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with Blanket & Board

Welcome to Balanced with Blanket & Board, a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of food, wellness, connection, business and so much more. Our goal is to create a community that gathers around the table to discuss, learn, and share ideas about how to nourish both our bodies and our relationships. From delicious and healthy recipes to tips for building meaningful connections, we cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to our everyday lives. Additionally, we also delve into the business side of the food industry, providing insights on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership in the culinary world. Join us as we explore the many ways in which food brings us together and helps us thrive.

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” - Audre Lorde

At Blanket & Board, we are passionate advocates of the importance of self-care. When many people hear the term self-care, they think of an expensive spa day or a vacation, but practicing self-care doesn't always have to involve spending money.

Here are ten ways to take care of yourself without breaking the bank:

1. Take a digital detox

Disconnect from technology for a set period of time, whether it's an hour, a day, or even a whole weekend. Use the time to engage in activities that recharge you, such as reading a book, journaling, or spending quality time with loved ones. Social media can be an incredible creative outlet and can provide so many ways to connect with others, but sometimes it can also lead to unnecessary stress and a lack of productivity, so take a break every once in a while and live in the present!

2. Go for a nature walk

Spending time in nature can have a calming and rejuvenating effect on your well-being. Take a walk in a nearby park, through a forest, or along a river, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Some of my favorite spots to spend time outside in Pittsburgh are Schenley Park and the overlook at Mount Washington!

3. Have an at-home spa day

Create a soothing spa experience at home. Take a long bath with essential oils, light some candles, give yourself a homemade facial or hair mask, and pamper yourself with a DIY manicure or pedicure. Whatever helps you relax!

4. Practice meditation and mindfulness

Set aside some quiet time to practice meditation or mindfulness techniques. Focus on your breath, observe your thoughts without judgment, and cultivate a sense of inner calm and presence. Sometimes with a busy lifestyle, all you need to feel recharged is a few moments to yourself. This can be especially helpful when you wake up in the morning if you have a few minutes to spare because it can help set you up with a better mindset for the day ahead.

5. Engage in creative outlets

Use art, writing, or any form of creative expression as a means of self-care. Paint, draw, write poetry, or engage in any other creative activity that allows you to express yourself freely.

6. Try a new hobby

Discover a new hobby or revisit an old one. Whether it's playing an instrument, knitting, cooking, or gardening, engaging in activities you enjoy can be both relaxing and fulfilling. It’s never too late to try something new! You can also check Facebook for local groups to meet up with other people in your area with similar interests.

7. Practice gratitude journaling

Take a few minutes each day to write down things you're grateful for. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can shift your perspective and improve your overall well-being. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the negative aspects of our current season of life but try to focus on the positive moments in your day, no matter how small. You can even get your friends and family involved by sitting down at the dinner table and each sharing one thing you are grateful for that day.

8. Have a dance party at home

Turn up the music and let loose! Dancing is a fun and energizing way to uplift your mood and release stress. Dance like no one's watching and just have fun!

9. Connect with loved ones

Reach out to friends or family members and spend quality time together. Arrange a movie night, have a picnic in the park, or simply engage in meaningful conversations (virtually or in-person). Maybe reach out to family members you haven’t gotten a chance to talk to in a while.

10. Practice self-reflection

Set aside time for self-reflection and introspection. Journal about your thoughts, goals, and dreams. Ask yourself meaningful questions and explore your inner thoughts and desires. This is a great way to make sure you’re living the life you want to live and if not, what are some small changes you can start making to move closer to the life you envision for yourself.

Remember, self-care is all about prioritizing your well-being and finding activities that nurture and recharge you. These ideas offer a starting point, but feel free to adapt and customize them to suit your preferences and needs.

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"The Leader in Website Creation"

Wix is a website building platform that makes it easy for users to create professional-looking websites without requiring any specialized web design skills or knowledge. This makes it an extremely helpful tool for small businesses, which often lack the resources or expertise to create a high-quality website in-house. In this blog post, we will explore the features and benefits of using Wix for your website, as well as some tips for getting started. Whether you're a small business owner, an artist, or just looking to create a personal blog, Wix has something to offer for everyone.

First and foremost we have to talk about Wix's comprehensive Activity dashboard that every user sees each time they log on to the interface. At a glance, you can quickly see some key analytics on your website and business's performance that can tell you where you need to focus your energy each day.

Another one of the key benefits of Wix is that it offers a wide range of pre-made templates and design elements that users can customize to create their own website. Wix is user-friendly and intuitive, with a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create and customize a website. This means that small business owners can get started creating their website right away, without having to spend a lot of time learning how to use the platform.

Another benefit of Wix is that it offers a wide range of features and tools that can help small businesses create a website that is tailored to their specific needs and goals. For example, Wix offers a range of professional-quality fonts, images, and graphics that users can use to create a website that is visually appealing and effective at communicating their message. Wix allows you to choose your own unique brand colors and fonts and really tailor the vibe of your site to the vibe of your business. We hope when you land at that you feel warm, welcome, and intrigued.

Overall, Wix is a helpful tool for small businesses because it provides an easy-to-use, affordable, and powerful platform for creating professional-looking websites, without requiring any specialized web design skills or knowledge. We are not ashamed to admit they we may not use this platform forever. As a business grows it's needs change and our business's needs seem to be changing every day. Wix continues to be where we call home for now. We will keep you all in the loop if/when we make a change and I'll definitely try to do a follow-up blog post on which platform we chose. If you have any experience with website building platforms please feel free to share in the comments! Any and all opinions are welcome.

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"Capital for your future"

QuickBooks is a popular accounting and financial management software that is designed to help small businesses manage their finances more efficiently. It offers a range of features and tools that can help small business owners keep track of their income and expenses, create and manage invoices, and prepare financial reports. This makes it a very helpful tool for small businesses, which often struggle with the complexities of managing their finances. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at QuickBooks and its key features.

One of the key benefits of QuickBooks is that it is easy to use, even for small business owners who have little or no experience with accounting software. The software includes step-by-step guides and tutorials that can help users get started quickly and easily, and the user-friendly interface makes it simple to navigate and use the various features and tools. Here at Blanket & Board we worked closely with our accountant Simone Quinerly from Quinerly Financial Group to understand the features of QuickBooks that our most beneficial to us. Simone has been crucial to our financial wellness as a company. Although QuickBooks does a lot for us, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a strong accountant on your team.

Another benefit of QuickBooks is that it is highly scalable, which means that small businesses can easily add more users and access more features as their needs grow and evolve. This is important for small businesses, which often need to be able to adapt quickly and easily to changing market conditions and customer demands. As some of you may have heard, Blanket & Board is expanding to include a mobile event space this summer. We are so thankful that QuickBooks will continue to scale with us!

Additionally, QuickBooks integrates seamlessly with a range of other tools and platforms, such as payment processors, online marketplaces, and e-commerce platforms. This allows small businesses to easily and efficiently manage their finances across all of their operations, from sales and invoicing to inventory management and payment processing. We have not tapped into these features yet, but we hope to dig deeper into them as we grow.

Overall, QuickBooks is a helpful tool for small businesses because it provides an easy-to-use, scalable, and flexible solution for managing their finances and accounting operations.

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