5 Facts About Dreams You Probably Don’t Already Know

While people over the age of ten have four to six dreams per night, it's said that we forget 90% of our dreams within 10 minutes of waking up. (The average person can have up to 2,190 dreams a year!) Here are five more facts about dreaming that might just surprise you.

1. We dream during periods of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep that last anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. During this time, our bodies are essentially paralyzed to keep us from acting out our dreams. (In rare cases, a person is able to lash out during their dreams.)

2. Only the faces of people we've seen in real life enter our dreams. Our brain's can't "invent" faces, so every face you encounter in a dream is one you've seen before, either intimately or in passing.

3. Most people are unable to read or tell time while dreaming.

4. Some people can control their dreams through a practice called lucid dreaming.

5. According to a study, 12% of people dream in black and white. Most of these dreamers are over 55 years old, so it's said that their relationship with black and white televisions influences their dreams.

11 Shocking Facts about Dreams that will Rock Your World! [OMG Facts]
20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About [Lifehack]
7 Mind-Bending Facts About Dreams [Lifescience]

How to Find Biking Trails in Your Area

Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or a fun pastime for the whole family, biking is an enjoyable activity for everyone. It can be difficult for beginning bikers to locate the best trails, however, and even if you’re a more experienced cyclist you’re likely always looking for new places to ride. These two websites can help.

Map My Ride
Map My Ride offers a straightforward interface and a huge database of trails to help you find the best bike routes and paths in your area. Simply enter the route name or your state and the number of miles you’d like to bike and you’ll instantly be met with a variety of trails, ranked by how well they suit your criteria. Each trail is submitted by a Map My Ride user just like you, and they include informative descriptions about the difficulty level and other important details.

Single Tracks
Single Tracks operates in a similar way, but it’s tailored specifically to mountain biking. The website searches thousands of trails around the world to find the best one for you, whether you’re in your home town or you’re on vacation in another country. Single Tracks also offers detailed descriptions, directions and high-quality photos of each trail on the site.

Safety First! Read These Online Guides for New Bicyclists

So you bought a bike, and now you want to start riding it to work, out to dinner, and other places around your city. What you might not know is that there are a number of specific guidelines for cycling in the city or the suburbs, and they could help keep you safe in the case of an accident—or prevent one altogether! Before you hop on your new bicycle, take a look at these online guides.

Bicycling
Bicycling magazine developed a "Bicycling Beginner’s Guide" to help keep new cyclists safe. It helps you choose the right bike for your size and lifestyle, learn which foods to eat before cycling, and describes the important fitness skills you’ll need to establish in order to safely maneuver your bike.

Active
Active.com’s "Beginning Guide to Bike Gear" is a helpful resource for newbie bikers looking to purchase high-quality, protective gear and a reliable bicycle to match. It will help you pick out the perfect bike online or at your local shop, right down to the material of the frame. It also includes gear that you might not have considered, including sunglasses, bike shorts, and chamois cream (you’ll have to read the guide to find out about that one!)

5 Tips for Making a Perfect Cocktail

An expertly poured cocktail can set your party apart from the rest. If you want to impress your guests at your next get-together, here are some pointers to help ensure your drinks are delicious. 

  • Follow the ratio of 2:1:1, or two parts alcohol, one part tart, one part sweet. This is the perfect blend for a cocktail.
  • There are many different types of cocktails, so be sure to have an understanding of the type you are pouring. For example, highballs like gin and tonics should be served in a tall glass with a sparkling mixer.
  • Almost as much as the right amount, the right ingredient is key to a perfect cocktail. Using quality liquor will greatly improve the taste of your cocktail.
  • Find out which cocktails need to be shaken or stirred before you begin. Mixing up this process can cause flavors to disappear or worse, become too apparent and ruin a drink.
  • Not all drinks demand a garnish, so avoid being too flashy and unnecessary if the drink doesn’t need it. A simple twist of lime or lemon may be just the right touch.

From A Genius Mixologist [Fast Company]
Making the Perfect Cocktail [The Evening Inn]
A Guide to Making the Perfect Cocktail [The Manual]
How to Make Perfect Cocktails [Williams and Sonoma]

Happy Presidents’ Day

Remembering the courage and vision of past and present leaders, we honor and share the spirit of Presidents' Day together as a nation.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wishing everyone a day filled with fun and happy memories!

Five Brunch Recipes to Try This Weekend

If you’re planning a mid-day brunch for friends or family this weekend, these creative recipes might give you a bit of inspiration. Just add some fresh-squeezed orange juice, a pot of hot coffee and maybe a basket of pastries to complete the perfect brunch menu.

Chicken Breakfast Burritos
Full of protein and deliciously savory flavor, these breakfast burritos use chicken instead of the traditional sausage for a truly unique taste. Simply add hash browns, eggs, and melted cheese for a hearty center of any Southwestern-inspired brunch.

Breakfast Casserole
If you need to feed a whole lot of people in one meal, a casserole is an easy and versatile option. For this breakfast casserole, simply add your favorite ingredients and pop it in the oven.

Berry Breakfast Pizzas
Even the youngest brunch guests will simply adore this sweet, fun take on breakfast pizza.

Orange Popovers
Everyone loves a good pastry at brunch, and these simple popovers are a much easier way to make these sometimes-tricky baked goods.

Bacon, Tomato and Cheddar Breakfast Bake
Make a large batch of these breakfast classics all in one glass dish to make serving brunch convenient and relaxing.

Public Domain/Public Domain

Three Websites for Technology Reviews

The tech world moves fast, giving consumers a continually new variety of gadgets. For busy people, it can be hard to stay updated on the newest inventions.

Fortunately, these informative websites provide helpful reviews from experts and real users to help you find the best new gadgets, whether you're in the market for a new smartphone, a high end laptop, or a professional DSLR.

C|Net
C|Net is an expansive website packed full of reviews, technology news, how-to guides, coupons and deals, downloads, and much more. This impressive resource for all things tech will give you honest, to-the-point opinions on everything from the latest cell phones to great new SUVs.

Engadget
This technology website operates as a news, opinion, and review outlet that examines the science behind new products. Engadget provides helpful insight into choosing the best tech products for various areas of your life, and it also gives readers interesting coverage from the top technology events and expos around the world.

The Verge
The Verge describes itself as offering coverage of “the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture." It combines long-form feature stories on the latest technology news and world events with hands-on reviews of items like tablets, game consoles, and cell phones.

3 Reasons to Take Time to Read Every Day

Whether you get lost in an e-reader, your smartphone, or a good old-fashioned hard-cover, the benefits of reading remain the same. Here are three reasons to always keep reading a part of your daily routine.

1. Reading reduces stress.
Studies report that reading is a more effective means of stress relief than listening to music, going for a walk, playing video games, or sipping tea. Pick up your favorite engrossing novel, enjoy some peace and quiet, and get lost in the story weaved by your favorite author.

2. Reading keeps your brain in shape.
Consider reading a form of exercise for your brain. A person's participation in creative activities, like reading, while young has been shown to slow cognitive decline later in life. Such activities may even ward off Alzheimer's disease.

3. Reading is free entertainment.
A visit to your local library can provide you with several hours of free entertainment. Compare this to the price of a movie or amusement park ticket, and your wallet will thank you.

Benefits of Reading: Getting Smart, Thin, Healthy, Happy [Reader's Digest]
7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books [Huff Post]
10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day [Lifehack]

6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

When winter comes, we think of fun snow days and the holidays, but the season can also mean an onset of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The shorter days, lack of sunlight, and cooler weather can keep us from enjoying what we normally do. Check out these six ways to beat the winter blues and enjoy the season!

1. Exercise.
This is important all year round, but is especially pertinent when the winter time hits. We tend to want to nest and become inactive, which can contribute to lethargy. A regular exercise routine will keep you energized and give your mind a boost.

2. Be social.
When it's dark early in the day, we tend to want to rush home. Keeping a weekly social outing on your calendar can help pull you out of the isolating tendencies you might feel.

3. See the light.
The lack of natural light we experience during the season has a big effect on our mood. Using artificial lights like sun lamps can help put energy back into your day.

4. Take your vitamins.
Taking a regular dose of vitamins D and B12 and fish oil can help your body stay energized naturally, so you won't have to reach for caffeine. 

5. Clean.
Decluttering your living space and keeping your place tidy can really make you feel better. Without all of the extra junk, you’ll instantly feel lighter, more together.

6. Get a massage.
It might seem like a luxury, but massage is truly stress relieving and healing. Get a massage once a month or more to alleviate stress and relax.

10 Cool Ways to Beat Winter Blues [Spark People]
8 Ways to Beat Winter Blue [Time]
9 Ways for Beating the Winter Doldrums [Washingtonian]
13 Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder [Wise Bread]
Beating Winter Blues [Fitness & Health]

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