Family * Travel * Food

4 Practical Tips For Reducing Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are the time of year when families and friends are supposed to come together and rejoice in the season. It’s a time when lights are glittering, and carolers bring joy through song. However, for many the holidays are a source of stress. Trying to juggle responsibilities like work and relationships while also trying to do last minute shopping, attend parties, and decorate can put people into overload and cause a lot of stress. 

It is important to take the holidays back by finding ways to not stress about them so you can actually enjoy what they are all about. To get it right takes planning, prioritizing, maintaining personal wellness, and embracing the core essence of the holiday season. In this article, we will go over several practical tips to help you enjoy the holidays like you did when you were a kid. 

1 - Start by outsourcing

The first step in being able to enjoy the holidays is to admit to yourself that one person cannot do everything alone. It takes a team to be able to get through the obligations that come with the season. 

This is where the concept of hiring help for the holiday season comes into play.

Delegating tasks can be a game changer. Instead of juggling multiple responsibilities, you can hire professionals to take care of tasks such as shopping, gift wrapping, cleaning, cooking, and even paying for professional Christmas light installation

When you have people doing these tasks for you, it frees up your time to handle your social obligations and spend time doing the things you enjoy. This is what the season is about, after all.

2 - Prioritize and plan

Holiday stress often comes from feeling overwhelmed with the number of tasks to complete and the lack of time to get them done. If you prioritize these tasks and plan them out, then this can make it feel a lot less stressful. 

The first step is to list down everything that you need to do during the holiday season. This includes shopping for gifts, preparing meals, decorating the house, sending cards, and attending events.

Once you have a list you need to prioritize the order that the items should be done. Create categories for each task and then label them according to their urgency. 

Once you've prioritized your tasks, it's time to slot them into your schedule. Break down larger tasks into manageable chunks and distribute them across your available time. Do not anything until the last minute, which can cause panic and stress.

3 - Focus on what matters

The holiday season is about more than just the perfect meal or the most beautiful decorations. It's about spending quality time with loved ones, creating warm memories, and celebrating the year that's passed. 

When you start to feel burned out from standing in long lines at the mall, or attending a work holiday party after a long day, then it is time to take a step back. Make it a point to do something with your family or friends that brings joy like having a meal together, or even just going for a sled ride through the snow. 

Taking this step back will give you some breathing room and remind you that the season is not about stress but about the joy that comes from making time for your loved ones. 

Rather than spending your time in lines, go work at a soup kitchen for a day to give back to those in need. This will help you put everything into perspective and recharge your batteries by helping you feel thankful for what you have. 

4 - Take care of yourself

Balancing personal wellness with festive obligations might seem challenging, but it's key to enjoying the holiday season to the fullest. The holiday season can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Recognize and acknowledge your feelings. It's okay not to feel joyful all the time. 

When you start feeling like you are going through the motions, it’s time to schedule some time to do something for yourself. It sounds more difficult than it really is. For instance, if you are buying some skin care products as a gift, get them at a day spa and treat yourself to a 30 minute massage while there. 

It's okay to prioritize your wellness over trying to meet everyone else's holiday expectations. Remember, it's the experiences and memories that matter, not making sure to get the perfect gift for everybody on your list.


Funeral Planning Tips to Help You Make Smart Decisions

Death and funerals are something you do not like or want to talk about, but everyone knows eventually, the time will come, and they will have to face it. According to a report by the National Funeral Directors Association, only 36% of people have written or communicated their funeral wishes to their families and loved ones. Well, the reasons are too obvious to mention. But talking or communicating about it makes it easier to plan a funeral.

Losing someone you love is a big deal, and it takes time to understand the whole situation. In the midst of all this, planning a funeral becomes punishing. Well thanks to the internet, you can now just look up funeral services and planners around you. For example, if you live in Sydney, you can search for Sydney orthodox church funeral arrangements, go through the list of funeral planners in your neighborhood and book the ones that satisfy your requirements.

Planning a funeral needs you to make smart decisions. You don’t want to know about something you forgot to do in the middle of a funeral. So here are some tips that will save you all the worries and help you make all the right decisions to plan a funeral.

Learn what’s involved

To plan a funeral, you first need to know what happens at a funeral. The important things that need the most attention are preparing the body of the deceased, the ceremony, and then the interment. Is there a burial or cremation? Full funeral service at a funeral home or a small service near the grave? Viewing of the deceased or not? Burial in the ground or a tomb? Who and how many people are going to be there? Where are the ashes to be scattered? These are the most important questions you need the answers to for planning a funeral.

Find out the Average costs

Before just going to a shop and buying the things you think you need, go around other places and find out the average costs. Although there are a lot of things going on in your head, you still need to be attentive towards this and be smart with finances. Finding out the average costs might help you save a lot of money.

Shop around

Instead of buying the whole package the funeral home or the funeral planners introduce, you must go around nearby shops and buy things individually. Also, don’t buy more than what you need. It will be a waste of money and resources. Buy whatever you need but always keep a check on how much you need.

Make a List 

Instead of trying to memorize a whole to-do list, just write it all down on a piece of paper and always keep it with you. It will save you the burden of remembering everything, and you can always keep adding things in there as soon as you understand the task. Keeping a to-do list helps you be specific about your tasks and deadlines. Missing a task and remembering it in the middle of the service will surely make you feel worse. So a written list is always the way to go. 

These planning tips will ensure you plan the funeral in the best way possible without anything going the other way.


Different Types of Trusts

Keeping finances in order is an essential part of life. When the time comes when an individual or family needs to think about planning their estate, setting up a trust account may come up. There are a variety of trusts one can sign up for, and there are four common types that most may consider. 

What Is a Trust?

The basic description of a trust is an arrangement is made to allow a third party, also known as the trustee, to hold onto certain assets as a favor to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. They are primarily used in estate planning to transfer the assets to the beneficiaries easily. A trust is similar to a will, and most of the time, the beneficiaries are a spouse, children, or other family members. Sometimes it is even a close friend or a charity depending on the situation. These beneficiaries will receive the assets to the trust based on how the trustee is directed to distribute them.

Living and Testamentary Trust

Every trust account must be selected and set up by the trustor. Some situations will call for an Advisor Directed Trust if the assets are considerable. But the two common trusts are the living and testamentary trusts.

The living trust can also be called an inter vivos trust and is created while the person is still alive. One of the most common purposes of this trust is so the trust's assets can be effortlessly transferred to the beneficiaries. It can accomplish this by avoiding probate, saving time and court fees, and reducing the estate taxes for the beneficiaries.

A testamentary trust is set up after death and is influenced by what is said in the last will and testament. The terms of this trust can be changed at any time up until death and can be a more straightforward process with more flexibility than a living trust. The main objective is to ensure that the beneficiaries can only acquire certain assets at a prearranged time.

Revocable and Irrevocable Trust

A revocable trust is also known as a revocable living trust, and it allows the trustor to keep control of their assets during their entire lifetime. They can change the trust or even dissolve it if they deem it necessary. These types of trusts offer flexibility because they can transfer their assets and switch their guidelines for handling said assets during their lives.

On the other side, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed or modified once established. Therefore, if a transfer of assets occurs to a trust, it can no longer be changed or undone. This gives the trustor less flexibility and asks why someone would choose this trust? The main reason someone may choose this trust is that they benefit from a safeguard. Their assets are safe and protected from claims of creditors or beneficiaries. It also can remove certain assets from the estate, making them exempt from estate and gift tax.

When planning an estate, a trust can significantly benefit the trustor. And depending on the assets, choosing the right trust is crucial.


Tips When Planning to Travel Around the Country

Everyone loves to travel, but they are not always willing to make the sacrifice for it. We take one day off during the weekend, and try to visit as many places in as short a time as possible. This is not the way to travel and truly enjoy tourism. You might get good photos to post on social media, but you're not likely to get the full benefit of travel for relaxation and enjoyment if your time is limited. 

Stay for a While 
You don’t get to experience anything when you go anywhere for a short time. You only see things that people have set up for tourists. You go to those famous places where there are many other people like you, and eat food from popular restaurants. If possible, you should move to the city for a few months if you really want to experience their culture. With the help of a moving company, traveling and staying from one city to another will be easier. 

Take on a Job for the Experience
If you are going to live in a new city for a few months, you will definitely need some money. That’s why you should find yourself a job. You will be able to meet many new people and experience the local culture. However, make sure you find a job of your interest, not something that is too hectic, even if it pays well. Since you are going to live there for some time, you will have more time to explore and discover new places. 

Avoid Tourist Season
There is usually a season when everyone heads to the popular tourist spots. This tends to fall during the summer months as well as during the winter holidays. That’s the time you need to avoid. There are way too many people during this season, and locals are only focused on making profits instead of providing an experience. You will see that all good spots become very commercial, and since every business have a greater volume of customers, they may not give their best service possible. 

Get Up Early 
If you want to save time, you need to avoid crowds. Wherever you are going, set an alarm to get up early. You won’t see a lot of people out and about if you get up and leave early. You will save time on the trip and get to enjoy the tourist spots before it gets too crowded. 

Don’t Be in a Rush
Since you have made time to go and enjoy your time, do it properly. Don’t try to cut short time and get more done in little time. You are traveling, not working where you need to save time. Don’t be afraid to spend hours throughout the day experiencing moments that truly feed your soul. 

Talk to People 
You might be an introvert, but you should get out of your comfort zone to enjoy traveling. It’s not very difficult to open up and talk to locals to learn about their culture. They can put you on to places to go or even free things to do in the area you might not have known about. 

Don’t Just Take Photos
You should take photos to make memories, but that should not be all. Many of us are only focused on getting good shots that we can show off to our friends and families. No one cares about how good photos you have taken. You should focus on enjoying and living the moment. Leave the camera aside for some time and try activities. Make memories but there is no law that says you should photograph them. 

5 Tips for Planning a Service with a Funeral Home

It's unfortunate, but death is a part of life, and all life has to end. Some people say it's hardest when you experience the death of a loved one for the first time in your life. They say it gets easier after you have been to a couple of funerals. But no matter what people say or how prepared you were, losing a loved one is never easy. For help getting through this tough time, check out the following tips on planning a service with a funeral home. 

Learn What Happens At a Funeral

Before you arrange a funeral, you must know everything that happens at one. 
Generally, three things happen at each funeral. First is preparing the body of the deceased. The second is holding the service. The final one is handling the internment. 

With all three of those, you have a variety of choices, and you need to pick the right one. Therefore, you should start educating yourself on the things that are involved in each part of the process. You can even find some helpful checklists on the internet for planning funerals, as they can help you make decisions. 

Pick the Right Funeral Home

When you know the kind of funeral you want for your loved one, you can start looking into funeral homes that can help you set it up. 

There are many funeral homes out there, which is why you should pick the closest option that caters to your needs adequately. Alternatively, a place where all the relatives, family members, friends, and acquaintances can gather. 

You can ask your close friends and family members to accompany you everywhere. It can be tough to do everything by yourself. 

Choose the Kind of a Service

Familiarize yourself with the types of funeral services that funeral homes generally offer. For instance, you can get anything from direct cremation to a full funeral with a proper burial.

When you're at funeral homes, they will most likely offer plenty of packages. At this stage, you're more than likely not to be thinking clearly because of the death. That is entirely understandable. But, you should still try to keep an eye out for these packages. 

Often, people don't look too deep into the details of a package and agree to it because it offers the basic things they need for the service. But you should only get what you want and not pay for anything more. You can even go out of the package. 

Keep the Service Personal

Not every funeral needs to be precisely the same as the other. For instance, everyone shows up at a cemetery. They sit on the chairs, listen to some eulogies, and finally bury the dead. That's what happens in most movies and TV shows as well. 

However, you don't have to stick with the basics. These days, many people are going with the option to personalize the funerals of their loved ones. It makes the funerals more unique and personal. 

Take Care of Yourself

Regardless of how ready you were for the news of their passing away, the death of a loved one can be incredibly heavy.

Therefore, you need to seriously take care of yourself during these challenging times. For starters, you should try to be closer to members of your family and close friends. While you can be alone, it's better not to be by yourself. 

If you're having a challenging time processing the death, you can also look into support groups or counseling. They can really help you process the death and move on with your life. 


How to Help Your Loved Ones Live Comfortably as They Get Older

The people who cared for you when you were young are among the very closest to you and most cherished. When they get older and start to need assistance to manage their own care, you want to do the most that you can in order to ensure that they have all of the help that they need. Here are some strategies to organize care for your loved ones and help them continue enjoying a great quality of life.
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Help Your Loved Ones Stay Engaged With Healthcare

One of the most important ways to help the people who you care about stay healthy as they age is to help them stay engaged with medical providers. When somebody is coping with several concurrent medical conditions or experiencing chronic pain, he or she may tend to get discouraged about the possibility of being benefited by treatment. Moreover, simply going to appointments can seem somewhat overwhelming for somebody who is coping with impaired or limited mobility. Support your loved ones by encouraging them to stay connected with their primary care doctor and specialists. Accompanying them to appointments can make them feel better about going, and they’ll know that they have your care and support.

Be Prepared For Medical Decisions

When an aging loved one experiences an illness or medical condition that may affect his or her ability to consent to medical care, you need to be ready to help. The best way to address this issue is to execute a power of attorney that will authorize you to arrange for care. This form of authorization can also be applied to non-medical needs such as accessing financial accounts and information about senior benefits such as Medicare and social security.

Establish a Plan for Keeping Prescription Medications Filled and Organized

Many seniors need to take several medications to maintain good health. Staying on top of a lot of medications can be difficult. Help your loved one get prescriptions filled at the pharmacy or by mail and stay on top of when refills will be needed. Helping to organize daily medications in a pill dispenser can make keeping track of medications easier.

Help Your Loved Ones Eat Healthily

When people’s living habits change, their dietary habits are likely to change as well. It’s important to make sure that people are still able to eat the foods that they most enjoy. Take steps to ensure that getting groceries and preparing meals isn’t burdensome. Also, if somebody is experiencing diminished appetite, you need to help them find ways to maintain a healthy nutritional balance. Adding a nutritional supplement can help people get vital nutritional content that is necessary to maintain good health and prevent weight loss.

Find High-Quality Housing and Care

For many seniors, assisted living or independent living facilities that integrate managed care may be the optimal form of housing. Sometimes, the need for this type of housing is only temporary, such as when one is recovering from an injury. In other instances, it may be a preferable long term solution. You should find an option that offers comfortable accommodations as well as excellent quality care.

10 Hacks To Choose The Best Destination For Your Next Holiday

If you are a travel buff, you will probably know that exciting feeling about planning your next trip. You may have seen a lot but the bucket list keeps getting longer. It is easy to create a bucket list but hard to order it according to your priorities. Of course, there would be some places that you would want to check out sooner than later.

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So how do you decide what your next destination is going to be? What are the factors that you should consider while making up your mind about the places to visit first? Though there is no tried and tested way to have the list ordered priority-wise, you can still follow some tips to decide the destination for your next holiday. Here are some hacks that can help you with the decision.

Start by considering your budget

First things first, you should have enough money to finance your vacation. After all, you cannot imagine traveling abroad only with a limited amount in your vacation fund. Have a complete overview of your travel budget and decide whether it can take you to a distant destination or somewhere close by. You need not splurge a fortune on a holiday and end up broke. Rather, choose an economical destination that gives you good time without toppling your budget. And if you are not willing to compromise, wait and save till you have enough for your dream destination.

Be open-minded when you decide

An alternative destination is better than no holiday at all. Rather than being rigid about your choice, be open-minded and explore places that are not as popular as the ones your friends talk about. Haven’t you heard about a place? Don’t you know that it even exists? Google is the best place to explore the most amazing destinations across the globe, all within your budget. Who knows, you may have the best holiday of your life if you are willing to just try and explore. So go ahead!

Get smart with travel bookings

When you are not really sure about fitting your favorite holiday destination in the budget, you can be extra smart with your travel bookings. Choose cheaper flights that take you through a different route. Rather than taking a direct flight, you can catch a connecting flight and save your money. Or why not fly in one that drops you to a city near your destination and take a train or shuttle to reach there? Just find the alternatives, calculate and plan a holiday to your dream destination without breaking the bank.

Find more about the shortlisted destinations

When you are not sure about where you want to go, make a list of the destinations that you would want to consider. Check online to find things to do in your area when you are actually there. Google is the best place to know more about any holiday destination, from the places to visit the ones to eat and shop. Once you have things listed out for each of the chosen destinations, pick the one you like the most.

Safety first

Of course, you need to find about all that the destination has to offer. But ensure that you check the places from the safety perspective as well. Whether you are planning a solo trip or a family holiday, keep safety on the top of your checklist. Search online and you will easily find out statistics about crimes involving tourists in specific parts of the world. Choose a place that is totally safe for travelers.

Understand your objective

Another factor that influences the choice of a holiday destination is the objective of the vacation. Ask yourself why you would want to travel to a specific place, whether it is going to be a short getaway or a long break to relax and unwind. The reason will probably make a difference in the choice of your destination. Similarly, you may want to explore a place with the idea of moving there or starting a business in the future. Another consideration that you may want to bear in mind is whether you would prefer a beach holiday or one to a ski resort.

Solo or with family

Are you planning to travel solo? Do you want an extended vacation with your loved ones? Obviously, the choice of destination will depend on this factor as well. Wellness resorts and adventure trips make the ideal choices for solo trips. On the other hand, you can choose a beach or ski resort if looking for a perfect family vacation. Whatever destination you choose, make sure that it offers all that you want and is safe as well.

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Avoid stereotypes

The biggest blunder that travelers make is to stick to the stereotypes while deciding the vacation destinations. Who says that you should visit only New York or Los Angeles when you travel to the US? Why just book for Paris when in France? Every country has some hidden jewels that are less popular but offer much more. Be willing to explore places that you have not heard your friends and colleagues talking about.

Trust your instincts

If a destination seems to beckon you, just trust your instincts and go ahead. When it comes to having a dream holiday, the best advice is to be selfish and choose a destination that you want to explore. If none of your friends or family members like the idea, plan a solo trip because you would not want to miss on a dream destination just because others are not keen to be there.

Don’t be indecisive

Once you have chosen a destination, go ahead and book it right away. Be decisive because indecision will just make you more stressed out and you may miss out on the opportunity to visit a cool destination. Don’t ask for too many suggestions because you may end up being confused and even drop the idea of going for a vacation. Rather go ahead and make your bookings as soon as you lock a destination that you would want to explore for your next vacation.

When you decide the destination for your next trip, do consider these hacks. After all, choosing the right place is surely going to make all the difference!

Top 6 Benefits To Visiting Japan

Japan, the land of the rising sun, is a nation that was rich for its warriors, spirituality, and technological marvels even when the rest of the world was still technologically impaired.

Even today, Japan is a country rich in culture and history unlike any other nation in the world. Thankfully, travel has never been easier, or cheaper than it is today, so if you’re craving intrigue and adventure, Japan may be where you seek.

Here are the top six benefits to visiting Japan:

Tradition Meets Modern

From the very second a tourist steps off the plane, one may find themselves both captivated and alluded by the unseeing marriage of ancient traditions of perfectionism and honor married with modern technology and pop culture.

What may appear as a chaotic combination, you’ll soon come to realize that japan is anything but, everything serves a purpose, often rooted deeply in tradition but designed to fit the constructs of the 21st century.

Cherry Blossoms

In the early weeks of April, both natives and foreigners alike come to Maruyama-Kōen park in Southern area of Higashiyama to witness the blossoms of Japan’s legendary yet beautiful pink cherry blossoms.

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Visitors will be graced with the simplistic and understated elegance of nature on the small footpaths that lead through the parks forest to a small pond in the parks center which is guaranteed to lend a moment of silent meditation and the possibility of sudden enlightenment.

Mount Fuji

If you wind yourself in Japan during its optimal cloning months, ranging from early July to the end of August, one may consider attempting the historic and mysterious mountain of Fuji. 

The mountain itself has ten levels to reach the summit, starting at the base of the mountain, and spanning to the tenth level at the summit. For first time climbers, there are plenty of buses and tours that will take you half way up the mountain to the Yoshida Trail, which is a moderate level trail that gives adventurous hikers five to six hours of unparalleled beauty high above the clouds to the summit of the mountain.

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For more seasoned hikers and adventurers, there is the old Yoshidaguchi trial which is a 19 kilometer hike from the town of Yoshida to the summit.

There are several other paths you can take depending on if you’re coming from Osaka or Kyoto but it’s advisable to start small and work your way up a more populated pathway until you’re familiar with the terrain.


For the spirituality and philosophically minded, the temple of Oku-No-In is said to be one of the most beautiful and spiritual places in all of Japan.

A center of Japanese Buddhists, visitors are greater by a massive alpine forest where the ancient stone path begins, bordered by a seemingly endless amount of stone lamps, also know as stupas, all of which lead to a massive Shingon Buddhist temple which houses the remains of what the Japanese call “the waiting spirits”, which also is home to over 200,000 graves, some of which are the final resting places of feudalistic warlords and legendary monks who were a part of the spiritual revolution of japan.

If you’re feeling adventurous, once at the temple, just off the path, visitors are greeted by the Miroku Stone, which is housed in a small cage.

It is said that if a visitor can lift the stone from the lower tier to the upper platform with one hand, the purer the soul of the person, as it is stated in legend that the heavier the stone, the more malevolent the soul.


Jigokudani, translated to “Hell’s Valley” due to its boiling hot springs and steam vents that emit from the surrounding landscapes, situated in a frozen valley surrounded by steep and jagged cliffs.

Aside from the hot springs and vents, Jigokudani is home to a native species of Japanese snow monkey that move down from the heights during the freezing winter weather to warm themselves in the parks hot springs before retiring to the cliffs after they get their fill.

Himeji Castle

A classic example of ancient Japanese architecture, Himeji castle is considered one of the most beautiful and preserved structures of antiquity from the feudal era of Japan.

The castle has survived and been rebuilt after countless attacks over the centuries, it and its fortifications still stand over the surrounding landscape like a bird of the prey.

Visiting Japan

Japan is an island nation is blossoming with culture, history, and beauty where a traveler won’t find anywhere else. So take a step back and forget what you thought you knew, because this is a land unlike no other.

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Practical Things You Can Do To Plan To Travel The World

Many people aspire to see as much of this wonderful world as possible while they still have the chance; to have the opportunity to witness the history and culture of a foreign country, gain new experiences and memories to take home with them. Doubtless, if you are reading this, then travel is very much on your mind too. The only problem with seeing the world is that it can be a costly endeavor, especially if your young and are only just starting out, perhaps having left full-time education recently. Seeing the world is, it must be remembered, one of those things that it is never a mistake. If you have the opportunity to do it, you must grab life by the shoulders and go. So, in this guide, you will learn some ways you can make this possible for yourself and start living the life you have always dreamed of.
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Seeing the world before it’s too late

When you are young, there is a seemingly never-ending list of things to think about, from how to get the right qualifications for the job you want to finding an affordable place to live so you can finally move out of your parent's house. When thinking about these things, it can seem that this just isn’t the right time to get out and see the world but, in fact, the opposite is true. If you don’t yet have a mortgage to be paying back and are working a job that is more to bring in the money rather than start your career, then you are actually in a perfect position to see the world because you are not tied down to too many responsibilities yet. Alongside this, there are a huge number of reasons it's essential to travel when you're still young that will enrich your life. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you will be challenging yourself in new ways and building up your self-confidence and esteem. It will help you grow as a person and foster independence and resilience of character that will aid you when you come back home and be enviable qualities employers will seek out in applicants. Travelling, be it with a friend or on your own, will help you become a more well-rounded person and put you on stronger footing when you return to start your life, both personally and professionally, as a better person.

Getting the funds together as a young person

Of course, getting the money together is a consideration you need to take seriously as you don’t want to get all the way out to some magical place to find you have no funds left to actually enjoy yourself. One option that is worth considering is to get a loan as this option will allow you to have the valuable life experiences without having to take a chunk out of your life savings to do so. You will want to learn more about this option so you can choose the best deal that suits your needs and get planning that adventure of a lifetime.

Finding the perfect destination

Now that you have the financial side of things sorted out, you will want to make that money stretch as much as possible so that you can get the most out of your journey into the unknown. One way of doing this is to get ideas of where to travel on the cheap which will limit your overall expenditure of things like flights and hotels, allowing you to spend more of your money on enjoying seeing a new country. Choosing somewhere cheap to visit, perhaps contrary to what you may initially think doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the wow factor. For example, a really cheap holiday destination you should think about visiting is Vietnam. Vietnam has a fascinating history you can explore, learning about the war and the Viet Cong, while enjoying the gorgeous natural surroundings or bustling modern cities, trying out all the best cuisine the country has to offer.

How to find cheap travel options

Once you have decided on a place to visit, you will need to sort out how you are going to get there and, the most obvious way is, of course, to fly. Depending on where you have decided to go, flights can become very expensive. Even if you have found a place that is relatively economical to get to, it is worth shopping around to see if you can get something just a little bit cheaper, so you have more money to play around with when you are out there. There is lots of handy help to get cheap flights online, such as specialist search engines that can find you the cheapest airline company for the destination and date you are looking for. Aside from this, there are steps you can take yourself to make sure you are saving money. For example, never book a holiday during the school holiday periods as, even if you aren’t going to a family resort, flight prices will be much higher. Another option is to consider travelling at night as night flights often tend to be less expensive. This way, you can save money and have a nice little sleep on the plane so that you are fresh-faced and ready to take on the day the moment you touch down.

Tight budget? No problem

Even if after taking all these measures you are still a little concerned about the money aspect of things, never fear, as there are lots of ways you can still enjoy yourself on a small budget. One thing to do is look for accommodation that comes with a small fridge and a cooker so that you can cook some of your meals there and don’t have to fork out for restaurants every night. Another way is to stop yourself going for huge days out shopping and overspending on clothes and shoes, instead opting to spend your limited funds on tours and admissions to places of interest. You can shop anywhere, but you can only see the country you are in while you’re there.

Going travelling is fun, exciting, and character building, so it is definitely worth the time and money. Why don’t you start planning now?

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One Small Fee With Jenny Life Can Help Ease Your Stress

This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. All opinions are my own.

Do you ever sit around and think about special family memories, or even future grandchildren? Our home is filled with beautiful photos or mementos that remind us of some of the most fun times, and big celebrations together. It also gets me to thinking about what will happen if I were to suddenly die. I know this isn't a fun conversation to have, but it's very necessary. I mean, my youngest child is only 10 and still has a way to go before he becomes a self-sufficient adult. He still has to graduate high school, and go to college.

I try not to be overly obsessed with leaving my family behind, but it's so important to know that they won't have to worry about money. You may have read some of my previous posts about Jenny Life Insurance. It is a convenient way to get life insurance with ease from the Jenny Life app, on either Apple or Android devices. Visit this post to see how you can get started.

The cost benefit of a small monthly fee to save your family from years of potential finance stress.

Do you have any idea of what it costs to take care of everything when a loved one passes away? Look at some of these findings from Jenny Life...

  • Americans die with an average debt of $62,000. source 
  • A funeral runs between $7,000 to $10,000. 
  • Parents paid an average of $15,895 for full-time infant care.
  • According to, a stay-at-home mom's medium average salary would be $143,102 if you calculated costs. source
All of this is overwhelming when you think about it. What will surprise you is that life insurance isn't as expensive as you might think. One small fee every month will give you the peace of mind you should have in regards to your family. Knowing that your family isn't stuck with a financial burden after your death is priceless! 

If you don't have life insurance, we suggest you check out Jenny Life for yourself. Visit Jenny Life online for more information. You can also find them on Facebook & Twitter.
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Travel Planning To Greece (Guest Post)

Planning for your next vacation can be both a fun and stressful time, especially if you are planning on visiting a new country. Perhaps you are bored of the countryside back home or the standard beach holidays in the U.S.?. Maybe you want to find something new and exciting such as some mykonos vacation rental, or the temples of Athens, but you are not sure where to start or how you would even navigate around a new country.

For this piece, we are going to look at Greece as a destination for new visitors. Perhaps some returning visitors will also find it useful. We have come up with some facts about the country that can help you, along with some of the most popular destinations. Also, you will find out how you can get to them and what there is to see in each location. We will focus on the most popular destinations and with this, you can make some detailed and informative travel plans for yourself.

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Some facts and figures:

The national language of Greece is Greek, with many areas having their own regional dialects. These are only spoken and not written dialects, however, in more popular tourist locations you will be able to find information, guides and tours in an abundance of languages with English being the most predominant.

The country has over 2,000 islands off the coast of Greece. Many of these islands are uninhabited, and even fewer are visited by tourist but in this location.  You can find an abundance of water and outdoor activities, along with plenty more activities to that can take place on the beach or on the mainland within the national parks.

Some 98% of the population say that they are Orthodox Christia, and this influence you will see in the architecture, conversations, and politics of the country.

Transport and accommodation are readily available in the tourist areas of the country. This can range from a basic hostel room to 5-star resorts and villas depending on the location and your budget. Athens acts as the main transport hub and we will talk about that next.


Besides the islands of Greece, Athens is the most popular destination for visitors in Greece.  It is the place you will most likely disembark from international, and most national flights. Athens can be used as the transport base or the rest of the country or can be the sole destination that you visit, as it has a lot to offer.

It is both the largest city and the capital of the country. Athens has plenty to offer any visitor to the city. It is very modern and has everything a major city has to offer from accommodations to local and international cuisine, and more.
From Athens, you can take day trips to surrounding areas such as Cape Sounion, the home of the temple of Poseidon, and Acropolis, the ancient seat of Greek power. The city has done a great job of preserving its ancient history and developing a modern city.

Transport to the island or the mountainous north can be easily organized as part of a tour or individually depending on your time and organizational skills. Some of the islands can also be reached from the airport in Athens.

The islands of Greece:

As stated earlier, most of the islands can be reached by ferries which disembark from ports along the Greek coast, while some of the larger islands can be reached by plane or once on the island, by internal ferries.


This is the biggest of all the islands, and is reached by both boat and ferry. Most popular for its beaches and nightlife, you will find plenty to keep you occupied. Water sports varying from fishing to diving can be organized from the island as well as trips to other islands. Many posts recommend anything from one to two weeks on the island, depending on your interests. Other popular activities include checking out the many museums on the island, and the hiking trails that criss-cross the island.
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Probably most famous for its history and as being the home to the statue of Rhodes, this island caters more for the history buffs among you who also enjoy the sun all year. The medieval city and the museums are the most popular destinations.

Following this, you can search the cobbled streets for some local cuisine and wine with each island having their own special blends and flavors. With influences of Roman, Greek and Byzantine history, or those wanting to relax and unwind with the more tranquil island experience, this I the island for you. Rhodes is most easily accessed by ferry with daily departures.


A beach and nightlife haven, Mykonos is an ever the prime destination for those who want to have the more popular Mediterranean experience of lazy beach days, and exciting nightlife opportunities. With countless beaches and inlets to discover, you can spend a few weeks here on a different beachs and secluded areas.

Be sure to check out the windmills and local food tours, which are some of the most popular activities to get up to on the island. This island is best reached by ferry.

We hope some of the information we have provided helps you with your travel planning and first visit to Greece. It will more than likely not be your last!
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Tips To Make Sure You Don't Leave Your Family With The Burden Of Death Bills

This is a sponsored post with Jenny Life Insurance and BraVoMark. All opinions are my own.

One of the subjects that many of us avoid discussing is death. Talking about what happens if you were to suddenly pass away isn't the most pleasant kitchen table conversation, but it's actually quite necessary. Today we are sharing some simple tips to ensure that you do not leave a financial burden behind for your family to carry.

Have A Will In Place

It is essential to have a formal will put together in the event of your death. It doesn't matter if you don't own a lot of material items or assets. It still helps your loved ones know what to do with the things you leave behind. We have even the littlest things listed in our wills to go to a designated person or charity. Having a will gives your family a road map on how to close out your final wishes. You can purchase a kit from your local office supply kit, or go through a family attorney who offers this service. It costs a couple hundred dollars or so. Make sure you update it once a year since you can easily accumulate more items of money each year.

Keep Your Documents In A Safe Place

We recommend a fireproof safe to keep all insurance papers, social security info, stocks/bonds, photographs, and any proof of assets. Don't forget to give your family members information on where you keep the keys to the safe, or any passwords associated with accessing documents. Keeping all of your important documents in one central location makes things so much easier for your loved ones to find.

Make Sure You Have Enough Life Insurance

Death can happen at any time. We have no guarantee that we will live to be 100. Having ample life insurance eases the financial burden that might be left behind for your children, spouse or loved ones to handle. The bills don't stop coming even after you pass away. Making sure your loved ones have enough money to cover the cost of your funeral expenses, outstanding bills, mortgages, and even college tuition for your children is so important. We have witnessed firsthand the panic and struggle when a loved one dies, and you are left to figure it all out.

Jenny Life Insurance offers a quick and easy way to get affordable coverage with the simplicity of an app. You can download the app for your iPhone or Android device. All you need to get a quote is your birth-date, state you live in, and your gender. A little slider pops up for you to adjust it to a monthly payment you are comfortable with. Check out my previous post for more details.

You're never too young to start planning for the unknown. Be sure to visit Jenny Life online for more information. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
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How To Throw An Amazing Kids Birthday Party

Even if your little ones are usually total angels, if their birthday party doesn’t go to plan you soon could have some tiny devils on your hands. Planning the perfect birthday party for your child can soon turn into an incredibly stressful event. Not only do you have to keep your children’s requests in mind, but also organizing entertainers, catering and gifts can soon turn into an expensive and stressful exercise. With so much to order, it’s no wonder that Moms feel overwhelmed before they’ve even picked up the phone. However, there’s no reason why you can’t have some fun too! Check out these tips to throw an amazing kids birthday party.
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Be sure to get your party invites out several weeks before your child’s birthday – kids have a hectic social schedule too! Kids are easy to please and will be happy with either a large party or a small gathering of just family and close friends. You could also consider hiring a party planner to help design and issue invites if time is a little tight.

This is where the fun truly starts, plus it encourages you and your kids to work together to deliver a memorable and magical birthday theme. From aliens to cowboys and Indians, or princesses and mermaids, make sure that you discuss any potential themes with the birthday boy or girl first. If you are on a tight budget, then why not get your kids involved in making homemade decorations and props to turn your living room into the surface of the moon or the bottom of the ocean? Check out your local dollar store and charity stores to pick up props and arts and crafts materials that won’t break the bank.
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Fun Food
When it comes to catering for your child’s birthday, keep it simple and colorful. Try chips and dips with some vegetable crudités. You could also create some mini hot dogs or hamburgers with homemade sides, to cut down on salt and sugar. Kids aren’t fussy when it comes to food. Just make sure that you don’t put out too much candy if you want to keep the day under control!

Remember that any entertainment has to match your theme. From a home screening of their favorite movie to getting a professional entertainer to visit your home, the entertainment can be as lavish or extravagant as your budget. Party games cost nothing and are a great way to tire out energetic little people.

Remembering a special day
The candles and cake are long gone, so how do you remember your child’s special day? Consider using a birthday collage maker to turn all those happy memories into a work of art. This is a great way to keep the day alive for many years to come.

Once you’ve planned the day, sent out the invites, sorted your theme and arranged the food make sure that you enjoy the party too! No one likes a stressed host, so be sure to remain calm and relaxed and enjoy the birthday mood.

Sacramento And San Francisco: Nearer Than Expected

Get The Best Of California, And A Good Education Too!

California has many things to offer. To the north are vast redwoods. To the northwest are vast mountains. To the south is substantial desert, and to the southwest are the mega metropolises of Los Angeles and San Diego. Smack dab in the middle of California’s west coast is San Francisco, jewel of the bay area. Just north and east of that is Sacramento.

Sacramento is an interesting community in that it gets some of the year’s finest weather, but it also manages to avoid much of the overcrowding you see in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. But it is not too far away from the city by the bay, and it’s also not too far from the ocean, or the redwoods to the north.

If you’re a young person with access to a vehicle, Sacramento is a great place to go to school in California; and not just because of its centralized location. There are also some exceptional higher education programs in the region, like the college located southwest of Sacramento at the outskirts, UC Davis.
UC Davis is just 72 miles away from San Francisco. With traffic, you’re looking at about a two-hour drive; but at least twenty minutes of that would be covered by your transit over the bay bridge. Another twenty minutes is consumed in going through east Oakland, though you could loop around through Santa Rosa to the north, if you like.
These things are all academic (pun-intended). The point of attending college isn’t your route to adjacent cities! But one of the fine things of college is having an independent base of operations from which you can explore. To that end, it’s better to live in an apartment than a dormitory.
Some Real Considerations
Granted, there’s a lot of camaraderie to be experienced in a dormitory, but really this method of living just serves to uncomfortably extend your adolescence. You’ll get a similar portion of experience living in apartments, but you’ll have increased responsibility and more quickly learn the atmosphere of independent living.
Until you reach a certain point in life, you’re very likely going to live in homes that you don’t own, but lease. Getting the feel for this atmosphere while in college will save you a lot of difficulty later. Oftentimes new things aren’t hard, but because they are unknown, we fear them and put them off. Sometimes it’s better just to jump in that cold water.
Additionally, owning an apartment will increase your credit, and make it easier for you to lease living situations in the future. And there are some excellent options available right near UC Davis.
Living Arrangements
According to, some of the finest living situations are apartments near UC Davis campus; these apartments are, as the site puts it, “a newly renovated student housing community in Davis, CA conveniently located just minutes from downtown and UC Davis.”
Also according to, west village solutions are “Now leasing for Fall, 2017!” The more swiftly you source a living situation, the better—obviously you’re not the only one who will be leasing from such a complex of apartments!

Generally when it comes to collegiate arrangements, you want to get everything squared away as soon as possible. But like alluded to earlier, the more foreign something is, the more likely you are to balk and procrastinate. It’s not that you can’t do it, or don’t have a work ethic; it’s that you just don’t want to. You’ll have to get over that!
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Celebrate Your Graduate Safely: Tips on Hosting a Foodborne Illness-Free Party

The final exams are taken, the diploma is framed and the cap is thrown in the air. Now it’s time to celebrate your graduate’s latest major life milestone! For those hosting large parties, preparing large amounts of food for friends and family is hard enough but ensuring food is safe and pathogen free can be downright stressful.

"Hosting parties take a great deal of work and we often focus so much on preparing and serving food in a timely fashion that we don’t think about preparing and serving food safely," says Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness , a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens. To help ensure you are serving food that won’t spread foodborne illness, Stop has put together a list of food safety tips to help party hosts put out their best and safest food when celebrating their graduates.

For hosting a party, Stop Foodborne Illness suggests:

  • Have a plan! Cooking such an important meal for a large gathering of friends and family can be stressful and lead to subpar approaches to handling food. Think about your refrigerator, freezer and oven space, and how you'll manage to keep hot foods at 140 degrees or higher and cold foods at 40 degrees or below. If you need to use coolers, make sure you have plenty of clean ice. Whatever you do, don’t rely on the natural outdoor or indoor temperatures to keep foods at proper temperature!
  • Wash your hands. When preparing food, Stop Foodborne Illness emphasizes the importance of washing your hands thoroughly and keeping all surfaces you’re working on clean.
  • Wash produce. Stop Foodborne Illness recommends washing even prepackaged greens, to minimize potential bacterial contamination.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean and sanitized. Preparing raw meat and poultry on the same surfaces as food that does not get cooked could lead to cross-contamination. Make sure kitchen counters, sponges, cutting boards, and knives are all well-scrubbed.
  • Defrost Safely. Properly defrost meat by allocating 24 hours per 5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. If you need to defrost quicker, place the meat a large bowl filled with cold water and change the cold water bath every 30 minutes.
  • Cook to proper temperature. And use a thermometer to ensure food has been cooked enough to kill bacteria. Find out more with this safe food temperature guide.
  • Food brought by party guests. While help is always appreciated, remind guests to transport cold foods in a cooler below 40 F and bring hot foods in an insulated carrier to ensure the temperature stays at or above 140 F. Prepared foods must be refrigerated or thrown out after two hours.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Many people don’t think twice about leaving food out on the counter all day. Two hours is the limit. Allowing food to sit out longer is one of the easiest food safety mistakes to make since food left in the danger zone—above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees–facilitates bacterial growth. To avoid this, Stop recommends storing leftovers in 2-inch deep, shallow containers within two hours of serving.

Remember, practicing safe cooking procedures is not just for the host. For those attending graduation parties as guests, bring dishes, not pathogens. Here are a few things guests can do to help prevent the spread of foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands. Even if you don’t prepare food you should still wash your hands before you eat.
  • Pack hot foods while hot. If you’re preparing a hot dish at home and bringing it to the party, pack it right away! Don’t wait for hot foods to cool down before packing. If you reheat at the party, remember to check the temperature with a thermometer.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit If you think you have been sickened from food , contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here: and follow their news at their newsroom here:

Helping an elderly family member in their later years

Caring for elderly relatives and ensuring they spend their days in a dignified manner is important. Talk with your family members to discuss their wishes for their end of life care and funeral preparations. As difficult as it is to have these conversations, it is well worth it to have everything planned as early as possible to get their input while they are able. Planning will ease the burden on family and friends when the time comes.

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A home for family members
Many families have an elderly family member to care for during their later years, and need to get educated on how to care for the elderly at home. Typically, the younger relatives of the elderly person help care for them or help them plan their care. If the family is large, with many children or grandchildren of the elderly family member, there might be a need for conversations about palliative care and who will be the primary caretaker or point of contact for their care.

Some families wish to have their family member live with them. Depending on their needs, this might require one adult to stay at home around the clock. If you plan to do this, learn as much as possible about their illness or disability before making the commitment to care for them long-term. It could be that you hire additional help from a professional care team, to help support and care for your loved one at home and perhaps offer a little respite for you and your family members. If this is the case, it is imperative that accurate care notes are taken so that all caregivers can pass on details of the care given, progress made, and medications administered. Remember to encourage their independence while caring for them. Seek out devices and technology to allow them as much independence as possible.

While caring for your family member, limit yourself to only things you feel qualified to do and always ask a doctor’s advice when needed. It is understandable to ask a family member or healthcare professional for help. There will likely be times when you feel overwhelmed. Take time to yourself and seek counseling or join support groups to connect with others caring for a family member. Consider home health aides or adult day care for seniors to take a break. Keep in mind that some employers in certain states provide family leave programs. These leave programs usually allow several weeks of leave time from your job per year.

Another option is to consider a care home that meets the needs of your family member. There are care homes designed to look after those who need around the clock care, such as people with Alzheimer’s, and there are care homes similar to apartment homes that provide on-site medical assistance. Care homes can provide socialization for your family member while allowing you to focus on your own needs and existing obligations, like work and children. You and your family member will need to decide how to pay for their care. This might involve selling their home or reducing your inheritance.
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Financial planning
The financial future of your family member and making their will are things that should be discussed as early as possible so there is no question about their wishes later. Have a conversation with your family member and make sure they have a will. It is important to have their assets clearly allocated.

Meet with your family member’s financial planner or set up a meeting with one to discuss your questions. Consider their care, guardianship, property, assets, and estate planning including wills and trusts. Take into account their debt, income, expenses, and benefits. The last thing you want is to not have their debt under control and allocated appropriately. If you need some beginner guidance, is a great resource to start. Financial planners and lawyers are well versed in their area of expertise, so they can help your loved-one determine how to manage their finances for end of life and their estate.

End of life plans
Talking about end of life for your elderly family member might be difficult for you, your family, and for them. Plan to avoid feeling rushed and stressed when making plans during a time of grief at the end of their life. Discuss how they want to handle their end of life care and funeral preparations. Talk with them to determine whether they would like a casket burial or cremation services. Plan a time when they are able to meet with a provider, like Dallas funeral services, to discuss all of their options.

A burial with a casket funeral can offer many fine details, while cremation provides a dignified and affordable option. Loved ones might like an open casket funeral. Others might prefer cremation and a ceremony scattering the ashes at a memorable location. Either option allows for a respectful service. The loved ones left behind should also have important documents such as transfer of death deeds, documents for an obituary, and other certificates needed at hand.

Caring for your elderly family members is personal and involves many different aspects to consider. Planning for the future is never emotionally easy, but the benefits to planning early outweigh the emotional toll that comes with waiting until the end of life. Gather your family and have conversations about the future. Preface the conversation by expressing that these discussions come from a place of love and caring.
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