Category Archives: Lifestyle

girl writing at the library

Where Can You Find the Best Story Ideas?

girl writing at the libraryMany people feel they have a book in them. They feel they have a story to tell, but getting the right idea for a book can be challenging not just for new writers but also for seasoned authors. Before you meet an online publisher who could offer to publish your book for free, you need to find a good plot for a new book you want to work on, there are many ways you could find inspiration.

Other Books

girl reading bookMany writers take inspiration from other books. JK Rowling admitted reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings before she wrote the Harry Potter books. Some think that Tolkien influenced Rowling, and she would not be the first one. Reading plenty of books can help you come up with a good story idea.

You can reinvent scenes you read from other books. Pick some seemingly non-important scenes from your favorite and use this as the opening scene of your novel. Make sure to change the characters and add unique elements to that scene.

Your Friends

If you have a bibliophile friend, ask about the kind of books and stories they like reading and try to come up with something for them. Write your story for a free online book publishing, with your friends as your target readers. They may not be the best critic once you have the first draft of your book, so make sure you also seek expert feedback.

News

The news is not fictional, but they can also give you good story ideas you can use in developing your books. There are many interesting headlines you can read in newspapers and on the internet. If you are interested in the environment and you read news about world heritage sites being threatened by climate change, you might be able to develop a narrative that can fill up an entire book.

Experience

Your real-life experiences can serve as the perfect inspiration for your story, and these experiences include those you are not happy about. Readers are drawn to stories about people who were able to overcome their challenges. While it may be difficult to write a story about your upsetting experiences, it’s possible that others had the same experience. They are interested in reading and knowing how others managed to go through unfortunate circumstances and even learned from the experience.

Writer’s Prompts

Let another person start the story for you. There are numerous sites, and sources on the internet where you can find a database of creative writing prompts that can help spark the inspiration you need.

A Person Who Impacted Your Life

Think about the person who left a lasting impression in your life and your career. It could be your school teacher who taught you to love books and writing, a family member who served as your inspiration to become the person you are now or an old friend from your childhood. Think of how they impacted your life and write about the lessons they taught you. Dedicate your next book to them to show how thankful you are. Using gratitude as the theme is a powerful book idea.

Environment concept handshake

3 Radical Ways to Help the Environment

Environment concept handshake

Did you know that making life decisions — no matter how small — can make an impact on the environment? Many people can find motivation in the thought of establishing a legacy for the future generations or simply to add meaning to life.

Whatever the reason, this world is always in need of people who are willing to be heroes in their own right. Are you ready to outdo your sacrifices for the environment this year? Here are five radical but simple ideas on helping the environment in a more compelling way.

1. Go for green burials

Green funeral services might not an option most people choose for its lack of popularity. But ditching the formalin on a cadaver may actually just help save the environment more. Having organic caskets and organic burial paraphernalia may just spell the difference between artificial land or land that actually nurtures the presence of plant and animal life in the future.

A famous Buddhist meditation called Death Meditation captures this more perfectly: a person imagines his dead body as it is lowered on the ground and ushers in new plant life after it decomposes.

It is said to be a practice that helps foster humility and is lauded as a way to help you move towards the direction of your dreams. You can take that a notch higher and going green in your last will.

2. Shift to a plant-based diet

Studies suggest that eliminating meat and dairy from your diet can cut back the damage on the earth by a significant amount. It also claims that it will help feed more starving people in Africa. The benefits are quite astounding.

It’s also a personal investment as it involves weight loss, clear skin, and a youthful glow as some of the palpable side effects. Going vegan is a decision of loving all life and refusing to eat dead animals as a way of life.

It can also be a major health decision. There are many benefits, and this movement has gained more traction recently with the number of celebrities who are adopting this lifestyle.

3. Get into compost and tree planting

Planting

Make tree planting and composting a way of life. Educate your neighbours about garbage segregation and take the initiative when no one else is volunteering to do it. Your compost and tree planting activities can go a long way, especially if you collaborate with like-minded individuals who have the same love for the environment as you.

It’s not easy at first, but being a part of a community that is into these things can certainly help you push your projects to completion over time.

Getting more involved for the sake of mother earth is a major decision that deserves recognition. But only a few are rewarded for this kind of choice. Regardless of the reward or understanding of the people around you, this is the type of decision that outlasts your generation and potentially hands over to the next in a meaningful and beautiful way.

Garbage collector

Gaining Knowledge About Key Issues on Waste Management

Garbage collector

Reputable and progressive waste management companies are very helpful to commercial property owners, particularly organisations that are serious about marshalling excellence. Waste management is no joke and a single misstep results in setbacks that may cost the company millions of dollars.

It is not nearly enough to collaborate with a popular waste management team in Australasia. You must take responsibility for knowing about pertinent issues on waste management, and consider these in your resource allotment and in the services you choose to get.

Sustainability

The best commercial waste removal companies in Sydney are active stewards of the environment, and you should be the same. Everyone must take responsibility. There is more than enough information to mull over. Findings of various studies, as well as observations of local phenomena attributed to abuse and misuse of natural resources, should inform your organisation about the need to implement an environmental sustainability program. While sustainability initiatives have concurrent costs, your company will thrive from long-term benefits.

Waste management groups are now offering services supportive of environmentally friendly practices. Today, the issues concerning sustainability go beyond simply choosing to segregate rubbish and embrace the reduce-reuse-recycle anthem. Sustainable practices encompass your entire operations, including your choice of materials for construction purposes, choosing energy sources for your operations, and using relevant technology to conserve paper products, to name a few.

When choosing a waste management partner, it is important to ask them how they can assist you in reducing total waste production as well.

Awareness of your waste output

Putting empty bottle in a bin

Reducing your carbon footprint with sustainable waste management practices, including decreasing waste volume, is only one side of the coin. Additional savings is one promise of resource conservation, but you will not achieve any of these goals without a proper assessment of your practices. Adopting sustainable processes is an approach that is proven effective, and many companies in Australia and New Zealand are achieving the goals they have set.

Another key approach is developing a materials management program. Realise that this approach does not apply only to industries involved in manufacturing goods. A standard office setup could save on costs just by having an efficient approach to procurement and usage of materials and equipment used in daily operations. Yes, having your current operations evaluated by experts is the first step. Involving your employees and third-party contractors in the effort is a key component of the implementation phase.

How to start

Finding a sustainability expert should not be too difficult. After all, Australia is known for its efforts to rectify its previous reputation as a major waste producer in the world. You need the help of an experienced team of waste management professionals to assess your needs, define your goals, and create an integrated, environmentally friendly resource conservation and waste management program for you.

Your dedication to translating green initiative from words on paper to measurable action is admirable. Yet, you need to find the right partner to succeed in your advocacy. Finding a waste management team that suits your needs should be a priority, as well as learning about key issues such as sustainability and materials management.

Pouring water to a glass

Surprising Benefits of Drinking Water

Pouring water to a glass

More than 60 per cent of the adult human body is water. Because our body organs need water to function well, every living organism needs it to survive. We can live for a few days without food, but we can’t without water. Even without food, water somehow keeps your body systems going for a few days. Hence, instead of drinking soda and other caloric beverages, it is best to drink water for its numerous health benefits. Here are some surprising benefits of drinking water:

It Helps Maintain Body Fluid

Water helps your circulation system function properly. It transports nutrients to the different parts of your body to enable you to perform your daily activities. It is important that you drink enough water to maintain your body fluid. If you maintain your body fluid, your body can function well.

It Can Help Relieve Muscle and Joint Pains

At times, muscle cramps and joint pain are signs of dehydration. Do you know that a glass of water can help relieve the symptoms? If you make it a habit to drink enough water regularly, it can help prevent body pains. It is advisable to drink a glass of water right after you wake up in the morning and before you eat anything. Water can work wonders with an empty stomach.

It is a Brain Booster

Among your body organs that need water to function well is your brain. A study in London revealed that water promotes clear thinking. Thus, if you are a student reviewing for an exam, why don’t you try to increase your water intake for better concentration and mind absorption? It helps if you drink purified water. Efficient water purification devices are available on the market to provide you with clean drinking water at any time of the day. If you prefer to just buy purified water, just make sure to buy it from a trustworthy supplier. Stick to one supplier to prevent any sanitation issues.

It Promotes Clear Skin

Close up of a woman smiling

Insufficient water in your body can make your skin dry, wrinkled, and prone to acne. Drinking water will hydrate your skin and prevent breakouts. Consequently, your skin becomes smoother, brighter, and glowing. These are all indications of healthy skin. With a blemished-free skin, you feel and look younger.

It Aids in Digestion

Feeling bloated and constipated are issues concerning digestion. A lack of body fluid can be the culprit. Again, drinking enough water can address the issue. Increase your water intake to add fluid to your colon and aid your digestive system to perform its job better. This way, things will flow smoothly and eliminate the heavy feeling caused by being bloated and constipated.

For your body organs to function well, there is no doubt that a glass of water can save your day. Drinking enough water regularly can do wonders for your well being—physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is how important drinking enough water is. Your everyday water consumption should not be fewer than eight glasses. While you can last a day efficiently without eating anything, you cannot without drinking water.

Going Camping This Weekend? Don’t Forget These Essentials

man inside his tent watching the sunsetCamping in the wild is a nice way to release stress from your body. The fresh air, lush vegetation, tall trees, the humming of cicadas, and the hooting of owls make the chaos of everyday life seem far away. Camping is also a good opportunity to have some quality family bonding.

If you’re planning to go trekking in the forest with your family, be prepared. You wouldn’t want a potentially relaxing weekend to turn into one of misery, backache, blisters, and mosquito bites – especially if you have children in tow.

Here are a few essentials you can get from a camp and travel gear store, such as Ironhorse Gear, for a fun and worry-free camping trip:

Tent

Being out in the woods doesn’t mean you have to lie in the uncomfortable, hard, and uneven ground. You can still chill in the wild while having a warm, toasty and comfortable bed. Two of the most important things to pack are a sturdy tent and your sleeping bag.

Choosing your tent depends on certain factors, one of which is the weather. What is the weather forecast for the day you plan to camp out? There are tents designed for a particular weather (i.e., windy). A convertible tent adjusts to all kinds of weather conditions.

Try to set up your tent at home before the big trip, to make sure all parts and poles are complete, and the tent is in good working condition. Pack cardboard boxes that you can lay beneath your tent, to prevent rocks from sticking out while you sleep. A portable heater will also come in handy when it gets cold.

Sleeping Bag

Bring a canvass sleeping bag or bedroll to make your trip genuinely comfortable. Consider your size, first and foremost, when you shop for a sleeping bag. You don’t want to end up with a bag too small for you!

Weight is also an important consideration. If the campsite were a bit far from the parking area, you would not want to lug a heavy sleeping bag around or up a slope. Features like temperature protection and a built-in hood are useful.

Clothing and Footwear

Sometimes, campers place their entire attention on the camping gear that they forget to prepare the appropriate clothes. Remember, the weather may change drastically while you’re out camping so don’t forget to bring clothing you can use for humid temperatures and a jacket or sweater for cold nights.

Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are better for camping because these can protect you from the blistering rays of the sun, excessive temperature increases and drops, mosquito and bug bites, and even poison ivy.

Choose comfortable and light footwear with good traction, perfect for long walks, treks, and mountain climbing.

Don’t Forget the Little Things

Make sure to pack a first aid kit for emergencies. Load your kit with bandages, antiseptic solutions, medicines for fever, cough, colds, and allergies. A mosquito repellent and sunscreen are a must for these trips. And, of course, don’t forget toiletries!

All camping trips are fun and worth the effort of getting out of the city and breathing in fresh, crisp air. Make sure to come prepared so that you can have a blast this weekend!

Fun Family Outdoor Time with Biking

dad and son having a fun bicycle rideMany parents look for interesting ways to hang out with their children. A lot of kids today can have fun in the comfort of their homes with video games and mobile games, and parents want in on the fun and by taking their children outdoors. For many reasons, one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities that combine fun and fitness is biking.

A Fun Learning Experience for the Kids

Kids who ride a bike with their parents are highly likely to get interested in learning how to ride on their own at an early age. Learning how to ride a bike enhances children’s mind and body coordination and gives them an active form of play that allows them to explore their surroundings and get to know places and people around them.

You Will Never Miss Leg Day Again

Riding a bike gives you and your children time for personal fitness. Just like jogging, riding a bike is both a cardiovascular and leg workout. But unlike jogging, it is a low-impact physical activity that is an easy introduction to a healthy activity that you can do together as a family.

Biking Lets You Do 3 Things at the Same Time

Multi-tasking is a skill parents know very well. However, parents may often leave personal time out in order to make time for the kids and their spouse, and fulfill the demands of work at the office and/or at home. Taking your kids on a bike ride lets you do three important things: spend time with kids, do something healthy for yourself, and get tons of fresh air.

So if you’re looking for a creative way to do all these on a regular basis, get yourself a bike or a fun bike trailer from MADSEN Cycles for your kids. It is one of the most practical and economical ways to have family fun.

How to Create and Maintain a Positive Learning Environment

Kids in the classroomA positive learning environment in schools sets the tone for students’ success. When children feel valued and respected, they are more likely to learn and perform better not just in school but also in life.

There are many ways to create a positive learning environment, but it all boils down to these two principles: safety (dealing with the students’ physical and mental needs) and connectedness (emotional needs).

Safety

A good academic performance will not be possible if students do not feel safe. School administrators must take measures to ensure that accidents, injuries and violence are prevented at school.

The first step is to identify the risks at school, checking the places that can be unsafe for children. For example, parking lots where there’s a risk of hitting accidents or uncovered outdoor areas where there’s a possibility of skin damage from the sun. For the former example, clear, visible signs on the road can help. For the latter, covered walkways or school shelters can address the problem. You may also get the help of bike shelter manufacturers to make sure children’s bikes are safe at school.

Of course, safety does not just refer to physical safety. It extends to students knowing that they are safe because they feel valued and respected as human beings, regardless of their race, religion, gender or abilities. As educators, you need to let students know that their opinions and insights matter.

Connectedness

A good relationship is the foundation of effective learning. When students are able to connect deeply with their teachers, fellow students and other school members, they widen their perspective on things. This expands their understanding of the world. Help your students connect by using social-emotional learning (SEL). This type of learning involves teachers allowing students to explore feelings and exhibit empathy for others.

One good way to apply SEL is to let students break out in smaller groups after they work together in activities, so they can discuss what they felt and why they thought they felt such. Usually, activities bring out different types of emotions in children, from frustration and anger to victory and delight. Have your students sit down and explore these emotions in their groups.

A positive learning environment is a fertile ground for students’ success in academics and in life. Cultivate this environment to make a difference in the children’s future.

How to Dress Like a Cowboy from Head to Toe

Cowboy BootsPopular culture has romanticized cowboys since the 1920s. People’s fascination with these horse-riding, cattle-herding men from the Wild West has grown, through the years. Because of this, many have started dressing like them. Although it keeps the iconic cowboy lifestyle alive, some people treat it almost as a parody.

The real life of a cowboy is grueling and dangerous. This is why they dress as needed to help combat the challenges that they face. If you want to look and feel like a real cowboy, you have to understand why they wear what they wear.

Cowboy boots

As horsemen, cowboys needed protective footwear. Traditional cowboy boots have pointed toes and high heels to prevent the foot from slipping through the stirrups. The boots are made from leather and have high tops to protect the shins. Now, you can find the right pair of cowboy boots online, and they come in many styles. The most popular are the Hessian boots which have V-cuts in the front.

Jeans

Modern cowboys wear pants made from a sturdy material like denim to offer added protection. Before jeans, cowboy pants were made from woolen trousers or military uniforms.

Chaps

Chaps, short for chaparajos, are an important piece of cowboy clothing. Worn like leggings over jeans, this leather garment helps protect a cowboy’s legs from injuries when riding through brushy terrain.

Gloves

Leather gloves are important for a real cowboy attire. Usually made from soft leather, gloves offer protection from barbed wires and vegetation. They also help in gripping the horses’ reins.

Cowboy hat

Cowboys need this to protect them from countless hours spent under the sun herding cattle. A cowboy hat is usually wide-brimmed to shield the eyes from the glare of the sun.

A long-sleeved shirt and a bandana will complete your cowboy look. But, keep in mind that the cowboy lifestyle isn’t a mere game of dress-up. The story behind their life and tradition, seen in their clothes, is an important part of history and should be valued, too.

low mortgage rates

Top 3 Tips to Get Better Mortgage Rates

low mortgage ratesBuying a house using mortgage loans has always been challenging for many home property investors. The loan plans, deals, and overall packages are hard to master and maneuver your way out. In as much as getting the best mortgage loan rates is a savvy plan that everyone would go for, landing such offers demands that you be smart and take all necessary steps.

Here are some of the things you should do to boost your chances of being approved for better interest rates on a mortgage loan, advises Wasatch Peaks Credit Union.

Compare Between Offers

This isn’t an easy task that anyone would want to embark on. But it’s worth the weight in gold as pertains to protecting your finances. Compare between different lenders and their mortgage rates. Avoid being rigid to one factor and instead, factor in all elements including interest rates, lock-in offers, and the overall cost of taking such a package. When you can, search for more expert advice and options from online platforms. This helps you zero in on an informed choice.

Avoid Multiple Applications

Some applicants think it’s wise of them to submit several applications, so they get a chance of picking the best mortgage deals. On the contrary, this may end up spoiling the approval party. Multiple applications mean repeated credit checks. This risks your chances of getting approved for one since some lenders will take such as a kind of scheme. When these mortgage lenders reject your application, it also goes a long way in affecting your future applications from other lenders.

Keep a Good Credit Score

The small debts that you’ll ignore now might deny you the opportunity to build or buy your dream home through an affordable mortgage loan. Borrowing and failing to repay in time or refusing to pay at all will always reflect in your bank reports. Therefore, strive to develop a habit of paying your dues. Reduce the number of debts that you take in your name, and you’ll get good deals on mortgage loans.

Unlike conventional loan packages, mortgage loans can be complicated. You need to be cautious with everything you do, from shopping for the right lenders to weighing between interest rates. Getting professional advice is an added advantage.

Is K-Pop the Next Big Thing for the U.S. Concert Scene?

Crowd in a music concertThe U.S. concert industry is no stranger to South Korea’s brand of music, more commonly known as K-Pop, and yet artists from this Asian country are more successful now compared to the early 2000s.

For instance, a K-Pop boy band BTS has sold out around 15 arena concerts in Canada and the U.S. this year, which only serves as one good reason for the music genre’s growing popularity. That number is almost double the sold-out concerts in 2017 when BTS held nine concerts.

More Seating

From a business perspective, the surging popularity of K-Pop artists — and other international artists for that matter — only prompts the need for a better tiered seating system. Even solo artists have become a household name thanks to collaborating with well-known personalities in the U.S.

Eric Nam’s musical background, for instance, traces back to working relationships with Gallant and Timbaland. Now, the Atlanta-born musician is scheduled to perform at 16 shows in 15 cities. This will mark Nam’s largest K-Pop concert tour to date. While South Korean artists are more popular than ever, today’s artists should probably thank those who came to the U.S. before them, particularly all-female groups.

South Korean Charm

Girls’ Generation once performed at a sold-out concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2011. The popular girl group was instrumental in expanding the reach of K-Pop in the country, with the increasing rate of attendance in some music festivals that solely feature South Korean artists.

As a result, some industry members have acknowledged that their hard work seemed to have paid off. UTA global head of music David Zedeck said that sold-out concerts by BTS only indicate “the next wave in the evolution of K-Pop.”

Sold-out concerts are often used as the barometer of success for artists. Those who want to capitalize on this industry trend should now consider how to add more seats at venues, as K-Pop looks like it finally hit the right note in North America.