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4 Clever Details for the Perfect Winter Wedding

4 Clever Details for the truly Perfect Winter Wedding

Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times of a person’s life — despite the fact that ultimately, it’s all leading up to a great thing! The last thing you want is for that planning stress to take away from the day that you’ll commit yourself to the love of your life. Nonetheless, a 2017 report by WeddingWire revealed that 63% of brides feel a good deal of stress to put on the perfect wedding. Many people worry about choosing a dated theme, or putting on a wedding that their guests can’t fully enjoy. And furthermore, lots of people aim to have truly unique weddings. This is one of the reasons why some couples are steering away from the typical wedding season. Rather than having their weddings during the spring or early summer, they’re choosing to get married during the winter.

4 Clever Details for the Perfect Winter Wedding

There are many benefits to having a winter wedding. For one thing, as this isn’t the typical wedding season, you’ll probably have an easier time reserving the venue that you want for your ideal dates. There can be a lot of competition for space and decor during prime wedding season. Another reason why you may want to aim for a winter wedding is that the rates for everything from venues to event planning services are often lower during the “off season”, saving you money in the long term. Of course, you may be worried about the chills that come with a winter wedding, and for that matter the weather itself. But in fact, winter weather is often less predictable during the spring and the summer, both of which are prone to winter showers. Of course, if you do choose a winter wedding, it’s not enough to just decide on the winter and move on from there. You’ll still want to think about food, decor, and many other details. With that being said, we’re counting down some of our favorite winter wedding ideas — maybe you’ll want to try them out!

1. Ice Sculptures

Of course, ice sculptures may seem to be a bit classic for a winter wedding — but lots of people aren’t sure about investing in them as pieces of decor. A lot of people have the idea that ice sculptures are messy or melt down too quickly. In fact, if kept indoors, a typical ice sculpture lasts four to six hours — which is plenty of time for them to last through your reception if they’re made at the right moment. Ice sculptures can be carved to fit virtually any theme. For that matter, their glass-like appearance simply creates an air of elegance, and they reflect the light beautifully. They should be considered for any winter wedding!

2. Embrace A Wintry Menu

Think of the classic winter foods and beverages that people tend to gravitate towards — and imagine coordinating your menu around them! Offering your guests hot chocolate, or perhaps mulled wine, creates a lovely winter wonderland feeling. People tend to want to eat things that are somewhat heavier during the winter, and you may want to indulge in well-cooked red meat and creamy pastas. With that being said, you’ll want to make sure that all of your guests have something to eat. Veganism is growing increasingly popular, increasing by 600% in the United States over the last three years. It might seem to be a little challenging to create a winter-themed menu that accommodates vegans, but the right caterers will be able to help you.

3. Embrace Seasonal Bouquets And Centerpieces

During the winter, you may feel as if flowers would be out of place. In fact, you can certainly still decorate with flowers, as well as other plants. For your bouquet, you may want to consider seasonal plants. These may not include the giant blooms that we’re regularly used to seeing during the spring or summer, but you can still include holly, berries, and smaller blossoms or winter greens. If you’d like to include natural centerpieces, you can consider some of the same plants; however, you may also want to add in delicate branches, which during the winter will be without flowers but in fact can easily look quite elegant if arranged correctly.

4. Take Advantage Of The Lighting

It’s true that the fact that the natural light window is shorter during the window may create photography challenges. However, dim lighting can also create an amazing opportunity for your venue. For one thing, you can add to the coziness of the experience by using candles to light the room. Not only will the candles enhance the appearance of your venue — they’ll probably add to the warmth as well. You may also want to embrace the similarities between ice and crystal. By decorating with a good amount of crystal — a chandelier could very well help light the room, for example — you’ll be rewarded with the dazzling, ice-like effect of the light bouncing off of the surfaces. And really, you shouldn’t worry too much about photos. The right photographer will be able to get you the results you want. With that being said, you should employ a photographer that has experience in photographing effectively without a lot of natural light.

You don’t have to embrace a winter wonderland theme just because you’re having a winter wedding — but it’s certainly an easy theme for you to take advantage of. Otherwise, you can certainly incorporate the natural beauty of winter into whatever other theme you choose, and ultimately create the wedding of your dreams. Furthermore, saving money by sticking to the off season will open up your budget. What more is there to ask for?

How to Refresh Your Plus Size Wardrobe

How to Refresh Your Plus Size Wardrobe for 2020 and Beyond

Do you stare at your closet morning after morning and think “I have nothing to wear,” while looking at dozens of pieces of clothing? How about walking into work, not feeling as confident as you can because you’ve become bored and uninspired with your wardrobe and didn’t want to put much effort into getting ready? It happens to everyone.

Clothing is a form of self-expression and it says a lot more about us than we think. According to the book that’s been called “the psychology of fashion”, You Are What You Wear, by Jennifer Baumgartner. Clothing and personal style are also things that plus size women turn to in order to cultivate more confidence within themselves. So when our wardrobe doesn’t speak to us, other things in our life like confidence, inspiration, motivation and drive fall to the wayside.

That’s why everyone, at some point—and sometimes more than a couple of times a year—needs to conduct a closet refresh. A plus size wardrobe refresh could either mean investing in new, strategic pieces to help your wardrobe feel current and fresh, or reorganizing your closet to give old pieces a new opportunity to spark confidence and joy for you.

No matter what your next step is to revamp your wardrobe, follow these suggestions to help set you on the right path and get your style game back on point in as little as an hour.

How to Refresh Your Plus Size Wardrobe

Take Inventory

Usually when we lose inspiration or trust in our wardrobe, it’s because we feel like we are missing something–for example, a sharp blazer, a pair of dark wash skinny jeans or a basic white V–neck shirt. We let this idea that we don’t have the right clothing convince us that we will never be able to create the perfect outfit. Before we rip our closet to shreds, it’s important to take inventory of the things we have, the things we need and the things we would like to have.

  1. Write down a list of pieces that you would like to have in your wardrobe that you don’t think you have currently.
  2. Also write down the pieces you love and wear every day that fit you perfectly. If you have time and you’re feeling inspired, think about or write down what it is about these clothes that makes them so special. What characteristics do they possess?

How to Refresh Your Plus Size Wardrobe

Reorganize and Restructure

Before you spend a dime on a new wardrobe, you can rediscover pieces you had previously forgotten about by reorganizing and cleaning out your closet. So let’s get started! If you can, empty everything that is hanging in your closet, but keep these items close by. We are going to go through every item of clothing, so make sure to block out about an hour or two of your time to do this. After this process is complete, you should have a much better idea of exactly which garments are in your closet, and you may find yourself feeling more inspired as you uncover lost items, clothing that still has the tags on it or other pieces that might be old but have a new use in your style. As you go through your closet, make sure you are adding to your inventory list when you realize that you may need to replace damaged clothes or invest in strategic pieces.

  1. Pick a color, like black, and start hanging up all of your black items on one of the far sides of the closet.
  2. As you hang these items up, ask yourself, “Have I worn this within the past three months?” If not, do you plan on wearing it again? If yes, keep the garment and hang it up in the closet. If not, consider donating it. If you don’t like the idea of parting with clothes, place it in a box and if you go 30 days without touching it, donate it. If you go into the box to retrieve it, it’s earned a second chance at life in your closet.
  3. As you hang up clothing by color, start to also organize it by types of garments. Your closet should look something like this: [Black: Dresses | Blouses | Sweaters | Blazers | Pants]; [White: Dresses | Blouses | Sweaters | Blazers | Pants], etc. The reason we are hanging up your clothes by color and then by garment type is so you can get ready faster in the morning, and if things are categorized, you’ll be able to see most things in your closet as you sift through them every day to find the perfect color and garment, rather than have things scattered and get lost.
  4. When you come across seasonal garments that may be good for summer but not winter—like plus size off the shoulder tops – think about how you could style them for the off-season instead of packing them away until next year. Bringing in an off-season piece to an outfit could make a cool addition to one of your favorite looks.
  5. While you are hanging garments up, if you notice that you have a piece of clothing you have been wanting, but forgot you had—like a sharp blazer—cross it off your “need to buy” list we created in the first step.

How to Refresh Your Plus Size Wardrobe

Invest in the Pieces You Need

Now that you have a color- and garment-coordinated wardrobe, you should have a clear vision of the types of pieces you need to invest in to really make your wardrobe pop. Here is some advice to keep in mind while shopping for new additions to your closet.

  1. Stock Up on the Basics – You can never have too many foundational pieces because they are so versatile and are also worn a lot more than statement pieces. Plus size tunics can be a staple in any look and almost every season so don’t be afraid to stock up on them.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Indulge in Accessories – Accessories have a lot more power than we give them. They can make or break an outfit, as well as take it from one style to the next. If you notice you’re running low on accessories that could diversify some of the basic items you have in your closet, think about what pieces you may need and prioritize spending for those as well.
  3. Keep Quality in Mind – While we may always be on the hunt for the best bargain, the greatest value for you is within the longevity of your clothing. Invest in high-quality plus size jeans that fit you well, feel comfortable and will last. If you need to splurge on a high-quality item, make sure that it’s something that can be worn for many different occasions and with different outfits. For example, you’ll definitely want to purchase a pair of dark wash skinny jeans rather than velvet plaid leggings because the jeans are classic, and they will carry you through many seasons and multiple years. Whereas the leggings will be trendy for a season and then they will just collect dust in your closet.

Now that you have an organized closet that is easy and efficient to navigate and you have identified the pieces you need to enhance your plus size wardrobe, you should be feeling inspired and ready to dress to the nines.

American Craft Spirits Association

Sensible Ways To Stay Safe and Drink Responsibly This Holiday Season

Consuming a little too much alcohol during a special holiday event can be as popular as a June wedding, which makes up 15% of all weddings. Indulgence is perfectly okay from time to time, but it’s best to do it in a way that keeps both you and others safe at the same time. The holidays are meant to be a fun time with family and friends. However, it can turn deadly when we make bad decisions because we let too much alcohol impair our judgment. Because we will be sharing some of our favorite cocktails and alcohol brands this holiday season, we wanted to make sure you, our dear readers, are safe this holiday season. Here are four tips for you on how to stay safe and drink responsibly this holiday season.

American Craft Spirits Association

The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and Health Communications, Inc. (HCI) today announced a partnership to promote the responsible service and sale of alcohol within the spirits industry. We’re not saying you can’t drink and enjoy yourself, just that you drink responsibly this holiday season.

Have Plenty To Eat

Having something to eat can help you metabolize the alcohol and help minimize unpleasant effects such as a hangover or causing you to embarrass yourself. Before going to a holiday event where alcohol will be served, eat a small meal containing carbs or greasy foods. It will keep your stomach full and help you absorb the alcohol. You can also indulge in a few appetizers along with your drink to help you pace yourself throughout the night. Take supplements such as Vitamin B complex to restore nutrients that alcohol may destroy while it is being metabolized.

Set Intake Limits

Set limits ahead of time on the number of alcoholic drinks that you will let yourself consume. The goal is to have fun while still making sure to drink responsibly this holiday. Give yourself plenty of time in between drinks to give your body the ability to process the alcohol. Try to have only one drink per hour and alternate beverages by drinking water or juice in between. Spend time with people who have only a few drinks or who don’t drink at all. It’s recommended that you should have no more than three drinks in one day if you are a woman and no more than four if you are a man.

To help you pace yourself, stay away from engaging in rounds of drinks or any drinking games if possible. Stick to drinking only one type of alcohol throughout the night and take small sips. Try drinking beer instead of hard liquor whenever you can because it will help you pace your alcohol consumption and help reduce nasty side effects the next day. If you are taking any kind of medication, under 21 years old, or pregnant, you should stick to non-alcoholic drinks. Focus on enjoying the quality of the drink and not how many you can fit in your hand.

Get Home Safely

Sensible Ways To Stay Safe and Drink Responsibly This Holiday Season

Speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving make up the three most common reasons for traffic accidents in the United States. Not only could you potentially kill someone or yourself, but you could also lose your car, end up in jail, and face expensive traffic and court costs. Make a plan to get home safely before you attend any holiday party event. Even if you have only one alcoholic drink, you should keep away from getting behind the wheel. The effects of alcohol can stay for several hours after you finish your last drink of the night. Drunk driving causes at least 10,000 deaths every year.

Create a list of cab and taxi companies in your phone. There are also plenty of ride-sharing apps like Lyft or Uber you can download as well that may offer discounts during the holidays. If you can’t afford a ride home, at least have a designated driver in mind that can get you home safely. To make sure you don’t drive home, hand over your car keys to someone you can trust before you start drinking. If you are hosting a party, you may want to consider having a plan to get your guests home or making room for them to spend the night in order to keep them safe.

Get Physically Active

Photo of people dancing

While we all enjoy eating and drinking to our heart’s content during the holidays, find some fun physical activities to participate in as well. Activities such as dancing can help you burn off the alcohol faster at a holiday party if you don’t continue consuming it. Alcohol also contains quite a bit of sugar which can make you gain weight if you don’t find a way to burn it off. Your liver will thank you for it. Spending just 10 minutes a day being physically active can also help us live longer and have better mobility.

Be careful when exercising after consuming alcohol. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on you. It may not be a good idea to exercise the day after drinking as it can lead to muscle cramps. Whenever you decide to drink, make sure to drink plenty of water afterward to help your liver get rid of your alcohol intake. It will also help you sweat so you don’t feel bad while exercising. Engaging in physical activity will also help minimize other effects alcohol has on your health such as lack of energy, altered heart rate, poor muscle growth, and slower recovery times after an injury.

The holiday season can be dangerous with more people who are out late at night already tired from all the festivities and driving in dangerous winter weather conditions. Adding alcohol to this mix definitely doesn’t help and can make it even worse. It’s up to you to make the right decisions and have a safety plan in place before you go to any event that alcohol will be served. Keep these four tips in mind for the next holiday event you plan on attending. Eat, drink, and be merry but stay safe and drink responsibly this holiday season.

“As craft spirits ambassadors, we want to ensure consumers enjoy our members’ products responsibly,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, Chief Executive Officer, ACSA. “Partnering with TIPS provides our members with an opportunity to build a responsible culture by offering the best training in the industry at an accessible cost.”

Wedding Stress

Wedding Stress: How to Say ‘I Don’t’ to Wedding Planning Stress

Despite the fact that many Americans are waiting longer to get married than they used to, weddings are still very much considered to be a rite of passage for countless couples. That said, this important and exciting life event is also one of the most stressful. In fact, a recent Zola study found that 96% of participants responded that planning a wedding is stressful, with 71% agreeing that planning a wedding is more stressful than other major life events, like buying a house or finding a job. In addition, 86% of respondents suffered from at least three wedding stress-related symptoms — including skin breakouts, headaches, insomnia, hair loss, and loss of sex drive — as a result of wedding planning.

Wedding Stress

Bride Wars: 20th Century Fox

It’s easy to see why. The wedding industry brought in a staggering $72 billion in revenue during 2016, but many young people can scarcely pay for the ceremony due to crippling student loan debts, high costs of living, and unaffordable housing. That, coupled with the pressure to make one’s wedding perfectly Instagrammable and wholly unique for guests, is enough to make planning this special day seem like an insurmountable task.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to relieve some stress throughout the process. While there’s no such thing as a completely stress-free wedding, you’ll reduce the likelihood of an emotional breakdown and may even be able to enjoy your engagement if you follow these tips.

Wedding Stress

www.ayseventsplanner.com

Secure Some Planning Help

Even if you’re incredibly crafty or have a take-charge attitude, the reality is that no one should (or can) do it alone. Those who try may end up suffering the consequences, which can translate to mental or physical health issues, in some cases. For example, more than 37 million people suffer from migraines nationwide — and since migraines are often exacerbated by the stress (e.g., hormonal fluctuations), your wedding might end up being a huge (and literal) headache if you don’t have help. Although hiring a wedding planner may seem like an unnecessary expense, having someone to handle the inevitable hiccups and coordinate all the moving parts can be absolutely priceless for many couples. If it’s simply not realistic for your budgetary constraints, ask trustworthy friends and family to lend a hand when possible. Whatever you do, remember that the big day doesn’t have to rest solely on your shoulders.

Don’t Fall Into the Comparison Trap

It’s easy to work yourself up into a tizzy when you’re constantly feeling like your wedding won’t be good enough. And given our constant involvement on social media, it’s no wonder we’re comparing our lives to others. You may need to consciously remind yourself to stop scrolling on Instagram or browsing through Pinterest and instead focus on what’s really important: the celebration of you and your partner. If you’re worried about whether you’ll receive a lot of likes on a wedding-related post or that your friends will compare your nuptials to that of someone else in your circle, you’re not really thinking about what matters. Those who have trouble shaking themselves out of the comparison cycle should make an effort to unfollow wedding-related accounts, limit screen time, or discourage wedding talk outside of specific timeframes to keep their emotional well-being in check.

Prioritize Your Self-Care Routine

The term “self-care” is often thrown around so much that it’s lost all meaning, but it really is important for betrothed couples in the midst of planning their wedding. Ultimately, self-care can refer to anything that puts your own needs first and feels restorative. For some, that might mean getting regular spa treatments; not only do 92% of people surveyed feel that massage can be effective in reducing pain, but this practice can also have profound effects on one’s mental state. Self-care could also include getting enough sleep, following a nutritious diet, or working out regularly (as only one in three adults receives the recommended amount of physical activity each week). Alternatively, self-care might involve meditation, therapy appointments, house cleaning sessions, time spent outdoors, setting boundaries, abstaining from alcohol use, prioritizing social engagements, or spending quality time with your fiancee.

Only you can define what self-care really means, but whatever it is to you, it’s essential that you make time for it in your schedule. Remember that you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges of planning a wedding if you tend to your needs consistently. Think of it as preventative maintenance, rather than emergency repair.

Try Out Some CBD Oil

CBD is being touted as a cure-all for virtually everything, from anxiety to chronic pain. For brides and grooms suffering from wedding planning stress, CBD oil might be a viable way to find some relief without engaging in potentially harmful habits. Because CBD doesn’t typically include THC (the part of cannabis known for having psychoactive properties), there’s no risk of dependence or of getting high at all. CBD oil, or even CBD gummies, can be used to reduce pain, ease stress, and restore balance to essential bodily functions such as appetite, sleep, digestion, and mood.

Although more research needs to be done on its benefits (and consumers need to do their homework to make sure they’re buying a high-quality product), there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support these claims. A recent survey even found that 42% of CBD users said they stopped using traditional medications (including Tylenol or prescription drugs like Vicodin) in favor of CBD, with 80% of participants saying they’ve found CBD products to be “very” or “extremely” effective. If you’ve been curious about CBD and are seeking a more natural way to reduce your wedding planning stress, it’s possible that this could become a healthy part of your routine.

Consider Eloping Instead

Every weekend, an average of 44,230 weddings take place. But if the cost of a wedding or the anxiety associated with the guest list is proving to be too much for you and your beloved, there might be another option that will eliminate planning stress for good. Elopements are becoming more popular as couples try to keep expenses low and focus more on their own special and intimate celebrations. If you’d rather spend money on traveling than a big wedding, hate having all eyes on you, or are feeling pressured to make decisions that don’t align with your vision of your wedding day, you and your soon-to-be spouse may want to elope instead. That way, you can say your vows in relative solitude wherever you wish (whether it be the top of the mountain or city hall) and have total control over every element.

If your family and friends want to celebrate with a big party after the fact, that’s always a possibility (and won’t require you to rent out a big event venue or spend several thousand dollars). When money or family issues seem to be the source of your wedding stress, an elopement might be the right move.

Whatever your wedding style, budgetary constraints, or personal challenges, there are ways to reduce your stress throughout the planning process. By keeping these tips in mind, you may be able to look forward to your wedding and enjoy putting everything together, rather than experiencing an impending sense of doom every time you sit down to go over the guest list.

Brides and bridesmaids

Final Fling Before The Ring: 3 Fun Summer Bachelorette Party Ideas

If you have a friend who is getting married in the near future, you may soon find yourself helping to plan an awesome bachelorette party for them. And the great thing about bachelorette parties is that they can be planned and customized to fit the style of the lovely bride-to-be. Whether you want to hit some of the 104 Las Vegas casinos or have a laid-back weekend at home, there are so many options. So if you’re looking for some fun and unique summer bachelorette party ideas, keep reading for 3 fun summer bachelorette party ideas.

Brides and bridesmaids

Photo courtesy of theknot.com

 

Go on a Wine Tour

NYC Wine Tours

Many bachelorette parties feature some level of drinking. But if you go to the bars, you have to worry about getting everyone home safely. And with every state having some form of drinking and driving law like Michigan’s “Zero Tolerance” OWI offense, you could be risking getting in legal trouble, too. When you schedule a wine tour, you can choose transportation, like a fun limo or party bus, so everyone can have fun and be safe. Consider becoming one of the one billion mobile VoIP users and utilize the Internet to easily book transportation. And another great thing about wine tours is that that can be done during the day if you have activities planned for the evening. Get the group together with some matching shirts, party music, and have fun drinking some wine.

Have a Spa Day

Fun Summer Bachelorette Party Ideas

If your soon-to-be-bride is more of a laid-back kind of gal, then a spa day could be the perfect bachelorette party idea. You can either book appointments for the whole group at a local spa, like Oasis Day Spa or even host your own spa day and your house. Make sure to book all of the important appointments, like facials, massages, and mani-pedis. This can be a great way to simply enjoy each other’s company and relax before the big day — a relaxing spa day is a good idea especially if the bachelorette party is planned close to the wedding day. You can even combine ideas and have a rejuvenating spa day before heading out to party at night.

Host a Pool Party

The James Hotel Rooftop Pool

If you or one of the other bachelorette party attendees has a pool, then you have the perfect party location. With most American homes doubling in size since the 50s, that 2,500 square foot average is begging to host parties indoors and out. Who said you couldn’t stay home for your bachelorette party. Summer is the perfect time for pool parties and a bachelorette pool party can be particularly fun. Invest in some wedding-themed pool floats, like rings and champagne glasses, make tropical cocktails, and maybe even coordinate matching color swimsuits. Your bride-to-be is sure to love a fun day of floating the pool, listening to her favorite tunes, and eating and drinking yummy treats. But don’t forget to load up on the sunscreen to avoid everyone being super sunburnt come wedding day.

Summer is the perfect time for bachelorette parties because there is just so much to do. So keep these ideas in mind to help you plan the perfect ‘last fling before the ring’.

Travel Must-Haves for Women

Travel Tips & Tricks: 5 Items All Women Need While Traveling

Ladies, summer is the perfect time for traveling. But whether you’re headed to the 597 square miles of Oahu or the 3,000 miles of Ireland coastline, you have some serious packing to do. And it’s no secret that packing can be an absolute nightmare — from choosing the right clothes to trying to fit everything into your bag, packing can be a long process. So to ensure packing, and your actual trip, go well, here are 5 things all women need while traveling – these travel tips & tricks are a must. You will want to invest in these.

Travel Must-Haves for Women

We’re not talking about the right dress or shoes. These are the essentials you will need to ensure your travel plans go as smoothly as possible. Ready for the must-have travel tips & tricks?

A Great Toiletry Bag

Zuca TSA-Approved Toiletry Bags

Whether you’re going on a quick weekend trip or a month-long excursion, there are going to be a lot of toiletries you’ll need. And while it can be tempting to simply throw your toiletries into your bag, you’ll regret this later on. So make sure you find a great toiletry bag, preferably clear for TSA purposes, that can properly store all of your toiletries. Consider one that has compartments for easy organization or one that you can hang on the bag of a door to clearly see all of your items. You can even get a separate bag for medications, like pain killers, prescription meds, or other pills for premenstrual syndrome or allergies. Zuca has great travel options for your health and beauty travel needs. A good toiletry bag can make a big difference. Their Utility Pouches are fully-lined with durable, easy to clean clear vinyl ideal for organizing your beauty products and the Zuca Flyer Packing Pouch Set includes five packing pouches of various sizes and a one quart TSA compliant toiletry bag.

Packing Cubes

Mumi color-coded Travel Packing Cubes

Speaking of organization, packing cubes are a must-have. Not only can it be difficult to fit all of your clothes and belongings in your bag, but it can be impossible to keep them organized. Fortunately, packing cubes can keep your items organized and neat. Packing cubes can fit in almost any suitcase or bag and you can easily separate your clothing with them — consider using one cube for heavier clothes, one for lighter clothes, one for underwear and socks, and one for accessories. This way, you’ll be able to easily find whatever you’re looking for. The above Mumi Packing Cubes (set of 5) is a wonderful, versatile color-coded option. Each lightweight cube is designed to save space and simplify packing (and unpacking) to maximize luggage space, travel organized, and reduce mess. We love it even more because you can personalize them.

A Quick-Drying Towel

Laguna Blue Quick Drying Antibacterial Towels

You never know when you’re going to need a towel — whether you’re camping, at a hostel that doesn’t provide towels, or if you decide to randomly jump into a stream you happen to come across, having a towel on hand is always a good idea. This is especially true if you’re one of the 58 million people who go to a gym every year and you may need to dry off after a workout. Having a quick-drying towel will keep you dry and moving quickly. We love Laguna Blue, the smart towel. Not only is it quick-drying, but these 100% microfiber fabric towels are also antibacterial.

A Safety Alarm

Sabre Personal Safety Alarm

When you’re traveling, you want to remain as safe as possible. For burglaries and similar crimes, police report only being able to solve 13% of cases due to lack of evidence and witnesses. Thus, it’s important to enact smart safety precautions, especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory. This is true of traveling in groups, avoiding suspicious situations, and keeping personal security equipment. And while pepper spray or mace may seem like good items to have on hand, they’re not legal everywhere. There are two great options from Sabre that are great options. The above Sabre Personal Alarm with Clip & LED Light is easy to activate. With one press of a button, it blasts an attention-getting 120 dB alarm audible up to 600 feet (185 m) away. It also boasts an LED flashlight with on, slow flash, and fast flash modes. It’s weather-proof and clips to clothing, bag, waistband, etc.

Sabre Personal Safety Alarm Keychain

The even more discreet Sabre Personal Alarm with Key Ring boasts the same attention-getting 120 dB siren, is sleek, compact and its modern keychain attaches to your backpack, purse or keys for convenient, instant access; just pull its metal chain from device to sound 120 dB alarm. You can’t go wrong with either of these personal safety alarms. So consider having a personal safety alarm on you. All you have to do is press the button and a very loud sound will go off, alerting anyone near you to your location so they can help if you’re in danger.

Shoe Bags

Mumi Travel Shoe bags

You’re most likely bringing a few different pairs of shoes on your trip, especially if you have a lot of different activities planned. But when you wear your shoes outside, they get dirt and other debris on them. And if you just throw them in your bag as is, they’re going to get all of your clothes and belongings dirty, too. This is why you should have a shoe bag for each pair of shoes you’re bringing. Shoe bags simply slip over your shoes to contain whatever mess they’ll make — this can also help you keep your shoes together and organized. You can coordinate your Mumi Shoe bags (seen above) with your packing cubes for your stylish color-coded travel needs.

Traveling is a great experience and you’re probably getting excited about your upcoming trip. So keep these items in mind to make your trip hassle-free and truly amazing.

Cannabidiol

Tapping Into The Surge In Popularity Of CBD Products

As the national push for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana continues, the industry is riddled with new products. Cannabidiol — commonly referred to as CBD — is making a huge surge in popularity.

Cannabidiol

CBD, THC, and Me

You’ve no doubt seen both of these cannabis-related acronyms. Both chemical compounds are present in cannabis plants, but they work differently. CBD is second to THC in cannabis, but it isn’t an intoxicant like it’s psychoactive sibling THC. Commonly in oils, but present in countless other products, CBD has been found to provide a more manageable, clear-headed feeling than THC’s high. Still, the two are often blended together in different levels of potency, each of which will affect everyone differently. With 1.5 billion people across the world suffering from chronic pain, one of the most common uses for CBD is treating it. By most accounts, it’s been pretty successful, too. Plus, there are a ton of choices.

From Personal Care To Pets

The storied uses for CBD products have expanded quickly. When 88% of women say their hair directly influences their confidence, you better believe there’s a smattering of CBD products touting their benefits. Does your dog have anxiety? People have been resorting to CBD treatments. CBD treatment famously helped a young girl named Charlotte with chronic seizures.

In fact, supermarket giant Kroger announced that they’d begin distributing CBD products in 945 stores across the United States. The online availability of CBD products is even more widespread, with retailers taking advantage of the fact that 90% of searchers haven’t even decided on a product yet. Why not give them innumerable options? Kroger is neither the first nor will they be the last to do so.

Do Your Homework

CBD might sound great, but bad products exist in every industry. When 33% of retailers have the ability to display their inventories on the web, online CBD markets are very extensive. With so many options, it’s essential to do the appropriate research for both health and legality.

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” says a report from the World Health Organization.

This isn’t an excuse to be ill-informed about what CBD products you might consider buying. Everybody is different, and it’s important to know where your products are coming from, as well as the additional ingredients they may have.

Some believers tout CBD as a cure-all for every ailment. Others are skeptics. It remains true that not enough is yet known CBD to canonize it or demonize it. While the market swells with CBD products, it’s important to keep that in mind. It always pays to be a conscious consumer, whether it’s CBD or not.</p

Green Beauty Products

Glow Green: 5 Tips To Go Green With Your Beauty Routine

While you might not think about it all that often, your daily beauty routine can have a surprisingly large impact on the environment. Between plastic packaging, artificial ingredients, and wasteful practices, your normal beauty routine might be harming the environment more than you realize. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to shrink your carbon footprint while still looking and feeling great. Ready to go green with your beauty routine?

Green Beauty Products

Be Mindful Of Packaging

Most commercially produced and sold beauty products come in plastic packaging since this allows companies to cut down on costs of production. However, all that plastic has to go somewhere, and while most of it can be recycled, less than 22% of household trash is recycled in the U.S. When shopping for your makeup, skin care products, and more, look for products with reusable packaging. With a bit of effort, it’s even possible to go zero-waste with your routine.

Look At Ingredients Lists

Do you actually know what’s in that moisturizer you’re using? Many beauty products will use artificial ingredients, and some products might contain components that can irritate sensitive skin. Whenever possible, look for organic beauty products to integrate into your routine. The USDA has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled, and processed.

Go Cruelty-Free

Almost all companies will test their beauty products before releasing them, however, some choose to test on animals rather than humans. Animal testing is often cruel and inhumane, despite being a common industry practice. To reduce your contributions to animal testing, look for products that are labeled as cruelty-free. This means they avoid animal testing so you can feel good about your purchases.

Pay Attention To Sources

Your products might have organic ingredients and not test on animals, but how far did it have to travel to get to you? Many ingredients are sourced from longer distances before being processed, and then your products need to be shipped to a store before you buy them. All that shipping can add up to a larger carbon footprint than you might expect for a single beauty product. When possible, shop local, and always pay attention to where your makeup’s ingredients are being sourced from.

Do It Yourself

Want to go green with your beauty routine, but worried about how much it might cost you? Try making your own products instead. It’s estimated that by 2024, the global skin care market will reach $180 billion. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on beauty products with harmful environmental consequences, try making your own at home. That way you’ll be able to control exactly what goes into the products you’re using and how much waste is produced in the process.

Most people don’t consider the environmental impact of their regular beauty routine, but your trusted products might have a larger carbon footprint than you expect. Use these tips to keep your routine eco-friendly so you can feel great about the steps you take to look great.