Nearly a month after the Western world rings in a new year, the Chinese New Year begins, part of the week-long Spring Festival that takes place at the end of January. This year the festival runs from January 27 through February 2, 2017, and the Chinese New Year falls on January 28, ushering in a Year of the Rooster. Throughout China, Images of red roosters—one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac—will appear. People will flock to temples to pray amid the snapping of firecrackers marking t...Read More
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24 Jan, 17
17 Jan, 17
It’s so obvious and it takes almost no time, yet it’s easy to forget that sometimes the most powerful gift we can give is a compliment. January 24th is National Compliment Day. If it’s been a while since you’ve given an unsolicited compliment, it’s a great time to get back in the habit.
For compliments to be effective, they must be sincere, specific and appropriate. The recipient of your kind comment will pick up on your body language and tone of voice, so don’t give an accolade if you don’t mea...Read More
11 Jan, 17
Did you know that January is National Slow Cooking Month? In December, many of us slave over complicated holiday recipes that keep us bound to the kitchen—it’s no wonder that come January, we have renewed appreciation for an appliance that will do the heavy lifting for us.
The first slow cooker was invented by Irving Naxon, who patented it as the “Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker.” Inspired by tales of cholent, a Lithuanian bean stew his grandmother used to make that was prepared largely using re...Read More
04 Jan, 17
New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. In fact, studies show that come December of a given year, only 8 % of us have actually delivered on our January promises to ourselves.
It’s not necessarily that we’re lazy or unmotivated (although we all have our moments). Sometimes we aim too high. Intoxicated by the glow of a new calendar page opening before us, it’s easy to be overly ambitious. Let’s say you decide to run a marathon. If you’re a seasoned runner, this may make sense, but if ...Read More
27 Dec, 16
The New Year's tradition for most Americans usually involves making noise, drinking too much (maybe), eating too much (for sure), spending a lot of money to go to a fancy club or hotel for a party of virtual strangers, and, of course, watching the ball drop in New York City.
Here's how other's celebrate around the world:
- Muslims celebrate the New Year by wearing new clothes.
- In England, on the stroke of midnight, people open the back door to symbolize "letting the old year out". It is also traditio...
20 Dec, 16
Holiday cakes and pastries are popular not only for their rich flavors and textures, but also for their appearance—an intricately decorated shortbread Christmas cookie, for example, shows craftsmanship and the baker’s desire to invoke joy in its presentation. We imagine the baker rolling out the dough, choosing the perfect cookie cutter, and painstakingly applying the icing after the cookie has baked and cooled, all the while envisioning the winsome final product.
The French Bûche de Noël, or Yu...Read More
13 Dec, 16
One of the highlights of the holiday season is taking part in festive rituals, many of which may have been passed down through generations. Those who celebrate Christmas may gather to sing carols, drink wassail, or drive around the neighborhood admiring creative light displays. Jewish families gather to light menorah candles for the eight nights of Hanukkah, play dreidel, and share plates of latkes. We all engage in holiday rituals that give us a sense of belonging and peace. But sometimes we ca...Read More
06 Dec, 16
Do you love a good bubble bath? Luxuriating in the hot water and inhaling the soothing scents of your favorite soap can certainly take the edge off a hectic day. But did you know that another kind of bath is available to help you quiet your mind? A sound bath, a relaxing form of meditation available in yoga studios and holistic health clinics, is giving bubble baths a run for their money.
Sound baths are a type of guided meditation that incorporates vibrations made from instruments such as cryst...Read More
29 Nov, 16
Most of us remember enjoying coloring as a child—working hard to fill in our favorite cartoon characters with crayons while staying in the lines and getting the color combinations just right. But ever since Johanna Basford’s book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book hit stores in 2011, adults have been getting into the coloring game too. Trading crayons for colored pencils and fineliner pens, adults have gotten so engrossed in the plentiful books filled with flower gardens, man...Read More
22 Nov, 16
Americans eat tens of millions of turkeys each year on Thanksgiving... but what the heck is a turkey really? It's a heck of a strange bird, isn't it?
Here are my top 10 geeky turkey facts.
10. The bird "turkey" actually is named after the country Turkey. Who'd have thunk it? Reportedly, Europeans mistakenly thought the turkeys they saw in America were Guinea fowl, also known as turkey fowl in Europe because, get this, they had been imported from the country Turkey to Central Europe. Then again t...