19 Weird Laws In Europe

19 Weird Laws In Europe

This holiday season you must be planning trips to various places with your loved ones. But just ticking off items on a checklist and packing a perfect bag is not everything. there are a lot of other factors to be kept in mind. Especially if you are intending to visit Europe. Why Europe specifically though you might wonder. The concern is more than justified.It is because this country has more rules than any other. Extremely strange ones that too. You would never realize the grave crime you committed before it is too late. So, here is a list of weird laws in Europe. Make sure to inform your family before you guys land. The following could land you behind the bars:

#1 Run Out of Gas On German Autobahn

Here is the first among the weird laws in Europe.If you are planing to drive down the highway in Germany then make sure to fill your tanks before you do anything else. That should surely be your priority because running out of gas on the autobahn is as good as breaking any other law in the country.

Weird Laws in Europe - Running Out of Gas on Highway

#2 Hanging Clothes out to Dry On Sunday

Switzerland is not just popular for it’s beautiful, snow-capped mountains and lush meadows but also for atrocious number of laws, weird laws. Yes, Check the calendar before you decide to hang your clothes out for drying since doing so on a Sunday is an offence as per the law. I cannot see the point honestly.

Weird Laws in Europe - Doing Laundry

#3 Be A Man Wearing Skirt

Another one of the absurd European laws. Men out there care to wear a skirt occasionally? Then make sure you ain’t anywhere in Italy. You could actually be arrested for doing so in Italy. The law states so. I am sure by now it is not surprising anymore.

Also Read: Other Strange Laws for Men Around the World

Weird Laws in Europe - Men Wearing Skirt

#4 Wear Stilettos While Visiting Greek Monuments

Strange British laws is quite a list. Ladies, please don not hurt these ancient beings with your pointy foot accessories. Yes, the Greek believes so. Hence, never bother bringing along your stilettos on your trip to Greece as wearing them is a punishable offence under the law. Get your comfy shoes and slippers this vacation.

Weird Laws in Europe - Stilettos

#5  Washing Your Car On Sunday

This one is one of the most ridiculous laws I have heard so far. Sad but true, you also have to keep in mind the days you can and cannot wash your cars if you happen to be in the land of laws, Switzerland. Scrubbing your car on one particular day of the week is punishable by law.

Weird Laws in Europe - Wash a car on Sunday

#6 Own a Cow? No Drink then

In Scotland, it is considered an offence to get drunk if you are in possession of a cow. Hard choice now, cow or drinks? You got to choose.  It’s high time these laws get updated or at least valid reasons be given to justify such weird laws in Europe.

Weird Laws in Europe - Being Drunk

#7 Getting Name Approved

In Sweden, you just can’t name your baby what you want to. You need to get the name approved by the Government and also make sure that it is not one of the banned names.

Weird Laws in Europe - Naming Your Child

#8 See a Mannequin

In England, you won’t find a boy below the age of ten who knows what a naked mannequin will look like. It is a crime for them to see such a thing. But once you turn 11 it is considered that you are suddenly fit to see all that. Thoughtful I must say.

Weird Laws in Europe - Nude Mannequin

#9 Look Grumpy

In Milan, it’s all happy faces. Not like they have a choice. It is legally required of them to keep that frown hidden while in this part of the continent. The Government likes to see happy faces you see.

Weird Laws in Europe - Look Grumpy

#10 Wear Polyester

Take a look at the weighing scale before you go shopping. In Italy, the law forbids you from wearing polyester clothing if you are obese. I guess they have the shopping malls with separate area of shopping fit for different body types!

Weird Laws in Europe - Wearing Polyester

#11 Feed The Birds

Do not feed the birds in Venice. No. Scattering those seeds and attracting the pigeons around you can land you with a fine if caught. The law does not seem fine with you feeding the birds.

Weird Laws in Europe - Feeding Birds

#12 Kiss On The Railway

Want to kiss your sweetheart goodbye at the railways? Not in France dear. Cause that would be farewell for a long time since you will be in jail by then. The law forbids you from kissing in public in the railway. The city of romance indeed.

Weird Laws in Europe - Kissing on Railway Platform

#13 Photograph The Police

In France, it is against the law to capture the photographs of police or their vehicles. You could find yourself behind the bars if you did take some and they catch you doing the same.

Weird Laws in Europe - Photgraph Police

#14 Die

If you happen to feel remotely sick while touring the House Of Parliament in London, step out. It is considered illegal to die in there. Of course, that is more important than your health or even life. Or that is what the law states.

Weird Laws in Europe - Big Ben

#15 Break The Egg Wrong

In England, you must be very careful while having your egg at breakfast. Do not bring a sleepy head to the table and break the egg at the narrower side cause the law states against that. Yes, the government is very particular regarding the etiquette during a meal.

Weird Laws in Europe - Breaking the egg from wrong side

#16 Flush After 10

Yes, your bathroom cycle runs according to the clock too. The law decides when you to take a pee too. All the people are required to finish with the business before 10 pm as flushing you toilets after that is an offence under the law!

Weird Laws in Europe - Flush after 10

#17 Play Music

Another of the weird laws in Europe. If you are a music lover, especially during the rides, then Finland can be quite sad for you. As per the law, it is illegal for taxi drives to play music for paid customers if they have not paid the musicians their royalties.

Weird Laws in Europe - Play Music in Cab

#18 Pee In The Ocean

I am sure there would have been at least one time you took a sneaky pee while swimming in the cold waters. But make sure this does not happen while you are touring Portugal. The law prohibits such activities. Taking a pee in the vast ocean can land you in trouble. Not sure how they are going to keep a check on this among the weird laws in Europe.

Weird Laws in Europe - Pee in Ocean

#19 Dirty Car

If you are planning to rent a car while in Belarus make sure you carry hell lot of towels and cleaners. Driving a dirty vehicle is against the law. It will do you good park the car now and then and give it a bath. How can this be excluded from the list of weird laws in Europe?

Weird Laws in Europe - Dirty Car

Also Read: 7 Travel Scams To Be Aware Of

19 Wedding Hacks to Make Every Bride’s Life Easier

19 Wedding Hacks to Make Every Bride’s Life Easier

Of course you want your wedding to be the best day in the history of time, so obviously any bride-to-be will feel the immense pressure to make it perfect—but that doesn’t mean it has to be super stressful. With the right hacks and wedding planning tips, your day will be smooth sailing. Promise.

Instead of spending your day worrying if the guests are happy, if your caterer got there on time, or if your heels are going to sink into the ground and make you trip on your walk down the aisle, you should be thinking about how happy your life will be, and that you’ll get to spend the entire night eating great food, dancing, and toasting with family and friends. And with our roundup of useful little tidbits, this dream can absolutely become a reality.

To make your life easier, we’ve gathered some of the most useful and practical wedding hacks that every bride should take into consideration.

1. Having an outdoor wedding? Use perfume that doubles as insect repellant (it exists!), such as Aromaflage. The bugs will stay away, and you’ll smell amazing throughout the event. Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume is also a mosquito repellent.

2. Instead of licking envelopes, use a glue stick—no paper cuts or gross aftertaste.

3. Use high heel attachments to keep you from sinking into grass during an outdoor wedding. There’s nothing worse than a wobbly walk down the aisle. While you’re at it, put a basket out for your guests.

4. For an outdoor summer wedding, use popsicle sticks to make programs that double as fans so guests can keep cool while you’re saying your vows.

5. Use glass cloches to keep bugs out of food.

6. Most wedding shoes are brand-new, so rub the bottom with sandpaper before wearing to de-slick the soles.

7. Have guests write their addresses on postcards. You’ll save money on postage and time writing addresses for “thank you” notes. Win-win!

8. Stash your lipstick under your napkin at your table—that way you can apply without having to go back to the bridal suite.

9. Stay away from dairy—a natural inflammatory—for three days leading up to wedding to de-bloat naturally.

10. Keep your veil in place with magnetic veil weights—especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding on a windy day.

11. Need to provide your own ceremony seating? Call local businesses with seating (like a funeral home) to see if they’d lend out their chairs before calling rental companies.

12. Consider using your venue’s sound system to play music from an iPod or your computer for the ceremony and cocktail hour—it’ll save tons of cash. Why not spend on the music during the reception instead, when people will actually be dancing, rather than listening or mingling?

tulipinia vintage vases floral arrangement 19 Wedding Hacks to Make Every Brides Life Easier

Photo: Tulipina

13. When it comes to table arrangements, check out flea markets for vintage vases instead of spending extra cash on floral arrangement vases from the florist.

14. For a modern touch, opt for food trucks at your wedding to save money on catering.

15. Have your bridesmaids rent their dresses from an online retailer like Rent the Runway—especially because they’ll likely only wear the dress once.

16. Invest in a personalized stamp with you and your hubby-to-be’s names and address on it—a “thank you” note time-saver!

17. Have your photographer only photograph the ceremony to save cash, and rely on friends’ photos for the reception (extra points if you create a hashtag, which will function as a real-time wedding album).

18. To save some money, have two cakes: a two- or three-tier cake strictly for displaying and cutting, and a sheet cake hidden in the kitchen for your guests.

19. Write a tiny number on the back of all your RSVP cards—and number the guest list accordingly. This’ll save you so much time, especially if the name is illegible when you get the card back.

STYLECASTER | Wedding Hacks

19 Wedding Hacks Every Bride Should Know | @stylecaster

A version of this article was originally published in June 2014.

8 Compelling Ways to Stop Procrastinating Instantly

8 Compelling Ways to Stop Procrastinating Instantly

When you sit down to finish a task, is your mind wandering or thinking to do some other random activity?   You are only a halfway done with your job, and suddenly you become completely immersed in the Facebook or any online video – Does this happen to you frequently? -Then it is procrastination and there are several ways to stop procrastinating.

For those, who are unaware of the word “Procrastinating” – It means an act of postponing or delaying the tasks deliberately.

No matter whether it is in professional life or personal life, procrastination is good only until you can accomplish things on time or you have a genuine reason to do so. Otherwise, it has a potential to affect your life adversely. Procrastinating tasks regularly induces fear factor and complacency with whatever tasks you pick up in your life. It escapes merely the valuable time, opportunities and quality out of your life. It is good to be complacent but not always. Living a “Take it easy” life and hurrying up to accomplish the critical tasks at the last minute is also a form of procrastination.

However, it is a fact that procrastinating is an inherent human characteristic and every human is a procrastinator. It is normal for anyone to delay the things impulsively at some or the other point in time in the journey of his/her life.

Also, there are a lot of people who always worry about the procrastination. They feel guilty and anxious about it being a habit. Does procrastination cause stress in you?

If you are a person who realizes it and if you desire to change your procrastinating behavior, then you must try the following list of compelling ways to stop procrastinating instantly –

#1 Understand your mind

Before you apply any of the techniques to prevent procrastination, understand your thoughts. Understand yourself as to what is making you to delay the work. Identify the problems by answering following questions, which are usually the causes of procrastination.

  • Is it the lack of interest to do the task/work
  • Are you complaining about the lack of time
  • Is it fear to proceed with the work or fear to do hard work
  • Is it the lack of knowledge or skills
  • Is it lack of attention or concentration skills
  • Do you have a genuine reason
  • Are you taking things for granted
  • Is it due to any behavioral or emotional setback
  • Is the task not rewarding and making you unhappy
  • Is your mind thinking of or flickering to several other activities

Once you find the answer about what exactly is the problem that is causing the procrastination, try to focus on finding the solution of the problem.

  • If the problem is lack of knowledge – then find a way to learn the essential skills – use the internet or join any educational institution for obtaining the information
  • If it is time – then find a way out to sort things out and make some time – maybe during the weekend or a specific time on a weekday or late nights to accomplish the particular delayed task
  • If you are taking things for granted- then realize that “Time and Tide wait for none,” and it doesn’t take much time to see the change in the feelings of the people. E.g., Your friendly boss might suddenly scorch at you regarding the unaccomplished work and might develop negative feelings towards you.

Hence, it is necessary to understand yourself. Ask yourself as many relevant questions as possible. Seek the answer. Amend or sort out things of your life accordingly to avoid the procrastination.

Ways to stop procrastinating - concentrate

#2 Reward yourself for every accomplished task

Most of the times, procrastination has always been about the starting problem to initiate the work. Whenever you feel unhappy or feel burdened to start the given task on time, then instead of finding reasons to postpone it and thinking cynical about it, try to take the responsibility positively.

Develop a positive perspective on the work. You can start by dividing the entire work into smaller numbered tasks like task1 or task2 etc. After accomplishing task1 of the work, reward yourself with a coffee break. Don’t stop there. After having a replenishing coffee, you can start again with task2 of the work, without keeping it aside. After finishing the task2, reward yourself with a quick, exciting chat with your best friend. And so on.

This technique would not only help you develop an interest towards the work to finish all the given tasks well within time but also at the end of each of them, you will see yourself happy and moving.

Ways to stop procrastinating - Reward Yourself

#3 Use “ONLY DO” strategy

  • ‘Only watch,’ your favorite TV shows, when you are having dinner at home
  • ‘Only listen’ your favorite music, when you are doing household chores
  • ‘Only eat’ at your favorite restaurant, when you plan going out with your office colleagues as a part of a monthly outing
  • ‘Only Do’ listen to morning prayers or yoga lessons or business audiobooks, when you are jogging or exercising
  • ‘Only Do’ play with your pet, when you are gardening

Set a suitable “Only Do” strategy and follow it strictly to see a drastic change in your procrastinating behavior. This strategy depends on the workload and the circumstances around you.

Ways to stop procrastinating - Only Do Things That You Want To

#4 Make-up immediately for the procrastinated work

You can’t change the procrastinating behavior overnight. A change comes only after conditioning your mind to stay attentive. So, in between or now and then, you might find yourself missing out on the simple goals to finish the tasks. Other genuine reasons that aid the procrastination could be – you falling sick or a sudden computer crash etc. So, once you miss out on a task, then immediately put some effort on the task to compensate the lost time. Try to figure out on the things that might help you to get back on track immediately.

Ways to stop procrastinating - Make Up for Lost Time

#5 Attitude of “Do It Now or Never “

There are two types of thoughts that your brain generates at a time. One kind of thought is the truth from your inner-self, and the other thought is a creepy monkey thought that makes your mind wander. If you have a problem listening to your inner-self and if you are following the flickering creepy monkey thoughts then you should probably exercise yourself with the saying – “Do it now or never.”

Whenever you are bogged down by the creepy monkey thoughts, then keep saying – “Do it now or never” as repetitively as possible. This repetitive utterance will help you to listen to your inner-self. It will let your attention stay focused on the task at hand. These words are so powerful that it conquers the wandering thoughts. Try uttering “Do it now or never” as often as possible as they will soon become your thoughts and over time you will develop an attitude of “Do It Now or Never.“

Ways to stop procrastinating - Do it now

#6 Avoid External Distractions

To try avoiding the external distractions, you can confide to a particular place in your home or at the workplace. Schedule a fixed time and lock yourself up in a particularly convenient location for specific hours of time. Don’t do any other chores or don’t attend any phone calls or messages during this time. Stay committed to the fixed schedule of work. It is one of the tips to stop procrastinating which probably forces your mind to stay attentive, at least till you finish your task at hand, by compulsion and not by choice.

#7 Make a list of responsibilities

Make a list of jobs that are pending in a diary. Organize them in the order of importance. Try picking on doing just one task at a time. Pick any of the strategies mentioned above and apply them to the task at hand. If you have a starting problem, then start by setting a time goal of 30 minutes to finish a specific job. Then, continue the same method for rest of your work, until you feel exhausted for the day. Repeat this method every day.

Ways to stop procrastinating - Create a task list

#8 Overcome the fear

Imagination plays the most significant part in motivating the inner fear. If you fear the consequences associated with the task you’ve been delaying or avoiding for most of the time, then imagine the worst case and the best case that could happen with the delivery of the task.

The worst thing that could happen if you don’t finish on time could be either a minor setback or significant damage. The best thing could happen – you would develop a positive attitude towards work, peers and the boss. You can also expect a salary hike or a promotion.

Thinking of the worst case or the best case consequences sets the target to achieve. Keeping this target in mind helps you to not only get rid of the anxiety, self-doubt or pressure but also lifts up your confidence level in finishing the tasks promptly and efficiently.

Ways to Stop Procastinating - Overcome Fear

It is often challenging to adopt the ways to stop procrastinating. However, trying is the key. Keep working without giving up. Don’t delay the tasks or extend them unnecessarily. It is not obligatory that you should end up with the perfect. What matters is the quality of work that you do within a stipulated schedule well before the deadlines. See that you don’t pile up things. Start little by little, instead of not at all doing the tasks altogether. Learn to value the “TIME.”

Here Are 7 Fascinating Museums To Visit In Malaysia To Learn About Our Nation’s History

Here Are 7 Fascinating Museums To Visit In Malaysia To Learn About Our Nation’s History

Though I love to read Greek mythology and the British’s War Of Roses, I sometimes do wish to know about my own culture, and where I ‘came from’. Not literally, but you get what I mean. Malaysia is a country filled with stories and artefacts, so influenced by the various cultures that have passed through, settled down, or resulted from the true natives. It’s time to get cultured about our own culture with these unique museums:

1. Rainforest Discovery Centre

This discovery centre is a living museum of Borneo’s rain forest and is the perfect place to witness specimens in their natural habitats. It also acts as a reserve of sorts for much of Borneo’s unique wildlife with minor replanting and controlled climates, educating those who visit on the wide array of deep rain forest plants that usually take hours and expert eyes to spot in the wild. It is also a neighbour to the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, whom they collaborate with in hopes to keep the remaining relevant tourist attracts well-looked after and funded.

2. Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia 

Ever fascinated with Islamic Arts? This place houses the largest growing collection of Islamic art and artefacts from all around the world and is the best place to explore the Islamic culture within Southeast Asia, focusing mainly on China, India, and the Malay regions. It also has an extensive showcase of Islamic motifs throughout time and culture, from the religion’s roots in Persia and the Middle East to its status as modern Malaysia’s national religion.

3. Sarawak Natural History Museum

This museum started out as a passion project by a British naturalist, Alfred Wallace, to collect new wildlife specimens of the strange and yet largely unexplored island of Borneo. It then turned into Sarawak’s oldest museum, growing in showcases of the indigenous inhabitants from different tribes. This place is also one of the few businesses to endure extreme looting and damage during the Japanese occupation in WWII. But today, this museum remains one of the most beautiful examples of the 19th-century Victorian architecture in the state and hosts locally sources exhibits.

4. Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

The Baba and Nyonya culture in Malaysia always fascinated me. This place details the history of the Chinese-Malay Uninion that formed the rich and unique Peranakan culture. It also works hard to preserve much of the 19th century Malay during which the Peranakan heritage thrived. What’s cooler? This museum is located in a pre-WWII clan house and stands out as one of the best-kept remnants of the old Malaya, delving into the lives of these interracial descendants.

5. Pinang Peranakan Mansion

This place details the diverse and distinct Penang communities in a refurbished mansion that once belonged to one of Penang’s richest Chinese clan. It found a new life as a home for the prevailing multiracial society in Malaya. The museum’s restored richness will give those who visit awareness into the impact of Chinese culture on the surrounding local population.

6. Petrosains

As a child, I loved Petrosains. It played a (small) part in the nerd that I am today. This Discovery Centre is the pride of PETRONAS and is a modern style museum dedicated to educating future generations on the science and industries of oil, gas and water works. This uniquely curated centre is full of interactive displays and is situated within one of KL’s best malls; The PETRONAS Twin Towers. So if you ever want to go there and nerd out, the rest of your family can just drop you off there whilst they shop, drink and drink extravagantly.

7. National Museum of Malaysia

Last but not least, is this famous museum which offers special regional collections with relics and archaeological finds dating back to the prehistoric eras. Discover Malaysian pre-culture witness the rise and decline of ancient maritime and agricultural kingdoms. It also features a collection of aboriginal produce in a separate building nearby, mainly from the rural regions of Peninsular Malaysia.

Here Are 7 Fascinating Museums To Visit In Malaysia To Learn About Our Nation’s History was last modified: May 12th, 2018 by Shareen Ho

12 Celebrities You Probably Don’t Know Have Home Decor Lines

12 Celebrities You Probably Don’t Know Have Home Decor Lines

Raise your hand if you’re an HGTV junkie. Now, raise your other hand if you’re also a pop-culture fanatic. Both hands raised? Same. When you need a daily fix of both interior design and entertainment news, it’s impossible not to occasionally merge the two and wonder what your favorite stars’ home aesthetic must be like. Like, is it too late to reboot Cribs but make it more for grown-ups this go-round? ‘Cause that would be super.

Until then, we must resign ourselves to poring over celebrity homes on the pages of magazines or in the occasional video tour online. Plus, since most of us can’t afford to hire the stylists the stars do (or drop a cool grand on a throw pillow), we have to lean heavily on our creativity if we want to emulate their enviable interior design.

But praise be, some celebrities have decided to do us all a solid and launch their own home lines. So, if you’re in search of a little star style for your own abode, take note of the following famous “designers.”

Originally posted on SheKnows.

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James brand doesn’t just include preppy sundresses and pretty Southern-inspired accessories. The Nashville native has expanded her line to include equally pretty and preppy home decor, like this cheeky “Howdy” doormat.

“Howdy” doormat, $45 at Draper James

Photo:
Draper James

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

Photo:
Bed Bath & Beyond

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad

She sure has come a long way since her Laguna Beach days! Lauren Conrad continues to build her soft, feminine lifestyle brand— adding to the mix a super-sweet and delicate bedding line for Kohl’s. Think cozy fabrics, frills and Conrad’s trademark girly aesthetic.

Victorian coverlet, $97.99 at Kohl’s

Photo:
Kohl’s

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford

Having launched her Cindy Crawford Home Collection for Rooms to Go way back in 2009, this supermodel may just have kicked off the trend of celebrity home decor collabs. It’s no wonder she’s achieved such longevity in the endeavor — her line’s neutral color palette and classic lines undoubtedly lend universal appeal. 

Three-piece sectional, $1,999 at Rooms to Go

Photo:
Rooms To Go

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Iman

Iman

Was there ever any doubt that Iman has impeccable taste? The stunning model and entrepreneur shows off her keen eye for color with a bold global-inspired textile line that is a study in travel chic. These fabrics aren’t sold online, but you can find a store that carries them here.

Photo:
Iman Home

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

When she’s not executing fierce choreography onstage during Destiny’s Child reunions, Williams teams up with Evine to turn out the bright and beautiful Believe at Home by Michelle Williams bedding collection. 

Duvet cover set, $38.97 at Evine

Photo:
Evine

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Sofía Vergara

Sofía Vergara

Like Cindy Crawford, Sofía Vergara decided to launch her home decor line with Rooms to Go. If you love the luxe look, this collection could be your dream come true. You can expect high-quality fabrics like leather and velvet and lavish details like tufting and nailhead trim.

Monaco sofa, $755 at Rooms to Go

Photo:
Rooms To Go

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

You’ve got to give it to Brad Pitt — he’s got the soul of an artist, and his collaboration with furniture maker Frank Pollaro proves it. The line’s unique pieces are designed by Pitt, crafted by Pollaro and chock-full of architectural interest. You’ll have to custom-order one of these pieces because they aren’t sold online or in stores. 

Photo:
Pitt-Pollaro

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones

If you’ve ever been curious about Catherine Zeta-Jones’ design style, well, you no longer have to wonder. Judging by the actor’s home collection for QVC (cleverly called Casa Zeta-Jones, get it?), her aesthetic is a blend of glamour and femininity with a dash of her Welsh heritage thrown in for good measure. 

Rose blanket, $44.50 at QVC

Photo:
QVC

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres

Everyone loves Ellen DeGeneres! And we’re going to go out on a limb and predict everyone who is made aware of her home line for Bed Bath & Beyond will love it too. Not only does it boast the same effortless style and cool classicism the star herself has, but it is also really affordable. Score!

Puppy Love shower curtain, $39.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond

Photo:
Bed Bath & Beyond

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood

She’s got skills, y’all! Country superstar Trisha Yearwood’s down-home lifestyle brand includes the Trisha Yearwood Home Collection — a truly beautiful selection of furniture and home decor featuring classic colors and traditional charm. These pieces aren’t sold online, but you can find a store that carries them here

Photo:
TrishaYearwood.com

STYLECASTER | Celebs Home Decor Lines | Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

Leave it to Lenny Kravitz to design the kind of furniture that makes you feel like a rock star in your own home. An offshoot of his Kravitz Design brand, the impossibly hip musician joined forces with CB2 to offer a drool-inducing array of pieces that are at once soft and sexy, hard yet sophisticated. 

Console table, $999 at CB2

Photo:
CB2

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Celebrities You Didn’t Know
Were Huge Potheads

Celebrities You Didn't Know
Were Huge Potheads

5 Things To Focus On When You Want To Feel Good

5 Things To Focus On When You Want To Feel Good

5 Things To Focus On When You Want To Feel Good

Photo by Karine Germain

Life is busy. And we all tend to embrace that. We see the idea of being busy or being stressed as a sign as success. However, when you’re overworked, you won’t always feel good. And this can then become a big problem. You often forget to take care of yourself, and that only ever adds to how you’re feeling. So, you may find that you’re much better off if you’re able to focus on feeling good. But to do this, you have to make the conscious decision to change things. You have to stop living on autopilot and making the same decisions over and over. Instead, you need to choose to feel good. And here are five things that are going to help you to do exactly that.

 

  1. Skin Health

The first thing that you should turn your attention to is your skin health. And this is a biggie. Because if you want to be able to really feel your best, you often want to look it too. If there’s one thing that makes the biggest difference to your overall appearance, it’s your skin. So, you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with the best products and the best procedures like CLDerm.com offer. That way, you will get your skin to the standard that you want it to be.

 

  1. Energy Levels

Next up, you’re then going to want to think about how you physically feel. Because the chances are, your energy levels just aren’t where they need to be. And that’s okay, because you can turn things around. To really boost your energy levels, you need to approach the task from three angles. You need to eat well and nourish your body, you need to exercise and boost your vitality, and you need to get a good night’s sleep. When you work on all three, your energy levels can only ever increase.

 

  1. Being Presentable

If you don’t look your best, you won’t feel it. So it’s often important to take pride in your appearance. Everything from getting your eyebrows under control to having a manicure can really help you here. When you look much more presentable, you’ll often feel it too.

 

  1. Positivity

Next up, you need to make sure that you’re being as possible as possible. When you focus on the bad things in life, and you choose to be negative, you will never feel good. Instead, when you focus on the good, you’re grateful, and you choose to be positive, you will always feel good. No matter what life throws at you!

 

  1. Being Your Best Self

Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you can become your best self. When you’re able to really home in on who you are and live your best life as Bakadesuyo.com shows, you will always feel good. So don’t dwell on the past, don’t be busy just to look successful, and don’t make decisions about your own life to please others. Just focus on being the very best version of yourself and you’ll always feel good.

Food names – is it ‘chips’ or ‘crisps’?

Food names – is it ‘chips’ or ‘crisps’?

Ever wondered what Ice Pops are? Or what is the connotation of the word ‘aubergine’? confusing, isn’t it! You are well-versed with the meaning of these words. And the fact that they still sound strange and alien is, that they are just alternative names for foods, you might be calling something totally different in your language or your country. there exist several food names that are not so commonly used, while they might be referring to a food product we use on a day-to-day basis. Let’s take a look at these amusing and different names for foods prevalent around the world.

#1 Zucchini

A popular summer squash, which is an outstanding source of dietary fibre and is widely used for weight-loss programs and diets. Zucchini is popular by different names at different places. While the British call it “courgette” or “courgetti”, the Americans use the term “zoodles” for it. And the Irish and some other European states use altogether different food names for it. If it is fully grown, it is often referred to as “marrow”.

Food Names - Zucchini

#2 Chips

Who isn’t fond of chips? The answer is a probable no! it is a pure delight to munch on to these light snacks made from potatoes, rice and other types of flour. To top it all off, there is an abundance of flavours to choose from and equally wide range of companies to select from, as well. While some of you may prefer ‘sour cream and onion’, someone else might go for ‘cheese and chilli’ flavour! The British call it Crisps, while the American go with the usual term chips. This is one of the food names that does not have many variations to it.

Food Names - Crisps

#3 Cotton Candy

All of us, for sure have devoured many cotton candies. These account as the best and the most liked childhood delight foods. This coloured flavoured spun sugar has a special place in our hearts. The brits call it Candy Floss and the Americans call it Cotton Candy. Although both the names are commonly known around the world.

Food Names - Cotton Candy

#4 Coriander

Much of our lives, we have been using this ingredient in almost every dish. It is a versatile thing in the kitchen. It might be used to top off your salad, prepare dressing for pasta, prepare dips and sauces or simply add flavour and a nice fragrance to food. Coriander is the name we widely use for it, while the Americans call it ‘cilantro’.

Food Names - Coriander

#5 Brinjal

It is a common vegetable. And the name we most often come across for addressing it, is ‘brinjal’. A more sophisticated term for this veggie is ‘eggplant’. While the Brits call it something entirely different. So, when in Britain, call it an “aubergine”. Also, the term aubergine refers to the dark violet colour.

Food Names - Eggpant

#6 Ice-Cream

Who doesn’t love ice-creams? Ice-creams are a heart-stealer and ice-cream fans know no age and health restrictions. Summer season owes all its goodness to ice creams, or the Ice Candies as the Brits say. Americans usually have different food names than the Brits and similar goes for Ice creams. In Asian counties it might be Ice Candies or Ice- creams, in America it is Ice lollipops and it is Ice lollies for the British.

Food Names - Ice Lollies

#7 Soda Water

Adding a little soda water to your soft drink, gives it a pumped-up tinge flavour. Although the term ‘soda water’ is commonly used worldwide, due to difference in food names, the Americans call it “seltzer water” or “club soda”. So, the next time you need your drink with soda, don’t forget to make a mention of “seltzer water”!

Food Names - Soda Water

#8 Biscuits

Well its not just about different food names here. In the case of this particular food item, the meaning also slightly differs. In the U.K., “cookie” would specifically mean a ‘chocolate chip cookie’. While according to the Americans any biscuits that has a chewy texture is a cookie, while anything that is hard-baked or is crispier, will classify as a biscuit. Although biscuit is the commonly used term world-wide.

Food Names - Cookies

#9 Ketchup

A sauce might be used in a more versatile manner to refer to chilli sauce, soy sauce, and various other types of sauce. While ketchup is a specific for tomato sauce that’s particularly red in colour. Australians use the term tomato sauce more often. And the Americans call it ketchup. Sounds posh and proper!

Food Names - Ketchup

#10 Arugula

This amazing out-of-the-world salad is an Italian delicacy. Australians call it the ’rocket’, while in the U.K. it is called arugula. Since France has totally different food names than the other European nations, they call it “roquette” in French. This cruciferous vegetable belongs to the family of leafy greens. The next time you order a salad for yourself, do not forget to remind the one serving- that it has to be topped off with “roquette”!

Food Names - Arugula Leaves

#11 The Last Piece of Bread

Ever had the last piece of bread and wondered how to address it? There are different food names for even the last piece of bread around the world. Americans call it “the butt”, people from the northern states call it “the crust”, while “shpitzel” is a more Yiddish word for it.

Food Names - Last Piece of Bread

#12 Pancake

Even as the internet connects the world, we still have different vocabularies for certain things. And Pancake just might be a slight example. Inspired much by Shakespeare, the people of Michigan call it ‘flapjacks’. In England it’s called ‘johnnycake’ and Georgians call it “hoe-cakes”. While ‘flapjack’, ‘griddle cake’ and ‘Silver dollar’ might also be used in other parts of the world.

Food Names - Pancakes

#13 Shrimp

Shrimps and Prawns are interchangeably used for each other. Australians and people from the Commonwealth countries preferably would like to use the term, “prawns”. Americans use both the terms with flexibility. Whether it’s Prawns or Shrimps, aren’t they just a nice thing on the menu.

Food Names - Shrimps

#14 Peppers

This one is in reference with Capsicums! They come in different colours and sizes. You might as well use them to add some taste to your pasta or prepare other lip-smacking delicacies. In Australia, New Zealand and India peppers are called capsicums. While there are many more names for it in other countries.

Food Names - Peppers

#15 Toast

Bread and Toast mean the same thing, but people call it ‘bread’ at some places, while ‘toast’ in some other regions. Toast is a more traditionally used word though!

Also Read: Easy to Make Wholesome Sandwich Recipes

Food Names - Toast

9 Homemade Popsicle Recipes For The Summer

9 Homemade Popsicle Recipes For The Summer

The season of fruits is right around the corner! Can’t find a better time to share some refreshing homemade popsicle recipes. These healthy fruit popsicles are a treat to our eyes as well as body. Fun to make and easy to store, these are just thing you need to tackle the summer. The convenient part is that there is no specific list of fruits that you can use while preparing the popsicles. Anything you find on the table top can be used to make an icy pop. Here are some already tried combinations that are surely great homemade popsicle recipes. Make sure to treat yourselves to these.

#1 Mixed Fruit Popsicle

Not able to fulfill your daily requirements of fruits? Try mixed fruit popiscle. It is easy to make, tastes yummy and you get your daily source of fruits.

Ingredients

  • 1 Popsicle Mold
  • 2 Kiwis
  • 2 Peaches
  • 5 Strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  • 2 16 oz bottles of flavored water

Instructions

  • Cut the kiwi, strawberries and peaches into small slices
  • Add the fruit into the popsicle molds until each one is filled. Leave about ½ inch from the top.
  • Pour the flavored water into each mold.
  • Place the top of your popsicle stick mold on. Now place in the freezer until frozen. Approximately 4-5 hours or overnight
  • Your popsicle is ready to be enjoyed.

Homemade Popsicle recipes - Mixed Fruit Popsicle

#2 Fresh Fruit And Yogurt Ice Pops

This simple yet tasty homemade popsicle recipe is sure to be a favorite. Keep in mind that honey can always be used as alternate sweetener in the place of artificial sweeteners.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and sliced bananas, mixed
  • 2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 8 small paper cups
  • 8 popsicle sticks

Instructions

  • Combine the mixed blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, yogurt, and sugar in a blender. Cover, and blend until fruit are all mixed properly.
  • Fill paper cups 3/4 full with the prepared fruit mixture. Use a strip of aluminium foil to cover the top of each cup. Push a popsicle stick through the center of the foil on each cup.
  • Place the cups in the freezer for at least 5 hours. for serving, remove foil and peel off the paper cup.

#3 Strawberry Lemonade Ice Pops

This one is a smoothie and a popsicle at the same time. Serve it in a glass, and it becomes a smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 (16 ounce) packaged strawberries

Instructions

  • Take a large bowl, stir together the lemonade concentrate and water
  • Place the sliced strawberries into the container of a blender, and puree until smooth.
  • Pour in some more of the lemonade if necessary to blend smoothly.
  • Stir strawberry puree into the lemonade.
  • Pour into molds, and freeze until firm, which might take up to 4 hours.

#4 Strawberry Banana Lime Smoothie Pops

The combination of strawberries and banana is an all time favorite. Try out this unique one from homemade fruit popsicle recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Almond milk Vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients into a perfect mixture, then pour into ice pop molds.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

Homemade Popsicle Recipes - Strawberry Banana Lime Popsicle

#5 Ginger-Pina Colada Ice Pops

This tropical delight can be a refreshing summertime treat.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons coconut-flavored rum
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 (1/8 inch thick) slices peeled ginger root
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

Instructions

  • Stir together rums, sugar, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to concentrate the mixture and allow some of the alcohol to cook off. (You’ll have a generous 1/3 cup.) Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  • Transfer rum and ginger mixture to a blender with pineapple and coconut milk and blend until smooth. Pour into 12 (3-ounce) ice pop molds, dividing evenly. Cover molds, insert sticks, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 2 weeks.

Also Read: Boozy Dessert Recipes to Try at Home

Homemade Popsicle Recipes - Ginger Pina Colada POpsicle

#6 Mango Almond Popsicle

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ c Silk Almond milk Protein + Fiber
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp frozen unsweetened mango, thawed slightly & diced

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk and sugar for this special one from the homemade popsicle recipes.
  • Evenly divide the diced mango between 8 (¼-cup) popsicle molds. Fill each mold about halfway with the almond milk mixture. Place a knife into the molds, and gently stir to prevent the diced mango from clumping at the bottom. Continue filling each mold up to the “fill line” with the almond mixture.
  • Carefully seal each lid onto the top of each mold, and place in the popsicle stick (if necessary). Freeze for at least 2 hours, or until completely frozen through. To serve, carefully run the base of each popsicle mold under warm water for a few seconds to loosen, making sure not to get any water near the lids.

#7 Ginger Peach Popsicle

This summer make your own fruit popsicles with another tasty fruit.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced into thick coins
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into chunks

Instructions

  • Combine ginger, water, and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Allow syrup to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Strain syrup through sieve into blender; discard ginger . Add peaches to blender and blend until smooth.
    Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

#8 Apple Lime Popsicle

Another zesty one from the homemade popsicle recipes to delight you.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (750 ml) cloudy apple juice
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
  • 4 green apples
  • 2 kaffir limes or regular limes
  • 2 tbs caster sugar

Instructions

  • Place apple juice and kaffir lime leaves in a pan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside for 1 hour to infuse. Strain and set aside to cool completely.
  • Divide mixture among 6 x 1/2 cup popsicle molds. Thinly slice 1 apple and place 1 slice in each mold. Cover molds tightly with foil and insert a popsicle stick into the middle of each mold. Freeze overnight.
  • Slice the remaining 3 apples. Serve popsicle in a bowl layered with apple slices and ice. Do try this from the homemade popsicle recipes.

#9 Refreshing Watermelon Pops

This is a must try among the frozen fruit pops. Watermelon is readily available in every store around the corner and the procedure to make is extremely simple too.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of watermelon chunks.
  • Sugar, if preferred.

Instructions

  • Cut up the watermelon into 1-inch chunks.
  • Put the watermelon chunks into a blender and blend until you have a very smooth puree.
  • Run the watermelon puree through a strainer and discard the remaining fibers.
  • Pour the strained watermelon juice into the popsicle molds. Add the lid to each popsicle.
  • Freeze for 4-5 hours or until fully frozen.

Have fun trying out these exciting homemade popsicle recipes.

ShellFire VPN – Enjoy the Premium VPN Service {Review}

ShellFire VPN – Enjoy the Premium VPN Service {Review}

VPN short for Virtual Private Network allows you to browse the web anonymously and also helps you to unblock the blocked content. Sometimes, if you want to watch some TV shows or access a website that is blocked in your country, you can just switch to a VPN service, and choose the server of the country in which it is not blocked, and access that easily.

Apart from these benefits, when you browse through VPN, your connection is secure as well, and that is why it is highly recommended to use VPN nowadays. If you are one of those who access Dark Web, VPN service is must.

Though there is a huge list of VPN services, there are few that are good ones such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Shellfire VPN, etc.

Today I am here to share the review of Shellfire VPN which I have been using for over a month, and things are going quite fine.

What is Shellfire VPN?

Shellfire VPN is a VPN service that you can use for free of cost to browse the internet anonymously. If some sites are blocked in your region, and you want to access them, then this VPN will be a great help. They have both free and premium VPN plans.

In the free plan, you get free VPN servers to use which are comparatively slower than the premium once which means your browsing speed will suffer more. On the other hand, if you go with the premium plan, you get access to premium VPN servers which offer good browsing speed. Point to note that in any case, your internet speed will reduce when you use VPN because your requests are tunneled through VPN servers, and then reach to the website server that you want to access. So, due to this tunneling, speed gets reduced.

Best Features of Shellfire VPN

  • They have 35 VPN servers which mean you get access to 19 different servers that you can use to connect. They are of different countries.
  • Very easy Windows-based client available and same for Mac as well.
  • Unblocks the blocked websites on your PC or even if you want to access region-blocked websites, you can do it.
  • Different protocol support is there such as OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP.
  • 14-days money back guarantee which is a great feature as if you bought its plan, and within 14 days, if you don’t like their services, you can ask for a refund, and they will do it.
  • No DNS/IP leaks: There are many VPN services that when you use for unblocking websites, and browse anonymously, they still leak your actual IP. Yes, this is called DNS leak where even you are using VPN, you are not completely protected. So, while buying any VPN services, do check if it leaks DNS. Luckily, No DNS leaks found when I tested using com while I was connected to Shellfire VPN. The tool showed the different ISP, and location when connected. And, when VPN is off, it showed the actual. For your information, if there is DNS leak, even if you are connected to VPN, this tool will still show your actual ISP and your IP address.
  • They have no logging policy which means they don’t save anything when you use it to browse the internet.
  • When you are connected to shellfire VPN, your connection is secured with encrypted with 256-bit security (Premium Plus plan). However, they have different security encryption as per the plans. Higher the plan more is the secure connection.
  • Good connection speeds if you use Premium servers. Free servers damn slow. When I tested my internet speed without the VPN, it was 20MBPS, and when connected with a free VPN server, it went down to 1MBPS. But, when I used premium one, the speed was still good. At times, the premium servers give almost same speed as normal with a different of only 2-3 MBPS, but that is sometimes. On an average, it seemed to reduce by 8-10 MBPS from actual speed.
  • Using Shellfire VPN keeps you safe from DNS Hijacking as well.

Without VPN [Speed test by Speedtest.net]

With VPN [Speed test by Speedtest.net]

 

The difference doesn’t bother you if you are on a high speed internet connection but if you are the one who is using the comparatively slower connection, then using this VPN may reduce your speed to the level where you cannot use browser properly. However, this is not the only case with Shellfire VPN; every VPN reduces the internet speed to a good extend.

How to use Shellfire VPN?

To use Shellfire VPN, first of all, you have to download its desktop client, and then start using it. Moreover, the first thing you should do is to sign up for it.

Step 1: Sign up for shellfire account.

Step 2: Download the desktop client from the download page on the official website.

Step 3: click to launch the setup file as shown in the above screenshot, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete with the installation.

Step 4: Once installed, launch it, and it will ask for login. Log in with your account credentials.

Step 5: After you logged in, you can see the User interface of the client. Click “Server list Show list of all VPN servers”. This will show you the list of VPN servers. Select any of the servers you want, and click connect.

It will take some time to establish the connection.

Note: You can use the premium server only if you have bought the premium plan.

Wait for it to be connected.

Once connected, you will see a notification on your desktop like this:

That’s all. You are now connected to VPN server, and all of your requests will go through the VPN server. Now, you can access the blocked websites as well.

Pricing

Below is the pricing table to give you the full information about the features you get in each plan, and their pricing.

As you see, the better plan you get, the better encryption you get along with better speed. Also, more VPN servers to choose from.

Conclusion

In my test, I found Shellfire VPN is a nice VPN service. However, I won’t say it is the best, but it’s quite fine to use. I am currently using it whenever I need VPN, and it does the job pretty well. Since I am using its premium plan; I have access to the fast servers that are good to use.

If you need a VPN, I would surely be recommending Shellfire VPN. Moreover, if you don’t like their services, you can cancel your subscription within 14 days, and get your money refunded since they offer 14 days money back guarantee.

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Filmora Review – Professional Video Editing Software from Wondershare

Filmora Review – Professional Video Editing Software from Wondershare

Your friend probably told you that quality video editing is time-consuming and requires high-level skills of a complex software. He has already filled you with tons of misconceptions that are just discouraging you from even trying your hand at some basic edits – let alone the major ones. What if I tell you there are video editing software that are both easy and quick and does the job almost with the same efficiency? That’s right! Such a software actually exists – and it’s called Filmora – a professional video editing software from the house of Wondershare.

Talking from the depth of my heart, I have been reviewing many software from the house of Wondershare lately, and I have found all of them quite exceptional. Each software is smooth, stylish and well-crafted. It gives pleasure to use such a remarkable piece of art.

Check how to edit videos with Filmora in this ultimate guide for beginners.

What separates Filmora from its competitors is its extreme simplicity. Sure, the huge number of software which you see in the market are made that way because of the variety of applications they serve. But for personal and mildly professional use – Filmora is indeed a smart option. Read further for this Wondershare video editor review.

Features of Filmora – Wondershare Video Editor Review

I have played with Filmora for quite long now, and I am glad to present this Wondershare video editor review. Here are my highlights of the software:

What do you want to do?

When you open Filmora, you are greeted with two options. The Wondershare video editor asks you to choose between Easy Mode and Full Feature Mode. Needless to say, the easy mode has the basic and the most important features you will need while the full feature mode has everything Filmora has to offer.

Let the music flow

You need to import a video to Filmora before accessing any of the features. It’s simple as expected – you just need to browse for your desired video and Filmora will take a few seconds to get ready. The first option you will see in the tray would be the Music editor. It allows you to add some music anywhere in the video. Filmora offers you some music files to try out – which are to be downloaded separately. Furthermore, you can import any music file from your system to test it out.

Recommended Reading: 14 Screen Recording Software to Make How-to Videos

Torment Yourself With Text

You might think I am praising Filmora again and again, but I must say that this Wondershare video editor has got a huge collection of text. The word art is simply beautiful and looks very professional. Trying them out is easy as well – choose one, add your test and add it anywhere.

Its text collection is comparable to designing giants such as Canva. Sure, Canva is in a completely different field, but the collection is quite comparable.

Fine Filters

Filters are quite mandatory these days – you see them being used everywhere on social media. But, filters aren’t limited to still photos. Filmora has a big collection of filters too! Filters are appealing to the eye, and they do the job of hiding the minor glitches as well as beautifying the entire scene. Therefore, it would be wise to try these filters out for your videos. With over 100 filters to choose – I am sure you will find one filter for every video.

Natural looking overlays

As the name suggests, an overlay is a kind of coating which covers something. In our case, overlays are simply some coatings which make the video even more natural. Remember the bubbles you see in movies and serials which seem to be the consequence of sun’s rays falling on the camera? That’s a perfect example of an overlay being used.

The above image is an overlay from Filmora. As you can see, it looks perfectly natural and adds to the beauty of the scene. Awesome, isn’t it?

300+ elements

Elements look childish, don’t they? They might look like that, but they’re quite crucial at times. A wise and creative use of elements can make a video shine. This video editing software has got a huge collection of over 300 elements. Be it a balloon, a flag, an airplane or a simple arrow – Filmora has it included in its collection of elements.

Just in case you don’t know, the elements don’t need to be static. Each element has a specific mentioned time period and you can see it swirling and swooping around the video screen during its specified duration.

Transitions and Screen Splitter

Do the scenes change often during the video? No worries, make them look better with the inbuilt transitions. The transitions provided here are similar to the ones you see in Microsoft PowerPoint, the difference being their variety, which is in favor of Filmora.

Want to use multiple screens at a time? No worries either. There’s a screen splitter which lets you divide the video screen beautifully. You can use two or more screens at a time – and there are options for each of those requirements.

Export easily

Filmora takes care of the export part too. You can directly export the finished video to Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo. Moreover, you can burn the video to a DVD directly either. Lastly, if you have a smartphone or another device where you would like to send the video – you can do that either.

Here’s a quick snap of the available export formats:

And, in case you’re wondering which devices are currently supported by Filmora, here’s another quick snap:

Basic + Advanced Editing

Filmora is at par while talking about the normal editing stuff. You can do literally anything you want with the video – there’s a frame by frame editor to modify the minutest of the moments, you’re allowed to control the speed or just simply go reverse, and you can be assured of the quality in the end. There’s even an audio separator as well as an audio enhancer.

Moreover, the minutest capabilities such as trim, crop, aspect ratio, volume control, fade, contrast, brightness, saturation, etc. are included in Filmora.

What I loved in the editing part was the green screen feature. Though being an advanced one, it’s can prove to be very useful to anyone. The green screen feature can be used to remove the instances of a particular color from a video. Sounds confusing? Let me explain illustratively. Suppose you have a video with a green background and you want to replace it with something else – what will you do? This is exactly where the feature comes handy!

Lastly, the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) feature lets you add a particular video (or videos) into another video. Filmora can add up to 10 videos in one. This is particularly helpful when you have to demonstrate two or more things at once, such as in a video tutorial.

Pricing

The pricing model of Filmora is not at all complex. The simple, 1-year license per PC costs $29.99 while the lifetime license costs $49.99. If you have multiple PCs, you can get a lifetime license for up to 5 PCs at just $120.

The above-discussed model was for personal usage. If you would like to use Filmora for business or school purposes, you can contact them for a quote.

Final Words

I hope you appreciated my Wondershare video editor review. Filmora is indeed a complete package and has literally everything you need.

The purpose of writing this Wondershare video editor review is to break the conventional myths related to the video editing industry. I hope I have been successful in dealing with it. I would love to hear your opinion about this in the comments section below!

9 Healthy Summer Wellness Retreats You Can Actually Afford

9 Healthy Summer Wellness Retreats You Can Actually Afford

Ahh, summer. The time of year we’re supposed to relax and recharge. In theory. Most of us no longer get a three-month break from our responsibilities like we did when we were in school, so it’s up to us to carve out time in our busy summer schedules—between barbecues and graduation parties—to take a few days to focus on our health.

Sure, wellness travel is all the rage and there are plenty of pricey options out there, but not everyone can afford these trips. Thankfully, there are a handful of reasonably priced alternatives that give you all the benefits of a health retreat without the sticker shock.

If yoga is your thing, we already have an article focused just on affordable summer yoga retreats, so the ones here will go beyond the padded mat, looking toward utilizing nature as a wellness resource. So take a look and take your pick of these health-conscious trips that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of the summer season.

 

Originally posted on SheKnows.

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Yurts at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

Yurts at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

If you’d like to experience the peace and serenity of a Tibetan Buddhist retreat, look no further than… Indiana? Yup, the 90-acre Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana offers plenty of space and quiet for reflection and meditation. Walk the grounds, which feature Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple, a permanent sand mandala, and meditation classes.

TMBCC also hosts regular yoga retreats in the spring and summer on the property, in conjunction with Gentle Heart Yoga & Wellness. Stay in one of their Mongolian yurts, which go for $100 per night.

Mongolian yurts getaway, $100 per night at Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

Photo:
Courtesy Of The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green, Kentucky, may not be the first place that comes to mind as a spa destination, but between accommodations at the Kentucky Grand Hotel & Spa and a trip to the Be Happy Yoga & Salt Caves, it has all the makings of the perfect affordable weekend getaway. This man-made cave was built using more than six tons of Himalayan salt and was modeled after those in Europe. Salt caves purportedly have natural healing properties that can help alleviate symptoms of asthma, allergies, anxiety and other ailments — but even if that’s not entirely the case, it makes for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

Hotel room, starting at $259 per night at Kentucky Grand Hotel & Spa“Day at the Cave” package, $100 at Be Happy Yoga & Salt Caves

Photo:
Be Happy Yoga & Salt Cave

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Sundara Inn & Spa

Sundara Inn & Spa

Sundara Inn & Spa, located in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, offered digital detox, Ayurveda, farm-to-table food and forest bathing before all those things where a thing and remains one of the premier (but still affordable) wellness destinations in the Midwest. Guests at the inn can partake in a number of healthy activities, including silent sports like biking, hiking, paddling, swimming and yoga. They have an outdoor infinity pool that is heated year-round and just added a second saltwater pool during a recent renovation. There is also an indoor purifying bath ritual (pictured) available to guests along with a meditation trail through the woods.

Peaceful Wisconsin retreat, midweek rates for two (including unlimited access to activities and breakfast) starting at $209 per night at Sundara Inn & Spa

Photo:
Sundara Inn & Spa

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Waikiki Parc

Waikiki Parc

Waikiki Parc in Honolulu, which has great wellness offerings, such as Parc Surf daily surf lessons and Parc Active, which offers complimentary daily fitness and exercise classes — from yoga to Beachin’ Core to tai chi and more. When you’re in Hawaii, you’re probably going to want to try these activities out, so staying somewhere where they are included in your stay is a win-win for your budget.

Hawaiian fitness retreat, starting at $275 per night (summer rates) at Waikiki Parc

Photo:
Waikiki Parc

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort

Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort

If cycling is your thing, you’re going to want to check out the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This vintage bicycle-themed hotel with amenities and activities geared toward the needs of cyclists is located on a popular designated bike route connecting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. The hotel is also near countless miles of biking trails at the base of Pikes Peak, and guests can unwind after a day on the trails with the property’s on-site yoga.

Bicyclists retreat, starting at $75 per night at Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort

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Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | The Gilbertsville Farmhouse

The Gilbertsville Farmhouse

The Gilbertsville Farmhouse is located on 125 acres of field and forest in the Catskill Mountains and features a 100-year-old farmhouse and a Glamping Village. Relax and recharge in their luxurious tents and take part in some goat yoga classes. The farm is frequently used for private events, so it’s best to book one of their all-inclusive retreat weekends, which includes glamping for two, goat yoga and all meals over a three day/two night period.

All-inclusive goat yoga retreat, $800 total for two at Gilbertsville Farmhouse 

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The Gilbertsville Farmhouse

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is a classic 1940s roadside motel that has been completely renovated and reimagined as a laid-back but chic wellness destination in Napa Valley. The on-site MoonAcre Spa was modeled after a classic bathhouse and features geothermal mineral water-fed pools and a mix-your-own-mud bar.

Classic bathhouse getaway, starting at $209 at Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

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Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center

Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center

Located in the Catskill Mountains, Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center offers residential retreatsworkshops, and weekly classes year-round. This is truly an affordable wellness getaway: overnight stays are $75 and the classes and programs are free of charge. (Donations are, of course, welcome.) They also provide detailed instructions on how to get to Peace Village via bus, ensuring that it’s as accessible as possible.

Catskill Mountains retreat, $75 at Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center

Photo:
Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center

STYLECASTER | Affordable Summer Wellness Retreats | Doe Bay Resort

Doe Bay Resort

Doe Bay Resort is located on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington state and offers an array of health and wellness activities at a reasonable price. Accommodations range from waterless rustic cabins to cabins with more amenities to on-grid yurts, and the on-premise spa features three outdoor (clothing optional) saltwater soaking tubs set over a waterfall, a dry sauna, an outdoor shower and an on-site yoga studio with regular classes. The property’s one-acre organic garden provides fresh food for the Doe Bay Café.

Doe Bay getaway, starting at $75 per night at Doe Bay Resort

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Doe Bay Resort

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These Are the *Only* Shoes
You’ll Want This Summer

These Are the *Only* Shoes
You'll Want This Summer

30 Creative Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for the Ultimate Soirée

30 Creative Outdoor Entertaining Ideas for the Ultimate Soirée

Gardens, decks, patios, and pools are where we all want to be right now—and whether we’re hosting a dinner, birthday party, barbecue, wedding, cocktails, or a picnic, there’s something undeniably fun about playing host-with-the-most.

To inspire your outdoor entertaining this spring and summer, we gathered 30 cool outdoor entertaining ideas. From DIY photo booths to drink tables with a fresh twist, keep scrolling for ideas to throw the ultimate soirée of the season.

1. Set up a game of outdoor Twister by spraying colored circles on the grass.

2. Create a hanging table by suspending a plank of wood from a tree.

3. Make a skewer station to make serving meat easy and mess-free.

4. Set up a DIY salad bar to let guests create their own perfect meal.

5. Get creative with the way you display your event program or menu.

6. Use honey, jam, and other condiments as table centerpieces.

7. Fill mason jars with homemade lemonade or cocktails and store in an ice-filled bucket.

8. Set-up crates with cushions and floor flowers for a casual, makeshift outdoor setting.

9. Fill vases with slices of lemon and flowers for a fresh center piece alternative.

10. Create your own DIY photobooth using strips of ribbon or bright fabric suspended from two trees.

11. Love donuts? Make a tasty donut station to keep your guests snacking.

12. Use nature to your advantage and string cute Polaroid snaps and fairy lights to the trees. You could even give your guests a Polaroid camera and ask them to add their own party snaps.

13. Stuck for dessert ideas that won’t make a mess? Scoop ice cream into a lined muffin pan and serve individually.

14. Make individual, layered dips that guests can carry around and eat.

15. Treat your party-goers with corn on the cob, served on skewers so they can be eaten standing up.

16. Use a mini wagon to walk around and offer to refill your guests’ drinks.

17. Be sure to have some card games (like Cards Against Humanity!) ready to whip out and play at any moment.

18. Pre-make cocktails and lemonade and serve on a dedicated drinks table.

19. Use recycled, spray-painted cans to make outdoor cutlery holders.

20. Make a bubble station. It’s fun and a perfect photo opportunity.

21. Set up a relief station with bug spray, flip-flops, and cold towels (if that weather is hot.)

22. Provide guests with warm blankets on cooler days or if the party carries on into the night.

23. If the party is likely to keep going all night, lather outdoor pots with paint that glows in the dark.

24. Offer a DIY sundae station with ice cream, candy, and chocolate.

25. Keep flies away by cutting a lemon in half and adding cloves to it. Set the lemon halves out in bowls about 30 minutes before food will be going on the table. The smell will deter flies from swarming around the food.

26. Hang old, empty photo frames to use as a quirky photo opportunity throughout your event.

27. Use jars to serve packets of chips and crackers instead of the (ugly!) bags.

28. Invite your friends to play a game of ring toss using painted, empty beer bottles and embroidery hoops.

29. Uncomfortable outdoor seats? Pick block-color cushions in a range of different colors and arrange them on the seats for a comfortable and colorful option.

30. Make your own rustic, outdoor chandelier using timber, candles, and mason jars. Sure, this DIY is a little time-intensive, but the end result is totally worth it.

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STYLECASTER | Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

30 Amazing Outdoor Entertaining Ideas | @stylecaster

A version of this article was originally published in April 2015.

10 Commonly Mispronounced Food Names

10 Commonly Mispronounced Food Names

We all relish what’s our favourite on the menu and devour the amazing world delicacies. Do we ever make an effort to check whether we pronounce the names of our favourite food items in the right way? There are several words pertaining to the food industry, that we often mispronounce. You might have all the knowledge of the world about food, beverages, cuisines and spices. But a slight mispronunciation, washes the entire thing down the drain! The list of mispronounced food names is a compilation of some of the very basic food items and beverages that have made their way in our kitchens and dinner tables and we do not spell correctly, also mispronounce. While Dialectal variations will be there due to difference in accents. Here is a checklist to deal with your pronunciation worries related to food!

#1 Tortillas

This particularly Mexican delicacy, a type of soft, thin flatbread made from flour that is finely ground, is often mispronounced as TOR-TI-LLAS. While the correct pronunciation is TOHR-TEE-YHAS. Sounds a little tongue twisting? Try avoiding the L sound here. So, the next time you are out to order or buy or simply say TORTILLAS, take a quick dig at the list of food names and their proper pronunciations.

#2 Jalapeno

Is it JA-LA-PEH-NOH or HAH-LAH-PEH-NYOH? Many of us are well aware of its correct pronunciation, but due to our tendency of pronouncing J as the J-sound, we mistake this one. Another Mexican food essential. These mild to moderate chilli peppers find use, in spicing up your food. Before saying, “I need extra Jalapenos on the side”, make sure you pronounce it as HAH-LAH-PEH-NYOH!

#3 Espresso

Another one amongst the commonly mispronounced words, is Espresso! It doesn’t count as one of the food names but it is a trending beverage. This is neither spelled nor pronounced with an “X” anywhere in it. Espresso is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of boiling water under pressure through finely grounded beans. Do not mistake it for bitter, it’s a bold flavour. It is for sure not pronounced as EX-PRESS-O, while many might do so. The right and the absolutely correct pronunciation is ES-PRESS-OH. Let us all do the beverage some courtesy by saying its name the right way!

#4 Bruschetta

It is BROO-SKET-AH, not BROO-SHET-AH. This toasted Italian bread, drenched in olive oil is served with garlic and tomatoes, say typically or traditionally. Bruschetta is one of the commonly mispronounced food names. Before ordering for a variation in your Bruschetta topping as cheese, cured meat, tomatoes, vegetables etc. remember to pronounce it well. It’s BROO-SKET-AH!

#5 Almond

One of the most commonly pronounced food names, Almond is a basic in the kitchen and equally basic is its pronunciation. People often go around calling it AAL-MUND, while the right things here is, AH-MUND. All you have to do- is, forget the L sound. Consider the L in Almond silent, and the rest remains the same. Eat some Almonds for a better and a sharper memory, but don’t forget the correct pronunciation!

#6 Worcestershire Sauce

You pronounce this the closest possible, yet this particular word follows an entirely different pattern. Frequently called Worcester Sauce, it is a fermented liquid which consists of anchovies layered in brine, tamarind in molasses, garlic in vinegar, chillies, sugar and many more condiments. This sauce is one of its kind and is widely used in preparing a lot of light snack dishes, curries, and soups. While it is traditionally used in salad dressings and burger preparations as well. In America, Worcester Sauce is an easy alternative for Soy Sauce. When you visit a grocery store, and want a bottle of Worcester, you do not have to spell it entirely. Pronouncing it word-by-word will end up sounding as WORE-CHESTER-SHIRE or WORE-SESTER-SHIRE. Which is not the right way. The right and acceptable pronunciation is WOOS-TUH-SHURE. See! You do not have to put in too much of effort in speaking it. Just ignore the CES and IRE sound.

#7 Cocoa

Often used in powdered form for baking purposes, to add flavour to beverages, brew some special varieties of coffee and make chocolates. Cocoa is a very common word from the food terminology and one of the commonly mispronounced food names as well. Cocoa is one effortless word. And its right pronunciation is KOH-KOH, and not KOK-KOH-WA. Well it is also called Cacao, so you might as well say CACAO in this case. But this is a more traditional rather than popular name. In Greece, Cocoa is considered the “food of the gods”, and it is where all our chocolates are derived from. Reason enough to pay it due respect. Remember there’s no A sound in it. An often mispronounced name.

#8 Gnocchi

Cavatielli, Gnudi, Malfatti, Malloreddus, are all variations of this Italian food item. Plump, pillow-textured and mild, these soft dough dumplings are made from semolina, wheat flour, egg, cheese, bread, potato and a few more ingredients. And it accounts for being one of the most mispronounced food names. There are three variations to its pronunciation, and all three might be equally acceptable. You may say NOK-EE or NOH-KEE. But the most accurate Gnocchi pronunciation as per Italians is, NYAWK-KEE. Well the locals pronounce it like this. Let’s nail it the Italian way- NYAWK-KEE!

#9 Salmon

Fond of sea food? And especially fond of fishes? You definitely should have this one pronounced correctly from the list. Many of us go around calling it SAL-MON. but it actually is SAM-UHN. We do not have to literally speak out all the alphabets of a word when we pronounce it. And this tip goes for Salmon especially. Salmon is the common name used for several species of fish belonging to the Salmonide family, native to the tributaries of North Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. It is simply called SAM-UHN, avoid using the AL sound and the rest will fall in place.

#10 Parmesan

It ends with SAN but ends with ZON, when spoken. A hard-dry cheese that is used for toppings and garnishing, Parmesan is an Italian at heart food item. It is chiefly used in grated forms. A lot of Italian dishes, in particular Pastas are considered incomplete without a touch of Parmesan. Parmesan is one of the very often mispronounced food names. So the right way to say is, PAR-MA-ZON, and not PAR-MAY-SEAN!

Also Read: Common Grammatical Mistakes We Overlook

10 Toothpaste Hacks You Never Knew!

10 Toothpaste Hacks You Never Knew!

Yes, the toothpaste that helps us keep our teeth healthy and drives away bad breath does a lot more than that. Who would have thought of that! But seems like it isn’t just meant to hang around the washroom basin landing on peoples’ brush. It is capable of doing  numerous other chores. Unfortunately not many among us know about these various other uses and are still in the dark. Many other expensive items we buy to fix small damages can be avoided by having the proper and complete knowledge of toothpaste.  So here are a number of toothpaste hacks to make your life much easier.

#1 Filthy Walls

Got tiny beings in the house with a zest for showcasing their art skills on wall? Not just them, many among us too end up ruining the wall by mistake. These crayon marks can be annoying and taints the beauty of the interior. Mostly, people would paint the wall in order to get rid of the marks or get a little more clever and hang pictures or calendars over it! Guess what, toothpaste can do the simple magic. This is surely one of the toothpaste hacks that can save you some money as well as time. All you need to do is wet a cloth and rub toothpaste on to those crayon marks. Sit back and watch them disappear.

Toothpaste Hacks - Dirty Tiles

#2 Annoying Coffee Rings

It’s hard for me to not have a cup of steaming coffee by my side when I’m working, or while reading a hearty novel by the window. I’m sure many of you reading this article can relate with me. So, there is something that annoys me about coffee though. Ever been bothered by the ugly stain rings that the mugs leave behind on the table tops or tiles? I sure was. And making the go away is no easy task either. The toothpaste can work it’s wonder in this trouble too. Jut apply the toothpaste on the ring and it’ll be gone in no time. Another great hack.

#3 Troubling Haze

The next problem in the list is one faced by the drivers. It so often happens that the headlights of our vehicles gets clouded and stops to function properly. This problem if not looked into can cause serious damages, even major accidents. The view of the driver is diminished in quality with the decrease in the functioning of the headlights. Scrubbing the light with toothpaste can eliminate the haze on your car headlights. Nothing that helps clean the headlight like the toothpaste. Thus, the best headlight cleaner.

Toothpaste Hacks - Hazy Headlights

#4 Painful Pimples

This is an age old trick and continued even today because it works. Perfectly. The pimples, especially when on the face is very bothering. Using face wash or other ointments can be time taking. But why purchase other expensive ointments and cream when there is a simple yet effective solution? Apply toothpaste on the are and watch the pimple disappear. A common one among the toothpaste hacks. this answers the frequent question of does toothpaste get rid of pimples.

Also Read: Home Remedies for Pimples

Toothpaste Hacks - acne face wash

#5 Burning Bites

These small harmless looking bugs scurrying around the house can cause bites that burn and itch. They may not cause any long time problems but the bites can be quite irritating and sometimes painful. Keeping cold water or ice just brings momentary relief but then the burning sensation is back. Here is another one from the toothpaste hacks to save you. Applying toothpaste on the affected area stops the burning and itching sensation. It also cools the skin.

Toothpaste Hacks - Mosquito Bites

#6 DVD Scratches

Its common for the CDs and DVDs to get scared as we use them. Sometimes our nails or sometimes the cover itself end up scratching the CDs. This can affect their proper and smooth working as we all know. This is where the toothpaste comes into play. Tooth paste can effectively remove the scratches and help us use the CDs.  Maybe the list of toothpaste hacks is never ending!

Toothpaste Hacks - DVD Scratches

#7 Nasty Nail holes

We always end up changing the interiors of our houses and work space. Change is always accepted. But often as we change the location of various articles around the room, we end up having visible nail holes. The picture is now hung somewhere else and the previous hole it left behind is quite bothering. So what do we do? Seal it with caulk? But what if you do not have any with you? Toothpaste is something you’ll surely have though. Seal the hole with toothpaste and the wall is as good as new.

Toothpaste Hacks - Nail Cracks

#8 Smudgy Screen

This is one problem every single one of us must be facing. I’m pretty sure about that. No matter how careful we are, the screens of our mobiles are constantly developing new tiny scratches and oily smudges everyday. The fingerprints on the screen is hard to get rid of and annoying to deal with. In the time of only touch screens it seems almost impossible to maintain a clean mobile. But not anymore, if you know this simple hack. Apply a little toothpaste on a microfiber cloth and then use it wipe clean your screen.  You will see the miracle.

Toothpaste Hacks - Mobile Screen

#9 Gluey Envelopes

We are always in a hurry when it comes to envelopes. Surprisingly we never seem to have glue in the house exactly when we need it. Licking the envelope is the next option. But many us would rather not do that. So then what do we do? Run to the shop nearby and purchase a new bottle of glue just for this one envelope? This simple one is another one of the toothpaste hacks that is quite useful. Dab a little toothpaste onto your fingertips and apply it between the folds of the envelope. Now seal it shut and your mail is good to go.

Toothpaste Hacks - Envelope Glue

#10 Smelly Fingers

We all agree cutting onions is an extremely ‘tearful’ business. But sadly every Indian dish seems to be running on this vegetable. The sad part is even if go through the tedious process of chopping them, he ordeal is still not over. Not yet. the nasty smell that lingers on our fingers for days to come is horrible. No matter what we do, it just does not go away. I remember scrubbing my hands red in the process but with no much success at driving the smell away. Here is another useful hack to treasure. Applying the toothpaste like soap and rinsing your hands does the trick. Yes, it is that simple.

Toothpaste Hacks - Smelly Hands

These toothpaste hacks are sure to help you on an everyday basis. Make sure the toothpaste in the house is never over!

How Hiring a Financial Trainer Helped Me Get My Bank Account Into Shape

How Hiring a Financial Trainer Helped Me Get My Bank Account Into Shape

The unfortunate side effect of being raised in a low-income community with a single parent is the lack of access to financial literacy education that doesn’t read/sound like a foreign language. The only real piece of money advice I got as an adolescent was to save—no more, no less. There wasn’t talk of high-yield accounts, stocks, bonds, or a nest egg. I just knew that whenever I got paid, part of my paycheck should be tucked away (though I was happier to spend it on CDs and back-to-school outfits).

Fast-forward to my freshman year of college, and it was as if I’d never heard that small yet valuable tip. By the end of my first semester, I’d exhausted thousands of dollars from my only savings account, in addition to maxing out a credit card. Fast-forward a few more years and I was still paying off that credit card, dodging calls from Sallie Mae, and barely making rent. I’d been on the struggle bus for a while, y’all.

And although I’ve since gotten back to saving and paying off debts, the truth is that up until a few months ago, my spending habits were still erratic and hardly reflective of someone who wants a family and, eventually, retirement. So, shortly after entering my last twentysomething year (eek!), I promised myself I’d Get. It. Together.

Enter The Financial Gym, an affordable financial advisory company whose infrastructure is inspired by that of a gym or fitness center. Instead of a “financial planner,” you’re paired up with a “financial trainer,” who evaluates your current status and, based on your long- and short-term goals, creates a plan, or “workout,” to whip your bank account into shape—just what I needed.

I signed up for a three-month trial with trepidation, mainly because it required that I reveal all the most intimate details about my finances, including salary, an abysmal credit score, and downright scary student debt. Money is uncomfortable to talk about, but as I’ve felt the effects of unfair and unequal pay in my industry, I knew this was a small but important step for me. And since my score has jumped almost 100 points (#humblebrag), among other improvements I’ve seen, I can honestly say that this is one of the best things I’ve done in a while.

Ahead are all the lessons I’ve learned and want to pass along, with the help of my hero (and financial trainer), Crystal Martinez. Let’s get back to basics.

The Pain Points

Saving, credit card debt, and a poor credit score are three things we twentysomethings struggle with most; especially when dealing with all three simultaneously while trying to juggle monthly and weekly spending, such as rent and groceries. Martinez says that most young adults fail to realize that not having a budget that includes monthly savings will only lead to an overdependence on credit cards for spending money that doesn’t actually exist in their bank account. 

“After some time of this behavior, the credit card debt and interest charges can become too high to pay off monthly. This means they may be using too much of their available credit or missing monthly payments, which in turn affects their credit score,” she says. 

STYLECASTER | Lessons From a Financial Trainer | How to Cure Pain Points

Allison Kahler

In cases like these, your focus should be on saving and paying down debt simultaneously. For example, Martinez instructed me to start by paying overdue medical bills and a tax lien immediately, while also having part of my bimonthly paycheck automatically going into a savings account. This meant I had to cut back on other things, like shopping and eating out. Eventually, I opened up a second savings account for traveling and now have a smaller amount going there, too. 

“We also encourage scaling back on nonessential fixed and variable expenses, while also boosting their income through their current job, a new job, or a side hustle. This game plan has successfully worked time and time again,” she says. 

Breaking Down Credit

Before joining the Financial Gym, my credit score had been so low for so long that I literally could not remember when it was actually good. And I think—correction: I know—a lot of people were in the same boat as me. Once that number dips to an all-time low, we think “ignorance is bliss” and ignore it … until it keeps us from the things we want, like the perfect apartment or other big expense.

First: A credit score and a credit report are two different things.

STYLECASTER | Lessons From a Financial Trainer | Understanding Credit

Allison Kahler

“A credit report is a detailed breakdown of all your past and current financial accounts with credit lenders over the last seven years. If you have (or used to have) a credit card or personal, student, or auto loan, for example, the report will show when the account was opened, if you made your payments on time (or didn’t) and the status of the account, such as, ‘active,’ ‘closed,’ or ‘in collections,’” says Martinez. 

Your FICO credit score is an overall “grade” based on your credit report, and it falls between 300 and 850. 500 and below is considered poor, while anything above 700 is good. The benefits of having a score above 750 are “lower interest rates, higher credit limits, approval for reward credit cards, and not to mention, making you a more appealing candidate to rent an apartment or buy a home one day.” Martinez recommends thinking of your credit report like an adult report card that you should check every three to four months, just as you did at the end of every semester. 

“You can receive one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) annually, scan it for accuracy, and dispute any personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers) and accounts (auto, credit card, etc.) that are inaccurate or that are not yours,” she says. (This podcast is also a great launching pad.)

School Loans and Debt Collection

A lesson I learned the hard way: Avoiding student loans won’t make them disappear, and, unfortunately, they can impact your credit if you don’t deal with them. “The sooner you acknowledge their presence in your life (like that annoying family friend you dread at family functions) and come up with a game plan to deal with them, the better off you’ll be,” says Martinez. 

If, like me, you have loans that fall under the “federal” category, your best bet is loan consolidation, so you can have everything combined together into one monthly payment with one set interest rate. “The income-based repayment plan is also a great way to make sure that your monthly payment is in alignment with your annual salary and that you’re not paying half of your monthly income toward this debt,” says Martinez. 

STYLECASTER | Lessons From a Financial Trainer | How to Handle Debt

Allison Kahler

On the other hand, if you have a loan, credit card, or other item that goes into debt collections, know that it will stay on your credit report and eventually fall off after a seven-year grace period. Once an account has gone there, the damage is done and paying a collection agency doesn’t guarantee that your report’s negative status will change.

Instead of paying off those bills, Martinez recommends focusing your energy and income on the active accounts to ensure those don’t also go into collection purgatory. Eventually, your score will rebound, and you’ll have saved money in the process. 

Also, remember that in the midst of your struggle, you still have rights as a consumer and are protected by the Federal Trade Commission. “A debt collector should never call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., threaten, or lie to you. If you experience any rogue collectors, take down their name, phone number, and collection agency name and report it to the FTC,” says Martinez. 

Negotiation

Salary negotiation feels like an upward battle in general because we’re still living in a time where people feel uncomfortable talking about how much money they make. The reality is that this tight-lipped culture is part of what got us into this mess to begin with. 

“In a perfect world, we would all receive that raise we deserve, but unfortunately, that’s not how businesses operate,” says Martinez. “As we learned from ‘The Godfather,’ ‘It’s not personal; it’s business.’ You should always be negotiating on your own behalf, whether you are going in for a new job or are within your current role.”

STYLECASTER | Lessons From a Financial Trainer | Negotiating Muscles

Allison Kahler

The benefits of salary negotiation are garnering cash flow for your short-term goals, like disposable income for traveling or being able to move out alone. And in the long run, it brings you closer to future plans, like buying a home and retirement.

“If negotiating scares you, take baby steps. Call your cell phone or cable provider and negotiate a lower monthly rate. If you go to a gym or clothing store, negotiate a discount,” says Martinez. “Building up your negotiation muscle will make it easier for you when it’s go-time to ask your boss for that much-deserved raise.” Negotiation is something that still terrifies me, so I practiced (and succeeded) by convincing AT&T to cut my phone bill in half. And now I feel confident about the tackling the more challenging conversations in the future. 

Quick Fixes

So, what can someone—with and without a finance trainer—do to start rehabilitating their finances? Begin with an emergency savings account. This is something everyone should have. Period. Since this is money you shouldn’t be tapping into often, Martinez recommends stashing it in a high-yield savings account. Unlike a general day-to-day savings account, which may have hidden fees attached to it, this one will earn you more interest (1 percent or higher) over time.

“You can still access this cash without a penalty, but it’ll work harder for you over time,” says Martinez. “Don’t let your money fall between the cracks of the couch. Put it on the treadmill!”

If you have short-term savings goals such as travel, a clothing purchase, or moving into a new apartment, that money should be separate from your emergency fund, since having all of your money together can make it difficult to keep track of your goals. For instance, shortly after resetting my main savings account, I started a second one for traveling. Every two weeks, I have cash being transferred into it so I won’t have to dip into my checking account or nest egg when it’s time to buy a plane ticket. 

STYLECASTER | Lessons From a Financial Trainer | Quick Fixes

Allison Kahler

To bring everything full circle, this re-emphasizes the importance of salary negotiation, because if you want separate savings accounts for separate goals, you need enough steady income to split between them in the first place. At any given time, Martinez says everyone should have three to six months of fixed costs (rent, utilities, phone, transit, grocery, etc.) stored in a savings account. “It’s never ‘if’ an emergency happens. It’s ‘when’ the emergency happens, because believe me, they always do!”

If you’re looking to quickly boost a credit score, there are two ways to do it. First, Martinez recommends keeping your credit utilization below 35 percent. “For example, if your credit limit is $1,000, you should never spend more than $350 from that card,” she says. And the second—a no-brainer—is to simply pay your bill on time every month. 

“Even if you only pay the minimum monthly payment, this will greatly impact your score. A late or missed monthly payment can drop your score, but over a period of time, this can rebound.” Both of these things account for 65 percent of your total credit score, so pay attention (and your bills) to see an almost immediate change.