Ever heard the story of Bishop Valentine? The most widely known theory behind the origin of Valentine’s Day… ?


Just in case, here’s the short version:

Emperor Claudius II didn’t want Roman men to marry during the war. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret weddings. Valentine was eventually arrested; and before he was executed, he wrote a letter from jail signed “from your Valentine. In 1537, King Henry VII officially declared February 14 the holiday of St.Valentine’s Day in honor of this extraordinary sacrifice for love.


It’s true that the holiday has an unsettling, dark side to its past. But it all started with an ultimate act of selflessness. That is something beautiful and worth celebrating! Here are 5 considerate ways that you can show some love this Valentine’s Day. (Of course, we won’t take it quite to the extreme that St.Valentine did.)


  1. Send a Valentine card to your local hospital.  You would be amazed how happy a random gift from a stranger can make a person.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital allows  you to send a virtual Valentine’s Day card to their patients straight from their website at www.stjude.org.  You can also look at your local hospital’s webpage, as many of these facilities give instruction on how you can send a gift or card to their patients.
  2. Give some affirmation.  Words of affirmation are one of the five ways to best express and experience love according to Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages”.  It’s not always easy to find the right words, but it’s worth taking the time out to stop and comment on how someone else enriches your life or the lives of others.  People deserve and need to be reminded of their positive traits not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day!
  3. Pay it Forward.  Yes, when you decide to pay for the order behind you in the drive thru, you’ve paid it forward. Remember that there is an endless number of ways you can respond to one’s kindness by being kind to someone else. Plus, if you’ve seen the movie you know that to ‘Pay it Forward’ means you should do three good deeds for three people, and then those three people do three good deeds, and so on. You could buy someone else’s coffee, give up your place in line at the grocery store, offer some of your time to help someone else… get creative with your kindness!
  4. Volunteer.  Is there really any way to talk about selfless acts without mention of charity work? It’s probably the best way to show your love for others on a humanitarian level. Donating time at a senior living community, giving out food or clothes to the homeless, signing up to help your local animal shelter; these are just a few ways you can volunteer.  Search “places to volunteer” on Google to find a list of local non-profit organizations where you can go.
  5. Give a gift that has a unique meaning.  Don’t get it twisted. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to get flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s? There is just an extra special element to a gift that is sensitive to your interests and passions. Attuning to what makes people feel loved is key when it comes to being generous. Enjoy spending a little extra time to see that look on their face.


Regardless of how you choose to spend this holiday; try not to get too distracted by all the jewelry commercials and restaurant ads, and remind yourself (and someone else) that Valentine’s Day is a day for celebrating love, and that is a wonderful sentiment!

Why Read?

We all know that reading is a fundamental element of a person’s educational growth. There is an excess of benefits associated with reading a little bit every day, including stress reduction, relaxation, and even the prevention of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. But let’s be honest, how many of us actually take the time to read every day? And if not, what are some activities we can do in place of reading that provide the same (if not more) benefits as reading does? These questions have led me to examine the benefits associated with every day, non-reading activities. Explore below-


  • Watching TV- Contrary to popular belief, watching TV DOES actually provide some educational benefits while simultaneously providing entertainment. The increase of technology has catapulted more educational television programs and channels into the standard household. Channels such as The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and The History Channel provide exposure to different cultures, languages, environments, and more.
  • Exercising – We all know that exercising is one of the main methods to improve your health. But did you know that exercise can actually lead to improved academic performance? Research suggests that individuals who exercise may have increased ability to focus your attention, are quicker to perform simple tasks, and have better working memories and problem-solving skills. If the gym isn’t your thing, try going on a walk, taking a swim, shopping (I swear it’s exercise!), gardening, or re-organizing your house! The opportunities are endless!
  • Cooking- Surprisingly, there are a plethora of benefits associated with cooking (especially with kids). For kids, cooking can help build basic skills, enhance confidence, and communicate effectively. Cooking can also ignite your imagination, enhance your creativity, and expand your awareness of other cultures. Spend a Saturday making a new recipe, and let us know how it goes!
  • Socializing- Reading a book can be relaxing and enlightening, but occasionally, reading can inhibit the benefits of experiencing life outside of a book. Cultivating relationships is directly associated with stress reduction. Having good relationships also decreases the tendency to engage in unhealthy habits, such as drinking or smoking. Some fun ways to enhance relationships would be to write a snail mail letter, go out with friends to a movie or dinner, start a new hobby with friends (cross stitch, sewing, crafting, fantasy sports league, etc.), host a poker night, or plan a picnic in a nearby park. The options are endless!


If you enjoy taking time to read a book, that’s wonderful! If not, there’s no need to feel discouraged, there are plenty of ways to receive the same benefits. Have an idea of what you could do instead of reading? Comment below and let us know!



What’s Your Travel Personality?

Have you ever asked someone what their ideal travel destination was and thought, “why would you ever want to go there?” You may be suffering from a case of opposing travel personality types!  Your travel personality type can not only determine where you will go and what you will see, but it could also influence who you choose to travel with. Besttripchoices.com has gathered all the data necessary for us to determine where we fall on the travel personality scale. Curious? Scroll below to see what the different types are, and take a quiz to find out where you fit in! Comment below with your quiz results.


If you fall under the traditional category, you may be the most dependable one in your friend group. You value consistency and a sense of routine. Through your stability, you always know where to seek out the high- quality, reliable spots. Some of the top destinations for you are Honolulu, Arizona, and Australia. A traditional is the glue that keeps the trip together! To find out more about traditionals, head over to http://besttripchoices.com/travel-personalities/authentic/


Besttripchoices.com describes a venture as “someone who ventures forth very eagerly and excitedly”. You want to find all the new, unique spots before they become the next trendy tourist terminus.  You are extremely curious, and have a fascination for different cultures. Hot spots for venturers to visit are Alaska, Colorado, and Chile! The full venture description is below-



“Laid back, calm, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, unruffled, untroubled, informal, unceremonious, casual, and carefree”, wow you guys have it made! A Sightseer has an easygoing approach to life, which inherently makes others comfortable to be around them. You have a wide social circle and love travel where you can meet others and swap stories.



A Pioneer is similarly related to a Venturer. You pursue unique and interesting travel, however, you’re not quite as much of a thrill seeker. You love history, and the old, lesser known cities may catch your eye. You have no problem with adventure travel, but don’t necessarily need the intense thrill seeking others may enjoy. Boston, Alaska, and Argentina may be cities on your travel bucket list!



Journeyers, you’re in good company as one of the two largest personality groups on the scale! You are stable, reliable, and value common sense. On trips, an escorted tour may be your activity of choice. For the best time, consider taking a cross-country road trip! You can check out the details in the link below.



Last, but certainly not least (I promise!) are Voyagers. You are easygoing, interested, and willing to try a recommended travel destination. You prefer a diverse array of choices when considering travel destinations, and are always looking for a fresher option than most overcrowded tourist destinations. Maine, Bermuda, and Brazil may be on your “must-go” list of destinations.



How could you not be curious to find out what type of traveler you are now? We’ll make it easy and provide a direct link to the quiz. Don’t forget to comment with your results!



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Vacation, All We Ever Wanted

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ASBECO Training!

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