Riley Heruska
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Let's be honest: it's incredibly difficult not to be cliche when Valentine's Day rolls around. Chocolates and flowers? Hardly original. This year, skip the fancy dinner and movie. It's time to plan an adventurous date that you'll remember for years to come. Need some ideas? Here are ten impressive dates that your significant other will never forget. 

1. Get your adrenaline pumping. Nothing makes for a better bonding experience than a heart-pounding, once in a lifetime experience. Finally check skydiving off your bucket list or visit an interactive snake exhibit. There are also many places in Texas to cliff dive, take helicopter rides, or play paintball. Find an experience that will get your blood pumping and create a Valentine's Day unlike any other. 

2. Volunteer your time together. Whether you're a couple that's passionate about animals or you love working with children, there are so many places that would appreciate your help in the Houston area. Find a charitable organization where you can offer your services and enjoy spending the day making a difference instead of indulging yourselves. 

3. Go shopping and pick out outfits for one another. This is a great way to revamp your wardrobe while still spending quality time together. Plus, both sides will really enjoy getting the chance to dress up the other. 

4. Skip the dinner and go straight to dessert. Houston is a fun city for a dessert crawl, and what better time to try it out than V-Day? Select a handful of restaurants with tasty treats and hop from place to place. Chocolates and ice cream for dessert is a surefire way to win anyone's heart. 

5. Swap out the fancy dinner for a boozy brunch. Everyone's always worried about how they'll spend Valentine's Day evening, but what about bucking the trend and making the morning the highlight of the day? Book a reservation at a classy brunch joint, then spend the rest of the day relaxing. You won't have to fight as many crowds but you'll still get to enjoy a memorable meal out. 

6. Take a trip down memory lane. Prior to Valentine's Day, print out a selection of photos from your time together. Then, spend the holiday crafting a way to display all of them. This can be a bulletin board, a photo album, a large frame, or whatever you want. 

7. Try couples' yoga. As weird and uncomfortable as this experience sounds, it's one all couples should try eventually. Chances are, you'll end up laughing hysterically after miserably failing to recreate most of the poses. 

8. Grab food to-go and head out to find a beautiful picnic location. Okay, sure, picnics aren't exactly unique, but as long as you find a really cool location to relax at, this can definitely be a memorable occasion. Try checking out one of Texas' many state or national parks for some breathtaking views.  

9. Embrace your inner child. Head to the arcade for pizza, laser tag, and plenty of games. After all, who says Valentine's Day has to be an elegant occasion? You can have just as much (if not more) fun spending the evening like a couple of lovesick teenagers.

10. Check out a casino. Gambling and drinking might not sound romantic, but it's certainly a memorable way to spend the evening. There are a couple of casinos within driving distance from the Houston area, so check them out and make some memories, even if you lose a little money. 

Do you have other ideas for a special Valentine's date? Let us know in the comments! 

Riley Heruska
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Sure, we're still technically in winter right now, but spring is just around the corner and it's bringing plenty of awesome new films with it. From stories about Russian spies to more of your favorite Marvel superheroes, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for films. Here are ten of the most highly-anticipated movies that will debut over the course of spring. Which are you most excited to see? 

Red Sparrow - March 2 

In this adaptation of Jason Matthews' 2013 novel, Jennifer Lawrence plays a Russian spy who has been trained in the art of seduction. She's a weapon, and she'll do anything she can to protect her mother and survive in the sadistic world of secret intelligence and politics. 

A Wrinkle in Time - March 9 

Everyone is desperate to see this adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel, complete with a stellar cast and amazing effects. Meg Murry is going to find her father, along with the help of her little brother and classmate, even if it means listening to mysterious strangers and traveling to distant planets. 

Tomb Raider - March 16 

Lara Croft comes to the big screen once again in this newest version of her story. As she tries to unravel the mystery of her adventurer father's disappearance, she must face terrifying perils on her journey to a mythical island. She's smart, stubborn, and one of America's favorite characters to revisit again and again. 

Love, Simon - March 16 

Seventeen-year-old Simon Spier must learn to accept his sexuality and survive the challenges of high school in this brilliant coming-of-age story. You'll laugh, cry, and have a life-changing experience with this movie's stellar cast and heartfelt tale based on Becky Albertalli's acclaimed novel. 

Ready, Player One - March 30 

Ernest Cline's bestselling novel has been winning the hearts and minds of readers for years, and now it gets the chance to tell its story in a movie adaptation. Direct by Steven Spielberg, this sci-fi film tells the story of a virtual reality that is more dangerous than it seems.

A Quiet Place - April 6

John Krasinski directs this horror film that appears to be unlike any other. The main characters are all unable to speak, but their silence might serve them well when supernatural threats come to haunt their home. Terrifying and utterly unique, this is one scary movie you won't want to miss. 

The New Mutants - April 13 

You might have seen the X-Men movies, but you've never seen one quite like this. The superhero story takes a dark turn when five young mutants discover their abilities and are held against their will in a secret facility. They must come to grips with their newfound powers, as well as the sins of their past. 

Avengers: Infinity War - May 4

All of your favorite Marvel superheroes are joining together one more time for an epic showdown against the evil enemy Thanos. The Avengers team must collect six Infinity Stones in order to save the planet, but they're running out of time. Tune in to see who survives and who falls in this last battle for existence. 

Where'd You Go, Bernadette - May 11 

This upcoming comedy-drama is sure to make waves with Cate Blanchett, Troian Bellisario, and Kristen Wiig all starring. Bernadette has always been a troubled woman who dislikes the company of others, but when she goes missing, her young daughter must try to understand where she went and why. 

Solo: A Star Wars Story - May 25 

Everyone wants more Stars Wars, right? Well, we're going to get it in this upcoming American space Western film that tells the never-before-heard story of Han Solo. Learn how he met his classic companion, Chewbacca, and other details you've always wondered about. 

Riley Heruska
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You might have decided to start eating healthier in 2018, but that doesn't mean your children are onboard with your new diet. Fixing nutritious dinners that satisfy their cravings but still meet your calorie and nutrition goals can be challenging. That's why we've rounded up five great dinners that are low-cal, healthy, but still kid-friendly. Let us know which ones you might try, and if you have other dinner ideas, leave the recipes in the comments!

3-Ingredient Hummus-Crusted Chicken 

This versatile chicken recipe by Bailey at Simply Sissom is incredibly easy to follow and produces a meal that sneakily tastes quite a bit like chicken nuggets. Pair the meat with some broccoli and a starch, then voila! You've got a healthy meal that your kids will chow down on and that you'll be able to enjoy without feeling guilty. 

Easy Healthy Chicken Lo Mein 

What kid (or adult) doesn't like some yummy noodles with a few veggies and chicken? Skip the caloric Chinese takeout and try this recipe by Andie Mitchell. The tasty sauce and Shirataki noodles will earn the appreciation of the whole family without ruining your healthy eating trend. 

Skinny Lasagna Rolls 

One can never go wrong with a scrumptious Italian dish, especially when cooking for the whole family. Olivia from Primavera Kitchen took a traditionally fattening dish and created a healthier but equally-delicious version. Her lasagna recipe will warm you right up but contains nutritious ingredients like whole wheat noodles and part-skim cheese. 

Delicious Cauliflower Pizza 

Pizza. It's one of the only foods that everyone loves, regardless of age. Unfortunately, it can also be a very fattening and greasy food. That's why One Good Thing by Jillee has come up with a recipe for cauliflower pizza crust that's gluten-free but simple to make. Add the cheeses and toppings of your choice, then present your masterpiece proudly to the family. 

One-Pan Tomato Spinach Tortellini 

Pasta is always a safe choice, especially when cooked with flavorful tomato sauce and cheese. This tortellini recipe by Eat Well 101 requires minimal effort but is sure to impress with its amazing taste. If your picky eaters won't like the tomatoes and spinach in the recipe, serve them a little extra pasta and take the nutritious ingredients for yourself. 

Riley Heruska
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Here in America, stress comes at people from many different directions. Between worrying about politics, finances, relationships, health, and so many other serious concerns, the average citizen carries a pretty heavy burden. According to the APA Stress in America Survey, many people believe that 2017 was one of the lowest points in American history in terms of worry and constant stress. 

Dealing with constant stressors isn't just an unpleasant experience; it's a potentially life-threatening one. The human body isn't hard-wired to react to stressful situations 24/7, which means it takes a beating just as much as your mind does. If you feel that you're consistently stressed by events in your life, here are some of the potentially dangerous side effects you might be exposed to without even realizing: 

  • Higher risks of hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes. Because constant stress can increase your heart rate and levels of stress hormones, as well as your blood pressure, it can also cause serious heart and blood vessel problems.

  • Heightened chances of developing type-2 diabetes. Although your weight also plays a significant role, people who are stressed often have trouble balancing their blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes in the future, especially in men

  • A weakened immune system. In a sense, chronic stress wears on your immune system until it is too damaged to properly protect your body from outside invaders. That means people who are consistently stressed tend to get sick more often and are at a higher risk of contracting dangerous diseases. 

  • Sleep deprivation. You don't need science to tell you that you sleep poorly when your mind is racing or your body is tense. Less sleep on a frequent basis can lead to trouble with your weight, irritability, heart disease, and plenty of other nasty side effects

  • Increased feelings of depression. In many cases, chronic stress and depression seem to go hand-in-hand. Stress can sometimes suppress the growth of neurons in your hippocampus, which in turn can trigger the onset of serious depression. 

  • Permanent changes in your brain. Neuroscientists have recently found that chronic stress can cause changes in the structure of your brain, which might affect your anxiety levels and happiness for the rest of your life. 

Now for the silver lining: many of these issues are preventable if you start working to combat the stressors in your life and lower your cortisol levels as much as possible. For recommendations on how to manage your chronic stress, check out this article by Psychology Today, which discusses key coping mechanisms that anyone can use. 

Do you have effective ways to deal with stress on a daily basis? Leave suggestions for others in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
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Every year, the same thing happens: the Academy Awards are aired, and even though you camp out to watch the winners accept their golden prizes and make speeches, you feel a little guilty because you've only watched two of the movies on the nominee list. Enough of that. This year, check out the movies before the winners are announced so you can truly applaud them and enjoy the show! 

Thankfully, you've still got over a month and a half to catch up on the best movies of 2017. Here are the top ten films to check out so you can at least appreciate some of the award categories once March 4 comes around. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting this year, and we all know it's an event that shouldn't be missed. 

Call Me by Your Name 

Although this one flew a little under the radar for many audiences, it certainly made waves with critics. Call Me by Your Name has been nominated for four Oscars, including Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Timothée Chalamet). The story takes place in Northern Italy during the '80s and follows two young men who must deal with their sexuality, religion, and culture. Beautifully crafted and empathetic, the film continues to win the hearts of viewers around the world. 

I, Tonya 

Everyone knows the story of competitive skater Tonya Harding and her rivalry with Nancy Kerrigan, but now the story takes on a new intensity on the big screen. Tonya is a rising star at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but an act of violence throws the future of her career into jeopardy. Darkly humorous, I, Tonya turns an old tragedy into a triumphant and thought-provoking tale. It's been nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Margo Robbie) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Allison Janney). 

Darkest Hour

This portrayal of the famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill might be one of the best ever. The Darkest hour details the early days of World War II and Churchill's uphill battle against Nazi forces, political rivalries, and a struggling nation. Gary Oldman's electrifying performance as Churchill has earned him a nomination for Best Leading Actor, and the film was nominated for five other Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture. 


Nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Motion Picture, Dunkirk is undoubtedly one of the most impressive movies to come out of 2017. The film depicts the terrifying evacuation of Allied Soldiers from France in a brutal and emotional manner. It has been recognized by the Academy Awards for its directing, cinematography, sound mixing, production design, sound editing, music, and film editing. 

Get Out 

Surprised to see a horror/thriller movie nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year? You're not alone, but it's clear that this humorous, dark tale has made quite an impression on viewers and critics alike. In Get Out, a young African American man goes home to meet his white girlfriend's family, and things take a horrifying turn. You'll laugh, gasp, and jump your way through this one-of-a-kind film. Along with Best Motion Picture, the movie has also been nominated for four other awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Kaluuya). 

Lady Bird 

There's no way on Earth you haven't heard about this movie from someone already. Ever since it came out, Lady Bird has been establishing a name for itself in the world of film. It now has five Oscar nominations under its belt, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Acress in a Leading Role (Saoirse Ronan), and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Laurie Metcalf). A coming-of-age story, the film will capture your heart and mind with its witty depiction of 2002 California and a mother-daughter relationship. 

Phantom Thread

With six Oscar nominations and heaps of praise from every audience, Phantom Thread is a film you shouldn't overlook. Watch as a renowned dressmaker in 1950s London navigates the dangerous waters of love, inspiration, and society. The film's stellar cast has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Lesley Manville). Phantom Thread has also been nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, so don't wait until after the Academy Awards to see what all of the fuss is about.

The Post 

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are at it again in this compelling film directed by Steven Spielberg. The drama details The Washington Post's exposure of government secrets, as well as Katharine Graham (Streep) as she battles for her career in a male-driven field. Mery Streep was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role once again, and the movie itself was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year. 

The Shape of Water

Thirteen. That's the staggering number of Oscars this remarkable film has been nominated for, which makes it one of the most important movies to watch this year. Sally Hawkins has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, and her fellow cast members Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer have been nominated for their supporting roles. The movie's beautiful score has been nominated for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, and the film itself has been nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, among other prestigious awards. 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

Murder, mystery, anger, and pain: it's all there in this dark drama. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri follows a mother as she tries to solve the murder of her daughter. Nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand) and Best Motion Picture of the Year, the film is surprisingly comical and 100 percent unlike any other story out there. 

So, which of these are you the most excited to check out? Also, what other nominees do you recommend watching? Leave suggestions in the comments!

Riley Heruska
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This month's cold weather, dreary skies, and lack of excitement can make anyone want to hibernate until spring begins. In fact, it's estimated that about 14 percent of Americans suffer from "the winter blues" each year. Some psychologists have coined a new term: "January blues" because it can be difficult to feel peppy and optimistic during this time of year. The holidays are over, the Texas weather is chilly, and there's not much to look forward to. Many people start to feel depressed, and even though January is a month of self-improvement and New Year's resolutions, it's also a month where many people start to feel less positive. 

If you've been feeling a little down or unmotivated during January, you're not alone. Here are five easy ways to boost your energy and get back into a happier state of mind. 

1. Spend some quality time with nature. Research has shown that getting outside, even for just an hour or so, can help the human brain de-stress. Nature can also help people feel kinder, happier, and inspired. The weather might not exactly be conducive to a lovely walk in the park right now, but find some way to breathe in a little fresh air and detox. 

2. Make a few plans you can look forward to. Some psychologists believe the January blues might be deeply tied to post-holiday boredom, so give yourself something to get excited about in the future. Plan a trip, schedule a get-together with friends, or buy a few concert tickets. 

3. Hang out with other people. Recent studies have indicated that after spending time with people who make you happy, your brain shows fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Even if your family and close friends left town after the holidays, find a few people you can go out to dinner with once in a while. 

4. Find a way to feel refreshed. Move around the furniture in your house or get a brave haircut. It's a new year, so make it feel new! 

5. Select a hobby to try. If you've always wanted to try painting or boxing or dancing, January is a great month to do so. Picking up a new activity will distract you from other depressing parts of the month and get you excited for the future. 

Don't let the January blues ruin the start of 2018. Try out some of these techniques and see if you can turn things around and embrace the end of winter in a better state of mind. 

Riley Heruska
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A new year means plenty of new television entertainment! Check out these soon-to-be-released series and mark your calendars because it certainly looks like 2018 will be a fantastic time for TV. Which of the following hot shows are you most excited to check out? 

The Alienist
 (January 22) 

You've probably spotted ads for this mystery drama plastered across social media and billboards, and for good reason: it looks like it could be one of the best shows to hit television this year. Starring Daniel Brühl, Dakota Fanning, and Luke Evans, The Alienist tells the story of a crime reporter who partners with a psychologist in 19th century New York to investigate a serial killer. It promises plenty of ornate costumes, intrigue, and suspense, so check it out on TNT next week. 

Jane the Virgin
 Season 4 (January 26) 

Thousands of viewers have fallen head-over-heels for this endearing, humorous drama about a young woman who is accidentally artificially-inseminated with a stranger's sperm. Over the course of the last three seasons, she's learned to become a mother to her young son, suffered heartbreak, and pursued a career as a romance novelist. Now, the show will tackle many of the unanswered questions about Jane's love life, as well as her future in the world of writing. Tune in to The CW for the fourth season people have been waiting for.

Altered Carbon
 (February 2) 

This Netflix original envisions a world where human consciousness has been digitized and stored in spinal implants. Essentially, humans never die because their consciousnesses can simply be removed and placed into new bodies once the time comes. When a soldier is downloaded into the body of a disgraced cop, he realizes that not every death is an accident in this futuristic world. Watch him unravel the mystery of an important aristocrat's murder next month. 

The Looming Tower
 (February 28) 

Looking back at the tragedy of 9/11 and the events leading up to it, this show controversially portrays the rivalry between the CIA and FBI during the late 1990s and early 2000s. It also looks back at the war in Iraq and al-Qaeda's relationship with the United States. Since the story is based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer-winning nonfiction book, so you know it's going to be incredibly interesting. Catch it on Hulu in late February. 

Marvel's Jessica Jones
 Season 2 (March 8) 

If you watched the first season, then you already know why so many people are excited to watch the upcoming season on Netflix. Jessica Jones is a private investigator with supernatural skills, which she uses to track down villainous characters. However, she's no angel herself, and she struggles to piece together a life after experiencing violence and fear at the hands of her old nemesis, Kilgrave. Find out what her next move is when the second installment drops in early March. 

The Handmaid's Tale
 Season 2 (April 2018) 

This show's Emmy-winning first season was one of the most popular shows in 2017 by a longshot, and people are desperate for more. Although Margaret Atwood's original novel, on which the Hulu show is based, doesn't tell us what will happen in this second season, the show's creators have promised more surprising twists, plenty of drama, and of course, a hefty dose of political upheaval. Use the months before season two's release to binge-watch the first season if you haven't already. 

Heathers (March 2018) 

This 1980s version of Mean Girls is getting a facelift in a new series with more extensive backstories, tons of catty conversations, and the timeless battle for popularity. If you were a fan of the original 1989 Heathers movie, you'll definitely want to check out this updated version of the story which intends to turn the classic ideas of popularity upside down. 

Sharp Objects
 (June 2018) 

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Amy Adams stars in a new series that's sure to make waves once it debuts next summer. Her character, Camille Preaker, must investigate the murder of two young girls in her tiny hometown. Returning home also means dealing with her neurotic mother, a creepy old Victorian mansion, and her own haunting past. Thrilling and captivating, Sharp Objects is one of the series you won't want to miss on HBO this year. While you're waiting, you might want to check out the book by the same name that inspired the upcoming miniseries. 

Castle Rock (TBD) 

It looks like Hulu will be impressing viewers once again with another groundbreaking new series. This one will be based on the storytelling of Stephen King and include famous characters from his beloved works likeIt and Misery. Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, the 10-episodes of the show will revisit some of King's best themes and ideas while horrifying and thrilling the audience. 


With an impressive cast composed of Emma Stone, Johan Hill, Justin Theroux, Julia Garner, Sally Field, and Jemima Kirke, there's no way this Netflix Original won't make a striking entrance into the world of television. The story is based on a popular Norwegian series and intends to convey plenty of dark humor while blurring the lines between reality and imagination. Two patients are stuck in a mental institution, and they aren't quite sure where their fantasies begin and end. Keep your eye open for more news once the show's release date has been announced. 

Big Little Lies
 Season 2 (TBD) 

Admit it: almost everyone you know has told you to check out this series, and if you haven't yet, you should. It swept the Golden Globe Awards, as well as the Emmys, and it now intends to earn even more attention through the second season full of mystery and lies. Keep your eyes peeled for more information and prepare to fall even more in love with Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and the other fantastic cast members. 

Season 2 (TBD) 

People couldn't stop talking about the first season of this revolutionary show, and now it plans to return with even more worlds, twisted mysteries, and insane themes. It's worth checking out just for the epic effects and complex plotlines, so watch for the announcement of its release date sometime later this year. 


Expected to debut in the latter half of 2018, this Amazon show will star Julia Roberts, Colin Belfast, and Walter Cruz as they tell the story of a woman who is trying to piece together the truth behind a secret government program. It was originally based on a podcast, so many fans are excited to see how the creators bring the tale to life on screen.

Are there other shows you're excited to watch this year? Leave more recommendations and news in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
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January might be the month of goal setting and self-improvement, but not every goal has to be monumental. In fact, some of the smallest changes you can make in your life can reap the biggest benefits. If you feel overwhelmed by deciding on a New Year's resolution, consider working on building these ten small habits in your life. You might be surprised by how happy, productive, and accomplished you start to feel. 

1. Work on expressing gratitude. You can do this however you like. Some people prefer simply picking one part of their day to be grateful for as they get ready for bed. Others like to share their gratitude with a partner. Recent studies have indicated that people who keep gratitude journals on at least a weekly basis have been found to be more optimistic and happier overall than those who do not. 

2. Make your bed and tidy up your bedroom right after you wake up. This chore might sound a bit unimportant, but it truly can make a substantial difference in your day-to-day stress levels and general wellbeing. Ever heard the phrase "tidy home, tidy mind"? Well, this is a great way to start your daily routine with a sense of accomplishment and organization.  

3. Change your sheets once a week. Given that the average person spends about 56 hours in their bed each week, your bedding certainly deserves a little TLC every seven days. Sweat, dust, fungi, and bacteria can all cling to over-used sheets, so don't skip this chore, even if it is a hassle. If you start changing your sheets regularly, you might even notice reduced allergy symptoms, clearer skin, and better sleep

4. Drink enough water every day. Many studies believe that at least 75 percent of the American population fails to drink enough water on a regular basis. That means most of us are probably experiencing some of the symptoms of dehydration, including dry skin, unhealthy food cravings, headaches, and a slow metabolism. To figure out how much water you should be drinking each day, take your weight and divide it by two. That's how many ounces of H2O you should be trying to gulp before your day ends. 

5. Set aside time to read or listen to audiobooks. Although there's nothing wrong with the occasional Netflix binge, scientific research has shown that reading regularly can reduce cognitively decline, make you more empathetic, and sharpen your mind. Plus, the pages of books or the soothing voice of a narrator are much easier on your eyes than the harsh light of your electronic screens. 

6. Call or meet up with someone you love at least once a week. In the hustle and bustle of regular life, it can be difficult to set aside time to play catch up with old friends and family. This year, try to pick one time each week that you use to make a phone call to someone you love. If you'd rather meet in person, select a day where you meet someone for lunch. 

7. Buy a fun photo display and switch the pictures out once in a while. Filling your living area with photos of places and people you love is a wonderful way to cultivate a comfortable, happy environment. Although printing photos might feel like a chore at first, the effort is well worth the joy of having smiling faces and beautiful scenes hanging in your home. 

8. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Roughly a third of the American population is not getting enough sleep each night, and many sleep experts believe this is because we have such terrible sleep habits. In 2018, try to get your biological clock back on track by climbing in and out of bed at the same time every day. This will help you fall asleep quicker and feel more refreshed when you wake up in the morning. 

9. Find the type of meditation that works best for you. It's no secret that meditation is a powerful tool when it comes to establishing a happy, positive lifestyle. Science has indicated that if practiced regularly, it can reduce chronic pain, boost your immune system, decrease stress and anxiety, combat depression, and leave you feeling emotionally stronger. Now, this doesn't mean you have to mutter "ohm" to yourself in a quiet room for an hour each day. Try yoga, deep breathing, and other forms of relaxation to help you achieve the same results. There are even apps that can help you discover the best form of meditation for your personality. 

10. Embrace physical activity as often as you can. According to recent statistics, less than five percent of all American adults get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day. That means our hearts are weakening, our metabolisms are slowing down, and our general wellbeing is taking a serious hit. Do whatever you can to squeeze in that valuable half hour of exercise. Dash up the stairs, hit the gym, swim, dance, or simply take a long walk. The important thing is to get moving as often as possible. The endorphins will make you a happier person overall, and the additional health benefits will keep your body in tip-top condition. 

What other healthy habits do you rely on to give you a happiness boost? Leave suggestions in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
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Even if your New Year's resolution is to eat healthier, you don't have to skimp on dessert every night. To help you out, we've rounded up ten different recipes from healthy-eating and baking experts around the web. Their delectable treats are easy to make and delicious, but they won't wreck your 2018 goals. Give one of the recipes a shot and let us know what you think! Also, feel free to share any other amazing, not-so-bad-for-you dessert recipes in the comments. 

Best-Ever Healthy Apple Crisp 

Who knew you could indulge in a dose of cinnamon-glazed apples with a sweet crumbly topping without feeling guilty? Liv, the blogger behind Healthy Liv, concocted a scrumptious recipe that calls for zero sketchy ingredients and tons of natural, whole foods. Just peel the apples, dice them, and add a handful of healthy ingredients for a hot dessert everyone will love. 

No Bake Sugar Cookie Bars 

This dessert will save you time and calories. Even though the sugar cookie bars by The Big Man's World look like they'd be terrible for your diet, they're actually pretty nutritional. The recipe forgoes the use of refined sugar, opting instead for protein-packed frosting and coconut flour. Swap out your regular cookies for these delicious, guilt-free bars. Even the little kids in your family will love them! 

Easy Skinny Strawberry Oatmeal Bars 

It might be frigid outside, but that doesn't mean you have to avoid using summery fruits in your desserts. This recipe from Vera at Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts produces oatmeal bars that are packed with strawberry flavor but free of butter, white flour, eggs, and refined sugar. To add a little extra sweetness, drizzle them in a vanilla glaze and enjoy. 

The Best Healthier Brownies 

Sometimes you just need a gooey brownie that's packed with chocolate, but unfortunately, a healthy diet doesn't usually call for such indulgence. Thankfully, Chelsea from Chelsea's Messy Apron crafted a recipe that's devoid of white sugar, butter, flour, and eggs. Even the frosting is made from Greek yogurt, so you can truly feel guilt-free as you scarf down a couple of these amazing brownies. 

Simple Maple Vanilla Baked Pears 

Not only will this dessert wow your guests and taste like perfection, but it will also keep you on track with your healthy resolutions. The baked pears by Sally at Sally's Baking Addiction only call for four ingredients: pears, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pop the fruit in the oven for less than half an hour and voila! You've got an equally scrumptious and impressive dessert that you can freely indulge in. 

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Bars 

Even though these treats taste amazing, they don't contain any butter! Just some white whole wheat flour, rolled oats, peanut butter, coconut sugar, honey, eggs, and a few other easy ingredients. Danielle from Live Well, Bake Often wanted to create a snack that's sweet but not too hard on a healthy diet, and she did just that with these peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal bars. 

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread 

Amanda at Running With Spoons took a regular banana bread recipe and made it even healthier by removing butter and oil. All of the flavors come from natural sweeteners, including those over-ripe bananas you were going to toss. Warm it up and serve it after dinner as a dessert or grab a slice on your way out the door in the morning for a healthy breakfast. 

Healthy Chocolate Mousse 

All you'll need to whip up a batch of this chocolatey dessert is a can of coconut milk, a dash of cocoa powder, and a little bit of raw honey. Mix the ingredients together until fluffy, then add a few pieces of fresh fruit for some extra flavor. The sweet mousse by No Biggie will satisfy your craving for chocolate but keep your calorie count low. 

Raw Cookie Dough (That's Safe to Eat) 

How many times have you snatched your children's hands out of the raw cookie dough, fearful that they'll end up sick to their stomach? Well, with this recipe from Katie on Chocolate Covered Katie, you can throw caution to the wind. Her raw cookie dough contains no dangerous eggs or potentially contaminated flour. Dip your fingers into the dough and enjoy as much as you want without worrying. 

Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins 

Who knew you could sneak healthy veggies into a tempting dessert? Mindi posted a recipe on Moms Need to Know that will show you how to make moist, flavorful chocolate muffins that contain grated zucchini. Sure, there's still a significant amount of sugar, chocolate, and flour in the recipe, but hey, at least you're getting a small dose of greens in the treat. 

Riley Heruska
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It's no secret that we're in the midst of the sickest time of the year. With the flu circulating the Houston area and dozens of nasty bugs popping up, it's no wonder that hundreds of people are missing work and school due to illness. Even if you haven't come down with a debilitating case of the flu, a rough cold can keep you couch-ridden with a box of tissues as your best friend. 

If you're trying to kick a clingy cold to the curb, you can obviously drink plenty of water and get a good amount of sleep, but that's not all you can do. Here are five ways to speed up your recovery process and get back to your normal, healthy life ASAP. 

1. Stay home. Toughing it out and heading back to the office or school before you're ready is bad for everyone involved. Not only will the action drain your body of the energy it needs to fight off the bug, but it will also expose more people to your illness. Do yourself (and your peers) a favor by holing up in your home until the worst of your symptoms have passed. The more rest and alone time you get, the sooner your body will be able to handle your regular routines. 

2. Suck on zinc lozenges. Although some researchers think this might be a case of the placebo effect, a couple of studies have indicated that an increased consumption of zinc can significantly shorten the course of a cold. Sure, zinc lozenges don't exactly taste great and they leave a weird chalky feeling in your mouth, but if they might be able to shorten your illness by a day or two, why not give them a shot? 

3. Soothe your cough with honey. 
If you find yourself staying up all night because you're hacking up a lung, try drinking a cup of hot tea with plenty of honey before you climb into bed. Research has indicated that the honey can coat your throat and therefore calm down your intense coughing fits. Plus, a warm drink can ease sore throats, warm you up, and give you a helpful dose of antioxidants. 

4. Don't skimp on meals. 
Even though the cold might have taken away your appetite, remember that your body needs plenty of fuel to fight off the sickness. Go with classic dishes like chicken noodle soup that are full of substance and good ingredients. 

5. Breathe easier with saltwater. 
Gargling a cup of warm water with salt can soothe a sore throat, loosen up mucus, and ease swelling caused by colds. You can also purchase saltwater nose sprays that help you blow your nose and unclog your head. It's hard to feel like yourself when you're struggling to breathe, so try to open up your sinuses as much as you can. 

How do you handle a cold that just won't go away? Leave other suggestions in the comments below!