Ideas for Friends

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Tips and Ideas for an Amazing Holiday Vacation with Friends

Tips and Ideas for an Amazing Holiday Vacation with Friends

Group trip? Consider renting an amazing house

There are some beautiful dream homes on Airbnb, and through other services such as Luxuryretreats.com, and dreamexoticrentals.com, you can rent an amazing mansion in a beautiful travel destination.

Once you split the cost among a group of friends, it can be very comparable to staying in a hotel or all-inclusive resort - sometimes it's even a much better value.

In some rentals, like this house rental that sleeps 24 and is priced between $1,500 - $5,940 per night, there is even a private chef included!

 

See the rest of this listing here: http://www.luxuryretreats.com/vacation-rentals/mexico/riviera-maya/soliman-bay/hacienda-caracol-111850 

 

Remember to take some good group photos

You don't have to do this for every meal, activity, or even day, but try to put aside a bit of time to take a couple of group photos, with everyone in the shot!  You will treasure these photos for years after your vacation. 

Or, just post them on Instagram, whatever makes you happy.

 

 

 

Don't do Everything Together on vacation

Whether you are a group of friends or a group of couple friends, it's important to put aside time for people to do their own activities and to get some time for themselves. 

This gives everyone a chance to rest for the next adventure!  Some friends might prefer to take a nap in the day, while another friend might prefer time to do a workout.

Couples who are vacationing with friends might appreciate a romantic dinner or excursion on their own once or twice.  If you mix up group and solo activities, everyone can spend their vacation doing what they love.

 Plus, if you are all together every second, you might run out of new things to talk about!  

As a recent article in Forbes online put it, "Not every activity needs to be a group activity." 

 

If you don't want to do an activity on vacation - skip it!

This is a bit like the above point, but it's important for group harmony.

If you would rather sit by the pool than go to an art gallery, let your friends know you'll catch up at dinner. You'll be better company if you are happy and relaxed than dragging your feet!

 

 

 

 

Have a planning meeting before the trip

Planning a trip is part of the fun! Meet before the trip to talk broadly about what kind of vacation everyone is hoping for. This will really help to make sure that everyone can get the kind of vacation that they want.

Maybe one friend wants to spend a good chunk of time sitting on the beach, while another wants to explore and sight-see. Talking about it ahead means no surprises while travelling!

You can also make the larger decisions about the trip while together in person to discuss it, ideally.

 

Talk about money before the trip

Because who wants to talk about money while on vacation? For ultimate harmony, Sonia Prades in an interview for Hindustan Times suggests that you work out a fair split of the major expenses; accommodation, transportation, and groceries.  

Other expenses, such as entertainment, drinks, and restaurants, should be individual expenses, not group expenses.

Keeping friends is easy when you don't split every cheque!

 

One more thing about Money and other details ..

Don't worry, be happy!  Tell yourself that anytime you feel a bit annoyed that one friend seems to tip less, or eat more, or whatever annoying quirks..  Just remind yourself that you're on vacation, so you will not let little things bug you!

If you don't like a behaviour of one of your travel companions, just be the bigger person and lead by positive example!

Be the friend you want to have - and that includes extra patience sometimes!

 

 

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Yearly social calendar for couples

Yearly social calendar for couples

Do you know that problem you have as a couple where you just can't find something to watch on Netflix?

Wait a minute!  Maybe it's time to call up some mutual friends and go out! (With any luck, your friends will have some suggestions for new shows to watch..)

If you're wondering what a healthy, active and fun-filled social life might look like for a married couple, here is an infographic that can help you plan your free time and social life as a couple. 

What do you think of this schedule? Is it realistic for you?  Chime in below!

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Is Loneliness a Rising Epidemic in Young People?

Is Loneliness a Rising Epidemic in Young People?

Studies suggest people in their 20s and 30s are lonelier than seniors

In 2010, The Mental Health Foundation in the U.K. found that loneliness was a bigger problem among the young than the old.  The 18-34 year-olds in an extensive study were more likely to feel lonely often, to worry about feeling alone and to feel depressed because of loneliness than those over 55.

Lynn Renwick would agree. Renwick runs a drop-in to help lonely youth in Newcastle, England in the summer, “Loneliness is not just an issue for older people in our community and many young people come to us for help to socialise with other young people." She said in an article for NE Connected online. 

So, if young people are lonelier right now than old people - how did this happen?

A look at some possible causes:

Social media makes us insecure

We're hearing about this all the time now. Numerous studies showing that rather than bring us closer, social media is making us feel more lonely and more insecure. 

A recent study shows that using Facebook makes young people feel bad. 

“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection,” says U-M social psychologist Ethan Kross, lead author of the article and a faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).“But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result."

To be fair, Facebook may have these effects on young people, but it can have the opposite effect on the old!

In a study, seniors in residential care were trained to use social media and started using it to keep up with family, resulting in a decrease in their loneliness.

One lesson from this might be that Facebook will not reduce our loneliness if we use it to replace face-to-face time with our friends. According to the Lonely Society study in the U.K., spending time in-person, as in face-to-face with friends, produces the hormon oxytocin, which might be good for your heart as well as your feelings of well-being.

 

Young people are obsessed with being productive, even at the expense of time with friends

A recent study undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation in the U.K. found that for some young people, investing time in social activities is seen as less important than work.

People today feel pressure to be ‘productive’ and busy, and as a consequence neglect relationships with friends and family.

"Individuals pursuing aspirations in a market-driven world may be doing so at their own expense, and neglecting the basic human need to connect with others," says the Mental Health Foundation. 

There is a danger in this; making work more important for your time than friends and family is not a good choice for your health, your happiness, or even your lifespan! 

 

 

 

Why we need to prioritize friendships at every stage of our lives:

 

Spending time with friends will make you live longer

Scientists found that the loneliest were nearly twice as likely to die during their six-year study than the least lonely in a recent study. Compared with the average person in the study, those who reported being lonely had a 14% greater risk of dying. So loneliness has about twice the impact on an early death as obesity, or smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo has been studying loneliness for decades, and he puts it bluntly, 

"No matter what social species you’re talking about, all the way down to fruit flies, if you isolate them they die earlier.”

 

Spending time with friends will make you healthier

More studies are coming out all the time showing how loneliness leads to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression, heart attack and strokes.

In fact, loneliness and feelings of rejection activates the same parts of the brain as physical pain!

But those who spend time with good friends drink less alcohol, have healthier diets, and exercise more than lonely people, according to research.

 

Spending time with friends will make you happier

In one study, 42% of women polled felt depressed because of their loneliness. 

People who spend more time with friends find less fault with themselves and with those around them. They are significantly less likely to be depressed. In short, people who spend time with their friends are happier. 

 

Spending time with friends will save you money

One study showed that feeling lonely can make you spend more money, and be more frivolous in your spending. 

Maybe that's why it's called retail therapy?

On the flip side, spending time with friends is often rewarding but low cost - sure, you might go for dinner or drinks, but you can also just hang out, go to the park, go to the beach, or just have coffee - actually for more ideas, see this blog post. 

While there are some services and charities that are aimed to reduce loneliness in seniors, there are not currently such services existing for the younger generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ten simple low-cost ways to spend more time with Friends

Ten simple low-cost ways to spend more time with Friends

 

Go For a Walk

It doesn’t cost anything, it’s good for your health and the changing environment and cardio activity will help your conversation flow. You can walk around in your neighborhood, a different neighborhood, a park, just about anywhere! A bike ride is also beneficial and fun!

 

Work Out

Kind of similar to the above. If you’re going to work out or go to the gym anyway, you might as well do it with a friend! The time will fly by, and as a bonus, having someone else working out might help inspire you to complete your full workout. After all, it’s harder to slack off if you think someone else will notice!

Hit up a Coffee Shop

Frothy cappuccinos, seasonally spiced lattés, couches, music- forget the new Starbucks drive-thru, coffee shops were made for hanging out! A good dimly lit coffee shop and good tunes is the perfect mix of relaxation and stimulation for chilling with friends! Take two hours to sip espresso and foamed milk and cinnamon while catching up with a friend, or a group of friends.

Cook

This is a fun activity to do with friends! Save on the pricey restaurant bill and hit up the nearest market for some fresh foods to cook at home. You can share a favorite recipe with your friends, or tackle a bigger, more complicated recipe together! With everyone assigned to chopping or mixing, or pouring of wine, you will develop a real sense of camaraderie and teamwork together- and in the end you can all sit down to a great home cooked meal! No tipping required.

Go for Dessert

So you’ve had your dinner already with your spouse or partner, and now are settling into routine. That leaves room for dessert! Head to the trendiest place in town, even a pricey dessert will only be a fraction of the cost of a meal out. Order the yummiest thing on the menu plus some coffee or herbal tea, and revel in the fact that if you share, you’re sharing the calories too. Scrumptious.

Help Each Other

Go to your friend’s house and help him paint his fence. Next weekend, he’s coming to your place to stain your deck. For the price of beers you have extra labour and the encouragement to get lots more done. You’re both happy because you get to cross things off your list, and chores never seem so hard when you’re hanging out with friends. Everybody wins!

Game Night!

Gather a couple of friends, or a couple of couples, and invest in a board game. There are so many out there now. Some classics are charades, Taboo, Scattegories. There are great newer games out there too, like Cranium, and several hilarious “Battle of the Sexes” games. Or go all out and get a Murder Mystery game, costumes and all. Snacks can be as casual as a couple bowls of chips and some pop to as elaborate as an appetizer potluck.

Do Your Grocery Shopping Together

This is better with just one friend otherwise it could get a little chaotic. Ever feel like you’re always coming home with the same things? So what if you have your grocery shopping down to a lean routine? Getting the task done with your friend can introduce you to new foods, and maybe even some tips and tricks. It’s also a neat chance to learn more about your friend. What kinds of meals does your friend plan? What great deals can you learn about? You might pick up ingredients for your classic steak marinade, and your friend might try it too. Maybe he has a favorite brand of yogurt you didn’t know about it. Maybe she has a healthy go-to snack you could try. At the very least it could offer some new insights on your own shopping habits. And isn’t self-discovery fun too?

Have a Spa Day

OK, admittedly, this one is probably more appealing to the ladies. Gather around at a friend’s. Bring your bathrobes and slippers and concoct your own beauty treatments- there are tons of home-made face masks, scrubs, and creams on the Internet, like these. Munch on healthy spa food an apple ginger cooler or grilled veggie wrap found here. Don’t forget the cucumber slices for the eyes!

Bowling

Why? Because almost anyone of any age can do it, the food is cheap and so are the drinks, and it’s fun! So there you have it, some ideas to get you started. More activity ideas

 

Have a Bonfire

I'm pretty sure this simple pleasure has been enjoyable for thousands of years by us humans!  It's a great way to connect, and easy to do! Pass the marshmallows!

 

Go to the Beach

Guaranteed fun!  Who doesn't love the beach? Fill a beach bag with sunscreen, waters, snacks, and a frisbee, a soccer ball, or a bocce ball set and you'll be entertained for hours!

 

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How to be social and meet friends..when you work for yourself or from home

How to be social and meet friends..when you work for yourself or from home

 

All types of people are choosing to be their own boss, and reaping many benefits.

I'm sure there is a lot of "office life" that these professionals do not miss- the grumpy boss, the strict hours, the politics.

But working at a company does offer one big perk- the chance to meet lots of people and make friends.

If you are self-employed, here are some tips to keep networking, making new connections, and meeting friends and new people.

 

Network within your industry

Join a networking group.  All kinds of industries have these networking groups, from the Canadian Public Relations Society for people in PR to the AIGA for graphic designers in America with 67 chapters across the country, to the ISPA organization that brings together people in the Internet industry in the UK, there's something for everyone!

These groups normally cost a small, tax deductible fee for membership, which will make you part of a community of professionals in your industry.  They often host networking events and workshops, great for business growth, networking, and meeting with other professionals like yourself!

 

Attend trade shows with business cards, conversation topics, and a positive attitude

Make it a goal to network with one person each week, meet for a coffee or lunch and talk about work, compare notes, or learn how to help each other

Host your own networking event.  For example, throw a drop-in holiday party for others in your industry, both clients and competition



Participate in Learning Opportunities

Sign up for a class that can give you new skills in your work, e.g. accounting, or presentations

 Join skills groups such as Toastmasters, a very social organization that helps you to build public speaking confidence, and also hosts conferences

Subscribe to news feeds from local organizations that support entrepreneurs in the community, for example the Women's Entrerepise Network, which regularly hosts workshops and networking events for entrepreneurs



Work out of a Shared Co-op workspace instead of home

These office buildings bring entrepreneurs together, allowing you to rent a cubicle and share the services of an administrative assistant, working alongside other self-employed business people



Be Charitable

The networking trick that keeps on giving, find something that inspires you and give back some time by becoming a volunteer!

I know someone who is a contractor, but would volunteer to be the bbq-er at an annual women's sports tournament, it was a great opportunity to have lots of conversations, show off his competence (he always ended up doing some kind of handy man thing, like help to set up a tent, or fix a sign), and spread the word about his services in a fun environment.

 

 

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5 ways to Meet New People when you move

5 ways to Meet New People when you move

 

You've got your new house, your new driver's licence, your new job. But your real estate agent probably didn't help you to make new friends from your new neighborhood!  If you are wondering how to meet new people after you move- or maybe you didn't move, but you'd still like to expand your social network- here are a couple of ideas!



Volunteer for something you care about
This is a great way to meet new people.  As a bonus, the people you meet here probably care about the same things you do, making a great spark for a friendship. There are all kinds of volunteering opportunities out there, at animal shelters, working with seniors, neighborhood beautification committees, coaching sports, planning fundraising events, there are almost as many opportunities as interests so it's easy to find something that you might enjoy!

 
Get a Part-Time Job
Maybe you don't need a job. Well, you can always lose the job and keep the friends you make there! Sometimes serving tables or pumping gas can be a handy way to make new friends, as you bond with coworkers and meet people in the neighborhood without worrying about office politics or taking work home with you.  (BTW, this is the only idea of the five that actually pays you money.)

Join a Community Class
If you are a new parent you could try a "Mommy and me" class to meet other new parents- there is a strong chance that other people will be there solo as well, and you'll already have something in common.  Or take a zumba class and have a laugh while you bond over the shared experience.  Try a painting class and meet other aspiring artists.  A chance to learn something and meet people at the same time!

Start walking or jogging around your new neighborhood
By walking around, not only will you familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood, but you can also observe who else is in the community.  Go frequently and you might start passing by your neighbors, noting which ones are similar to you in age, or in interests.  If  you pass some neighbors frequently, it is only a matter of time before you become familiar to each other, and then the next step is getting to know each other!

Join a Sports Team
It doesn't have to be serious or competitive. Casual or "beer" leagues exist for all age groups and all levels of experience.  Today's "soccer mom" might be defined as a woman who plays soccer, as in some places participation in women over 35 is rising rapidly.  Baseball beer leagues are always looking for more players, both men and women.  It's fun, and it is a chance to meet a whole team of potential new friends!


Have you found an effective way to meet new people? Please share in the comments below!

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Lessons in Friendship Learned from The Sims

Lessons in Friendship Learned from The Sims

 

One thing that can be said about The Sims, the game did put a lot of value on friendship!

Friendship has always been a powerful tool in The Sims, and to do well in its simulated life, a Sim should pursue new friendships and maintain old ones. When this happened, a Sim's career, health, and happiness all did better! 

Some more tips learned from The Sims:

 

Friends and Fun are as important as Eating and Sleeping.

Yup, when maintaining your sims health and happiness, the bar that measured input for fun and social activities carried as much weight as the bar that measured if your sim was hungry, tired, or had to go to the bathroom. 

With recent studies coming out to show that good friendships actually do make people live longer, healthier, happier lives, they must have been on to something!

 

 

Friendships are like plants; if you don't water them, they die.

Ah, the poetry of The Sims.  Through metaphors, we were taught that we must work actively to maintain our friendships - that means calls, visits, and good quality time.  It's a simple formula, but still probably more effective than just liking your buddie's Facebook posts..

 

 

It's nice to share gifts sometimes.

Remember when your sim would get a visit from a friend, and that friend would coming bearing a small gift, like a plant or some chocolates?  That gift was always happily received!

While the Sims were at one time pretty traditional in their gifts, there are so many small gifts we can bring when visiting our friends - some fresh produce from your garden, in a little basket, a batch of homemade cookies, a funny souvenir from your vacation - surprise and delight your real-life friends with small gifts from time to time, and you, too, can be a good friend like your old sim neighbours and friends!

 

Your friends can help you reach your career goals.

In the Sims, to get that next promotion, there was always a friends requirement. (Unless you had a good cheat code.)

In real life, friends can help you with your career too - they can help you find a job, volunteer for your company event, or just be there to listen to you complain about your boss.  

 

That can't be all of them!

What did I miss? Comment below!

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Clothing Swap Party Plan + Punch Recipe

Clothing Swap Party Plan + Punch Recipe

Here is a perfect activity for today's budget-minded world: host a clothing swap party with your friends!

Just because your designer top doesn't fit you right anymore, doesn't mean it has to be a total loss- why not trade it for your friend's leather skirt- the one she never wears.
 
It's so nice to organize your closet, and a good chance to get rid of clothes you just don't wear, clothes you bought and regretted, or, sadly, (sometimes happily!), clothing that no longer fits.

Everyone has these issues, so get the gang together and agree to bring all your unwanted clothes for a great exchange. You get the chance to gain new pieces for your wardrobe- new to you- for no cost.

It's a win-win! Here are our suggestions for pulling off a great clothing swap:

 

How to:


1. Invite as many friends as you can- the more clothes, the better! It's also a nice icebreaker if you want to introduce different friends to each other. You can find cute invitations online to make it extra special.


2. Set up a big space so that there's lots of room to put everyone's clothes on display. When guests arrive, you might want to let each guest display their clothes in her own spot.
 

3. Once everyone has arrived and set up, serve champagne punch, (it won’t stain anything if it spills!) and let the swapping begin! Anything goes- shoes, jewelry, work clothes, party clothes, whatever! Allow everyone to swap between themselves. Money saving fun!
 

4. For food and drinks, a potluck of snacks is one great way to tie in to the community theme. Otherwise, a nice idea would be to go for some nice, light snacks, because no one wants to feel weighed down when they get new clothes! Tea or Iced tea, punch (recipe below), fruit and veggie platters, and
 lemon cupcakes is a nice balance of treats and eats. 

 



Strawberry Champagne Punch


This one is easy and refreshing! You can play around with the portions and still it will turn out great!

1- extra large bottle of champagne or sparkling wine
 
1- bag of frozen strawberries
1 -2 litre bottle of ginger ale.

Mix all the ingredients together in a punch bowl and enjoy! Couldn't be easier!

 

 

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Cereal Breakfast Shooters Recipe

Cereal Breakfast Shooters Recipe

These fun breakfast-themed shooters are meant to be shared with friends!

If you are looking for a shot that you can take in the morning, these cereal-inspired Rumchata shots are just the thing!

Apparently, people started mixing these up when they noticed that Rumchata liqueur tastes a bit like leftover cereal milk.

 

Honey Nut Cheerios Inspired breakfast shot recipe:

Mix together equal parts of Rumchata liqueur and honey whiskey.  Shake over ice and pour into shot glasses. 

Garnish with cereal.

 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal inspired breakfast shot

Mix equal parts of Rumchata liqueur and cinnamon whiskey.

Garnish with cereal.

 

Fruit Loops Inspired Shots

Mix 2 parts Rumchata Liqueur with 1 part "Loopy" flavoured vodka (from 3 Olives Vodka brand - it's a fruit loop flavour!)

Add a splash of Blue Curacao.

Shake over ice and serve garnished with cereal.

 

Lucky Charms Inspired Breakfast Shots

Mix 2 parts Rumchata with 1 part strawberry vodka, 1 part marshmallow vodka. 

Garnish with cereal and micro marshmallows!

 

So tasty - and Instagram-worthy -  Enjoy!

 

 

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How to Host a Vegan Tapas Dinner Party

How to Host a Vegan Tapas Dinner Party

 

Host a Vegan Tapas Dinner

A Party Planning Guide

Having a vegan tapas party can be tasty, healthy, and even fun and exciting, even for your non-vegan friends.  

It's fun to try new things at a dinner party, and making it a tapas party will mean lots of fun little bites of vegan delights to try, it's a great way to try many types of different vegan flavours at once!

All my recipes are at the bottom of this post. I'd love to hear about your experience if you give this dinner party a try!

 

Setting the Scene

Tapas-style means sharing many small dishes, perfect for a dinner party because it encourages lots of sharing and interaction.

To set the table for this style of eating, put down side plates instead of full dinner plates at each place setting. You will need the extra room at the table for many platters!

Because you will want to bring many different dishes to the table at once, use the largest table you have, and keep the decorations simple - I used candles in jars and a tablecloth. 

 

The Menu

Easy Sangria 

Salted radishes, mixed olive platters

Rosemary and white bean dip with fresh bread

Cucumber hummus cups topped with olive tapenade

Rice paper wraps with dipping sauce

Polenta bruschetta bites

Mint chocolate "nice cream"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Recipes

Easy Sangria 

2 bottles vegan red wine + 2 Litres Ginger Ale + mixed frozen fruit + sliced lemon/limes

Mix early in the day to allow the flavours to develop - and so a drink is ready as soon as your guests walk in the door! 

Salted radishes, mixed olive platters

Coconut-crusted tofu bites + Mango Dipping Sauce

Drain 2 packages of firm tofu, press onto paper towels to release extra moisture. Cut into medium-large cubes. 

Set up 3 bowls:

Bowl 1: 1/4 cup flour + 1 tsp each salt, garlic powder
Bowl 2: 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tbsp flour 
Bowl 3: 1 cup shredded coconut

Heat coconut oil in a medium/high frying pan. Dip each tofu cube in bowl 1, then bowl 2, then bowl 3, then put in heated oil on frying pan. Pat extra coconut flakes if needed. Pan fry on all sides until golden. Work in batches. 

Remove from frying pan and let cool on paper towel to soak extra oil. 

Mango dipping Sauce: In food processor/blender combine: 2 cups peeled cubed mango (cheat: use frozen!) + 2 tbsp agave syrup + 1 tsp lime juice + 2 tbsp coconut milk + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. 

Rosemary and white bean dip with fresh bread

1 - 14 oz can white beans + 1 clove of garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder + 1.5 tablespoons olive oil + fresh ground salt and pepper + squeeze of lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Make this one the day before if you want! Serve with fresh bread, or whatever form of carbs you prefer.

Cucumber hummus cups topped with olive tapenade

To Make the hummus: Mix 1 - 14 oz can chickpeas (organic is best!) + 1 tbsp lemon juice +  salt + pepper + 1 tbsp tahini paste + 3 garlic cloves (or less, or more, depending how much you like garlic).  Blend it all together in a food processor. The hummus can be made the day before the party.

To assemble the hummus cups: Slice cucumbers into 1-2 inch rounds. Scoop out a bowl into the top of each round. Fill with hummus. Top with olive tapenade. (Olive tapenade = Get from the deli to save time!)

Rice paper wraps with dipping sauce

To make the rice wraps: Chop up any combination of veggies you'd like into thin strips. Fresh herbs are great too. Chop first then line them up for easy assembly. Some suggested fillings: bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, thin strips of carrots, strips of fresh basil or cilantro, thin strips of bell peppers, lettuce. Anything really!

The rice wraps (which you bought at the store), will have directions on them - follow those! Then fill and wrap them.

To make the dipping sauce: Pull out your blender/food processor again! Blend together the following ingredients: 1" piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin + 1 small clove garlic + 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter + 2 tbsp soy sauce + 1 packed tsp brown sugar + pinch crushed red pepper flakes.  

Thin it out as much as needed with water to make it blend - adding a little water at a time until you get the right consistency. Another thing you can make the day before! (Put in fridge and bring to room temperature to serve.)

Polenta bruschetta bites

Prepared polenta roll (in the refrigerator section of store) - slice into 12 even rounds, then fry in olive oil til crispy, flipping once or twice. 

Arrange on a cookie sheet. Top with diced tomatoes, torn fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Bake in 375 oven for about 10 minutes. 

Mint chocolate "nice cream"

This recipe is delicious, and it's from a blog called "Natural Noshing," visit this blog here 

Ingredients: 1 can full fat coconut milk + 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 2 tsp vanilla + few drops peppermint extract (about 1/4 tsp) + 3 tbsp agave + small handful of fresh spinach + pinch sea salt + handful vegan mini chocolate chips

Blend everything but the chocolate chips in the blender, then chill in the fridge until the party. When ready to make dessert, churn in the ice cream maker with the chocolate chips. This step takes about 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the ice cream maker. 

 

 

 

 

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Some Best Quotes about Friendship

Some Best Quotes about Friendship

 

A handful of some of our favourite quotes about friendship, perfect filler for that homemade birthday card or friendship-themed presentation or speech!

 

 

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Tips: How to work a room at a party

Tips: How to work a room at a party

You’re at a friend’s party. You came because you promised you would and now you’re here and you don’t know anybody except the host. All around you people are talking and laughing and eating hors d’oeuvres, how are you supposed to have fun with a crowd of strangers? Aaahhh!

Familiar? Whether it’s for work or a social commitment, FriendMatch has gathered a few good pointers to get you through your next mixer event. We even read a book. It’s called, “The Art of Mingling” by Jeanne Martinet

 

Here are five ways to work a room:

 

Offer to Help. 

This is a classic move so we had to mention it. Grab that
tray of hors d’oeuvres and start passing it around- you have something to do, you’ll meet a lot of the people there, and if the conversation goes stale you have a great excuse to keep moving through the room.
 

The “Honest” Approach

If you can’t think of anything else just park yourself at the edge of a cluster of people and wait for someone to notice or acknowledge you. At this point you can say something like, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I don’t know a soul here! My name is Jane Smith….” The humble nature of this approach, according to Martinet, makes you non –threatening and puts the other person in the position to help you out a little bit. Get help from someone? That sounds even easier than our previous suggestion!

The Fade In

First you’re on the edge of the circle. Then you inch a little closer, discreetly. Then you laugh when they laugh. After hanging out a bit, you chip in on the conversation, as if you had always been part of the group. This is the beauty of the fade-in. Sneaky and easy.

The Flattery Approach

According to Martinet a compliment is always a go-to icebreaker. Good= “I love your dress!” Bad= “I love your dress, it looks like you work out !” (unless you are hitting on someone).

How did you get here


Yup, that’s the last one from Martinet's book. You ask someone how they got here. It’s an open-ended question, it’s something you can both share information about since you both got there, and it just might lead to other conversation. E.g. Sally: “How did you get here?” Jane: “I rode my bicycle here,” Sally: “You ride your bicycle in the winter?” Jane: “Yes, I also cycle to work,” Sally: “Me too!” ……………etc.

 

 

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Is making new friends one of your goals?

Is making new friends one of your goals?

A few years ago, nearing the end of an evening at a pub in Fort Lauderdale with an old we'll call Tom, we started talking about people in our lives.

When I mentioned a friend of a friend named Jeremy, Tom said, "Oh yes, he is one of my target friends."

Target Friends??

What is a Target Friend?

Tom is a motivated guy, I have seen him visualize and then attain his dream career, car, and life.

It almost wasn't surprising to have him explain to me that he attained friends with the same goal-driven manner.

"A Target Friend is someone that you want to become friends with," explained Tom, "and you make it your goal to become friends with them,"

Turns out Tom admired some qualities about Jeremy, including his ability to be very disciplined about his health, a quality Tom wanted to improve in himself.

So Tom made it a goal to be Jeremy's friend, and like any of his other goals, he was taking steps to achieve it.

 

A couple years later, Jeremy was one of the groomsmen at Tom's wedding, so it must have worked!

I was inspired to think about who my Target Friends would be.

 

Do you know anyone who could be your target friend?

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How to host a clothing swap party

How to host a clothing swap party


Host a clothing swap party!

Here is a perfect activity for today's budget-minded world: host a clothing swap party with your friends!

Just because your designer top doesn't fit you right anymore, doesn't mean it has to be a total loss- why not trade it for your friend's leather skirt- the one she never wears.
It's so nice to organize your closet, and a good chance to get rid of clothes you just don't wear, clothes you bought and regretted, or, sadly, (sometimes happily!), clothing that no longer fits.

Everyone has these issues, so get the gang together and agree to bring all your unwanted clothes for a great exchange. You get the chance to gain new pieces for your wardrobe- new to you- for no cost.

It's a win-win! Here are our suggestions for pulling off a great clothing swap:
How to:
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Invite as many friends as you can-

the more clothes, the better! It's also a nice icebreaker if you want to introduce different friends to each other. You can find cute invitations online to make it extra special.



Set up a big space

so that there's lots of room to put everyone's clothes on display. When guests arrive, you might want to let each guest display their clothes in her own spot.

 

Let the swapping begin!

Anything goes- shoes, jewelry, work clothes, party clothes, whatever! Allow everyone to swap between themselves. Money saving fun!

For food and drinks

...a potluck of snacks is one great way to tie in to the community theme. Otherwise, a nice idea would be to go for some nice, light snacks, because no one wants to feel weighed down when they get new clothes! Tea or Iced tea, punch (recipe below), fruit and veggie platters, and lemon cupcakes is a nice balance of treats and eats.


Strawberry Champagne Punch
This one is easy and refreshing! You can play around with the portions and still it will turn out great!

1- extra large bottle of champagne or sparkling wine
1- bag of frozen strawberries
1 -2 litre bottle of ginger ale.

Mix all the ingredients together in a punch bowl and enjoy! Couldn't be easier!

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Meet New People

Find out how FriendMatch is helping people to make new friends

How does FRIENDMATCH Help Me Make New Friends?

FriendMatch is an online service to help you meet new people from your neighborhood or from around the world.

Types of Friends: Exercise partners, couple friends, new parents groups, book clubs, dinner party clubs, just someone to have coffee with and talk about life…etc.


What DO I have to do?

Sign up for free. 

Use our search tools to find new friends.  Search by age, gender, location, interests, or just by keyword.

Send a message and introduce yourself to people you’d like to get to know better, and then take your friendship from there!

We provide tips and tools to help you keep in touch with your friends- a blog with inspirational friendship stories and tips, speed-friending networking events - because life is busy and we want to help!

Click here to sign up to FriendMatch for free and start making new, real friends, from nearby or from around the world

(Like online dating, but for friends instead of dates!)