Sunday, May 20, 2018

Clean Air without the Bulk

Allergy season has been brutal this year in Florida.  At one point, we had the highest pollen count in the country. So that meant sinus pain, sniffles, itchy eyes, sore throats, and lots of sneezing. Obviously, we kept the windows closed and only opened the doors to go outside. However, I knew that pesky, pollen filled air was blowing its way into our home or the pollen was hitching a ride on our Golden's hair. (He likes to roll around in the dirt, leaves, and yes, pollen. So fun ;-) )

I looked into getting an air purifier. But every option I found was bulky or not super attractive. I was afraid of getting a large object the dog or my child could run into, knock over, or injure themselves on. So once I found out about Titus & Wayne's Luft Qi purifier, I knew it would be the perfect fit.

This little guy is small, quiet, and attractive.  It's super simple to operate. Simply plug it in to turn it on. I love that it doesn't scream "HEY LOOK AT ME OVER HERE!" yet has an understated elegance to it if it does happen to catch your eye. I also am a fan of the 360-degree air intake. This means it's taking in air from every possible angle, cleaning it using its patented Nano-Reactor, and dispersing the clean air through the top. 



Check out the Luft Qi on sale now until May 25th on Indiegogo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Eating in Asia: Foods You Have to Try on Your Travels!

Written by a contributing writer


Asian food is one of the most popular foreign foods enjoyed in the west. With delicious ingredients, delicate spices, and smart cooking techniques used to create foods that are fresh tasting and flavorful, it's not hard to see why. So of you’re backpacking across Asia this summer or have a getaway booked to a specific destination on the continent, there are a few dishes you really have to try while you’re away!


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Dim Sum

Dim Sum is enjoyed in many places across Asia, from Hong Kong to China and Canton, amongst other places. It's definitely something you should aim to try while you're on your trip and is sure to be more enjoyable than takeout options you can get in the west! Dim sum are served as a selection of smaller bites, with dishes including barbecue pork buns, chee chong fun, xiao long bao and lots more. There are plenty of dim sum stalls all over Asia and you'll find it in restaurants and cafes too.


Noodles

‘Singapore noodles’ is most likely not the first dish that springs to mind when thinking of Asia.  (They didn’t actually originate from Singapore and aren’t very popular in Asian cuisine.) However, as noodles are a staple food in many areas in eastern Asia, they’re eaten a lot in different styles, and there are lots of incredible noodle places. From spicy laksa to Hokkien fried noodles and Bak chor mee (minced meat noodles), there really isn't just one type of noodle dish that can sum up Asia.



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Rice

In other parts of Asia, rice is eaten as a staple food item instead of noodles- so depending on where you're travelling to, you should take advantage and dine on rice too. Traditional rice dishes in central Asia include 'buttered rice under a Shah's crown' which is tasty buttered saffron rice with dried chestnuts, raisins, and apricots served under fluffy bread. Pumpkin stuffed with jewelled rice is another popular dish, something you're unlikely to have tried before! Rice can be served as a side dish or as the main feature. Different kinds of rice grains are used depending on the dish; making something simple into something spectacular.


Street Food

Across Asia you will come across incredible markets where street food vendors produce tasty dishes without costing you much at all. Great if you're on a budget, but something to experience regardless as they will give you a true taste of authentic Asian cuisine. Some of the vendors in Singapore have actually been awarded Michelin stars- the first time this has happened in the luxury food's guide. If you're visiting Thailand, Phuket is best known for its seafood. So amazing fish dishes amongst other things are often served up by vendors. Use a hotel such as the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa which puts you at the heart of the action, and makes it easy to visit these kinds of places.


Desserts

Dessert is well loved in Asia, while you will no doubt be tasting your way through lots of savoury dishes it's not something to overlook while you’re on your trip! Gelato and desserts cafes are becoming more and more popular across the continent. Across Asia you can find a everything from pastries to gourmet cheesecakes and very recognizable traditional classics. Then on the other hand you have Asian and local-inspired creations- some unusual desserts include frozen basil custard and salted egg yolk ice cream!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Mother's Day Gift Guide for Every Mom with zulily

Mother's Day is coming up fast! If you haven't found the perfect gift for the moms in your life, don't worry! Zulily has a ton of items at discounted prices. And they've even done some of the work by creating the perfect list of must-haves for just about every mom. Take a look!

  • The Makeup Maven – from fragrances, to bath bombs to must-have makeup brands, she’ll beautiful inside & out…

  • The Social Butterfly – Does she love to get out of the house and experience new things? Check out our daily selection of tickets to live shows, sporting events and concerts!

  • The Style Icon – From trendy tops to must-have staples, we’ve got her covered…

  • The Trendsetter – Launching dozens of new brands daily, she’ll stay ahead of the trends with our unique zulily debuts!

  • The Fur Baby Fanatic – Fur baby moms count! Get something quirky to help bond with their animal companion…

  • The Adventure Seeker – Whether she’s hiking through the woods or just camping in the backyard, we’ve got the basics and the bizarre to help her outdoor explorations…

  • The “Fixer Upper” Fan – Is a mom in your life longing to be the next Joanna Gaines? She’ll love our diverse selection of home décor finds…from contemporary to farmhouse, we’ve got it all!

  • The Chef – Whether she’s Julia Child or just making a fun mess, we’ve got essentials to extraordinary when it comes to kitchen & cookware!

  • The DIY Queen – Crafty, clever and creative? Check out our hundreds of DIY kits and personalized items to make your gift truly unique. 

  • The New Mom – Is there a woman in your life about to celebrate their first Mother’s Day? Make it extra special with a gift for her, or baby.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

5 Easy Places to Shop Online

Written by a contributing writer



The digital economy has truly shifted consumer behavior when it comes to buying products and services. Any time of the day, people can log into their favorite online store and add products to a cart and receive them a few days later. Part of the reason for this loyalty is convenience and the level of engagement that consumers receive from their favorite brands. From a business perspective, having an online presence in a form of an online store is a great strategy to expand your target market and receive real-time feedback for better iteration. To name a few, here are the five most notable and easy online sites to shop.

1. Amazon

Amazon is perhaps the most popular and influential online store in the United States and in several countries around the world. It serves as a marketplace for different business owners and consumers to exchange money for goods. Its product line ranges from several media to consumer electronics, gourmet food, beauty products, sporting goods, and many others. Amazon also sells products that they manufacture including, Kindle, Echo, the Fire TV and the Fire phone. In terms of shopping experience, Amazon offers complementary services to satisfy their customers. The company provides same-day delivery and exclusive promotions and discounts to prime members, product returns, dash buttons and so on.

2. eBay

eBay is one of the competitors of Amazon, however, the former acts more of a wholesaler than a retailer. eBay has distinct features that give more options for their customers. It allows both price and auction formats. As a seller on eBay, you can create your own descriptions thereby giving you more control over marketing and brand development. eBay has been very successful integrating their platform locally and the adoption has contributed to the continued success of the company.

3. Best Buy

Best Buys is go-to online store when it comes to consumer electronics. It sells thousands of electronic products at different price points. This includes mobile phones, laptop, and computers, game consoles, cameras, music players and even home appliances. Because of the different brands Best Buy carry, consumers have a lot of products to choose from.

4. Beauty and Fashion Online Stores


Beauty and fashion online stores are generally specific to the brand or the company. These are companies like H&M, Sephora, Avon, Topshop, etc. Usually, these companies already have other methods of distribution and selling online is just one of them. For instance, the distribution model of Avon includes direct selling, limited retailers and online. Direct selling through independent contractors is the core channel. However, Avon online shopping has also proven to be an efficient and enjoyable way to buy beauty products.

5. Wayfair

Wayfair is another e-commerce company that specifically sells home goods including furniture, décor. Consumers can sign-up and login to the Wayfair website and start searching for home goods that they want to buy. A general search would bring up several choices being sold by different suppliers around the world. Consumers can choose to narrow down the search through filters or just start scrolling down the different products available. Wayfair has warehouses across the United States and several countries in Europe.

Monday, April 9, 2018

5 Tips to traveling in college

Written by a contributing writer


Traveling is one of the things that every college student has on his or her bucket list. We all have an innate desire to explore the world and experience some of the most iconic destinations it has to offer. Traveling offers a way to unwind and refresh oneself, explore new cultures and traditions, meet new people, face new challenges, have fun, and above all create beautiful memories. While traveling offers tons of benefits, it usually comes with a lot of expenses which can be tough especially for college students who have to work with a limited budget. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your traveling plans while in college.


1. Start saving
Many college students spend money on movies, electronics, and clothes over and over again. While these things are important, they usually don’t have long-term benefits. Traveling, especially overseas, will expose you to the world and increase your experience and scope of life. Begin by cutting a portion of the money you spend on this stuff and start saving. Alternatively, if you can land a part-time job, channel a portion of those funds to your travel savings.


2. Participate in charity challenges

Charity challenges enable you to experience the fun of traveling while also helping to raise funds for worthwhile causes. You can participate or arrange School and University Challenges with Kandoo Adventures and get the opportunity to tour exotic destinations worldwide such as Machu Picchu, Everest Base Camp, and Mt. Kilimanjaro while creating awareness for a given cause.


3. Be flexible

Due to budget constraints, it’s important to allow your schedule to be a little flexible depending on the available deals at the moment. Most tourist attractions, lodges, and restaurants offer good deals if you come at specific times or days of the year, for instance, during the off-season they tend to be cheaper and less crowded. So, you may want to stray from the beaten path and schedule your adventures around these times.


4. Study abroad

This is the perfect way to travel while in college. You’ll be able to experience a new way of life in another city for a prolonged period of time such as a semester or a year. There are many options to studying abroad such as applying for a scholarship, taking part in exchange programs or sponsoring yourself for studies in a foreign institution. Whichever option works for you, studying abroad is full of amazing experiences that will help you immensely with your career goals.


5. Acquire an International Student ID

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) costs about 20 US Dollars and gives you access to student discounts on selected flights, museums, and tourist attractions. This means that you’ll be able to save much more on travel expenses to certain destinations around the world.

All in all travelling is all about having an open mind and a desire to learn and experience life to the fullest. So, purpose of taking at least one adventure in a year to a place you’ve never been before. Bon, voyage!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Revamping Your Style - Ready For Summer

Written by a contributing writer

Spring is in the air and it now feels like the ideal time to really overhaul our looks and start taking better care of ourselves. Yes, it is the season of eating salads and loving them, wanting to get outside and exercise, but the one thing we may not focus entirely on is how we look which ultimately affects how we feel. So we've come up with a few suggestions on what you can do to revamp your style ready for the summer months ahead.


Image source


Take some pride in your smile

Smile and the whole world smiles with you, right? However, many of us don’t smile enough and that isn’t because we don’t want to. It has more to do with how our smile looks. Which ultimately has a lot to do with our teeth. So why not take the time to put some focus on your dental hygiene. Maybe invest in some teeth whitening, whether done at home or at the dentist, and just embrace the smile more. It can really make you feel and look more put together.


Revamp your skincare routine

Your skin is going to be on show a lot more in summer, as you may tend to wear less makeup and wear cooler clothes. So you may want to use the time you have now to really revamp your skincare routine. Focusing on your cleansing and moisturizing, and don’t forget to place some focus on the rest of your body and not just the skin on your face.


Change your hair

You can get a little guilty of being stuck in a rut when it comes to your hairstyle and even your hair color, so you may want to use the season's change as a huge chance of trying something different. Cutting it shorter maybe, trying out a balayage color perhaps, or even going for something different entirely like adding hair extensions. The options are endless and summer is the ideal time to really be adventurous with things like your hair.


Invest in your wardrobe choices

Your wardrobe is bound to change as the weather warms up, but rather than going a little crazy on the high street, why not try a different approach when it comes to your spring and summer wardrobe? You could try investing in a capsule wardrobe. This is where you have key pieces that can easily be mixed and matched together to create different outfits.


Focus on your mindset

Finally, sometimes how you look is all in the mind. If you feel confident then you can exude that in your exterior and rock whatever look you have gone for. So take some time to really focus on your mindset and positive thinking through the process. Try not to be so hard on yourself. A rule of thumb would be to decide whether you would be as harsh to someone else as you are on yourself. Be kind.


I hope these tips help you revamp your style for summer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

5 Tips to Going on a Safari Vacation

Written by a contributing writer



You’ve probably been saving for months or years for your first safari vacation. You’re most likely excited about your upcoming vacation to African reserves or national parks. With enough funds for your trip, you feel ready. However, an African safari is one of a kind. It’s not like visiting a zoo or theme park with tamed wild animals.

Wild animals in Africa live in their natural habitat and thus can be dangerous. Therefore, you’re not ready until you’re ready. There are things you need to know beforehand to ensure you have a great experience and get value for your money. Here are some tips to get you started on your preparations for a safari vacation:

Top 5 Tips for Going for a Safari in Africa


1. Pack Light and Only Carry the Essentials

Although you’re heading for a safari vacation in Africa, don’t go overboard in the things you pack for the trip. Africa isn’t the jungle they made you believe it is in the media, well, except for the wildlife habitats. Most importantly, don’t bring every piece of gear with you on a game drive. Pack a camera with telescopic lenses, backup batteries, and a tripod.

Also bring with you soft-sided travel bags, binoculars, electrical adapters, sunscreen and sunglasses, mosquito repellents, a flashlight, a water bottle, light snacks, a first aid kit, and a small backpack. Pack clothes for layering during the game drive; you can remove some if the weather gets hot.


2. Not All Safaris are the Same

Safaris are unique and unpredictable. Therefore, you need to be flexible and open-minded with your expectations. Game drives can be longer than you expected and tougher. If you’re lucky, you might see all the big five animals, including the lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and leopard.

However, you might just get to see some of the big five. Prepare for rough rides, mosquitoes, cold or warm temperature, sunny or windy weather, flies, etc. Although most terrains are sand or gravel rough roads, you might cross bushes, rivers or even stone fields, especially if trailing after a herd of wild animals.


3. Stay Safe and Follow All Rules/Advice

Game drive rules are set to ensure you’re safe in the African wild. You might think the vicinity is clear enough for you to get out of your car. Most animals are often camouflaged and thus you might not see them, but they definitely saw you even before you reached their location. Stay in your car and don’t approach animals too closely, especially elephants.

Avoid making noise and always keep your camera and hands inside the car; you might not like what the cats might do, so it’s best to stay safe. Hippos are the most dangerous of the wild animals you’ll see, followed by mosquitoes. They are aggressive when upset and thus you must never do anything that upsets the wild animals.


4. Create a Budget

Even with enough savings to spend on your safari vacation, create a budget to ensure you only spend on necessary things. Opt for self-drive for the best value for your money, atop the freedom and independence that comes with it. You’ll also save on air charter and private guide fees.

Spend the money on other things after the safari. For instance, you could go for a hot-air ballooning excursion. Low seasons are the best time to travel as prices are often 30% to 40% cheaper than in high peak seasons. Lodges that charge in local currencies are cheaper than those charging in dollars; opt for the former if you’re vacationing on a budget.


5. Book Your Accommodation

Choose a lodge offering services in line with your needs, preferences, and budget. Are the wildlife activities on offer varied? Does your safari lodge have a conservation policy to look after both the locals and the environment? Opt for communal dining for an intimate experience as you socialize with guides and other tourists. If you need help booking and planning, consider booking through Leopard Tours. They offer safari vacations in Africa at the most competitive rates.

Whichever part of Africa you decide to go for a safari, you need to prepare well, pack the necessities and plan your trip. The need to create a budget goes without saying.