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It’s Winter

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5 Ways to Dodge the Doldrums

The holiday season is past, and winter is upon us, for better or for worse. For many, it’s for worse; the winter doldrums can make this time of year dreary and difficult. Take heart: Though the days are short now, they are getting a little bit longer every day. In the meantime, here are some ways to battle the winter blues.

  1. Let there be light. The long nights and short days of winter are hard for so many people. Add to that stretches of time when the skies are gray, and it’s no wonder you’re feeling blah. You may need more light. Not just any light or lamp, but specially designed light therapy boxes that give you a sense of bright outdoor light.
  2. Move. Not to another city, state or country, but move your body. The doldrums can make you feel tired. But getting up and moving, whether it’s going outside for a brisk walk or skiing, or inside to a swimming pool or even mall walking, will re-energize you. Exercise helps your body release endorphins, which are hormones that can help you feel better.
  3. Change things up. Maybe you have hobbies you usually enjoy, but they’re just not doing it for you right now. It might be time to find some new hobbies, or find ways to change up the current ones. If you love to bake, try a different type of cooking, or take a cooking class that’s not about baking. Instead of crossword puzzles, try jigsaw puzzles. And whatever you choose, invite friends and family to join you. Which leads us to:
  4. Be social. It’s all too easy to hunker down and stay inside. But getting out and seeing close friends and family can do a tremendous amount of good. It’s tempting to cancel that coffee or lunch invite, but don’t. Put on the boots and the coat and enjoy the change of scenery.
  5. Have a winter party. Yell “Fie upon thee, winter!” by inviting friends over for an anti-winter gathering. Or, if you have young children, have a winter camp-out in your family room. Build a tent out of blankets, make hot cocoa and heat up some Chuckwagons in your make-believe campfire (otherwise known as a microwave). If you can’t beat winter, celebrate it.

Note: If your winter blues are making it hard for you to function in your daily life, it would be a good idea to visit your family doctor to check for any physical issues or deeper depression.

Make Breakfast Easy!

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5 Options for Satisfying Breakfasts on Even the Most Hectic Mornings

Mornings are great—if it’s a Saturday morning when you don’t have to be at the ice rink for hockey practice at 7 a.m. Otherwise? Oof—getting kids to school, daycare or sports, adults off to the adult part of the day, dogs to doggie daycare—it’s a rush that often seems crazy-making. Take advantage of our Hot-to-Go Breakfast Sandwiches to make the start of your day a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable, with something for everyone in your household.

  1. Don’t wait in a long line at a bagel shop when you can grab a Deli Express Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel. All the deliciousness in a fraction of the time.
  2. Or maybe there’s someone who needs some firing up. Our Chorizo Sausage, Jalapeno Egg, Cheese and Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuit Sandwich will make their eyes pop wide open! Bonus—extra water consumption. (Milk is also known for being a good foil to heat.)
  3. Feeling the need for a lighter bite? Try the Egg White, Ham & Cheese on an English Muffin. All the flavor and protein without the cholesterol of the egg yolk. Pair with some fresh fruit or fruit juice, and feel good.
  4. Go back to basics: The Sausage Biscuit or Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches give you delicious, hearty meat in a flaky pastry. Add some yogurt or fruit juice to round off that first meal of the day.
  5. Some days may feel like there’s just not enough breakfast in the world to get you going. But we’ve got you covered: Our Mega Omelet Sandwich with two sausage patties, cheese and bacon on a giant bun will fill that appetite. Finish that off, and you’re ready for anything the day can throw at you. (But you might have to double the order if you have athletic teenagers in the mix.)
Happy New Year 2019

Happy New Year

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Make Promises, Not Resolutions!

It’s the end of 2018, the beginning of 2019, and the time when people make resolutions. Here at Deli Express, we have a recommendation for you: Don’t make a resolution.

Just look at that word: Resolutions. It’s so serious and ominous. And it’s all too easy to think you have to make huge, life-changing commitments that you maybe do or don’t want to make. Which is likely at least part of the reason that as many as 80% of resolutions made aren’t kept.

Instead, try this: Make promises to yourself. What kind of promises?

  1. Be kind with yourself. Does your morning often begin with “I should have, why didn’t I, if only I’d…”? You’re human. Cut yourself some slack.
  2. Be kind to others. You may never know how much that scowling person on the street needed a smile from a stranger. That’s OK. If you gave the smile, you were kind.
  3. Take a hard look at family commitments. Anything you can cut out to build in more down time? Being constantly on the run is stressful. Find moments to stop.
  4. Let go of the “perfect” ideas. Your home doesn’t have to be perfectly clean. You don’t have to serve four-course meals every night (or, actually, any night). It’s OK to be good enough.
  5. If you do have concrete things you want to accomplish in 2019, find ways to break them down into small chunks. “Become a master gardener” is a big, big task. “Cut up a little square in the corner of the yard and plant three kinds of vegetables” is much more manageable.
  6. Take a night off now and then. Bring home Deli Express sandwiches for dinner and spend time with the family, rather than scrambling to make a meal.
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Surviving Finals Week

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6 Tips for Surviving College’s Craziest Week

Whether you’re an undergrad or grad student, finals week can loom heavily in your schedule. It’s easy to become overwhelmed at everything you need to study and learn, and let anxiety drive your response. The more you can manage your stress, the better you’ll be prepared when test day arrives. Here are some tips to help you through the lead-up to finals week.

  1. Get some sleep. It seems counterintuitive—sleep, when you have so much studying and writing to do, when people around you are pulling all-nighters? But yes—build sleep into your prep schedule. A good night’s sleep has advantages that are important during finals week: When we don’t get enough sleep, we have trouble concentrating, and may even have difficulty remembering things. Since remembering things is key to finals week, adding sleep to the equation isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity.
  2. Break it down and set a schedule. Don’t look at that European history textbook and think, “I have to read 300 pages!” Instead, break it into smaller sections, and put them on your calendar on your phone or tablet, with reminders. Bit by bit, you’ll work through them with less anxiety.
  3. Take a break. Another item to schedule: Breaks. Every person is different; some people need short, frequent breaks, while others need fewer, but longer, distractions. But no matter which is best for you, don’t skip them. Taking a break gives your brain a much-needed rest, and you’ll return with more energy and focus.
  4. But when you’re not on break, turn off the social. It’s an easy temptation: “I’ll just send a quick Snapchat or spend a minute on Instagram.” But a minute or two can quickly spin out of control, and before you know it, you’re way behind on the schedule you carefully set. Better plan: Schedule plenty of down time to happen as soon as finals week is done.
  5. Four-legged therapy.  An increasing number of universities and colleges are bringing in therapy dogs during finals week. Take a break from cramming for a calc final and cuddle a pug or a golden doodle. It will do wonders for your mental health, and it only takes a few minutes. Life is always better with puppy kisses.
  6. Eat.  Don’t skip meals to study. Your body—and your brain—need nourishment. Skipping meals deprives them of what they need most to keep you going. Grab a Deli Express sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a big glass of water. Your body and brain will thank you and be better able to help you during finals week.
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Managing the Busy Holiday Season

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5 Tips to Help Lessen Holiday Stress

Thanksgiving came and went, and now we’re heading straight into that crazy-making month: December. No matter which holidays you celebrate, the pressure is on. We have some suggestions to help you manage this season and hopefully make it cheery and bright.

  1. Cut back. Will the holiday be miserable if you don’t serve an 8-course dinner? What if the adults in your family draw names and just buy one gift, rather than gifts for everyone? Instead of decorating the house until it’s something Clark Griswold would envy, go low-key: a smaller tree, lights just around the front door rather than across the whole exterior of the house. Do you have someone in your life telling you that “everyone” must attend certain events? Let them go on your behalf.
  2. Make sure everyone gets some “me” time. Mom, Dad, kids—everyone needs a bit of down time. Instead of saying yes to every holiday invitation that comes along, set a maximum—no more than one event per weekend. Then carve out time for everyone to relax.
  3. Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask your spouse, your parents, your kids as they get old enough to pitch in. Holiday gifts don’t have to be perfectly wrapped; let your kids help, even if it’s messy. Your parents might be more than willing to take on side dishes for the holiday meal. And when dinner is over, everyone needs to help clean up. It’ll go much faster, be less stressful—and it might even be fun.
  4. Let go of the idea that things must be perfect. Every smiling family on holiday commercials on TV seem to say: “Be perfect!” But in the end, people aren’t going to remember if your house was spotless or your table perfectly set. They’re going to remember laughter, togetherness and joy. No amount of dust bunnies can disrupt that.
  5. Take shortcuts. You’ve got the next 11 months out of the year to put homemade meals on the table, show up for every piano lesson, or make homemade outfits for the kids to wear in holiday photos. In December? Order outfits online, cancel a few piano lessons (your piano teacher will likely thank you), and don’t hesitate to bring home the family’s favorite Deli Express sandwiches for dinner. Put some carrots and dip on the side, and you’re good to go.
Chuckwagon Sandwich with condiments

Add Extras to Your Favorite Sandwich

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5 Ways to Customize Your Deli Express Sandwich

Deli Express sandwiches are great as they are. But it can also be great to try some additions to change this up a little. We recently asked our customers how they customize their Deli Express. Of course, we were delighted when people said they’re perfect as they are, we were also delighted to learn some options for changing things up.

  1. You can never go wrong with the basics of ketchup, mustard and mayo. There’s a reason these three have been sandwich favorites for generations.
  2. Take a step from basic condiments to specialty items, like sriracha mayo, flavored mustards, horseradish sauce, oil and vinegar, hummus, guacamole or tapenade.
  3. Rethink how you heat the sandwich. One customer prefers to put the whole sandwich in a toaster oven, while another toasts only the buns and heats the meat and cheese in a microwave. That will give the bun a crisper, toastier texture.
  4. Veggies are always a great addition to a sandwich. Try pickles, or even raw cucumbers; lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts, avocado, spinach, sweet bell peppers, even sauerkraut or cole slaw.
  5. Like a little heat? Our sandwiches pair wonderfully with jalapenos (raw or pickled), chipotles, poblanos and banana peppers. Or if you really like the fire, try habanero, ghost or—gasp—the Carolina Reaper. Remember: Dairy products help put out these kinds of fires better than plain water.
How to make packing school lunches easier

How to Make Packing School Lunches Easier

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6 tips to help make packing school lunches a breeze!

If your family bypasses the school cafeteria lunch, the good news is that you have more say in what your child eats.

The bad news? You need to make sure they have a lunch every day. Kids need a nutritious midday meal to keep them focused throughout the afternoon. Sometimes in the rush and hustle of busy school days, getting lunches together can become one more chore. Here are some ideas to keep things moving smoothly. First off? Deli Express® is here to help—our sandwiches make great portable lunches.

  1. Have the kids help. Even a kindergartener can go to the fridge and pick out some fruit to go with the sandwich. Older kids can do more complicated tasks, like spreading peanut butter between crackers and putting them in a sealable container for a snack. If they help put the lunch together, they could very well be more likely to eat it and not complain.
  2. Customize. Again, this is something you can do together. If your child likes mustard or mayo with the Smoked Ham & Cheese, help them add some.
  3. Plan a good side. Rather than just a piece of fruit, consider putting some hot soup into a thermos for them for a really filling, nutritious lunch. Or add a small container of fresh carrot and celery slices with a little dip.
  4. Keep it together. Whether you use insulated lunch boxes or brown bags, plastic bags or reusable containers, keep all the supplies in one spot. That way no one wastes time or energy trying to find the relevant supplies.
  5. Prep the night before. A few minutes in the evening can help the mornings be less stressful. Clean and cut up fruit or veggie slices, assemble lunches as far as you can, set out things like thermoses for hot soup so they’re ready to go first thing in the morning.
  6. Let the picky eater have some control. You’ve got one that only wants an Oven-Roasted Turkey & Cheese sandwich every day? Go with it. Many kids go through a phase where they only like certain things. It’s likely they’ll grow out of it. And while they’re in it, it sure makes planning lunches easy.

6 Tips for Managing Back-to-School Chaos

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Make the back-to-school transition easier with these 6 tips!

On the one hand, getting back into a routine in the fall can sound heavenly, especially if your summer was largely spontaneous and “easy come, easy go.” But that transition from free-range family to “What time does the bus come???” can be turbulent. Here are tips to help parents readjust to the back-to-school world.

  1. Create a routine. And post it so everyone in your household can access it. It doesn’t matter if it’s shared across smartphones and tablets or a large whiteboard calendar hanging somewhere everyone can see it. Keep that calendar up to date. Take some time every weekend to go over it with the relevant family members. That will help everyone prepare for what’s ahead each week, and it will help the adults prioritize, plan transportation with other parents, and adapt work schedules if necessary.
  2. Plan for family dinners. Numerous studies have shown how beneficial it is for families to eat dinner together on a regular basis. It doesn’t need to be a seven-course gourmet meal; the important thing is to have the time together, even if it’s right before the 7th grade band concert. Put it into the calendar so it doesn’t slip off the priority list. And hey — Deli Express® has lots of quick sandwich options you can grab on the way home from work. Add a salad and some fruit, and you’re good to go.
  3. Pack the night before. Pack what? Everything — lunches, snacks, backpacks, school projects, musical instruments. Deli Express makes packing that lunch incredibly easy with delicious sandwiches both kids and adults can enjoy! Line the nonperishable items up by the door, and have the lunches at the front of the fridge. It will make mornings so much easier!
  4. Get up earlier than the kids. Yes, it’s hard to get up even five minutes earlier, especially when fall gets darker and darker in the morning. But if you set that alarm 15 minutes earlier (and don’t hit the snooze button), you can buy yourself some much-needed time to take a deep breath, drink some coffee or tea, and gather your thoughts before the morning barrage begins.
  5. Take time each weekend to monitor upcoming needs. Many schools now have all kinds of online portals you can look at to see if your child has tests or major projects coming up, field trips that require permission slips and money, or special events. Take a few minutes every weekend to go through those and adjust the calendar as needed and make sure all the required forms are filled out and ready to go.
  6. Don’t aim for perfection. There are just some days when the calendar is too overwhelming. If you and your family don’t get to every item on it, so be it — and when you model “good enough” versus “perfect” to your kids, you’re giving them a great life lesson.
How to Master a Rest Stop Picnic

How to Master a Rest Stop Picnic

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Tips for preparing an on-the-go picnic meal, straight from your car!

Most major freeways have rest stops and picnic areas at certain mile markers. Keep an on-the-go picnic basket in the trunk of your car with all the essentials – a blanket, wet wipes, and disposable tableware and cutlery. Don’t forget the Deli Express sandwiches!

Must-See Roadside Attractions

Must-See Roadside Attractions

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Visit these quirky roadside attractions across the country on your next long road trip.

World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, KS
Started in the year 1953, the World’s Largest Ball of Twine weighed over 5,000lbs and stood 8ft. high in just four years. Plan to stop by in August and you could be part of the annual Twine-A-Thon to add more twine!

Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd, MN
Visit the 26 foot tall animated, talking lumberjack with Babe the Big Blue Ox. The park offers a variety of amusement park rides and attractions for all family members to enjoy!
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Carhenge in Alliance, NE
This attraction, a representation of England’s historical Stonehenge, features a circle of car sculptures crafted from old cars and car parts.
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Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD
The Corn Palace offers free guided tours throughout the summer months in this small South Dakota town. Learn how corn is grown, how the Palace was built and decorated, and bring home some fun corn souvenirs!
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Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Spring Hill, FL
Ever wanted to see a real-life mermaid? Well, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will make your dreams come true! While you’re there, you can also swim in the beautifully pristine Buccaneer Bay and paddle down the Weeki Wachee River.

“Lover’s Leap” in Rock City, TN
Experience the world famous “Lover’s Leap” at Rock City, just a few miles from downtown Chatanooga. The area offers beautiful scenery from ancient rock formations, breathtaking panoramic views of state borders, and gardens with over 400 plant species.
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Lucy the Elephant in Margate City, NJ
Along the beach in Josephine Harron Park, you’ll find Lucy the Elephant – a six story high historical monument constructed in 1881 that has since entertained passersby, tourists, and families alike. Climb the stairs inside Lucy’s legs to the 360degree lookout deck, or enjoy one of the many surrounding picnic tables over your Deli Express sandwich lunch.
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The Haines Shoe House in York, PA
Stop by The Haines Shoe House for a guided tour of all five levels, and enjoy an ice cream treat on-site while you tour!
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The Cabazon Dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA
Dubbed one of the most iconic roadside attractions, the Cabazon Dinosaurs have appeared in films, media and pop culture moments across the nation. The exhibit features over fifty lifelike dinosaurs, guided tours and an array of on-site family activities.
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