Relaxation Day: 5 Ways to Relax Before School Starts

The first day of school is just around the corner. It’s a stressful time of year, but, luckily, August 15th is Relaxation Day and we’re using it as a reminder to loosen up before everything turns topsy-turvy with the new school year. Here are 5 ways to relax before school starts.

Dog

Image source: Chapple via Flickr

Take Time for Your Pet Having a dog or cat around to bond with has shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. In fact, at some university campuses, they’ve employed therapy dogs for students to visit when school becomes too stressful. At Harvard Medical School, you can even “check out” a dog just like you check out a book. If it works at Harvard, it may just work for you.

Exercise A good workout may not sound appealing, but aerobic exercise can actually help you relax. It lowers stress hormone levels and releases endorphins – the feel-good chemical. In addition to releasing endorphins, according to a study from Princeton University, exercise re-organizes the brain to shield it from stress. Take 30 minutes to jog down the street and you’re on your way to relaxation.

neck-massagerTouch There aren’t many people out there who would turn down a massage. In addition to feeling good physically, it can reduce anxiety, stress and aggression. Australian researchers examined the effects of daily massage on participants over seven weeks and tracked their anxiety and aggression levels. They found massage reduced stress and anxiety almost instantly. A daily massage may not be a reasonable activity, but the effects may warrant having a massage ball or neck massager handy at all times.

Play with Your Kids You only have a few weeks left to spend time with your kids, so playing with them is a no-brainer. What you might not know is studies show playing reduces stress. Researchers at Kansas State University found the more time mothers spent engaging with their children, the less overwhelmed they felt. You love being around them anyway, that they make you feel relaxed is an excellent bonus.

chocolate-cupcakeEat There are all sorts of soothing foods you can eat to relax. At the top of that list is dark chocolate. It contains Tryptophan which is an essential amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin which can help your sleep and improve your mood. Tryptophan is found in a variety of foods – honey, spinach, cheese, eggs, duck, to name a few. When you’re planning your next meal, make it a relaxing one and be sure dark chocolate is for dessert.

Anytime is a good time to relax, but sometimes we have to make a point of working it into our schedules. Make Relaxation Day your notice to slow down before things hit hyper-speed on the first day of school.

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks of the Week

As the week finally comes to an end, we are looking forward to spending some time with friends and family—including the furry kind! Having pets in your home is a delight, but it does require some extra organization for toys, not to mention ways to keep them relaxed and happy. It’s likely those fuzzy little guys will insist on climbing up on the sofa and bed with you, so don’t forget to grab a throw the two of you can snuggle up in together. Enjoy hanging out with your pets with our Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks of the Week.

Sherpa-Covered Pet Steps are designed for small and aging cats and dogs. They ensure that your best friend can still join you on the sofa or bed if he has hip dysplasia, arthritis, other joint problems, or if he simply has short legs.

Sherpa-Covered Pet Steps are designed for small and aging cats and dogs. They ensure that your best friend can still join you on the sofa or bed if he has hip dysplasia, arthritis, other joint problems, or if he simply has short legs.

 

Wrap yourself up in comfort as you sit down for your favorite show with a Popular TV Show Fleece Throw.

Wrap yourself up in comfort as you sit down for your favorite show with a Popular TV Show Fleece Throw.

Pet Food Cabinet with Bowls is a handsome way to store your best friend's favorite food.

Pet Food Cabinet with Bowls is a handsome way to store your best friend’s favorite food.

AKC Calmcoat is the easy-to-wear anti-anxiety and calming coat for your dog.

AKC Calmcoat(TM) is the easy-to-wear anti-anxiety and calming coat for your dog.

 

This Oversized Utility Tote will be your go-to bag for carrying nearly everything!

This Oversized Utility Tote will be your go-to bag for carrying nearly everything!

UFO Day: Best Places to Spot UFOs

UFO

Image source: Gerhard Ulhorn via Flickr

July 2nd is UFO Day. According to the Syracuse New Times, there are about 25 UFO sightings reported around the world every day. In the United States there are a few places where reports are heavier than others. Here are 5 of the Best Places to spot UFOs.

Texas Apparently, the entire state of Texas is a great place to spot UFOs. From Lubbock to Huffman, there have been compelling accounts of UFOs hovering over the Lone Star State. Going back to the 19th century, an aircraft crashed in the town of Aurora, destroying a windmill. The remains of a small being were found and it was buried in the town cemetery. More recently, in 2008, dozens of Stephenville residents claimed to see aircrafts the size of football fields flying over the town. It made national news, but about two weeks later, the US Air Force dismissed the claims saying training flights were being conducted at the time of the “sightings.”

UFO

Image source: Flickr

Pine Bush, New York As the UFO Sighting Capital of New York, residents of Pine Bush have been seeing and hearing strange things regularly since the 1900s. One aircraft known as the “Westchester Boomerang,” has been spotted more than 2,000 times in Pine Bush and surrounding areas, but there are numerous claims of alien encounters – two books have been published about the activity. Today, there’s a yearly festival in the spring to celebrate UFOs and aliens in Pine Bush.

Cleveland, Ohio UFO activity is hot in Cleveland and its surrounding area. Many people have reported strange lights over Lake Erie – like big red or orange balls unlike anything associated with an airplane or helicopter. There are government and military bases nearby, but witnesses claim the lights are from out of this world.

San Luis Valley, Colorado The UFO sightings are so frequent a woman built a UFO watchtower where more than 20,000 in the last 15 years have gone to witness alien air forces in action. There have been more than 60 reported sightings – including flying discs — in the area along with strange occurrences involving cattle. There is a nearby air force base, but whether it’s there for testing aircraft or fighting alien invaders, is a matter of debate in some circles.

UFO

Image source: Roberto Fontana via Flickr

Los Angeles, California The Battle of Los Angeles in 1942 has UFO chasers still linking the city with extra-terrestrial activity. The Battle was what seemed like an enemy attack and even set of air raid sirens, but the US military had no explanation for it except it was likely a lost weather balloon. Now there is thought to be an underwater UFO base off the coast of Los Angeles UFO chasers think is connected to the Battle of Los Angeles. There was some speculation about a base in 2006, but earlier this year, some structures were discovered off the coast. Whether or not those structures are alien has yet to be determined.

Whether you have spotted unidentified flying objects in the sky or not, UFO Day reminds us the Universe is much bigger than the world we live in and we are not alone. 

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

Next week is June and with the official kickoff to summer behind us, we’re busy planning every free moment we have for sunshine and weekend getaways. Here are LTD’s product picks for the week that we need this summer.

Durable Waterproof Cases for Smartphones or Tablets safeguard your valuable devices. The Smartphone Case (6"L x 4"W) fits most smartphones, including iPhone® 4/4S/5, as well as certain Droid®, Blackberry®, and other MP3 and media players. For both the Smartphone and Tablet Cases, the devices are fully functional while in the protective case, including access to the camera, phone, web, and texts and emails. The iPad® & Tablet Case fits the most popular tablets (up to 10") on the market. The tablet case includes a dual-sided waterproof earphone jack that allows for privacy and use of the earphones.

Durable Waterproof Cases for Smartphones or Tablets safeguard your valuable devices. The Smartphone Case fits most smartphones, including iPhone® 4/4S/5, as well as certain Droid®, Blackberry®, and other MP3 and media players. For both the Smartphone and Tablet Cases, the devices are fully functional while in the protective case, including access to the camera, phone, web, and texts and emails. The iPad® & Tablet Case fits the most popular tablets (up to 10″) on the market. The tablet case includes a dual-sided waterproof earphone jack that allows for privacy and use of the earphones.

A Fashion Car Seat Cover protects your vehicle's backseat and gives it a great new look. The waterproof Oxford fabric cover attaches easily with fabric-magic straps. It's an easy way to keep pet hair, claw marks, kids' messes and other dirt and stains from ruining your car's upholstery. Polyacrylate coating allows for easy, wipe-clean care. 55" x 39-1/4". Imported.

A Fashion Car Seat Cover protects your vehicle’s backseat and gives it a great new look. The waterproof Oxford fabric cover attaches easily with fabric-magic straps. It’s an easy way to keep pet hair, claw marks, kids’ messes and other dirt and stains from ruining your car’s upholstery.

Wedding Essentials ensure your special day will be full of romance and fun. Share your dreams on the cute Pillowcase Set, which reads “You & Me” when you place your 2 pillows together. Cotton and polyester. Machine care. Imported. Let guests greet you with a celebratory Set of 30 Bubbles. Each .13-oz. bottle of bubble solution is capped with a blowing wand with a cute heart accent. The Slippers and Travel Bag Set includes comfy slippers and a handy cosmetics bag  labeled with your new married title and red hearts. Polyester. Machine care. Imported. The metal Invitation/Photo Frame elegantly displays your invitation and a favorite photo, or 2 photos under protective glass. Easel back has flocked black fabric. Mark the months and days until your celebration with the Wedding Countdown display. Its wooden blocks have a distressed finish and turn to show new numbers in an elegant black font. You can count down for up to 99 months and 55 days for those really long engagements! 

Set of 6 Shoe Hangers keeps your flip-flops, flats and other shoes organized in your closet. Innovative hangers have a trendy design in the center and keep your shoes in sight and easily accessible. 11" x 7", each. Metal.

Set of 6 Shoe Hangers keeps your flip-flops, flats and other shoes organized in your closet. Innovative hangers have a trendy design in the center and keep your shoes in sight and easily accessible.

Plus-Size Knit Short Pajama Set is perfect for lounging and sleeping during the warmer months. Decorated with all-over dots, the set has a flattering and comfortable fit. The top has an elastic gathered neckline and sleeves with a peasant-style look, in addition to an empire waist with elastic and a mock drawstring. Shorts feature an elastic drawstring waistband and piping trim at the hems. Cotton and polyester. Machine care. Imported.

Plus-Size Knit Short Pajama Set is perfect for lounging and sleeping during the warmer months. Decorated with all-over dots, the set has a flattering and comfortable fit. The top has an elastic gathered neckline and sleeves with a peasant-style look, in addition to an empire waist with elastic and a mock drawstring. Shorts feature an elastic drawstring waistband and piping trim at the hems.