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Invest in a Happier Tomorrow

Invest in Your Lifestyle

Each week, we’ll teach you how to make improvements to your home, in your work life, or for your family as you reimagine happiness and a balanced life.

Lifestyle articles

taking a family portrait at home

How to Take a Great Family Portrait at Home

Getting that perfect holiday family portrait can be tricky even at the best of times. We’ve compiled a simple guide so that you can learn how to take a great family portrait without the fuss.
Family Meals

Meals for Under $10

In our new normal, your home is no longer just a home. It’s probably a restaurant now, too—serving every meal, every day. Hungry family members have taken the place of impatient customers, and they don’t tip nearly as well, either. So with your budget tightening and meal prep becoming more crucial than ever, how can you keep the whole family fed and happy without breaking the bank? We’ve prepared a menu of meal ideas that you can prepare for less than $10 for a family of four.

woman in a living room reducing clutter on the coffee table

5-minute Decluttering Projects

Organize your home in small steps with our collection of simple, achievable decluttering projects. By carving out just 5 minutes a day you can tackle some of the smaller tasks that are often overlooked, leaving you feeling a little more organized at home!
building a terrarium

How to Make Your Own Terrarium

Terrariums are a great, low- cost way to add greenery to your home. And if you choose the right  plants, you can get away with forgetting to water them once in a while, making this the perfect greenery for those without a green thumb! 

In this article you’ll learn how to make your own terrarium, how to choose the right soil and plants for your terrarium and how to maintain your terrarium for years to come.
woman smelling flowers

Gardening in California

Depending on the time of year, your property’s micro-climate, and where you live in California, planting and tending a garden can be both enjoyable and rewarding. It’s also a chance to play in the dirt. Here are some tips for planning your garden in the Golden state. 
mom with child gardening

Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

Depending on the time of year, you’re property’s micro-climate, and where you live in the Pacific Northwest, planting and tending a garden can be both enjoyable and rewarding. It’s also a chance to play in the dirt. Here are some tips for planning your garden in Oregon and Washington. 
vegetable gardening

Vegetable and Herb Gardening 101

It seems easy enough. You plant some seeds into decent soil, give it some water and sunlight, and it grows. But, there’s a bit more to it than that if you want good results. We’ve put together some introductory tips to help start a vegetable and herb garden at your home.

A woman sleeping

Start getting a better night’s sleep 

For a few minutes, let’s forget about all of the external factors that keep you from getting a restful night of sleep. There is no shortage of outside influences—from fussy pets to stress at work—that can encroach on our down time and impede our sleep. There is no silver bullet solution that can deliver lasting and consistent results, but by focusing on a few key strategies that are under your control, you can start seeing fast improvement in your quality of sleep.
Smiling woman near waterfall

Friluftsliv - Outdoor Living

We all know that getting outside is great for the body and soul. That’s why in Norway, where the days can be short and the nights can be long, they have adopted a way of life that fully embraces the great outdoors.
outdoor movie watching

Build your backyard movie theater

You don’t have to venture out to enjoy the drive-in experience. You can do it at home. All you need is a backyard, an inexpensive projector, a Bluetooth speaker, snacks and friends. Here’s how to throw the perfect backyard movie night. 
woman shopping for wine

How to Pick the Right Bottle of Wine

Being an adult means you can buy a bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass and enjoy the fruits of a winemaker’s labor. But how do you choose the right wine at the grocery store or when you’re eating out? We have some quick and easy advice to help uncork this age-old mystery.

Woman working at kitchen table with children

Tips for Working from Home With Kids

Thousands of parents and caregivers have found themselves working from home this year. And with many families without childcare, this has thrown up a whole host of logistical issues. 

Adults have had to learn to juggle hours of Zoom call meetings with colleagues and emails, at the same time as entertaining, teaching and caring for their children on a daily basis - this is no small feat! Here we share 5 tips for working from home with kids.
woman at laptop

Entering the Workforce During COVID

Navigating the path to your first job is intimidating under the best of circumstances, and with a job market affected by coronavirus limitations, entering the workforce in 2020 might feel like an especially daunting task.

Don’t worry, make an action plan instead. Companies large and small are still constantly in search of new talent entering the job market, and you can stand out from the crowd without the normal outlets of job searching and networking available. Here’s how.
guy riding bike

What is an Enneagream?

You may have heard of the Enneagram, but what exactly is it and how can you benefit from knowing your Enneagram number?

The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system that defines nine basic personality types in the world. Each of us displays behavior from all nine types in the Enneagram, but we naturally gravitate more towards one, which we learn during childhood, and which helps us navigate the complex world of relationships.
woman on laptop

Tips for Better Video Conferences

Working from home has become a common reality, and it's likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Enter the video conference—the virtual meeting room where we can still have live, face-to-face collaboration. Now is a great time to take your video conferencing skills from 0 to 11. At First Tech, we've got some tips on how to makeover your video calls and be the envy of every meeting.

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Spring Break Challenge

It can be difficult to keep kids active during Spring Break. This month, try our Spring Break Challenge and create a simple bingo card of activities that will keep the kids active and engaged all week!

Build Your Own Bee Hotel

We teamed up with the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose to learn how to make a bee hotel! Solitary bees are great for pollinating flowers, fruit trees and vegetable plants so they make a great addition to your garden.

Tax Tips In A Tricky Year

Tax season is upon us and at First Tech Credit Union we are here to help. We spoke to financial advisor Kristina Meyers CFP, MBA who suggested a couple of ways in which you could make your money work better for you.

St. Patrick's Day Recipe

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the head chef from Paddy’s in Portland shows us how to make traditional corned beef and cabbage! You’ll need 1 4-5lb beef brisket, 2 tablespoons of pickling spices, 1 cup of Guinness or coffee and 4 cups of water plus a medium-sized cabbage and some fennel seeds.

Workout At Home With Blaze

With many kids still being educated at home it can be easy to miss out on essential exercise. With the help of Blaze the trail cat, the Portland Trail Blazers feline mascot, we’re sharing a few simple workouts and basketball drills to help keep kids focused and healthy.

How To Run Like A Pro

Running can be hard - and that’s ok! We spoke to professional runner Andrew Bumbalough to get some tips and tricks to help us run like a pro and make running part of our weekly exercise regime.