February 14, 2018

Simple Fashion Hacks Everyone Should Know



Winter is coming to a timely end and we are about to step into the Spring with a sense of excitement and anticipation. The Spring and Summer are the most fun seasons for fashion because we no longer need to be dressed up like an Eskimo. If you don’t think that you are very fashion savvy or able to come up with amazing outfits like those girls on Pinterest, don’t fret. We have some simple fashion hacks you can use this year to make you feel like a fashionista with no effort.


Graphic Tees
Everyone loves a good slogan, and a great graphic tee can make or break your outfit. Take a look at a site like Davson Sales and you will see so many different patterns to choose from, which can be easily paired with a plain skirt or a pair of jeans. You will look made up without any of the fuss.


The Right Bra
Your bra is the most important piece of clothing you own. It is crucial that you make sure you are wearing the right size for you and that your breasts are fully supported. If you don’t do this you will notice that your belly ends up looking larger and you look much bigger than you are overall.


A Splash Of Color
You will notice that the age of monochrome is fully underway. The rise of Scandinavian style has meant that we are swapping many of the bright colors for stone, beige and black and white. You can add a small accent of color to a plain outfit and immediately take it to the next level with minimal effort. It could be a bright red bomber jacket, pink heels or even a bright scarf.


A-Line
A-Line dresses are the perfect option for any occasion, you can never fail to look great in an A-Line dress. It will accentuate a small waist, make your breasts look fully and many will show off your legs too. They are the perfect fallback for any occasion.


Avoid Thin Fabric
If you see a really cute top in the store but the material is totally see-through, you will want to avoid it completely. Most of the time thin fabrics like this will only show the parts of you that you don’t want others to see. You are better sticking to thicker and more supportive materials which will tuck you in and keep you supported.


The Right Bag
A great handbag can be the difference between a blasé outfit and a wonderful fashion statement. By simply adding a fashionable handbag to your outfit as you walk out of the door, you will notice a huge difference in the overall impact of your outfit.


Wrap Dresses
Wrap dresses are a perfect option for anybody who feels a little bit self conscious about their midsection. A wrap dress will hide your belly with material gathered around the waist and lengthen your overall silhouette. 

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

3 Reasons Paris Is Still The City Of Love

If you're thinking of taking a romantic getaway with your partner this year, you can hardly do better than Paris. The French capital has long been a favorite destination for lovers everywhere, and nothing has changed on this front in recent years even with growing popularity. If you are wondering why it is called 'the city of love', however, there are a number of good reasons - and knowing what they are can help you to make your decisions about what you would actually like to do while you are staying there. Whether you are going for a weekend or longer, take a look at these reasons why Paris is still the city of love.




You Can Get Lost In The Art
What’s more romantic than finding yourself getting lost amidst some of the finest artwork in the world? If you and your partner consider yourselves to be true art fans, or even if you are just trying your hand at appreciating the world of art, you will find that Paris has plenty to offer. In fact, you can even go and visit what is arguably the most popular art gallery and museum in the world, the Louvre. Louvre tours are one of the greatest ways to spend time with your other half, especially if neither of you have ever been before and you are hoping to learn as much as possible during your stay. Remember too that Paris has numerous other galleries and museums on offer which you also might want to check out.



Eating At The Best Restaurants In The World
One of the most popular ways to spend time with a lover is, of course, to go for a romantic meal. This has to be yet another fantastic reason that Paris is the ultimate destination for romantics everywhere; it does, after all, have arguably many of the best restaurants anywhere in the world. Whether you are hoping to get a taste of traditional Parisian cuisine, or you even don’t mind stretching out to Italian or other nearby choices, you will find that you have plenty to choose between for where to take your partner for the Valentine’s day of your dreams. Paris has to be top of the list for dining out with your partner, and for that reason alone is easily one of the greatest romantic destinations in the world.




An Atmosphere Of Love
There is already such a fantastic history of love in the city that you can’t help but feel it yourself as well. No visitor to Paris is entirely immune to this, and if you are really keen on the best possible romantic getaway with your other half then you will find that Paris does the job very well. There is an overriding atmosphere of love which you will be sure to find infectious, and which might even help to bring you and your lover closer together. This atmosphere is one you'll want to take away with you, but it truly belongs in Paris.

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

USA A-OK: The Best Places To Live




The journey of American travelers takes you to weird and wonderful parts of the United States. There comes a point where you might decide that one of these wonderful places is so wonderful that you decide to stop traveling and set up home. But with this decision comes a lot of personal questions, such as where is the best place to do so? Well, look no further! Here are some of the best places to live in the United States.


Richmond, Virginia
Not only a vital part of American history, it's one of the best places to live for many different reasons! Not just because of the growing job market, but there are some amazing sights to behold!


Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Most people consider Jersey City to be a prime draw, but the quiet towns around the city are quaint and peaceful enough to settle into a relaxed way of living. If you're on the lookout for somewhere to live, you can find premier listings in Avalon and Stone Harbor NJ from your leader in Avalon Real Estate Sales; Avalon is another perimeter town to check out. If you're looking for a slower pace of life, this place has it all.


Houston, Texas
If you’re looking for a combination of the authentic Texan experience, combined with affordable housing, this is a great place to go for. Some of the key tourist draws include the Museum Of Fine Arts, The Houston Zoo, and of course, The Space Center!


San Francisco, California
Continually evolving as one of the best places to live in the world, San Francisco has a multitude of attractions to please any passing visitor, but it's also one of the most desirable places to live. Although it's one of the most expensive places to live in the US, it's a quality of life that you can't get in many other places! For a smorgasbord of culture and diversity, you would be hard pressed to find somewhere more unique!


Seattle, Washington
If you like your rain, this is the place to live, but apart from that you've got so many big businesses here that you could work your way up the career ladder. Apart from it's rich musical heritage, Seattle is replete with iconic landmarks. It's not just The Space Needle here, but you've got the Pike Place Market, the Puget Sound, and the Museum Of Flight.


Salt Lake City, Utah
Although the fingerprints of its Mormon heritage are all over this city, the cost of living is comparatively cheaper to other major cities. If you're not a fan of excessive sunshine, this is the place for you, as it snows up until March. The architecture is a marvel to look at, and it's a perfect place if you want to settle down and start a family.


Boston, Massachusetts
One of the big draws for Boston is that it's a big city with the attitude of a small town. If you're looking for friendliness, as well as a fantastic quality of life, Boston is one of those places that has got to be seen to be believed! And yes, it has a rich educational heritage, so you don't need to worry about that!

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

February 6, 2018

The Cultural City Hubs For US Travelers

There are many sides to the US to explore, and you could easily spend a lifetime doing just that. But one aspect of travelling around the states has to be seeing the cultural highlights that this vast and amazing land have to offer. Many of the top visited sites in the US are also some of the absolute best in the world, and a large number of them are basically unavoidable if you want a decent tour of the what the US has to offer. In this post, we are going to look at just a few examples of cultural cities you might want to visit the next time you're touring around the United States.


New York
You know that this list would not be complete without mentioning New York, so we should definitely approach it first and foremost. More than practically anywhere else in the world, New York is the kind of place where you can expect to see a mass of enormously diverse people coming together in a genuine melting pot. This, added to the fact that it is one of the world’s top spots for art, theatre, dining and sports, means that New York is an absolute bucket-list kind of place for anyone wanting a cultural high on their travels. Hit it up if you are looking for some of the best cultural highlights not just in the US, but in the world.


Chicago
What doesn’t Chicago have to offer when it comes to culture? The whole air of the place has this feeling of being straight out of an old-world sense of charm and mystique, and foreign travelers in particular will find it to be adorably unique in its easygoing and charismatic ways. It also happens to be easy and inexpensive to visit, with accommodations like the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chicago-Oswego at your fingertips and some easy transport links wherever you are hoping to go in the city. But in all likelihood, you come to Chicago for the music and theatre, and these are two areas where you will definitely not be disappointed. Whatever it is you want to see on stage, comedy or drama, you can be sure of finding it easy enough.




Seattle
It may be one of the rainier places in the country, but it also happens to be one of the most charming and elegant as well. Fans of classic city skylines will appreciate the view from almost any building in this city, and if you are a true coffee lover then you might even find it hard to ever leave. Seattle is a place of enormous heart as well as mind, and its culture is one which seamlessly and effortlessly fuses those two worlds in a way which makes you wonder why you don’t just set up camp and stay there. It’s an absolute must for any keen cultural visitors to the states, and one of the most beautiful and friendliest places anywhere on planet Earth. Be sure to make this one of your stops if you really want a complete tour of the United States.

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

February 1, 2018

Hotels? Who Needs Em'! Check Out These Alternative Accomodation Options




Wherever you go away, you always look for places to stay. More often than not, most of you reading this will search for hotels. They’re seen as the most convenient option, but are they the best? Hotels are rarely the cheapest or most complete accommodation choice out there, and you could be missing out on a better travel experience by booking one.

So, let’s wave goodbye to hotels, and say hello to these alternative options:


Hostels
Instead of a hotel, you can strip down all the expensive extras and stay in a hostel instead. Often, you will share a room with many other travelers, meaning it’s not ideal if you’re going abroad with your family! However, for people going on a gap year or just traveling on their own, this is a fantastic alternative to a typical hotel. Sometimes, the hostel provides food as well, making it even better value for money. This is the cheapest option out there for solo travelers and is perfect for all those typical ‘gap year’ countries in Southeast Asia, Europe, and so on. 


Vacation Condos
For those that might not know, condos are like apartment buildings in a big complex all grouped together. There are plenty of vacation condos out there, mainly placed near beaches or close to island resorts. You can check out Christopher Columbus Condos if you want more visual examples of what they look like and how they work. In short, you can move into a vacation condo for the duration of your trip, and enjoy independent living in prime locations. Also, they’re one of the few options you can actually buy yourself, meaning you own the property and can use it whenever you want. They’re not available everywhere, but some of the most popular tourist island destinations have them, as do many countries with beaches. 


Airbnb
Now, some of you may choose to go on holiday and want a little bit of private time away from other families and tourists. If so, then the previous two options won’t suit you, neither will the typical idea of a hotel. Your best bet is to find an Airbnb close to where you’re traveling to. The huge benefit of this accommodation option is peace and quiet. You’re essentially living in a home for the duration of your stay. There’s no complex filled with other tourists and no busy hotel lobbies. You get all the home comforts, making it ideal for families. Plus, it’s way more affordable to stay in an Airbnb compared to a hotel in the same area.


You see, there are other options out there aside from a boring old hotel. Some of these options are way cheaper, while others are more practical and just provide a better standard of living while you’re away. I guess my point here is that you shouldn’t be put off if you want to travel somewhere and can’t find a hotel. Loads of people choose not to travel as they can’t see a reasonably priced hotel nearby. Look out for these different options if you want an - arguably - better experience on the whole.

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

The State Of Illinois: Why This US State Should Be On Your Radar

When traveling to the US, you may find that you might want to automatically gravitate to some of the popular vacation destinations. Perhaps California for some west coast sunshine in Los Angeles? Or maybe you want to try your luck in Las Vegas, Nevada? Perhaps you like the fun that Florida offers or the shopping opportunities that New York is famous for? But, there are other states in the US that can be just as fun filled, and one of them happens to be Illinois. I wanted to share with you why this state should seriously be considered for a vacation, and some of the best things to do and see while you are there.

 




Getting There
One of the main airports to travel to is you are planning a trip to Illinois would be the Chicago O'Hare airport. It offers a fast and effective gateway to the state, and is an international hub, meaning know matter where you are you are sure to find some journey, be direct or via somewhere else to get you into the state. It is the world’s eighth busiest airport system, seeing in an average of 101 million passengers each year. Staying at the airport is easy for arrival and departure times, and one of the good options to consider would be the Quality Inn O'Hare Airport. Many hotels like this offer a shuttle to the airport, which will make it stress free when you arrive after what could have been a long flight, or a more relaxed approach for departure day.


Visiting Chicago
Chicago is the main city of Illinois, and it sits on the shoreline of the famous Lake Michigan. It is famous for it’s amazing skyline and rich culture of architecture, and it certainly has a lot to keep anyone occupied during their vacation. If art is more your thing, then Chicago is famed for its Impressionist and post-impressionists work, which are often displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago. However, there are also an array of museums covering architecture and history to keep you amused. Some of the highlights and sights to see in Chicago include the Willis Tower, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate and The Navy Pier. The pier itself has food outlets and rides to keep adults and children occupied.




Famous Sites
While we may have already covered some of the main sites of Chicago, what we haven’t done is mentioned some of the other fabulous things to see and places to go in Illinois. Peoria is a central city in Illinois on the Illinois river. The riverfront museum has a striking and contemporary design, much like the city itself. But with botanical gardens and a zoo, this city has much to offer on your tour of this great state. If you want a blast from the past then the Northern city of Rockford should be one of your first ports of call. The downtown area has a famous dinosaur exhibit, and the Rockford art museum showcases some original American works.

So there you have it, a quick rundown of the state of Illinois, I hope it has inspired you to put it on your list of vacation hot spots for the future.

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

Beyond Lady Liberty: 5 Unique Ideas For Your New York Vacation

New York: the city that doesn’t sleep, and neither will you! The home of popular tourist locales such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. They're all worth seeing -- but there is so much more to New York than those famous attractions. If you are looking for a weekend getaway in the US or are planning an extended vacation, here are some unique ways to pass your time in this glorious city.


Go On A Scavenger Hunt
Based in Central Park, this epic scavenger hunt is a must for anybody looking for a competitive challenge. A perfect way to learn more about the Park and it’s popular landmarks, you will also be scrabbling around the park like an intrepid Indiana Jones looking for clues and solving a series of easy and fiendish puzzles. Of course, you can go at your own pace, but it’s a lot of fun getting your mates together in a bid to see who can complete this two-mile adventure first.


Enjoy A Round Of Golf
Of course, golf isn’t the first thing you would consider on your New York itinerary, but we are here to change your mind. When looking for somewhere to stay, enjoy a little bit of affordable luxury and stay at the Fairway Suites At Peek'n Peak. Located in the heart of Lake Erie Wine Country, you aren’t too far away from the best of what New York has to offer, as well as the aforementioned golf courses, ski slopes, and incredible lakeside beauty. So, a round of golf before dinner anyone?



Visit Classic Movie Locations

New York is already known for some of the most iconic movie scenes in film history, from Marilyn Monroe’s skirt-lifting on Lexington Avenue (The Seven-Year Itch) to Meg Ryan’s - I’ll have what she’s having - date with Billy Crystal at Katz’s Delicatessen for When Harry Met Sally (pictured above). Not forgetting Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Goodfellas, Home Alone 2, and many other movies filmed here. You could search for some of these famous locations yourself, or you could take one of the many movie tours that ensure you don’t miss a thing. Oh, and bring your friends along and enjoy a drink at the iconic coffee shop, Central Perk!


Take A Walk On The Sweet Side

New York is famous for its many famous food eateries, so there are plenty of places for you to fill your appetite. Still, if you have a sweet tooth, you really do need to take the Sugartooth Tour, where you will embark on a two-hour trek of some of the finest bakeries and sweet shops around. This is a perfect way to spend a birthday or anniversary, and your dentist will love you for it afterward!


Overcome Your Fear Of Heights

No, we aren’t telling you to climb the Empire State Building like a miniature King Kong! Rather, we are advocating the joys of a Big Apple Helicopter Tour above the New York skyline. Why walk or wait ages to get a cab, when you can see all the major sights from above, from the marvelous art-deco of the Chrysler Building to incredible aerial views of Ellis Island. We told you to go beyond Lady Liberty and the other tourist sights, and while this almost defeats the point we were making, you can’t get any more beyond than going sky high!

So, there we have it. Our list of five unique things to do in this fabulous city. Start spreading the news to all your friends, leave today, and be a part of the New York experience.

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

January 31, 2018

Fight Back Against The Aches And Pains Of Work

If you spend every day hustling, it’s quite likely your body is going to start complaining about it at some point. Never has the term “daily grind” been so appropriate. You don’t have to simply sit back and take it, though. Fight back against the aches and pains of the workplace with the following tips.


Guess What’s Back?
It’s back pain. It’s one of the most common physical complaints heard by any doctor and it’s also the leading cause of disability, so it’s not something to be treated too lightly or ignored. There’s a lot you can do to reduce the impact of back pain. Prescription painkillers can treat back pain just as well as they treat headaches but moving frequently can also be a huge help. It's important to tackle the underlying cause as well, which is most often holding a bad posture for hours on end. If your boss isn’t willing to, consider shelling out for an ergonomic chair and make sure you’re level with your workstation, not reaching up to your keyboard or looking up at your monitor.


Something Painful Afoot
Perhaps your job doesn’t involve a lot of sitting, but a lot of standing and walking around instead. That can still be dangerous for your back, but the pain can manifest a lot more readily in your feet and legs, due to the impact of walking all day and poor circulation. For foot pain, shop now for effective working shoes that offer proper arch support. For circulation, compression socks can make a huge difference in reducing swelling and aches.


Raise Yourself Right
If you’re frequently lifting boxes, equipment, or other heavy loads at work, then it can just take one bad lift to give you a serious injury. Make sure you learn the proper lifting techniques, making use of assistance where possible, and lifting with your hips and not your back. If it’s a very common part of your job, then it’s worth talking to your boss about getting manual lifting training from an accredited course. If they say no, then they could be failing to meet health and safety regulations.


Stretch Those Legs
It’s not true of all jobs, but there’s no doubt that more and more workers are living a more sedentary lifestyle. Beyond back pain, this plays a huge role in weight gain, blood pressure, even stress and depression. Even if you’re new to working out, you have to make sure you balance a sedentary work life with a more active personal life. You might have a lot of opportunities to be more active at work if you look for them, too. For instance, the next time your boss needs a coffee run or someone to go get supplies, volunteer yourself first. Take any opportunity to get up and on your feet without looking like you’re simply taking a break every hour.


Those aches and pains might be more than just an annoyance - they could be the sign of a deeper underlying problem that you need to tackle before it becomes a seriously threatening issue. If a certain pain starts becoming a lot more common, then don’t delay - talk to your doctor about it as soon as possible.

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

January 29, 2018

Great Gifts For The Single Gal Pal In Your Life




Ladies, it wasn't that long ago that I was single. It was as wild and exciting time - it was also as mildly terrifying as it was sporadically entertaining. You may look at your BFF and think she has everything, but she might not have a partner in her life. No one is defined by a relationship, yet everyone wants to spend their time with someone they love. Going out and hitting a club can be difficult, though, especially in the 21st century. Isn’t there an app for that now? To help a friend in need, think about getting her a gift that will add value to her love life.

With that in mind, read on to find out more.


Astrology Handbook
You and your friend may think that horoscopes are a waste of time, but there is more than meets the eye. Okay, the idea that the stars have aligned just to improve a person’s relationship status is a bit much. Still, the idea that there are answers in the skies is similar to astronomy, and that is by no means a joke. To get your bestie started, try this guide to astrology compatibility from AstroStyle and flick through the best bits. It’s amazing how often the tips on love, sex and relationships come to fruition.


OkCupid Subscription
Dating is done online now quite often, with Tinder being the undisputed king. However, the tide is turning and cyber daters are turning away from the burning red flame. Instead, the online community prefers novelty apps such as Bumble and OkCupid. For starters, it’s nice to be the one to make the first move rather than wait for a match to find their courage. Plus, Tinder tends to be a code word for “hookup.” Okcupid and Bumble are much more relationship-friendly and that is what most BFFs want for their friend.





Weekend Vacation
We’ve all seen the movies. A single woman goes on vacation, falls in love and lives happily ever after. Sure, it doesn’t work out that way 99% of the time. Still, it’s a perfect gift even if there is a 1% chance. There’s nothing like the idea of sipping cocktails on a beach checking out the local scene. If all else fails, at least they’ll get a couple of weeks away from the stress of being single. Sometimes, a girl just needs a break from the constant questions and sly remarks. A weekend will be fine because a week is too expensive!


Boys Are Stupid Book
At times, enjoying single life is tricky. Everyone is happily attached and they are still searching. Plus, boys are a nightmare! So, instead of encouraging introspection, get your bestie to project on men. Let’s face it – it’s usually their fault. (JK) And, the book “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” includes the added pleasure of funny jokes. At the least, your best gal pal should have a good laugh.


Are there any other items you want to include? Get in touch and voice your opinion.

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

January 28, 2018

Changing The ‘I’m Too Poor To Travel’ Attitude



When you look at a map of the world, you'll probably find hundreds of towns, cities and countries to put on your bucket list. In truth, most of them are literally, and figuratively, thousands of miles away. Geography is one thing, but the cost of booking a flight, finding accommodations, and supporting yourself while unemployed is other all in and of itself. "I’m just too poor to travel" is a mindset in which lots of prospective explorers have, yet you have to find a way to stop feeling that way if you want to fulfill your dreams. Where there is a will there’s a way, and traveling is no different.

Do you want to cross things off of your bucket list? Here’s how to find the money and realize you are never too broke to do a little adventuring.


Little By Little
Oasis once sang, “little by little; we gave you everything you ever dreamed.” For travelers, this is a motto to keep in your head at all times. Finding $5,000 for six months’ worth of living seems impossible in the beginning as it’s quite a large number. However, you soon begin to realize that it’s attainable once you start small and work your way to the top. Simply cutting out alcohol and fine dining are two sacrifices travelers make on a weekly basis. Similarly, moving in with roommates or switching to a cheaper apartment are also alternatives. Every penny helps, especially from a mindset point of view.


Bag A Bargain
There’s no reason to pay full price for every expense. In fact, backpackers are unbelievable when it comes to bagging a bargain. Firstly, they shop around before they commit to anything booking-wise. The best airline miles credit cards might offer cheaper seats than standard companies, which is a massive saving in the long run. Or, hotels and hostels could have promotions on rooms because it’s the off-season and they have spares. Shopping around can save you a small fortune and help regulate your budget.


Work And Play
Some countries are strict on holidaymakers making money. The US and Australia are two examples, although the latter does have easy-to-secure visas. Still, lots of countries around the world couldn’t care less about your employment status. These are the ones which are perfect for finding part-time work to supplement your savings. Working behind a bar or at a hostel are potential money-makers even if it’s only a few bucks an hour. Hostels tend not to pay, yet they provide free food and accommodations. A mix of business and pleasure is the way forward for the cash-strapped.


Dive Into The Deep End
Truthfully, there’s no way to know how much a journey will cost. There are too many variables to factor in to get a solid estimate. So, all you can do is book a flight and test the waters. You might end up running out of money in a month and coming back home. Still, four weeks in a foreign country is better than a month doing the same thing over and over. Hopefully, you’ll have plenty of cash to extend your trip past the original deadline.


Money is important, but it isn’t everything. So, do you still think you’re too poor to travel?

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

January 22, 2018

Be The Airbnb Guest You'd Want To Host




Thinking of staying in an Airbnb rental on your next vacation? There are certainly many reasons why you’d want to, from the very low cost to being able to stay away from the usual crowds of tourists. But once you get into your Airbnb property, there are certain ways you will be expected to behave and act. After all, if you are staying in someone’s guest room, you can’t exactly treat the rest of the house as your own home! It’s all about having some respect for someone else’s home.


So, are you new to the whole Airbnb thing? Here are some tips to ensure that you are the type of guest that you would want to host in your own home.


Respect Your Host’s Privacy
First of all, it’s really important to remember that you are staying in someone else’s very own home. There might be some rooms which they would rather you didn’t go into, even if they are in them. For instance, if you hear that they are watching the TV in their living room, they might not appreciate you just walking in and joining them. So, it’s best to stick to your own room and give your host plenty of privacy.


Thank You Will Go Along Way

Remember to always say please and thank you. This may just be basic manners, but your host will really appreciate it all! In fact, once you get back to your own home, you might want to send your host a personalized thank you note just to show how much you appreciated their hospitality. You’ll be able to buy personalised thank you notes online or in your local stationery shops. Sending these small notes will help you get a good review on the Airbnb website!


Tell Them Your Schedule
Once you arrive, it’s a good idea to swap schedules with your host. If you have an excursion planned one day and you expect to leave the accommodation very early, then it’s important you let your host know so that they aren’t wondering what is going on if they are awoken by hearing you. Learning your host’s schedule will also inform you if they ever expect to be up early or home late any days while you are there.


Keep Things Neat And Tidy
Your host will have to tidy and clean the room once you leave so that they can get it ready for the next guests who are staying in the room. So, you should try and do them a favor and keep the room as neat and tidy as possible. If you make a lot of extra work for them once you have gone, then there is no way they will leave you a five-star review! The best way to figure out whether or not your room is clean enough is to just ask yourself if you would be happy with it at home. If not, then you should start tidying up a bit more!


Have a great trip!

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

January 21, 2018

The Beach: More Than Lazing About

The beach -- we’ve all been there, or want to go there, at least one would hope so. It sounds like a little peace of heaven on Earth, lying comfortably on a sandy beach with your back getting toasty from those warm sun rays. It truly is an experience like no other, but the truth is that other than lying around, sipping drinks and swimming, there isn't too much to do....or should we say, you don’t do much. That's totally fine, you’re there for a vacation after all, not to run around collecting seashells just to have something to post about on Facebook - but every once in a while you could go and do something different, even if just for variety’s sake. Your next holiday is probably not the first or the last one, so take this opportunity to experience something new, something different, something that will stick around your memory for a while.... Why not do it in Australia?

 


Take A Dive
There is a lot more to diving then competing with your friends in school over who could keep their breath the longest underwater. Instead of the pool, you'd have a gigantic body of water, full of all sorts of wonders which would not be possible outside of that underwater metropolis. Coral reefs can be found here, and are very much their own entity, which should be respected, cherished, and most of all, admired. The great barrier reef is possibly one of the most beautiful sights to behold as humans, and even though it is of this Earth, it certainly does not look like it. With color combinations and shapes which are even hard to imagine, it is most definitely something that you will remember for your whole life, and you can see it all, merely through some snorkel tours around the area. It really is that simple, so why wait?





Water Sports Galore
Australia is known for its cooler-than-cool surfers and all those “sick waves” which we’ve all heard about before. But really, what is it actually all about? Is it just cool teenagers impressing girls, or is there something much more? Well, considering the usual weather in Australia, beach sports and  water sports are a pretty popular activity among most people who live near water. Are you looking for something exciting, yet serene, and somewhat refined at the same time? Why not give kayaking or canoeing a shot? With the potential to speeding along, yet with the possibility of slowing down and just taking in the vast majesty around you, it is often a popular pick. 

Are you the more adventurous type who likes thrills and adrenaline pumping shenanigans while still keeping cool in the water? Maybe you could go and join those cool surfer dudes sometimes. Or maybe, you prefer the option which is even more relaxed than kayaking, and would just like to go sailing? Not that sailing is effortless, it's actually far from it, but once you get out into open water, the world is your oyster to admire, all while sitting in your rocking boat, just taking it all in. There’s more than enough to do on Australian shores, and if you haven’t found something that caught your eye, you just aren’t looking hard enough.

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

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.