9 Things Humans Do That Stress Our Dogs Out

When we love our dogs like family, we sometimes forget that they don’t understand us quite like our human relatives. Sometimes we try to have full-on conversations with them or unknowingly send them body language signals that are interpreted differently in the animal kingdom. For these reasons, we’ve compiled a list of 9 common things that humans do that stress dogs out.

If you’ve done any of these things, don’t worry–we all have! But by being more aware, we can try to communicate with our canines as clearly as possible. And lucky for us, there’s no limit to their forgiveness!

1. Getting frustrated when your dog acts like…a dog!

Dogs bark, dig, chew, sniff, and steal table scraps that are within snout’s reach. To them, it’s natural behavior! (Plus, they don’t understand the value of your favorite pair of shoes.) However, this doesn’t mean your dog should have free reign to do whatever he likes. Instead of punishing these behaviors, they need to be redirected–and this takes patience! Vet Street suggests alternatives such as giving chewers stuffed Kongs to gnaw on, or teaching barkers to learn to use their “inside voice”.

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2.  Having inconsistent rules and boundaries

Dogs thrive on consistency and routine, and take comfort in it. If your pup is allowed on the couch one week, then scolded for it the next, she will become stressed when she can’t anticipate your reaction to her behavior. She won’t understand if one night you decide to “let it slide” or you allow her to break the rules for a “special occasion.” When you create boundaries, stick to them!

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3. Expecting your dog to obey you just because he wants to make you happy

While our dogs love seeing us happy, they’re still animals and opportunists (for instance, if they see an opportunity to snatch some leftover chicken off the counter, they will usually take it!). Some dogs do obey their owners simply to please them, but most of them perform for one simple reason: to receive their reward! Vet Street explains that inconsistent rewarding will most likely lead to inconsistent behavior. And you can’t be angry with your dog for not obeying if he can’t expect a treat in return.

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4. Using multiple verbal cues to indicate the same behavior

This one can be a tough habit to break! Say your dog is barking at the mailman, so you say, “shh!” “stop!” and “quiet.” You’ve given her three different commands that are supposed mean the same thing: quit barking! Your dog gets confused so she continues to bark and eventually gets scolded–but she doesn’t know why! The best plan is to come up with specific words to apply to each trick or command, and to make sure everyone in your family is on the same page. If you use “down” for “lay down,” you may have to use something like “floor” to tell your pup to get off the bed! (Here is a great article on giving command cues.)

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5. Saying “it’s okay” when your dog thinks it’s not

When our dogs are anxious, we want to comfort them. Often saying “it’s okay” in a soothing tone is our natural human response. But according to Healthy Pets (via Mercola), we’re training them to think the opposite. If we use the phrase in conjunction with doing something they don’t like–for instance, taking them to the vet or as we’re trying to clip their nails–they learn to associate the phrase with things that aren’t okay! If “it’s okay” means something bad is about to happen, that can really stress your dog out!

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6. Pointing or shaking a finger at her

Healthy Pets explains that this gesture is a “universal stress inducer for dogs.” The article says that it is often accompanied with an angry gesture, a hovering stance, and a stern tone. Your pup may not remember when he did to deserve the “finger point,” but he will know that you’re upset with him, causing anxiety.

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7. Restraining or cornering a dog to give him affection

There is debate whether dogs like hugs or not. The answer is simple: it depends on the dog. (And also the human–some dogs may only enjoy hugs from their trusted loved ones.) While humans know hugs to be a sign of affection, some dogs feel nervous or trapped when a human wraps their arms around them. Note that there is a difference between hugs and cuddling: a dog that doesn’t like hugs may still love to snuggle because he doesn’t feel restrained. The point is, we need to keep in mind that each dog has a different comfort threshold. They deserve to have their personal boundaries respected, too!

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8. Staring at a dog you don’t know

First off, there is a difference between the loving gazes shared between a pup and her family members and a dog that’s being stared down by a stranger–we’re talking about the latter. If you meet a new dog, try to avoid eye contact and staring at him as he’s getting to know you. Some dogs will consider extended eye contact from a stranger to be a challenge, which will increase their stress response. (My pup Luna and I know this from experience!)

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9. Not giving him enough exercise

Like humans, dogs get bored if they don’t have enough physical and mental stimulation in their lives. “Dogs that are unsatisfied and bored will often start destructive behaviors such as chewing and digging, which leads to unfair punishment and stress,” explains Katie Finlay for iHeartDogs. Remember, your dog can’t entertain himself by enjoying a Netflix binge or taking himself for a walk. He depends on you to stay fit, physically and mentally!

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Which one of these points did you find the most helpful or interesting?

If you enjoyed this article, check out 13 Things Humans Do That Dogs Dislike.

(h/t: healthypets.mercola.com and vetstreet.com)

 

The post 9 Things Humans Do That Stress Our Dogs Out appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

11 Small Breeds That Love Being Lap Dogs

There’s a pup out there for just about every personality, and these lovable lap dogs are perfect for anyone who’s looking to add a snuggle bug to their family! Whether you’d prefer a social butterfly by day and a couch potato by night, a canine who’s content to live in an apartment, or a four-legged friend for the kids, there’s a petite pup on this list who’d make a wonderful companion.

Based on information from the American Kennel Club website (and in no particular order), here are 11 pint-sized breeds that love being lap dogs. (Thinking about adopting a pooch of a certain breed? Don’t forget to check out your local shelters and rescues!)

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These brown-eyed beauties are known for their gentle, affectionate dispositions and soft, silky coats. This, plus their small statures, make them wonderful lap-sized companions for family members of all ages.

The regal-looking pups were favorites of King Charles I and King Charles II in the 17th century, and although they’re beautiful, they still love to go out and play every once in awhile! According to the AKC, these calm companions are just as happy with homebodies as they are with more active owners.

2. Chihuahua

One of the tiniest pooches around, Chihuahuas love being in the laps of their favorite humans! These miniature pups have big personalities, and fans of the breed love their trademark sass.

Although Chihuahuas can fit in purses, owners need to remember that they’re still dogs that love to go on walks and play! What’s more, if they’re coddled too much by their humans, they may end up taking on a guard dog role and developing “Napoleon Syndrome.” Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy lots of cuddle time on the couch; it’s all about balance!

Unfortunately, the Chihuahua’s popularity has a downside. Some people get swept up in the “trend,” then end up surrendering their pooches. To that end, Chi lovers looking to adopt should check out their local shelters and rescues!

3. Maltese

These white-haired bundles of love have been bred for their good-natured companionship since ancient times, says the AKC. In fact, the Greeks used to get tombs for their dearly departed Maltese! What’s more, they shed very little and are a great breed for allergy sufferers (just keep in mind that no dogs are completely hypoallergenic, even hairless ones!). However, regular grooming is a must.

These under-10-pound pups are perfect for curling up on your lap. Although they need exercise just like every other dog, they’re generally happy hanging out with their favorite humans!

4. Pomeranian

These joyful furballs are like a fluff lover’s dream: a luxurious double coat is perfect for sinking your fingers into. Luckily, they’ll love all that attention!

These tiny pups usually don’t exceed 7 pounds, and although they enjoy snuggling in laps, they are quite energetic! That’s why they’re well suited for spending their days out and about, then coming home for a cozy snuggle with their humans. It’s a good thing they’re so portable!

5. Pekinese

Pekinese pups are known for the long “mane” of fur that surrounds their necks, and do well in cooler temperatures because of it.

These graceful dogs are generally calm by nature and aren’t big fans of roughhousing. What’s more, they’re a short-nosed breed, so owners should be aware of breathing issues. With that said, Pekinese pooches are loyal and would be happy to take on the role as your personal “lap-warmer” to a family with a adult or gentle children.

6. Bichon Frise

These curly-haired canines are known for their friendly, happy-go-lucky nature, which makes them very adaptable pets for different kinds of families. They generally love meeting new people, and are great with respectful children who’d love having a furry friend!

Another big draw for this breed is their soft hair, which sheds very little, making them a great pet for many people who are sensitive to dog fur and dander. But don’t forget, this also means that they’ll need to be frequently groomed! These joyful pups make wonderful companions for folks living in the city or the country — as long as they’re loved.

7. Pug

It’s no wonder these curly-tailed cuties are a popular choice for family pets. With their irresistible wrinkles and loving personalities, these snuggly pooches are most certainly lap dogs.

As with Pekinese and other brachycephalic breeds, Pug parents should keep their eye out for breathing issues or other health problems related to their flat noses. They only need a moderate amount of exercise, so they make great companions for apartment dwellers. Plus, their outgoing personalities will most certainly help you meet the neighbors! But no matter where they live, these adaptable pups are just happy to be with their favorite people.

8. Havanese

Another all-around, easy-to-own dog, some of the highlights of the Havanese breed include an eagerness to please, a love for people of all ages, and a low-shedding coat!

While their fur won’t cling to all your clothes, they do need regular grooming, but it’s a small price to pay to have a wonderful companion who’ll love being by your side wherever you go — and making new friends along the way! These affectionate pups can happily live in big or small homes, and love snuggling in laps. Plus, their soft coats make them extra cuddly.

9. Shih Tzu

Families looking for a petite pets for their children should seriously consider adopting a member of this sweet breed. According to the American Kennel Club, “the Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children.”

Like many of the breeds on this list, these pups don’t need a lot of space to be happy. What’s more, they shed very little, so they’re a wonderful choice for people who are sensitive to allergies or don’t want a lot of dog hair in their home. Loved by royalty for centuries, Shih Tzus were bred to be lap dogs – snuggled up on someone’s legs is their favorite place to be!

10. French Bulldog

One of the bigger “lap dogs” on this list, Frenchies can grow up to 28 pounds. Their affection toward humans, mild nature, and dashing good looks make them a popular choice for families, single folks, apartment dwellers, homeowners – just about everyone!

Unfortunately, this pup’s popularity — which may have exploded because they’re a favorite among celebrities — has lead to some overbreeding, leaving Frenchies from irresponsible breeders plagued with serious health issues. If you want to add one of these sweethearts to your family, make absolute certain that you seek out a reputable breeder… or better yet, rescue!

11. Italian Greyhound

These adorable dogs are wonderful for sportier owners who’d love a companion that enjoys being active as well as being lazy on the couch. These super-affectionate pups will always be by your side (or on your lap!), but a fast-moving critter can still ignite their prey drive.

Because of their delicate limbs, these little dogs may not be suitable companions for young children, and definitely shouldn’t be played with too roughly. What’s more, their lean bodies and short coats mean they get cold once the temperature plummets, so in the wintertime, they’ll need a coat — and a cuddle!

Do you have one of these pups in your family, or was your lap dog not mentioned on this list? Share with us in the comments below! 

The post 11 Small Breeds That Love Being Lap Dogs appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Vets Warn Dog Owners About Unknown Respiratory Infection Affecting Dogs In North Carolina

Dog lovers in North Carolina are being warned of an unknown repiratory infection that is being spread from amongst dogs in the Raleigh area.

Dr. Harold Pierce with Leesville Animal Hospital tells ABC7.com that he has treated 17 pets with mild symptoms over the last two weeks. Affected dogs develop a cough and show signs of infection, but so far veterinarians have been unable to identify the illness or determine whether the infection is bacterial or viral. Both vaccinated pets and those who are behind on their vaccinations have been affected.

For the moment, dogs are being treated with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Dr. Pierce has not seen any serious complications or death as a result of this illness, but suggests that owners take their dog to see a vet immediately if they notice a cough. He also recommends keeping your dog at home and avoiding dog parks and daycares if possible while this continues to spread – especially if your dog is elderly or has a pre-exisiting condition.

This warning comes only a week after Virginia veterinarians issued an alert about a mysterious epidemic in the Charlottesville area. The disease was described as being similar to whooping cough, causing coughing and sneezing, with some dogs also experiencing fever and lethargy.

Raleigh is only about 150 miles South of Charlottesville, and some of the symptoms described are similar, but there has been no word on whether this is the same illness.

H/T: ABC.com

The post Vets Warn Dog Owners About Unknown Respiratory Infection Affecting Dogs In North Carolina appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Vets Warn Dog Owners About Unknown Respiratory Infection Affecting Dogs In North Carolina

Dog lovers in North Carolina are being warned of an unknown repiratory infection that is being spread from amongst dogs in the Raleigh area.

Dr. Harold Pierce with Leesville Animal Hospital tells ABC7.com that he has treated 17 pets with mild symptoms over the last two weeks. Affected dogs develop a cough and show signs of infection, but so far veterinarians have been unable to identify the illness or determine whether the infection is bacterial or viral. Both vaccinated pets and those who are behind on their vaccinations have been affected.

For the moment, dogs are being treated with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Dr. Pierce has not seen any serious complications or death as a result of this illness, but suggests that owners take their dog to see a vet immediately if they notice a cough. He also recommends keeping your dog at home and avoiding dog parks and daycares if possible while this continues to spread – especially if your dog is elderly or has a pre-exisiting condition.

This warning comes only a week after Virginia veterinarians issued an alert about a mysterious epidemic in the Charlottesville area. The disease was described as being similar to whooping cough, causing coughing and sneezing, with some dogs also experiencing fever and lethargy.

Raleigh is only about 150 miles South of Charlottesville, and some of the symptoms described are similar, but there has been no word on whether this is the same illness.

H/T: ABC.com

The post Vets Warn Dog Owners About Unknown Respiratory Infection Affecting Dogs In North Carolina appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

A Wellness Date with HonestlyFIT

I have a confession. In the 10+ years I’ve been living in the Bay Area, I’ve never once biked in San Francisco. There’s just something really intimidating about biking in such an urban city, especially…

Millennium Falcon Ride-On Float, Disney Have a Laugh DVD, Little Live Pets Dancing Unicorn and more (8/15)

Here are today’s best toy deals (8/15):

Grab this Disney Have a Laugh DVD: Volume 1 for $5.84 (BEST price!)

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Score this SwimWays Star Wars Millennium Falcon Ride-On Float for $16.03 (BEST price!)

Get the Velveteen Rabbit Hardback Book for $5.13 (BEST price!)

Get this Lego Elves The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon Building Kit for $18.99 (BEST price!)

Looking for more toys? Here are deals that are still available as of the time of this post going live:

My Big Seek-and-Find Book — $9.48 (BEST price!) This comes with a wipe-clean pen!

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Mat — $14.99 (BEST price!) This is 50% off it’s regular price!

Nerf Official N-Strike 24 ct Dart Refill Pack — $3.99 (BEST price!) This is an Add-on Item, which means you’ll need to include it in an order of $25 or more, even if you have Prime.

Toysmith Monster Feet Walking Stilts — $6.15 (BEST price!)

Skip-Bo Junior Card Game — $4 (BEST price!)

Shipping is FREE with Amazon Prime (start your FREE 30-day trial HERE) or a qualifying order of $49 on eligible items. Prices are subject to change at any time and without notice.

The post Millennium Falcon Ride-On Float, Disney Have a Laugh DVD, Little Live Pets Dancing Unicorn and more (8/15) appeared first on Frugal Living NW.

Iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet

Exoplanets can orbit close to their host star. When the host star is much hotter than our sun, then the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star. The hottest ‘ultra-hot’ planet was discovered last year. A team has now discovered the presence of iron and titanium vapors in the atmosphere of this planet. This detection was made possible by the surface temperature of this planet, which reaches more than 4,000 degrees.

Neoprene Lunch Bag, Cusinart Dutch Oven, Tide PurClean Detergent and more (8/15)

Here are today’s electronics and household deals (8/15):

Get this Neoprene Getaway Lunch Bag for $10.15 (BEST price!)

Deal of the Day: Score this Cusinart 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven for $54.99 (BEST price!) Check out all the Cusinart deals here.

Get this Tide PurClean Unscented Laundry Detergent, 50-oz (2 pack) for $12.19 (BEST price!) when you clip the $3 off coupon.

Grab this Bic Sparkle Mechanical Pencils (48 ct) for $8 (BEST price!)

Score this Downy Ultra Fabric Softener (105 loads) for $4.97 (BEST price!) when you clip the $2 off coupon. This is an Add-on Item, which means you’ll need to include it in an order of $25 or more, even if you have Prime.

Looking for more deals? Here are some that are still available as of the time of this post going live:

Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor — $64.99 (BEST price!)

Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls (6 ct) — $10.85 when you enter promo code SCHOOL36 at checkout.

Gillette Mach3 Razor (handle with 2 blades refills) — $5.99 (BEST price!) when you clip the $2 off coupon. This is an Add-on Item, which means you’ll need to include it in an order of $25 or more, even if you have Prime.

Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Toilet Paper (24 mega rolls) — $16.98 (BEST price!) when you clip the $2 off coupon and opt for Subscribe & Save delivery. Save more when you have 5 active subscriptions.

Joseph Joseph Silverware Tray — $9.99 (BEST price!) This is an Add-on Item, which means you’ll need to include it in an order of $25 or more, even if you have Prime.

Shipping is FREE with Amazon Prime (start your FREE 30-day trial HERE) or a qualifying order of $49 on eligible items. Prices are subject to change at any time and without notice.

Sometimes (Most of the Time) Planning a Wedding Sucks

Written by: Megan Murphy

I did not want to be a “bridezilla,” a term I wholeheartedly believe was created to put blame on women for getting what they want during their time to shine. Typically, in the media, we’re subjected to “funny and relatable” stories where a demanding woman is in control of her and her fiancé’s wedding and no one else in the world has the right to a say. So, in a feeble attempt to squash this nasty portrayal before it could be bestowed upon me, I made damn sure my partner was knee-deep in the planning right beside me. He attended every drawn-out meeting at which I had to be, he participated in making the guest list, song choices, theme, colors- all of it. He is even the creator of our wedding website which he spent days perfecting. My man is respectful, smart, helpful, and I appreciate him as a person and as my partner in planning our soiree. He is not the problem.

Pain in the A** Number One:

Every question about our wedding has been directed at me, the bride, the woman. I have two issues with this; one being that people either don’t know the stress planning a wedding places on the couple planning it, they forget, or they don’t care. So, being forced to field every detailed question while my man is standing right beside me at every gathering and function made me want to pull my hair out. The second problem is that this insinuates that my future husband has no cards to play, no horse in this race. Even though he asked for my hand in marriage (a gorgeous night at home while watching reruns in our underwear) and he agreed to this “proper” wedding, it is assumed that he doesn’t actually want anything to do with it. Which is infuriating if you care about what people think- a sickness I am trying to evolve out of. My monogamous relationship of five+ years has never been cloaked in gender stereotypes, yet while we’ve been planning this big event, no one, including family or friends, can believe that my fiancé could give a sh*t that he is getting married. This is (to us, in our early 20s, who want to make this outward commitment) the most important day of his life as well as mine and yet, the most he has been asked about is his bachelor party. I assume because his “last night as a single man” is what the world cares about and is possibly something he’s supposed to mourn? Newsflash, he hasn’t been single in almost six years. When I’ve communicated my frustration with this, my partner has been nothing but supportive. “Okay, I’ll make sure I try to step in next time,” or “That is bullsh*t, I’m sorry.” I think that in this day in age, surrounded by elder family and friends, this stigma that my fiancé is being dragged down the aisle is sickening and very telling of the generations that exchanged vows before us. Marriage is certainly not for everyone and the diversity and individuality in that is beautiful, but together we are choosing to make the feelings we share a legal matter, and work together to uphold it, hopefully until one of us croaks. Also, planning a lavish party where everyone we love is dressed up, drunk, and dancing will be so rad! Right…

 

Pain in the A** Number Two

Not wanting to be a “controlling” bride, (even though it’s MY wedding so I should be controlling? Right?) I did my absolute best throughout this process to be inclusive to everyone we love. From members of one side of the family despising one another, timing issues for guests, to the dress code, I have learned that try as you might, your kindness will absolutely be taken advantage of and you’ll instead end up pissing people off. One of our real solutions to a potential problem was this; “Person A doesn’t like Person B, so how about we invite Person C, who I am related to in the furthest sense of the word, just so Person A feels more comfortable and hopefully doesn’t get drunk and start a fist fight in the middle of Etta James’ final verse of “At Last.” The solution wasn’t good enough. I have accommodated family members who are unaware and therefore ungrateful of the hoops we are jumping through in hopes of having a smooth ceremony and reception. My fiancé and I like to think of ourselves as above all the familial drama that occurs via either side, and for our special, once in a lifetime day, we have tried to appease. Whether it was an actual verbal fight about our dress code, trying to most comfortably decide in what order the procession will be, or arranging, rearranging, and rearranging seating charts to avoid igniting decades-old feuds, people are still unhappy. Trying to plan our dream wedding while maintaining/bringing peace and order in complex family dynamics has helped make my planning experience a headache, stressful, and oftentimes, unenjoyable.

While I do deeply appreciate the few friends, family members, and my hot and patient man for all the help with planning and dodging verbal daggers, I have a worthwhile piece of advice that is often scoffed at: DO YOU. You are going to worry if this auntie hates that one, or if someone’s ego will be bruised, but DO YOU and take the path that you want to take. You are going to stress about everything, it is a stressful time, but try to enjoy your process. Things will fall together, and guests will be forced to grow up for four to eight hours. Hopefully, whatever relationship you’re in is a healthy one that you can lean on in the times that you want to curse someone out or cry. Communicate verbally what the roles in planning are going to be. If your partner accepts half the responsibility, all of it, or none of it, whatever the agreement is- make sure it is clearly stated so you both know what the hell is going on. Just try your hardest to survive Hurricane Stress and still be able to keep your head up and look forward to your big day. From what I’ve heard, it’s gone in a flash. My wedding is in October of 2018 so as of writing this, I’m still living in the stress and anxiety haze that hovers seemingly the entirety of the engagement. So, I guess we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully no one brawls, but honestly who knows… Maybe that would lighten the tension we’re all feeling.

Find out more about Megan at @meganmurphyz on Twitter.

The post Sometimes (Most of the Time) Planning a Wedding Sucks appeared first on Femalista.

How to Recoup After Traveling


Traveling as an adult can be such a double-edged sword. On one hand, getting away and recharging is obviously amazing. But on the other, coming back from a couple weeks away from your email (and life) can be a hot mess—and one that leads to instant anxiety once you return. To cut down on the stress when you return, I’ve made it a habit to recoup again—after I’m home. Here’s what I do!

Take an extra day off

Even if it means cutting vaca a day short, I always always always make sure I have a day to get my life together post-vaca. Maybe that means flying home on a Saturday or taking an extra day off work, but whatever it takes, I do it. Because there’s nothing worse than getting home and realizing you have to dive into work the very next morning. I spend this extra day doing laundry, going to the grocery, and even slowly diving into work emails.

Unpack right away

Call me crazy, but I’m a big fan of unpacking as soon as I get home. It gives me instant peace of mind and that way I can get back into my normal life ASAP.

Detox

Vacations usually mean eating not-so-healthy and having a few too many glasses of vin0—which is fine! It’s the time to do it. But it can also leave me feeling like shit. I like to “detox” when I return, which means drinking a ton of water, eating as many veggies as possible, and skipping booze and sugar. I’ll add in a lot of healthy fats and carbs too to keep my energy up while I get rid of the crap in my system. I’ll do this for a week, at the least.

Boost immunity

Since planes are full of germs, I do my best not to get sick after I return. On top of the nutritious detox, I’ll add in a bunch of extra vitamin C, and I’ll cleanse the air by diffusing oils. I’ll wipe down my luggage, purse, tech, and anything else that might have picked up extra germs, too.

Sleep!

Keep those relaxed vaca vibes going by getting a good amount of sleep before jumping back into work. Sounds obvious, but we’ve all been  guilty of prioritizing Instagram instead of a bed time right? Especially if I’ve been staying up later on my trip.

How do you recoup after travel? LMK!

 

The post How to Recoup After Traveling appeared first on because im addicted.

What to Do if a Friend Asks for a Loan


It’s one of the most dreaded moments in a long term friendship. Your friend calls you up, tells you her sad tale of financial woe, and then asks “Is there any way I could borrow X dollars until Y date?” No one likes being put on the spot like this — you feel like saying no will damage your relationship, but you know that money has a terrible habit of damaging relationships. So how do you handle such a request and still feel good about yourself and your friendship (and your own finances) afterwards?

If you need to say no…

If you cannot financially afford to help out your friend, then you have to say no for your own protection. Lifeguards are taught that the only thing more tragic than one person drowning is two people drowning. It’s the same idea with finances — the only thing worse than your friend having financial trouble is if her problems become your problems.

Remember first and foremost that you do not have to explain why you are saying no. Your friend is asking you the favor, and even Miss Manners would not require you to say any more than “I’m sorry, but I can’t.” However, depending on the strength of your friendship or the hardship your friend is facing, you might find yourself wishing you could help even if you don’t have the cash. Why not ask your friend if there are other ways you could help? If the problems are job or career related, offer to network for them or go over their resume. If the issue is credit card debt, offer to connect your friend with some credit counseling. If your friend simply can’t make ends meet this month, offer to cook some meals or even let her crash with you for a few days. The bottom line is that there are many ways to help your friend. You can make sure your friend knows you care without having to jeopardize your own finances.

If you can say yes…

You must tread carefully, even if you do have enough money to cover the loan. One way of making sure that the loan cannot come between you and your friend is to make it a gift, instead. In the case of a gift, there is no sense of resentment if your friend has trouble repaying you. You can let your friend know that she can give you a gift in return when she gets back on her feet — or she can pay it forward to help someone else.

If you decide to actually go through with a loan rather than a gift, be completely businesslike about it. Tell your friend you will need to have a contract between you that spells out the total amount that you will lend (so that there will be no repeat visits to the Bank of Friendship), the repayment plan, the amount of interest you will expect, if any, and what will happen if your friend defaults on the loan. When you make it clear that these are the conditions you require for a loan, your friend may decide that he would prefer to go elsewhere for financial help. It may seem harsh to tell a friend that these conditions are necessary for a loan, but neglecting a written contract will most likely doom the friendship anyway.

Uncomfortable moments in a friendship are part of having relationships with others. Only you know what you and your friendship can handle. Don’t feel like you have to do more than that simply because no is a difficult word to say. It’s better to be up front and honest with your response. The worst thing you can do is to give your friend hope by saying you will think about it and then ignore the need all together. Remember that your friend probably had to gather a bit of courage just to ask you for money. After all, not many people wants to be look down upon by asking for a help financially.

Do what you can and be the good friend that you are.

5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages

If you think all travel booking sites are the same, and they offer indistinguishable packages at identical prices — think again. While many of them appear similar and offer comparable deals, they each have subtle differences that provide benefits. Which one is right for you will largely..

Mom’s Candid Comments Nail Why Moms Should Start Asking for Help

Parents are applauding a new mother’s confession about why women need to ask loved ones for help during the postpartum period.

“It’s so hard to ask for help. Because you’re supposed to be ‘mommy,’” the mother writes in the post, shared by Humans of New York (HONY). “And you never want to say: ‘I need help being mommy.’”

Her story resonated with thousands of parents after HONY shared it on its Facebook page.

“Mothers were never meant to shoulder children on their own,” one person wrote. “We HAVE to get back to where we used to be: family and community and loving others first.”

Another mom chimed in writing: “We’re brought up to believe that we should be ‘super mom’ all the time, and we’re just not.”

The post Mom’s Candid Comments Nail Why Moms Should Start Asking for Help appeared first on Femalista.

How To Survive Real World Budgeting For The First Time


One of the most exciting times of everyone’s life is entering the real word as a young adult. Finishing school, getting that first full time job, and venturing out on your own is always an important milestone everyone remembers. It signifies the start of adulthood and finally not being “a kid”. However, for many, the excitement wears off pretty quickly and you then get hit with one of the harshest realities of being an adult: managing your own finances.

Why is it so hard?

Budgeting and learning how to spend your money wisely for the first time is a challenge for everyone. And you’re bound to make mistakes. To make your transition easier, here are four tips to help you survive budgeting in the real world for the first time:

1. Know Your Take Home Income

When you get your first job, you will get a salary offer. Let’s say you’ll be making $20 an hour or roughly $40,000 annually. Does that mean you’ll be taking home a little over $3,300 a month?

Wrong!

When you get your first pay stub, you’ll see that many expenses are deducted from your paycheck, such as state and federal taxes, social security income, and health insurance (just to name a few). This can take up a very large percentage of your gross pay, on average 25%. It’s important to know what your true net or take-home income will be so that you can properly budget.

budgeting for graduates2. Understand All Your Expenses

Living away from your parents for the first time can be a real eye opener. You start realizing how many things you actually need to pay for that you didn’t necessarily think about before. Make sure you really understand what all your expenses will be, from the big items, like rent, all the way to the little things, like toilet paper. If you’re trying to figure out how much to spend on rent, a good rule of thumb is 30% of your gross income, but that also depends on where you will be living. If you’re in a big metropolitan city, that number could be a lot higher.

Also think about your food costs, which will probably be your second biggest expense. If you’ve never had to do grocery shopping before, a good first step is to just hit the grocery store with a list of necessary items you need to buy weekly. Get a gage of how much everything costs so that you can better budget for this in the future. Remember, all the little things add up so make your budget as detailed as possible.

3. Be Organized, Track Everything

One of the most important things about managing your finances successfully  is organization. You simply just need to track everything very well. Once you have that down, you’ll have an accurate snapshot of how you’re spending and what you should cut back on. Many people forget the little things, like your daily cup of coffee, but a small expense like that can actually add up in the long run.

Make sure you’re keeping track of everything. The easiest way to do so is by starting a spreadsheet where you input your expenses. Tools such as Mint.com are also great to use because you can integrate it with your bank and credit card accounts to help you track your purchases.

4. Save, Save, Save

Being on your own for the first time is really exciting and there will be an urge to do everything and spend on everything. But remember that it’s important to live within your means, because not doing so will get you in a lot of trouble down the road. Start good financial spending habits now. Have a small budget for discretionary spending, but for the most part: save, save, save.

Start an emergency fund as soon as possible—because you truly never know what can happen in life. It’s also never too early to start thinking about retirement. With the power of compound interest, the earlier you start saving for retirement, that more you see later on.