5 Things You Should Always Do before Traveling

September 12, 2023


In the excitement that comes with booking a new trip and preparing to travel to an exotic new location, it is not unusual for people to forget about various aspects of travel that will definitely make things go more smoothly for them.


That being the case, below are 5 things you should always do before traveling. Make a note of them and don't forget to put them into action before you hit the airport!


1. Your Homework


At the very core of any successful trip is well-conducted research. Yes, spontaneous adventures have their own charm, but having a well-researched plan can save you from so many different kinds of trouble when you are off traveling, and there really is no reason not to collect all of the travel information you will need from visa advice to cultural norms, now that the internet has all the answers. Understanding the nitty-gritty details, from transportation options to neighborhood safety, can make your trip more enjoyable and less stressful.


2. Notify Your Bank


An often overlooked, but incredibly important step is notifying your bank about your travel plans. This will prevent any potential freezes on your account due to what might seem like 'suspicious activity' in a foreign land. Additionally, research the currency and possibly get some exchanged before you depart to avoid high fees at airport kiosks.


3. Make Sure Things at Home are Safe


Before you head off on your next thrilling adventure, wherever your ticket may be taking you, it’s a really good idea to ensure that your home is as safe as… well, as safe as houses. Arrange for someone to collect your mail or pause the service temporarily. Set up timed lights to deter burglars, and unplug appliances to prevent any accidents and save energy. This will give you the peace of mind that you need to really be able to enjoy your vacation with gusto.


4. Take Copies of Important Documents


It’s also never a bad idea to take copies of your important documents, namely your passport, travel itinerary, and insurance policies. If possible, use a digital scanning app on your smartphone to do so, that way you will always have a copy available on your phone to show if you should be unlucky enough to lose the originals. Hopefully, the worst won’t happen, but if your documents are lost or solemn, having a backup will make your life so much easier.


5. Health Precautions


It’s important to take your health seriously when you are going to be travelling out of the country for a while. So, be sure to check if you require any vaccinations for the region you're visiting, and stock up on necessary medications and first aid essentials you may need. It’s always better to be prepared than to scramble in an unfamiliar place and try to explain your medical needs to someone who may not speak the same language as you.


If you do these 5 things before you head off go on  your travels, you will not regret it. Have a great trip!


Stacking Your Domain: The Offbeat Guide to Becoming an Expert!

September 11, 2023

Ever wonder how some people seem to become experts in their field? Well, let us share a secret - they didn't get there by accident. Like a game of Jenga, becoming an expert requires carefully stacking - though unlike Jenga it won't topple over! Let's take a closer look at how you can bolster your domain to become one in your own field!


Choose Your Blocks Wisely

Like building a Jenga tower requires careful placement of each block, becoming an expert requires taking an equally strategic approach when selecting knowledge and skills you gain along the way. Just like no square peg should fit into a round hole, don't waste your time learning information that won't further your field - focus on research findings that will propel you forward, industry trends to follow closely, as well as tapping into wisdom gained from those with more experience than yourself - these blocks make up your expertise!


Learn, Baby, Learn!

Just like a toddler exploring their first toy, it's essential that you make every effort to familiarise yourself with every corner and cranny of your field. Examine every last detail; the ones others may overlook could often hold key insights for finding success in your field. Don't be scared to get involved! Jump into projects, take on challenges, and don't fear failure as part of the learning process; mistakes happen! So soak up knowledge, practice skills until mastery comes naturally over time - expertise is a never ending journey of growth and discovery!


Network Like a Boss!

Have you thought of networking as "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?" No? Well, let's change that! Networking doesn't involve just exchanging business cards in an office environment - it involves making connections both online and off, which can help your career. Attend industry shindigs, participate on LinkedIn groups, join online forums, and attend webinars - your network is one of your greatest assets; having strong ties can open doors to opportunities otherwise unavailable - get out there or online now and start meeting people like a boss!


Share the Love! 

As you've worked to develop your knowledge base, now is the time to share the wealth and be an active part of your community by mentoring others, imparting your wisdom and giving guidance. Consider this: Why let all that knowledge just gather dust in your mind? Put it to use by blogging, hosting webinars, speaking at events or simply having coffee with someone from your field who needs guidance. Hire a video production agency to upload your insights onto YouTube for everyone to view, and this can be an effective way to showcase your expertise - you may even make new connections! Remember that sharing isn't solely about giving; it can bring unexpected treasures in unexpected forms! Share love freely as knowledge tends to return when spread around - just don't expect any return!


Conclusion: Becoming an Expert Jenga Champion

Acing Jenga doesn't require a mad dash towards the finish line - rather, it requires an epic journey over many rounds and years, carefully selecting blocks carefully while learning as you go along, networking with fellow Jenga players and enjoying every step of the journey! Remember it is not about building the tallest stack but creating something lasting which stands the test of time so get stacking!


Summer Cocktails from Sparkling Ice

September 4, 2023

Image Source: Unsplash

Summer is here, and there's no better way to beat the heat than with a refreshing cocktail in hand. Whether you're lounging by the pool, hosting a backyard barbecue, or simply relaxing on the porch, summer cocktails are the perfect companion for those long, sunny days. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore a variety of delicious summer cocktail recipes that will keep you cool, hydrated, and satisfied all season long. From classic favorites to creative twists, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So, let's raise our glasses and dive into the world of summer cocktails!



 



Kick back and sip on peachy refreshment with a basil-infused vodka mule and zero-sugar Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine.
 
Ingredients
Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine
Ginger beer
Lime juice
Vodka
Basil
 
Garnish (optional)
Basil
Peaches
Limes
 
How to Make it:
In a copper mug filled with ice, add vodka and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Bruise basil leaves and drop them into the mug. Fill with equal parts ginger beer and Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine. Stir and garnish with basil and a peach slice.
 
 
 


Cool off from the summer heat with our Watermelon Vodka Cooler.
 
Ingredients
5 oz Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon
1 oz vodka
.5 oz Peach Schnapps
 
Garnish (optional)
Watermelon cubes
Strawberries slices
Featured flavor
 
How to Make it:
Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Pour in vodka and peach schnapps. Fill with Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon. Stir gently to mix.
 
 
 
 


ApĂ©rol, anyone? Unwind with friends over snacks and a classic aperitif perked up with the fruity flavor of Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon.
 
Ingredients
4 oz Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon
1 oz Aperol
.5 oz gin
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
2 strawberries
Mint
 
Garnish (optional)
Strawberry slices
Mint
Featured flavor
 
How to Make it:
In a tall glass muddle strawberries and Mint. Fill glass with ice and add a squeeze of lime juice.  Add gin and Aperol. Fill Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon. Garnish with mint and strawberries.
 
 
 



Feel like you’re cruising down the boardwalk with this tasty tropical rum concoction made with zero-sugar Sparkling Ice.
 
Ingredients
1.5 oz white rum
3 oz pineapple juice
3 oz Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple
 
Garnish (optional)
Nutmeg
 
How to Make it:
Add white rum and pineapple juice to a shaker. Add ice. Stir and strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass. Top with Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg.
 
 







What Hobbies Can Make Your Home Look Great

When you think about it, you’ll see that your home is a reflection of your personality and interests (or at least, it should be), so it’s important to give it some character (and show off your own character). One way to do this is to take up hobbies that aren’t just fun for you, but that can actually improve your home too, making it look and feel great. With that in mind, here are some hobbies you might be interested in trying; read on to find out more. 

Gardening 

Gardening is a hobby that can literally breathe life into your home, and entirely transform it into something gorgeous that you’ll love. If you can turn your outdoor space into a lush, beautiful garden filled with colourful flowers, fragrant herbs, and neat shrubs, you’ll have something lovely to look at from your windows, and you might be able to bring some of the outside inside if you use the herbs for cooking or pick flowers to decorate your home with. 


In fact, if you have limited outdoor space, indoor plants can be a great solution, and they can still form a hobby. Plus, not only is taking care of houseplants enjoyable, but they purify the air, making your home healthier too. 


Candle Making 

Candle making is a creative hobby that allows you to create some stunning candles that work well with your home - whatever colour palette you might have, whatever style your home is, whatever you like, in other words, you can make a candle that fits right in. 


Get candle making supplies so you can experiment with various shapes, colours, and even smells to create candles that enhance your interior decor - once you’ve designed ones you’re happy with, you can place them strategically around your home to make things feel good. 


Photography 

Photography is a fascinating hobby that, although it seems simple, involves a lot of learning and experimenting - you’ll never really be done when it comes to photography because there’s always something new to learn and new techniques to try out, so it’s definitely something you can do for many years and not get bored. 


When it comes to making your home look great, photography easily fits the bill. You can turn your photographs into art to hang on the walls or have in frames on shelves or furniture, and whether they’re family days out or stunning landscapes, you can be proud of the fact that you took those photos. If they happen to bring up some happy feelings and memories as well, that’s even better, as they’ll make your home truly yours and a place where you love spending time.  


Furniture Making 

Making your own furniture might not be a hobby that suits everyone, but if you do like the idea of it, not only might you find an activity you really enjoy, but you’ll be able to craft some practical elements for your home, from coffee tables to chairs to shelving, and much more besides. 


What’s even better is that, unless you want to stick to a particular style or theme, you can experiment with all kinds of different ideas because the rustic look will bring everything together, so nothing looks too out of place.


4 Ways to Cope if Your AC is Broken

August 29, 2023

There's nothing more irritating than having your HVAC stop working on you.Whether it's the height of summer and you suddenly find yourself in need of cooling down, or if it's the middle of winter and your heater has stopped working, you need to ensure that if your AC is broken, you have ways to fix it or cope in the meantime.


You don't want to lose your cool when the AC breaks down, so it's obvious that the first thing that you'll do is call for AC repair services. The next thing that you need to do after that is read on for the rest of this article. In it, we will talk you through four ways that you can cope if your AC has broken.


  • Use fans where you can. Choosing to operate a fan at high speed is one of the most effective ways that you can keep your house cool without a working AC. Fans do have a tendency to move the warm air around though, so the best thing that you can do is add a couple of bottles of frozen water in front of it so that the air hits off of the bottles and resonates around the room. Of course, fans will only cool you for so long and it won't drop the temperature of the room, but with this ice hack it can help.

  • Cool your body. If your AC has broken and it's a humid week, then you need to do what you can to cool your body down. By putting a wet towel around your shoulders or around your neck, as well as dipping your feet into cool water, you can ensure that you reduce your body's temperature. Wearing cotton or lighter clothing can also help. This and this will keep you cooler for longer. When you take a shower, try not to make it too cold, otherwise your body will try to heat you up the second you come out of it. The best thing that you can do is to have a warm shower and drip dry.

  • Turn down the heat. A practical way to call your house down when the AC is broken is to decrease the amount of heat used inside the house. One of the best ways to do this is to start cooking outside so that you don't have to heat up the house with the stove or the oven.Your house can become scorching if you want to cook, but when the AC unit is broken, that's not going to be very comfortable.

  • Get the AC repaired ASAP. We already talked about AC repair services, but you do need to consider.How quickly you can get those repairs completed. A broken AC unit is a huge inconvenience and if this malfunction happens during the height of summer, you will feel uncomfortable and frustrated. You can quickly resolve any issues by ensuring that you search for emergency services who can come out to you as soon as they can.

5 Benefits of Oxygen Facials for Glowing Skin

August 20, 2023

Touted as the latest beauty trend, oxygen facials are a great way to keep your skin healthy and glowing. This treatment involves spraying highly concentrated oxygen molecules into the skin's surface to nourish it.

It encourages collagen production, which helps your cells bind together for firmer and more elastic skin. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Increases Cell Turnover

Oxygen facials are a quick way to rejuvenate your skin. They are typically performed at a spa, where an aesthetician uses a wand or sprays the face with oxygen, botanical extracts, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and minerals. The result is healthy, radiant skin with a gorgeous glow.

The facial also promotes collagen production to help prevent wrinkles. Collagen binds skin cells together, which results in firmer skin and increased elasticity. As we age, the production of collagen in our body decreases, which leads to the development of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. However, an oxygen facial can help stimulate collagen production, helping to maintain firm and healthy skin.

If your skin is dull, an oxygen facial will re-energize and restore its natural color. This treatment helps the face look brighter, primarily with a dermaplaning treatment, which removes dead skin and vellus hair.

An oxygen facial can also help clear acne and reduce oily skin, reducing the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. This treatment diminishes pore appearance so they cannot accumulate dust, dirt, and bacteria, which helps prevent acne.

Reduces Acne

The hyaluronic acid in an oxygen facial helps moisturize skin and boost its elasticity, resulting in firmer and plumper skin. Moreover, the enriching serums employed in this facial can diminish the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Its treatment is also effective for eliminating dry skin, boosting a radiant glow, and improving overall complexion.

Oxygen facials for glowing skin can help reduce acne by preventing pores from clogging with oil, dirt, or dead skin cells. In addition, these facials can help prevent future breakouts by increasing the rate at which new skin cells grow and reducing inflammation from previous blemishes.

While skincare experts will tell you that consistent care is critical to glowing skin, an oxygen facial is a quick fix for those looking to get their glow on quickly. This non-invasive treatment will give you a gorgeous light for a big event or a new LinkedIn photo.

Detoxifies Skin

Through the removal of toxins and pollutants, oxygen facials aid in the detoxification of the skin. They also help improve the complexion and bring out that natural blush on your cheeks. It is because they open up clogged pores and allow the skin to soak up all that hyaluronic acid or other powerhouse ingredients in the serums used during this treatment.

Incorporating these ingredients into your daily skincare regimen can effectively enhance collagen synthesis, leading to visibly firmer and smoother skin with minimized fine lines and wrinkles. They can also help in reducing sun damage and healing acne scars. In addition, oxygen facials can also hydrate the skin.

Our skin cells have a limited lifetime. When they die, new ones replace them. Oxygen is crucial for cell regeneration, which helps increase cell turnover rate. It can aid in the faster healing of acne scars and blemishes. Besides, it can also prevent premature aging and make your skin look healthier.

Reduces Redness

Oxygen facials boost oxygen to the skin, which helps improve cell turnover and reduce redness caused by environmental factors like pollution. It promotes healing and increases product penetration for healthier, more vibrant skin.

The oxygen facial is an exceptional method to effectively diminish the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles and enhance skin tone. It also helps clear pores of bacteria and oil that can cause acne breakouts. The results are immediately visible and last up to six days. It's no wonder celebrities count on this facial treatment for gorgeous glowing skin before a big event or Zoom video call at work.

Oxygen facials are non-invasive, non-surgical, and safe for all skin types and colors. They deliver a brighter, more even complexion and can be combined with other treatments like dermaplaning for enhanced results. 

No Downtime

Oxygen facials are an excellent choice to rejuvenate your skin before special events like weddings or photoshoots. These facials, which use the oxygen-infused serum to nourish and hydrate the skin, are completely non-invasive and require no downtime. They'll leave your skin feeling refreshed and looking radiant without any hassles. They provide instant hydration, strengthen collagen, brighten dull skin, and boost radiance.

This beauty treatment involves a machine spraying highly concentrated oxygen molecules straight into your epidermis. Often, the oxygen is infused with minerals, essential nutrients, and botanical extracts to nourish your skin further. Celebrities use this technique for smoother and plumper skin.

The oxygen-rich serums used in an oxygen facial may contain hyaluronic acid, which helps your skin retain moisture for longer. The face's hydration can make it look radiant and glowing, especially after the face's pores are unclogged and rid of dust, dirt, and oil that clogs them.

There isn't much research on the efficacy of oxygen facials, but anecdotally many people report that their skin looks healthy and bright after a session. Some products promise to increase the frequency of your skin's natural cell turnover, making it more glow-worthy and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

These Daily Tips will Keep your Family Much More Active

August 16, 2023

Do you feel as though your family isn’t quite as active as they could be? If so then now is the time for you to make a positive change. 


Put an Emphasis on Fun


The first thing you need to do is emphasize fun. Help your child to find a sport that they love and enjoy. If you have an 8-year old then they may not be ready to try weightlifting, but running could be a really good activity for them. Soccer and riding a bike can also be very good activities to help your child to gain more confidence. 




Plan Ahead


Make sure that your child has a convenient time to exercise. You also need to make sure that they are aware of this, so you are not fighting an uphill battle trying to get them outside more. If you want to help your child then you need to make sure that they are not too bogged down with responsibilities, to exercise. If they have a lot of chores to do, then give them a break for a day or two so that they can spend more time in the great outdoors. This is a great way for you to support their overall health.


Provide a Safe Environment


It’s your job as a parent to provide a safe environment for your child. Make sure that any equipment your child uses, and anything that they play with is safe. Provide them with comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the activity as well. If you know that some of the local areas are dangerous for your child, for example, lots of traffic or dogs off the lead then teach them to avoid them. If your child has been bitten by a dog in a public place in the past, then now could be the time for you to hire a dog bite injury lawyer. When limiting your child, you need to make sure that you provide them with suitable alternatives, so they can then still make the most out of their outdoor experience.


Provide Active Toys


Young children tend to need easy access to jump ropes, balls and other fun toys. If a lot of your child’s toys are not active toys then this will work against them. You need to inspire them and you also need to encourage creativity a little. If you can do this then you will soon find that it is easier for them to make the most out of their experience when being active.


Be a Role Model


Kids tend to look up to their parents. You need to try and be a role model where possible. Children who see their parents enjoying sport tend to be way more likely to enjoy it themselves. Sign up with a local sports team and let your kids come and see you play. If you can do this then you will soon find that you can give them someone to look up to.


So as you can see, there are several things you can do to help your child to be more active. Why not see what works for your child, today?


What Men Should Really Know About Buying Engagement Rings


If your significant other has been waiting to say "yes" for so long and you are ready to pop the question but the concept of buying an engagement ring means there are more questions from you than answers, there are a number of significant things that men should know about buying engagement rings. Let's break it down and make it as simple as possible:

Learn the Essentials

Men who go into a jewelry shop with a large wallet and little understanding can be easily taken for a ride by jewelry proprietors. This is why it's essential to learn about engagement rings, especially with regards to the four C's of diamonds - the four C's are clarity, color, carat weight, and cut. These all determine how valuable a diamond is and if it truly is a quality one. It can be a very alien concept, which is why you need to do what you can to find out about diamonds before you step foot in any jewelry shop. And this honest Macy's review is a no-nonsense article that can give you a bit more insight. 

Actually Look at Your Budget

If there's one thing we're good at, it's spending money! But you've got to determine a budget that you are really comfortable with. One of the most common guidelines is that an engagement ring should be a three-month salary, but you've got to have a good look at your financial situation. You may think that if you can give your partner an amazing engagement ring this will make them over the moon, but there's a lot more to it than just giving them an engagement ring. An engagement ring is essentially a promise that you are going to be their supporter. And everybody's having some form of financial crisis or concern right now. You have to truly look at your budget and not get into debt for the sake of an engagement ring, because you will have to plan the wedding, and this can cause even more debt. Be sensible!

Figure Out Their Style Preference

Of course, whether you're getting engaged to a man or a woman, it means there will be different styles and looks here. Everybody's unique, and it's far better for you to be studious and conduct some research and pick up on those cues, especially when they are looking through the display case window. Don't rush this part, because if you get it wrong, it will feel heart-wrenching for you!

The Ethical Considerations

Something that not everybody considers - however, if you are looking for a diamond engagement ring, you need to make sure that it is conflict-free. There are many lab-grown diamonds these days that are purpose-built to give customers peace of mind, but you should also conduct this due diligence at the outset.

Enjoy the Process

It can be incredibly nerve-wracking, especially based on what the end goal is, but you've got to take your time. It is so stressful to find the 110% perfect ring, but you need to trust your instincts. This is meant to be an exciting chapter in your lives together!


5 Tips To Ease Your Worries About Buying A Home


Buying a house is supposed to be a monumental occasion in your life, so why are you so worried? Don’t panic. It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious about buying a property. You ask yourself if you’re making the right decision. You wonder if you can stand staying in the same place for years. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone, and here are five tips to ease your worries about buying a home. 

Remember That It’s Yours 

If you’ve spent your entire life living under someone else’s roof, buying a house is the liberation you need, but it can take time to fully realize that–yes–this house is yours. You have everything you could want, like multiple bedrooms, a kitchen separate from the living room, and even a garden to grow fruit and vegetables. Being responsible for a property is scary, but the benefits massively outweigh any worries. 

You Can Make Improvements to Boost Its Value 

A house is never truly finished. There will always be something you want to improve, whether you renovate the kitchen or add an extension to give you more space. This can increase the property’s value, which is perfect if you’re unsure how to build home equity that will benefit you directly. You may not stay here forever, but when it is time to leave, you should make much more in your initial investment. 

Work With A Reputable Firm

Your real estate agent will impact your home-buying experience significantly. A good agent ensures a smooth and enjoyable process, whereas an unprofessional agent could be the primary source of your stress. As you’ll want to avoid a negative experience, seek referrals and carry out interviews with prospective agents to make sure you find someone perfect for you and your situation. Once you pick the right one, everything else will fall into place easily. 

Research the Area 

You can also ease your worries by researching the area. Several key points need considering, such as schools, access to grocery stores or other essentials, getting out of the area when you need to, and much more. Put together a checklist of everything you need and find a property that offers that. You can also visit the area and spend an evening there to get a better idea of what it is like to live there. 

Complete A Home Inspection 

The last thing you want is to move in and discover there are a myriad of issues within the house. To avoid this, a home inspection should uncover hidden and expensive problems that the current owner or developer will need to fix before you move in. This ensures peace of mind when move-in day finally arrives and you can settle into your new property safely and soundly with your entire life ahead of you. 

Home Sweet Home 

Buying a house is stressful and there will be more than one occasion when you second-guess yourself. However, it’s also one of the most exciting times in your life. These tips can help ease your worries and ensure you look forward to the next incredible stage in your life.