Make Memories Together That Will Last a Lifetime

Schools in Illinois and across the country only give children so many breaks to spend with family. That’s why it’s imperative to make each break count, possibly with a family vacation. Even if you can’t or don’t want to go out, you can make the most of your time at home. Explore these tips and ideas, courtesy of The ChipChop Blog.

Getting out in Nature 

If you’d prefer to reduce your family’s chances of getting COVID-19, consider going outside for all your activities. According to the CDC, you have less of a chance of catching the coronavirus outdoors where aerosol particles disperse, and you can socially distance yourself more easily. 

Plus, nature can offer spectacular views, adventure, and fresh air. The sunshine provides vitamin D, which everyone’s body requires for immune support and bone health.  

Think About a Road Trip

You could take a road trip and visit various outdoor sites along the way. Decide between destinations like the Columbia River Gorge, the Olympic Peninsula, or the Hood River Region. You can easily bond with family outside, and many activities are available.

Make sure you give your car a once-over so your trip will be uneventful.

Pack some healthy snacks to keep moods light and spending down. 

Consider Day Trips

When the budget doesn’t allow for a long vacation away from home or you have limited time, consider multiple day trips to places in the area.  

Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn all about the wonders of nature. On another day, 

Look into places to visit along the coastline; there are beaches, forests, and amazing rock formations you can take in.    

Have an At-Home Campout

You could pitch a tent right in your backyard. Build a fire, roast marshmallows, and play games. If your yard isn’t fenced, consider hiring a local fence company to do so in order to add more privacy and security to your property. 

If it’s too cold to camp outside, build a tent indoors. While you can’t pitch a regular tent, you and the entire family can contribute and create one indoors using blankets, sheets, a table, chairs, and so on. Instead of roasting marshmallows, make seasoned popcorn, pizza muffins, and other indoor snacks. You can make this a multiple-day event by planning something fun each night. 

Make Every Day at Home Eventful

If you’re staying home for the entire break, make each day eventful, perhaps by creating a theme for the week. Everyone in the family can make costumes and participate in games related to the theme.  

Or you could make each day something new. One day, the family could have art day. Bring out a variety of supplies and get creative. Another day could be music day, where the family dances, sings and appreciates different types of music. Try having a music-related talent show where each family member has to showcase a talent. You could then have a physical activity day where you spend much of the day playing sports. Make each family member responsible for creating a sport, and everyone has to try each activity. 

Of course, sometimes your kids may want to just relax and play with electronics. That’s okay in small doses, but, as Uswitch notes, online security is very important. Consider buying smartwatches for your children so they can play online safely while you prepare other fun activities for the family. An appropriate smartwatch is also a fun and convenient way to introduce your child to technology.

Smiles for a Few Days Make Memories for a Lifetime

Instead of everyone sitting at home doing their own thing, come together, smile, and make memories. Whether you visit somewhere for an organized event or create your own, you’ll be able to look back on the time together fondly.

The ChipChop Blog strives to take humanity on a more prior stage than we’ve taken it nowadays! Interested in collaborating? Reach out today: contact@thechipchop.com

COVID Adaptations You Want to Make Permanent (and How to Do It)

While many people hope that the pandemic won’t remain relevant in their lives for much longer, that doesn’t mean every new habit should fall by the wayside. Many COVID adaptations can actually be beneficial long-term, allowing you to live a happier, healthier life. If you’re wondering which ones are worth keeping, here’s a look at the COVID adaptations you want to make permanent and how to make it happen.

Focusing on Health and Wellness

During the pandemic, health and wellness took center stage. People began taking extra steps to remain healthy, including focusing more on exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, and self-care.

Since long-term stress weakens the immune system, continue with practices that help you combat it. Make sure that self-care remains a priority by adding ‘me’ time to your calendar. That way, you’ll always have time set aside for activities that rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit, making it easier to face the stresses of the day with confidence and poise.

Spending Time Outdoors

Since gathering in groups inside wasn’t an option during part of the pandemic, people gained a new appreciation for the outdoors. They reformed a connection with their environment, reaping a range of health benefits.

Plus, being outside quickly became a form of self-care. It was a chance to step away from digital devices and enjoy the present, as well as spend time with family members or friends in a safer manner.

The benefits of spending time outdoors aren’t going to go away after the pandemic ends. As a result, it’s a practice worth keeping now, tomorrow, and well into the future.

Checking in with Friends and Family

Since COVID-19 made staying separated a must, people became much more aware of the need to check in with others. Mental health and wellness became part of the larger narrative, with people calling family members and friends to discuss their mental state and current stresses, all while offering support back in return.

While calling might not be a necessity any longer, maintaining the check-in practice post-COVID is wise. It helps you maintain stronger bonds with loved ones, something that can boost your mental health. Plus, socializing can be a form of self-care, allowing you to feel connected to the important people in your life.

Reevaluating Career Goals

Many people began seeing their careers in a new light during the pandemic. Some discovered that their industry wasn’t particularly stable, while others figured out that they were suffering from burnout.

While many industries are back in full swing, that doesn’t mean people should stop reevaluating their careers regularly. After all, the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working; it only makes sense that that time should be spent on something you enjoy.

For many people, starting their own business is going to be their best bet. When you launch a company, you are in control of your professional life, creating opportunities to focus your energies on tasks you genuinely enjoy.

If you do start a business, consider forming an LLC. Along with potentially snagging some tax benefits, LLCs are flexible options that reduce your personal liability.Usually, starting an LLC isn’t as difficult as it seems. Just make sure you check the LLC rules in your state before you begin. That way, you can follow the right process. Plus, you can use a business formation service to make it even easier, all while avoiding hefty lawyer fees.

Should I Move After Suffering A Loss?

The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult events in anyone’s life. Unfortunately, all of us will experience loss and grief at some point. But, when you are suffering the loss of someone close to you, such as a spouse, parent, or child, grief may linger for years. Sometimes, you have to make a lifestyle change to effectively hit the reset button so that you can move on. Today’s ChipChop blog touches on the serious issue of why moving makes sense after loss and how to navigate the tedious process with your emotions intact. 

Benefits Of Fresh Scenery

Moving has many benefits. Specific to when you’ve lost a close loved one, changing homes or even hometowns can give your a fresh start. You can find a new job and create a new friend circle, which will keep you away from the daily reminders of what you’ve lost. Further, as 1Movers explains, making a long-distance move can give you a psychological breakpoint that helps you reflect on your life.

There are plenty of practical reasons that moving makes sense as well. If you are living on a two-person income and now you’re down to one, buying or renting a smaller home or apartment can help you maintain your budget. This may be especially important if you must deplete your savings to pay for a burial, which TruStage Insurance explains can cost more than $9000. You may also wish to move to be closer to family and friends who can support you in your grief and subsequent recovery.

Making Your Move

It’s not necessarily a good idea to move at first unless it’s unavoidable. But, once you know that relocation is on the horizon, you can start to prepare. One of the first things you’ll need to do is decide on what to do with your current home. If you plan to sell, make sure that you have a copy of all of your important documents, including property tax, the deed, and any information pertaining to your mortgage. Redfin also suggests having easement agreements and your HOA documents handy.

Next comes the hard part: sorting your and their personal belongings. This is one of the more emotional aspects of moving. After all, you will probably feel guilty about getting rid of their stuff, but you also may not have the space for everything. Another reason to let go of certain items is that it will help you come to terms with and accept your loss. Talk with your friends and family, and bequeath important or valuable personal items as appropriate. You can also donate or have an estate sale, which can include household items, appliances, artwork, jewelry, and antiques.

Where To Go

If you have yet to decide where, exactly, you plan to relocate, now’s the time to put your finger on the map. When you’re looking for a new city, look ahead to the job market. Are there plenty of opportunities in your industry? While this won’t make a huge difference if you work from home, it’s huge if you’re a musician, work in the travel and hospitality industry, or have another job that relies on public interaction. When affordability is your number one priority, particularly if you have children, look for family-friendly communities. Chesapeake, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; and Omaha, Nebraska are among the most affordable places for families to live.

Moving is an intimidating endeavor, and it’s made even more so when you’re moving because of a loss.  But, remember, it is not that you are running away from the death of your loved one, but that you must continue to live. In doing so, you have to make decisions that work for your life now. If staying in your current home isn’t emotionally healthy or financially affordable, moving may be the best choice.

The ChipChop blog invites everyone to bookmark and read up on the thoughts swirling through the internet.

Must-haves breakfast items for working adults

Despite every individual’s saying, having breakfast depends on the individual’s perception. Some do not find time to have breakfast, some prefer their breakfast as heavy as possible, some prefer moderated meals throughout the day. According to science, our bodies get activated with the sunrise and have a higher intensity to digest the food independently. But with the sunrise, anything our body consumes, only it’s our task to digest the food before going to bed. As we studied further, one should consume only healthy food empty stomach.

So, we have prepared a list of breakfast items that working adults should store in their pantry.

Eggs

If you’re in a rush, just break two eggs in the pan, sprinkle a pinch of salt, and Tadda, your omelette breakfast is ready to nourish your tummy. Besides, it’s packed with lean protein, so can be a good breakfast option you should always have.

Peanut or Almond Butter

Nut butters are rich in good fats and other nutrients that proved important for your body. If you’re having an occupied life, just toast 2 slices of brown bread, spread the almond butter or peanut butter on one side, and spread honey on another. And your healthy breakfast is ready with fiber, healthy fats, and protein, as also comforting.

Oats

Overnight oats can be proven as your time and taste savior. Simply, soak half a cup of oats with a one-fourth cup of milk, added with some dried nuts, peanut butter, and one tablespoon of honey. Put the bowl into the refrigerator, and your sweet, delicious oatmeal is ready to serve with zero effort in the morning. Just grab it, have it and rock your morning.

Muesli, Granola, or some other breakfast flakes

You can follow the same process with granola or muesli. And if somehow you forget to do it, just put the half cup of this cereal into the bowl with a one-fourth cup of milk. There’s no need to add honey, but one can add a little according to the taste. And your breakfast is ready within a couple of seconds.

Milk

It’s packed with important nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin D, plus an excellent source of protein. If you’re running out of time, just have a glass of milk. One glass of cow milk is adequately equal to one wholesome meal.

Fruits

People are adopting a vegan or Ayurvedic lifestyle more these days as per the Indian Ayurvedic directions. A bowl full of seasonal fruits with coconut water and some Chia seeds sprinkled on it can be your all-natural cereal gifted by mother nature.

Dried Nuts

A handful of soaked dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, cashew, raisins, dates, peanuts, etc., contains every nutrient which is required for a person and in his meal. You can also pair them with roasted sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.