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4 Things You Never Knew About Labor Day

labor-dayHappy Labor Day!  When you think of this holiday — what comes to mind?  A three-day weekend? A chance for a brief vacation?  A trip to see family and eat BBQ?  The official end of summer?  I know — me too.  But actually — it’s meant to be a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of America.

Here are some lesser-known facts about the holiday:

1.  Labor Day was almost on May 1st

Labor Day signifies the end of summer, but it nearly could’ve been the start. In 1884, the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions declared that by May 1, 1886, all employers institute an eight-hour workday. However employers didn’t respect this, causing workers to strike, which lead to the Haymarket Riot in Chicago. President Cleveland was worried that the tainted history of the date would lead to more riots, so in 1894 he moved the holiday to the first Monday in September. Read more

7 Things To Never Travel Without

image (1)Greetings from the Windy City! When you live a super busy and productive life, it can be hard to fit a vacation into your schedule. I’ve become a huge fan of Staycations and weekend getaways to get all of the benefits of a vacation without investing as much time and money.

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about efficient packing. Whether you’re spending a weekend in Chicago or two weeks in Europe, here are my essentials for carry-on packing:

 

 

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Resist Your Inner Pack Rat and Clear Clutter

Cluttered shed

Cluttered shed (Photo credit: UnnarYmir)

I have a confession to make. I’m somewhat of a pack rat. I like to keep things in case I need them. But I really needed to strike back this weekend. I’ve been irritated and borderline obsessed with the clutter that was living in my desk drawer at home. It was filled with lots of papers and things I didn’t need and lots and lots of power cords. Saying this though, there are many people out there that are worse hoarders than I am. For some it can be so bad, that they have to look into something like Pest Control Des Moines in order to get rid of any pests that have been living amongst the mess. That is disgusting. Imagine thinking that you’re keeping these items just in case you may need them, but turns out you get new guests living with you instead. I don’t know what I would do. This is one reason as to why I feel like I need to de-clutter.

There are chargers for 4 iPhones, a Blackberry, a MacBook, an iPad Mini, an iPad keyboard case and some wireless speakers — I can’t take it! I’ve been researching ways to tame the power cords and got exhausted. So I decided that plain old rubber bands were going to help me. I twirled and fastened every last one of them and now the drawer opens easily and doesn’t drive me nuts. It’s a win win, really. Read more

Use Lists to Cut Out Clutter

Andrew Mellen Headshot Tighter

I love meeting people who are just as organized as I am and getting the chance to learn something new from them. I went to the BlogHer conference in Chicago last weekend (more about the productivity tips and tricks on outsourcing that I learned there to come soon!) and met Andrew Mellen, bestselling author of Unstuff Your Life. Needless to say, he’s an expert at staying organized and keeping it together! So I thought he’d be the perfect “list producer” to feature:

Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?

A: I don’t. I call myself a practical list producer.

Q: What do you make lists about?

A: Things I need to do that need to get out of my head, onto a page, then onto my calendar.

These are typically:

Errands

Home Projects

Work Projects

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NYC Restaurant Must-Eat List

Photo by: Steve Credo

Through the years I’ve made zillions of lists. One that I return to most often is my “Eating List for NYC.”  I give it to friends and family whenever they visit New York and I add to it if I find a truly exceptional place.

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest blogger for a friend I met on Twitter — Marnely Rodriguez is a pastry chef, foodie and writer from the Dominican Republic.  She wrote a guest post for me called “Must-Have Baking Tool List.” When she heard about my New York City restaurant list — she was thrilled and couldn’t believe she hadn’t been to any of them yet!

You can check out the list here on her blog “Cooking with Books.”

Being prepared with a list (about anything!) will help you enjoy any activity much more.  This is especially true when it comes to looking for restaurants.  I make a restaurant list whenever I go to a new city. (Check out my Chicago picks.)  By doing a little research beforehand — you end up with a delicious experience!

 

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