5 Ways Having A Dog Changes Your Life

boy and his dog

Photo by Mike Hiatt / CC BY 



Dogs and mankind have been companions for thousands of years. There is no clear consensus on how man and dog became friends but many speculate it first started during the hunt. Imagine thousands of years ago when mankind was out hunting for big game. Then take into consideration the wolves that would have been following for scraps once a kill was made. It would not have taken very long for the wolves to figure out that hanging around the guys with spears was a good idea at dinner time. Over time the relationship grew so that wolves and humans became traveling companions, and wolves starting evolving into the dogs we have today.

There are literally hundreds of different breeds of dogs. Some dogs have been bred throughout the years to bring out certain characteristics such as dogs that are hypoallergenic. Other dogs are bred for their intelligence and working abilities while other dogs are bread specifically for their looks. We even have what has been termed “designer dogs” which is usually two purebred dogs bred together.

Dogs have the ability to decrease stress, make a person smile, and create a bond with their human owners that only exists with very few animals. Dogs can literally change a person’s life, as therapy dogs do for their patients every day. Here are a few more reasons that a dog can change a life:

  1. Dogs can help humans stay physically fit – Owning a dog means that an individual will get out of the house at least one a day for a walk. Dogs require at least 20 minutes every day (preferably twice a day) to get outside and play, and to expel the huge amounts of energy they have. Even an older dog will require a walk at least once a day. This will help an individual to lose weight and also for their stress levels to decrease. Walking will also help to lower high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of heart problems today.
  2. Happy, happy, happy – A dog will make a person happy. If you are feeling blue one of the best things you can do is pair up with a dog. It has been proven that when disaster strikes, having a dog nearby will help to decrease stress levels. No matter how depressed or unhappy a person feels, getting that slobbery kiss will immediately perk up the day. Dogs are non-judgmental and will love their human companion no matter what.
  3. Meet new people – Taking your dog to the park, or for a walk, or even to dog obedience class gives a person the ability to get out there and meet new people.
  4. Save a dog from destruction – Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized every year because homes cannot be found for them. Adopting a shelter dog can actually help two dogs; you are giving a loving home to the dog being adopted and allowing space for another dog in the shelter, who now has the chance to find a good home.
  5. A dog’s love is unconditional – Not feeling attractive? A dog does not care. Not feeling good because you’re sick? Doggy will sit by you and keep you warm all day. Dogs do not judge, nor do they question. They accept us as we are with no expectations, except to be loved. If only humans could be that forgiving.

Dogs can improve both the physical and the mental health of human beings. They love us unconditionally and we should be taking care to do the same for them.

Preparing For A Trip To The Serengeti

Serengeti vacation trip

Photo by David Blackwell / CC BY 

Taking a vacation to the Serengeti is one of the most memorable trips a person can take in their lifetime. The Serengeti which is located in Africa is home to the largest migration of mammals in the world and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The area contains many game preserves where visitors can take a safari to view the diverse species of mammals as well as the over 500 species of birds that call the Serengeti home.

Being well prepared for your trip goes a long way towards making it an enjoyable one. Start a checklist with all of the necessary travel paperwork and things to pack listed that can be checked off as you go. Besides the usual travel requirements of a visa a visit to the Serengeti will also require vaccinations and proof of them. Language and money is also a consideration, and although the language of Tanzania is Swahili the English language is used as well. Tanzania has its own currency, but U.S. currency is the one of choice. A first aid kit is a recommended bring along, and make sure it is stocked with medication for treating malaria. Be aware that medical services are far and few between in Tanzania. Bottled water is recommended while in country. Lodging is entirely dependent on how much money you are willing to spend, from the basic camping type experience to deluxe accommodations with swimming pools and gourmet food.

One thing you will not want to forget is a camera. The opportunity to capture some truly memorable moments while on safari is one you won’t want to miss. If you’ve ever wondered, “Where do cheetahs live?” you’ll have your answer live right in front of you, if you are quick; the cheetah can reach over 60 miles per hour in three seconds! There are also gazelles, buffalo, wildebeest, and zebras grazing their way through the grasslands along with a large amount of lion prides in their natural habitat. Be advised that as a traveler one should always stick with a group and not wander off alone in a wild county such as the Serengeti. A wild animal is unpredictable and may attack simply out of fear, so it is best to stick with a group of people.

A good tour guides or travel agent will be able to provide the needed advice and travel arrangements for a memorable experience.

5 Reasons To Try Scuba Diving

scuba diving

Photo Tim Sheerman-Chase / CC BY 

Underwater diving has been around for centuries. In ancient times people would dive on shipwrecks to try and salvage the goods it contained. Thanks to modern invention we can now dive underwater for long periods of time for both job related and recreational purposes. Scuba diving is one of the most exhilarating and at the same time, the most peaceful sports in the world. While scuba diving you can be engulfed in a world of silence with only your breathing and the local fish population to keep you company. Then suddenly you encounter a shark or other big fish which will set your heart racing. There are many reasons why scuba diving has become a popular sport around the world.

  1. Socialize with actual people – Even if it is just your dive buddy, you will be socializing with a live person. It’s even more usual for a group dive, which will put you in contact with even more people who share your love of diving.
  2. See wildlife in their natural habitat – who wants to watch a whale swim round and round in a tank? Seeing whales, turtles, dolphins, all in their natural habitat is one of the most exhilarating experiences available. If you’ve ever wondered, “What do dolphins eat?” or “How do turtles swim?” you may get to see for yourself. If you are really adventurous try swimming with sharks (with professionals along, or course). Viewing marine life in its natural setting is much more eco-friendly than visiting a marine “park”.
  3. Diving helps to keep you in shape – Swimming underwater will help build up lean muscles as well as keeping the body’s cardiovascular system in good working order.
  4. Take a vacation – Who doesn’t love to go on vacation? It brings the stress levels down and the endorphins up. Divers usually like to try new locations as often as possible and what could be better than warm waters and sunny beaches which are diver friendly? A person doesn’t need a boat to scuba dive – if you’re near the ocean you can simply put on your gear and wade right into the water.
  5. Calm, relaxed breathing – When in scuba gear one of the first things taught to new divers is how to breathe properly. In fact in the world of scuba diving it is the most important thing. So in learning how to breathe properly for scuba diving you are also learning meditative breathing. Meditative breathing is shown to help relieve stress and calm the mind.

If you are a lover of the ocean than scuba diving is for you. Finding a good scuba instructor who is a certified professional is the only way to start a diving education. Diving with friends is fine, but learning from a professional instructor will give you a better education in this challenging sport. Scuba diving is fun, but it is not to be taken lightly. Remember that safety first is the key to both an enjoyable experience and staying alive in the briny depths.

My favorite easy-to-make paleo recipes

There’s nothing I dislike more than “diets” – I find them impossible to stick to. Too many diets these days try to restrict your access to the most delicious foods available – red meat, red meat, and more red meat (yum).

Lately, I’ve been able to stick with the paleo diet though and its been working out really well. The great thing about the paleo diet is that its rooted in common sense – if we evolved to eat certain foods throughout the millenia, isn’t that what we should be eating?

The best part about paleo is that the recipes are not only delicious, but they’re pretty simple to prepare as well. Here are some of the recipes that I’ve been using:

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

5 Tips For Happiness As A Career Woman

career-womanSometimes a busy career woman may feel drained from work or unhappy in their lives and might be quick to blame it on their job. Not so fast! Here are five ways to improve your happiness as a career woman.

1. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can help make you happy
If you spend much of your time working successfully in your career, you have money. The best way to feel happier is to contribute some of it to a charitable cause. The next best way is to buy experiences you love. Go to a concert, go on a vacation, enjoy exquisite food or drink, and so on. Buying things that sit in your home might make you happy for a little while, but it’s memories that are more valuable.

2. Know exactly what you want and how to get it
Despite our cultural expectations of individuality and being yourself, many don’t know what they want out of life. They all wander down the same cliché self-discovery paths only to find it has a cliché dead end. The antidote to this is being honest with yourself and knowing what you want and learning what you must do in order to get it. If you want a higher salary, you need to get promoted. To get promoted, talk to the right people and be the best at what you do.

3. Take your work seriously, but not too seriously
The stereotypical career women make their work into their life, as if work was the only thing to live for. Unfortunately, life is not so one-tracked, and people aren’t supposed to be one-dimensional. It pays to unwind after work, to have interests outside of work and outside of what people talk about at the water cooler. Continue reading

How To Chase Passion & Follow Your Dreams

The Buried Life

The Buried Life

In a previous blog post, I wrote about doing stuff that makes you feel alive. But while its great to seek adventure and find things to do that are out of the norm, its easy to neglect the most important thing in all of our lives – finding passion in your work.

Most of will spend at least 40% of our waking ours working – some of as even more. Life is short, but if you hate what you’re doing, it’s going to be awful long. Here are a few tips to help you out if you’re on a path that doesn’t lead to passion.

1. Have The Guts To Chase Your Dream

It takes guts to chase your dream. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. It takes an inner strength that everyone has within themselves, but many of us never exercise.

No matter how you cut it, if you’re currently trapped in a job and you’re scared to leave the security of it to pursue something else, you’re going to have to find a way to overcome that fear. I personally like to check out quotes about strength from individuals I admire and respect, but you may have your own way. Whatever it is, start working on building strength and character in every aspect of your life, so when the time comes, you’ll have the guts to follow through and not give up.

2. You Have Time

That being said, there are steps you can take to minimize risk. If you want to start a business or pursue a creative dream, who said you have to quit your job? Instead of saying “I don’t have time”, make the time. How can you not have time for your dreams? You can’t wake up an hour earlier before you go to work? You can steal a couple hours at nigh after the kids are asleep? You can’t devote a weekend morning/afternoon to chasing your passion? Stop being helpless and take responsibility for your own life.

3. Distinguish Between Reality and Fiction

For whatever reason, we’ve been programmed by society to think that – if our most obvious dreams (becoming a rockstar, actor, billionaire tycoon etc) are out of grasp due to physical limitations, the only alternative is to get a job we hate and grind out our days.

That’s simply not true. You might never be an NBA player, but you could be a sports reporter, physical trainer, agent, even a blogger. You might never be a rockstar, but you can teach music, perform locally, become a producer, cover the music scene – the internet has made it easier than ever to make a living chasing you passion. So go out and do it, and stop saying you can’t.

3 Tips For Your Next Salary Negotiation

negotiationYou may be good at your job, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting paid what you’re worth. Does the thought of sitting down at a table across from your both and negotiating your salary with your boss

1. Show Numbers

If you’re going to demand a higher salary, you have to backup your argument with numbers. Too many employees spend their time focusing on what they want, when really they should be thinking of things from the employer’s perspective. If you were the employer, do you have a financial incentive to give you the raise? Try to calculate exactly how much value and revenue you’ve brought in for the company in recent months. If you can’t do that, then you’ve got your work cut out for you.

2. Get Your Employer To Make The First Offer

It might be temping to go in guns a blazing and demand a raise, but the key to having power in the negotiation is getting your employer to show that they want to keep you first. If you can do that, then you can go in to negotiate your salary confident that the employer is anxious to keep you on board.

3. Show Enthusiasm

This goes without saying, but if you can show a real passion for your work, it makes you seem irreplaceable. People who truly care about their job and excel at their work are rare, and if you do great work and you’re enthusiastic, your employer will do everything within their power to keep you on their team.

Keep in mind you’re not going to be paid the salary of a Neurosurgeon (yes, they make a lot) just because you apply these 3 tips. For one, they spend nearly 15 years in school and residency to get paid what they do, and secondly, its important to consider what you’re worth to the company when performing negotiations with yourself. This is where its very important to be 100% honest with yourself. If you deserve to be paid like a brain surgeon, then by all means, ask for it, but unless you can be objective, you may overshoot or undershoot your number. If it helps, consider getting a second opinion before going in for salary negotiations. It might give you a boost in confidence, and more importantly, it might give you a more objective picture of your worth.

For more tips on how to negotiate your salary, check out this article.

What’s The Best Way To Keep Coffee Fresh?

Coffee is a great way to wake up and for coffee drinkers there is really no alternative out there but most of us aren’t getting the best coffee possible because we aren’t storing it correctly. Whether you operate with just a standard coffee machine, have a French press or a single shot coffee maker, you can still enjoy a better coffee drinking experience by keeping your coffee fresh, whether you’re producing the coffee from freshly ground beans or k cups.

The best way to get the freshest coffee is to grind it up yourself, preferably right before drinking it. Grinding the coffee ensures you that your coffee will always be completely fresh and will retain most of the flavors in the beans. Continue reading