Why Millennials and Parties Don’t Mix (and why it’s a problem)

The New York Times recently published an article called Death of the Party, in which the author points out how much younger generations have opted out of the traditional chip-and-dip, mix-and-mingle kind of get-togethers that you might have seen on Mad Men (or, you know, in real life).

There are plenty of reasons why millennials and parties are incompatible, and they all make sense; it’s harder to host parties (the expense, the space, the expectations for awesomeness), and it’s easier to ditch out on them and opt for something less emotionally demanding.

But for previous generations, the anatomy of a traditional party was simple. Invite guests (and everyone actually RSVPs). Make food and drinks. Clean your house. Dress nicely. Play music. Enjoy pleasant conversation. Do everything possible to make your guests feel welcome and at home.

Millennials and parties aren't a good match—and it's a bigger problem than you think. [Read more…]

How to Survive the Holidays When You’re Far from Home

I spent last Christmas with my landlord.

We had moved into her apartment building when my husband got accepted to medical school in Grenada—and since we couldn’t afford plane tickets home for the holiday, we decided to spend it on the island.

We were prepared to have a lonely Christmas. All of our friends traveled back to America, and we were literally the only people in our apartment complex. No big deal, I thought. Between studying abroad, mission trips, and summers spent with relatives, I had plenty of experience being far from home.

But this time? I wasn’t sure I could make it. Sure, I had spent other holidays without immediate family—tearing up turkey legs with college roommates or unwrapping presents with in-laws—but at least those bore some resemblance to the festivities I celebrated with my own parents and siblings. This time, I faced a completely different culture and had almost nothing to keep me grounded.

Everything on the island felt like the opposite of Christmas: the weather was still hot and steamy, stores weren’t coated in lights and tinsel, and the blaring holiday music was filtered through Caribbean beats and instruments… oh, and forget about finding hot peppermint mochas or snowmen. How was I supposed to celebrate Christmas here when nothing about it felt familiar?

If you're traveling or living abroad, celebrating major holidays can be tough. Read about how to get through it here. [Read more…]

5 Coffee Hacks You Haven’t Tried Yet

The word “hack” has become so overused, but it’s the best way to describe quick improvements—and my coffee has been in desperate need of hacking. I have loved coffee since I was four (thanks to my dad, who would let me sneak a sip or two from his mug as a kid), but for many years I was stuck in a rut that didn’t make me productive or satisfied from drinking it. I would order the same expensive drinks over and over, or use the same coffee maker without much satisfaction, and still feel crashes and jitters afterward. I claimed to be a coffee lover, but I could never truly love it.

I have employed some tricks over the years that help me enjoy my coffee, save money, and avoid crashes—and they’re just too good not to share. Try them and feel that glorious caffeinated glow.

Spending too much on coffee? Feeling jitters with your morning brew? Try these coffee hacks and get caffeinated without the crash! [Read more…]