7.22.2019

A Stranded Nation

Who is in control of Canadian Resources? A Stranded Nation is a documentary about our national energy needs and why all Canadians should care about the development of Oil & Gas in Canada. Our modern civilization is built on the foundation of petroleum and petroleum byproducts. As director and producer of this documentary, I believe Canadians need to have a foundational knowledge of this topical debate. A Stranded Nation is a visual tool to bring insight into this complicated, cross-provincial debate. The decision to build a national pipeline has left Canadians divided and uncertain; allowing other countries to benefit from our lack of leadership and disorganization.



3 Ways to Naturally Relieve Stress


Recognizing that you are suffering from stress is crucial to begin handling it. Many of us may be hesitant
to admit our true stress levels, out of concern that we may worry our family members or risk losing out
on opportunities at work.


However, living with a high level of stress over a long period of time is unsustainable, and can lead to
burnout at work, relationship issues at home, and severe health issues in the long run.
It is also important before you begin tackling your stress to
know the difference between stress and
anxiety, as they are very different processes and must be treated in different ways.
Stress is initiated from outside forces, such as a deadline at work, a family conflict, or financial concern.
Long-term stress that is not handled can become a chronic affliction. Most minor stress is handled best
by addressing the issue that is causing the stress, usually eliminating the symptoms in the process. Long
term stress that doesn’t go away can be handled in a variety of ways, which will be covered here.
Anxiety is very different. Anxiety originates from inside a person, and is not in response to any specific
event or situation. It is a persistent feeling of concern, dread, and panic, even if there is no apparent
cause for these feelings. In some minor cases, anxiety can be alleviated through natural home remedies,
but in many cases anxiety disorders must be treated with the assistance of a mental health counselor
and/or psychiatrist.
If you have determined that you are suffering from long-term stress, read on for some natural stress-
management techniques that are sure to make a difference!


1. Exercise
It may sound counterintuitive, but raising your heart rate can actually help you combat stress! Our
bodies are made to move around and stay active, not live sedentary lifestyles behind desks and in
offices. When we take time to exercise, we are putting our bodies and brains into another “mode”,
where
endorphins are released and our brains begin to work on solving the problems that are ailing us.
Taking a much needed break from the strain of day to day life can help you to gain new perspective,
which also reduces the amount of stress you may be experiencing. Getting your blood pumping, be it
through Pilates, jogging, or even weight lifting allows you the opportunity to clear your mind, enjoy a
temporary reprieve from your problems, and enjoy the health benefits of staying active.
When becoming more active after a long period of inactivity, make sure you take it slow to avoid injury.
If you want to begin jogging or running, start by walking and work up to more intensive exercise. Treat
exercise as a kind of “moving meditation”, where you can step away from the stress of your situation
and immerse yourself in the moment.


2. Natural Supplements
Taking natural supplements is an excellent solution for those who do not want the side effects of
medication, or whose stress is not severe enough to require medication. There are many natural
supplements that have been used medicinally for thousands of years to combat stress and anxiety, and
many of these are now available in oils, capsules, or even teas!

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is derived from the hemp plant and is a non-high inducing oil that can be used in
a multitude of ways. This supplement is specifically recommended for those suffering from stress, as the
CBD extract can cause feelings of calm, improve sleep, and promote relaxation.
For those who have never tried CBD before, it is recommended to try a small amount and then gradually
increase the amount to achieve the desired stress relieving affects. CBD oil can be added to food and
used as cooking oil, or taken as a daily supplement in
capsule form.

3. MeditationMeditation has been practiced as a natural stress-relieving solution for thousands of years, and
fortunately it is very easy to start. You simply need a quiet room and a few minutes alone. Many
professionals recommend beginning with breathing exercises. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to
meditate. The important thing is to focus on your breathing, releasing tension from the body and mind,
and gradually becoming more grounded and mindful.
Meditation allows you to learn skills that calm your brain down and release things that you have been
holding onto, consciously or unconsciously. The best part of this is that you can then use these skills,
such as mindfulness, outside of meditation as well; during meetings, while driving, or even during
conflict. This is an excellent way to not only reduce stress but prevent stress from becoming an issue in
daily life. Meditation comes in many forms, but generally it involves quiet, contemplative time at the
beginning or end of the day. There are apps and websites you can use to lead you through guided
meditations as well, if you are new to meditating and unsure of where to begin
.

7.21.2019

Looking After Your Mental Health

One of the most common - and damaging - mistakes that people make is assuming that they don’t need to do anything for their own mental health. If you find yourself thinking that, because you might not have been diagnosed with a specific illness, that means you don’t need to worry - then you need to change your approach somewhat. The fact of the matter is that everyone needs to take care of their mental health, even if it is also true that some need to do so more than others. If you are unsure what this entails, don’t worry - in this article, we have put together some of the most vital things that you need to think about doing in your life, to ensure that you are taking care of yourself mentally. As long as you do these, you should find that you are happier, and healthier of mind in general.

Stress Management

Stress really is a killer. Not only does it cause and exacerbate any number of physical illnesses and diseases, it also worsens any mental problems which an individual might have, and again can even bring them on in the first place. The more that you are able to manage your stress, therefore, the more likely it is that you will be looking after your mind properly. Stress management really is one of the most powerful tools that you have in keeping your mental health in check, so anything you can do to manage your stress is going to be worth your while.

There are so many approaches to this, but the best are those which focus primarily on avoiding stress arising in the first place. You can do a lot to keep the balance of your stress from coming up if you take up a daily meditation practice. Whatever you think of meditation, it’s worth giving it a go. You might find that it is surprising how much it does for you, and even just ten minutes of it a day can be enough to keep your stress demons at bay much more easily. Even if you don’t want to meditate, learning a few simple breathing exercises can often be enough to rid your body and mind of accumulated stress in the moment, so that is worth looking into too.

The best approach, of course, is to try and build a lifestyle which avoids stress as much as possible in the first place. Don’t think that stress is somehow worthy or noble or a sign of a good worker - see it as the disease it is, and do whatever you can to keep it out of your life. If you have the freedom to build a mostly stress-free life, then you should absolutely grasp that opportunity with both hands. Work fewer hours if necessary, spend more time on your leisure activities - whatever it takes to keep that stress from damaging you physically and mentally in the long run.

Sleep

You don’t really appreciate what sleep does for you until you fail to get enough of it, and then it becomes alarmingly clear how vital it is to get enough sleep night after night. Even just a few nights of skipped or reduced sleep can drastically alter your mood and your hormone regulation. It can also easily make any existing mental condition much worse. This is as true for depression and anxiety as it is for schizophrenia or other serious illnesses. So it is in your mental health’s interests that you are able to get enough sleep night after night, and anything you can do to make that more likely is going to be a wise move to make.

One of the best ways in which you can ensure you get more sleep is to make your sleeping environment much more comfortable. Everything from the light level to mattress sizes is likely to affect your ability to sleep, so it’s important that you make a point of paying attention to all these details as best as you can. If you hope to sleep better, you should also go to bed earlier, and make sure that you try to avoid using screens in the evening (this will also help your mental health in other ways, as discussed below). Finally, get into the habit of having some kind of a routine for your bedtime, as that makes it much more likely that you will get to sleep more effectively.

The more sleep you get, the better off you are metnally, so this is definitely something to work on as best as you can.

Social Life

Being social is a hugely important part of taking care of your mental health. We are social creatures, and even if you are naturally an introvert who doesn’t need much in the way of a social life, you need to get the amount that is right for you. Nobody does better with absolutely nobody than with at least an occasional social function. If that means joining a club or going out somewhere, then you should make a point of doing so. If it is frightening, feel free to take baby steps, but be aware that you should aim to improve and increase your social life as best as you can along the way. The more time you spend with others, the more that you can feel good about yourself, so this is hugely important.

It is worth noting here that spending time on social media does not count as socializing. In fact, not only that, but looking at screens a lot is bound to make your mental health much worse off. You will be amazed at how much happier and less depressed and anxious you become once you step away from social media, in particular. This is an aim that we should all have in order to be healthier of mind, and it’s something that you should consider working on today.


Take care of these things, and you will find that looking after your mental health is much easier and simpler than you might have thought.

7.19.2019

What To Expect When You Visit Dentists?



The 21 st century has reflected striking awareness and rapid growth in the rate of awareness development
regarding oral health and dental care. Today, people look up to regular brushing and flossing as a routine
dental care procedure. Media, internet, new channels have played a vital role in encouraging people about
dental care, routine visits to dentists. A regular visit to the dentist, and proper cleaning and oral health
maintenance can be your key to a healthy lifestyle.

Perspective of Dentistry

Earlier people had a common belief that visiting a dentist is relevant only after you have a visible tooth or oral
problem like toothache, bleeding gum, broken tooth, etc. But today the entire perspectives of dental care
have undergone a massive change. Today dentists believe in preventive care, routine checkup, regular
cleaning, tests are considered to be a part of a healthy life, even if you do not have any visible complaint with
your teeth.
However, even though the perspective has changed, there is a long way to go to improve awareness among
the mass. People still today tend to avoid and neglect routine checkups if they do not encounter a problem,
but ideally, even according to the Australian Dental Association, you must visit dentists in every six months to
12 months.


What to Expect at Dentists Visit?
Visiting a dentist means you will in general go through a necessary procedure of preventive care and checkup,
which can be segregated into two parts like:

  • Thorough check up of the oral condition
  •  Cleaning of teeth medically termed as oral prophylaxis.


Check Up

When you visit dentists, a dental practitioner generally conducts a thorough examination of your oral
condition to detect if there is any need for treatment.

  • Some of the most common routine checkup procedures include a check for cavities, dental cracks,enamels, gums, etc.
  • In case the dentist detects any sign of cavities yet no visible ones, X-ray can be advised and conducted to verify hidden cavities between teeth.
  •  The procedure of dental examination in any routine visit to dentists may also include test and check for plaque. Plaque is a common condition which happens from acidic food, accumulation of food particles and as a result, a sticky layer of bacteria grows over teeth this requires to be removed timely so that it does not harden to form tartar. Regular flossing along with brushing can help to avoid plaque in the first place.
  • Along with teeth, your gums are also checked for any signs of bleeding, diseases, etc.
  •  Checkup of the tongue along with gum is also conducted by some dentists to check for external signs of diseases like redness, swelling, lump formations, etc.

Common Advice from Dentists Visit

According to dentists around the world, regular dental care can save you from many major oral issues. Dental
care must be a part of your daily normal life. Apart from simple brushing, flossing is also equally important to
avoid the formation of plaque. However, you can always seek for additional is and advice from your dentist for
your oral health about the practices you should maintain. In general, these are some of the general guidelines
for good oral hygiene:

  • Brushing is must every day and brushing twice a day is recommended.
  • Wash your mouth thoroughly after every meal.
  • Use toothpaste, which contains fluoride.
  • Flossing should be a daily habit.
  •  Use a mouthwash daily to keep your oral ph balanced and avoid the formation of plaque.


Apart from this, check for common signs like bad breath, toothache, gum bleeding, swollen gum, etc. and
immediately get a dentist’s opinion before trying any DIY methods.

7.18.2019

After an accident how do you put your life back together

At some point in our lives, most of us unfortunately go through some sort of accident, whether that involves a car crash, slipping down a flight of stairs, or even something as simple as stepping off a kerb wrong and breaking an ankle. Recovery can be difficult, but there are some things you can do to make that tough time a little easier for yourself.

Talk To Your Boss


First of all, talk to your boss. You may feel fine with going back to work straight away, but you may need extra provisions in your office like a new chair, extra breaks so you can move around, or even half days so that you can go home in the afternoons to get some rest or miss the busiest part of your commute. Flexibility is key here: you may be able to work from home, you may be able to take some time off to recover, you may be able to change the specifics of your role for a while. You may be nervous about asking them, but it’s important to make sure that you’re comfortable at work while you recover.

Get What You Deserve
You may feel bad about getting compensation, but the truth is that you deserve to get what is owed to you. If you tripped over a poorly laid paving slab and broke your wrist, you may be entitled to compensation which you can use if you have to take paid time off work or if you have to take taxis instead of driving for a while. Talk to some personal injury lawyers to work out what you might be owed.

Take Some Gentle Exercise


Even if you are in a little pain, it’s important to keep moving, otherwise you will find that it takes you longer to heal. Take some gentle walks around the block, go to a yoga class and amend whatever exercises may be a little tricky for you, and try out swimming - this is a great option because it means that you won’t be putting any pressure on sore injuries or joints. It may be tempting to stay on the couch all day, but in the long run that isn’t the best option.

Talk To A Therapist
It’s important to talk to a therapist if you’re going through a rough time. It will help you develop coping mechanisms that talks with your friends and family won’t be able to help you with, and it will also leave you free during your social occasions to talk about other subjects that might be more enjoyable for not just the people around you but also for yourself. You may have to adapt to a new way of life and a therapist can help with that.

Be Gentle With Yourself


Finally, remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. Push yourself, but not past your limits, and try not to get frustrated with yourself. Remember that your limits may be different to what they used to be, that you will require plenty of rest as you recover, and that you should treat yourself as kindly as you would treat a loved one in a similar situation.

Recovery is never easy - take care of yourself, talk to a therapist, and make some amendments to your life, and you will find that it gets a little less difficult.

7.17.2019

Minimalist Packing for a Family Trip

 

Photo by Elaine Tu on Unsplash
Your long-awaited family trip is just around the corner and you’ve already started to panic because there are too many things you need to take care of? If that sounds way too familiar, be sure to keep on reading because we’re here to help you out! Here are four amazing minimalist packing tips you should take into consideration, so check them out and get down to business!


Always pack as lightly as possible

Packing as lightly as possible is essential, especially when it comes to long flights where you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on baggage fees. Well, that’s why you should master the art of backpacking. Of course, packing in a backpack is radically different than packing in a suitcase, and the first step is choosing the right backpack. You can always pick one that comes with wheels, so that you don’t have to carry it on your shoulders all the time. Before you start loading it up, make sure to reconsider your must-have list and see if you really need every single item on it, so that you don’t end up with unnecessary weight on your shoulders. On the other hand, carry-on luggage is also a good idea if you want to travel light while saving some money at the same time, so pack your, your husband’s, and your kids’ stuff in two carry-ons and you won’t make a mistake!


Sun protection is a huge must…

Apart from the sunglasses, which are absolutely inevitable when it comes to any family trip, we also have to say that no vacation is complete without sunscreen. This is particularly true when it comes to summer holidays, but you should remember that applying sunscreen is vital throughout the entire year – and not only during summer. Getting a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or 50 is highly recommended, so don’t skip this step and protect your and your kids’ skin against the harmful sun’s rays. No matter if you’re traveling by car or by plane, you must know that sunlight that streams through the windows can lead to terrible sunburn. So, get properly prepared and don’t let anything spoil your family trip!



Wardrobe essentials for every family member

Photo by Jose Soriano on Unsplash
Needless to say, your wardrobe selection will largely depend on your preferred destination, but there definitely are some basics each family member should pack. Some of these are ordinary T-shirts, either monochromatic or printed, denim shorts, a long-sleeve shirt for chilly evenings, a lightweight cardigan, flip-flops, and a pair of comfy shoes appropriate for sightseeing. Of course, swimwear is a must, too, so pack your favorite high waisted bikini bottoms and the matching tops, as well as your husband’s and kids’ swimsuits. Caftan is also a good idea as you can wear it both at the beach and to a nice dinner in the evening. Such a garment is extremely pleasant to wear as it’s usually made from breathable fabrics (that don’t take up much space in your carry-on), so give it a try and you’ll see what we were talking about!


Paper products and first aid supplies



When traveling with your kids, it’s crucial that you have enough napkins, tissues, or paper towels. This is especially true when you have small kids who tend to mess everything up when they eat. Of course, family trips can generally be extremely messy, so get ready for all kinds of spills, sneezes, and calls of nature and pack enough aforementioned paper products – including a few rolls of toilet paper. As for the first aid supplies, you should get copies of all prescriptions, gauze, cotton balls, adhesive bandages, hand sanitizer, saline solution, antiseptic cream, tweezers, a backup pair of glasses, and other similar items. These will make your life much easier in some unforeseen situations and circumstances, so try not to skip any of these. Besides that, if any of you take vitamins or medications regularly, just keep them together with the first aid gear in order to find them easily and you’ll do a great job!


As you can tell, there are a lot of important tips and tricks you should bear in mind if you want to pack in a minimalist manner for an upcoming family trip. These four are certainly the best ones out there, so stick to them no matter what and you’ll accomplish your goal and travel as lightly as possible!




7.16.2019

Your former best friend

2 years ago to this very day I lost my  best friend.
Not to death or illness.
Since she got married and I was her matron of honor
we never speak like best friends should

She told me I ruined her wedding as it was "all" about me
She said she did not want me there but felt she had to
she asked me to be her MOH.

“miss to unhe Kiya Jata hai Jo dil se dur hote Hain"(you only miss people who are away from your heart.

So I wrote this letter, No I did not send to her as I do not want to make her feel that I am dying for her friendship back even though I am

I miss you. I miss texting you about every single stupid thing that happens in my life.  I miss sending you heinous Snapchats from the bathroom. I miss looking over at you and knowing exactly what you are thinking. I miss your family and the way you used to fill me in on their daily happenings. I miss knowing that at the end of the day I had you, that when push came to shove, no matter how bad the situation might be, I knew you would be there. I miss my person, my other half and my best friend.

I hate that when people ask me how you are doing, and I genuinely don’t know. I hate that our conversations that once used to be so natural and seemingly endless are now filled with awkward silences and formal "how-do-you-dos." I hate that your face, the face I was so accustomed to seeing every single day, has become just another one in the crowd. I hate that we can now go days at a time without speaking to each other and that most of our conversations now start with “I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever!”.

I'm mad at us for letting our friendship become this far gone. I am mad at us for not fighting harder for the friendship that we had. It wasn’t like most friendships. It was the kind of friendship that neither of us could have anticipated coming to an end. It was us against the world, and now it is nothing. I am mad at us for letting it become nothing but a collection of memories.

I am sad because I don’t even know where to go from here. I don’t know what there is to be said. Nothing really happened to make it change, so how do we fix it? How do I make this horrible yearning for you go away? How do I shake the dreadful feeling of knowing that you are no longer just a phone call away? How do we find a way to fall back together just as easily as we fell apart?

However, even if that is the case, I will never give up hope that we will find our way back to each other, no matter how unlikely that now seems. I will never stop caring about you and wishing you well in life. I will silently smile from a distant sideline as you go out into the world and make a change You will always hold a special place in my heart even though I may no longer hold one in yours. I will never stop looking back on our friendship fondly and will always only have kind things to say.

I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I do know one thing is for certain, I will never find another friend like the friend I found in you. Thank you for everything. I miss you more than you could ever possibly know.

All the best,
Your Former Best Friend

Benefits of Installing Security Doors for Your Home


There are numerous reasons that one should consider installing one of the top security doors in their home. This can help to make your house not only look better, but it can also help you with a higher level of privacy that you would enjoy. You would want to ensure that you are aware of the benefits and advantages that would come along when you have one of these installed in your home, so go ahead and pick the right one now.

Adds Style to The Home


Depending on the security doors that you choose, you can add some extra style to your home. There are plenty of designs that wouldn’t just help to protect you and your home, but they would also look good while they are doing so. They come in a wide variety of materials as well as styles and colors. So, you can choose one that would work with your current design or one that would stand out. They aren’t just to make sure that you feel safe in your home, but they can also turn the appearance of the room into something unique.

Higher Level of Privacy

If you feel like opening your door is letting everyone see inside, then one of the main reasons that you would want to install the security doors is for a higher level of privacy. You can leave the main one open, so you can get the fresh air and light without worrying about whether strangers can see inside or not. They might be able to see a little bit, but they can’t see everything. So, you can feel secure inside your home. 

Keeps Insects Out

Also, if you want to get the fresh air and sunlight in your home, but want to restrict the entry of the insects, bugs or other creepy crawly animals, then the security doors can help. You no longer need to worry about your home being filled with bugs or if something like a mouse, snake or another small animal can get in. This means that you can enjoy the fresh air without any worry harmful insects and pests.

Robust and Durable

 

Depending on which one of the security doors you choose, they are going to be durable and robust. They are made of the highest quality materials so that they can deal with all types of climatic change and they won’t be able to be destroyed easily. This is a good thing if you are looking for some extra protection for your home. It can also keep your place safe when you are out of your place for a long time as an outsider cannot break it easily as wooden one. Also, think about the types of locks that you are going to install on the door to make it more secure. 

There is a lot that one would need to think about when it comes to the point of security doors, including why you would want to install one. You will get a good variety available in the market when you go for choosing a security door from the lot. But the quality and the strength of the door should be checked in detail before investing in one. You should keep an eye on the reputation of the manufacturing company to get the best product. There are various metal made doors available to provide the best security to the user. So, you can choose perfect one or you can opt for the customized one according to the space availability and interior style of your house.




Image Credit: https://Shutterstock.com 

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7.11.2019

Am I Depressed?

All of us feel sad and upset at times. When that sadness seems to last longer than usual, or feels more extreme, you might ask yourself, “Am I Depressed?”
The question doesn’t always have a clear-cut answer, especially because the symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. But it’s a question worth considering, especially if your emotional state is making it difficult for you to function in your day-to-day life.
How Does Depression Differ From Sadness?
There are many life events that may trigger feelings of melancholy, hopelessness, or detachment. Examples include the death of a loved one, tragic global events, job loss, or the end of an intimate relationship. In those situations, it’s natural to grieve and even to do so intensely. You may feel what you’d describe as dark or depressed thoughts, and wonder if you are experiencing depression.
However, as the American Psychological Association (APA) explains, sadness caused by painful life events differs from depression in a few key aspects:
·        When you are grieving, you will usually feel a mix of sad thoughts and also happy thoughts, as you recall memories of what you have lost. The grief can be powerful, but not a constant state.
·        While grieving, you can still maintain your sense of self assurance and general confidence. Clinically depressed individuals usually experience chronically low self-esteem. Usually having a  therapist is the best route to go to help you figure out if you are grieving, depression or just unhappy as there is a difference

Missing void

If something is missing, broken or empty inside of you, there is no person or thing that will fill it. Only you can heal yourself and close the voids. When we're hurting, it's not uncommon to look for ways to fill the void. The void is made up of the empty, lonely feelings that stem from holes in our heart and soul.

That is how I am feeling, there is nothing that brings me contentment or joy, every day I look for something to fill the black hole that feels so empty 

Something is missing in your life, isn’t it? 
You’re working hard, trying to get ahead, doing everything you possibly can to make life just a little bit better. You’re trying to keep it all balanced, though. You won’t be one of those people who commit every waking second to work and the pursuit of a career.
Not you. You’ve got it figured out. You even make time to exercise, eat right, meditate, or maybe spend time with friends and family.
You’ve got it all figured out—except for that one stupid thing that keeps tugging at your heart. You don’t really know what it is, but it is there, and it is driving you a little crazy.
Yeah, I know. I get that feeling sometimes too.
It is often mistaken as unhappiness, fatigue, depression, or being stuck in a rut. Many people will go off and do wild vacations or try things they would never try in a million years just to see if those activities settle the strange, inexplicable emptiness they feel inside.
When they return to the real world, though, the problem is still there, still nagging at them.
Maybe they think they didn’t go “extreme” enough, and will push themselves harder. Or maybe they take it in a totally different direction and put more time into meditation, or even trying to manifest happiness in their lives.
Sound familiar? I got some online counselling and my counsellor and I dug down deep and found some things I felt were missing and we are working on this now

7.10.2019

How To Shop Your Favourite Brands For Less


What we wear says a lot about who we are as a person. Whether we’re trying to make a good first impression or simply look more put together, our clothing can have a major impact on how others perceive us. Many financial planners recommend that we spend 5% of our monthly pay after tax on clothing. While it may seem difficult to shop for stylish pieces while staying within budget, here are a few helpful tips on how you can make the most out of your budget and shop your favorite brands for less.

Stick to your budget
As mentioned above, many financial planners recommend spending no more than 5% of your monthly income on clothing. To find the dollar amount, simply multiply your monthly take-home pay after tax by 0.05. So, if you’re bringing home $2,400 after taxes, your clothing budget should be $120/month. Whereas if you’re bringing home $4,500 a month, then you can bump your budget up to $225 a month. 

Once you determine your monthly clothing allotment, it’s important to stick to your budget. This will help make it easier for you to not overspend, which can be easy when you’re finding so many cute pieces. Keep in mind that everyone’s financial situation is unique and that you know and understand your situation better than anyone. Regardless of how much your budget is, it’s important to stick to it.

Shop at consignment stores
When people think of consignment stores they often picture old and outdated clothing. Believe it or not, many consignment shops actually carry designer or high-quality brands for super affordable prices. In fact, last year online thrift store thredUP put together a report revealing the top trending brands that were purchased secondhand from their store. You’d be surprised to see that well-known brands like Madewell made this list.

Next time you drive by your local Goodwill, take a look inside instead of just passing by. You may be surprised by what you can find! Store’s like Plato’s Closet are also a great option to find trendy, designer styles and everyday basics for up to 70% off mall retail prices.

Shop end of season sales
If you regularly shop at specific stores, you most likely know when they offer their best deals. Rather than paying full price for an item, wait till it goes on sale. One of the best times to get the most bang for your buck is to shop at the end of a season. Keep in mind that many retail stores are a few months ahead of the weather, so you could still pick up a cozy sweater at a low price during the colder winter months and get a month’s worth of wear before it’s time to break out your spring wardrobe.

For the most part, stores overhaul their merchandise in line with the New York Fashion Weeks in September and February, so keep an eye out. You can get amazing deals on summer fashion by shopping in September and snag winter fashion for cheap in February.

Earn and use rewards points
What better way to fuel your shopping habits than to be rewarded for doing so? If you’re a frequent shopper at a specific store, consider enrolling in their rewards system if they have one. This is a great way to earn points for your purchases, which in turn can give you discounts and other benefits including exclusive offers and even free shipping depending on the store’s guidelines. 

Clothing stores like Express offer a customer loyalty program where enrolled members can earn points and receive rewards that can be used towards future purchases. Be sure to check if your favorite stores offer a similar membership so you can earn points for shopping and save money on your favorite styles.

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