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Prepare Yourself For the Great USA Road Trip

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Image Credit: Pexels - CC0 Licence 


The USA is one of the most varied countries in the world. From the bright lights and skyscrapers of New York to the steep depths of the Grand Canyon, the cold climes of Alaska to the heat of the desert in Arizona, the USA has everything you could ever want plus one more thing: an infrastructure that begs for road-tripping tourists. 

The Great USA Road trip can lead you from coast to coast, north to south or any route you so choose. While Route 66 is best known, the reality is that you probably know exactly what you want to see and will switch between routes as you see fit. 

So what do you need to make the Great USA Road trip for yourself?

Curiosity

Curiosity is an essential for every traveler. You probably wouldn’t step outside your front door without it, let alone board a plane or get behind the wheel of a car! The best way to feed your curiosity is to pursue it. 

While you should definitely think about where you want to go and what you want to see before you set off, you should also give yourself a chance to deviate a little. If maps aren’t your thing, having travel wi-fi will certainly ease your ability to navigate. Plus, the more you explore online, the more inspired you will be to travel and see different things. Visit https://www.travel-wifi.com/en/pocket-wifi-usa for more information. 

Time

It takes around 50 hours to get from Seattle to Miami and around 46 hours to get from New York to San Francisco. But you might like to include time to rest, explore and discover new places along the way! Planning the perfect road trip is all about working out your travel time, where you would like to stay and adding enough flexibility to ensure you can follow your heart too. 

The more time you can dedicate to your travels, the easier it will be to pursue whims as they appear. You might be able to fit in a short trip over a week but if you really want to let loose, you could easily spend an entire month on the road and have an amazing time. 

Spirit

If you begin your travels in the right spirit, you will discover everything you needed to find. Travel isn’t about staying in luxury hotels or spending a fortune, you can even do New York on a shoestring budget. Instead, travel is about opening your mind and waiting for new ideas to enter your head. 

Every time you go somewhere new, try to see it for what it is and not what you might have expected from a brochure or a blog post. Allow yourself the honesty to see beauty everywhere and trust your instincts as you explore further. 

The Great USA Road Trip is all about discovery. Imagine the first tourists going from Illinois down to California to see the West Coast for the first time and channel their excitement. Exploration and discovery is embedded into American culture; anyone can live the dream. 

Old School Ways to Save Money

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Saving money is tough. Most of us have large outgoings, such as housing and utilities. You might also have mounting debt that needs paying off, and unfortunately, most of us live paycheck to paycheck, never managing to save, or put aside any extra money to cover unexpected expenses or price hikes. Living like this can mean that one bad month is all it takes to see you slip into financial uncertainty. That’s why money-saving tools are so popular. There are countless apps out there offering to help you to save, to manage your money, to balance your books or to clear your debts faster. There are advisers that you can go to, and plenty of modern methods to help you with your finances.

But, that doesn’t mean that the old school ways to save money can’t still be effective. In fact, most of them are so easy that you really shouldn’t be without them. Use new tools, but don’t neglect old school ways to save. Here’s a look at some of the best. 

Walking
Image - Unsplash

Walking is one of the best ways that you can save money, and it’ll give you a nice free workout too. You might have wondered if public transport would be cheaper than the associated costs that come with a car, but walking would be even better. Even if you just walked distances less than 30 minutes, and drove the rest of the time, you could save a fortune in fuel and parking. 

Couponing

Couponing is a great way to save cash on everything from your weekly grocery shop to big family days out. If you are guilty of picking up or cutting out coupons but then forgetting about them until after they have expired, learn how to organize your coupons to make sure you get the most out of them. Be sure to check magazines, newspapers and online sites for the best coupons, but try not to buy anything that you wouldn’t usually. 

Staying In

Days out with the family are expensive. Even if you take a packed lunch, you might pay for admission, parking, fuel, souvenirs and other extras. Nights out and meals out can be even worse. So, start staying in. Find ways to have fun at home with your kids, and look for great date night recipes that you can make at home. 

Putting a Jumper On

Over the winter months, heating can be one of our greatest expenses, but it’s essential. However, by finding alternative ways to heat your home, and taking simple steps like putting a jumper on and closing doors, you could save a fortune. 

With a Piggy Bank

Piggy banks are great. Every time you’ve got less than a dollar in your wallet or purse, put the coins in your piggy bank. It soon adds up when you don’t spend them. 

Live a Cash-Only Life

There are two ways to live a cash-only life, and you should consider both. The first is to withdraw a set amount of cash from the bank at the start of every week. That’s what you have to spend outside of your bills. Don’t allow yourself to use cards. If you don’t have the cash, you can’t afford it. 

The other is to avoid buying with credit. Again, if you can’t afford it there and then, you can’t afford it at all. Get into the habit of saving for what you want, instead of taking credit.

4 Painless Ways To Pick Yourself Up Again


It’s strange, this life. The way the world behaves stays pretty consistent. Nothing really naturally changes rapidly. The planet and the universe are just the same as they always were, and will continue to be like this. Us, on the other hand? Well, we like to fluctuate, don’t we? As we said, the natural world doesn’t do anything but attempt to stay alive, but when we’re down, it can feel as though it’s doing its best hurt us or stop us from getting what we want.

We know that life is all about balance. Whether you believe in the likes of karma or not, you can’t argue with the fact that what goes around really does seem to come back around. Balance is seemingly needed in all aspects of life. That doesn’t stop the hardships from being difficult, though, huh? We tend to always bounce back, but the low points can sometimes have a lasting effect if they aren’t handled well.

That’s why we have to react well and do something to pick ourselves back up again. It’s not easy – it can often feel like a mountain climb, but it’s always possible, and we know this. We all have different ways of dealing with things, but there are practices that we can all do to that can pull ourselves out of the mire. Let’s quickly look at some now:   

Eat Good And Exercise

When you’re down, you can often neglect food. Your mind isn’t in the right place, so your brains sometimes closes the stomach. It’s an odd thing, but it’s a frequent one. Make sure you’re getting at least three healthy square meals in. When you’re hungry, your mind starts to overthink even more than it already is, and that’s not good at all – you don’t want to spiral further.

In terms of exercise, well, it’ll make your fitter, obviously. You’ll also be mentally stimulated because of the chemicals your brain releases. Endorphins are a wonderful thing, and if you’re down, then it’s best to feel the rush of as many as you can.

Talk

Open up about your issue(s). You’ll benefit massively from the shift of weight, and you’ll probably get all of the support in the world from the person/people you tell. They’ll be able to tackle your problem(s) with you and give you a different perspective of things.

If you elect to choose someone you trust in your friendship circle or your family, then that’s a good idea. It also might be smart to consult a therapist: not only will they give you a lot more info, but you’ll feel a lot more comfortable with them due to their authority and standing.   

Spoil Yourself With Retail Therapy

Buying stuff for yourself helps a lot. If you have the money, then go for it. Even if you’re not exactly a material human being, you can still benefit from having nice things around you. It does make a different – even the most cynical people would agree. Whether you’re getting yourself some new custom jordans, a new bed, or a new car, the purchase will probably boost your mood by upping your quality of life some.  

Vacation!

If you got a little more money to spend, then there aren’t many better things to do than getting away from the things that are getting you down. Everyone needs a vacation to recharge and restore. They’re especially needed if you’re in a major funk.

Five Issues That Will Kill Home Offers

Tuesday, August 13, 2019



Are you thinking about selling your home? You shouldn’t underestimate the potential value of a home sale. If you get the right offer, you can make a huge profit on a purchase that you may have paid potentially half for. It can be a rapid way to double your finances, seemingly overnight. But how does a home sale like this happen?

Well, it’s certainly not the reality for everyone with a property on the market. Many people will have to settle for selling their home at a house where they break even or somewhere below their initial asking price. To secure a successful home sale where you actually make money, you need the right level of offers. You need to make sure that people are interested in buying your home. 

Many people think that this is about adding things to their property. For instance, they focus on increasing the curb appeal or perhaps investing in a few unique features for the interior. But, you have to remember that buyers are investing in what’s inside your property. They want the land and want the four walls. Everything else is a bonus or will go with you when you move. That’s why there are some problems that can make a home sale a big old bust. You need to make sure that you are fixing these issues before you put your property on the market. Let’s look at a few of the problems that you do need to focus on. 

Roof Trouble

You probably don’t spend that much time worrying about what’s going on with your roof. It’s certainly not like you spend all day looking up at it. However, we guarantee you that a buyer will immediately turn their attention to the roof. So, what will they see?

Well, they might notice moss growing on the roof. Now you might love this and a lot of people do. It provides the home with something similar to a fairytale cottage aesthetic. However, roofers have another way of viewing it and that’s as a potential disaster that certainly needs fixing. They’re right of course. Moss is actually eating the slate of your home and will eventually cause problems with leaks, letting water into the home. You definitely want to avoid this if you can and you can. This requires you to clean the moss off the roof and potentially replace some of the slates that have already seen some damage. 

You may also have an issue with some missing roof slates. Again, this might not bother you too much, particularly if you haven’t noticed any problems with damp. But don’t for a moment think that a buyer will be happy with this. They’ll view it as a sign that your home has seen better days. At the very least, it will make them think twice about putting down a large offer on your property. 

You should contact a roofer immediately to check the fixes that you can make to your roof which will still fit into your budget. 

Issues With Insects

‘Don’t worry about the ants’ is not a phrase that’s going to fly when you’re showing people around your home. They won’t take your word that they only come into the house once through the year and are easy to deal with. They also won’t accept that this isn’t a major issue. It is a major issue because buyers are always looking for their dream home. If they’re not looking for their dream home, they’re considering investing in a fixer-upper. Unfortunately, you will never get the money you want for a fixer-upper. That’s why you need to avoid the perception that your home is one. Insects are a big concern for buyers. Particularly if it seems there’s an infestation. 

Now, you might be thinking perhaps it’s okay because something like a nest is easy to deal with. You just need a pro. While this is true and you can find things like hornet nest removal tips easily online, buyers will expect you to do this long before you sell. Otherwise, they will certainly take it out on what they are willing to offer you for the home. 


Danger

Anything that can be considered dangerous or even slightly unsafe in your home must be fixed. Don’t forget, your main target buyer is probably going to be a young couple who are looking to start a family. They don’t want to have to deal with any issues with safety as soon as they move in. This could be anything from a loose floorboard to something more dramatic like for instance issues with wiring. It’s something that you need to iron out immediately as soon as you start to think about selling. You should not include this in the terms and conditions of the sale that you’ll fix things before you leave. 

A Cluttered Attic


Is your attic or basement filled with junk and rubbish? Are you something of a hoarder? Well, you need to make sure that you’re cleaning out this space before you sell. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you want to show off space. It’s difficult to do this when there’s not even a square foot of space free from them to explore. The other fact is that they may not trust you to clear it out before you leave. 

This is a big problem where owners just leave the rubbish behind because they can’t be bothered visiting the landfill or getting it cleared out by a professional company. It can be enough to turn off a potential buyer completely and ensure that they leave your home well alone. 

Unkempt Garden

Finally, first impressions are everything when you are selling your home. You only get one chance to dazzle a buyer. That’s why you should be focusing on your garden. Keep the grass short as this will make the area look significantly larger and do consider how to improve the landscaping. If you do this, you can send the right impression that your home is well maintained and properly cared for. 




Tips For Buying A Car On A Budget

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Buying a car is certainly an expensive commodity and one that never really ends up bringing you any financial gain when you come to sell it. So it’s important that you pick a car that’s budget-friendly and that does what you need it to do. So here are some tips for buying a car on a budget.


Look At The Financial Options Available
There are different financial options available, depending on where you buy the car from. There’s going to be a lot more on offer when you buy from a car dealership, as buying from a second-hand seller is going to require you to have the money readily available upfront. With payment plans available, you have the opportunity to pay off your car on a monthly basis or at least have some wiggle room in terms of financing for your car. Always do your research when it comes to how much your car is likely to cost. Think about whether you want to drive a manual or an automatic. Consider what you want in the car and whether you can afford certain features or whether you can go without them over cost.

You want to have a car that you are comfortable driving and therefore don’t need to work about getting into an accident and having to deal with an auto accident lawyer. So pick a car that is going to suit your needs and requirements before considering the financial options.

Compare Dealerships And Haggle
A lot of car dealerships are going to be working competitively to get customers through their doors, test driving the cars and hopefully signing for a vehicle. As a customer, you hold most of that power and therefore, it’s important to do your car shopping at different dealerships to compare the cost of the cars. You’ll probably find a few price differences in comparison, and then you can go with the cheaper of the options to save you money. Don’t forget that it’s worth haggling with the dealership in order to see if there can be any other costs or discounts applied as a new customer or existing customer. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Trade-In Your Old Car
If you have a car already that you want to sell, you may as well trade-in your old car with the dealership. It’ll knock down the price, and you never know, it could give you a discount on the new car!

Bring A Car-Savvy Buddy
Not all of us are car experts, and this may well be the first car you are buying. Regardless, if you aren’t a car-savvy person then why not bring a buddy along with you who has all of the experience? They can then tell you whether it’s a good option or if you can get more for your money elsewhere. They can ask the questions that you maybe wouldn’t have thought of before and can query anything that you don’t understand. 

Cars don’t need to be so expensive, and with the right tips, you can get your next car on a budget!

“Nothing You Wear Is More Important Than Your SMILE!”

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Just in time for Back To School- and hey -for fun lovin' moms and dads too! Smile Sox!




New SMILE! SOX Brand Lets Kids- Express Their Inner Joy, Goofiness, Grumpiness & Happiness with Colorful, Fun & Versatile Collection of Affordably Durable Socks

SMILE! SOX Family Includes Smiley, Goofy, Grumpy, Happy, Jolly & Winky; New Collection Created By Sock Industry Leader Keepers International
Taking the phrase “Nothing You Wear Is More Important Than Your SMILE!” to boldly expressive new heights, an innovative new brand called SMILE! SOX is being introduced to help everyone from little kids to young tweens and women share their innermost feelings in the most creative, colorful, and eye-catching manner possible.


 SMILE! SOXare also ideal gifts to mail to out-of-town family members and friends with kids, to give as get well presents, to surprise your children with during back-to-school time and – in a few short months – to wrap up as holiday presents.

Watch what is coming soon too for Halloween!

Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner! 
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Giveaway winner - IG- pamalot28

** Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to contact us before a new winner is selected.
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Tips On Challenging Yourself In Life

Wednesday, August 7, 2019




We can challenge ourselves with many things in life. Whether it’s taking on the challenges that come our way in our personal lives or what’s possible within our working life. We all have that spark and passion for something. So here are some tips on challenging yourself in life.


Travel More
Traveling is so important in creating a more well-rounded you. It opens your eyes to new experiences and parts of the world that are so different from the bit you live in. So traveling more is something that is great for challenging any fears or reservations you may have about going to certain areas of the world. Whether there’s a history of conflict or it’s a type of adventure that’s different to what you would normally do, why not give it a go. Why not consider cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia? What an exciting yet challenging experience that would be.

Say Yes 
A lot of our fears stem from personal experience, and it can be difficult sometimes to put yourself in that place because, for many, it can be too much. However, you should never let fear control you and the things you want to do in life. Start by saying yes to more and stop yourself if you say no to something that might actually be something that you are more than capable of doing. It may seem scary now, but saying yes more often is probably going to change your experiences for the better.

Dedicate Yourself To Something New Every Once And A While
Hobbies and things we do outside of our work life are something to be enjoyed to the fullest. Often enough though, some of us will commit to something new for a brief moment in time, and then it never sees the light of day again. And this is sad because it might be a thing that you could actually get a lot of fulfillment and enjoyment out of. So find something new like reading a book or going for a regular run every morning and dedicate yourself to that thing for longer than just a few days. Try to make it something that you do on a regular basis and continue to find more things that will bring you joy to your life. 

Save Money
Money comes and goes, but what is it about money leaving, our wallets faster than it does going in? That in itself can be a challenge, but saving your money is certainly something that’s possible. Look at your monthly income and what you usually spend and then think of ways that you can help cut back or save money in general. Maybe it would be worth having a financial goal to work towards so that you can continue to motivate yourself in saving money. 

Challenging yourself in life is a great way of building character and becoming a more well educated and experienced individual. So try these tips today in your own life and see what difference it makes to you.



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How to Create a Child Friendly Garden - That You will Love Too

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


We all love to spend time in our backyards - don’t we?  Long, lazy afternoons on the sun lounger with a cool drink, perhaps...perfect!



But when the kids come along, and we spruce up the garden - our ideas can be a bit more practical than creative.  We want the space to be safe - and somewhere they can have fun, of course.  But your backyard should still be beautiful - and you should enjoy it - too.

How to make your garden safe - and beautiful

First off, you need to make the area safe - as we said - so let’s take a look at how you can do that effectively.

One of the most important things to think about, with young toddlers, is containing your garden securely.  Especially to prevent them escaping to the road. But you don’t need to choose an ugly wire fence - a low hedge woven with hazel hurdles or dense shrubs will work perfectly.  And look beautiful. 

Provide a soft landing

Creating a soft landing space is also important - so consider replacing gravel with lawn or bark chips, perhaps.  Just watch the size of chips with very small toddlers. You could also seed your lawn with a few safe herbs or moss, to make them extra soft underfoot.  And create extra interest.

If you have raised decks, you don’t have to abandon them - just add banisters. But make sure any ponds you have are covered - or fill them in.  



As they get a bit older, start thinking about ways to encourage children to plant their own flowers and vegetables. And make the garden an educational, as well as a fun place to be.  Pick plants that are easy to grow, like sunflowers - and also add great impact. Then watch their delight as they spring into life.

Make it eco friendly

Wildflowers are beautiful, easy to grow and very on trend - so this is another great idea to consider.  And it only takes a few cheap boxes of seed to create something really special. You’ll reap the rewards in the increase in wildlife.  And you can teach your children about the importance of pollinators to the ecosystem - or sustainability. Maybe you could even introduce a few bird feeders too?

Introduce water as they get older

As the kids get older, they will be able to safely enjoy a proper water feature, or even a swimming pool - if you have the space and budget. Installing privacy screens is a great idea because they protect them from insects and harmful UV rays.  As well as keeping their pooltime fun safer and more private.

Include an adult area 

Remember not to give over your entire garden to the children. It's worth creating a space that's really adult-friendly, too. Maybe screen it off to stop balls flying in - and give you some privacy.  But remember teenagers will love to spend time in a quieter area as well. So, like everything we’ve described here - it provides something for everyone.




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