Feng Shui for Love and Romance | Guest Blog Post – Jane Antonovich

We are excited to bring another guest blog post to you all! This week, Jane Antonovich from Jane Antonovich Designs will be sharing part 1 of the 4 part Feng-Shui Series on the MPM blog over the next year, one post each quarter! How exciting, right? Learn more about Jane at the bottom of this post.

Feng Shui for Love and Romance

It’s February! The month of L-O-O-O-O-O-O-VE!!!! This is the time of year when I frequently have requests for Feng Shui Design that conjures up…


So, in honor of Valentine’s Day (I’m good with making it a whole week…you, too?), let’s enhance your love life by working on a few basics in your home. Continue reading

New Year, New You: How to Recover from the Post-Holiday Food Coma

The holidays are over, all of the holiday cookies are all eaten, the champagne is all drank and it’s time to start implementing those New Year’s Resolutions! We’ve put together a list of ways to recover from the post-holiday food coma you may currently be in! Get refreshed and get back on track with these tips!

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4 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving | Guest Blogger – THRIVE Madison

Happy Thanksgiving week! We are excited to have another guest on the blog this week! THRIVE Madison is a local company that provides healthy, cooked meals delivered to your door, in-house personal training, massages, and more. They are sharing an interview with one of their chefs who is giving us 4 tips for a healthier Thanksgiving!
thrive madison thanksgiving Continue reading

New Year, New You: Working Out in Your Apartment

apartment work out
As we discussed in last week’s blog, the most popular New Year’s resolutions involve living a healthier life. This includes nutrition, as well as exercise. We talked about our 7 Tips for Healthy Eating in the New Year in last week’s blog, so now we are here to talk about fitness and exercise, specifically in your apartment or small space!

I don’t know about you, but going to a gym in January can be difficult. Everyone is thinking about their new year’s resolution, so the gyms are packed with people trying to fulfill their goals. Now, you may be thinking you don’t have anywhere else to go and just won’t work out. Well, you can’t get out of it that easily. Just because you live in an apartment or small space doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise. We’ve put together a list, as well as some videos of some of the best exercises for your apartment or small space.

What You’ll Need:

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7 Tips for Healthy Eating in the New Year!

eating healthy2017 has officially arrived! Now that many of us have gained that dreaded “holiday weight” thanks to holiday parties, family meals, and the endless stream of sweets that just seem to appear in December, it’s time to start thinking about our goals for the New Year.  New Year, New You, right?

The most popular New Year’s resolutions involve living a healthier life.  One of the main factors that can determine how “healthy” you are, is your nutrition.  Now don’t get us wrong, we are not promoting some specific fad diet, or drastically changing things over night.  Large scale changes are only made possible by starting with smaller, more attainable goals.
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Getting Up Earlier as a College Student

Finding time to get enough sleep as a college student can be tricky.  Between staying up late to study and getting up early for class, it’s easy to miss out those much needed Z’s.  Although setting your clocks back an hour can certainly help, Daylight Savings time can mess with your internal clock and make you even more sleepy than normal. Continue reading

Stay Cool in the Summer and Save Money

The simplest way to save money for the rest of summer and warm early fall is to cut down on your air conditioning usage.  The downside of turning off your AC is that it will definitely get hot! We have compiled a list of ideas to help you stay cool.  The three biggest things to think about are air flow, heat sources, and your personal body temperature. Continue reading

No Time for Cleaning?

Your apartment is a mess. You’re sick of it. If you have to look at that pile of clothes for one more minute, you might throw it out the window…but studying for your upcoming exam seems way more important, so you just don’t have time to clean.

You know you would feel better if you got it over with. It’s amazing how living in a clean environment can take some stress out of your life and even help you work more productively within your space. It’s easier to clean up now than to hope you will magically have more time later on.

Don’t let the prospect of tidying up overwhelm you; cleaning doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. Even dedicating just 5 or 10 minutes of your day to cleaning one room of your home will make a world of difference!

We hope these quick cleaning tips will help even the busiest individuals get down to it:


  1. Preparation

    1. Have a cleaning bucket ready to go with all of your cleaning supplies.
      1. Rubber Gloves
      2. Window Cleaner
      3. Paper Towels
      4. Rags
      5. Multi-Purpose Cleaner
      6. Sponges
      7. Dustpan and Brush
      8. Scrubbing Brush
      9. Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Brush
      10. Swiffer
    2. Set a timer. If you are really in a time crunch this will help you work harder without worrying about what time it is.
    3. Put some beats on! Playing music while you clean will make the time fly, and the task will be more fun. We suggest listening to something upbeat and fast paced like this playlist: http://8tracks.com/pistolproof/sorry-about-the-mess


  1. Quick Cleaning tips

    1. Clear the clutter (Hint: Decorative baskets and bins are a great way to hide items that you can’t find a home for anywhere else.)
    2. Wash the dishes.
    3. Wipe down all surfaces, the shine will make the room feel much cleaner.
    4. Vacuum or sweep; it won’t take as long as you think and will make future mopping much easier.
    5. Make your bed.
    6. Fluff the pillows.
    7. Spray some Febreze and crack a few windows to make your place smell fresh and clean.
  1. Keeping it Clean

    1. Straighten up regularly. Now that you have experienced how quickly you can clean up, it won’t be so painful to do it more frequently. It will be a lot less work too.
    2. Organization systems help. Use your bins, boxes, and baskets; and clutter will be less likely to pop up.
    3. Consciously put things away when you’re done using them, and clean up messes as they happen. If you are quick to react, you will be on your way to faster relaxation.

How to Make the Most of Your Study Sessions

You know studying is the key to academic success. This has been drilled into your head over and over throughout your entire academic career.  Getting a bad grade is never an easy pill to swallow, but it’s even more gut wrenching when you know the bad grade is the result of poor study habits.

So, what contributes to successful or unsuccessful studying?

Noise, temperature, lighting, distractions, and resources at your go-to study spot are all factors to consider before auto-piloting to your usual location. On top of that, ask yourself these questions: Did you eat before sitting down to study? Have you exercised recently? Do you have a study plan? Is your work area clean? Are you distraction free?

Location is Key!

If you feel like you spend countless hours studying and still have trouble pulling off the grades you want, it could be that you’re simply not studying in the right places for you. We have found that the key to successful studying is actually your study spot.

It doesn’t hurt to try studying in a few different locations to see what works best for you.  Studying different subjects might lead you to different study environments. For example, the perfect setting for studying calculous may not be where you do your best essay writing.  The top places to study on the UW campus are pretty typical. There are countless libraries, two Student Unions, local coffee shops, academic buildings, and of course, the option to study from home.

Check out these pros and cons of Madison’s top study spots and see if you agree.


(photo credit: wisc.edu)

Union South:

  • Variety of study environments in one building
  • Food and other entertainment available
  • Group study conducive

  • Might be interrupted by someone you know
  • Can get very crowded
  • Can be busy and loud near meal times or between classes
 memorial union

(photo credit: wisc.edu)
union2(photo credit: travel wisconsin)

Memorial Union:

  • Near eastside campus buildings (You can study right after class!)
  • Lake views and outdoor seating available (weather permitting)
  • Perfect for solo or group studying

  • Often home to loud social events and meet-ups
  • Non-students often around evenings and weekends
  • Typically busy and loud
Public or Campus Library:

  • Quiet
  • Many seating options (often with outlets!)
  • Spacious tables and private desks/cubicles

  • Few food and drink options
  • Quick to fill-up near finals
  • May need to reserve a room for group study
A State Street Coffee Shop:

  • Great smell and easy access to caffeine
  • Comfortable seating
  • Unique atmosphere and background noise

  • Have to buy something
  • Spots may fill up quickly
  • May harbor distractions such as live music

  • You can’t “forget anything at home”
  • It’s your space to sprawl out in
  • No need to spend money or walk far for a snack break

  • Temptation to watch TV
  • May get too comfortable on a couch or bed
  • Roommates pestering you


It’s an Individual thing

The study spot your friends prefer may not be what works best for you, so be open to the idea of branching out on your own at times.

Virginia tech created an interactive chart to help college students measure their options and choose the study-spot where success is most probable. Try it out, and let us know how your favorite spots stack up.  Feel free to add to our list of pros and cons or make recommendations below in the comments section or on Facebook. It’s not just about more studying; it’s about setting yourself up for success from the beginning.

Planning how you will study is just as important as actually hitting the books. Wishing you happy studies and a successful semester!

Home Cooked Meals

Welcome back to reality! We know exactly how you are feeling about being back to your routine, classes, homework, studying, the ups and downs of relationships, and stress. If you are like us, you are already missing that quality home cooking you had over the holidays. The ramen noodles, mac & cheese, subs, and pizza making up your current food pyramid are starting to taste bland. And let’s be honest, you are either way too lazy to create an extensive 5 course meal or you just plain don’t have the time. We totally hear you on that!

In the world of immediate gratification, it seems hard to cook. From experience, we can tell you it is well worth it to ditch the processed and prepackaged food for homemade meals. The health benefits are great, your pocketbook won’t feel quite as light, and your taste buds will be much happier with home cooking.

So how would we recommend implementation of cooking into your life? Just make a plan and stick to it! If you have one night a week to dedicate to meal prep, that is all it takes. We have friends who utilize one day on the weekend to cook all their meals for the week. It will take a little discipline and motivation to commit to cooking, but you can do it! The easiest way to have home cooked meals is via crock pot and advanced prep. When you decide to cook for yourself there are a few things you can do to make the process quick and pain free!

shutterstock_171205127First, create a budget.

Determine what you can spend on groceries, and create a list of what you need. (When shopping, buying similar things week in and week out helps you to keep your budget at a steady rate.


Second, make time to prepare in advance.

If you don’t want to cook all your meals in one day, you can still chop fruits and veggies or measure out ingredients in advance so the process is much faster on the day you actually make the meal. There is one last thing we have learned from experience; sometimes you just won’t feel like cooking. Every once and awhile it’s definitely okay to break your new habit of playing top chef. Prepare for these days by keeping some staple items and easy meal options in your pantry. It’s never a bad idea to have plenty of healthy snacks around either 🙂


Third, make meal time a fun adventure with friends or roommates.

Try new things and be creative! Heck, it might not be a bad idea to score some brownie points with your mom by asking her for that one recipe she makes so well. Feel free to share pictures of your delicious home cooked meals on our Facebook page Here. Maybe our like and share will be just the boost you need to keep up the good habit!

For more ideas check out our Easy Meals Board on Pinterest Here.

Bon Appetite!