A sweet start to a new year…

Tonight, I start two full days of reflecting, worshiping and of course, eating, to ring in Rosh Hashana. I look forward to sharing a few recipes and food pictures with you, but for now, I will wish my family a very Happy New Year and wish everyone a wonderful fall season! May this year be even sweeter and happier than the last.


A Written Debut on Dot Complicated

After being a tech/marketing nerd and being starstruck by Randi Zuckerberg at BlogHer this year, I was given the incredible opportunity to be a contributor to her incredible online community, Dot Complicated.


Dot Complicated is a popular online stop for people who are looking to untangle their wired lives and break free from the use of technology, one megabyte at a time.

With the recent trip that I just took to Chicago, I wrote a piece on how to take a trip away from tech on vacation – whether you are looking to limit it or eliminate it completely from your relaxing escape.

In case you need some tips and tricks for your next trip away from tech, you can find the article below (or on Dot Complicated by clicking HERE):


Take a Trip Away from Technology
By: Melissa Grosser

In today’s tech-centric age, “taking a vacation” has taken on a whole new meaning. It is not just about escaping your daily routine, your place of residence and the office. It has become about taking out a trip away from our technology.

(A crazy thought, right? Not really.)

In order to fully enjoy your vacation away from daily life, it is time to turn off the tech or limit your use as you relax, take in the sights and enjoy new experiences. The trick is figuring out how to do so without your new email reminders chiming and blinking interrupting you every five minutes — and still keep up to speed.

Here are 9 tips to take your trip away from tech (or limit it to a bare minimum):

1. Plan your trip at a time when your work and personal life is calmer. This may not be an easy task, as things may never be 100% calm or predictable. However, attempt to book your getaway during a quieter season at work, when there are no major launches or deadlines. Also, pair it with a calm personal calendar – meaning, there are no social engagements or family commitments in sight for at least a few weeks.

2. Create a strict out-of-office reply and make arrangements with a colleague in advance to be your emergency contact on the message. Yes, there is a possibility of an emergency needing your attention while you are on vacation. However, some things are not as urgent as one may think. As long as you prep your colleague on your current work activities and certain expectations are laid out, it should go smoothly.

3. Purchase only a limited roaming plan for your trip to limit your data consumption. To truly escape, buy a vacation phone plan that will allow you to phone home to touch base with your loved ones a few times during your trip and even send text messages when needed. If checking emails is required, add on a small amount of data to allow you to check every few days.

4. Keep your portable chargers at home. Don’t worry about keeping your phones charged throughout your trip. Bring a charger so your device is ready in case of an emergency. However, charge your phone in your hotel room only and keep it turned off as you tour. The more access you have to a charger throughout the day, the more tempted you will be to text or play on your phone.

Pool Sign

5. If you must email, set a schedule. A lot of us have careers that don’t allow for a completely tune out. Also, some of us are uncomfortable leaving our emails alone for weeks or even a few days. To keep yourself in a relaxed state of mind for both your vacation and your inbox, set aside 10 minutes per day to check your emails. ONLY RESPOND to urgent messages and make sure you do your 10 minute check first thing in the morning. This will leave your days and mind clear.

6. Trade in the phone for a camera. Yes, this concept may be a tough one. Many of us are unable to comprehend the idea of letting our smartphones out of our hands. However, give it a try – even for a day! Take in the sights and capture those moments with a camera or pencil and paper instead of the phone camera. This allows you to fully soak up the experience without the cell phone distractions.

7. Leave the laptop at home; instead, tote some reading and writing materials. Instead of logging into your laptop before bed time, bring a good book or magazines to read. If you are going on a larger trip, bring a journal. You can write down short notes or a long entry on what you experience each day – it is a wonderful thing to have to look back on.

8. Set social media ground rules. Vacation is a great time to post things on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – especially if you are a social media influencer. If you have an urge to FB, tweet or Instagram your trip, set a maximum amount of posts per day or wait to post your daily pictures in a low activity period, such as in a quiet moment before dinner.

9. Above all else, make your vacation the priority! Don’t make your regeneration time a secondary priority to your work, or treat it as a news source to your social media followers. Enjoy your trip, expose yourself to new things, take pictures and have fun!