How to Make New Friends at Any Age

In elementary school, meeting a new friend was as simple as sharing a box of crayons during story time. Now that you’re older you have far fewer opportunities to talk to like-minded people who could become new friends, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up entirely. Use these smart tips to begin making new friends at any age:

  1. Ask friends and family. Just like you might ask friends and family if they know anyone you might be interested in romantically, you can do the same for platonic relationships. It’s much easier to meet a friend when you already have someone to introduce you.
  2. Be more social at parties. Instead of clinging to the group of people you already know at parties, make yourself more of an extrovert. Introduce yourself to anyone who looks like a potential friendship candidate, and be sure to exchange contact information.
  3. Try something new. One of the very best ways to make new friends as an adult is through a shared interest. Join a book club, begin taking a workout class or even volunteer at your kids’ school to be around people with interests similar to yours. Just be sure to put yourself out there and strike up a conversation with anyone you meet.

Survey Says: How to Meet New People [Psychology Today]
50 Ways to Meet New People [About Relationships]
Real-Life Social Networking: How These Best Friends Met [Redbook]

How to Harness the Power of Positive Thinking

When you have a rough day at work, it can really put a damper on your confidence and affect your professional performance. Here are a few ways to improve your work performance through positive thinking.

  1. Start your day on the right foot. Instead of sleeping until the very last second, begin a morning tradition that will make you want to get out of bed. Whether it’s attending a yoga class or sipping coffee on the front porch, spending even just a few minutes relaxing before work will put you in a good mindset.
  2. Put a positive spin on every situation. This may seem easier said than done, but just thinking in a positive way can motivate you to act accordingly. Convince yourself that every downfall has a silver lining and you’ll be able to bounce back that much more quickly.
  3. Spread positivity to coworkers. Instead of critiquing your coworkers or complaining about them to friends, try complimenting them and appreciating what they do for the team. This will not only make you see them in a better light, but it will make them like you more as well.

10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts: Positive Thinking Made Easy [Tiny Buddha]
11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude [Lifehack]
A Positive Attitude at Work: 10 Tips for Success [Udemy]

Ronald McDonald & Seattle Seahawks

Join in to support the Seattle Seahawks this super-special Blue Friday and make a donation to help cheer on the Hawks & the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Visit https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?CID=4574 to make a donation today!

Visit https://www.facebook.com/rmhcseattle for more information.

Having Everyone Over to Watch the Big Game? Check Out These Football-Themed Recipes!

The only thing better than seeing your team score the winning touchdown? An excuse to indulge in some utensil-free finger foods! These game-changing recipes promise to keep mouths happily snacking during the big football game—when they're not busy yelling at the TV, that is!

Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread [browneyedbaker.com]
Requiring only a loaf of bread, some cheese, garlic, and scallions, this quick and easy recipe is good in a pinch. Simply cut a grid pattern into a loaf of bread, drizzle a garlic-oil mixture over top, then pop it into the oven. After the bread has toasted, remove it from the oven, tuck cheese into all of the crevices, then continue to bake until it's golden-brown. Your guests will get a kick out of pulling the gooey, cheesy bread bites away from the loaf.

Homemade Pretzel Dogs [thefoodcharlatan.com]
This recipe creates the quitessential party snack: pigs in a blanket. These pigs, however, are tucked into made-from-scratch soft pretzel dough for a salty, savory snack your guests will love. Serve them with a bowl of yellow mustard for dipping.

Peanut Butter Football Dip [crazyforcrust.com]
For the football fanatic with a sweet tooth, this dessert dip doesn't disappoint. Cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips are combined to create a decadent dip, which is then molded into a football shape. Serve the dip with mini pretzels for a salty-sweet treat.

Deliciously Simple Holiday Cookie Recipes

Even if you don’t have time to decorate intricately frosted holiday cookies this year, you can still maintain the cookie tradition with a simpler recipe that's just as sweet. Check out these great ideas for holiday cookies that are easy as pie.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies [Real Simple]
Your guests will be dreaming of a white cookie this year after they sample one of your delicious, homemade macadamia cookies. This recipe is a classic, and it’s also incredibly easy to perfect.

Raspberry Sandwich Sugar Cookies [Pillsbury]
Bake a perfectly festive batch of these star-shaped sandwich cookies with a dollop of raspberry jam in the center, and they’ll add a bit of cheer to any dessert table. Because they call for refrigerated cookie dough, you can take a major shortcut without anyone being the wiser!

Pretty Package Cookies [BHG]
If you can’t resist icing sugar cookies but want something a bit simpler than an elaborate Santa Claus, these adorable present-shaped cookies will do the trick.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies [Martha Stewart]
You just can’t go wrong with a batch of good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies, and this recipe is one that everyone would love to find in their stocking. Plus, the three-step recipe means that you can whip them up before those last-minute visitors arrive.

How to Make the Holidays Less Stressful

With all of the gift buying, cookie baking, and crowded homes filled with out-of-town visitors, you may forget that the holidays are supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. Here are a few smart tips that will help you to take the stress out of the holidays and better appreciate time spent with family.

  1. Ask for a wish list. Instead of stressing out about buying the perfect gift for a loved one, just ask for his or her wish list. There’s no shame in asking what everyone wants to ensure that you feel confident about your purchases.
  2. Create a budget—and stick to it. Although it’s easy to overspend when you want to spoil your friends and family members, it will only leave you feeling more stressed afterward. It’s entirely possible to purchase thoughtful gifts within your means, provided that you set a budget for your gifts.
  3. Say “no.” You don’t have to attend every holiday party, volunteer to bring a side to every family dinner or even host the festivities at your own home. Carefully consider which things you’ll actually have time for, and say no to everything else.
  4. Keep things simple. Instead of trying to make your holiday celebrations the best on the block, focus on simply spending time with the family over a delicious meal. The rest will work itself out.

Peggy's Top Five for Stress-Free Gift Giving [Emily Post]
Our Stress-Less Holiday Guide [She Knows]
10 Steps to a Less Stressful Holiday [Parents]

Delicious Uses for Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you’ve ever made a turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving turkey, you know that the leftovers are almost as good as the meal itself. Here are a few new ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers in creative and delicious ways.

Thanks Benedict on Stuffing Cakes with Sage Hollandaise [Food Network]
If the long name on this one leaves you scratching your head, you’ll understand once you see this breakfast dish in action. Thanksgiving stuffing is molded into small, flat cakes and toped with pancetta and poached eggs to create a new version of eggs Benedict using mostly holiday leftovers.

Cranberry Sauce Over Pound Cake A la Mode [Rachael Ray]
If your dinner guests leave behind an excess of cranberry sauce, use it as a topping on this delicious seasonal dessert. You can also use pre-packaged pound cake to make the whole thing even easier.

Turkey Banh Mi [Martha Stewart]
Instead of your usual day-after turkey sandwich, get a bit global by creating a traditional Vietnamese banh mi with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Top it with spicy mayonnaise, fresh cilantro and crispy vegetables and serve the whole thing on a whole wheat baguette. This sandwich is especially great for those who can’t bare another bite of the cranberry and gravy flavors of Thanksgiving dinner.

America Recycles Day is November 15th

One day to educate. One day to motivate. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year. We recycle. Do you? Help us celebrate America Recycles Day by taking the pledge at www.americarecyclesday.org!

Turkey 101: The Basics of Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, you want to make sure that the turkey comes out perfectly. It may take a bit of effort, but cooking a browned, flavorful turkey is possible if you adhere to a few strict guidelines. Here are some basic instructions for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.

  1. Buy the right size bird. Allot 1 to 1.5 pounds for each dinner guest. For example, if you’re hosting 10 family members for dinner, a 12-pound turkey should be just the right amount.
  2. Thaw completely. Cooking a turkey that is still frozen inside is one of the most common turkey mishaps, so be sure to let your turkey thaw for at least one full day for every four pounds. If it’s still frozen on the day of, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes for each pound of meat.
  3. Remove the neck and giblets. This is the most unpleasant step of the process, but it will be much more unpleasant if you forget to do it.
  4. Roast. You should roast a 12-pound turkey for about 3 to 3.5 hours, less time for a smaller bird and more time for a larger one. Test the turkey’s doneness by using a food thermometer. Once the inside meat reaches 180 degrees F and the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F, it’s completely done.

Cooking Questions: Thanksgiving [AllRecipes]
How to Cook a Turkey Perfectly [How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey]
How to Roast a Turkey [Martha Stewart]
How To Cook a Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest Method [The Kitchn]

Happy Veteran’s Day!

For all that you have sacrificed, and everything you've done to help make this world we share a safer, better one. This comes with admiration and with gratitude to say you're thought about so often and especially today!

Happy Veteran's Day to all those that have served and are serving our country!