Camp Your Way to a Healthy Life!

For those of you who love camping, I’m sure you don’t need a reason to plan your next outdoor adventure. For those of you who have thought about camping but aren’t sure what all the hype is about — check out some of the benefits it could have on your health!

camping tent on cliff during golden hour
Photo by Jack Sloop on Unsplash

Stress Relief
Many of us are living life running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We are all just trying to make it through the work week. We have multiple obligations that keep us rushing home, rushing through activities and rushing through life. It’s time to catch a 5-minute break.
Camping is basically a break for the duration of your trip! The great thing about camping is you are exposed to the fresh air. Oxygen releases serotonin in your brain– the chemical that boosts your happiness and mood– therefore leaving you feeling more relaxed. Stress can take a toll on our health in all sorts of ways, so seizing every opportunity to relieve us of it is crucial. Pack your bags, the relaxation train is headed to the campground!

silhouette photo of three person near tall trees
Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic on Unsplash

Exercise
It is certainly no secret how important physical activity is for our health and overall well-being. Camping involves lots of exercise! You exercise even in preparation for your time away. Hiking equipment to a campsite can be a tad awkward due to the size/shape of tents and other gear, essentially forcing you to utilize muscle and get some cardio going. When you’re outside with no television or video games, you wind up spending most of your trip walking, hiking, fishing, etc., which all involve moderate to extreme exercise. Again, exercise is a serotonin booster, so you’re likely to feel exhilirated instead of run-down and sluggish like we can often feel throughout our normal routines.

reflection photo of trees

 

Clear Your Mind
Some people use yoga and meditation to clear their minds and relieve tensions. Others claim that just taking a long walk in nature will do the trick. All of these things are good for resetting your brain and revitalizing your quality of life. Camping can (figuratively and literally) bring you back down to Earth. When you’re out of your home, you’re not worrying about cleaning the house, doing dishes, doing laundry or keeping anything organized. All you have to worry about is exploring, playing and maybe the occasional wild animal. 😉

person standing in rock on forest during daytime

Take Away Those Distractions
Leave the electronics at home! Get back in tune with yourself, nature, your friends, your family. Camping is one of the easiest ways to leave distractions behind and enjoy the company you have, even if your only company is yourself. It brings us into a simpler time and simpler environment, making our emotions simpler as well.

Gather your friends, family and/or dogs, and head for the hills! Make sure to visit our website and check out our new camping/lake designs to wear on your adventure!

Think Pink – Raising Awareness

National Wear Pink Day is approaching, occuring on June 23rd, 2019! We have put together a short list of how you can help raise breast cancer awareness by wearing pink, donating and becoming an advocate for breast cancer!

How does wearing pink make a difference?

Wearing pink can promote and remind other individuals of the importance to get regular screenings for breast cancer. It also reminds us of the thousands of people battling cancer, as well as the many survivors that help us keep the hope we need to fight and overcome this disease. Simply wearing this color on a scheduled cancer walk like this one, when going to the grocery store and even wearing pink to work helps raise the awareness to others who may not be conscious of their own risks of develpoing breast cancer.


Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Where can I donate to make a real difference?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the American Cancer Society. ACS is a non-profit organization that raises over $1 billion dollars each year to pour into fundraisers, research, patient support, prevention and treatment. ACS is made up of mostly medical and lay volunteers that work tirelessly to facilitate awareness events, raise money for research and cost-cutting treatments for those affected by cancer. No matter what type of cancer you wish to support/donate to, ACS covers it all.

How do I become an advocate for breast cancer?

We consider anyone who wears pink an advocate for breast cancer! You can make a difference in the world’s biggest cities and smallest towns just by displaying your pink garments to show support for this disease. Here is a great article on how to become an advocate for breast cancer.

Personally, I was inspired to become an advocate for pancreatic cancer after a very close family member was diagnosed– so don’t think that you have to have cancer to be an advocate for awareness! If you’ve done your research, if you know someone suffering– even if you are just inspired by stories or intrigued by how far research has brought us in 2019– get out there and share your knowledge!

Make sure you visit our website to check out our available breast cancer designs & remember to think pink on June 23rd!


Image by laurixnh from Pixabay 

7 Ways to Make Your Pet Happy

Be Kind To Animals Week is upon us May 6-12 this year. This week became recognized in 1915 in an effort to raise awareness for the humane & compassionate care of all animals. Being a fur momma myself, I wanted to share 7 easy ways to help your pet live their best life.

  • Talk to them. This may seem silly, but animals thrive on companionship. Talk to them like you would your friend or a house plant. I mean we are all waiting for them to talk back anyway.
  • Make sure & feed them high quality ingredients. You care about what goes in your body, so let us care about what goes in our pets bodies as well. For affordable food finds & ideas, we like Chewy. They deliver within 2 days of ordering!
  • Give them exercise! This is good for you, too! Whether it’s throwing a ball in the backyard, getting your cat a catnip toy or going for a walk, they love to stretch their legs! A 10 minute walk a day has such a massive impact on your overall health & well-being.
  • Groom your pet often, if not daily! Most dogs I’ve come across looooove getting brushed! I don’t mean you have to take them to a professional weekly, but a simple brushing can go a long way (and help reduce shedding!). We personally like this brush from Amazon.
  • Get your pet some treats that helps keep their mouth clean! Same with grooming, help them stay healthy and happy. A treat my dog loves & that is so tried & true, are simple Milk-bones.
  • Leave your TV on for them. If you are like me & have to leave your pets @ home all day for work, I at least find comfort knowing they have the TV on. Not only might they find their favorite show, it also drowns out the garbage truck, sirens or other sounds that could be a stressor. My fur kids are used to the country outdoors, so moving to the city, outside noises really confuse them. The TV/radio gives them some solace.
  • Lastly – Love your pet! Make sure they know they are loved, safe & protected. Research before adopting, learn the possible stressors in your area, prepare for a pet & always keep them well nourished & up to date on their vaccines. They are an extension of family, make them feel as such!

The children & the beasts of the world are the voiceless. It’s important that we take time & compassion to treat all animals with love & respect! Love your furbabies, make a contribution to your local humane society or volunteer to walk dogs in your spare time! There are countless ways to express kindness to animals. Let us know your suggestions! We have a few Animal Lovers shirts on sale now! Make sure & check them out so you can raise awareness all year long.

Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide

Teacher Appreciation Week ‘19

Each year we want to show our appreciation for our teachers all the time but especially during Teacher Appreciation (May 6 – 10) and especially this year. Why now more so than ever? Our educators across the country are taking stands for things they believe in like better pay, quality student/teacher ratio & the tools to execute their job to the standards we need.

So, let’s take a stand & show our teachers how much we appreciate them! Here are a few ways that are easy, perhaps free & can be accomplished at any time.

  1.     Tell your teacher you appreciate them. When is the last time you did that? Or tell your child’s teacher you appreciate them. It takes no time at all but could make a lasting impact.
  2.     Bring your children’s teacher supplies! 1 box of tissues or 1 pack of hand sanitizer could go a long way! Especially in the teacher’s heart & mind. So often teachers are buying their own supplies so any contributions are greatly appreciated.
  3.     Go on Amazon! Did you know teachers can create a “wish list” for their classroom just like you probably do for Christmas? You could always search your teachers name to see if they have created a list & surprise them with something from it!
  4.     Feeling extra & crafty? We’ve saved a few of our favorite DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts on our Pinterest board. Go check it out & let us know if you try any!

Hopefully this list gets you started or at least makes you realize how simple it could be to show your appreciation! If you’re thinking a brand-new t-shirt would be great as a gift, we’ve got you covered there too. 🙂  Order yours before 3/28 to have in time!

 

5 Ways to Laugh

Is laughter, really the best medicine?

What better time to delve into this age-old question then now with International Moment of Laughter Day coming up this April 14th. The day was created with a very simple intent; to encourage people to laugh. How does one laugh? It’s an involuntary reaction to certain external or internal stimuli. It could be a joke, a story, thought, or physical reaction to being tickled – the possibilities are endless as to what could make you laugh.

To get your celebration started here are 5 of our top ways to create a giggle:

  1. Hang out with your pet. There is no way to be around a dog or cat (or any pet) for long and not laugh. Don’t have a pet? Let us introduce you to quite possibly the funniest animal video on YouTube (in our opinion).
  2. Learn to laugh at yourself! Running late to work and miss the yellow light turning red? No worries.. just gives you more time to turn up the radio, have a dance party and laugh at yourself! Don’t take life so seriously.
  3. Sign up for a joke of the day to be delivered right to your inbox! We like A Joke A Day but any would get the job done! Be ready for dad jokes that will make you chuckle and probably roll your eyes. If you don’t want an email a day, a desk calendar of your favorite cartoon or quotes is a great daily way to laugh, too! (I have a Dilbert day to day – forgot how funny this comic is!)
  4. Befriend a funny person. You should have at least one person in your day to day life that makes you laugh. Go seek them out when you need a pick me up. If there is someone that has a quick way with words, a unique outlook or just a great sense of humor, befriend them, immediately.
  5. Do something that makes you laugh. This one seems easy, but when is the last time you REALLY belly laughed?! What were you doing at the time? Go do that again. Unless it was a misfortunate incident with laundry or something of the like. (Did you laugh? Okay I tried…)

Laughing has shown to increase the blood flow in our physical makeup (by taking in huge gulps of extra oxygen!), lead to reduction in stress and to also release endorphins. So, while you may still need to go to the doctor for the flu, perhaps catching up on the joke of the day is what you need to turn your day around. Our Live Happy shirt on sale now is sure to stem positive feelings anytime you wear it.

Hurricane Relief Efforts

It takes an army to fight a battle on two fronts. That’s what the Salvation Army is doing right now. They are on the ground in Houston and ready with more teams in place for Florida. The Salvation Army’s words to live by are “Doing the Most Good.” Whether that means providing food, shelter, a shoulder to cry on or someone to give you hope. They have food trucks that are mobilized to feed thousands of victims and first responders. The disaster relief team is setting up shelters for rest and recovery for victims. The Salvation Army doesn’t leave either once the flooding stops and the power is turned back on, they stay until the healing is complete.

These are the reasons WorkPlacePro has decided to donate our relief efforts to this amazing nonprofit. All net proceeds of our Texas Love shirt are being donated – with your help we hope to lift our fellow Americans in their time of need. You never know when a disaster will hit your area and we can only hope that people will step in and stand up when that time comes. Let’s send some positive thoughts and donations to all the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

You can read more about the Salvation Army’s efforts and donate here: https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/

Purchase your Texas Love shirt to help relief efforts here: http://www.workplacepro.com/S-TEXAS

The Salvation Army is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Employee Spotlight: Amanda!

Amanda is our resident genius around here at WorkPlacePro. She has been here 12 years and I really don’t think any one of us could get by without her. She is the backbone of our website, the glue to our marketing team and all around just makes WPP “tick”. Yes, she is that good. We thought we’d sit down with her for some very important interview questions that we hope you enjoy and let you get to know her a little bit. 🙂

Interview Questions:

  1. If you were a Disney character, which one would you be? And why?

I googled “Which Disney character are you” and took this quiz.

My result: Sadness from Inside Out

I haven’t seen this movie, but it’s on disney.com so it must be official.  I guess see what you get to judge if this quiz is accurate

  1. What skill would you like to master? Reading Japanese, but I’m too lazy to stick with studying it.
  1. What’s your favorite drink? I usually drink water, but the fanciest I get is Coke Zero with lime.  Or a white mocha cappuccino.
  1. What are three small things that make your day better?
    1. Dark Chocolate
    2. New YouTube videos
    3. Feeling like I accomplished something
  1. What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t? Wanting a dog.
  1. If life is a game (like some people say) what’s two rules you would have?
    1. Don’t be rude.
    2. Be a geek about something you enjoy.
  1. Favorite restaurant? Food from what place? Given the opportunity, my favorite thing is to go somewhere new, or somewhere we rarely go, and have something a bit different that I wouldn’t usually have at home.

Employee Spotlight: Jim!

Jim is our Senior Designer here at Work Place Pro. His duties & task are many & he does them all with ease & organization that is met by hardly none. We love our senior designer & want you to know him a little better!

  1. If you could relive one day of your life, what day would it be and why? The day I Married my wife Tammy! 
  2. If you had to describe yourself using only three words, what would they be? Caring, Loyal & Car Nu
  3. Do you have any strange or unique phobias? Anything close to my Eye…I turn into a big baby when I need eye drops….I RUN AWAY!!!  LOL 
  4. What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday? Spending time with my Family 
  5. Favorite way to say “I love you” to your kids without saying a word? Making them Laugh! 🙂 🙂
  6. Favorite movie quote? It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart played by George Bailey)  Clarence: [to George] “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
  7. Favorite candy? Biscuits and Gravy….ha ha…..that is candy to me!! 
  8. If you were famous what would you be famous for? Loving my kids and helping children who are in need or have disabilities. 

Interviewed by Cierra of our Marketing Department

Back To School Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again when parents and children across the country are preparing to go back to school.

August is designated as Back-to-School Safety Month, and we want to remind motorists to be extra careful at all times.

Follow the tips below to make sure you keep your children safe while walking and biking to school:

School Zone Driving Safety Tips

  • Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey the speed limits.
  • When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws.
  • Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children.
  • Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  • Be aware of and watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, in school parking lots, etc.
  • Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
  • Never change lanes while driving in a school zone.
  • Never make U-Turns while driving in a school zone.
  • Never text while driving in a school zone.
  • Avoid using a cell phone, unless it is completely hands-free, while driving in a school zone.
  • Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.

Riding Your Bike to School

  • Check with the school to make sure your child is allowed to ride their bicycle to school. Some schools do not allow students to ride bicycles to school until they reach a specific grade.
  • Make sure your child always wears a bicycle helmet! Failure to wear one could result in a traffic citation. Furthermore, in the event of an accident, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.
  • Obey the rules of the road; the rules are the same for all vehicles, including bicycles.
  • Always stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Be sure your child know and uses all of the appropriate hand signals.
  • Choose the safest route between home and school and practice it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness.
  • If possible, try to ride with someone else. There is safety in numbers.

Walking to School

  • Leave early enough to arrive at school at least 10 minutes prior to the start of school.
  • Use the same route every day and never use shortcuts.
  • Go straight home after school. Do not go anywhere else without permission.
  • Always use public sidewalks and streets when walking to school.
  • Demonstrate traffic safety awareness and pick the safest route between your home and the school and practice walking it with your children.
  • Try and walk to school with other students. There is strength in numbers.
  • Teach your children to recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings.
  • Only cross streets at designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars, shrubbery, signs, etc.
  • Always walk and never run across intersections.
  • Avoid talking to strangers. Teach your children to get distance between themselves and anyone who tries to approach or make contact with them.
  • If a stranger does approach your child, make sure they know to immediately report the incident to you or a teacher.
  • Teach your children to never get into a vehicle with anyone, even if they know them, without your permission.

Clothing and School Supplies

  • To prevent injury, backpacks should have wide straps, padding in the back and shoulders, and should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight.
  • When placing items in a backpack, place the heavier items in first. The closer the heavier items are to a child’s back, the less strain it will cause.
  • Children should use both backpack straps and all compartments for even distribution of weight.
  • Remove drawstrings from jackets, sweatshirts, and hooded shirts to reduce the risk of strangulation injuries.
  • Art supplies in the classroom should always be child safe and non-toxic.
  • Make sure your child’s school is up-to-date on the latest recalled children’s products and toys.

School Bus Safety

  • Make habit of arriving at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.
  • Make sure your child stays out of the street and avoids excessive horseplay while waiting for the school bus.
  • Be sure the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off.
  • When riding the bus, make sure your child understands they must remain seated and keep their head and arms inside the bus at all times.
  • Do not shout or distract the driver.
  • Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot” – this is the area from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus.

Employee Spotlight: James!

Let’s get to know one of WPP’s veterans, James!

Interview Questions:

  1. If you were truly stuck on an elevator what are 3 things you would do or say? First, faulty elevators are a serious thing… no joke. This happened to one of my favorite musicians who fell to his death trying to escape an elevator….please view the following

http://pitchfork.com/news/37054-rip-jerry-fuchs-drummer-for-juan-maclean-maserati-turing-machine

So I wouldn’t recommend anyone jump or do anything too risky to escape unless truly a matter of last resort, like if the building catches fire or something. – First thing I’d say is stay calm. Locate the call box to try and get help. – If that fails, and no one is coming, then attempt to pry the doors open, and see if any escape is possible. The absolute last resort would be to look for any exit out of the top, like a service door or something. But this all sounds really dangerous.

  1. What are some of your weird quirks? It’s not a necessity, but I prefer all of the light switches to be in the same direction. I don’t like to get my feet wet, unless I am swimming. Nothing worse than wet socks or canvas shoes. Like LEGO Batman™, “‪I only work in black. And sometimes very, very dark grey.” ‬Just kidding, but as you may have noticed, I wear a lot of black and don’t like a lot of colors, especially bright colors (with few exceptions – mostly Sundays, where I can be seen wearing blue or navy).
  1. What’s your favorite thing about being a dad? …name some things you love…I have two daughters. They’re the absolute joy of my life. I never imagined being a parent and didn’t expect to have kids. So when my first one came along, she changed everything. And two was just double the blessings. When they were little, they’d want to me to carry them all of the time, at the same time. Now that they’re bigger, I sometimes miss that. One of my favorite things is I love watching their individual personalities and interests develop. My goal is to be supportive even if it’s not something I would really want to be involved in. One example is Cheerleading. I don’t enjoy sports, but because my daughters wanted to cheer, I found myself on Saturday’s attending youth football games. (Soon his girls are going to ask him to workout and this will be James coming into work afterwards hahahaha)
  1. Name 3 tips for new parents … that you learned the hard way? This one is essential for new parents… and I wish I’d known about it earlier. You know the little envelope tabs sewn onto the shoulders of onesies? They seem to serve no purpose, and most parents have always assumed they’re there to make it easier to get a onesie over a baby’s head… but they’re actually there for when the baby has a diaper blow out so you pull the onesie down over the baby’s legs and avoid a bigger mess. “What?” You’re saying. “Such a genius concept.” I know. Why don’t onesies come with instruction manuals so we could have saved ourselves so much time trying not to wake a sweaty, sleeping baby who had spit up all over everything? Another essential one is rest when the baby rests. You’re inclination is to try and get stuff done while the baby sleeps, and they do sleep a lot. But baby’s need so much of your focus that you can end up easily sleep deprived. So rest when you can. This is essential when you have a toddler and a baby, and another learned the hard way. ALWAYS GET THE IMMOBILE CHILD OUT OF THE CAR FIRST. There’s nothing worse than being in a parking lot trying to unhook the car seat from the base with one hand while the other holds onto a squirming toddler. (I too, learned the first two tips the hard way….but, in trying for baby #2…you can count your bottom dollar that I will get the immobile child out first when the time comes…hahahah!! Love it.)
  2. What was your favorite book growing up? My favorite book is Franz Kafka’s “The Trial.” I first read it when I was 14 and have read it many times since then. The story is about a man accused of an unnamed offense and his futile struggle against an unknowable court. He’s eventually found guilty and executed for the unknown crime. Essentially it’s a novel dealing with existential guilt and punishment who’s theme can be summarized as “We are all guilty.” (Wow…I guess all of his books are depressing lol…James try reading “Metamorphosis”..It’s pretty good…..I mean, in a Debbie Downer kind of way haha.)
  3. Have you ever re-gifted something? If so, what was it and who did you give it to? I don’t think re-gifting is a crime. Sometimes you get a gift that just doesn’t fit you, but you know someone else who might really enjoy whatever it is. Last year at the Christmas party, I got one of the blankets that were so popular. I didn’t have a need for it and the one I got was rather nice. SO, I gave it to my mom as part of her gift and she loved it. (I like how you know what James’ answer is going to be, when he starts off with “I don’t think re-gifting is a crime,” haha…like he’s going to state penitentiary. Easy killer, it’s just a question. No one is going to the slammer today. Also to be noted, I don’t want to draw James’ name for Dirty Santa…I might as well just wrap the gift up and give it to his mother LMBO. haha. I kid, I kid.)
  4. If you could be any flavor of ice cream, what ice cream flavor would you be and why? My favorite ice cream flavor is coffee. But that doesn’t seem to fit in this scenario. So… If I had to be a flavor of ice cream it’d be Superman … a multi-flavor concoction that can conquer all … even the flavor of life (aka “Rocky Road”). (My gosh James…as if 8 cups of coffee by 11 a.m. isn’t enough….you want coffee flavored ice cream too? That’s it. I’m signing you up for Espresso-nymous. You need help sir. A whole latte’ of it.) 🙂

Written & Interviewed by Cierra, Marketing/Analytics