Anti-Valentine’s Day: 5 Things to Do This Week that aren’t to Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Plus a GIVEAWAY!

anti-valentine's dayWhether you’re single, just had a bad break up, don’t believe in the “hallmark” holiday, or just trying to avoid anything having to do with LOVE around Valentine’s Day, we have some great alternative ideas for the week of Valentine’s day that are anti-Valentine’s Day.

  1. Treat Yourself.

Buy something for yourself.  Maybe it’s that amazing leather jacket you’ve had your eye on.  Buy yourself flowers, champagne and chocolates.  Who says you need a significant other to buy you those things anyway?  Buy them for yourself and enjoy!

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6 Quick Tips for Online Dating in Madison

online datingOver the past years, online dating has become the “norm”, especially among college students and young professionals. According to the Pew Research Center, “80% of Americans who have used online dating agree that online dating is a good way to meet people,”  so we’re all for giving a dating app or online platform a try in order to find that special someone.  We have provided 6 quick tips for online dating below.

  1. Make sure your online dating profile is YOU!

Your online dating profile should portray who you are, not who you used to be, or some exaggerated version of yourself. Be honest and be yourself.  If someone is going to reject your honest online profile, it’s better to weed them out ahead of time anyway!  If you can narrow down the pool of people you connect with online by being your true self, the odds of actually liking the people you choose to meet up with in person will be much higher.  Madison may seem like a big city, but the world gets a lot smaller when you start dating online.  The last thing you want to do is exaggerate or be dishonest on your online dating profile then get caught out on the town acting or looking like a completely different person.

If you’re not sure if your profile shows the best and most honest side of you, feel free to ask a friend to look it over.  Friends are actually much better judges of our best characteristics than we are.

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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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Post-Holiday Blues: What to do in the Madison Area During your Winter Break

MadisonChristmas is over, our bellies are full of cookies and hot cocoa, and we’re all out of money after graciously giving so many holiday gifts. So, now what do you do? We have found some great, fun activities for you to do in and around Madison between now and the end of your winter break that involve little or no cost.

 Outdoor Winter Break Activities

Ice Skating

There are lots of parks in the Madison area that offer free ice skating, some even offer skate rentals.  Click here for more information on locations that are open. If you are interested in ice skating lessons, check this site out for more information.

Winter Break Ice Skating Madison

Tenney Park, Madison Wisconsin

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How to Graciously Accept Unwanted Holiday Gifts

gifts
First of all, let’s start off by saying that the holiday season is about being with loved ones, giving thanks for all of the good in our lives, and the spirit of giving. But, we’ve all been in a situation where we have received gifts that we, in all honesty, just aren’t that excited about. If you’re at your family gathering this year and you receive a gift that you won’t use or just plain don’t like, don’t sweat it! Things don’t need to get awkward. We have some tips on how to keep the holiday spirit alive by graciously accepting unwanted holiday gifts, as well some suggestions for what to do with those unwanted gifts when the party is over.

It’s the thought that counts, right?

Regardless of the gift, be sure to thank the giver! Even if you’re not over the moon about the present you just opened, be sure to smile and thank the person who gave it to you. Remember that this person still thought of YOU when making their shopping list this year. Even if they missed the mark, the giver may have put a lot of thought into the gift, and they definitely took the time to buy it, wrap it and get it to you. Smiling and thanking them shows that you appreciate their efforts.
(Pro Tip: Whether you receive the gift in person or in the mail, we recommend always sending a hand-written thank you card. Your grandmother would be proud!)
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Prepping your Apartment for Winter Break

winter-breakWell, the snow has finally arrived in Madison, just in time for Winter break! Before you pack up and head out, make sure your apartment is prepared for your absence. We’ve provided a list to check off before you leave to ensure you have nothing to worry about while on break.

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Decorating your Apartment for the Holidays, Plus a Chance to WIN!

Just because you live in an apartment, or have a small space, doesn’t mean that you can’t make your space look great during the holidays. We’ve hit up Pinterest to give you the best holiday decorating ideas for your apartment or small space.
 
Let’s start with the tree…
 
Christmas Tree:
Do you like real trees or faux trees? If you love real Christmas trees, check with your landlord first to make sure they are allowed in your building. Faux Christmas trees are a great alternative and although they may be a bit pricey at first, you can use them year after year, so you get your money’s worth. They even make pine scented ornaments now that will make your apartment smell like you have a real tree. Make sure you pick the right size tree to fit in your space. If you have a small space and don’t have much room for a tree, try a tabletop tree, or a half tree as shown below. You can still decorate them just like any other tree, but they don’t take up as much space as a regular sized tree. Don’t have space at all for a tree? There are several alternatives to choose from instead of a tree. Take advantage of your wall space and use lights to create your own tree. Use chalk on a dark wall or create a tree shape with wood pieces or branches on the wall as shown below. We also love the idea of using your books to create a tree against your wall. You could do this on the floor, on a shelf or even on a table.



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Your Madison Thanksgiving Back-Up Plan

thanksgivingAre you hosting a get together, but don’t feel like cooking? What happens if you attempt a thanksgiving turkey for the first time and it doesn’t turn out well? What do you do if your travel plans are interrupted and you’re stuck spending thanksgiving alone? How do you accommodate more guests than planned when your friends all bring unexpected plus ones? Don’t worry, your Thanksgiving feast is safe!  There are many restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day for brunch or dinner, and many of them even deliver! With the help of Madison.com and Madisonstories.com, we’ve gathered a list of delivery/pick up as well as some dine-in options in and around the Madison area, so you can have your plan B ready to go in case the unexpected pops up.

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