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Dare to dream: Feed your imagination to add flavor to life

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Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:34 am, Sat Aug 16, 2014.

(BPT) - The monotony of the everyday routine – wake, work, relax, sleep, repeat – can take its toll on even the most enthusiastic individuals. Especially during the long, hot summer.

But not if you dare to dream. Feed your imagination, break away from the ordinary and add some flavor to your life – and your relationships. Craft some new experiences and create memories that make the daily routines worthwhile.

Wondering how? Here are some ideas.

* Establish a local bucket list. Identify the top 10 locations or experiences you have never tried close to home, and write them down in order of priority. Ask your companion to do the same, and then compare your lists to see where you match and where you might be able to add some local adventure.

* Take a class together. Have you always wanted to learn how to tango? Or bake an exotic cake? Or paint without numbers? Check local colleges, community recreation centers or special interest groups for a list of classes you and your companion can take together. Some may even be free! It’s a great way to experience the world right in your own backyard.

* Unplug, kick back and relax. In our always-on society, we rarely take the opportunity to truly take it easy. Turn off all cell phones, tablets and television. Savor a bottle of wine. Try a delicious snack like new Lay’s Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut potato chips, with flavors like aged cheddar with black pepper and roasted garlic and sea salt. Take time to talk and get reacquainted. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve been missing while your nose was buried in your smartphone.

* Volunteer doing something you love. Sign up together to help out at a soup kitchen, or coach a kids’ T-ball team. You could even spend one weekend afternoon each month tending to an elderly neighbor’s garden. The contribution may seem small, but the rewards can be great – for you and those you are helping.

* Dine adventurously. Kick start your taste buds.  If it’s time for takeout, seek a cuisine you’ve never sampled before. Or venture to that restaurant on the other side of town that everyone is raving about. Even if you dine at your favorite spot, order something out-of-the-ordinary next time.

* Re-connect with old friends. Take a trip down memory lane with friends you haven’t seen in over a year. You’ll be amazed and what they’ve been up to … and you may surprise yourself when sharing tales about your experiences. Maybe your life isn’t quite so ordinary after all when you see it through someone else’s eyes.

These are just a few tips for adding some unique flavor to your daily routine. The excitement and anticipation that come with planning your next activity can be almost as fun as the experience itself.

Especially when you’re sharing it with someone special.

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Vote on the biggest local story in 2014: See poll below

It has been an eventful year in Lodi, from the antics of a wild turkey named Tom Kettleman to the announced closure of the General Mills plant. What do you see as the biggest story of the year?

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