Memorial Day Food Ideas

From pronto pups to s' more cups, I have rounded up some of my favorite summery and patriotic themed recipes that would be the perfect addition to any backyard barbecue or Memorial weekend gettogether. 

How To Be Productive Working From Home

{this is a sponsored post}
We live in a digital age, where more and more people are being granted the luxury of a flexible work schedule, which includes working from home. If you’re like me you dream of having a life where you can roll out of bed and get to work without sitting in traffic. While working from home may seem like a dream, it’s a sure way to get distracted, procrastinate and justify things you wouldn’t ever do if you were in the office every day. Whether you are new to working from home or have been doing so for years, you may be looking for ways to be more productive, and that’s why I am here. I might not be lucky enough to have one of those at home jobs, but I do have tips on how you can make your at home work environment more productive.

1. Set your alarm and don’t press snooze

This may sound basic, but it is the most important and effective way to get you going. Working from home means flexibility, creating your own schedule, starting and stopping work when you want, oh and the luxury of waking up when you want. Setting your alarm forces you to get up and get your day going. The sooner you start, the sooner you finish.

2. Don’t check your Emails in bed

When your alarm goes off, don’t spend half an hour scrolling through your inbox before getting out of bed. Save it for when you get to your desk. While it may seem like you’re getting ahead, you’re really just unwilling to leave your bed. Those emails will still be there when you get to your desk. If you’re worried about not answering them in a timely manner - maybe you should have woke up sooner!

3. Get dressed

Get prepared for the day as if you’re going to an office job. You’re only as productive as you feel, and if you’re working in your PJs you’re bound to make your way back to your bed for an afternoon nap. Seriously though, don’t work in your pajamas.

4. Create a to-do list

Having a to-do list that outlines what and when you need to accomplish things will help you stay focused and on task. 

5. Create a designated work space

Nope, the couch is not somewhere you should be working, while it’s comfortable it’s not where you should be doing your work. Instead, you should create a designated workspace, this will not only increase your productivity but give you a place to go and work without distractions.

6. Time is money

Find an app that will allow you to keep track of how much time you’re spending working and how much of that time is being used per project. Time tracking lets you see how productive you’ve been and can help you stay focused on your tasks. 

7. Avoid social media

Hello, little time sucker! We mindlessly scroll through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more daily - this is just a distraction. If you don’t feel like you can remove yourself from social media during a 9 to 5 work day, then block some social media time in your day. Once that 10-15 minutes end that’s it social media goes away and you get back to business.

8. Change of scenery

Working from home sounds like a dream come true, and really I’m sure it is - I am jealous of all of those people who get to. However, you are literally working from your home and spending countless hours there. Be sure to leave your home once in awhile to change things up. Maybe today you’ll work from a coffee shop or Panera Bread instead of sitting in your office.

How do you stay productive working from home?

Aladdin Movie Review: It’s Not a ‘Whole New World’

Aladdin recently joined an increasingly long list of Disney classic animated movies that have been adapted into live-action films, and this Friday, you can take a magic carpet ride with the live-action Aladdin when it hits a theater near you. This live-action version is based on the classic 1992 Disney cartoon we all fell in love with as kids, with a bit of flair that the Broadway musical brought.

As you prepare yourself to fall in love with the story of Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie all over again, go into this movie reminding yourself that it is no longer that childhood cartoon you fell in love with. While there are parts that are direct copies of the movie, songs you know and love - there are also additional musical numbers as well. I found these additional musical numbers to be oddly timed, especially when Jasmine breaks out into what appears to be a rap music video (you’ll understand when you see it).

When it was announced that there would be a live-action Aladdin, I was beyond excited. I mean remember how amazing Beauty and the Beast turned out to be? Then the cast was revealed, and I learned that Will Smith would be playing the Genie - that’s a big lamp to fill since Robin Williams had more energy and piazza in that role. Will Smith brings a unique kind of flair to the Genie’s musical numbers, however, the success of said flair is up for debate. In all honesty, I did not like Will Smith as the Genie - at all. No, it’s not because of the fact I love Robin Williams so much, I did go see the Broadway production when it was in Detroit and loved Michael James Scott as the Genie - now he brought some serious flair. From the start, I just wasn’t in love with how Smith portrayed the Genie, and as the movie went on I disliked him more and more. With the Genie having such a large role in Aladdin it definitely made it hard for me to like the movie. I mean honestly when beatboxing starts in Friend Like Me I was done - and I love beatboxing, but in Aladdin, it made no sense what so ever.

Since Agrabah is a made up country, this gives Disney the creative freedom to go above and beyond - and they did… maybe a little too far. Agrabah featured a mash-up of several Middle Eastern cultures, and there was even an out of place Bollywood musical act thrown into the mix. When seeing the movie pay close attention to the outfits and architecture - it’s gorgeous.

In the end, this is a remake, it’s a story that has already been told before and has been told better. The live-action version definitely has some spotty CGI, that offered some awkward scenes. I definitely cannot say that it is better than its 1992 animated predecessor or the Broadway Musical.

Hitch a ride on the magic carpet when Aladdin flies into theaters May 24, 2019!

Who Plays Who: 

Will Smith as the Genie

Mena Massoud as Aladdin

Naomi Scott as Jasmine

Marwan Kenzari as Jafar

Navid Negahban as the Sulton