January 19, 2018

Sights To See Before Global Warming Wipes Them Off The Map

The Earth is full of beautiful and breathtaking attractions which have been around for centuries but sadly, they might be here for much longer if the world continues to heat up at an alarming rate. If you need any evidence to support global warming, just look at the sights that are in jeopardy. It’s a sad and heartbreaking thought that the Great Barrier Reef might not exist in fifty years time. So, before they disappear completely, why not see them in all their glory while taking the utmost care to protect these beautiful sites in all their majesty?

Here are some to tick off the bucket list.

The Dead Sea
You probably know the Dead Sea as the expanse of water that is ten times saltier than an ocean. Also, you’ll have seen the videos where people float thanks to the buoyancy of the H2O. What you might not know is that this beautiful stretch of sea is vulnerable because of mining. Nope, not in the sea itself but the Jordan River, the main water source. Experts believe the Dead Sea is losing 2 billion gallons of water per year, which is an appalling & shocking amount. It is a possibility that sinkholes will soon appear, redirecting the extra water.

Joshua Tree National Park
The Joshua Tree National Park is America’s very own natural attraction in the Mojave Desert, California. The trees got their names thanks to Mormons who thought they shared a resemblance to the prophet. Unfortunately, these trees don’t have any other biblical qualities such as the resurrection. The prognosis is that the lack of rainfall & nutrients in the Mojave is causing the plant life to die and stop reproducing. Yes, even desert plants need water, five inches per year to be exact. In recent times, the droughts have only brought one-inch, which isn’t nearly enough.


Niagara Falls
On the border of the US and Canada, the Niagara Falls are a cascading waterfall which descends deep into the ground. Shockingly, the natural power of the water is under threat due to Arctic blasts. Recently, the east coast has experienced chills which have measured -16 °C on the temperature scale and they have actually frozen the falls. As unlikely as it sounds, some meteorologists predict a mini-ice age could hit the country before long. Whether that’s true or not, taking a trip & checking into the Travelodge At The Falls seems like a good idea, doesn't it? Then, you can explore the rest of New York state too. 

Machu Picchu
The ‘Lost City’ is high up in the Peruvian Andes, yet thousands of tourists visit it every single week. Humans aren’t the only reason it’s at risk, though. Changes in climate mean the area is subject to regular landslides and erosion in the supporting rock. If that isn’t scary enough, contractors are trying to get in on the action by building as close to the site as possible. All this could mean that the site found in 1911 might not be around much longer. That's a terrifying thought.

Should you get the opportunity, you won’t want to miss out on these unbelievable sights.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own. 

Living Paycheck To Paycheck? Learn How To Break The Cycle


With all of the financial constraints we find ourselves under, it's little wonder that the vast majority of us are living in a paycheck to paycheck fashion. It seems like soon as we find a way to get on top of our finances the bills come in, and then money that went into your account finds its way right back out. This is a very frustrating the cycle to be trapped in, but how can you break it?

Know Exactly What You Pay For
We all have standing orders, and we set them up, so we don't need to keep track of them all. But, after a while, there may be things you find that you're paying for out of your bank account that you don't need to pay for anymore. Are you still paying out for that computer insurance from three laptops ago?! Get a handle on your finances and your outgoings, and you know exactly how much you spend every month. Look at this in comparison to what you take home, and do the math -- maybe you'll find some unnecessary expenses you can cut out.

Can You Increase Your Incoming Cash?
Are there ways and means for you to earn extra money? If you don't want to compromise your lifestyle, then this may be your only option. Of course, there are options for you to clear your debts, such as acquiring short term loans with no credit check, which is very appealing when you have bills to pay off immediately, but it can dig you into more debt in the long-term. If you need to get a cash injection upfront, something like an extra job will give you the means to pay it off effectively. Remember, we don't always have to go and apply for a part-time job, as it can take a long time to make a positive impact on your finances, you can also attempt freelancing from home. Sometimes freelancing is a more lucrative option, depending on the skills you can provide.

Cutting The Budget
It's usually your lifestyle choices that have an overall impact on how you spend. If you find that you need to live your life a certain way, such as socializing every weekend, then it's your daily expenditure that you need to cut down on. This means saving up your pennies by curtailing your budget during Monday to Friday. A very good example to consider is how much you pay for one single coffee on the way into the office. You may argue that you need that coffee, as most of us do, but the cost of that cappuccino alone -- when you consider the number of times you have it in a week...then in a month...then in a year -- it soon builds up. In one coffee, you are paying a very hefty sum! So instead, consider making your own coffee at home. Look at ways to cut your energy bills, by changing providers or setting your thermostat to a lower temperature when you leave the house. Take a look at the food you buy too; this is usually the biggest expense in our daily lives. You can still live a healthy lifestyle by cutting back on unnecessary food groups, such as sugary foods.

If you are living paycheck to paycheck, these are just a few of the options you have available to try to save a little money. Best of luck to you!

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

January 15, 2018

Going to the Pacific Northwest? Check Out These Things to Do

The Pacific Northwest is sometimes overshadowed by other more talked-about regions of the US like California or New York, but there are plenty of reasons why you should reassess your priorities to journey up here. Still not convinced? Maybe you will be at the end of this article…

You Can Always Get a Great Meal and Cup of Coffee

The Pacific Northwest has fast emerged as a premier destination for foodies over the last few years. Restaurants pride themselves on serving high-quality, fresh food, and you can find different cuisine from all over the world. If you want to wash all this down with a nice cup of coffee, there is no shortage of choices. After all, Seattle is the city where the very first Starbucks was established, but there are plenty of more independent choices if this is what you prefer.

The Scenery and Environment Are Loved
This is an area of the world where the people are really proud of their scenery and environment - and they have every reason to be. Get out into nature and there is a photo-worthy landscape pretty much every way you turn. You can even visit a real rainforest in Washington state, where there are plenty of hiking and biking opportunities, as well as Also, an area where the environment is really cared for, and there are always new initiatives to protect Mother Earth whenever possible.

You Can Pop Over into Canada
The Pacific Northwest is a great place to pop up into Canada. Vancouver is a fantastic city to visit which continues expanding year on year. As well as having a buzzing central area, you have coastal scenery and mountains right on your doorstep, making it the perfect destination for lovers of the great outdoors.

There Are Still Plenty of Touristy Things to Do
Sometimes, it is still fun to be a typical tourist when you head to a new place, and there are plenty of opportunities to do this. The Space Needle in Seattle is probably one of the most famous attractions, and you can ascend right to the very top on an elevator ride. From here, you can enjoy views stretching across the city and beyond. The Best Western Plus Navigator Inn & Suites provides a good accommodation choice nearby to Seattle.

You Can Go Island-Hopping
Take a trip over to the San Juan archipelago off the north coast of Washington and you can go island-hopping around the 172 land masses. The four biggest ones - San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw - are all connected by ferry, and they are perfect for outdoor activities such as kayaking and nature-watching. Each island has its own appeal, making the perfect excuse to visit several of them.

The Pacific Northwest is only likely to increase in popularity as a travel destination, and these are just a few of the things that you can enjoy about this fascinating part of the world.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

3 Lifestyle Choices That Are Holding You Back

When you’re in a bit of a rut, you could admit defeat and let things carry on as they are, blaming the world around you for your situation -- or you could realize that you might be in that situation because of your lifestyle choices. Everybody falls on hard times at some point in their life but the reason that things aren’t going the way that you want them to might be because you aren’t making the necessary changes in your life. By changing these lifestyle choices that are holding you back, you may be able to get where you want to be.

Borrowing Money

Money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress these days and debts are the main reason that people struggle with money. If you are constantly relying on borrowing to cover your monthly expenses, you’ll always have the creditors looming over you. You won’t be able to save up money to spend on vacations or other valuable experiences. Your life will be completely focused around paying those debts off. You should try to clear those debts as quickly as possible and then change spending habits so you aren’t relying on borrowing any more. The easiest way to clear all of your debts is getting a consolidation loan from somebody like https://debtconsolidation.loans. They’ll take all of your existing debts and make them into one simple monthly payment. It’s far easier to keep track of and clear your debts. Once you’re debt free, start writing down all of the money that you’re spending and identify any places where you can make cutbacks and start living within your means.

Listening To Negative People
The personality of other people can rub off on you and if you spend all of your time with negative people, their pessimistic attitude will spill over into your life. It’ll stop you from finding the motivation to make positive changes in your life. You need to learn to discount the opinions of negative people and not let their attitude stifle you. If it becomes a real problem, you may even want to consider cutting them out of your life completely.

Not Exercising
The majority of people don’t get anywhere near as much exercise as they should but if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life, it’s vitally important. It’s obviously important for your physical health but more importantly, it will help keep your mind healthy. Exercising regularly gives you more motivation and makes you far more proactive so you can start making positive changes in your life. It will also improve your overall mood and stop you from getting bogged down with negative emotions. People often neglect exercise because they think that they don’t have time but, in reality, that’s just an excuse much of the time. Getting up 15 minutes earlier and doing a quick exercise routine will set you up for the day and keep you healthy, then you can do longer workouts on evenings and weekends when you’ve got more time on your hands. Visit womenshealthmag.co.uk for some great Youtube workouts you can do at home.

All of these lifestyle choices are just holding you back -- stop them today and you’ll see a huge improvement right away.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

January 11, 2018

Birthday Gifts on a Budget

If you are currently working on a tight budget, and there's a loved one's birthday coming up – be it your best friend’s or your sister’s – you may be worried about how you are going to be able to afford a present. However, you don’t need to spend a lot in order to give someone a good gift. You’ve probably heard this saying before and thought, “yeah right, no one wants a cheap gift!”, but the key to any good gift is to show your thoughtfulness. This is something that money cannot buy and it will be greatly appreciated. So, with that in mind, read on to discover some good suggestions…

Say it – One of the best ways to show someone how much they mean to you is with words. This does not mean that you literally have to say something out loud and claim this is a present. Instead, why not look for something with a thoughtful quote on it? You can find some amazing ideas at greetpanda.com. From cards to pillow cases, there are many affordable presents that can have a quote printed on them. Choose something that means a great deal to you and the person you are buying for, and you can guarantee you will have given them one of the best gifts anyone could have.

Photographs – A photograph may seem like a simple gift but it is something that means a great deal. It’s a personal gift, and personal gifts mean the most. You can find more personal gift suggestions at independent.co.uk. But, if you like the sound of a photo, there are numerous options you can consider. You could get a special photograph printed of a time that you and your friend spent together. Or, why not create a photo collage or album? There are lots of websites online that give you the ability to do this with ease and affordability. Or, if you have children, you could get a photograph of them framed and give it to the recipient if they are close with your kids.

Make your own gift – The third and final suggestion that is bound to go down well is if you make your own gift. You don’t need to be a particularly crafty person to make a present for someone’s birthday. There are many guides and tutorials online that will help you along the way. Plus, you are giving someone something that they will not be able to find anywhere else. You are giving them something that has taken a lot of time and effort on your behalf. And so, this is bound to be appreciated!

Hopefully, you now have some ideas that you can use when looking for birthday gifts on a budget. From something with a personal touch, such as a photo of your kids, to a quote that will make the recipient smile, there are plenty of ways to make someone’s birthday special without breaking the bank.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

January 10, 2018

Is January The Month To Plan Your Next Trip?

We all know that January is a month of the blues; it’s a come down from the hype of Christmas for many plus it is still freezing cold and rainy -- generally, just not a month to enjoy. There's a very easy way to beat those blues once and for all; plan your next vacation. You might want to something for the summer, or maybe you need to inject some heat and adventure into your life a lot sooner? Valentine's day is swiftly approaching. That is a great time to get away with your loved one. Perhaps you want to set up a girls vacation, a family trip, or just a solo adventure? Whatever you want to do, use this month to plan the exciting times ahead.

A lot of people have the misconception that planning a holiday takes up all your time, or that it can be done in one night, when really, planning a trip can be as spur-of-the-moment or as detailed as you want to make it. Spend some time looking at destinations, get where you want to go booked quickly, and then you have plenty of time between now and the vacation to figure out what you want to do out there.

So where do you want to go? There are so many wonderful things to see in the world, from the seven wonders of the world to heated natural pools on remote islands. Do you want a relaxing, beach vacation where you can wake up staring across the horizon? Then go to the Maldives. For a unique stay in an igloo with a once in a lifetime view of the Aurora Borealis then head to the Netherlands or Iceland. Go on safari, climb Everest, or, if you're up for an unusual adventure, visit the plague catacombs of Paris. Whatever you've always wanted to see - go and see it! Life is too short to leave it for another time.

Hotel and Flights
Now that you have figured out a destination, it’s time to get the details of how you're getting there and where you're staying sorted. You can easily get your flights and hotel booked through one website, but it can be worth shopping around to get the best price. There are so many options for accommodations so don’t think that you just have to settle for the same thing every time you go travelling. Research hotels that have great reputations in the country you're going to - search for the best Shandong hotels in China, for instance. It's the same idea if you’re going to be travelling around a lot and are thinking about staying in a hostel, like the Plus chain in Europe, which has great reviews.

With the big details sorted and booked you can now start thinking about the fun little things like what to do and what to wear. You have plenty of time to make your plans so your first list should be made up of all the things that you want to do while you’re there. Start by researching each place or thing then make a list of what you really want to do. The second list should be of all the things that you need to take with you. You might have a decent amount of clothing already, but everyone loves buying at least a few new things while on a trip. Although, if you’re heading somewhere where will you need special clothing - like skiing, or hiking, or climbing, you will need to make sure to buy the right things ahead of time.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

January 9, 2018

Three Ways You Can Book That Summer Vacay Without A Pay Raise

I get it -- January is here. The dark mornings, the even darker nights, and the cold weather certainly doesn’t inspire you to get up in a morning, does it? I know the feeling. But there are also many positives that January can offer as well -- the opportunity to wipe the slate clean, the beginning of a brand new year for fresh ideas and new plans, etc. 

Sometimes, the daily grind can get you down as you start to get back to some form of normality after the festive period, which it's often the ideal time to get a holiday or vacation booked to give you that extra boost you need to go to work and pay the bills. But.....do you feel comfortable enough to pay for a summer vacation right now, without the need for an instant cash boost to your wages? I wanted to share with you three simple ways you could something rolling without it costing an arm and a leg. The answers are literally right in front of you.

Look for funding through your unwanted items
We all have things we no longer want and need. Items in our wardrobes that no longer fit or are part of our style anymore. Kitchen gadgets we don’t use. Old technology like computers, mobile phones or gaming systems after upgrades. While these are only a few examples of the potential items you might have that you no longer have a use for, it doesn't mean that someone else won’t. Selling online on websites like eBay can be a great way to boost your income, and who know it could even pay for the whole vacation.

Boost your disposable income by confronting your financial situation
January can often be described as one of the toughest financial months as you start to feel the hit of that festive spending, but actually it is also a great chance to really get in tune with your financial situation and make some good changes. Debt can be a big hindrance to our income, and so often taking control of it instead of hiding under a rug can actually free up some income on a monthly basis. There are some great debt settlement companies that could help you tackle it once and for all, and consolidating your bills could actually free up money and save you in interest costs. You could also look at your outings and highlight some of the bills you could easily do without.

Seek out bargain sales or discount codes
This is certainly the month for a bargain, what with all the sales and discount codes available, so you may find that you could actually book your summer vacation for a fraction of the price if you hunt out those good deals. If you are flexible with dates and even locations you may be able to pick up the bargain of the century and have a great holiday to look forward to.

I hope that has inspired you to get looking for your next vacation away.

*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.

January 7, 2018

How To Inject Some Individuality Into Your Style

When everyone buys their clothes from the same shops, and you’re desperately trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends from the red carpet and catwalk, it can be all but impossible to maintain some individuality. In today’s day and age, everything you thought was quirky, and niche about yourself has been done to death and probably has quite a few subreddits dedicated to it. You may even find you can’t tell your Instagram feed from most of your friends’, and on a night out it can appear like you planned and coordinated your outfits. Well have no fear, below are a few basic ideas to help you shake off the changeable nature of fashion and find your signature look.

Have A Look
Everyone has no doubt heard the infamous Yves Saint Laurent quote “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” It beautifully captures how you should approach your outfit choices. Some of the most timeless fashion icons have had very simple outfit styles that they built their wardrobe around. James Dean made jeans and a plain t-shirt the epitome of cool for men everywhere. Audrey Hepburn became synonymous with the little black dress and the up-do. Marilyn Monroe was red lipstick and simply styled, figure-hugging dresses. Stick to simple outfits that accentuate your figure. Avoid the latest trends, or you’ll simply end up buying clothes that will only last you a few months until the next trend comes in.

This is where you can add a little flair to your outfit. Sticking with a basic fundamental outfit choice allows you to customize it with some simple accessories. Think shoes, belts, watches, and jewelry. A simple outfit is a blank canvas; your accessories are the paint. Use matching or contrasting colors. Be as bold or a subtle as you like. Take inspiration from the on-season trends, while also being honest with yourself about what you actually like, rather than what you think you should like. It’s all well and good buying everything you see that is remotely “on trend” but if you feel uncomfortable wearing your purchases, they are wasted money.

Rock It With Confidence
This is the most important part of creating and honing your style. You have to carry it with confidence. It took a few years for David Bowie to become recognized as a fashion icon; before that people just considered him a guy in some weird outfits. Dress how you want to dress and wear your clothes with confidence, that’s how you go from being a trend-follower to a trend-setter. It may seem intimidating at first to step out of the comfort of your own home in a style that is truly your own, but when you stop comparing yourself to others and really be true to yourself - the happiness it will make you feel will shine through. Remember, the best accessory you can ever wear is a smile, so lift your head up high and own your style. Whether that is black lipstick and villain t-shirts, or a polka dot swing dress and kitten heels - everyone deserves to be comfortable in their own skin and fashion.

Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas on how you can add your own spin on any outfit, and not fall into a crowd of trend followers.
*This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.