7.31.2020

5 Tips to Prepare Your Car for a Long Voyage


Going on a long voyage is no short of an adventure. You’re leaving your comfort zone, both geographically and pragmatically and you’re heading out into the unknown. Sure, you may have some idea what to expect, but what happens along the way will often come as new, random or outright exciting. In order to enjoy this trip to the fullest, you need to make sure that your car is prepared for a long voyage. Here are five tips to help you out.

  1. Study your route

The first thing you need to understand is that not every route is the same. Depending on the road conditions and the stops that you’ll encounter, you may approach the preparation completely differently. The main thing here is that you study your route so that you know how big portions of the road you’ll have to pass in order to get to the next gas station, lodging or populated area. Believe it or not, this might even affect your packing habits. Sometimes, you need an additional gas tank in your truck, just to stay on the safe side.

  1. Take the season into a consideration

The season that the journey is going to take place matters, as well. For instance, if it’s a colder part of the year, you may want to replace your tires, have your chains in the trunk and replace your windshield blades. Even the viscosity of the oil is affected by the temperature, which is why you might want to replace the oil before you head out. Checking that your fog lights are working properly can be life-saving under these conditions.

  1. Take your car to a service

Another thing you should do is take your car for a service. Now, this can be somewhat expensive, but there are a couple of ways to make this project somewhat more frugal. For starters, you can buy your own parts. Previously, we’ve talked about the importance of planning your voyage during the right part of the year. If you go during the warmer part of the year, you will encounter dust and similar debris, which will prevent the airflow through your vehicle. In that scenario, considering quality AEM induction systems for your car may completely turn the game around.

  1. Prepare a repair kit

Getting in touch with roadside assistance is an important thing on a road trip; however, you shouldn’t bother them over every minor inconvenience. By having the right repair kit on your side and some basic understanding of your car’s mechanics, you will be able to make some minor repairs on your own. You need some screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and a hammer. Other than this, you should have some jumper cables and a flashlight, seeing as how you never know if the malfunction will happen at night. Having a towing rope or a chain is something that will not just come in as handy to you but to others experiencing difficulties on the road.

  1. Make sure your tires are in order

Finally, pay attention to your tires. If you haven’t replaced them in the last 6-7 years, now’s the time to do so. Second, if you’ve gone more than 5-8 thousand miles since their last replacement, you might want to rotate them. Check the proper inflation of the tires in order to get greater control and achieve a better fuel economy. Look at it this way, on a long voyage, this might make quite a bit of a difference. In the end, having the right tire tread for the journey is a safety measure that you have to consider.

Preparing your car for a long voyage is not a difficult task. Namely, there are just several mandatory points that you should focus on and all the rest are just something extra that you can add to increase your safety and satisfaction. The key lies in knowing how to anticipate what lies ahead and being ready for potential problems even before they happen. Now, the car itself doesn’t have to be in pristine shape. All that matters is that it can take the trip that you have planned.



7.30.2020

Healthy House, Healthy You: Wellness-Focused Interior Design



While most people associate words like ‘wellness’ and ‘well-being’ with spas, wellness centers,
and detox treatments, achieving the optimal state of well-being takes more than a trip to a
nearby salon. It takes dedication to healthy nutrition, exercising, skin care, fitness, and mindful
living on a daily basis. Simply put, it’s a way of living, and while it takes a bit more effort, the
rewards are priceless.
Wellness and well-being have also found their way in design and architecture. When you think
about how much time you spend at home when you’re not at work, it becomes clear to you that
your living space might also be in need of a wellness-inspired makeover to help you and your
family live more healthily. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at this connection between
ourselves and our surroundings and the ways we can use wellness-focused interior design to
bring harmony into our living spaces as well as our lives.

Boost your mood and air quality with greenery
Houseplants may be an easy decorating tool, but they’re much more than that. Bringing in some
greenery into your living space can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and pollutants
that are often present in the indoor air, thus improving its overall quality. They’re also said to
clear the air from VOCs (volatile organic compounds) while regulating the levels of humidity as
well. Having some pretty indoor plants on display will also help boost your mood and lower your
stress levels, creating a serene, tranquil oasis wherever they’re placed.

Let there be (more) light


When designing spaces that promote wellness, it’s important to keep this one particular element
in mind: light. The light sources we’re exposed to during the day directly impact our levels of
productivity and energy, and they also play a key role when it comes to our mood. To be able to
apply this principle of health and wellness focused interior design successfully, try to get as
much natural daylight in as possible. Go for sheer curtains to help illuminate your living space
and open windows as soon as you wake up (if the weather allows). As for the artificial lighting,
introduce it in layers and opt for fixtures with dimming controls.

Make comfort a priority in your living space
Some homeowners think that they need to sacrifice comfort for the sake of aesthetics. While
both of them are crucial interior design principles, there are places in your home where you
should always make comfort a priority. Whether it’s the sofa you’re relaxing in, the chairs you’re
sitting on, and the mattress you sleep on after a long day – look for ergonomic models that
adjust to your body so you don’t end up with back pain. Pay attention to comfort when you’re
choosing pillows and bedding as well – stick with those made from natural fabrics and choose
models that are comfortable but tough.

Make it a habit to declutter regularly


Ever since the tidying expert Marie Kondo appeared on the small screens and shared her
organizing tips and tricks, many of us started to see the difference that decluttering makes not
only in our homes but our lives as well. Messy environments are mood-killers as they contribute
to feelings of discomfort and anxiety. They make it hard for us to concentrate, and they can also
affect our sleep. Make it a habit to declutter on a daily basis and consider adopting a more
minimalist lifestyle. It’s a great way to keep your home clean and organized while at the same
time being an environment conscious individual.
Rely on colors to create a well-balanced environment
Colors play an important role in how we perceive our living spaces. They largely affect our mood
and well-being and are associated with different emotional responses. While colors such as
yellow and pink are known to get your creative juices flowing, cooler tones such as green and
blue tend to be more passive which makes them great for increasing focus. Neutral colors are
generally considered to be calming which makes them an ideal choice for a tranquil, well-
balanced environment.

Wrapping up


Incorporating wellness into your everyday life has more to do with making small, wellness-
oriented changes than it has to do with taking occasional trips to spas and doing detoxes. While
the latter may give you the much-needed wellness boost, the impact will be short-lived, which is
why you need to focus your energy on designing a home that will promote health and well-being
constantly.
Creating a personal wellness haven starts with small steps, but even the simplest changes such
as the ones mentioned above will make a significant impact on your day-to-day life and create a
wellness-centered environment that will nourish your body, mind, and soul.



7.29.2020

17th Birthday

17 years ago my baby girl was born.  How is that possible?



7 things I Wish I’d Known When I Was 17

My daughter turns 17 today. When the time comes around to celebrate her birthday every year, I truly want to celebrate her, and the gift she gave me of being a Mom.

My daughter’s birth caused me to see life in a new way, to think about others before myself, and most of all, to want to create a successful and meaningful career wrapped around being the best Mom I could be to my young child.


And while being a parent has been the best ride of my life, I find the roller coaster is taking a different turn now as she could conceivably be off to university or college in little over a year from now. This chapter of having a school-aged daughter at home could be quickly coming to a close.

And as I think ahead to what awaits her and the choices she will knowingly and unknowingly be making over the next year as she thinks ahead to her future, I find myself wanting to tell her everything I know, and also not…to just allow her to experience her journey as her own journey.


Which led me to write this open letter to my daughter, Brooke, on her 17th birthday.

Dear Brooke,

As I watch you grow up and take on the world with confidence and curiosity, I can’t help but marvel at how much you seem to know yourself at such a young age. You choose your friends with purpose, you are thoughtful in your school and activity choices, and above all, you try your hardest to do your best almost all of the time.


You are a caring friend, a loving daughter and a thoughtful human being who has already learned the power of nurturing relationships and trusting your intuition. What an incredible gift.

What else is there to say? So much and yet so little. If my wish for you is to embrace life and explore all the world has to offer you, then who am I to show you the way? You will find your own way, and the journey will be that much sweeter because it will be your own.

That being said, I wouldn’t be your Mom if I didn’t try to inject some of myself in this life journey of yours, so here are seven things that I have learned along my way through life that I think will serve you as you find yours:

1. Love yourself

The issue of self-respect and self-worth come up time and time again in this world of ours, and more often for young women who feel they need to compromise their values to get ahead. The more you love and respect yourself, the more others will love and respect you. Get connected with what you value, know your self-worth and treat yourself as you want others to treat you.

2. Love others

You already know the great gift of beautiful, deep friendships and relationships as we cultivate those in our family and I have watched you choose and honor your friends ever since you were a little girl. Celebrating those you love, encouraging and supporting your friends’ in their choices and being very selective about those more intimate relationships, will give you guideposts for life that you will be proud to call your own. If you love others, they will love you back and the reward of being the one who can be relied on will always serve you well.


3. Be courageous

Making choices that others around you are not choosing is hard to do. Doing what matters most to you often means summoning courage you didn’t know you had to choose the road less travelled. Taking the time to understand what is truly important to you and making decisions from that place will almost always serve you well. Something that comes with this courage is not being afraid to go it alone when you have to. Creating and following your own path is not for the faint of heart – it takes courage. Courage I know you have.

4. Be passionate

Living a life that is passionate and with a convicted sense of purpose will have you see and experience the world in ways many others don’t. Act on what you care about. Tell people you care. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Always give your “all” and you will continue to stand out from the crowd. You will be admired for your desire to do your best, but most of all, you will go to bed at night satisfied that you made yourself proud that day.

5. Honour your roots

As one of my friends advised recently: “You are never too old to snuggle with your parents.” And while I hope you continue to take that advice quite literally, always know there is a place for you in our hearts and wherever you or we may be. Our home is always your home – in spirit and in place.

6. Listen to your gut


You may just be growing into your intuition, but something I know for sure is just because we get messages from places that don’t always make intellectual sense, that doesn’t mean they don’t hold true. If your gut says you shouldn’t do it – you probably shouldn’t. It’s worth investigating all sides of a decision a few more times before going against your gut. And more often than not, your gut knows best. Trust your instincts. They are telling you something – just as your brain does.

7. You are enough

I don’t think we can ever hear this too much. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Just as you are. Just as you are with your gifts, with your truth, and with your dreams. You are more than enough to live a life of purpose, with passion and courage. Don’t ever forget that. Not only are you enough, you might even be TOO MUCH for some people. Those aren’t your people. Bottom line: you are just right, just the way you are.

And above all, no matter what, I will always love you. I will always be here for you. And I couldn’t be prouder to call you my daughter. Thank you for coming into my life. My life and the world are both better because you are in it.

Love, Mom



7.28.2020

Use A Positive Attitude To Improve Your Health'

When it comes to your health, it’s important to have an optimistic outlook. Setting goals to improve your health and wellbeing can help you develop better habits that can lead to permanent lifestyle changes.


But if there’s one thing to learn about becoming fit and healthy, it’s that it’s hard work! There are times when you’ll want to give up, and even slip up from time to time, and that’s where a positive attitude can keep you pushing forward.


Find out more about using a positive attitude to improve your health.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Set smaller goals alongside your larger ones

Setting health and fitness targets is easy. It can be as simple as ‘I want to run a marathon’, or ‘I want to lose xx lbs’. But big goals can take a long time to achieve, and if you’re impatient or you like to see results quickly, you can feel demotivated early on in the process. 


So while it’s important to set large goals for yourself, it’s also important to set yourself smaller ones. To help you achieve your fitness goals, plot out smaller milestones you know you can achieve, such as training x number of times a week or being able to run a mile without stopping. Achieving these smaller goals will keep you motivated, helping you work your way towards the larger ones.

Work on building up your energy

When you’re feeling tired and sluggish, it’s easy for the negativity to creep in. But have you noticed when you’re full of energy, you feel much more upbeat and positive? By working on improving your energy levels, you can help yourself develop a much more positive mindset.


One of the ways you can increase your energy levels is to move more. It’s not easy when you’ve got kids to look after or you’re sat at a desk all day, but a little effort to move around can do wonders for your energy!

Choose exercises that lift you

Exercise has a wonderful way of giving you a lift. The endorphins that come from exercise are amazing mood boosters, which can leave you feeling amazing after a particularly tough workout. Choose workouts that are challenging and help you work hard - HITT sessions and group training can be great for this. When you do the same fitness routines over and over again, things will start to become stale, so it’s important to mix it up so that you can keep pushing yourself and keep up the motivation you need to reach your goals.

Have an open mind

There is new research all the time around health and wellbeing, and trying new things can help you find new ways of developing healthier habits and developing a more positive mindset. You can keep an open mind on different fitness techniques, cannabis culture and all kinds of methods for focusing on your health. There are a lot of resources out there to help you do your research so that you can find the practices that work best for you.

Don’t punish yourself for setbacks

It’s easy to be hard on yourself after a setback. From not going to the gym for a week to indulging in more snacks than you usually would, it’s not worth beating yourself up over. Having this negativity can cause your problems to worsen, which could see you giving up altogether. Instead, learn to bounce back from a setback so that you can turn things around and try again. We all go through tough times in our lives, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the bigger picture.

Surround yourself with positive influences

Being around other positive people can lift you up. From those whose happiness is contagious to those who are always willing to support you, these are the people you need in your life as you try to reach your goals. Even the people you follow online can impact your positivity, so make sure you choose positive influences who you can learn a lot from. There are some amazing, supportive online communities out there with people from all walks of life who are ready to share support and cheer you on.


Your health is one of the most important things in your life, and anything you can do to improve your health will be worth it. By maintaining a positive attitude, you’ll feel more energetic and ready to challenge yourself, making it easy for you to reach your goals and change your mindset for life.

Look And Feel Great: The Best Confidence-Boosting Health Hacks

Many of us would like to be healthier and more confident. The good news is that making changes to your lifestyle can often benefit your physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re on a mission to look and feel great, here are some top tips to take on board. 


Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-stretching-on-ground-3076509/


Embrace exercise

Exercise is one of the most powerful natural health remedies, and it offers all kinds of benefits. When you have an active lifestyle, your physical health will improve, but you should also notice a difference in your psychological wellbeing. When your body is moving, it releases endorphins and the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain increase. Exercise also helps to reduce stress, ease anxiety and enhance sleep quality. If you’ve never been to the gym before, or you rarely hit the 10,000 steps a day target, start trying to be more active. Gradually increase your activity levels. There are multiple activities you can try, including outdoor pursuits like cycling, climbing and hiking, team sports, home workouts, dance and yoga classes and jogging. Kit yourself out with suitable footwear and clothes that make you feel confident like booty scrunch leggings, and try and get family and friends on board. If you go for a jog or a long walk every day with your partner or your best friend, you can catch-up, spend time together and get fit at the same time. 


Protect your mental health

We often prioritize our physical health, but mental health is equally important. We can all take steps to protect and improve wellbeing and reduce the risk of stress, anxiety and depression. Even if you feel content, there are things you can do to shield your psychological health. One of the most important strategies to employ is to surround yourself with people who have a positive influence on you. Lean on close friends and family members, and spend time with those who make you feel happy and calm. You don’t have to stay friends with people who you’ve grown up with if they put you down, or you’ve naturally drifted apart over the course of time. You may find that your social circle shrinks as you get older, but this is not always a negative. It’s also beneficial to devote time to hobbies or activities that help you unwind and switch off and to learn to manage your time if you’re prone to stress. Making sure you get enough sleep can also help to lower the risk of mental health problems. 


Look after your skin

The skin is the largest organ in the body. As a protective barrier, the skin is exposed to the elements, and it plays a vital role in shielding your internal organs. For many of us, our skin is the first body part to show visible signs of tiredness, lethargy, poor health, aging and dehydration. If your skin is dull, dry or irritated, or you have dark circles, eye bags or wrinkles, this can affect your confidence. Looking after your skin can make you look and feel incredible. Take time every morning and evening to cleanse and moisturize your skin, stay hydrated and always protect your skin from the sun. It’s also crucial to avoid smoking for optimum skin health and to eat well. Foods that are good for your skin include nuts, berries, oily fish, avocados and seeds. 


Picture from https://pixabay.com/photos/girl-portrait-beauty-model-eyes-2771001/





Many of us long to be healthier and more confident. Often, making changes to your lifestyle can benefit you both physically and mentally. Hopefully, these tips will help you look and feel amazing. 

7.24.2020

Crucial Things to Consider when Buying a Family Car



You might have had a sport car or a convertible before you had kids, but now you realise it is not suitable for transporting your young one(s). Once a newborn arrives, your life changes completely and all you can and should do is adapt to the new situation. That means you need to either buy a second car that you’ll use to transport the family or sell your old car in order to get one that would suit your needs as a parent. Here is a list of things you should definitely consider when it comes to purchasing a family car that will make your life a lot easier
One of the most important things is to have a car that is big enough for the whole family. That means you need to have both enough seats and space for all your kids and your spouse. Seven-seater SUVs and MPVs have been popular for quite a while now and they are probably the best option you should take into account. However, make sure you have easy access to the third row to personally climb in and buckle up the kids.

Folding seats and spacious trunk

The bigger the family, the more stuff you have to carry. That means you’ll occasionally have to fold down the back seats if your trunk is not big enough. Needless to say, your trunk should be large enough to hold the stroller(s) and groceries. Also, if you need to carry sports equipment, such as hockey gear or like going camping and skiing, the importance of the trunk size increases exponentially.

Car seats and boosters


There is little point is having the safest car seats and boosters if you can’t install them securely. Car seats need anchors and you should make sure you can safely fit all the car seats and boosters you need. Also, make sure the seatbelt system is fully functional.

Cleanliness

Having kids means you have to deal with mess both at home and in your car. Since you can’t control what they are doing 24/7, you need to regularly inspect your car and clean it. What’s more, you should teach your kids not to make unnecessary mess. Finally, applying quality automotive clear coat is always a good idea if you want your car to be easy to clean on the outside, which is something every family car deserves.

Air-bags

Depending on where you live, there are different requirements related to air-bag safety. So, check the local requirements and make sure you obey them. Modern cars often come with an option to turn off the air-bag device and that might be the way to go, since side air-bags and little children can be a dangerous combination. In a nutshell, the best option is to have a car with as many air-bags as possible, but also with an option to turn them off.

Other safety features

Most parents opt for a family car with a five-star safety rating. That includes issues such as crash tests, rollover statistics and specific child safety issues, such as air-bags. One feature that often gets overlooked in the blind spot detection system, which is extremely useful and may provide additional safety.

Number of doors and sliding automatic doors

Many family cars and vans now allow you to automatically close the doors, without having to unbuckle your seatbelt. That is quite handy once you are ready to start driving, but notice that one of your kids hasn’t closed the door properly. It goes without saying that you need four doors, especially if your kids are still young.
Luckily, there are now more models to choose from than ever and they boast various family-friendly features, which means all you need to do is set certain standards, i.e. choose the vital features and see which car you can afford. After all, your family car needs to be both safe and practical if you wish to get from point A to point B safely and without unnecessary hassle.


7.20.2020

5 Easy Tips for Improving Your Marriage


Healthy and happy marriage is not something you can win on a lottery—it’s a wonderful thing in your life you need to nurture, work on, protect and invest in. However, between kids, work and various other obligations, it can often be very hard to find time to work on your partnership which can cause a lot of relationship problems. Luckily, you don’t have to rush to divorce your partner as soon as issues arise. Of course, some couples just aren’t made for each other, and that’s completely okay, but others can make a conscious choice to work on their marriage. If you want to stay together and work through your problems or just do something that will freshen up your marriage, here are some things you can do.

Be open about finances

Make sure to share your worries and goals when it comes to finances, savings and spending. If you avoid this subject, money can quickly come between you two and cause various issues in your marriage. No matter if your budget is tight or if you live more than comfortably, you need to know how to manage your finances. There are practical financial workshops, meetings with financial planners and saving consultants who can help you with your money and get both you and your spouse on the same page when it comes to finances.

Share chores


In order to have a clean AND harmonious home, you need to work together to achieve this. Chores need to be shared, especially if you both work a full-time job. And don’t think vacuuming and doing dishes are only household chores you can share: there is home maintenance, shopping, yard work, event planning, child care and many other shared responsibilities you must do together. A buildup of chores can create stress for both of you, so it’s better to come up with a good schedule that will keep every type of clutter at a minimum.

Improve your love life


Ending up in a sexless marriage is not fun for anyone, so don’t neglect intimacy between you and your partner. If you’ve been married for a long time, it’s natural that those showers of lust turned into occasional sprinkles, but there are always things you can do to make it pour again. Think about finding fun sex toys online, lingerie, fun costumes and naughty accessories that will make your bedroom games spicy. You just have to choose what you want and wait until it gets delivered to your doorstep (discretely, of course).

Communicate every day


Sure, Netflix and Instagram are fun, but try to keep them at a minimum when you’re with your spouse. Instead, have a real conversation with them and talk about everything from your days at work to your dreams and frustrations. Good communication is very important for intimacy, so make sure to give your thoughts a voice and listen to what your partner has to say. A sincere talk during dinner or before bed can do a lot of good for your marriage.

Give each other space


Spending time together is important for every marriage, but too much time together can feel too controlling. So make sure to carve out some space and time for yourself when you feel overwhelmed. And remember to return the favor and hold the fort at home while your spouse has a fun night out with friends. You can also take turns running errands with kids, so you can regularly have an hour for yourself at home. 
Marriage is all about communication and cooperation, so make sure to invest some time and effort into it. All of these tips will allow you to keep your freedom and individuality while ensuring your marriage is healthy and full of happiness and harmony.

7.17.2020

How To Turn An Overgrown Garden Into A Picture Perfect Paradise

When it comes to our dream garden, we all have different ideas and expectations. For some of us, low key and low maintenance are what we want or need. Just a little spot of grass or patio space, or perhaps decking where we can sit back and relax with a drink in our hand, knowing it only needs the odd sweep or few minutes of mowing to look good. Other people want to see their gardens come to life with big and bold displays of colorful flowers and plants, maybe even growing their own fruit and vegetables. Looking out into their garden and knowing it is their hard work that has made it look that good is their idea of heaven.

However, the one thing that pretty much no one wants as a back garden is an overgrown jungle. There can be many reasons for a garden to get out of hand - a lack of knowledge and skills, a lack of time, a lack of money, or a sheer disinterest in tackling it. However, it does not take a huge amount of work to get an overgrown garden into a picture-perfect paradise. In this article, that is what we are going to explore.
Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License

Clear it

The first part is the hardest. You need to clear out the bulk of the mess. Until you have done this, you can pretty much say goodbye to anything resembling a paradise. You need to know what it is you are working with and how much space you have. Get in there, dispose of any old or damaged furniture, rubbish and cut as much back as you can.

Assess the damage

Now you can see the space a little better, you need to assess the extent of any issues. Look at your lawn - what sort of state is it in? If it is patchy, start off killing any moss or weed with the appropriate chemicals. Take out as many visible weeds as possible from beds and borders with a cordless weed trimmer. Once you have done that, you can relay any lawn or use seeding to patch it up.

Plan your garden

Now that you know exactly what you are working with, you can start to put plans into place. Do some research - Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration, as are magazines and blogs. Do a bit of window shopping and start putting pen to paper and drawing up plans. What do you want to put where?

Do a deep clean

You have got rid of all the big rubbish, but now it’s time to give what you have left a really deep clean. Buy or hire a power wash to clean off your decking, fences, patios, garden furniture, and anything else that looks a little grubby.

Paint

Shabby paintwork on fences and furniture can make even the most incredible of gardens look tatty. Give everything a fresh lick of paint or varnish and that will make a huge difference to the overall look of your garden.









5 Crucial Safety Tips for Women Going on Solo Road Trips

Road trips can often be the most fun, exciting and liberating travel experiences, as they give you complete freedom to design the ideal vacation that’s perfectly suited to your wishes and needs. However, when you’re a woman traveling alone, you might need to take care of a few security aspects first, if you want your holiday to be as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. Here are some of the most crucial safety tips for any woman going on a solo road trip:

1. Plan your route in advance


Research the places you want to visit, and make a detailed travel plan in advance. This includes avoiding any trouble areas, such as dangerous roads and high-crime neighborhoods, as well as finding safe and dependable rest stops for refueling, going to the bathroom or restocking on essentials, to ensure your security on the road. Apart from avoiding rush hours and areas of high traffic, make it a point to install a GPS device in your car as well, to help you stay on track, even on unfamiliar roads.

2. Prepare your car for the road


Before you hit the road, it would be wise to take your vehicle to a mechanic, and have them perform a thorough check-up of your car, including the brakes, battery, spark plugs, tire pressure and tread, oil levels, as well as other fluids. Such a check-up is quick, simple and affordable, but it will give you some necessary peace of mind during your travels. It would also be a good idea to add a paint protection film over your car, to make any dirt and splatter easier to clean, while protecting your vehicle from marks and scratches, as well as sun damage on the road.

3. Stock up on essentials


Pack enough healthy snacks, water, and other drinks in your car to get you through the road trip, in order to avoid making unplanned stops in unfamiliar and potentially unsafe places. Don’t forget to prepare your favorite albums, make a few playlists or even download some audiobooks before you head out on your trip. Not only will this help entertain you on the road, but it will also lift your spirits, and make you feel less alone while driving by yourself.

4. Choose accommodation wisely


Do thorough research before your road trip, and only choose safe and reliable accommodation options that have plenty of positive reviews. Make it a point to arrive during the daytime, to avoid going through deserted parking lots at night, and try to book a room near an elevator, so you don’t have to take long walks along empty hallways. It would also be wise to pack a rubber door wedge, or any other handy device that could block your hotel room door, and ensure your safety and security when spending the night alone in a hotel.

5. Follow basic safety rules



Self-defense doesn’t only represent striking back at an attacker; it also means making good choices and using smarter tactics, in order to avoid getting into a dangerous situation in the first place, which is absolutely essential when you’re a woman traveling solo. If you’re going to make friends, approach a group of people, rather than single ones, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help when needed. Never drink and drive, or get into a car alone with a stranger, and always park in a safe, well-lit spot. These safety rules might sound like cliché, but they work.
With all the safety precautions in place, it’s time to relax, and fully enjoy your wonderful solo road trip. Don’t be afraid to leave in some room for spontaneity as well, as the best and most beautiful memories are usually unplanned.

7.16.2020

Ways to Be a More Sustainable Shopper


With increasing pressure on us, as consumers, to protect and preserve our planet’s depleting natural resources, there’s never been a better time to form greener and more eco-friendly shopping habits. And even though many people assume shopping more consciously means spending more money as well, more often than not, you can even save up, while ensuring you’re making a positive impact on the environment. Here a few simple ways you can become a more sustainable shopper:

Choose local produce and ingredients

Make it a point to buy produce that has been sourced, harvested or produced locally as often as you can, as this will ensure your food hasn’t traveled a long distance to reach you, ultimately leaving behind a significant carbon footprint. One of the easiest ways you can do this is to shop at farmer’s markets, farms and smaller shops in your area that only carry local products, instead of visiting large supermarket chains. As a general rule, if you commit to only buying seasonal produce, chances are higher that those items have been sourced and produced locally.

Buy eco-friendly cosmetics and cleaning products

When it comes to sustainable living, the bathroom is one area where people tend to struggle the most. What you can do to instantly reduce waste and be more eco-friendly is to replace single-use cotton pads with washable ones, choose a bar shampoo and conditioner, instead of their plastic alternatives, and opt for bamboo toothbrushes and toothpaste tablets. As far as cleaning products are concerned, make sure to buy more natural products, without any harsh chemicals that could potentially harm the environment, and always opt for items packaged in glass or metal, for easy reusing and recycling.

Opt for quality clothes and accessories

Clothing is another difficult area for a lot of people, as they tend to believe only high-end products are sustainable. However, even shopping at local vintage and second-hand shops, and using hand-me-down clothes if you have children are all eco-friendly options anyone can turn into a habit. When buying new items, it’s always better to go for quality over quantity, and choose reputable brands, as well as more natural and long-lasting materials. For instance, you can opt for a high-quality card holder wallet made of leather, and ensure that such a handy accessory you use every day will last you a lifetime.

Look for certifications ensuring sustainability

No matter what type of products you’re shopping for, choosing more natural and organic items that have been sourced and made sustainably is always the best option, both for the planet and for the workers involved in the production process. To ensure you’re making the best possible decision, pay attention to certifications stated on the packaging, such as Organic Cotton for clothing, Fair Trade for food and other goods, and even FSC for anything from toilet paper to wooden furniture.

Make an effort to reduce plastic waste

Plastic represents one of the biggest environmental issues, which is why it pays to avoid buying anything made of plastic, especially single-use, as well as any other products excessively packaged in plastic or other materials that can’t be recycled.  For instance, you can buy fresh, unpackaged fruit and vegetables, fill your own, reusable jars with dry goods, instead of plastic bags, and opt for package-free goods whenever possible. When you go shopping, always bring your own (preferably fabric) tote with you, to avoid unnecessary plastic bag waste.
As you can see, becoming a more sustainable shopper doesn’t have to be an overly difficult and demanding task. As long as you make it a point to change your habits, and make smarter, more environmentally friendly choices, you can easily help save the planet with little effort.
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