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How to Live, Eat, Feel YOUR Version of BETTER

NEW YEAR; No Repeats

This Update covers topics below that will help you survive every season that all but wipes many people out...to the point where they're either calling in sick (and wondering how they will feed themselves), working while sick (and making the rest of us sick too); or wandering the streets in a fever-induced haze asking homeless people for THEIR money!   ;)


1.  Don't Be Sick...Just Because Everyone Else Does It, Doesn't Mean YOU Have To Do It TOO

2. DO we REALLY need a 'HOW TO USE THE TOILET' Video in Bathrooms

3. Drop Yourself On The Couch...and THEN Shop

4. Location, Location, Location...Keep Calm and Get Who to Where, by When and How

5. If You Use Transit (Bus, Streetcar, Subway, Skytrain, LRT, anything within a 'system')

6. Safety First and Mind Your P's and Q's Too

7. Final Redirect Life Hacks...For Now Anyway

The holidays are over, school is back in session in a few days if not already, 'work is there, as always', and life is probably back to your version of 'normal' by now…but is that a good or bad thing?  How much longer will it take for you to 'pay off' the holidays; not only financially, but mentally and physically?

Are your New Year's Resolutions becoming habits yet; or do you already regret being brave (or drunk) enough to announce publicly (or at least on Facebook) that you were going to stop smoking, lose weight, save money, travel, start a business, or whatever...FOR SURE, this year!

But here it is not even mid January and the 'too broke to go out', 'I feel sick', and 'get the $*#% out of MY way' mentalities have taken over again, along with 'so cold I can't feel my feet' (never mind my face); from the 'lovely' weather that has swept most of Canada, parts of the US and sadly the rest of the world too this last few weeks. Are you tired of being sick, tired, cold, broke, ticked off...and winter is 'just getting started' depending on where you live?!

Stop lying to yourself and everyone else, get your crap together and REALLY DO what you want to do!  Some simple organization, pre-planning, and breaking down of larger goals into smaller 'do-able' steps will keep you motivated along your journey so you WILl make it all the way to your bigger goals; its like counting minutes to New Year's Eve all over again!


Don't Be Sick...Just Because Everyone Else Does It, Doesn't Mean YOU Have To Do It TOO!

WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE PREPARING AND/OR EATING FOOD YOU ARE GOING TO EAT (or feed someone else)!

Other Easy Solutions:

drink more water, juice, fluids of any kind

watch your sugar intake from juice and sport drinks though

Clamato Juice is an AWESOME electrolyte balancer I found while traveling as it helps stop the queasy and/or dehydrated feeling and works in 15-20 minutes

a single serving or the smallest of the 'bigger' bottles will do and just chug it warm if need be ($1.50CDN for a 945 ml bottle at Dollarama in Canada)

Powerade also works well if you can't keep anything down to help balance things in 20 minutes or so

BUT don't use the 'zero' ones as they use sweeteners instead of sugar which affects your bladder and can cause issues that will long outlast the nausea

-feel free to look it up on Google if you don't believe me

-and then email me an apology for laughing so hard right now...

-and add a thank-you for the information which will save you not having to buy/wear incontinent products, repeatedly do extra laundry or buy extra underwear and pants (for no REAL medical reason)...and at YOUR age yet too!   :)!

because these are 'food/beverages' they are safe for everyone usually, but check with your pharmacist, especially if you have sugar issues

coffee/teas are more of a diuretic; which means they pull out the water/fluid from your body instead of adding it and will dehydrate you further

stay away from milk and all dairy products if you have a cold as milk creates mucus so you will MAKE yourself blow your nose and cough even more

take vitamin C and vitamin D, eat a ripe banana a day to keep your tummy moving 'regularly'

go for a good fast 10-20 minute walk every day, breathe fresh air deeply even if just from an open window for a few minutes in the morning; or get out into the sunshine and be thankful you are even alive (if its warm enough to keep from losing toes to frostbite)

if you can't/don't want to do any other exercise, walking is very good for you as it gets you doing SOMETHING; which is ALWAYS better than NOTHING!  ;)

watch some 'snort coffee out your nose' comedy to get a great workout for your lungs, heart, circulation, brain, emotions and general health

use Tiger Balm or Vicks and rub it over your back, shoulders, neck, temples, throat, sinuses and swipe the last of what's on your fingers across your nose so it opens up your breathing and you will feel SO much better in about 5 minutes

cover up after this also or it just gets clammy and will make you feel worse instead

Tiger Balm works AWESOMELY on arthritis, mosquito bites, sore muscles, even headaches, etc as well and is cheapest at Walmart in the pharmacy section near the other pain relievers

make sure to get the white, non-staining kind or it will stain your clothes and sheets like the red clay/mud of Georgia when you hit the beach with your bathing suit for the first time like a true tourist and it looks like 'rust 'for evermore!  ;)

boil some water in a pot on the stove if need be to get some moisture in the air of your home as winter tends to dry out even the air and it will suck the moisture from you instead I swear

just be careful of your windows as you don't want TOO much moisture to cause a problem in the winter with freezing temps outside either

some people leave pots of water sitting out on top of the heat source as opposed to humidifiers in the winter - it depends on if you have pets, kids, your area of the world, and all the other factors that make YOUR space unique so find what works

EAT!  Many people don't eat much, or not enough of any sort of nutritional value to get any energy at all; and therefore feel like crap most of the time

protein, healthy fats/carbs, fruits, veggies, and all the other things in life exist to use them ALL in moderation; its keeps us running properly

many people don't want to eat one kind of food as they think it will hurt or help them not to eat it but it really makes things worse as their body compensates by needing more of other things instead

unless you have real medical issues or severe allergies, moderation of ALL foods is best to maintain a healthy you - we are not supposed to be ALL the same size the numbers on a scale (machine) shouldn't 'make' you decide whether you 'feel' good or bad about yourself  and if so; THROW OUT THE SCALE!

life is meant to be enjoyed and there are more than enough 'haters' in the world to 'make' you 'feel' bad if you really want to allow that crap in your life without letting some stupid piece of metal 'make' you 'feel' bad because the number it displays when you step on it is not what you want it to say! (sheesh)

use Purell, or any other 99% Anti-bacterial Germ, Cold and Flu, E-Coli Virus Killing (watch for this type of wording or it is just a gel that smells funny!) hand sanitizer

carry a small bottle with you and use it before you touch the donuts never mind put them in your mouth

after you use a bathroom (or any space) that is not your own

wipe down all YOUR keys, remotes, cells, pens, keyboards, mouse, light switches, everything you touch in your car, at home, at the office, your locker at school including the lock and keys on a regular weekly basis to keep from getting sick

watch the amount of hand sanitizer you use however, as it WILL crack open your skin if you use too much and not wash your hands often enough; and even washing your hands too much can also cause your skin to crack open somewhat

use a good moisturizing hand cream if need be for short term care to replenish lost moisture in your skin on your hands, face and neck but read ingredients if you have any allergies as many are made with dairy/milk, thickened with gluten/wheat/modified corn starch and/or enhanced with soy as the protein, to repair the skin

most of this is due to not enough moisture in YOU either; so go back to the top, re-read how to get the moisture in you and repeat until you get it right!

when coughing, do it into the bend of your elbow so the germs and almost invisible spit doesn't fly all over other people or their food, phone, book, desk, whatever

if I coughed into my hand or the open air, then finished making a sandwich and handed it to you….would you eat it?

I think you get what I mean here as we ALL transfer germs, but if we STOP sharing them more freely than pics we like on Instagram...less of us will get UNNECESSARILY sick!


DO we REALLY need a 'HOW TO USE THE TOILET' Video in Bathrooms?

Common sense is to not use your bare hand when flushing a public toilet; but at the same time using your dirty shoe/boot sole to push that same handle down is just WRONG!

putting layers of toilet paper all over the seat before using it is one thing

BUT leaving them there for someone else to have to clean up, or pushing them onto the floor and leaving them there is also NOT helpful for the next people

not flushing the toilet regardless of 'what' you do 'in' it; is just as RUDE as getting 'whatever' ALL over the seat, the floor around the toilet itself, and/or even the walls in some cases!

NO one wants to have to flush YOUR mess; or touch YOUR germs either

I would think this would be more than obvious...but no, sadly it's not

and living in a major city has made me slightly more irritable as time goes on (in that i'm not charging people money for cleaning/wiping the freaking seat before I can use public toilets after them)!

use a piece of toilet paper to cover the handle and flush the toilet and then use that same piece or another to open the door lock as well and throw the toilet paper in the garbage not on the floor either!

there is an employee who has to pick it up at some point, unless your mom is right behind you to do it for you (as she also slaps you upside the head for being so lazy and rude in the first place) LOL

seriously though, what is wrong with people that they will complain about a mess, AS they add to it and walk away?

Sadly, especially in mall bathrooms, I see more fast food restaurant employees in the bathrooms that don't even flush the toilet before heading straight out the door and back to the counter to serve those in line the food they make...do I even need to insert an *eeeww gross* here?

EVERYONE NEEDS TO WASH YOUR HANDS on the way out of the bathroom - there are less germs afterward than not to bother at all, especially from looking at the inside of many of those stalls.

STOP spreading the 'cough', 'sore throat' and just general 'ARGH and $*&# you too!' we all feel toward each other, especially when we make each other sick...literally!


Drop Yourself On The Couch...and THEN Shop

A massive tip is: SHOP ONLINE and have it DELIVERED to your DOOR, in HOURS or schedule it for PICKUP at the nearest store location to you and do a 'drive-thru' instead!

avoid the screaming, hair pulling, swearing and fighting…just to find a parking spot

skip dealing with the kids, carts, other parents trying to all avoid the same issues and arguing over who gets the last purple binder or the last box of Honey Nut Cheerios on the shelf

relaxing on the sofa in your sweats and t-shirt with your favorite music playing and using your tablet/laptop/phone/etc sounds like the perfect way to shop; to me anyway

the kids can use their phones (depending on age obviously) or other devices looking at clothes, lunch items, school supplies, etc and then you can go through their 'carts' and decide what you are going to buy before you 'check out' everything at once!

If you prefer to shop in person, sit down with those involved (having to use/wear what is bought) for an hour (or three) and make a list of what you need

and have everyone add what they would like for color, size, etc

additionally, with a list you will do much less impulse shopping and not end up having to go back three times because you forgot this and that

it is a huge money and time saver as well

especially if you have more than one person to buy for; as you can take advantage of bulk deals or 'buy 2 get one free' deals, etc for stuff like school supplies, toiletries, dry good foods, socks, towels..whatever

stores like Walmart offer larger bulk packages, which cost much less than individual small packs so even if you are buying for yourself as you enter your last year of university, you will still need enough supplies to get through the entire year and may as well buy it all at once to save even more time, effort and money

Walmart, Loblaws, T&T and many other stores now have HOME DELIVERY through Instacart.ca in Canada and Instacart.com in the US!  I will speak only about the Canadian site as I was in Toronto, Ontario and used the service twice over the holidays (for the first time ever), and it was AWESOME!

only $3.99CDN for delivery from 1-6 hours the same day, with a 5% service fee on orders over $35 and I added replacement options in my order with my cell number as well

both times the shopper texted me that they were out of not only the item I wanted but the replacement, so I was able to swap out for other options right then and there

it was like my friend was shopping for me and delivered right to my door within the hour

tipping can be added ahead of time in the app or you can tip at the door

I haven't used the other stores in my area (it goes by your postal code as to what stores you have access to) but color me IMPRESSED with the service of Instacart.ca most definitely!...*if anyone from Instacart see this - HIT ME UP RE:  Sponsorship, Partnership, Affiliate Links, etc PLEASE!

the prices are the same and there are sale items as well as price matching

make sure you are on the right country-specific website for that individual store no matter  where you shop and the American site is: Instacart.com!

DollarTree, No Frills, Sobeys and many more offer Online Shopping with PickUp at your nearest local store for free if over about $35 - this applies to most stores regardless of country

a shopper will do the shopping for you from your online order, pack it in bags and your card is charged at checkout, and you drive up to the area reserved for pickup and get it without too much gas wasted, swearing, hair-loss and middle finger usage joys of shopping in days gone by!  LOL

In Canada Red Flag Deals is a website that features all the store flyers in your area, which saves large in time and effort let me tell you

open each store flyer in a different window/tab, and go through them one by one, making note of sales on ONLY what you have on your list and take a picture with your phone if you can't print out that flyer, to take to the store with you for price-matching

the flyers are updated as they come out and usually you can look at the current week's deal as well as their 'next week flyer' if it is close enough to their turnover date

there are some sites in the US and other countries that offer viewing of local store flyers and deals as well; and searching Google for the ones in your country/area will get you to the site that can help you where you are.

Get a PREPAID VISA card from ANY bank (you don't have to be a customer of the bank to buy a prepaid card from them) and use that ONLY for all online transactions.  *Scotiabank in Canada has discontinued their prepaid VISA cards as of July 2019.

this way it is NOT connected to your credit cards, bank accounts, etc; so if lost or stolen the only money lost is what you put on it ahead of time

call the 1-800 number immediately should this happen as they will cancel that card and send you a new one while transferring the balance from old to new cards, but check this out for yourself first as all banks differ

it gives similar protection that is on VISA credit cards, but the money is instantly deducted so if you don't have enough on the card the purchase won't be approved; and you are not accumulating more debt, as it is money already assigned for those items

there are NO monthly fees of any kind, it can be loaded and used as you want and/or not used for periods of time as well

check with the banks as each have different rules for time periods of inactivity on all cards

there is NO PIN, NO cash-back, and NO extra amount of 'credit' for you to ring up so it is a safe bet all around

there is a fee to buy the card in the first place ($10 Canadian I think) and it costs $2 (if that) to load it the very first time but that is all

the card charges you about 3% of the total cost of your purchase as a service fee when the transaction happens and that is it, which is awesome for travel anywhere fyi; as an emergency reserve of money.


Location, Location, Location..Keep Calm and Get Who to Where, by When and How

Buy and use a large calendar/white board (ideally one that you can write on, erase with a paper towel and re-write on) and a marker you can read the color of clearly (using a few different colors if more than one person is doing activities in the same time slots is helpful).

This is an invaluable organization tool for everyone in the house, especially when it comes to getting organized enough to prevent everyone from arriving at school (and/or work) in tears, half-dressed and/or with no lunch!

A little bit of pre-planning once a week (depending on how busy your household is), in matters like:who has to feed (and walk?) the pet(s)

who does the dishes and when

who makes the lunches the night before; and where they go all bagged/labelled and full

who does laundry and when

who helps with batch cooking breakfast and suppers for the family

See my FREE budgeting book on my site and/or via all retailers worldwide on ways to cut time, effort and cost in organizing your meals as well as your time and money.

It can be a nightmare just keeping track of all the 'extra-curricular' activities that seem to take up any 'free' time for EVERYONE other than the actual 9-3:30 school hours (how old am I) and

it is great to keep busy and active, but if the activities are taking up so much time that everyone is too exhausted to even enjoy life or just sit and chill at times, it's no longer helping anyone

hold a house meeting at least once a month if not weekly, depending on how many people live in your household; and how well they listen and do what they are told

decide who will be doing what on a regular or rotating basis to keep the house from being condemned, the kids fed and clothed; and the neighbors from calling the cops about the screaming sessions 5 minutes before it is time to leave every morning as someone repeatedly searches for the homework that it turns out the dog really DID eat…because it was left (unfinished) where it shouldn’t have been in the first place!


If You Use Transit (Bus, Streetcar, Subway, Skytrain, LRT, anything within a 'system'):

Most cities/areas that have a transit system also have number you can call where staff are SUPPOSED to tell you how to get from where you are to where you are going; but sadly these people don't usually take the actual transit system and will route you via the other side of the moon, which may cost extra!

HOWEVER, many cities also have a 'short code' TEXTING system with a 5 digit 'phone number' to send texts to; and each 'stop' has a 3-7 digit specific number on its pole-stop-sign that you send as the 'message' to the main 5 digit number

it sends back a text telling you the arrival times of the next few buses/trains/streetcars/whatever that come to that specific stop

if there is more than one route, it will list at least the next arrival time of each different route number for that specific stop; depending on how many different routes there are at that stop

if you are not sure if you missed the last bus at night, there is still no worries as it will read 'no more buses scheduled for at least the next 3 hours' or 'next bus not until 5:30am', etc; so you KNOW it's not coming and can either keep on walking or call a cab

I know these work, and very well too as I have and do continually use them in now where I live, and in numerous cities in Canada; and

I will mention that there are one or two smaller cell providers in Western Canada that don't support the 'short code' texting, so if it doesn't work when you send the text check with your provider; and then if need be, change providers!  ;)

I would assume that they have this in other countries too as most have bigger transit systems than Canada does; but honestly I never noticed in my travels, so please email me and LET ME KNOW!


Safety First and Mind Your P's and Q's Too!

Obviously, you will do your best to keep your kids safe, but life has its own way of not listening to you either; so talk to your kids about the dangers of letting people give them rides , especially if they don't know them too well.

I gave my kids a 'code word' that in the event there was EVER anyone telling them that 'your mom said I am to pick you up because…' they were to back away from the person and ask loudly for the code word

if the person did not say the word immediately, they were to start running in a different direction AND screaming to attract attention and stop any possible issues

thankfully, they never had this problem but I honestly believe that if you asked them today, they would still know that word

Pick a word that is not something easily figured out by others, such as a someone's favorite food, a color, or the name of a tv show, book, etc and yet also easy enough to remember

it helps if this word is something they see or hear every day at home as a type of 'reinforcement' in their mind to remember the word

many parents write the name and even address or phone number on their kid's backpacks and all supplies to help identify what is who's when in school

but this also is not the best idea as anyone walking behind them instantly has their name and any other info to try to begin a conversation with them

kids forget their name is on their backpacks for all to see, and sometimes will not even question how a stranger can know their name…which is what leads to the crap that we see on the news all the time sadly

The standards of common sense and respect also should be discussed or refreshed as well

saying please, thank you, excuse me (not with the drawn-out Steve Martin attitude either), and being helpful (depending on conditions obviously!) will get them a lot farther in school (and life) than 'beaking off' to everyone about everything with a bad attitude

also remind them to NOT go with a stranger ever, especially those who ask them to 'help find a dog' or 'offer free candy' (so to speak)!

Smiling and being polite can diffuse ANY situation before it starts at any age; and learning the meaning of the word 'NO' (or at least the fact that there ARE consequences to ALL actions), is much easier when you are young

if you don't believe me, look at all the 5-60 year-olds (how sad is THAT age range) that throw drama fits anywhere at anytime to get whatever it is they want, and until they get what they want!

Parents can ignore their screaming kid on the bus or in a store (just like at home) all they want

but the other people in the store or on the bus are forming a flash mob and discussing what it WOULD take to straighten out the PARENT asap and end that nonsense once and for all!  LOL

it may be 'cute' when a kid mouths you off at 4 years old; but it's NOT so funny when they are in their 20's and 30's and lipping off their boss, a judge, etc!


Final Redirect Life Hacks...For Now Anyway!

Check out the FREE read of my budgeting book for ways to organize, save time, money, effort and more in ALL things household, food, activities...life in general (also available in English only for FREE download worldwide via your favorite eBook retailer; Amazon charges 0.99 cents US).

Join my monthly SeeWhatsNew Emailing via the home page button at the top; and get a promo code for a FREE copy of my Awesome Adjustable Meals recipe eBook to learn hundreds of other ways to make your school year and life in general YOUR version of BETTER on YOUR terms!

New FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TREATS Make-Ahead Eats to Gift or Keep is available worldwide as well since mid November/18!  Impress yourself year round with these 'feel all gooey inside' treats and everyday meals to make you more than comfy and healthy at the same time!

Have an awesome day, breathe deep, exhale all the stress, worry and dread of these yearly tasks, smile and laugh; as you remember that YOU have CONTROL over it ALL, and a NEW YEAR has just begun!  MAKE IT WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE!  (baawwahahaha!!)


God Bless; and Never Give Up!

Andy B.  ;)

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