11 Ways to Show Your Appreciation on Veterans Day

Posted on November 11, 2016 by Meghan Latourelle | 0 comments

Veterans Day 2016 | Proozy.com

1. Say Thanks - To Every Veteran and Service Member

If you know someone who served in the military, regardless of whether or not they served in a war, please show them your gratitude for their service. Whether you say it in person, over the phone, via text, a Tweet, or a Facebook post, your thanks matters - so don’t be afraid to get creative!

2. Have A Moment of Silence

Simply take a few minutes to silently reflect on the millions of people (past, present, and future) who selflessly dedicate their lives to fight for us and our country. We often take a lot of things in our life for granted, including our freedom and rights as US citizens, which we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for our beloved veterans. Don’t forget to thank the families of these veterans and service members as well, as they sacrifice more than we could ever imagine.

3. Write to Soldiers in Training and Overseas

One of the greatest feelings in the world is receiving an unexpected letter, especially one that conveys admiration, support, and gratitude. Many organizations send letters to soldiers, so this is an easy one to do! If you have kids, or are part of a school organization, get crafty and make a few cards for the holidays. Regardless of how you send your message, think of what you would like to hear if you were in their ‘boots’. Tell them a story, a joke, or send some pictures of your own latest adventure. They will love hearing your thanks for their service, but your message will mean so much more with a personal touch.

Write A Letter To Soldiers

4. Grant A Wounded Warrior's Wish

Many veterans returned from active duty, but not all of them returned in perfect health. A Million Thanks is an organization that helps raise funds to grant wishes to wounded veterans who otherwise can’t afford to make dreams come true for their families. Visit their page to see all the wishes and help them become reality. Know a veteran in need, but you don’t know how, nor have the budget to help with some of those bigger wishes? Try surprising them with a small, yet thoughtful gift like these Under Armour Captain Sunglasses.

5. Visit A Retired Veteran

Make an impact close-to-home by visiting veterans in a local retirement home. The amount of joy a short visit could bring is immeasurable. Just ask them to share some of their stories or bring them some baked goodness (homemade or store-bought - they never have to know!), and you’ll have made a new Visit A Veteran in Retirmentfriend. Just think of all the people who don’t get many visits from family or friends, and how a simple 30-minute visit could instantly become the highlight of their week.

6. Treat A Veteran to Lunch

Who doesn’t enjoy a free lunch? Reconnect with a longtime friend or family member by inviting them for lunch or coffee. This one is so easy - you could do it on other days of the year too. If you happen to see someone eating alone the next time you go out, ask them if they would like some company; don’t be shy!  Don’t have time for lunch? Try treating the veterans in your life to ice cream, or grab a drink (depending on their personal preferences, of course)! If you are really strapped for time, why not bring the coffee to them, with the help of this convenient, well-insulated Orca Chaser, and show your appreciation for their service by gifting the cup!

7. Connect on Social Media

Now here's one we ALL can do. Stay involved and show your appreciation all year round by staying up-to-date on the latest news and activity of an organization close to your heart. Following military support groups, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront on social media not only helps them stay top-of-mind, but also arms them with additional voices to share their stories and get others involved in supporting their cause.

8. Send A Care Package Through Operation Gratitude

Sending a care package is an extremely thoughtful gift to those currently serving our country. If you know a family who has a loved one at boot camp or overseas, ask them for an address to submit a care package through organizations like Operation Gratitude. You simply fill out the rank, name, address, email, relation, and exWWP Camo Hatpected date of return for the service member you are requesting a package for. If you already send packages to family or friends currently serving, why not send them this Under Armour Wounded Warrior Project hat, or these Compression OTC Run Socks -you can never have enough socks - in your next care package.

 

9. A Simple Good Deed

For those who cannot afford to donate time or monetary gifts, you can still acknowledge and show thanks to veterans in other ways. Performing a simple good deed is all it takes. And it is something you can do every day, as many times as you want. Hold the door for the person behind you, or rake the leaves for an elderly neighbor. People tend to be overwhelmingly grateful for such thoughtfulness.

10. Get Involved and Volunteer

Volunteering is the best way to connect with your community and feel good about yourself while doing it. A few hours is all it takes to make a difference. A lot of organizations host volunteer events and projects, many of which are involved in activities such as sending letters and running toy and clothing drives. Others are focused on giving back in a more local way, like The Mission Continues, which helps both veterans and civilians organize and work together on specific issues within their communities.

11. Donate to Military Support Organizations

If time is an issue, take just one minute to visit one of the many military support organization websites and see what you could donate. Many accept monetary donations, but many others, including Operation Gratitude, accept much more, including your leftover Halloween candy! Many soldiers also appreciate gifts that many of us take for granted, such as  books, movies, games, snacks, and hot sauce (seriously). Check out some of these other groups to learn more about them and what you can do to pitch in!

Memory Box Project: collects memories of fallen loved ones for their families
Operation: Care and Comfort: support troops, veterans, and their families
Semper Fi Fund: provide immediate financial assistance for post 9/11 wounded, critically ill, and injured members of US Armed Forces and their families
Woman Veterans Interactive: offer programs to assist women transition back to civilian life after serving our country

    Find even more veteran and service member charities and projects at Charity Navigator. There is a project and organization out there for everyone, whether you are looking to do a single donation, or organize a group to volunteer.

    Need some ideas for donations they’ll find useful every day of the week? Try some of the latest items on sale at Proozy.com!

    Posted in Holiday, Proozy, Veterans Daty

    Finish the Race Strong - Exercise Your Right To Vote

    Posted on November 08, 2016 by Meghan Latourelle | 0 comments

     

    Finish the Race Strong - Exercise Your Right To Vote

    Today’s the day - Election Day 2016, that is. Many of us are eager and filled with insurmountable emotions about the outcome of this historic day. Regardless of who you plan to vote for, it is important to remember to vote because you have so much power as a registered voter. Many Americans have said they aren’t going to vote this year because of the options we’ve been given. But this mindset is dangerous!
     

    Why is it Important to Vote?

    With all the political hype surrounding the presidential candidates and their running mates, many forget that they aren’t the only ones on the ballot - don’t forget the political influence of everyone else on that ballot today, including US Senators and Representatives and various local offices.

    The matter is simple: if you want your voice to be heard, you need to vote.

    One does not simply NOT vote - meme

    Taking to The Polls is Like Taking Charge of Your Health

    A colleague of mine shared a great memory about his last election experience, and I would like to pass the ‘feels’ on to you.  

    Four years ago, Kiel and his girlfriend woke up early to go on a morning run before work. After they had returned and finished getting ready for the day, they headed to the polls. Kiel told me how empowered he felt throughout the rest of his day, knowing he accomplished two important things: taking control of his personal well-being, and exercising his right to vote.

    That feeling was so important to him, he remembers it vividly to this very day, a whole 4 years later. We often forget just how important it is to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. The same goes for how we often underestimate the impact of our voice through the power of a single vote.  

    If you think about it, staying active and eating healthy is a lot like going to the polls on Election Day – at first, you might not want to do it, but you know if you want to see results, you need to put forth the effort. Additionally, caring about only one aspect of our health can negatively impact other parts of our lives (think getting enough sleep, eating well, stressing less, and kicking bad habits). Likewise, only caring about a single issue or candidate (or not caring at all) can be detrimental to other important political changes and advancements.

    Make your voice heard: VOTE!

    Make Your Voice Heard

    So no matter where you stand, don’t forget to exercise your right to vote, just as you exercise your right to stay healthy. Hold candidates accountable for their promises, just as you hold yourself accountable for your personal health and well-being.

    If you need help finding great savings on the sports gear and workout apparel to jumpstart your own fitness campaign, Proozy can help you! Check out our flash deals and other sales going on today, as well as every other day of the week!

     

    P.S. It’s Not Too Late to Register to Vote

    If you haven’t already, it is not too late to register to vote - you can do it right at the polls as long as you bring a photo ID and proof of residence - you can even print off your registration form to save some time. Find where to vote by checking online or calling your local city or town hall official.

    Posted in Active Living, Election Day 2016, Personal Wellness, Proozy, Vote

    How do you beat your sweet tooth???

    Posted on June 15, 2015 by Dan DeSmidt | 0 comments

    How do serious athletes avoid eating junk food???

    Over the past several weeks I have been dodging fast food, candy, simple carbs, and any other “fad” for you food I could think of. Sadly, however, the struggle with my sweet tooth has not dulled. Fed up with this, I took a deeper dive into why we love eating garbage.

    Primates are omnivorous which means we will eat just about anything that rolls, swims, walks, or flies by us that we can digest without serious repercussions. This is because we are opportunistic predators: Throughout our evolutionary history we have had to obtain the energy needed to survive from any resource we could find. As a result, we are hard wired to search out the most energy rich foods because these will yield the highest reward for the work we put into hunting and gathering.

     

    We still do this today but instead of running, climbing, or lifting for several hours we sit, walk, and shop for our sustenance. Fortunately for us we do not need to run for our lives in order to maintain a healthy diet. This land of plenty, however, has led to an excess availability of the wrong type of food for a non-active lifestyle and poor eating habits are tough to break!

    To train for a half marathon I have been running 5 nights out of the week and have since reached a consistent 4-mile run every night. I have had far more energy throughout the day but would be lying if I said I had not eaten my fair share of “cheat foods” following my workouts. When discussing this with my physician, who was once a professional athlete, he informed me that I was thinking about my diet backwards. Instead of deciding the foods to cut out I should find out what I needed to include.

    It is counter-productive to grapple with our nature so instead of avoiding specific foods or food groups, I should think of what I eat as a fuel source like gas is to a car. The distance or goals one wants to achieve can be reached by adding the proper amount of the right energy mix: protein, carbohydrates, and even simple sugars are necessary for a variety of resistance, endurance, and power training.

    With this in mind, “Food is fuel” is now my mantra these days. Instead of avoiding carbohydrates and trying to load up on protein I will be portioning out foods so I can hit my athletic and aesthetic goals without overfilling the tank, so to speak. 

     Comment below, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for motivation or updates on how the battle is going!

    Posted in

    Outrunning the Wagon towards Perfect Fitness!

    Posted on May 13, 2015 by Dan DeSmidt | 0 comments

    I couldn’t fit into my favorite pair of Ashworth madras plaid shorts this morning and had to face a terrifying conclusion: I have gotten fat. I have fallen off of the proverbial wagon. I fell off at Christmas and my face has been buried in the cool ranch flavored daisies ever since.

    To say I could not fit into my shorts is a bit of an exaggeration; I was in fact able to button them, the button just popped off in protest shortly thereafter. My girlfriend burst out laughing and gave me a conceding look that said, “Okay, maybe you are right…” Lately I have been complaining to her about my apparent weight gain and she finally broke down and told me I was not allowed to whine if I am not willing to do something about it.

    I thought this over as I walked into work this morning.

    According to the National institute of Health, 68.8% of adults around my age are considered overweight or obese, 35.7% are considered obese, and 6.3% are extremely obese…. I personally do not want to fall within these ranks.

    I used to stay in shape by working out every day, surfing, and hiking. I have, however, found myself devoid of mountains and waves lately so I must find alternative forms of exercise beyond these activities.

    It dawns on me now that here at Proozy.com we have Perfect Fitness Light resistance bands, Perfect Fitness Tendon tech pro resistance bands, Perfect Fitness Mini steppers (a miniature stair climber), along with New Balance Life Trnr, Body Trnr, and Gecko Trnr fitness tracking watches. With all of this equipment at my fingertips I should be well on my way to outrunning that wagon! Luckily I get the employee discount. 

    Today I will start my training. I have already begun excluding simple carbohydrates from my diet and will look into other healthy living resources to construct a regimen. I will be limiting my sodium and caffeine intake and try to drink a gallon of water a day. I will use all of our Perfect Fitness training equipment once a day and do additional exercises while monitoring my progress using one of our fitness tracking watches, perhaps the New Balance N4 heart rate monitor.

    As a goal I have signed several of my coworkers and myself up for the Red, White, & BOOM half-marathon on the 4th of July that takes place in the Twin Cities.

    I am jumping into a pair of reebok performance mesh shorts and posting updates on my progress every week. If you want to join me, I have convinced my boss to extend a 20% discount to any of our followers with the promo code “GETFIT” so you may purchase any of our fitness items and follow along with your own goals!

    To be fit or not to be fit.... that is the question!

     

    Posted in Active Living, Fitness, Perfect Fitness, Proozy

    Tackling Fashion Sense with Science!

    Posted on April 30, 2015 by Dan DeSmidt | 0 comments

                When my boss first approached me to discuss my blog I was skeptical. The executive consensus was there is not enough “Fashion” in my blog; so today I took the liberty of addressing the topic.

                As some of you may know, in my first entry I described myself as a Marine Biologist. What you may not know is that I graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Biology with fully funded shark behavior research from the University of Hawaii. While the majority of my undergraduate experience was spent mostly shirtless in slippers and board shorts, upon occasion yours truly would don a terrific moisture-wicking Adidas Puremotion polo (formal AND comfortable) and contend with the fraternity folks and business majors.                                                                                             While I do not presume to know the dressing habits of my readers, I simply assume you all are obscenely good looking and well dressed, I do know how to do research. So, when I heard that I needed to inject some fashion forward thinking into my writing I hit upon a mind-blowing idea: Research it.

     

                A myriad of articles arise when social psychology and fashion are plugged in to Google Scholar. With the help of my neuroscientist/self-proclaimed fashionista sister, however, I was able to narrow my search. My findings are thus:

                A study of the effect formal and informal styles of dress has on the perception of business professors’ trustworthiness, expertise, and likeability illustrated significant variations within genders. For example, a formally dressed man, say one wearing a Ralph Lauren Big Pony Polo shirt or a Puma Golf Merino V Neck Sweater over a terrific Red House silk collared shirt, would be viewed as more credible than a casually dressed male (Sebastian & Bristow, 2008).

           

                Interestingly enough, this trend is reversed for women suggesting that dressing in a comfortable Columbia Fleece Hoodie will appear just as credible, if not more, than one wearing a classy Red House Ladies Stripe Shirt. Furthermore, the money spent yearly on improving looks does not necessarily return the principal investment, only raising income by 15 cents, at most, in a study done in China (Hamermesh et al, 2002). This suggests that moving up economically does not necessarily correlate with increased spending on business attire. This study, however, did not look at the effects that dress had on perceived confidence levels. Differences in economy and culture from China to the United States could also complicate these findings and it was suggested that this 15-cent margin would decrease in the United States (Hamermesh et al, 2002).  

                In a similar fashion study, electoral candidates’ had more favorable outcomes when the perceptions of his/her looks improved (Hamermesh, 2006). In line with Sebastian & Bristow’s findings, this suggests that style of dress may be used to improve perceptions of an individual although consistency in dress is suggested to lead to a higher likeability in the end (Sebastian & Bristow, 2008).

                While this may all seem very esoteric, we may make several conclusions that are very easy to understand:

     1) Consistency in dress is key to people liking you so instead of purchasing one shirt on clearance, buy five.

     

    2) The way you dress can be used to affect people’s perception of you, which you can use to your overall advantage. I will be using this argument to get my girlfriend to wear an Oakley bikini around more often to improve her credibility.

     

    And 3) Dressing for success is more complicated than it seems. There are probably more studies suggesting an increase in confidence connected with style of dress has more of an effect on increasing income than the actual money spent on products like dress shirts and makeup does.

     

    Here at Proozy.com we all wear what suits our personalities. We like to be comfortable and we like to express ourselves through what we wear, which, in the end, is really what it is all about. I was skeptical about writing a purely fashion article, but now I am happy for the opportunity. I don’t know what you may like to wear, I do not know how you would like to be perceived, but I know that we carry a variety of products for you to express yourself.

     

    Works Cited:

    Hamermesh, Daniel S., Meng, Xin, Zhang, Junsen. (2002) Dress for Success—does primping pay? Labour Economics 9: 361-373.

     Hamermesh, Daniel S. (2006) Changing looks and changing “discrimination”: The beauty of economists. Economics Letters. 93: 405-412.

     Sebastian, Richard J., Bristow, Dennis. (2008) Formal or Informal? The Impact of Style of Dress and Forms of Address on Business Students’ Perceptions of Professors. Journal of Education for Business. March/April 2008: 196-201.

    Posted in Fashion, Proozy, Research

    Catalyst 2015 Las Vegas Trip

    Posted on April 15, 2015 by Dan DeSmidt | 0 comments

    My girlfriend, Ruth, and I just drank a jug of table wine. Right now “we” apparently is a strong statement, so for the time being lets just say I find myself utterly content and “crows feet” happy when I hear her laugh at the story I am about to divulge to you. For those who do not know, the body language that indicates somebody is truly glad is not shown in the actual smile but by the crow’s feet at the corner of their eyes. That’s a nifty way you can tell if somebody really thinks you are funny or not. I digress…
    My bosses pulled me into their office roughly two weeks ago and informed me that I had been doing so well that they would be adding on to my responsibilities and bringing me along with them on a business trip to Las Vegas. Needless to say I was ecstatic. To be honest, I had never been to Vegas nor had I ever actually gone gambling before, but by noon the following Monday I had accomplished both. Amid the choreographed water shows and the rattling craps tables, roughly 300 executives for some of the largest ecommerce companies in the world were trading business cards and sharing laughs. Good thing I packed my Versace shades. This was an education and I was taking notes.
    Several keynote speakers including Robert Herjavec and Scott Wingo illustrated the headwinds that Internet retailers like us will be experiencing in upcoming months. They revealed retailing trends and innovative ways to leverage the use of mobile devices to better understand our customers. They encouraged young CEOs to burn ships and then test the waters around them…
    … Looking back, I am not sure if you had those in the right order, Rob, but I still enjoyed the speech ;)
    We saw friends from other companies succeed and we made new connections that will ultimately help our company grow. We learned innovative ways to make your shopping experience convenient and enjoyable. We worked hard. Several companies came together and threw a party at the Drais Night Club where women in leotards danced around in giant floating beach balls while CEOs argued business strategies over mai tais. I learned from the best how to shoot the shit with influential business owners and even got to cut a rug alongside a few. 
    It’s funny how millionaires can be just as terrible at dancing as the rest of us, but it is true. The next day 300 plus hungover executives scrambled out of bed to furiously scribble down more presentation notes while chugging coffee. We had one final "networking lunch" and before you know it we were back at the Proozy headquarters putting what we learned to the test.
    All in all it was a fun trip. It was an intense trip. My first business trip was filled with ecommerce compatriots that live and die to provide the best service they can, some of which while still dressed in Oakley bikinis at the edge of a pool. When I unpacked at home later that week, I noticed that my myriad Ralph Lauren t-shirts and reebok superior polos were as worn out as I felt and it reminded my of a quote from one of my favorite musicians.
     
    “Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been.”—Jimmy Buffett.

    Posted in Proozy, Vegas

    Happy Easter!

    Posted on April 06, 2015 by Dan DeSmidt | 0 comments

    Yesterday was Easter Sunday. My mother still hides my Easter Basket and yesterday morning I woke up to my dog nosing through it. I guess a stainless steel Dog food Container can’t stand between a 150lb bull mastiff and a chocolate rabbit, but that’s what you get when you hide candy on Dirks level. Luckily he is not into eating clothes or the Puma sweatshirt she got me would have been in real trouble.

    This holiday always reminds me of a story I have from my glory days in Hawaii. My roommate at the time, whom we nicknamed “Jesus” for his beard and ridiculous hair, smoked an obscene amount of marijuana. In the middle of March he decided he was going to a hippie retreat in the Hawaiian wilderness and subsequently missed out on the following 3 weeks of school. He was gone so long, in fact, that it prompted me to start making resurrection jokes around Easter when this happened. 

    With four days until the Holiday I received my Easter Basket in the mail. Three days 'til, I rose to find my room full of weed smoke, yet again, and my roommate Jesus covered in dirt and wreaking of B.O., nosing through my egg shaped jellybeans much like my dog was doing yesterday morning. If his New Balance calorie counting watch was able to talk it would have been screaming bloody murder at him. Noticing I was there, he apologized and took another puff of his pipe, ascending to yet another higher plane while I left to meet some friends for breakfast. If Daniel had prophesied the end of his easter candy I would say my namesake and I had more in common. Before I left, Jesus had started playing around with my perfect fitness workout equipment, apparently riding his sugar rush out on my mini stepper and simultaneously doing chest flies with my tendon pro.... it was quite a sight.  

    Much of this wonderful holiday symbolizes new beginnings, hence the eggs filled with candy and other wonderful prizes: promises of a new and bright future. While it may not be as deep seated as a religious resurrection or the theft of holiday candy by dogs of all kinds, the revealing of our new website holds equal promise for the 30 plus workers here at Proozy.com. We will nurture and care for it as if it were an egg. It holds our dreams and has unlimited potential as a company. It holds the potential to bring you the best deals, to donate to just causes, to spread style and promote positivity. We care about Proozy because we care about you, not just as our loyal customer, but also as our friends and family. Happy Easter. :)

     

     

    Posted in Dogs, Holiday, Proozy