Archive | October, 2014

Move Out of Your Comfort Zone & Shake It Up With a Word Puzzle

29 Oct

Variety and diversity are the keys to keeping pathways in your brain active, open, and nourished and will help you build some brain resilience to bolster and protect.

One of the most valuable everyday brain health gifts you can yourself is to mix it up and do something that breaks your routine. Thinking and cognitive life can get comfortable and it is easy just to coast in that lane. Even when you may push yourself within that lane (like doing increasingly more difficult Cranium Crunches puzzles or moving to doing a crossword puzzle in pen) you are only working and challenging one type of thinking process. Brains, their processes, and their capabilities – just like our everyday lives – will not move forward, grow, and thrive unless we make a conscious effort to move beyond that comfort zone.

In the spirit of variety and diversity, let’s try a different kind of word puzzle today.

For this word challenge you will need:  1.  paper,  2. something to write with, and 3.  a timer.

Set the timer to 2 minutes.   Write down  as many words using 3 or more letters using the letters in the wheel before the time runs out.   Here is the catch: each word must include the letter in the center of the wheel.   Word Hub 1

How many did you get?   Ready to try again?  Set the timer for 90 seconds this time.  Ready? Go!

Word Hub 2

Was it harder to have to use a vowel in every word or a consonant?

New Twists: Shaking It Up at the Hotel Maya, With the Bigger Picture (Plus Puzzles)

28 Oct

Let’s Zoom Out a bit on yesterday’s Zoomed In photos from the beautiful Hotel Maya and the quick get-away I took to Long Beach with my husband and our friends Lois and Michael, aka MiLo!

A huge part of effectively working your brain is mixing it up so you never get too comfortable with a particular way of doing or being – make it novel, vary the challenge, and activate more brain processes. With that in mind, today we are going to shake it up a bit. Instead of simply doing the big reveal, I turned all of the photos into puzzles.  That was not quite enough so I twisted the layout a bit just to add a little variety and change the experience.

Day 1 of our Long Beach adventure started with an amazing brunch on the patio overlooking the water.  Check out the amazing food…. Which one of the following photos is not like the others?

maya veggies michaelNext up was a Samba lesson. MiLo approached the dance floor all smiles with confidence and a bit of swagger! I would love to say we all rocked it but all the photos of me show me looking at my feet and looking pretty terrified. Did I mention that learning something new, being active, moving out of your comfort zone, and listening to /moving to music are all brain healthy activities. Yesterday’s bite was from that colorful table umbrella. Which photo is different?

Maya Predance milo static

The band was amazing. So much beautiful dance music came out of yesterday’s slice – the mouth of a classic looking saxophone!  Which one is different?

maya sax player staticWe had some help finishing our desert! Check out our lunch guest and the change in puzzle layout style! Which one of these desert photos is different?

maya bird desert staticThen it was time to find a peaceful spot to set up office for the afternoon. Hmmm…. So many spots to choose from.  Which photo has something that is not quite the same?


Maya pool staticeWi-fi throughout the property…even here! Which is different?

Maya peaceful place staticAnd yes, they gave us S’mores to enjoy by the fire! This is a tough puzzle. Can you figure out why?Maya fire pit staticJust when we thought the Hotel Maya had no more magic to offer, we took a walk on the grounds and found this beautiful night scene. What a perfect ending to a wonderful day!  Which of these photos is just a bit different?

maya at night static

There were three distinct variations on the same kind of puzzle. How did these changes in style change how easily you solved the puzzles?

And…aren’t you just chomping at the bit to visit the Hotel Maya Double Tree Long Beach????



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