November 2012 - Posts

People to Have in Your Corner
Friday, November 30, 2012 7:32 PM

When climbing the corporate ladder, people often pause to take stock of their skills, resume, and experience. When was the last time you paused and took stock of the people around you?

Are You Good for Me?

A recent article with the eye-catching headline 9 People You Must Remove From Your Inner Circle takes a look at the personality types that are best weeded out of your life. Obvious gotta-go types include backstabbers and schmoozers, who value surface connection over deeper relationships. Less obvious sorts are "raving fans" - those individuals who lavish excessive and unconditional praise on you at the expense of honest and unvarnished truths.

So if certain people are best to avoid at work (and in life) who are the people that you should have in your corner?

Team Me

Any quarterback will tell you, you need a team to move a ball forward. Very little in life is accomplished entirely on one's own: so look to partner with the right people. Not sure who should be on your roster? You can't go wrong with the folks in this article, The 6 People You Need In Your Corner,  says contributor Jessica Hagy. Create an inner circle that includes the following:

  • Instigator: Count on this person to poke and prod you (aka motivate) to get up, get going and try new things. Together, you create positive energy.
  • Cheerleader: We all need someone who will toot our horn. Find an evangelist that will sing your praises loudly and often.
  • Doubter: This voice of reason offers needed perspective and helps you identify obstacles and roadblocks.
  • Taskmaster: Drill sergeants have their place; find someone who will keep your feet to the fire.
  • Connector: Share the love and spread the network; your connector hooks you up!
  • Example: We all need a mentor that we can use as a model. Find someone you admire and emulate them.




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Healthy Habits for the Holidays
Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:29 PM

No sooner does the last slice of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie disappear, when eggnog and holiday cookies dance onto the scene. If you're not careful, too much holly jolly can wreak havoc on your waistline and your health.

This holiday season commit to five simple steps to keep the healthy in your holidays.

Bottoms Up: Make water your go-to beverage throughout the holiday season; when you quaff lots of water along with holiday cocktails, you lessen the chance of overindulging and will feel better the next day. Plus water bottles also make a fun, useful hostess gift. For shopping ideas, click here and here.

Think Veggies: Hitting the veggie platter helps you resist the siren song of baked brie and holiday chocolates. When you fill up on crudités, you take the edge off your appetite, making it easier to say no to temptation. If your party is potluck, offer to bring the veggies to ensure a low-calorie, high fiber snack is on hand. For creative presentation ideas, this article has you covered.

A Long Winter's Nap: Too many late nights of holiday revelry or rushing around the mall can quickly take its toll. Do yourself a favor and protect your shut-eye so you can truly enjoy the season. Find it difficult to get your zzz's during the holiday hubbub? Better your odds of a good night's sleep by relaxing for an hour before bed rather than doing chores or working and by sticking to a regular sleep routine. And use power naps to make up for lost slumber. For more tips on healthy holiday sleep habits, read 6 Ways to Sleep Better During the Holidays. 

Ice Skating Anyone?: Increase your holiday stamina by devoting time to activities that recharge your batteries such as exercise and mediation. When you can, incorporate exercise into your holiday plans; instead of cocktails with friends, suggest an ice skating outing. Or have your family take a hike instead of seeing the latest holiday blockbuster. Schedule blocks of solo exercise each day as well. Even a brisk 20 minute walk daily will improve your mood, help with sleep and keep the pounds and stress at bay.

Indulge When You Can: Deprivation is never any fun, especially around the holidays. Allow yourself to indulge in those little treats that make the season special. After all, the holidays only roll around once a year and treating yourself to small luxuries can help stave off overindulgence later on. And many holiday treats - such as red wine and dark chocolate - also have health benefits - as long as they are consumed in moderation. So go ahead, enjoy, it's good for your health!



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Organizing for Holiday House Guests
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:26 PM

Holidays are best celebrated with family and close friends but when loved ones are far-flung, togetherness often means hosting house guests. If your home is doing double duty as a hotel this holiday season, read our tips for creating a welcoming atmosphere (and one that preserves your sanity!)

My Home is Your Home: Signal your open-arm welcome by creating dedicated space for guests. Banish clutter from your guests' quarters, whether it's a spare bedroom or another area of your home. Use attractive bags, bins and trunks to temporarily capture odds and ends.

When quarters are tight and you don't have a dedicated guest room, create space by supplying luggage racks that help house overnight bags which lets them double as dressers. Likewise, by simply supplying hangers on the back of a door, you create a spot for guests to stash their stuff.

Ease bathroom congestion by offering your guest canvas duffel outfitted with fresh towels and travel toiletries that they can tote to and from the bathroom. For more ideas, read Good Housekeeping's Easy Organizing: Hosting Guests. 

Making a List, Checking it Twice: Think through your houseguests' needs before they arrive with this handy checklist from the über-organized folks at Real Simple. Suggested items to have handy include a spare house key, maps and travel tips for your neighborhood, as well as must-have, yet often-forgotten toiletries.

The Extra Mile: Leave it to the ultimate hostess Martha Stewart to suggest special touches for visitors that bring a five-star hotel vibe to even a simple sofa-bed. Tips from Martha include leaving foil-wrapped chocolates and a carafe of chilled water bed side. Don't have a carafe lying around? Use a short water glass inverted over a tall, slim one.  For more inventive Martha tips, read here. 

Happy hosting!



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Hollah! Four Holiday Organizing Must-Haves
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 7:21 PM


The most wonderful time of the year is once again upon us. Get organized for the post-Thanksgiving-to-New Year hollidaze marathon with these four fun holiday organizing helpers.

Countdown Calendars

Keep track of Santa's arrival with one of these 25 creative advent calendars.  Choose from DIY calendars or even one with whiskey!  These calendars aren't limited to Christmas celebrations: use them to countdown to New Year's Eve or the first day of Hanukah. Or choose this Byers Choice, Menorah Calendar,  to countdown to the festival of lights.

Holiday Card Apps

Does the whole "licking envelopes, buying stamps" thing stop you from sending holiday cards? This year enlist your smartphone as your holiday card elf and use it to create cards and send them by text message, e-mail or snail mail. Yep, it's that easy. Read Smartphone Apps Send Holiday Greetings to learn how.

Shopping Apps

We all wish we could delegate an elf to hit the lines at the shopping mall for us. But tech savvy shoppers know that holiday shopping apps and websites can be almost as helpful. Read 5 Money-Saving Tools, Apps and Websites for Holiday Shopping to make gift-giving easy.

No Time to Cook?

Make feeding the holiday hordes simple by outsourcing some of the cooking to others. No, we're not talking potluck, we're talking catered foods.  National retailers such as Whole Foods,  Dean & Deluca and Zabar's  can deliver everything from apps to a stuffed turkey. Budget shoppers can find deals on fully-catered meals at Costco stores.  Or ask your local supermarket for their catering menu, most have one!

What organizing must-have keeps the jolly in your holidays? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.



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Mistakes: Be Better, Not Bitter
Monday, November 12, 2012 9:24 PM
Mistakes are an unavoidable part of work and life. How you handle those mistakes however is entirely within your control. When you view life's inevitable missteps as an opportunity to be better, not bitter, you create the possibility of a better future...
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Recovering from Disaster
Friday, November 09, 2012 8:35 PM

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. As you work to recover and move forward, we've assembled a list of helpful tools to aid the process.

Generator Safety

Many East Coast residents are relying on generators for electricity and heat as power outages continue. Be generator smart with these safety tips  from the Long Island Power Authority.

Food & Water Safety

Once the storm's rains and winds subside, safety concerns start to focus on food and water supplies. For a complete primer, read these two articles: A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes  and Water and Food Safety After Hurricane: Can you drink the water and eat the food? Advice from the FDA.

Returning to a Damaged or Flooded Home

If you needed to evaucate your home and are now returning to a damaged property, please read this check list  of tips from the Red Cross before returning. Tips include bringing cameras to document damage for insurance claims and wearing protective clothing.

Insurance Claims

Educate yourself about how insurance claims work in order to get the best result. We've assembled several useful articles to get you up to speed:

Finally, we leave you with links to two of the best informational resources on disasters and their aftermaths: FEMA and the American Red Cross. Answers to many of your recovery questions can be answered here.

We wish you the best of luck as you work to recover and rebuild. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.


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Can Your Commute Make You Happier?
Friday, November 09, 2012 8:26 PM

When you free associate the word "commute" you are probably more likely to think "long" than "marital happiness."  But a recent study that is getting attention in the Harvard Business Review  finds that couples that commute together are more likely to experience marital satisfaction that those that don't. Interesting stuff.

Still not everyone can commute with their significant other, but the study got us thinking: can our commute make us happier in other ways?

Making the Most of Commute Time

Try and take a "glass half full" view of your commute and view the time as an opportunity. The average American commutes almost 50 minutes a day, says the Census Bureau: use this time wisely and you may find yourself appreciating your travel time.

Get to that Book: Curling up with a great read is not for bedtime only. E-books make reading even the weightiest tome manageable on a commute. Join social networking site  for book recommendations from friends. Or collect useful articles in your e-reader for subway or train perusal. Car commuters, you can get in the action with audio books.

Advance Your Career: No time for networking? Use your commute time to fit critical networking time into your busy schedule. Update your LinkedIn profile; send networking e-mails to industry contacts and schedule future lunch and drinks dates with peers. Keep abreast of industry trends by reading useful articles or listening to podcasts. Car commuters, take advantage of your hands-free device to schedule calls with mentors and peers.

Scheme, Daydream: Downtime is a rare commodity. Make the most of the idle hour to let your mind wander. Keep a notebook handy or download a note-taking app on your smart phone to jot down any inspiration that strikes.

Unwind: Can't find time to get to that crossword puzzle? Squeeze in a nap? Download that new album and play it from start to finish? You're in luck - you're commute provides a window of time to devote to these small moments of Zen.  

How do you make the most out of your commute? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.



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