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Lifestyle

Take a Fantastic Road Trip for Less

February 26, 2017

Organizing a great road trip these days is a lot simpler than one might imagine. First of all, it is way easier to plan than things used to be. Secondly, navigating is a cinch, thanks to new technology. Finally, best of all, you can save a ton on car rentals thanks to brand new offerings from reliable companies you can trust.

Making plans for your road trip is a lot easier than things used to be because you have the power of the Internet at your fingertips. Rather than having to read travel guides, ask a network of acquaintances if they know anything about a locale, and look up information in an encyclopedia or other information source, just head online and search for information about your destinations. You will find that a ton of search results come back to you with ease.

Navigating is so much easier than in the past, too. No longer do you need to flip through pages of maps while parked on the roadside. Those maps were not always up to date anyway, which often led to confusion and frustration with your road trip on pause. Instead, simply input your next destination into your GPS and you are off. Even better, while planning, you can use virtual maps to optimize your entire road trip for the best sight seeing possible.

Just getting started is so much easier in the age of the Internet. You can rent a fantastic vehicle from Dollar Rent A Car thanks to its partnership with Groupon Coupons. Dollar and Groupon are offering 10% off coupons, 20% off codes, 15% off both weekly and weekend rentals, and much more. All this with the simple click of a button – and the offers are updated regularly. Check out the great deals Dollar is offering, and you will be behind the wheel in no time at all.

If you have been intimidated by taking a road trip in the past, now is the perfect time to set off into the sunset. Enjoy a road trip like none other with just the simplest bit of planning and the easiest, most affordable rental you could imagine.

Lifestyle

Engaging Team Building Event Idea In Canada Ottawa

February 22, 2017

Corporate events and team building functions are a great way to give your employees or colleagues a break from their normal work routine, and instill some trust in your group. If your company is located in Ottawa or the surrounding areas, Bad Axe Throwing is a great alternative to traditional team building functions and corporate events.

Bad Axe Throwing was founded in 2014, and has since expanded to over 10 locations in Canada and the United States. The company offers people an opportunity to learn how to properly throw an axe in a safe, monitored environment, and has become one of the fastest growing activities in Canada.

Since team building functions are designed to help a group work better together, learning how to throw an axe is a very unique and fun way to help the group build teamwork.

The axe throwing coaches will show your group how to throw an axe while giving tips and explaining how the tournament scoring system works. After that, group members will take turns throwing axes.

Even if you have never picked up an axe before, the team will show you the proper technique to use and you will be throwing like a veteran lumberjack in no time!

Guests are encouraged to bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. This helps to keep the cost low and appeal to your accounting team.

Since Bad Axe Throwing specializes in corporate events, team building exercises and private parties, they can handle large groups as well as small ones.

The goal is to learn how to throw an axe and have fun with friends and colleagues, but the company also does their part in helping the local community. Bad Axe Throwing has hosted fundraisers in collaboration with The Ottawa Food Bank and The Ottawa Snowsuit Fund to help the less fortunate.

If you are planning a corporate or team building event in Ottawa, you can book directly on their website. You can also book by calling 1-888-435-0001.

Featured, Lifestyle

Getting creative with home DIY projects

February 21, 2017

Do you like to try your hand at a bit of DIY? It’s amazing how many things we end up paying for other people to do for us when we could handle them perfectly well by ourselves. Fixing up your own home is fun and it’s really satisfying to be able to sit back and think “I made that!” Although you should always prepare carefully and seek advice where possible, many home DIY projects are easier than they look, so what are you waiting for?

Revamp your old wooden furniture

Do you have wooden furniture in your home that just looks tired? Unless it’s well looked after, wood loses its spirit after a while, and sadly this often leads to it being thrown out when simply giving it a new finish could bring it back to life. Simply sand off the old finish and you’ll be ready to go. You could paint it in a bright colour that compliments your décor, or add a touch of metallic paint for a more glamorous look. Wood stains are easy to use and can give old wood a rich, vivid colour that makes it look like new again. You can also use coloured waxes to get just the shade you want whilst creating a smooth, shining surface that will protect the wood against future damage.

Install window shutters

Why stick with bulky curtains that cut out lots of light even when they’re open, when you could fit stylish new DIY shutters in their place? There are styles available to suit most shapes of window and although they don’t require a lot of work to fix up, they can dramatically change the look of your home. Shutters are easy to paint so you can change the colour of them quickly and cheaply whenever you want to redecorate. They add to the security of your home and they can be particularly helpful if you have toddlers or pets who like to chew on or pull the curtains.

Make a rag rug

If you find it difficult to heft big pieces of wood around or climb about on ladders, there are still ways that you can get involved in DIY. Making a rag rug is easy to do and you can even get your children involved in it. You will need a piece of hessian cloth to use as backing and you may find it easier to work with pliers, though many people just use their hands. Simply cut small strips of cloth from old clothes, curtains or similar items and weave them into the cloth, then repeat the process so that the colourful pieces of cloth build up and the hessian is no longer visible. You can make these rugs in many shape, colour or pattern you want, to suit your home.

Revive your old sofa

Are you tired of your saggy old sofa but not sure you can afford a new one? The pieces of foam used to stuff sofas can be purchased very cheaply online, and it’s easy to add more, or replace the old stuffing entirely, so that your sofa feels firm again. You might also consider re-covering it so that it looks bright and fresh. Any sturdy fabric will do for this but it’s advisable to find one that’s easy to clean. Put zips in the covers you make so that you can easily take them on and off to put them in the washing machine.

Build a bird box

If you’re enjoying working on your own home, why not make somebody else a home and keep t in your garden? With songbird populations in decline, bird boxes are a big help. They’re simple to put together but there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, give the box a sloping roof so the rain slides off it. Second, make sure it’s weatherproof. Third, make sure that hole for going in and out of it is no more than an inch in diameter – big enough for the birds but small enough to keep out predators. Finally, position it somewhere that’s not too exposed but where it’ difficult for cats to wait in ambush.

Projects like this are a great way for you to polish up your DIY skills and do something creative at the same time. They’re fun to do and everybody in the family can get involved. Getting to grips with DIY will really make you feel that your home belongs to you, when you know that a lot of the great things about it are a product of your own hard work.

Lifestyle

3 Ways to Decorate Your Dining Area and Make it Look More Fabulous

February 20, 2017

The dining area at home is very important. It is where you and your family share good moments together. You enjoy good stories and hearty laughs as a family. This is why you need to make sure that it looks amazing. You need to make everyone feel comfortable when they are dining. Here are the best ways for you to decorate the dining area.

  1. Go for a minimalistic approach. This works all the time. The dining area should be a place where everyone will just sit down and eat. It doesn’t make sense if you throw in a lot of items inside. You have to keep the decorations simple but lovely. Besides, you will appreciate more your time together as a family if there is nothing there that obstructs you. It is also easier to appreciate the food that you have prepared.
  2. Use drawers and cabinets. It helps if you have drawers and cabinets installed. They will keep everything organised. You avoid having a messy home when these cabinets are used. You want to eat without thinking about plates scattered around the area. You can keep them inside the drawer when not in use.
  3. Buy a vintage dining table. Using a vintage industrial dining table is definitely the best way to spruce up the ordinary look of your dining area. You can even throw in some industrial chairs to match the table. You might think that it looks old and it does not make sense. The truth is that it still looks amazing. Such items are classic and timeless. It is like taking your entire family back to the past. The good thing about this is that they will be more in the mood to just sit down and eat. They will stop using their phones. If you are in a setting that takes you to the past, you will surely follow the practices and traditions of people who have lived in that period.

After decorating your dining area, you will be more excited about gathering your family and eating together. Rest assured if you choose high quality furniture, you can expect it to last for a long time. You can check it out online if you think there are not so many options available in local stores. You may also go for a more unusual approach, where you mix and match different types of tables and chairs in the dining area without uniformity. The randomness will surely make this whole idea more exciting.

Finally, the part of your house where you used to just sit down, eat and leave has become a more special place for everyone.

Lifestyle

How Best to Choose a Freestanding Bath

February 10, 2017

It’s easy to appreciate a freestanding bath – they are often the focal point of the room, and are inherently attractive and beautiful in their own right. If you have a freestanding bath in your bathroom, you can instantly transform the look of the room and benefit from all the conveniences a freestanding bath brings. But it’s not that easy to choose a freestanding bath – after all, you can’t go with looks alone. Some practical factors need to be considered as well. Here’s how best to choose a freestanding bath.

Styles

First of all, there are many different freestanding bath styles from which to choose.  The most easily recognisable is the claw-foot style, which is raised from the flooring of the bathroom with ‘feet.’ Some claw-foot styles are more modern, with geometrically-shaped feet rather than claw feet.

Another style is the pedestal style, where the bath sits on a platform or base. The corner or wall-backed freestanding bath style, on the other hand, is just as its name implies: it can be placed in a corner of the bathroom or against the wall, and it can be a good choice for smaller bathrooms. Some freestanding bath styles are also just made to stand directly on the bathroom floor, and these types of freestanding baths are noticeably chic and modern.

Materials

You also have some choices when it comes to materials. Acrylic is one popular choice in material as it is strong and light-weight. It can also be made resistant to fading and scratching, and it’s also easy to maintain. If an acrylic bath is lightly scratched, all it needs is some buffing to repair the scratch. Solid surface is another common material for freestanding baths and known for being strong and sturdy. It can also resist scratches and stains, and can be repaired through professional polishing and sanding. Another material for freestanding baths is cast iron. Although this material is long-lasting, it can be quite heavy and may require additional floor support.

Other important considerations

When choosing a freestanding bath, you have to make sure that you can bathe comfortably in it – in other words, that you and other members of your family will fit. To determine this, look at the measurement of the bath’s bottom, especially the width and length of the bath floor. You also have to make sure that the freestanding bath will be able to fit through your home’s hallways and doors. Installing it in the proper manner is also a major consideration, so have it installed by professionals. The drains should also be chosen carefully, as you have the option to have it either hidden or exposed. The same goes for the taps – you have three main options: a freestanding tap, a deck-mounted tap, and a wall-mounted tap. Make sure to choose the best one for your needs and according to the recommendations of a professional plumber.

Lifestyle

Tips For Buying Your First Home

February 7, 2017

Buying a home is very exciting for first time buyers because they are finally getting a place they can call their own. However, being a homeowner comes with a few risks and responsibilities, which is why we have decided to give you a few tips you should know before purchasing your first home.

Research

Before you buy a home, it is advisable to do as much research as possible so you can purchase your home with confidence knowing you did your due diligence. You can get useful information by attending seminars for first time home buyers, or go online for useful information from other homeowners.

Don’t Spend More Than You Have

When you’re trying to buy a house, your realtor will show you a lot of nice homes, some of which are over your budget. While it is tempting to buy a nicer house than what you had in mind, you should keep in mind that the house is more expensive than what you had in mind, so you need to go back and check your finances to know if you can afford to make your mortgage payments. If you calculate that you can make the payments without affecting your other financial obligations, go for it. If the house will put you in a financial crunch, get something cheaper.

Make a List of Your Priorities

Before you buy a house, make sure the house addresses all your needs. For example, if you have children and a good school system is important to you, find out if the schools in the neighborhood meet your standards. If not, try looking for a house in a better school district. If peace and quiet is what is important to you, find a house in a neighborhood that isn’t close to a major highway or school district.

Home Inspection

Realtors are required to let you know if a home has been inspected or not, but some are only interested in closing the deal, and won’t tell you if you don’t ask. Make sure you ask if a home you’re interested in has passed inspection before you move into it, or you will be liable for the expenses that arise from fixing any damage in the house after you buy it.

Insurance

Insuring your home is very important because it protects you from financial liability if there is a disaster like fire, or if you home is robbed. If you plan on renting the house out, you should also insure the home to protect yourself if your tenants damage your property. To learn more about landlord insurance, visit homelet.co.uk

Lifestyle

5 Pro Tips For Creating Your New Hairstyle

February 3, 2017

Finding that perfect new hairstyle fills you with confidence that gets you noticed. Yet, it takes striking a careful balance between keeping up with the trends and showing off your unique personal style to truly look amazing. Before you start experimenting with hairstyles, use these pro tips to find a look that shows off all of your best features.

Check Out a Look Book

Look books are what the stylists to the stars use to get inspired. You can click through images of hairstyles online, or you can make a look book of your own by cutting and pasting pictures into a scrapbook. Either way, this is the best place to start when you need a few ideas to try out in the mirror. When you are making your look book, keep in mind to choose photos with models whose face shapes and features are similar to yours since those are the styles that will best fit the look you are after.

Try a Sleek Style

Your new hairstyle should be low-maintenance enough that you can wear it every day while still looking like you just walked out of the salon. Curls simply take too much time to create, and they usually fall into wimpy waves by the end of the day. The hot look now is smooth and sleek, which is perfect for beauty queens who want to look great without spending all day styling their hair. Straight hair also looks great up or down so you have more options for changing up your look.

Find at Least Two Ways to Wear It

Once you have your basic style in place, you want to make sure it doesn’t get boring. You also want to find ways to wear your style no matter what you are doing during the day. For example, your straight hairstyle can be worn loose with a pretty clip for that exciting first date, or you can pull it up into a high pony to create a more elegant look. Having multiple ways to style your hair gives you options for creating specific looks.

Play With Accessories

There are tons of accessories available today that can accent your hair while drawing attention to your style. For example, try running a ribbon through a few choice braids weaved throughout your straightened hair. Or you could add a sparkly rhinestone band to your high pony. For that music festival, tie a long scarf into a headband and let the ends dangle down your back. With sleek hair, just about any type of accessory can be worked into your style to create a fun, flirty look.

Try It Out

The only way to know if you have created the perfect hairstyle is to get out there and show it off. Head to school or work with your new style, and wait for the compliments to roll in. If you’ve followed these steps, your style is sure to get noticed. In fact, don’t be surprised if people ask how you got your hair so glossy and sleek. When you look your best, everyone wants to find out how to pull off a similar style so be generous. Beauty queens have no problem sharing their secrets.

Creating new hairstyles should be a normal part of your beauty routine since keeping your look fresh is the secret to always getting attention. By experimenting with different textures and accessories, your new look will make you feel your best inside and out.

 

 

Lifestyle

Making the Perfect Healthy Meal for Valentine’s Day.

February 1, 2017

Valentine’s Day is an occasion that many of us look forward to. Regardless of whether this will be your first Valentine’s Day as a couple or your 20th or 30th, it is important to keep the romance alive and make it special for you both.

Many people of course dine out on the 14th February, but this may turn into a disappointment either with regards to the service or the quality of food presented. Why not eat at home this year? This is also an ideal opportunity to treat yourself to a new kitchen gadget such as a spiraliser or some new tableware for your romantic meal. With a little planning, you will be able to enjoy a quality dining experience for two at home. Then why not enjoy a relaxed meal out the following weekend?

Your ideal home-prepared romantic dinner is also an opportunity to cater to your preferred tastes as a couple and still aim for a nutritious meal. Your health conscious aims do not have to slip just because it is a special occasion, and here’s how:  

Starter

A healthy salad containing watercress, rocket, spinach, hulled hemp seeds and beetroot would be perfect. Hulled hemp seeds make for a nutty flavour; they have the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are also good for fibre. Fresh beetroot is a vegetable that keeps for some time, and has gained in popularity as an antioxidant superfood. It may also be good for your heart health and blood pressure. There has of course been plenty of talk over the years about spinach as a superfood. Nonetheless superfoods ought to be consumed as part of an overall healthy mindset to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle as a whole. Hopefully if you have prepared a tasty salad you won’t be full up before the main course, which can often be the case with more elaborately prepared starters.

Main Course

This is an ideal opportunity to mix things up a little. If you regularly buy chicken, why not opt for duck instead? The meat is darker in colour than chicken and has a beautiful flavour. You really will notice the difference and find it tastes a treat. People are sometimes concerned about the saturated fat content, but this poultry is ideal for omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 zinc and selenium.  

Gordon Ramsay wrote a delicious recipe for Spiced Slow-roast duck and applesauce, which you can find here, and it only involves a handful of basic ingredients. Most people have butter for cooking and like apples and may have apple juice anyway. Don’t be afraid to slightly adapt any celebrity chef’s recipe to add a different herb or spice to suit your preferences. A couple of sprigs of asparagus are also a classy addition to the meal if you do not normally buy it. If you are daunted by buying a whole duck, just buy a couple of duck breasts – this may also be a better option for portion control. The aroma of roasting duck would also be a pleasing welcome home for your partner or spouse.

When it comes to meal appeal; Valentine’s Day is an ideal opportunity to get out the spiralizer for contemporary presentation of root vegetables. Apple may also be prepared in this manner as a garnish.

Dessert

The health conscious of us may be concerned about dessert options, yet omitting a lovely dessert may make you feel that you have cut a special meal short.

Yoghurt dipped strawberries are a great option, being low in saturated fat. Do buy organic yoghurt and a brand with the lowest sugar content you can find for optimum health. This can make for a romantic dessert as if you think about it -strawberries are even heart shaped! Another benefit is that you may prepare this a day or two in advance to save time. After dipping the strawberries in the yoghurt, simply freeze them until solid. A thicker density of yoghurt would of course be better suited to this dish and would give a good coating. After freezing let the strawberries sit at room temperature for around 10-15 minutes before eating. Some people opt to drizzle them in melted chocolate for an extra special decadence.

Final Tips

Valentine’s day wouldn’t be complete without the gift of romantic chocolates or biscuits, which usually have the heart shaped theme. Assuming you may be eating such treats, this was another reason why we’ve suggested a light starter and a healthier dessert.

When it comes to beverages, your choice of drinks sets the tone of the evening. If it is a work night, there is an increasing choice of adults’ soft drinks available. Or you may wish to go all out and buy champagne!

It’s not all about the food of course. Making the table look great and creating an atmosphere is also essential to creating a memorable evening. Bring out the best crockery and wine glasses and consider table decorations. Extra thought towards the table itself goes a long way towards making the evening more romantic. You could even opt for red tableware.

Think about music that reminds you of when you met, or your anniversary or other occasions. You do not have to play predictable romantic music if that is not your taste. There are various alternative love songs that had been released in the past. The correct choice of music within your playlist can of course spark conversations about old times, or lead to plans about arranging concert tickets.

Of course, no celebration would be complete without photographs! Rather than taking grainy indoor selfies, why not dig out your best digital camera and set the timer to capture lovely photos of you both together? There is often one person in every couple who holds the camera, so make sure that the photographer at home always gets to be on photos

Hopefully you will have picked up some helpful ideas to create a perfect and joyful romantic meal for two. Don’t forge, creating an enjoyable meal really can be part of a healthy lifestyle and can help you stick to good healthy habits together. Why not make this Valentine’s Day one to remember for you both for all the right reasons!