5 Small Ways to Change Your Life Today for the Better

Throw out all of your old socks and buy new ones

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This is so simple and will make a huge difference in your day. The new fluffy feeling of fresh socks will comfort you the whole day. You will wonder how you got so use to all your old worn down socks. Best of all, now all of your new socks are guaranteed to match for at least a couple weeks.

Cook something delicious

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Find a recipe that you have always wanted try, go to the store buy the ingredients, go home and make it happen. The taste of a delicious meal that I make myself is unparalleled by any restaurant, it’s the taste of accomplishment. You will have fun searching for a recipe, and impress your family and friends with your new meal (bonus points if you walk to the store). Double bonus if you pick up the socks on the way to get the groceries.

Ask someone you respect out for a cup of coffee

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You would be surprised to find out who you could get a meeting with if you just ask. You know that person that is doing exactly what you wish you could be doing right now? Or the person that is 10x more skilled at playing the piano than you? Or that nice Real Estate Agent who always posts such great blog articles? That’s the person you ask to coffee. Making new friends can open up avenues that you never thought possible and it is the key to a dynamic and fun life.

Go for a FUN workout

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By fun I mean a sport, a challenging hike, or that new class you always wanted to try. Variety is the spice of life and exploring a mountain trail that leads to a waterfall is much more interesting than sitting on a spin bike and staring at yourself in the giant gym mirror. Ask a friend to join you or make a day date out of it. Doing something active together is a great bonding experience.

 Schedule “no phone time”

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This is automatic relaxation, you will feel the stress melt away. I am not kidding it’s kind of magical. You need to set your own boundaries with this one but here are some options. Try no phone past 10 pm. This will help you get to sleep better since screens are known to keep your mind active and awake and turning them off will help you wind down your evening. Also, once you set these boundaries and stick to them friends and colleagues will learn your schedule as well. The fear is always that you will miss something important or that someone will think you don’t care, however, 95% of the time, it can wait until the morning. Another option is no phones during family meals and or no phones on Sundays. A full day can be tough but I recommend trying this on a vacation and see how you feel.

Bonus

On the flip side of the “no phone time” practice is “yes phone time”. This is time when you should absolutely be on your phone and handling those little important things throughout the day so you can spend the time with loved ones later without being on your phone. These are times like riding in an Uber or anytime you are waiting for someone or something. You all know these times and 9 time out of 10 we are on our phones at these times anyway. But I challenge you to identify these times and instead of scrolling through your social media for entertainment handle your business. If you can master this time management hack you will gain an hour or so each day that you can use any way that you want.

Try them out and let me know how it goes. Oh and Happy New Year. Let’s make it great!

My 5 Favorite Holiday Spots

1) Downtown Burbanks 12 Days of Holiday Cheer

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Downtown Burbank goes all out to spread the joy. There are events going on until the 12th of December. Each one fun and worth catching. Don’t miss Sunday the 11th when the Metrolink Holiday Toy Express rolls in to downtown. Then on the 12th there is a free screening of the movie Elf behind City Hall.  More details here.

2) The Rink in Downtown Burbank

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Ice skating in the California sun! Go on a fun date or take the family. All ages are welcome and there are skate aids for the beginners so really everyone can go. This rink only appears in the winter and it is outdoors which makes in more fun in my opinion. It’s near City Hall at the corner of N 3rd Street and E Orange Grove. More details here.

3) Shopping in Old Town Pasadena

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Old Pas knows how to create a great Holiday ambiance. There are the classic decorations, santa’s helpers roaming around, carolers, puppet shows, specialty shops giving out cider and hot cocoa. It’s a warm friendly place. There are mostly artisanal mom and pop shops so you will find unique gifts that will be helping out the community with your purchase more than you would at a big box store. There are a lot of great events going on so check this calendar and plan your shopping to the event.

4) Mexican Hot Chocolate

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It is hard to find authentic Mexican hot chocolate but when you do it’s so good. It is not as sweet as hot chocolate which makes the chocolaty taste very strong and usually high grade South American chocolate is used. It’s frothier than hot chocolate and has a bit of cinnamon and chile in it. Get it at La Monarca Bakery in South Pasadena, they make it perfect. Pair it with an authentic Mexican pastry like a dulce de leche cake or a hojarascan – a Mexican cinnamon cookie which will bring out the cinnamon flavor in the Mexican Hot Chocolate.

5) The Giving Tree

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When you buy a Christmas tree at the NOHO FUMC Tree Lot they donate ALL of the proceeds to various charities. The tree lot is run by volunteers so your money really is going to the charities. I really like this place because we are all going to get a tree anyway so we might as well get the one that will help out the people most in need. More details here.

So now you have some classic Holiday events to keep the traditions alive and some new experiences to make this season memorable, fresh and distinctly Californian. Happy wishes and happy trails to you and yours.

My Experience at the Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb

The 6th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb has just happened in Downtown Los Angeles. It is an event that is near and dear to me as I have been a participant and had close friends with cystic fibrosis. Though it has already past, I would still like to share my thoughts about it with you.

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Looks daunting doesn’t it? photo by keepitupdavid.wordpress.com

The stair climb is a fun and challenging climb up 54 flights of stairs to the roof of the Figueroa at Wilshire building. You can either race to the top and compete for a winning time or climb at your own pace. I start out running but I end up walking near the end. I try to challenge myself at my own pace. Once you reach the top there is a Survivors Party on the rooftop helipad with food, Champagne and entertainment. Kids are welcome as well. You can meet people with Cystic Fibrosis and learn more about their lives and struggle. Of course, the real reason we all participate is to help out in the fight against cystic fibrosis. The registration fee and the fundraised all go to help those with Cystic Fibrosis.

Will Houston is one of the reasons I started doing the run. Will is a 17 year old with Cystic Fibrosis. Will’s grandma and mom are good friends of mine. Our families all grew up together.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that causes constant lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. There is always the looming threat of respiratory failure that haunts the family and the doctors that care for them. Will has lived with this problem all his life. Despite the disease he was on his school’s football team and manages to be very active. Will Houston, every morning before school and before going to bed is on a breathing machine, yet, I always see him smiling. He is an inspiration to me.

CF run family picSo, when I run up those steps and my breathing gets heavy and my lungs start to hurt. I try to
imagine what it is like for Will everyday. It takes me 13 minutes to complete the climb, it will take him a lifetime. I can never truly know what his struggle is but this is one way I can try.

If you are interested in learning more about the effort to help you can check out www.cff.org

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