Happy Halloween

4 pieces of candy wrapped in a baggie. Think they will take just 1 baggie? Yes, I think so. It’s a great day for kids and candy!

The No. 1 Reason You Should Call Instead of Text

So many things can keep you from seeing your loved ones in person, from busy schedules to long distances to a rather unexpected pandemic. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, the people we miss are often only a phone call or text message away. But if you’re someone who’s more prone to typed out messages than verbal ones, you may want to reconsider. According to science, if you want to feel more connected to the people you’re talking to, you should call them instead of texting. A new study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that communication interactions that included voice, like a phone call or video chat, created stronger social bonds than communication through typing, like text messaging or email. Read on to find out how a call can bridge that gap, and for more things you should never send via type.

Slide 1 of 5: So many things can keep you from seeing your loved ones in person, from busy schedules to long distances to a rather unexpected pandemic. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, the people we miss are often only a phone call or text message away. But if you're someone who's more prone to typed out messages than verbal ones, you may want to reconsider. According to science, if you want to feel more connected to the people you're talking to, you should call them instead of texting. A new study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that communication interactions that included voice, like a phone call or video chat, created stronger social bonds than communication through typing, like text messaging or email. Read on to find out how a call can bridge that gap, and for more things you should never send via type, find out The Most Annoying Text You're Sending All the Time.Read the original article on Best Life.
Article and photo by BESTLIFE©

Voice communication strengthens your bonds with old friends.

In the study, researchers used various experiments to gauge connectedness. In one, they asked 200 people to make predictions about what it would be like to reconnect with an old friend by email or by phone and then assigned people at random to do one or the other. Although people anticipated that a phone call would be more awkward, hearing someone’s voice actually made the experience better.

“People reported they did form a significantly stronger bond with their old friend on the phone versus email, and they did not feel more awkward,” study co-author Amit Kumar, an assistant professor of marketing at the McCombs School of Business, said in a statement.

And it even makes people feel more connected to strangers.

In another experiment, the researchers had strangers connect by either texting, talking over video chat, or talking using only audio. They found that both forms of voice communication—whether video or audio only—made the strangers feel significantly more connected than when they communicated via text. 

People tend to text because they think it’s easier and clearer.

Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a Harvard trained clinical psychologist based in New York City, says people tend to text or email instead of calling because of convenience, as they see it as a controlled form of communication where they can “correspond information exactly in the way they intend without unexpected additions by the other person.”

However, texting is more likely to muddy your message.

Romanoff says that in reality, texting can make it hard to determine the true meaning behind a conversation. “A phone call is actually more convenient when considering the net effects of the message,” she explains. “Each party is more present, and therefore, able to gauge the meaning behind the content without ruminating on the endless possible meanings behind words and punctuation.”

Article by Kali Coleman 

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/the-no-1-reason-you-should-call-instead-of-text-according-to-science/ss-BB1aniI3?ocid=msedgntp#image=1

Air fryer recipes to cut calories not flavor

Air Fryer Magic

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a new kitchen gadget, tool or appliance to only find that you never use it. Thankfully, that won’t be the case for your air fryer, especially once you try some of these highly rated — and creative — recipes. 

Slide 2 of 41: Inexpensive pasta is the heart of this dish billed as "the Italian snack of your dreams." Recipe: Delish

  © LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Parmesan “Fried” Tortellini

Inexpensive pasta is the heart of this dish billed as “the Italian snack of your dreams.”

Recipe: Delish

Slide 3 of 41: Fried chicken is a picnic staple, so will Un-Fried Chicken be the next big thing? If you use Trisha Yearwood's recipe, it just might be. One five-star reviewer proclaimed: "One of the best chicken recipes I have ever had." Recipe: Food NetworkRelated: 20 Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

 © Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

Un-Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a picnic staple, so will Un-Fried Chicken be the next big thing? If you use Trisha Yearwood’s recipe, it just might be. One five-star reviewer proclaimed: “One of the best chicken recipes I have ever had.”

Recipe: Food Network

Slide 4 of 41: How can you replicate a good French fry? Well, Bob Harper shared his secret with Rachael Ray — and the simplicity will blow you away. Recipe: Rachael Ray Show

 © robynmac/istockphoto

Bob Harper’s Air-Fried French Fries

How can you replicate a good French fry? Well, Bob Harper shared his secret with Rachael Ray — and the simplicity will blow you away.

Recipe: Rachael Ray Show

Slide 5 of 41: Not only is this a gluten-free recipe, but it also has plenty of enthusiastic tips on preparation, nutrition, and pleasing fussy kids: "I feel like we should drop everything, whip up a batch or two of these juicy burgers and tuck right in. Who's with me?" Um, we are. (Take your burgers a step further with 30 Wild and Wonderful Burger Toppings.) Recipe: Recipes from a Pantry

© PfeifferV/istockphoto

Juicy Air-Fryer Hamburgers

Not only is this a gluten-free recipe, but it also has plenty of enthusiastic tips on preparation, nutrition, and pleasing fussy kids: “I feel like we should drop everything, whip up a batch or two of these juicy burgers and tuck right in. Who’s with me?” Um, we are. (Take your burgers a step further with 30 Wild and Wonderful Burger Toppings.)

Recipe: Recipes from a Pantry

There’s more yum for you in this article by Mary Shustack  for Cheapism©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/recipes/cheap-air-fryer-recipes-to-cut-calories-not-flavor/ss-BB1acWIb?ocid=msedgntp

Sparse Christmas Trees Will Make You Reconsider Your Full Ones

Christmas tree, White, Christmas decoration, Room, Living room, Red, Interior design, Home, Tree, Furniture,
@EM_HENDERSONINSTAGRAM

There are Charlie Brown Christmas trees and then there are gorgeously plump pines, but somewhere in the middle are the perfectly sparse and aesthetically clean option: the sparse tree.

Typically, a sparse plant isn’t necessarily a good thing. But designers are turning the tables these days. Emily Henderson made the 7′ Unlit Artificial Balsam Fir Christmas Tree from Target in her Portland house look effortlessly chic, using a combination of gorgeous black and white ornaments, plus a touch of red and gold.

Similarly, Bri Moysa of Emerson Grey Designs took an IKEA tree and made it look much more expensive by adding in natural elements and simple ornaments.

The sparse tree effect works especially well if don’t have the space in your home to get a massive tree or you’re just looking for something new and different. It somehow manages to appear both farmhouse chic and clean and modern all at once, and it works in both formal settings or more casual rooms.

Investing in a good artificial tree also allows you to change the look from season to season, using it in a variety of rooms and settings. Many faux trees are pre-lit, so you won’t have to struggle with wrapping and camouflaging cords, which also detracts from the clean aesthetic you’re seeking.

Here, lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner created a delicate skinny tree, dressing it simply in garland for a look that lets the beauty of the tree itself shine through. It’s a clean, peaceful aesthetic.

skinny tree
JULIE BLANNER

And, here, Blanner dresses the same tree with pale pink glass ornaments and faux crystal and pearl garland for an understated yet gorgeous appearance. It’s an excellent example of “less is more.”

tree

Are you a fan of the sparse Christmas tree trend?

Article by Taylor Mead and Erricca Elin Sansone for House Beautiful.

Source: https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a25311057/sparse-christmas-tree-trend/

Pope appoints first African-American cardinal

Wilton Daniel Gregory wearing a suit and tie: Pope Francis announced Sunday that Wilton Gregory and 12 others will be appointed cardinals.

© Andrew Harnik

Washington D.C’s first Black archbishop is now also the first African-American cardinal.

Pope Francis announced 13 new cardinals Sunday in a surprise declaration from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, including Wilton Gregory, who was tapped as archbishop in the nation’s capital last year.

Gregory, 73, previously led the Archdiocese of Atlanta and has spoken forcefully about the need for improved race relations in the Church. He replaced Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned in October 2018 over criticism of his handling of sexual assault allegations.

“Ours is the task and the privilege of advancing the goals that were so eloquently expressed 57 years ago by such distinguished voices on that day,” Gregory said during an August Mass that marked the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. “Men and women, young and old, people of every racial and ethnic background are needed in this effort.”

Pope Francis announced Sunday that Wilton Gregory and 12 others will be appointed cardinals. (Andrew Harnik/)

Nine of the 13 newly appointed cardinals are under the age of 80, making them eligible to vote in the next conclave to select Francis’ successor.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/pope-appoints-first-african-american-cardinal-d-c-archbishop/ar-BB1ankQr?ocid=msedgntp

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for This Halloween

Oh my gourd—you won’t believe these amazingly creative DIY ideas.

From pumpkin recipes and spiced beverages to jack-o’-lanterns and mums, everyone knows that fall and pumpkins are practically synonymous. You might not know, though, that you can truly transform the bright orange seasonal staple into absolutely anything you please, from lanterns to votives to, yes, even a wood-burning stove. Let your crafting skills shine this October 31 and think outside the box with these genius Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas.

painted stencil pumpkin

Brian Woodcock photo

Painted Stencil Pumpkin

We’ve brought old school country to the pumpkin! Get your paint pens out and get drawing.

Make the pumpkin: Lightly draw a stencil pattern around the center of a medium- size white pumpkin. Use black, orange, and yellow paint pens to cover drawing.

washi tape plaid
Brian Woodcock

Washi Tape Plaid

Layer different colors, widths, and patterns of washi tape to create a simple plaid pattern.

Make the pumpkin: Layer different colors and widths of washi tape vertically and horizontally on a medium-size orange pumpkin to create a plaid pattern.

mummy pumpkins

Mummy Pumpkins

Wrapped in gauze with differing sized eyes, you better watch these little stinkers. They might just wiggle over and steal some candy.

Make the pumpkin: Wrap a small white pumpkin with strips of gauze, holding strips in place where necessary with hot-glue. Attach two differently sized black buttons with hot-glue to create eyes. Tack down a length of thin black twine with staple-gun staples to create a mouth.

rickrack spiderweb with fake spiders

Rickrack Spiderweb

Creepy crawly spiders love to make home in a pumpkin adorned with a rickrack web.

Make the pumpkin: Attach horizontal lengths of large gray rickrack around the top three-fourths of a medium-size white pumpkin with hot-glue. Attach vertical lengths, allowing them to sit in the pumpkin’s natural grooves, with hot-glue. Attach mini plastic spiders with hot glue.

button spiders

Button Spiders

Creepy spider made from buttons, string, and pipe cleaners slither about pumpkins. The very idea is sure to make your skin crawl!

Make the pumpkin: Thread red string through the holes of a large or medium-size black button in a crisscross pattern; knot or glue in the back to hold in place. Cut eight 1- to 2-inch lengths of black pipe cleaner and glue to the back of the button with hot glue with four on each side; shape into legs. Attach a smaller black button with hot-glue to make a head. Repeat as desired. Attach a black string to the back of the larger button with hot-glue, and hang spider around stem or attach directly to a pumpkin with hot-glue.

There are many more idea’s for you here:

https://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g1350/pumpkin-decorating-1009/?slide=20

Improving Your Happiness

Man and daughter smiling with happiness
MoMo Productions / Getty Images

Some people seem to have a naturally higher baseline for happiness—one large-scale study of more than 2,000 twins suggested that around 50% of overall life satisfaction was due to genetics, 10% to external events, and 40% to individual activities.9

So while you might not be able to control what your “base level” of happiness is, there are things that you can do to make your life happier and more fulfilling. Even the happiest of individuals can feel down from time to time and happiness is something that all people need to consciously pursue.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is good for both your body and mind. Physical activity is linked to a range of physical and psychological benefits including improved mood. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise may play a role in warding off symptoms of depression, but evidence also suggests that it may also help make people happier, too.

In one analysis of past research on the connection between physical activity and happiness, researchers found a consistent positive link.10

Even a little bit of exercise produces a happiness boost—people who were physically active for as little as 10 minutes a day or who worked out only once a week had higher levels of happiness than people who never exercised.

Show Gratitude

In one study, participants were asked to engage in a writing exercise for 10 to 20 minutes each night before bed.11 Some were instructed to write about daily hassles, some about neutral events, and some about things they were grateful for. The results found that people who had written about gratitude had increase positive emotions, increased subjective happiness, and improve life satisfaction.

As the authors of the study suggest, keeping a gratitude list is a relatively easy, affordable, simple, and pleasant way to boost your mood. Try setting aside a few minutes each night to write down or think about things in your life that you are grateful for.

Find a Sense of Purpose

Research has found that people who feel like they have a purpose have better well-being and feel more fulfilled.12 A sense of purpose involves seeing your life as having goals, direction, and meaning. It may help improve happiness by promoting healthier behaviors. 

Some things you can do to help find a sense of purpose include:

  • Explore your interests and passions
  • Engage in prosocial and altruistic causes
  • Work to address injustices
  • Look for new things you might want to learn more about

This sense of purpose is influenced by a variety of factors, but it is also something that you can cultivate. It involves finding a goal that you care deeply about that will lead you to engage in productive, positive actions in order to work toward that goal.

Challenges

While seeking happiness is important, there are times when the pursuit of life satisfaction falls short. Some challenges to watch for include:

Valuing the Wrong Things

Money may not be able to buy happiness, but there is research that spending money on things like experiences can make you happier than spending it on material possessions. 

One study, for example, found that spending money on things that buy time—such as spending money on time-saving services—can increase happiness and life satisfaction.13

Rather than overvaluing things such as money, status, or material possessions, pursuing goals that result in more free time or enjoyable experiences may have a higher happiness reward.

Not Seeking Social Support

Social support means having friends and loved ones that you can turn to for support. Research has found that perceived social support plays an important role in subjective well-being. For example, one study found that perceptions of social support were responsible for 43% of a person’s level of happiness.14

It is important to remember that when it comes to social support, quality is more important than quantity. Having just a few very close and trusted friends will have a greater impact on your overall happiness than having many casual acquaintances.

Thinking of Happiness as an Endpoint

Happiness isn’t a goal that you can simply reach and be done with. It is a constant pursuit that requires continual nurturing and sustenance.

One study found that people who tend to value happiness most also tended to feel the least satisfied with their lives.15 Essentially, happiness becomes such a lofty goal that it becomes virtually unattainable. 

“Valuing happiness could be self-defeating because the more people value happiness, the more likely they will feel disappointed,” suggest the authors of the study.

Perhaps the lesson is to not make something as broadly defined as “happiness” your goal. Instead, focus on building and cultivating the sort of life and relationships that bring fulfillment and satisfaction to your life. 

How to Practice

While some people just tend to be naturally happier, there are things that you can do to cultivate your sense of happiness. 

Pursue Intrinsic Goals 

Achieving goals that you are intrinsically motivated to pursue, particularly ones that are focused on personal growth and community, can help boost happiness. Research suggests that pursuing these types of intrinsically-motivated goals can increase happiness more than pursuing extrinsic goals like gaining money or status.3

Enjoy the Moment

Studies have found that people tend to over earn—they become so focused on accumulating things that they lose track of actually enjoying what they are doing.4

So, rather than falling into the trap of mindlessly accumulating to the detriment of your own happiness, focus on practicing gratitude for the things you have and enjoying the process as you go. 

Reframe Negative Thoughts

When you find yourself stuck in a pessimistic outlook or experiencing negativity, look for ways that you can reframe your thoughts in a more positive way. 

People have a natural negativity bias, or a tendency to pay more attention to bad things than to good things. This can have an impact on everything from how you make decisions to how you form impressions of other people. 

Reframing these negative perceptions isn’t about ignoring the bad. Instead, it means trying to take a more balanced, realistic look at events. It allows you to notice patterns in your thinking and then challenge negative thoughts.

Article by By Kendra Cherry

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-happiness-4869755

Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds

Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup

Photo by Ginger Hutlin

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays aside from Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Every year I pick out my costume and get ready for pumpkin carving. I’ve also been known to have some fun pumpkin carving parties where I serve my famous apple cider bourbon punch and we all go to town making creative pumpkin sculptures.

This year, I saved the seeds from my pumpkin and needed a simple, easy way to bake them so I could still be with my guests.Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds - It’s so fun to make a recipe like this the night-of so people can enjoy the snack. If you want to take it to the next level, have containers ready to go so you can send salt and pepper pumpkin seeds home with folks. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s a simple base for you to build on. Add in other fun ingredients that make the flavor pop!

Getting the Seeds

The hard part here is carving the pumpkin. First grab a big bowl. Cut a circle around the top of the stem and carefully remove it and slice off any seeds on that part and put it in your bowl. After that, take a large metal spoon and start scraping the inside of the pumpkin, loosening the insides where the seeds are. Once the insides have fallen to the bottom of the pumpkin, scoop it out with the spoon (or even your hands) and place it in the bowl. Do that until all the insides are completely scrapped out and the pumpkin is hollow.

Then hand-pick your seeds from the bowl and place them into a smaller bowl. Your fingers are the very best way to loosen the slippery seeds from the fruit strands. Pluck them out and run your hands down the strings to loosen the seeds. Once you’ve got most of them, put them in a strainer and use your hands to wash off all the pumpkin gunk. They may still be a little sticky but that’s ok if they’re relatively clean.

Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (rinsed)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dairy or vegan butter (melted)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine seeds, melted butter or butter substitute, salt and pepper and chili powder. Spread seed mixture on a parchment lined baking pan and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until toasty brown but not burned! Remove from oven and serve warm.

Article by Ginger Hultin for Food & Nutrition.org

Source: https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/stone-soup/salt-and-pepper-pumpkin-seeds/