and spend.

Budget for Savings: Make a household budget and revisit it monthly. Make efforts to spend less than the budget allows as the month goes by. At the end of the month, run an expense report. Whenever you are under budget, even by a few dollars, transfer that money from your checking to savings.

Save Food: The typical American family wastes over $500 on food each year. Learning to store food correctly will ultimately help you spend less on groceries. Take the time to research the best ways to store lettuce, vegetables and fruits. Use your budget expense report to calculate your grocery savings and send that extra cash to the bank.

Skip the Disposables: Disposable items like napkins, paper towels add up to unnecessary spending. Make a one-time investment in extra kitchen towels and cloth napkins. You’re doing laundry anyway, so just toss those reusable items into the washing machine and save bundles of cash.

Divvy up Bulk Items: If you live alone, the temptation is to indulge in single-serving items. But you will pay dearly for the convenience. Save money in your budget for your savings account by buying in bulk—or at least regular sizes—and divvying them up into smaller portions for yourself.

Learn to Cook: If you’re still buying take-out or prepared food every night, you’ve got hundreds of dollars within your control that you can convert to savings just by learning to cook. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start with simple things like slow cooker recipes and stockpot soups. Buy some Mason jars and freeze your soups and stews for quick and easy meals any night of the week.

Make the Savings Real: You know those cashiers who hand you your receipt and say, “You saved $12.50 today!” Well, you didn’t “save” anything unless you’re actually putting that $12.50 into your savings account. So when you get home, make the savings real. Hop onto the computer and transfer that amount straight into your savings account from your checking. Now you’ve really saved $12.50. If this is too much to do each time you shop, stash the receipts in a box and make a one-time transfer at the end of each month.

Of course, the key to all this is to have a budget to begin with. If you spend willy nilly without keeping track of the outgoing cash, it will be always be hard to save. Your first step should be to get a realistic budget in place. Then it will be fun to see how much you can lower your expenses each month to make your savings grow!

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Pet Care Tips Most Owners Completely Ignore

 

Even the most loving pet owners can drop the ball when it comes to certain aspects of pet care tips. It’s easy to forget sometimes, because our pets can’t remind us all the thing they need from us so they can be taken care of properly. If you love your pets, read over these commonly overlooked pet care tips to ensure your animal companion enjoys the best health possible.

Pet Care Tips: Practice Dental Hygiene

Animals can fall prey to dental disease just as humans can. Food can get caught in their teeth and cause decay in the same way it does in our mouths. The danger is that your pet can’t tell you when decay is rotting their teeth or preventing them from eating properly. A cavity that is left untreated can keep your pet from being able to get all the food nutrients they need.

A gentle brushing of your pet’s teeth once a week is all that’s needed. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and warm water. The first time you do this, your pet may resist, but over time the routine will make it easier for both of you. Use this opportunity to examine the teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy.

Pet Care Tips: Examine Poop

Pets are susceptible to parasites that can cause mild to severe symptoms. In some cases, these parasites can be fatal. Other warning signs that something is amiss can also appear in your pet’s droppings.

Every now and then, examine your pet’s poop. Look for worms, insects, blood, or foreign objects. If you see anything out of the ordinary, consult with your veterinarian for next steps.

Pet Care Tips: Check for Ear Mites

Ear mites are pesky little insects that can take up residence in your pet’s ears. They can cause nuisance itching, but they can also nest and cause real damage to your pet’s ears or hearing.

If you notice your pet chronically scratching his ear, he could have an ear mite infestation. You can visually inspect his ear with a flashlight. Wipe the outer interior of the ear and see if there are black spots. If so, they could be fleas or mites. Smell the ear area. If it smells bad, there is likely already an ear infection. A vet’s visit is in order.

Pet Care Tips: Brush Frequently

Brushing is something that most pets won’t squabble about, but it’s also part of good pet care. Brushing helps the undercoat to shed off in warmer months, helps distribute skin oil throughout the fur, and helps to keep fur mats from taking hold.

Brushing is also a good time to examine your pet for injuries. Many dogs and cats in particular have thick skin, and they can incur bites, cuts and scrapes with little notice. However, you need to be aware of such injuries in order to prevent infection. As you brush, spread the fur apart so you can visually inspect the skin. This will help you to find signs of fleas, psoriasis, injuries and anything else that may require professional attention.

Your pet gives you unconditional love and companionship. Return the favor by going the extra mile to care for his well being.

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