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Riley Heruska
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If you think that yoga is just a series of stretches set to relaxing music, then you've clearly never tried incorporating the practice in your daily life. Yoga is one of the oldest, most powerful forms of exercise, and science has revealed dozens of benefits that come with it. 

Now is the time to find out what yoga can do for your mental and physical health. Here are five reasons to finally start practicing yoga, either on your own or in a professional studio. 

1. It's like strength-training without the weights. You don't have to own a set of dumbbells to target your muscles during workouts. Experts recommend trying yoga for a simple at-home strength training session. Don't worry; you'll still feel the burn tomorrow morning. 

2. Yoga can help with joint pain. 
Do you struggle with pain in your neck, knees, back or wrists? Yoga can help tackle chronic pain and strengthen your body. This is especially beneficial as your bones weaken with age. 

3. The practice assists with weight management. 
Obviously, working out can help you lose weight, but yoga is especially helpful in that it fosters healthy practices outside of the gym. It's all about balance, and by reducing your stress and becoming more mindful in your practice, you'll manage your weight more easily. 

4. You'll sleep better. 
Studies have found that yoga practicers suffer less from insomnia and often get better, more restful sleep at night. 

5. It reduces the symptoms of serious mental health issues. 
If you struggle with depression, chronic stress or anxiety, consider heading to a yoga studio. The practice will help you regulate your emotions and bring your mental health into a better balance. 


Do you practice yoga in the area? Recommend good studios in the comments below! 

Riley Heruska
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Here in North Texas, flu cases have been on the rise in recent weeks. Four different school districts have closed due to flu outbreaks, and the number of flu-related emergency room visits has increased substantially. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that it's still too soon to tell how severe the season will be. Last year, nearly a million Americans went to the hospital due to the virus. This year's season is less severe, but the CDC claims that the flu season is far from over. We've yet to see just how serious this season will be. 

Remember, it's not too late to get your flu shot. The vaccine is still considered the best way to avoid the flu, and the CDC has reported that this year's is very effective

Wash your hands, eat healthy foods and get vaccinated. The last thing you want is for the whole family to come down with the flu just before spring break begins. 

Riley Heruska
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Did you know that winter is one of the most difficult times of the year for the American Red Cross to collect enough blood? People are busy with the holidays and other events, so blood banks are often deprived from before Christmas until the spring. That's partially why January was labeled as "National Blood Donor Month" back in the 1970s. 

Donated blood saves lives on a daily basis. Whether it's helping women who hemorrhage during pregnancy or treating children with severe anemia, the blood people give is a precious gift. Unfortunately, many countries struggle to obtain sufficient blood quantities. Only about 38 percent of the United States population can donate blood, but only 10 percent actually do

If you're able, now is one of the best times to donate blood. Find a local blood drive near you and schedule a day to give back to those in need. If you have questions about the process or what happens with your donation, check out this Red Cross link.

Remember: donating just one pint of blood could save up to three lives, so every person's donation makes a huge difference. 

Have you donated blood recently? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

Riley Heruska
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There are so many aspects of a wedding that require a bride-to-be's attention: cakes, dresses, food, decorations. Fortunately, you'll be able to meet vendors on January 19 who offer all of these services!

The premier boutique bridal show this Saturday will showcase everything you could need for your special day from 10 AM to 3 PM. Take at least two hours or so to browse the levels of the historic courthouse in Downtown McKinney. There will be 45 different exhibitors, so no matter what style you're looking for, there's a vendor who can help. 

You will require a ticket for admission, so go ahead and register online here for $5. If you wait to buy tickets at the door, they'll be $10 instead. 

This is a unique opportunity to see tons of local wedding businesses from all over Collin County in one place, so don't let it pass by if you're planning a wedding in 2019! Learn more by visiting www.mckinneytexas.org

Event Location: 
McKinney Performing Arts Center
111 N. Tennessee St.
McKinney, TX 75069

Riley Heruska
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As a community-driven publication, BubbleLife welcomes free submissions from all users so that we can cultivate a hyperlocal newsletter that truly reflects the DFW area. Right now, we want to hear about all of your Valentine's Day parties, school events, specials, donation opportunities, and more! 

You can share your upcoming seasonal activities as articles, calendar events or classified ads that will be distributed to readers throughout the local area.

If you've never contributed to BubbleLife before, you can follow these easy instructions or visit our help page

1. Find your community here and visit the homepage of your city. 
2. Click on the yellow righthand button that reads "Share News, Events & Classifieds." 
3. Create a BubbleLife account or log into yours if you already have one. 
4. Fill out your form (article, event or classified ad) and click "submit." 

We look forward to finding out more about the events happening in our community. Thanks for using BubbleLife! 

Riley Heruska
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Whether you're inviting 10 people or hundreds, planning a baby shower can be difficult. You'll need food, decorations, and of course, a space to fit all of the people coming together to celebrate a new baby.

That's why we've rounded up eight great places to host your next baby shower. Everything about these locations will make a party a success, from the menus to the aesthetics. 

1. Mesero - Legacy West in Plano

When in Texas, why not serve some of the best Tex Mex at a mother-to-be's party? Mesero's dishes are divine, and they have a beautiful room reserved for private parties. People rave about their events, so you can feel confident planning the special day at this Legacy West favorite. 

2. Giardino Italian - Frisco 

La Terraza, the covered patio at this Italian restaurant, provides a warm and accommodating environment for a baby shower. It can host up to 38 people and provides a beautiful view of the nearby fountain. If you're not interested in hosting an outdoor party, consider looking into their indoor private dining options. 

3. Sixty Vines - Plano and Uptown Dallas 

Everything about a fancy brunch is perfect for a baby shower, and if anyone knows how to do brunch right, it's Sixty Vines. They're more than happy to accommodate special events like baby showers, and their group dining menu makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the party. Remember to make reservations in advance - it's a popular place. 

4. Jupiter Gardens Events Center - Dallas 

If you're hoping to host an outdoor baby shower, you must check out Cupid's Garden at this event venue. It's a wonderful setting for a cute brunch, complete with trees and an adorable little gazebo. The area is so lovable that it's frequently booked, so be sure to call for a reservation far in advance. 

5. The Chocolate Angel Cafe and Tea RoomPlano or Richardson 

Quaint and sweet, this little cafe is everything you could want for a baby shower. They offer lunches and high tea, as well as after-hour options for special events. The vintage decor and sweet treats will make any mother-to-be smile, and you'll find that the owners take Southern hospitality to a whole new level. 

6. Gather in Downtown McKinney 

This place is sophisticated and downright beautiful, making it a wonderful event location for a celebration. Open gifts and dine under stunning crystal chandeliers, then wander around Downtown McKinney looking at the boutiques and coffee shops. It's not an especially large venue, but most baby showers will fit with ease inside the private space. 

7. Dolce Riviera - Dallas 

Dolce Riviera may be an Italian restaurant, but it does everything from brunch to dinner, all inside a tastefully-decorated space full of whites and blues. It's won awards for its excellence and menu, so you can rest assured that no guest will be disappointed in their experience. Visit their website today to make a reservation for a private event. 

8. Rosewood Mansion on Turtle CreekDallas

This historic location can fit any size of baby shower, from 10 people to 200. Check out small options like the Buford Suite or much larger selections like the Pavilion Ballroom and The Promenade. No matter which part of the rental you choose, the party will be memorable in a venue as pretty as this one. Browse all of their special occasion rooms, then request a proposal once you've found the one you like most. 


Have you thrown a baby shower in the area? Let us know if you have other recommendations in the comments!

Riley Heruska
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Planning a wedding can be stressful and expensive, but there are ways to save yourself time and energy as you prepare for the big day. The Denton Bridal Show gives you the opportunity to view many budget-friendly options, from local vendors to event rentals, venue information and much more. Spend January 12 walking around this fun bridal show, collaborating with your party and planning the day of your dreams. 

Doors to the Denton Bridal Show open at 9:00 AM. You will require a ticket for admission, so go ahead and purchase yours online here for $10. Your ticket also counts as a raffle ticket, so you might walk away with a special surprise at the end of the day.

This is a unique opportunity to see tons of local wedding businesses from all over Denton County in one place, so don't let it pass by if you're a bride-to-be! 

Event Location: 
Monroe Pearson
421 E Oak St. 
Denton, TX 7620

Riley Heruska
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Thankfully, this year's flu vaccine is working well. We are entering the worst of the flu season (now through February), but the CDC has reported that 90 percent of the flu cases they've tested have been of the milder variety. This means that the flu shot is doing a much better job of protecting people against the virus than it did last year. 

However, influenza isn't the only dangerous virus lurking around every unsanitized desk and doorknob. Emergency rooms and urgent cares are reporting increased numbers of respiratory viruses, and some of these (like RSV) can pose serious threats, especially to young children and the elderly. 

Serious respiratory viruses may start out with simple cold-like symptoms, and these can present themselves for one to two weeks. The real danger sets in when the respiratory infection leads to compromised lungs or other complications. 

If you find yourself coughing, sneezing and dealing with a variety of respiratory-related symptoms, here are the steps you need to take to ensure that things don't get any worse. 

1. Drink more than your usual amount of water. One of your best hopes is to flush the disease out of your system quickly. Stay away from dehydrating caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and keep a water bottle close by at all times. 

2. Stay home from school or work. Not only do you want to avoid compromising the health of others, but you also need to rest as much as possible. This will prevent you from coughing too much and exhausting your body, which makes it difficult to heal quickly. 

3. Take a decongestant. Head to the drugstore and purchase an over-the-counter medication that will help prevent your illness from turning into a sinus infection or something more serious. If you need help picking the medication best-suited for your situation, be sure to talk to a pharmacist before choosing. 

4. Use a humidifier to moisten the air. When you can't stop coughing, dry air isn't your friend. Keep your bedroom moist to ease congestion while you sleep. 

5. Sleep as much as you can. Even if you think you're just dealing with a small cold that you can push through, rest is vital. Take care of yourself so that you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible. The last thing you want is to push your body past the point of healing without medical interference. 


Instructions sourced from Mayo Clinic. To learn more about respiratory viruses and what you can do to prevent or treat them, visit this link

Riley Heruska
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Americans are commonly referred to as workaholics by other nations. Most of the American workforce members have less than 20 days of paid vacation each year, and recent studies have shown that much of this vacation time is left unused by the time January ends. In 2017, Americans failed to use a combined total of 212 million PTO days

Some states are certainly more likely to take vacations than others. Texas, however, comes in as the second state most likely to not use vacation days. Our state's total number of unused vacation days came in at 66,797,915 in a recent report. The only other state that used fewer vacation days was California. 

This lack of breaks from work isn't just unfortunate; it's dangerous for people's health. Reports indicate that people who don't take vacations have a 21 percent higher risk of death from stress and many other issues. Productivity suffers, mental health takes a toll and even your heart can be negatively impacted

Do you use all of your vacation days each year? How often do you take a break? Discuss your habits as a Texas employee in the comments below. 

*Article sourced from U.S. News 

Riley Heruska
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Can you believe 2018 has almost come to an end? Presents have been opened and New Year's Eve is just around the corner, which means now is the time to finalize your plans for ringing in 2019. Fortunately, there are many great options for entertainment in the DFW area. Here are some of our top choices for this NYE. 

1. The Dallas Symphony's New Year's Eve: Meyerson 'Til Midnight 

Why not spend your last night in 2018 surrounded by beautiful music? The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will play at 7:30, then guests will be invited to participate in post-show festivities until 12:30 AM. The after party includes a live band, a dance floor, a bar and plenty of amazing photo opportunities. Snag your ticket today. 

2. Megaparty at Happiest Hour in Dallas 

Balloon drops, champagne, city views and live DJs. What more could you really want from an epic NYE celebration? Come raise the roof with Happiest Hour from 9 PM to 2 AM. Tickets start at $50 for general admission. 

3. Dance the Night Away at Cowboys Red River 


Here in Texas, we like to two-step our way into the new year. That's why Cowboys Red River Dance Hall is hosting a New Year's Eve Bash for people over the age of 18. For $10 ($20 for people ages 18-20), you can spend the last night of 2018 drinking and dancing to live music. 

4. Watch the Fireworks at Reunion Tower 


Whether you're watching from near the tower or across the city, you won't want to miss "Reunion Tower Over the Top NYE 2018." The panoramic firework spectacular will light up the sky starting at 11:59, and be prepared for something even more impressive than last year's display. 

5. Lonestar NYE Live at Globe Life Park in Arlington 


Starting at 9 PM at this one-of-a-kind event, you can experience an unforgettable night packed with live music, champagne, fireworks, confetti, party favors and a ball drop. Tickets start at $25 for general admission and go up to $300 for "Platinum Admission," which gets you a dinner buffet and a late night pizza party, as well as access to the VIP lounge. 

6. Free Concert at The Rustic in Dallas 


On December 31st at 9 PM, Bryce Merrit will be performing live at one of Dallas' most unique venues. As long as you RSVP soon, you'll get in for free. If you buy the VIP tickets, you'll get guaranteed admittance, a complimentary midnight champagne toast and NYE appetizers. Listen to Merrit's soul-infused pop tunes while preparing to welcome 2019 in a fun, affordable way. 

7. The Dallas NYE Ball at the Crowne Plaza Hotel 


If you want to dress up and feel a little ritzy on NYE, then this ball is right up your alley. There are three party floors complete with photo backdrops and unparraled entertainment. Your admission ticket gives you access to some of Dallas' top DJs, party favors, games, beer pong, dance floors and many other highlights. Get yours today

8. Lights All Night at Dallas Market Hall 


Ever since 2010, this annual event has attracted tens of thousands of people. This is a huge night of electronic music complete with lasers, lights and confetti. This event doesn't technically fall on December 31, but we'll label December 28th as close enough if you want to ring in the new year with big names like Gucci Mane and Tiesto. Get your tickets online now. 

9. Beats and Bubbly at the Perot Museum


For $110 per person, you'll receive access to all five levels of this stellar museum, as well as party favors, professional pictures, sweet treats and so much more. At midnight, you'll ring in the new year with a confetti countdown you'll never forget. Spend the evening wining and dining while wandering around the various exhibits, then finish it off with a bit of excitement. 

10. Brew Years Eve in Dallas 

If you love breweries, this is the place to be when that ball drops. There will be local music, food trucks, and plenty of beer at the Noble Rey Brewing Co. in Dallas. Plus, there are tons of arcade and video games to play, so you can have a blast while you wait for 2019 to make an appearance. Tickets are available here


How will you be spending NYE this year? Let us know in the comments!