Cheryl Posner


Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite snacks or goodies. By planning your meals a week in advance, you can leave room for cookies, ice cream, and takeout without feeling guilty. Eating healthy food 80 percent of the time is a great way to start building healthy eating habits. Most diets that force you to give up all unhealthy foods fail in the long-term because they are difficult to commit to and do not allow enough flexibility. It is always better to start transitioning slowly as opposed to all at once. Meal planning can help you manage your weight loss goals without having to give up the food you love. Here is a closer look at meal planning and how it works:

How Does Meal Planning Work?

Meal planning involves setting aside time at the beginning of the week or over the weekend to plan your meals for the upcoming week. This process involves choosing recipes, shopping for ingredients, making the food, and properly storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Writing your plan down in a notebook or in a Google Doc can help you stay organized. 

Plan for Takeout and Treats

By planning for takeout and treats ahead of time, you can properly arrange your meals so that you do not exceed a certain amount of calories in a day or week. For example, if you plan to have a “cheat day” on Saturday and eat your favorite cookies, then in the morning you can eat a lighter breakfast or lunch. However, it is important to not get too caught up in counting calories or tracking everything you eat because this can lead to eating disorders. Leaving room for flexibility and change in your meal plans is important. 

Gradually Phase Unhealthy Food out of Your Plan

At the beginning, it is acceptable to continue eating some unhealthy foods as you get used to meal preparation and changing your diet. However, it is important to challenge yourself to cut one or two unhealthy items from your plan each week or month in order to meet your weight loss or fitness goals. 

Other Tools for Weight Loss

If eating healthy foods isn’t helping you achieve the weight loss you want, then looking for HCG injections near me can help. HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) injections target stubborn fat deposits throughout the body and promote weight loss. Typically, this results in one to three pounds of weight loss per day. With healthy meal planning, this result can be improved further. 

The present-day digital era has made using Microsoft Word a necessity in our day-to-day operations. In essence, people use MS Word to create documents, assemble essential to-do lists and manage tasks in real time settings.

Now imagine having a Microsoft word tool that will grant you the opportunity to create customized letters and is specifically meant for form letters and allows the letters you send to your team to be read as personal/individual mails or letters.

Well, it exists. Now, not only does it exist for MS Word but it is also present to enhance productivity within the Google Suite as well. Indeed, mail merge with sheets is certainly a game changer for many individuals and can be for you too. But before we get down deep into the weeds, let’s find out more about the basics of Mail merge.

What is Mail Merge?

Well, Mail merge is a document collaboration tool specifically meant for Microsoft Word and now for Google users. In essence, Mail Merge grants its users the opportunity to edit a segment of a word document or Google suite products with distinct data elements for use in group settings. For instance, an individual using Mail merge could create a document, say, an invitation letter then uses Mail merge to print it with a range of salutations that befit the targeted team members.

As such, the working mechanism used in Mail merge involves linking the targeted MS Word document to a database. In this case, the targeted database must contain the distinct elements highlighted in the Word document. The document could take the form of an invoice, a to-do-list, a letter or other files.

But remember that MS Word is not the only piece of business software that is out there on the market.

We also understand that the Google Suite offers quite a bit of opportunity as well. Google docs enable collaboration potential and the right tool for mail merge in this suite of cloud oriented services genuinely makes a difference. Individuals are certain to take advantage of Mail merge with sheets as well.

Like other document collaboration tools, Mail merge saves its users a lot of time and data entry efforts for its ability to automate the process of entering certain distinct pieces of data in an MS word document.

Why Mail Merge Matters

We operate in a fast-paced world in which automation has become the order of the day. Everyone wants an efficient tool that saves time and labor. Here’re the reasons why Mail Merge matters:

Very simple to use- Mail merge with sheets allows its users to create and customize template files with great ease. You needn’t have to go through the hustle of creating multiple documents. You only create a single document that will be mail merged to fit other scenarios in future.

You can make as many edits as you need- Mail merge with sheets and other productivity tools presents you with key editing capabilities like adding tables, graphics etc. with utmost ease. The customization feature makes the edits appear in the documents shared with other team members so, you won’t have to do it repetitively.

It promotes neatness and professionalism- Imagine using a tool that allows you to break down your data sources into smaller and manageable pieces of information as you make your entries look both neat and professional. Well, Mail merge is the way to go.

Uh-oh. You’ve sent out your party invites and all your friends have RSVP’d, but your budget is a bit tighter than you expected. Canceling is for quitters, of course, but you still need to think of some way to feed your guests. Chips, dip, and a veggie tray might get the job done, but where’s the pizazz?

Fret not, my friend. You don’t have to spend an entire paycheck to put together an impressive party spread. Here are four ideas for cheap party snacks that pack a lot of flavor and flair into a tiny package.

Cheese & Jelly Pairings

Cheese and wine pairings are a classic party staple, but good wine tends to be pricey. Homemade jellies and jams make for a delicious alternative. Obviously, this takes a little planning (or you could always settle for store-bought preserves), but all you need are some empty jars and basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Your guests will love the contrast between tart apple jam and sharp English Cheddar or sweet ‘n’ spicy mango pepper jelly and Brie. Nom.


Everybody likes a tasty burger. It’s practically guaranteed that a tray of little beef sliders (or chicken… or turkey… or pork… or…) will be a hit at your next get-together. Best of all, you’ll find that a little bit of meat goes a long way. They also don’t take long to cook, so don’t get intimidated by the prospect of making a whole bunch of mini-burgers at once. Guests will gobble them up hot or cold. Assemble a simple condiment/topping bar and let them customize each slider to their hearts’ content. Affordable, adorable, and surprisingly filling.

Grilled Veggie Skewers

Sliders are great, but we can’t forget our vegan and vegetarian friends. Fortunately, few things say “simplicity” quite like a bunch of veggies impaled on a stick and heated over a fire. It may sound like caveman cooking, but grilled veggie skewers are delicious, especially with the addition of a nice marinade or pesto. And just like the burgers, party-goers will love getting to pick their ingredients and customize their skewer to their tastes. Just make sure to soak your skewers first.


Blinis are essentially miniature Russian pancakes that look fancy and taste great but are quick and inexpensive to make. You can buy them premade or whip up your own. What really makes blinis special, though, are the toppings. Though commonly served with caviar (not an option if you’re trying to pinch those pennies), the truth is they go good with just about anything: smoked salmon and sour cream, Nutella and sliced banana, pizza sauce and melted cheese. Sweet or savory, these little guys can do it all.

When you become a parent, there is a lot that comes your way in terms of expenses and other upkeep costs that in somehow hinder you from saving up for your baby’s future. There is the doctor’s expenses, food, baby gear, diaper expenses among so many other things that may prevent you from saving up. But on top of all this, it is salient for you to find ways to ensure that you have this fund because it ideally acts as a safety net for your baby for future purposes. So here are some of the extra part times you can do to increase the baby fund.

Online Trading

One of the ways through which you could possibly increase your baby fund is by investing and engaging in online trading. You can do so by investing in shares of a listed company on the ASX or SSX, investing in unlisted managed funds through the mFund and investing in bonds and interest rate securities that allow you to sort of diversify your overall portfolio and lend money to the emitter depending on your liking as displayed by CMC Markets in their website.

Start a Free Amazon Associate Account

Amazon has an affiliate program that enables just about anyone who is interested in registering and earning a commission once someone purchases something from Amazon using the special link that they give you. In most cases, you stand a chance to earn a commission of up to 8% of the cost of the commodity on Amazon, however; it also depends on the category that the commodity is in.

Freelance Writing for Blogs

Bloggers are always in search of new content and sometimes it may get very overwhelming to do by themselves. As such, they are always constantly in search of people who can help write content on their blog and pay them between 25 and 45 dollars per article of 2000 words. The beauty about this part time is that you do not really have to be an expert because you will get guidance on the topic to research on from the blog author.

Start a Blog

Blogs have a potential of earning you quite a bit of money especially if you put in the hard work that it requires at the end of the day. You can get some funds by guest blogging on a site of your choice. If you are at it, you can still write for travel blogs on the various destinations of your choice.

Be a Virtual Assistant

One of the other things that you can be sure to make extra cash from is by being a virtual assistant. This often entails doing tasks such as reading through the email inbox and responding to people, posting articles on the employer’s site as well as scheduling the employer’s travel plans if need be. The beauty of being a virtual assistant is that you can work whenever you like at the comfort of your couch and earn anything from $8 to $20 per hour.

Arbitrage for Amazon FBA

This is a cool way for moms who love spree shopping or those who observe the price of items carefully at stores. You can earn huge bucks from this just by visiting the local stores and hitting the clearance section, buying a shopping cart full of items and then mail it to the Amazon FBA. What Amazon then does is sell the items for you and emails them to you and then pays you your share of the amount.

Get Freelance Editorial Work

If you feel that you are not up to the commitment of blogging but still want to be able to express your creativity, then you can be an editor for media, corporate and nonprofit websites that are looking for freelancers to write, edit and produce their content.

Saving up and getting an extra part time may not be the easiest of things to do but having a clear picture of why you are doing it in the first place helps put things in perspective. As your baby becomes of age, they will have the safety net they need to cover their future expenses.

If are approaching the end of maternity leave, you need to start moving some of your focus towards preparing to return to work. There are five steps that you should keep in mind as part of your preparation process of returning to work after maternity leave.

In reality, there are other steps you need to take in anticipation of going back to work after having a baby. However, these are designed to give you a good start.

Pamper Yourself

In advance of returning to work, consider taking some time to pamper yourself. This can include getting your hair done and perhaps also a mani-pedi.

With this in mind, consider going shopping for some new clothes. You certainly don’t want to return to work wearing maternity clothes. However, your “regular” wardrobe may not quite yet fit. Getting back to your pre-pregnancy status does take a bit of time. That is perfectly natural. Indeed, some designers have come up with clothing for a woman who recently gave birth.

Ease Back Into Work

Many new mothers find a transition from maternity leave back to a full 40-hour work week highly distressing. Odds are, your employment very well may allow you some flexibility in this regard.

Seriously consider easing back into work. For example, during the week before your maternity leave is scheduled to end, spend a couple of days working a few hours. When it comes to the actual end of your maternity leave, consider making the return date mid-week rather than on Monday. By taking this course, you won’t be facing a full, 40-hour work week, which can seem daunting.

You might also want to consider working half or three-quarter time during the first week. This not only helps you ease back into your job duties, but it also is likely to lessen anxiety about being away from your baby.

Saying No is Crucial

As your maternity leave comes to an end, you will find the number of people making a wealth of requests about a variety of things. Of course, this will include your employer and coworkers. That is to be expected. However, you will also find other people not necessarily associated with your work making requests of you. These can even be things that are enjoyable like asking you to attend a social event.

The reality is the transition between maternity leave and spending a great deal of time with your baby to work and spending less time with your little loved one will be challenging enough. Thus, you need to understand how important saying “no” is during in the direct aftermath of maternity leave. If you don’t learn to say no, you will find yourself incredibly stressed out and having less time to spend with your baby and your family.

Meet with Your Boss Before You Go Back

Arrange to meet with your boss before your return date. As a strategy, consider meeting with your boss outside of the office. This will allow you running into coworkers who will wrongly assume you are back. It also helps you limit the amount of time you are away from your baby before your maternity leave ends.

In the meeting with your boss, find out if there have been any significant changes at the company since you’ve been on maternity leave. Ask your boss what priorities he or she has for you when you return.

This is also the time that you should raise the question of easing back into work. Odds are that if you raise this issue sufficiently in advance of the date you are scheduled to return to work, your employer will be more than willing to work with you to make your transition back as easy as possible.

Put Your Purse in the Backseat

This is a tip that you really should consider following while still in maternity leave. When you are a new mother, you likely find yourself stressed and sleep deprived. The best of mothers have inadvertently left their babies in the backseats of cars. More often than not, the mistake is noticed immediately and corrected, but not always.

One thing you can do to lessen the chance that you will leave your baby in the back of the car is to leave your purse there as well. You’re likely very used to taking your purse everywhere. You may feel almost “naked” without it. Thus, in the unlikely event you don’t remember taking your baby from the backseat, you likely would find yourself unable to get very far without your purse in hand.


Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

Boston is one of the oldest, most iconic cities in the United States. It founding predates the founding the USA by well over a century. Beginning in the 1960s, Boston has also been one of the central locations in the United States in which tech companies were brought into being.

Long before the creation of Silicon Valley, Boston was known by (the admittedly less catchy) “America’s Technology Region.” With a variety of highly regarded institutions of higher education in the area, including MIT, Harvard, and Boston University, Boston was a natural location for the birth and nurture of tech startup enterprises.

Boston experienced a bit of a slump when it came to tech startups, a downturn that roughly coincided with the Great Recession that surprised the country in 2008. Boston has moved from that slump and is once again on the road to becoming a prime location for the creation and launch of new tech ventures.

Through the years, Boston has been the launching pad for a number of successful tech startups. Seven of these startups have enjoyed considerable success in the United States and, in some cases, around the world.


Wayfair launched in Boston six years before the Great Recession, in 2002. Wayfair is an online furniture retailer that has turned the world of furniture sales on its head. The company exists completely in cyberspace, with no brick and mortar world presence.

Within recent years, Wayfair has taken the furniture sales marketplace across the United States by storm. The company has amassed an amazing track record utilizing a wide array of web-based resources, particularly social media.


In many ways, Acquia become an industry leader when it comes to content management systems for businesses of different types. Indeed, launched in Boston in 2007, Acquia was the content management system before businesses fully understood what these solutions were all about.

Acquia continues to grown. It now includes among its clients a number of major players, including Mercedes Benz and Twitter.

Sure, Twitter and Facebook are fun, but the Web has millions more sites full of other great stuff. More than 4,000 big companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Quicken, use Acquia for their Content Management System to enhance their digital experiences and personalize displays for customers. Clients also include Twitter and Mercedes Benz.


Carbonite was a new startup in Boston in 2005. Carbonite provides cloud-based storage and backup for individuals and small businesses. Carbonite was a pioneer in the realm of cloud backup. Among small businesses, and more than a few individuals, Carbonite has become a household world, synonymous with safe, reliable cloud backup and storage.


2004 brought the birth of Brightcove in Boston. The company was conceived in response to the growing number of people who wanted to share video via the Internet. Brightcove leverages its cloud-based platform as a means to publish and then distribute digital media of all kinds, including video. In point of fact, a live event streamed online very well may have been distributed via Brightcove.

American Well

The medical and healthcare industry is evolving. Since 2006, American Well has been a part of that evolution. A Boston startup, American Well connects doctors with patients for consultations via secure video links Oftentimes, this protocol is referred to as tele-medicine or tele-health.

Level Up

Launched in Boston in 2008, Level Up is a unique, powerful app that allows people on the go the ability to order ahead at many popular restaurants across the country. Not only can they order ahead, but they can pay their tabs via Level Up. Level Up truly has become a powerful application as a majority of consumers now transact online business via mobile devices. Restaurants indicate they have seen a notable jump in their carryout and order ahead business when they connect with prospective patrons via Level Up.


DataXu heads the pack when it comes to utilizing science and data to improve targeted ad placements on the internet. In other words, DataXu has designed a system that tremendously enhances the targeting of a business’ digital ads to precisely those consumers who want that particular information. In the end, both advertisers and consumers are fair happier and satisfied. The company started in Boston in 2009 and has been garnering investors and customers ever since.

As mentioned at the outset, the tech startup scene is again powering up in Boston. Industry analysts predict that more than a few of the “next best things” will spring to life in Boston during the coming decade.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.