Transitioning Away from Remote Work

Transitioning Away from Remote Work

As the world has been slowly pivoting from remote work towards traditional, in-person offices, I have been reflecting on the benefits of working alongside other people. Not only can we collaborate more effectively around others, but being physically present allows for greater social interaction and a sense of community. That being said, it can be tough to leave behind the comfort of our home offices. To make the transition smoother, we need to adapt our daily routines to fit our new schedules. Setting up a transitional workspace at home can help ease the adjustment. In this article, I’ll share some strategies to ease this transition so you can reap the benefits of working in person!

Understand the Benefits of Working Around Others

Working in an office or within a communal work space is more than just a way to pay the bills. It’s an opportunity to connect with others, grow professionally, and make a difference in the lives of those around you. From collaborating with coworkers to problem-solving and decision-making, an office setting provides a dynamic environment that challenges you and helps you develop new skills. And with the support and guidance of colleagues and management, you can achieve your career goals and build a life you love.

Prepare Your Home Office to be More Productive

If you find yourself returning to an in-person office environment after working remotely, it’s important to literally “set the stage” for success. Clear out any clutter that may be distracting. Invest in comfortable furniture to keep you focused and comfortable throughout the day. If you’e been working from your couch at home, this will feel like a compromise! Consider adding plants or artwork to your office space to make it feel more inviting, inspiring, and homey. With the right setup, you’ll be able to reclaim your productivity.

Get Ready to Adapt to Changes in Your Daily Routine

Life is all about adapting to change. And when it comes to our daily routine, it’s no different. Whether the change is unpredictable and massive, like a global pandemic, or simple and small, like a shift in a school or work routine, it’s important to keep an open mind and be ready to adapt. Shifting your perspective might require creativity and flexibility, but embracing change can lead to new and exciting experiences. With an open mind and a positive attitude, you’ll be amazed by how resilient and adaptable you can be.

Set Up A Transitional Workspace At Home

As we start to transition back to the office after months of working from home, it’s important to make the shift as smooth as possible. One way to ease the transition is by retaining a transitional or temporary workspace at home. It can be a designated corner in your living space or a small desk in your bedroom. By creating a space that mimics your office, you can slowly readjust back into the office environment. Make sure you have a comfortable chair, a laptop stand, and any other office essentials. PS: I would like to emphasize the word TRANSITIONAL! Ultimately, you shouldn’t be working around the clock, and home should be home!

Implement Strategies for a Smooth Transition Back to the Office

It’s time to dust off those dress shoes and pack away the work-from-home pajamas. The transition back to the office may feel daunting after such a long hiatus, but don’t let that hold you back. With the right strategies in place, you can make a smooth transition that will leave you feeling invigorated and empowered. Whether it’s reconnecting with coworkers, reestablishing a daily routine or finding ways to incorporate a healthy work-life balance, now’s the time to start implementing those strategies. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey – we’re all in this together.

Reap the Benefits of Working in Person Again

After a long period of remote work, it’s finally time to reap the benefits of working in person again. The collaborative energy of a bustling office, the unspoken camaraderie of work friends, and the chance to genuinely disconnect after hours–these are just a few of the perks of going back to our offices. Whether you’re returning to your job after months of telecommuting or starting a new one, there’s a unique excitement that comes with returning to a shared workspace. Let’s embrace this shift as an opportunity to rekindle our passion for what we do, connect with our colleagues beyond a Zoom screen, and make the most out of this newfound sense of normalcy.

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Crafting and Celebrating with Art You Can Eat

Crafting and Celebrating with Art You Can Eat

Crafting with food is a delicious way to get creative and have fun with your family. There are so many possibilities when it comes to crafting with food, and the best part is that you can eat your creations when you’re done! Here are some of our favorite ideas for crafting and celebrating with art you can eat.

Edible Finger Paint

This one is a classic for a reason – it’s so much fun! All you need is some cornstarch, food coloring, and a little bit of water. Add equal parts cornstarch and water to mixing bowls or muffin tins, and then a few drops of food coloring to each mixture. Use a spoon to mix your paint colors well, and don’t worry if the cornstarch is challenging to mix! If you’d like to make this recipe tasty (not just edible) swap the cornstarch and water for yogurt. This is an especially great option for parents with babies that stuff everything in their mouths. Either way, don’t be afraid to get messy! For more ideas like this, visit our Baby and Toddler page.

Fruit Kabobs

These are perfect for a summer picnic OR a cold grey day when you need to pop some color into your life! First choose your fruit and prepare it on a large surface. Blueberries and raspberries are ready to go as they are, but you’ll need to cut up larger fruit like apples, pineapples, pears, watermelon, etc. You can use metal or wood skewers, and if young children are helping you, be mindful of the sharp end of each stick as you work. Thread fruit onto skewers as you’d like! This is a great opportunity to talk about colors and patterns with kids. If you want to get really fancy, dip your finished skewers in melted chocolate or yogurt. Yum! Check out The Recipe Critic for more ideas on this special treat.

(image from The Recipe Critic)

Veggie Faces

This one is a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies. Arrange some carrots, celery, cucumber slices, and other bite-sized veggies on plates, along with some dips like ranch dressing, hummus, or cream cheese in bowls. Help kids spread a dip or spread of their choice over a tortilla, then let them use veggies to create faces or other designs. They’ll have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re eating their vegetables! If you want to step this up a notch, use a spiralizer to make curly hair cucumber noodles and shredded carrot for orange facial hair. Visit Two Healthy Kitchens for more inspiration.

Crafting with food is a delicious way to get creative and have fun with your family. Whether you’re making edible finger paint, fruit kabobs, or veggie faces, there are so many possibilities when it comes to crafting with food. And the best part is that you can eat your creations when you’re done! So what are you waiting for? Get crafting and celebrating with art you can eat!

Creative Activities for a Snowy Day

Creative Activities for a Snowy Day

Here in Summit County, many people love to venture outside year-round. Being so close to nature is a major perk of living in this community, and there are so many options. That said, when the windchill is -10 degrees and/or you’ve got kids under age 5, your outdoor time might be limited to bluebird winter days. So…what can you do inside when you feel like everyone else is enjoying the great outdoors? In this blog post, we’ll share some creative activities that the whole family can enjoy. From crafting and making delicious treats to playing indoor games – we have something for everyone. So put away those screens, and get inspired with these fun activities that will make your family thrilled to stay indoors.

Fruit Skewers

Fruit skewers are an easy and fun way to get your family snacking, while simultaneously providing an opportunity to discuss colors, numbers, and patterns! All you need is some fruit (choose whatever is in season). Berries can go on skewers as they are, while apples and larger fruit (like pineapple will need to be cut into cubes or slices. Use wooden skewers, and assist smaller children with the pointy end. If you’re feeling really inspired, mix up your favorite dip or yogurt to enhance the experience. This is a great activity for all ages (even teenagers), and now you’ve prepared a snack for the day too. #winning

For more ways to use wooden skewers, check out this post from the FeelsLikeHomeBlog.

Card Games

Joking around with a family game of cards is also an easy way to pass the time on a cold winter’s day. Grab your favorite deck, deal out the cards, and get ready for a rousing game of Go Fish or Old Maid. Or go for something a bit more challenging like Rummy, Crazy 8’s, or even Poker (for the older ones in your family). Card games are fun, educational and can be great bonding time for everyone involved. If you’ve got kids under age 5, let them play on someone’s team, or have them make their own “set of cards” with some recycled cardboard pieces or paper. Little rusty on the rules? For a compilation of instructions on the classics and favorites, visit playingcarddecks.com

Winter Crafts

The possibilities are endless when it comes to winter-themed crafts. Set out some construction paper, glue, scissors and whatever other materials you have on hand (googly eyes? glitter? pipe cleaners?) and let the creativity flow! Kids can make something as simple as a snowman or winter tree with construction paper and markers, or something more complex like a snow globe, yarn ornaments and/or watercolor paintings. Get creative, and don’t be afraid to use recycled materials! You can also search our website for some great ideas.

Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Let your family’s competitive side out with an indoor scavenger hunt! This is a great way to get everyone up and moving, while still being indoors. Put together a list of items (the more creative the better) that everyone needs to find in the house – and make sure to include something for each member of your family. To make a more challenging game, create a clue for each object (rather than list of the objects). Work together or compete depending on ages, and when all of the objects have been located, celebrate with prizes! For scavenger hunt ideas and templates visit playpartyplan.

DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Are you looking for some fun and creative ways to show your family how much they mean to you? Consider devoting an afternoon or two to crafting a handmade Valentine’s Day gift. DIY crafts can make the holiday even more special, while allowing you to express your love in unique and personal ways. From heartfelt cards with meaningful messages, flower bouquets that dazzle, and intricate string art – there’s no shortage of craft ideas perfect for this special day! Let’s get creative and have some fun – Here are 10 amazing DIY Valentine’s Day crafts that moms, parents, crafters and artists will adore!

Paper Heart Garland

A simple and easy DIY heart garland will infuse love into your home for Valentine’s Day! All you need is some construction paper, string, a hole punch and scissors. Start by cutting out your desired number of hearts (you can freehand draw or using a stencil). Then, once you have all of your hearts cut out, punch a hole through the center of each heart. Cut a long piece of yarn and thread it through one heart. Then, before stringing a second heart, tie a knot to serve as a stopper, and secure the first heart in place. Repeat until all hearts are on your string. I love this example from Frog Prince Paperie.

paper heart garland

If you’re looking for a romantic gesture this Valentine’s Day, why not make your own card? DIY valentines are not only a thoughtful way to show your loved one how much you care, but they’re also unique and personal. Plus, homemade cards are always appreciated – who doesn’t love a heartfelt and original gift?

Sewn Valentine’s Card

There are lots of ways to make your own cards, but here is unique option that is one of my favorites. This DIY project is surprisingly easy, and only requires a few supplies. All you need is a pencil, a pushpin, a piece of heavy paper, thread, yarn, and a needle. Start by folding your paper in half to make a card. Then freehand draw or trace a heart that covers most of the paper. Draw tiny dots around the perimeter of the heart (approximately 1/2 in apart). Use a pushpin to poke a hole over each dot. Thread the needle, then starting on the inside of the card (or underside of the front), pull the thread up and through a hole and start sewing. You can move in any direction. Simply continue until the heart is covered! Secure the ends of the yarn to the inside of the card with tape. Here is a great tutorial from Real Simple.

sewn valentine's day card

DIY Heart Keychain

This Valentine’s Day, try making a thoughtful and unique keychain for your loved ones. All you need is some air-dry clay, a heart-shaped cookie cutter, toothpicks or a wood dowel, ribbon, and markers. You can find all of these things at your local craft store. First, roll out the clay on a flat surface. Then use the cookie cutter to cut out as many hearts as you like. Make a small hole at the top of each heart with a toothpick or wood dowel. Place the hearts on a plate or a baking tray lined with parchment paper and allow to dry for 24 hours. Once the hearts are completely dry and hard, thread ribbon through the holes and decorate with markers (if you’d like). Check out this beautiful example from Squirelly Minds.

diy heart keychain

Making something by hand is a great way to show your Valentine that you care. The best part about handmade gifts is that they don’t have to be perfect – in fact, imperfections make them even more special. So go ahead and get creative this Valentine’s Day! And if you need some inspiration, be sure to check out frostedflamingo.com for project kits and ideas.

Why Support Small Businesses?

Why Support Small Businesses?

In the midst of the holiday season, it’s important to take a look at our consumer habits. We are all guilty of purchasing that last minute present on Amazon. Gift wrapping, 2-day shipping, and payment info already complete? Done and done. That said, I would encourage everyone to try and support the little guys, when time allows. Here are some reasons why you can feel good about purchasing from a small business.

1. They are the backbone of the economy

Small businesses play a fundamental role in local economies. They provide jobs, stimulate the local economy, and shape the culture of towns and cities. From the local corner store to the solo entrepreneur, the impact of small businesses is massive and their survival is integral to the health and identity of small and large communities alike.

2. They create jobs and help boost local economies

Small businesses create jobs that provide employment opportunities, including jobs with competitive wages, job with potential for career development and growth, and jobs with flexible working arrangements. In turn, supporting local businesses helps to support the local economy; stimulating economic growth, creating jobs for skilled workers, improving infrastructure and services in the area, and providing customers with a sense of connection to other members of the community.

3. They offer unique products and services

Small businesses offer unique products and services that can’t be found in larger chain stores. From specialty items to one-of-a-kind handmade pieces, small businesses provide unique offerings that encourage customers to come back for more. Customers also benefit from personalized customer service in smaller establishments, with individualized attention given to every shopper. For those looking for something truly special, small businesses are the go-to place!

4. They’re worth your support!

Take a moment to consider the small businesses near you. While large, commercialized stores (like Amazon) are certainly convenient, small businesses are worth your support. Furthermore, getting to know the owners and employees of small businesses on a personal level is incredibly enriching and rewarding. All in all, supporting local small businesses is just the right thing to do; not only will it benefit those businesses directly, but also your surrounding community at large!

Recycled Winter Crafts

Recycled Winter Crafts

Looking for a fun and environmentally-friendly way to spend winter evenings or weekends? Check out these unique winter crafts that you can make from items commonly found in the recycling bin! Unleash your creativity and reduce your household waste at the same time. Boom! Keep reading for a few ideas to get you started.

 #1: Tin Can Luminaries

All you need for this project are some clean, empty, tin cans, tea light candles, a hammer, a nail, and artificial foliage or other decorations around the house. Start by washing the tin cans and removing any labels. Once the cans are clean, use the hammer and nail to punch evenly-spaced holes around the top rim. (Kids will obviously need help with this part). Place a tea candle inside each can, and decorate the exterior of the can with leaves, flowers, or whatever strikes your fancy!

#2: Recycled Paper Bowls

This is a great project to do with kids, as it’s simple and doesn’t require any sharp tools. You’ll need some recycled paper, glue, wax paper, and a plastic bowl or plate to use as a mold. Begin by tearing the paper into small pieces and arrange the wax paper on the inside of the bowl or plate. Next, glue the pieces to the inside of the bowl or plate (over the wax paper), working in a circular motion from the center out. Once the entire surface is covered, allow the glue to dry. Carefully peel the paper bowl or plate off of your mold and voila! You can use these bowls for snacks, jewelry, or trinkets. To see a helpful tutorial on this craft, check out this video from Sophie’s World.

Winter Craft #3: Bird Feeder

Last but not least, you can used recycled materials to make a beautiful bird feeder! Find an empty plastic soda bottle, some bird seed, string, and a pair of scissors. Then carefully cut the soda bottle in half using the scissors. Take the top half of the bottle and make two small holes near the top. Thread some string through the holes and tie it off. Pour bird seed into the bottom half of the bottle, and then screw on the top half. Hang your new bird feeder from a tree branch or a fence, and enjoy watching the birds feast! Check out this alternative DIY recycled bird feeder from the Audubon Society.

So there you have it! Three simple craft ideas that you can make with materials that would otherwise be trashed! Give them a try and let us know how it goes. For more ideas, check out frostedflamingo.com And if you have any other great ideas for recycling crafts, feel free to share in the comments below! Happy crafting!