How the Best Menstrual Cup Saves the Environment (and Your Wallet!)

menstrual cupMenstrual cups are gaining in popularity every day.

It’s no surprise. The best menstrual cup is environmentally friendly and it doesn’t drain your wallet.

The constant waste produced by using the usual tampons or pads is staggering. On average, a woman will use around 11,000 tampons during her lifetime. That’s a lot of waste to dump into a landfill.

Especially when taken into account that those tampons will need decades before they will completely degrade.

The idea of creating a vast amount of expensive waste like that is not at all comforting if you’re the type of person who wants to live a green and frugal lifestyle.

Luckily, menstrual cups are an easy and cheap solution to all of these problems.

Why Choose Menstrual Cups?

They Last A Long Time

Menstrual cups are made of soft silicone or latex that can be rinsed and reused many times, rather than the single-time use of other products.

With proper care, they can be reused between 5 to 10 years. Whereas with the more conventional tampons or pads, a big package of these products will only last you a couple months at most.

With these two numbers side by side, it’s easy to see what difference this would make on both the environment and your wallet.

They Are A Healthier Option

There are certain risks that come with using tampons and pads. Because they are so absorbent, they can create uncomfortable dryness or mess with the delicate balance of the vagina.

With a menstrual cup being made out of silicone or latex rather than an absorbent material, all of these potential health risks are effectively gone.

They Are Leak-Proof

The menstrual cup creates a kind of seal within the vagina and because of this, leaks are incredibly rare. Unlike with tampons or pads where one bad movement might make them leak and stain your clothes.

They Come In Many Types To Suit Your Needs

Menstrual cups come in many different shapes and sizes with varying firmness and handles. This means that, with a little experimentation, you’ll be able to find the one that suits you best.

And once you find the best menstrual cup for you, you won’t have to replace it for a long, long time.

The Best Menstrual Cup

With so many options available, it can be a little daunting trying to sift through all of the information.

menstrual cup comparison chart is the perfect way to figure out all the little details at an easy glance.

You’ll be able to see the capacity of the cup, the overall size, where they are made, the diameter of the cup, the material it is made out of, and more. This chart even gives you a recommendation for who the cup would be best suited for.

Take a good look at the different brands and see how they compare with one another. With all of this information collected in a chart like this, you’ll have no trouble at all figuring out which menstrual cup you should use.

Keep in mind that, even with all of this information, it might take a couple of tries with different styles of menstrual cups before you’ll find the one that feels the best to you.

And Finally…

Menstrual cups can seem a little scary at first, especially if you’ve never even heard of it before. However, don’t let this stop you from giving them a try.

With their cost-effective allure and their environmentally friendly appeal, what have you got to lose?

How To Find The Best Travel Deals At The Last Minute

best travel dealsAre your days packed with responsibility? Do you feel like you can never get everything done that needs to be done?

Are you dying to get away for a holiday but stressed because you don’t have the finances to swing it?

Ditch the stress and buck up. Because here’s the good news.

Traveling at the last minute can save you big money.

When we say last-minute travel, we’re generally talking about travel that takes place within 14 days of the time of booking. Not so much running to the ticket counter five minutes before a flight and demanding a ticket.

And last minute travel isn’t just about saving on airfare. Deals can be found on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages.

Here’s how it works.

1. Grasp the meaning of “short notice”

If your life is crazy busy and you know you’ve only got two weeks to get ready to go, pack a bag ahead of time.

Get a travel bag stocked with a few changes of clothes, a couple of non-perishable snacks, some things to entertain you. Then just before it’s time to go, toss in the toiletries, medications or anything else you might need.

2. Know what you’re getting into

Or more accurately, know that you won’t know what you’re getting into.

With travel on short notice, there’s a certain amount of expecting the unexpected. In other words, be open to what comes along.

Keep in mind that you may not get to go exactly where you wanted to go or stay just in the place you had in mind when you’re traveling on short notice. The more specific the travel deal you’re looking for, the harder it will be to find.

If the whole point is to just get away, then be ready to accept that the four nights in Cancun you were envisioning might end up being five days in a neighboring bed and breakfast. Or a treehouse hotel in Bali.

You might be surprised to find that the unplanned vacation allows you to really relax, enjoy and unwind. No plans, no responsibilities. A true get-away from the stress of your busy life.

3. Build a community of special agents

Travel agents, that is.

The cheapest last-minute travel is going to be with a package tour. That’s mostly because when a cancellation occurs, travel agents are scrambling to fill an empty slot so they don’t have to foot the bill.

If you can, visit a few local agents and give them a heads up on what you want. They’ll be your eyes and ears in the travel community and can help you find those special deals.

It’s a win-win for all involved.

For example, if an agent hears of cancelled holiday deals for sale and you are able to join a group tour to Jamaica on short notice, the money you save will easily allow you to pay the agent’s fee.

4. With airfare, do the detective work

Of course, we’ve all heard that the closer to the time of booking, the more expensive airfare is going to be. This is true. To some extent.

Check Twitter because several airlines post last-minute deals to their accounts.

And sometimes tour operators will sell last-minute deals on charter flights. And typically these flights are heading to sunny locales.

One warning on those bargain charter flights though. The $89 ticket price doesn’t include taxes. And those taxes can be hundreds of dollars. So just be sure you know the details.

Even with the taxes though, you can still score a great deal.

5. Take a mid-week getaway. At an off-time.

When people talk about getting away, they’re often looking for weekend travel. So booking a ticket for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday can save you a lot of money. Possibly hundred of dollars per ticket.

Beyond the mid-week factor, there’s the off-time factor too. If you don’t like getting up at the crack of dawn or prefer sleeping in your bed rather than on the plane, think about how many others feel the same.

So consider booking a flight at 11:30 p.m. on a Tuesday or at 5:20 a.m. on a Thursday. You’ll get significant savings.

Plus, if you can manage a whole week, there’s something nice about spending an entire weekend on your vacation without it having to be a time to travel to and from your destinations.

6. Be smart about so-called hotel deals.

There are plenty of apps offering secret hotel deals.

You simply type in the locale you want, your preferred hotel star rating, and the desired price range. The app will find you a deal. BUT, you have to wait until the transaction is complete to see where you’ll be staying.

It’s done this way so that hotels can give customers a great deal while quietly moving unbooked rooms. As long as you don’t care which hotel it is, you’re good to go.

One thing to remember though is that you’re unable to avoid certain hotels such as those listed on The Bedbug Registry, so be savvy.

7. Use your credit rewards or miles.

If you still can’t find a flight you can afford, don’t despair. You could consider redeeming credit card rewards or airline miles to cushion the expense a bit.

But does the value of your rewards make it worth your while? Maybe. Maybe not.

Then again, does it matter?

If you’re really wanting to get away and you know you need it for your sanity, then it may not really matter whether it’s worth your while financially. After all, can you really put a price on mental stability?

By doing some footwork, poking around a little and getting friendly with travel agents, we’re hoping you won’t even need to consider using those rewards. Then you can save them for that bigger trip you’re planning in the future.

Whatever the case, there are always ways to get deals on last-minute travel so you can take that well-deserved getaway.

If you have any tips you’d like to share for last-minute travel deals, please feel free to share!

A Guide To Understanding The Different Types Of Whiskey Glasses

whiskey glassMuch like the different types of wine glasses that are specially designed to enhance one’s enjoyment of that drink, there are several varieties of whiskey glasses. Each has its merits, and the one you choose depends on what type of whiskey you enjoy, and how you like to drink it.

The Five Most Common Whiskey Glasses

Tumbler

Unless you’re already acquainted with the more specialized types, the tumbler is the one you probably associate with drinking whiskey. This is the short, squat glass that Don Draper reached for whenever times got tough on Madison Avenue.

The tumbler is a perfect all-purpose whiskey glass. Its heft and the way it fits solidly in your hand make it a versatile addition to your cabinet. Also known as a rocks glass, the tumbler has plenty of room for a few ice cubes and/or mixers, if you enjoy a whiskey-based cocktail like an Old Fashioned or Sidecar.

Tumblers also make for great personalized whiskey glasses.

Snifter

Sure, snifters are for brandy (and for men wearing smoking jackets in leather-filled libraries), but they’re also useful for tasting whiskey. They fulfill the same purpose with either alcohol: concentrating the aromas in order to allow for better “nosing” (that’s the whiskey aficionado’s term for, well, “smelling” — and evaluating the aromas).

Snifters often lack the satisfying weight of a tumbler, but you can find ones with heavier bases.

Glencairn

The Glencairn glass combines the best qualities of the snifter and the tumbler. Developed in 2001, this short, tulip-shaped glass does for whiskey lovers what the pilsener glass does for beer drinkers. It allows them to fully appreciate all the nuances of their drink.

In the case of the Glencairn glass, the rounded shape of the bowl serves as a lens through which to evaluate the Scotch’s texture and color. It also reveals any impurities. The narrowed opening helps collect aromas and prevent contact with the skin, for a purer tasting experience. Lastly, the heft of the Glencairn lends gravitas, much as a heavy crystal tumbler does — but no one would ever mistake it for a rocks or lowball glass.

Copita

Hardcore whiskey fans may know this as a “dock glass,” since the copita’s history dates back to days when merchants would nose samples from a spirits shipment right upon their arrival to a port.

The copita differs from other whiskey glasses in that it has a stem — the better to keep one’s hands (and their odors) away from one’s nose. In other respects it resembles a Glencairn or a very narrow snifter. Perfect for appreciating a fine single malt, the copita is still used by distillers in Scotland to test and taste their product.

Rocking

Rocking glasses are stemless tumblers with a rounded or curved bottom. They don’t sit flush on the table, but instead rock (or roll) gently side to side. It can be a slightly disconcerting experience to place one of these on a flat surface for the first time!

Some aficionados find these glasses gimmicky, while others like the comfortable way they fit in one’s hand — and the fact that they’re conversation starters.

Cheers!

We hope that this has been a helpful entry into the world of whiskey glasses. If you’re serious about tasting and enjoying Scotch and other whiskeys, collecting the perfect glassware can be an interesting hobby. Whatever you drink, and whatever you drink it out of, however, we hope you enjoy!

The Best Dog Probiotics On The Market

best dog probiotics on the marketEvery dog owner knows that a dog’s distress is your distress.

Sometimes that’s a matter of empathy, sometimes it’s a case of cleaning up messes!

The good news is that probiotics can overhaul your dog’s digestive health, sorting out everything from gastrointestinal issues to skin complaints.

With so much choice out there, it can be hard to find the best dog probiotics. Luckily, we’ve picked a few favorites to help you decide.

Purina Fortiflora

This is a well-known brand recommended by a lot of veterinarians. Research has shown that this probiotic can boost the immune system and help a dog’s digestive health. It contains a proprietary bacteria, so when choosing this product you’re getting something that isn’t available elsewhere.

Purina Fortiflora is safe for lactating and pregnant dogs. It’s also a favorite with fussy eaters everywhere. Purina also guarantees a viable bacteria culture.

The active bacteria in the probiotic is Enterococcus faecium SF68, but it also packs a dose of vitamins, yeast, and minerals.

Fortiflora is administered as a daily oral supplement, so it can be mixed into your dog’s usual food. Owners usually see an improvement within as little as seven days.

VetriScience Vetri Mega Probiotic

VetriScience is a brand with a strong reputation behind them. That’s reassuring for anyone worried about what they’re feeding their dog.

This probiotic is great value for money, weighing in at just $20 for sixty chews.

This brand is shown to resolve digestive issues such as gas and loose stools in both large and small dogs.

Nine types of bacteria make up this probiotic, including Enterococcus faecium and Lactobacillus fermentum.

VetriScience’s probiotic takes the form of a chew, so you can give it as a treat to your dog. Most dogs can’t tell their medicinal, though, so they’ll wolf them down!

Nutramax Proviable DC

Nutramax’s probiotic is a very flexible dog probiotic. It comes in capsule form but is also available as a paste for short-time use. In capsule form, you can either administer the capsule directly or open it to sprinkle over food.

Nutramax boasts seven strains of good bacteria, including the ever-popular Enterococcus faecium along with Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus casei – which you may recognize as the “l. casei” of Yakult-style human probiotics.

Nutramax is especially potent at treating dogs with diarrhea complaints. Owners may notice improvements within as little as 24 hours.

Bene-Bac Plus Probiotic Pet Gel

Bene-Bac has been around for a while, so its long tenure might put a cautious pet owner’s mind at ease.

Bene-Bac advertises itself as crowding out harmful bacteria to boost your dog’s immune system. It claims to promote a healthy appetite and a dose of energy.

This product allows fine control over dosage. It comes with a 1 gram travel tube to administer the gel, so it’s great for owners who spend a lot of time on the move. As a gel, it can be mixed in with your dog’s food, or given with a treat.

With seven active cultures of bacteria, Bene-Bac is another source of l. casei.

Healthy Happy Dogs

Probiotics are backed by veterinarians and provide a great benefit for your dog, so we hope we’ve helped narrow down the choices you can start to benefit today!

Be sure to follow our blog for more hints and tips on how to live a happy and healthy life!

 

 

How to Eat Local and Not Break the Bank

eat localEating healthy and eating local go hand in hand. However, many people believe that to eat local, you have to spend a lot of money.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Eating local can save you money, especially when purchasing produce. Grocery store product items can be expensive, since most of the produce is imported from another state.

More often than not, the produce at the local farmer’s market is more affordable. Plus, produce at a farmer’s market is also fresher!

Eating local without breaking the bank is possible. Keep reading to learn how you can eat nutritious and local food while keeping money in your pocket.

How to eat local on a budget

There are several ways to make your eating local without spending a lot of money. Here are 3 ways!

1. Visit the local farmer’s market

Odds are, your city or town hosts a weekly farmer’s market. Here, you can find all sorts of produce. You’re also likely to find:

  • Free-range meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Dairy products

Studies have shown that farmer’s market produce is less expensive than what you’ll find at the grocery store.

2. Eat food that’s in season

Your grocery store offers all sorts of produce, all year long. While it’s nice to be able to buy a pear in February, you pay for it!

To save money and to eat the best tasting produce, always buy in season. When produce is in season, there is likely plenty of it to go around! Produce that is in season is also more likely to be available in your grocery store.

Unsure of what’s in season and when? No worries! Use this guide to figure out what’s in season when you go shopping.

3. Join a community supported agriculture (CSA)

Fresh food available for a flat price? It’s a reality! By joining a CSA, you’re able to have fresh produce all year round.

A CSA allows you to buy a share of the farm’s harvest. Prices depend on location and the produce you select.

However, the cost is often less expensive than what you’ll pay at the grocery store. Shop around and find a local CSA that meets your budget!

Benefits of eating local food

There benefits of eating local are endless. If you need some convincing, here are a few benefits you can’t pass up!

Local produce is fresh

Grocery store produce has often traveled thousands of miles. Local produce is fresh from the farm. Fresh local foods provide premium nutrition for your body. Isn’t it ideal to eat locally and healthily?

Support the local economy

Spending money at a local farmer’s market does a lot for the local economy. Local farmers use the money to keep their farms going.

The money you spend also stays within the community. It isn’t being sent to companies in other states or across the world!

Local produce lasts longer

Local produce doesn’t have to travel hundreds of miles. It isn’t handled by pickers, packers and then shelf stockers. Instead, the produce is literally picked, placed and ready to be sold.

This means your melons will be truly vine-ripened. Your peaches will fall apart as you eat them!

Eating local: do good by you and your community

Eating local healthy food is possible, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. With these tips, we hope you’re inspired to eat local and cook great meals.

Support your local farmers. Support your health. Eat local produce!

A Beginner’s Guide to Good Nutrition

cookingGood nutrition is an essential part of living a healthier life.

But eating nutritiously isn’t just a matter of eating fruits and vegetables. You’ve got to eat a balanced diet that works for your unique lifestyle. It’s also important to control your appetite and avoid overeating.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average American diet exceeds the recommended intake levels of the following categories, “calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat.”

Are you just starting to consider a nutritious diet?

Read on for our beginner’s guide to good nutrition!

Avoid Processed Foods

Walk around your local grocery store and you are bound to find hundreds of processed food options.

Foods like potato chips, certain meats and cheeses are just some of the processed foods you should avoid. Processed foods are often high in calories and provide a limited amount of nutritious value.

In order to limit your fat intake, you should cut these out of your diet. If you can’t bring yourself to give up these foods completely, eat them sparingly from time to time.

Eat Smaller Portions More Often

When you overeat, you put more food in your body than it can process. This can be what contributes to fat being stored and limiting your ability to lose weight.

Instead of eating the three ‘traditional’ meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try decreasing portion size and eating more often.

This is a good alternative to using diet pills and supplements to help you control your weight.

Try eating six smaller portions throughout the day. In order to curb hunger, include foods like chicken, which is high in protein and low in fat. Also try to include natural yogurt for digestion, and fresh fruits and vegetables for energy.

Eating smaller portions will take some adjusting at first, but doing this will allow your body to make the most of the nutrients in each meal.

Drink Lots of Water

Your nutritious diet doesn’t end with what you eat. You should also drink lots of water.

Your body is made up of 60% water and water helps regulate your digestion, hydration, and circulation, among others. But the benefits of drinking water don’t stop there.

When you drink a glass of water before a meal, you will find that you eat less. This helps your portion control and prevents overeating.

Choosing to drink water more often helps you limit your intake of sodas and other sugary drinks. Those should be eliminated from your diet as much as possible, as they can help contribute to fat retention.

Good Nutrition Works

When you make changes to your lifestyle, it takes discipline and a willingness to adapt.

But taking the time to pay attention to what you are eating and drinking (and how much of it at a time) will be an important part of living healthier.

Being nutritious is also just one way to be healthy. You should also try to be physically active to maximize the benefits of your new way of life!

15 Tips to Create a Logo Like a Pro (for Free!)

create a logo

Let me let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to pay a professional to create a logo that’s amazing and embodies your company. Honestly, you don’t even have to be a solid artist!

There are tools that make this incredibly easy, but there are still some things that you need to keep in mind when you start to create a logo for your personal brand.

We’ve got 15 tips straight from professionals to help you on your logo creation journey. Keep these in mind, and you’ll have an eye-catching, sleek logo before you know it!

Create a Logo with These 15 Protips:

Know your goals

If you don’t know your goals, how can you expect to create a logo that’s compelling and effective for them?

Keep in mind that this goes deeper than a base level. Just because you know what your business is, doesn’t mean that you’ve got everything you need to create a sleek logo.

Make sure you know what you want to accomplish. Research it. Thoroughly. If you’ve been around the block with your business, take account of that. Know your history. You want something that embodies you – all of you.

Keep it simple

The cardinal rule when it comes to how to create a logo is simplicity. You don’t want a logo that’s too complex. While that may be eye-catching, it draws people in for all the wrong reasons.

Think about it: where do you see most logos? When do you see them? Is it while you’ve got time to sit around and ponder what that complicated logo may represent, or what it might say?

Absolutely not. You want something quick that can be identified while people are busy or in motion. You want something that screams out your product, even if people aren’t stopping.

Ask questions

This ties back to our first point, and it just makes it all the more important: know your goals and your business!

If you don’t, you’re going to have to ask questions. Even if you do know them, you need to be asking questions – the right ones.

You need to know what your company stands for if you’re going to create a logo that embodies it. You need to tap into what’s going on in the market so you can meet the mark. This will also give you valuable insight into a strategy, and help you develop what you have in mind for your band.

Know your market

Unless you’re involved in a very, very specific niche, you’re going to have competition. That means there’s going to be a market for your product.

Before you even make your first initial sketch or vector design, take a look at what your competition is doing.

This can both help inspire you and give you a direction to go with your logo. You’ll be able to identify what’s conventional with that brand, what typography is used, color schemes, and so on.

Resize it

Remember what we said about keeping your logo simple? This is one of the reasons why.

Regardless of what your business is, it’s almost a sure bet that the logo you design isn’t going to remain at a static size. How would a large logo intended strictly for billboard advertising look scaled down for a print magazine?

If you’ve created something intricate and complex, it probably won’t look good. It will lose details and become muddled.

However, if you keep your design simple while you create a logo, you can ensure that it will look good and remain identifiable across all mediums, regardless of what size it comes out to.

Colors!

There’s so much you can do with color. As an artist, you have a veritable mood-creator at your disposal.

Colors can be used to elicit feelings, whether it’s intentional or not. Be smart: make it intentional.

Additionally, your color pallet should be something that both fits the company and its history while remaining easy on the eyes. Clashing colors make for an unattractive logo that will turn your customers off.

Be aware of trends

While you don’t want to be a sheep that follows the pack in every way, making yourself aware of design trends while you create a logo. This works in a similar way to making yourself aware of competition: you’ll know what’s out there.

When you think of trends, try not to attach a negative connotation to it. Yes, trends come and go, but it’s important to make sure that the logo you create for your client looks fresh, up to date, and modern.

Be descriptive

This probably seems like an impossible conundrum, right? How do you create a logo that’s descriptive while remaining simple and sleek?

It’s difficult, but it’s necessary. Your simple design needs to describe what the company’s about. It needs to be eye-catching, and at the same time, it needs to speak to your heritage and where the company’s been.

Show your logo drafts to someone completely unrelated. Ask them what they think your business is about. If none of your logos speak to that idea accurately, it’s literally time to go back to the drawing board.

Typography

Don’t underestimate the power of typography in logos! There are thousands upon thousands of fonts out there – and several of them for free.

You’ve probably already got a decent idea of what makes for good and bad typography. You want your words to flow, and there are some fonts you know not to touch, except maybe to drop-kick them away from you (Comic Sans, anyone?).

Choose a font that looks both modern and suits your business well. That doesn’t mean you can shy away from weird fonts with personality, but you need to keep it legible and identifiable as well. And, if possible, don’t be afraid to make the typeface a part of the artwork itself!

Shape

There are design ideas out there that have become downright cliches at this point. Light bulbs referring to ideas, globes referring to travel – things like this and anything else need to be nixed from your repertoire immediately.

Instead, stick to basic shapes: triangles, squares, and circles. Come up with designs that fit into those shapes, and you’ll have an easier – and more creative – time.

Structure

If a logo is supposed to be simple, there’s no point in getting heavily into structure, is there?

Wrong.

When you create a logo, you still need to stick to basic structures and ratios. A great way to do this is to see if your logo fits into the golden ratio specifications.

Work with negatives

You may think that the logo you create is too small to use negative space effectively, but you may be making a grave mistake.

Negative space can add a unique touch to any logo, and can even elevate it to a higher, more refined place.

Symbolism

Remember in high school, when you had to figure out what an author in a book was really trying to say when he wrote about “blue curtains,” or anything else?

When you create a logo, you need to tap into that same part of your brain. In popular culture, different shapes and objects mean different things. By incorporating those shapes or objects – or at least referring to their shape – you can invoke those meanings in the public consciousness.

Be funny!

You can say a lot in a logo, so don’t be afraid to be funny when it counts. As an artist, you know how to depict things in subtle ways – utilize that!

Wit doesn’t have to be complicated or highbrow. People can understand jokes even as they pass by a logo. If you’ve got the mindset and the opportunity to throw in a (literal or metaphorical!) wink to your audience, I encourage you to take it!

Remain flexible

Our final, biggest expert protip when learning how to create a logo is that flexibility matters.

Climates change, and so do businesses. When you create a logo, it’s a process. You constantly have to be keeping up.

If the climate changes while you’re at the drawing board, you have to maintain the flexibility to go back in and make tweaks and updates. Don’t expect the business climate to remain static because the only guarantee is that it won’t.

Represent Your Company Well

As you can see, there’s a lot more that goes into a logo than just drawing a cute picture and writing your company’s name under it.

You need to take into account things like symbolism and color theory. You don’t want your audience feeling the wrong thing at the wrong time, and you want to give an accurate representation of your company.

Because of this, I encourage you to develop a design that evokes your company’s heritage and speaks to where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’d like to go in the future.

At the same time, don’t overthink it! Nothing in the business world is static, and that includes logos.

If you have questions regarding logo design and how to create your own, feel free to give us a shout!