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All Posts By Jess Young

Throwback Shoes of 2018

By Posted on 3 m read

It’s well known that fashion comes in cycles. In looking to the future, we inevitably end up gazing longingly at the past. Back to the Future lied to us. There are no hoverboards, and we’re dressing more like Marty McFly circa 1985 than the futuristic duds Zemeckis predicted we’d be wearing in 2015.

The hurt of missing out on hoverboards aside, we’re enjoying something of an 80s and 90s revival in all corners of culture. Music today is just a little grungier, we’re all wearing a lot more denim and velvet doesn’t seem like the mistake it might have been five years ago. For sneakerheads, this blast from the past couldn’t be more welcome.

The 90s was a golden age for footwear and many of the style popularised around that time are highly coveted today. Perhaps the only thing better than finding a pristine pair of vintage trainers is learning that your favourite sportswear designers are going full circle and bringing back vintage shapes, colours and designs. If you only buy one new pair of sneaks this year, make sure it’s one of these.

Key Throwback Styles to Look Out For

The Essentials: Nike Air Jordan III “Black Cement”

No list of throwback shoes would be complete without a look at the Nike Air Jordan. The latest style is presented in a restrained palette of black, white, grey and red. This style has everything, from the now-iconic cement pattern to the visible air bubble. An instant classic, no matter how many times it’s updated.

The Multi-tasker: Puma Suede Golf Shoes

Suitably named the Suede G, these vintage Puma suede golf shoes wouldn’t look out of place dressed up with a crisp suit or teeing off at your local golf course. These studless golf shoes are understated and effortlessly stylish. The design was first introduced in 1968 and it returns this year to bring a touch of old-school flavour to a game that is rapidly becoming a leader in style

The Dad Shoes: New Balance MADE 990v4 “1982”

Perfect peeking out of the bottom of a pair of stone-washed Levis, these understated grey shoes are everything a pair of sensible shoes should be, and so much more. Another solid contender for the perfect pair of understated dad shoes is the Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-BURZ 1, but there’s just something so accessible about the New Balance 1982s.

The Pair to Be Seen In: COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Air Max 180

There’s no chance anyone will miss this loud and proud pair from Nike. The result of a collaboration with COMME des GARÇONS, this bright pink colour is designed to be noticed, commented on and wholly coveted. When two fashion giants like COMME des GARÇONS and Nike come together, it’s worth taking notice, and there’s little chance of being able to ignore them with this output.

The Everyday Runners: Givenchy 1952 Active running sneaker

You can’t go wrong with a retro runner, and this designer pair from Givenchy tick all of the retro boxes. The white and cream base contrast with the primary blue and red accents. They’re just the kind of shoes you can wear with a suit, on vacation, or out with the kids. Though retro, they’re still enough to make the wearer look like a thoroughly modern man.

The Pre-Worn Charm: Chuck Taylor All Star Basic Wash

If you’re fond of vintage trainers but not the thought of jamming your foot in another person’s shoes, the iconic skater retailer Chuck Taylor has just the answer. Designed to look like a worn-in and recently washed pair of classic high top converse, these are just the shoes you need to stroll around Shoreditch pretending that your whole outfit is vintage.

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Going Abroad on Holiday? Learn How to Get the Best Deals on Currency Exchange this Summer

By Posted on 5 m read

The summer holidays are looming, and many of us are counting down the days until we climb aboard that plane and head off on overseas adventures. If you’re going abroad for your summer holiday, you may be thinking about where to get your travel money, and how to make sure you get the best deals. With exchange rates fluctuating, and a plethora of travel money options available, hopefully, this guide will help you get more for your money this summer.

 

Understanding exchange rates

When you go to change money at a bureau de change, or you take cash out of an ATM overseas, you’ll be given the current exchange rate. This relates to how much foreign currency you get in exchange for your pound. The exchange rate changes on a continual basis, and you’ll find that different banks and retailers offer slightly different rates. Before you change a lump sum of money, it’s best to make sure you understand the exchange rate and to have a look around for the best rate. You can shop around online, or go into different banks, high street stores, post offices and travel agencies and ask for their lowest offer. It’s quicker to compare prices online, as you can see the rates offered by a host of different retailers and banks at the same time.

When you go to a bureau de change, you often see two sets of numbers. One is the rate the bank buys at, and the other is the sale rate. The sale rate will be higher than the purchase price, as this enables the bank or retailer to make money on the transaction. In some cases, you get a slightly better rate if you exchange a large sum of money, for example, over £500. If you’re a customer of the bank, you may also be able to access slightly more favourable rates.

 

Your travel money options

There are myriad options open to you when it comes to taking money abroad. You can exchange money in advance or make arrangements while you’re on holiday. Here are some of the most popular travel money choices:

 

Exchanging money at the bureau de change

If you’re keen to get sorted before you travel, visiting a bureau de change is a great idea. It’s very easy to get your currency this way, and there are many different places you can exchange cash for travel money. All you need to do is go to a bureau de change, say how much money you’d like to exchange, and then settle the bill. You’ll need ID in some places. You can pay by cash or card, and you’ll be told the rate and the amount of currency you’ll receive before you make your payment. Popular currencies like US dollars and euros are likely to be available at all times, but it’s best to order or check in advance if you need other currencies.

 

Prepaid travel cards

If you don’t want to walk around carrying a substantial amount of cash on you, prepaid travel cards are an excellent option. These cards are very easy to use, and essentially, they work like debit cards. You choose how much credit you want to put on your card, for example, 450 euros, and every time you pay with your card on holiday, the amount will be deducted from your balance. Prepaid cards are widely accepted in most European countries, and you can top up your balance and use your card on another trip if you’ve still got cash left over when you get home. Prepaid cards are a safe and convenient way to cover holiday spending.

 

Traveller’s cheques

Travellers cheques are a viable option for tourists visiting the US. They are used less commonly in Europe these days. Traveller’s cheques are cheques that you can cash in when you travel, and they represent a safe and secure means of carrying money with you on holiday. You don’t have to take a load of cash out with you, and you can keep hold of your cheques if you don’t spend them all while you’re away. Alternatively, you can access buy-back schemes, which enable you to turn your cheques back into UK currency.

 

Taking cash out overseas

If you haven’t had time to change currency in the UK, or you need more money while you’re away, you can use an ATM, just like you would at home. All you need is your bank card and your PIN. You simply choose the amount you want to take out and follow the instructions on the screen. Most ATMs offer you the chance to change the language to English. When you enter the amount of cash you’d like, you’ll be given the option of choosing the rate in pounds or the local currency. Opt for the local currency, as this rate is usually better. When using ATMs abroad, try and stick to using those located outside banks and financial organisations, and always protect your PIN.

 


Buying holiday money online

If you’re hoping to exchange money for your summer holiday, you can take advantage of the convenience and simplicity of shopping online. You can compare exchange rates, take a look at the best deals and place an order in a matter of minutes. Often, you can order money online and then pick up your cash at a chosen location. Buying holiday money online is a fantastic option for those who don’t live close to a bureau de change and customers who want to order a currency that may not be available in-store. Comparison site money expert’s lendingexpert.co.uk have written an in-depth travel currency guide for 2018 that explores these options in more detail.

If you’re going overseas for your holiday, it’s natural to want to get more bang for your buck. There are multiple options when it comes to ways to change money, and some are better suited to certain travellers than others. If you plan to be away for a long time, you may find that a combination of options works best. You can exchange money before you go, take prepaid travel card or travellers cheques with you and use an ATM abroad if you need more cash. Whatever method you choose to use, it’s always a good idea to spend a minute or two comparing exchange rates to make sure you get the best deal.

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What to Write in a Thank-You Card

By Posted on 3 m read

An excellent way to thank guests for their gifts is to send them a thank-you note, in which you give them your most sincere thanks for the present. What should they be like? Read on and find out more about it below.

Paragraphs with love and feeling, funny and spontaneous phrases…. a lot of ideas of thank you cards can come to our minds as a way of thanking others. Of course, not only the content matters, but also the type of paper, the quality of the images and the handwriting are important. A handwritten card or thank-you note is one of the most meaningful and simple ways to express gratitude. Nothing can be compared to how you feel when receiving a thank you card.

Here you will find a basic guide of what to write in a thank you card that is filled with ideas and messages.

But first of all, you should know that you need to get organized and order your thank-you cards early enough if you are going to get them print. There are tons of stores like https://www.planet-cards.co.uk/ which make cheap and amazing quality cards.

Don’t forget to make a list of all the names and addresses to have on hand when you send out your thank you cards.

If you choose a card with a simple design to thank you, then you don’t have to add much. Briefly mention the specific gift or donation that you are thanking the recipient for. Then add a warm thought to give your thanks, such as: “Thank you for being my angel.”

Besides, these cards are perfect for birthdays. Can be a good idea to show a person in a simple sentence how the person he is. It is also very common to send a photo thank-you , accompanied by a phrase “Thank you very much for everything”.

If our thanks is for work or something professional, sending a handwritten note for a courtesy or an opportunity that has been offered at work is also very common. In these cases you can personalize the card depending on the kind of personality. Some people leave a card when they go to an interview and this can easy the way to make a good bond.

On the other hand, you can also prepare a wedding thank you card. The hardest part about these thank-you notes is that you may have to write a lot of them. That’s why we recommend you to write little by little in advance so that it doesn’t get tedious and that your phrases are more enthusiastic and grateful. As a phrase, it could be a phrase similar to “Thank you for joining us in the joy of our wedding with your warm wishes and your attentive gift. His gift brings us…”

Finally, the hostel, when someone opens their home for a meal, a night’s stay or a spectacular party, that definitely requires a written thank you.

In short, the texts do not need to be very long, as long as they are sincere and emotional. Mention the gift and express how much you liked it. If it has a special meaning for you, comment on it in the note.

Are you proud of the work you have done now that all the preparations have been completed?

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Technology and Jewelry – How Ecommerce Changed Diamond Shopping Online

By Posted on 3 m read

The internet has completely revolutionized the way in which consumers spend money with their favorite companies. In the short span of less than two decades, online spending has exploded in popularity, ignited primarily by the convenience it offers when compared to traditional shopping.

With that being said, there are a few industries that were slower to catch the wave of the online ecommerce boom, mostly high-ticket items such as cars and jewelry. How can you purchase an expensive item on the anonymous and mysterious landscape of the internet, without ever holding it in your hands or seeing it with your own eyes?

Surprisingly, this obviously flawed method of commerce is not deterring people from whipping out their credit cards and spending large amounts of money on high-ticket items on the internet. Each year, more and more money is being spent on online jewelry retailers as they discover new ways to appeal to Internet shoppers.

Online jewelry shopping, specifically diamond shopping, is constantly changing in hopes of providing more ways to entice curious shoppers to skip the trip to their local jewelers, by shopping through their websites. It doesn’t matter whether people are shopping for a diamond engagement ring for their partner or simply accessorizing with a bracelet, the online diamond landscape is forever changing and adapting to its consumer’s needs.

It’s All About The Imagery

One of the ways in which online diamond retailers are providing value and a sense of safety to their customers is by offering ultra high-quality imagery of their products. Shopping for diamonds in real life has the added benefit of being able to hold and see the stone in real life. But how does seeing a diamond with your own eyes compare to seeing it under a x10 microscopic view? Your eyes simply cannot compete with a microscopic, HD image.

Online diamond retailers will typically show an image that can expose every detail of the stone down to a microscopic level, allowing the consumer to see the piece in a way that they never could before. Every imperfection and every angle of the cut is viewable in HD quality and with perfect clarity.

Whether you are shopping for a ring, a bracelet, a necklace or a watch, having the ability to see the product in all of its glory, from the comfort of your own home, is a benefit that traditional store shopping can’t compete with.

Access To a Worldwide Marketplace

Another benefit of shopping for precious stones online is the fact that you have far more access to high-quality products than you ever did, before online jewelry shopping was a thing. Before the internet, the choices you had were limited to the stock that your local jewelers held. Of course, you could travel to nearby towns and cities in hopes of finding something to suit your needs. But even then, your choices were extremely limited.

Shopping online gives you the ability to look at products from all over the world. The perfect diamond bracelet could be in a completely different city, but thanks to the internet, you now have access to it as much as you would a bracelet from your local town jeweler.

Online jewelry shopping used to be risky, as did all online shopping. However, thanks to the development of tighter security measures and a more convenient infrastructure, online jewelry shopping is constantly growing in popularity. If you are looking to purchase a new diamond accessory, just remember that your local jeweler isn’t your only option.

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How to eat more sustainably and help the environment

By Posted on 4 m read

Next time you’re tucking into a hearty meal, there’s every chance your food is having a negative effect on the world around you. Widespread unsustainable food production is becoming more and more of a problem as the world’s population grows, and it is obvious that something has to change. You can do your part by adopting a sustainable diet that minimises the waste you create through your day-to-day eating habits. And the best part is, this doesn’t have to be hard to achieve or deprive you of delicious food you love. Here are a few of the ways you can do it.

Reduce your food waste

The amount of food we throw away as consumers is unacceptable, with 2017 figures showing that UK households binned £13bn—or 7.3m tonnes—worth of food in 2015. It is clear that we need to do more to reduce the amount of food we waste, and there are a number of different ways to do so.

When buying food, you should plan your meals a week in advance and buy only the ingredients those meals require. This will prevent you from purchasing excess ingredients that go unused, go off and go in the bin.

Having purchased your food, you also need to be careful with how you store it. Keep fruits and vegetables separate as some fruits give off a gas called ethylene as they ripen, causing other produce to spoil faster. Store milk in glass bottles as they seal it more efficiently. And don’t wash your fruit before you put it in the fridge, as the added moisture can lead to mould forming. Other tips to reduce household food waste include preparing perishable foods soon after shopping, using your freezer as often as you can to preserve your food, and utilising leftovers to make other meals.

Buy low-waste food

On top of the food that consumers throw away, there is a deplorable amount of food that goes to waste before it even reaches the supermarkets. According to a survey conducted by environmental charity Feedback, a selection of fruit and vegetable farmers throw away around 16% of their crop every year. This is enough to provide 250,000 people with their recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a year.

Shockingly, this is mostly done to meet cosmetic specifications, with some farmers reporting that 40% of their crop was rejected by supermarkets for being the wrong shape or size. With such high levels of waste in the production stage, buying low-waste food that is not thrown away for these reasons is a great way to make your diet more sustainable.

One example of a low-waste product is the nutritionally complete powdered food Huel. Because the shape, size and variations in colour of Huel’s ingredients are not relevant in its production, they are never rejected for cosmetic reasons. In this way, Huel’s production process is a huge improvement on the traditional one. In addition, as founder Julian Hearn recently stated, the beauty of Huel’s powdered product is that as there’s no liquid, bacteria can’t survive, giving it a long shelf life. This again succeeds in reducing the waste created by the product, this time by consumers themselves.  

Alternatively, some supermarkets now sell ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables that many retailers would still reject for not meeting cosmetic standards. Morrison’s has recently pledged to increase their ‘‘wonky fruit” range by 50% this year, after launching it in 2015.

Go vegan

Meat and dairy production’s negative impact on the environment is well documented. According to the most recent statistics released by FAO in 2013, livestock is responsible for 14.5% of the world’s emissions. Livestock also uses up an inordinate amount of resources; for instance, the standard meat-heavy American diet requires a staggering 4,200 gallons of water each day (for animals’ drinking water, irrigation of crops, cooking, etc.).

It is for these reasons that reducing our meat and dairy consumption is an essential way adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Making the effort to go vegan, or at the very least do so part-time, can make a world of difference.

Vegan food can be just as delicious as non-vegan food, and plant-based alternatives are more readily available than they ever have been, so there’s no need to be worried that switching to a vegan diet will be difficult. Whilst some people are able to adopt a vegan diet rapidly, you may want to take your time and try out what works best for you.

Instead of eating vegan exclusively, try to work plant-based alternatives into your diet once or twice a week to begin with. Some alterations—like replacing cow’s milk with almond or soya milkare very easy to make. Swapping in powdered food products like Huel is again a great option; as the brand not only reduce waste but are also 100% vegan.

With the world’s resources becoming increasingly depleted by our unsustainable eating habits, there is a more pressing need than there ever has been for us to adopt sustainable diets. Fortunately, changes like these can help each and every one of us make a difference.

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Five Unusual Uses for Turmeric Root Power

By Posted on 3 m read

The popular super-spice has some less-than-usual uses

As its name suggests, Naturevibe Botanicals is in the business of providing natural, organic supplements that are designed to enhance consumers’ general health and well-being. The company’s turmeric root powder is no exception. Created with curcumin for a higher absorption rate, this 100% natural, organic member of the ginger family is highly therapeutic. A natural detoxifier and antioxidant enhancer, turmeric can prevent cancer, control diabetes, reduce weight and the risk of heart disease, heal wounds, and improve cognition and digestion. In addition to enhancing your overall health, turmeric can also contribute to a more holistic lifestyle in five interesting ways.

Turmeric in Soap

Making homemade products à la Martha Stewart can be fun. When it includes turmeric, it can also be healthy. Why not combine your knack for DIY projects with your passion for personal health by making your own soap? Surprisingly, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You can find soap molds at your local craft store, and there are numerous recipes online to get you started. You can also mix turmeric with coconut, jojoba, or olive oil to treat dandruff; prevent hair loss; and condition your hair and scalp before washing with your regular shampoo.

Turmeric in Foundation and Moisturizer

While beauty suppliers do their best to provide a diverse array of products, finding makeup that matches your exact skin tone can be a challenge – especially as your skin tone can change throughout the year based on sun exposure. If you’re lucky, your tinted moisturizer, foundation, or bronzer of choice will simply melt into your natural skin tone, leaving you with a healthy, luminescent glow; but for those with more of a yellow undertone to their skin, ashy- or pink-toned products just aren’t going to work. If your skin tone always seems to fall somewhere between the shades that are available to you, adding turmeric to your foundation or tinted moisturizer, like actress Thandie Newton, may help. This will allow you to customize your foundation throughout the year, while repairing your skin and soothing your capillaries with its anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric in Toothpaste

Somewhat paradoxically, given its ability to dye clothes, turmeric can also act as a natural teeth whitener. An ancient dental formula used in India and other parts of the world, turmeric and curcumin have antibiotic, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve gingivitis, toothache, and sensitive teeth. Former Miss USA Susie Castillo adds organic turmeric to her toothpaste, using a homemade recipe approved by her holistic dentist, Dr. Silkman. Turmeric can also be used alone, added to tea, or mixed with ingredients like baking soda and coconut oil.

Turmeric in Tea

If natural, organic toothpaste isn’t your thing, you can also do your teeth and body a favor by ingesting turmeric in various foods and beverages. One of the more interesting ways to do this is by adding it to your tea of choice or even using it as the primary ingredient. The people who live on the Japanese island of Okinawa drink turmeric-infused tea daily, which may explain the fact that they hold the world record for the longest average lifespans. Adding a natural sweetener, like honey, to the tea will sweeten the turmeric’s earthy flavor.

Turmeric in Food

Besides tea, there are a surprising number of ways to utilize this super-spice in various drinks and dishes. An excellent popcorn topping, it can also be used as an additive for juice, smoothies, lattes, and even cakes. Turmeric and other natural ingredients – such as beets, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries – make fun, alternative food coloring for eco-friendly Easter eggs. Turmeric can also reduce the cancer-causing HCAs that form on grilled and heavily cooked meats.

If you enjoy experimenting with safe, natural remedies with proven health benefits, make turmeric your go-to spice for health and beauty projects. Start your day with a morning cup of turmeric tea, brush your teeth with your specially formulated turmeric toothpaste, or season your dinner with turmeric spice. Turmeric can also be used to treat external issues like cuts, burns, and stretch marks, as well as internal problems like indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, stomach aches, and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. With so many applications, turmeric is a welcome addition to any spice cabinet, even if you only use at a seasoning.

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