Tue 21 Jan 2014

Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions

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Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions
You’ve heard it phrased a million different ways: essentially, green is the new black. 2013 brought us many new options for livin’ the green lifestyle. Whether you switched to a hybrid vehicle or didn’t get a chance to “go green” last year, there are lots of ways to easily transition to a more eco-friendly way of life.

Here are a few of the easiest, most impactful, and most affordable green ideas;

FOOD
Eco Friendly DietSurprisingly, what we eat has more impact on the environment than the kind of vehicle we drive! But how can we know what the most eco-friendly diet is? There is so much conflicting information out there!

Well, let’s take a look at the facts and see which foods are kindest on Mother Nature while also providing us with absolutely radiant health.

Surprise, Surprise: organic fruits and veggies always come out on top!

Want a planet and a body that are fit for a king? Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and slowly reduce your consumption of animal products and grains.

MEDICINE
Pharmaceuticals are wack, on so many levels. One of the quickest ways to take back control of your health and stop financially supporting chemicals as “medicine” is to go natural. Homeopathic Treatments are a powerful, natural way to heal just about any illness. Plus, they are far more affordable than prescription medicine and don’t have any dangerous side effects.

COUPON: Save 12.5% on homeopathic remedies from Forces of Nature using coupon code “tweetdeal2″ :)

BOTTLED WATER
our favorite water bottleYou already know what happens when you leave a water bottle in a hot car, right? If water bottles are proven to be that toxic, then why would you gamble your health by using them at all? You deserve a better bottle, bro!

The Mable’s Team upgraded our water bottles in 2010 and we’ve been pleasantly astounded by the results. Our VibesUP water bottles have a funny little coaster glued to the bottom of the bottle, which uses simple quantum technology to make the water easier to drink. But here’s the really weird part… we’re not sure how, but this weird “vibration raising” technology makes it so that our water bottles never smell. You know how often you have to clean reusable water bottles, right? Not with VibesUP!

CLOTHING
Recycled green goods Here’s a fun way to make a stylish and eco-friendly change: update your closet. When the time comes to replace any part of your wardrobe- from shoes to jeans to accessories- look for sustainable style. According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Cotton accounts for 50% of the world’s fiber needs, 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making cotton the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.”

Thankfully, there are many great retailers of organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing such as XYLME, and Blue Canoe. Amazon also has a growing selection of more affordable organic clothes, as does magical eBay

There’s a new company, Fashioning Change, that we’re really interested in, because they help us find eco friendly clothes based on our unique style preferences. Just choose your favorite style icons and designers, and Fashioning Change will match you up with gorgeous choices.

Plus, if you share the love and invite a friend to shop at fashioning Change, both you and your homie get $10 off.

Stylish. Safe. Sweatshop Free. Save Money. Give Back. It is our vision to help shoppers make better purchases and create bottom-up change in the fashion industry. ~ Fashioning Change

Another rad option is 10 Tree, which plants a whopping TEN trees for every item purchased. When people ask you how much your top cost you can be like, “$35, and it came with ten free trees. No big deal.”

10 trees planted with each item

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle?
Recycled green goodsThis is a broader concept that challenges how we think about every area of our lives. You’re probably familiar with the first 3 concepts, but “upcycling” is quickly gaining momentum in the handmade community. Etsy has a great article that discusses how everyone can learn to “repurpose” trash-bound items into something useful. Not only can you upcycle your own goods, but you can also purchase products that are made of upcycled or recycled material.

Feeling DIY? Upcycle That will keep you inspired all year long.

Have you decided to go green this year? We’d love to hear your experiences and tips; please leave us a comment!

New Year’s Resolutions

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Thu 16 Jan 2014

Take More Pictures: New Year’s Resolutions

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resolve to take more photos

Continuing our series of New Year’s Resolutions from the previous Get In Shape article, Take More Pictures is next. Most people enjoy looking at pics on Facebook, Picasa (or other preferred photo viewing option) and reliving some great memories. As much as I enjoy doing this, I often wish I’d taken more pictures during trips, events, and especially everyday pics.

Here are some reasons I didn’t take more pictures throughout the year and the possible solutions. Maybe you can relate?

Problem: Wrong camera
If you’re bummed about how your camera is too slow, too bulky, poor-quality pics, not enough features, low battery life, etc., then a camera upgrade is going to be a weight off your shoulders. How do you know which camera is for you? Common sense wisdom: evaluate what your needs are and choose the best camera for you. Read the specifications and other people’s reviews and pay attention to their details (e.g. Did it capture good in low light? Quick to boot up? Easy to navigate menu?) Also, start asking your friends about what they do and don’t like about their digital cameras. The Amazon carousel o’ magic below can also help you find the perrrfect camera.

Problem: Don’t get to ENJOY digital photos
Not everyone is computer savvy and can manipulate digital photos into works of art, or simply print one out to frame. You can buy your own printer and photo paper and try it on your computer, or you can visit a web site, upload some pictures and have them delivered to you in many different forms. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy my digital photos are to have them printed out in different formats and displayed around the house to become a part of my everyday life.
- ImageKind: They offer framed prints, canvas, posters, cards, laptop skins, water bottles, and other fun surfaces for your favorite photos.
- Snapfish (first 50 prints FREE!)

Problem: Forgot the camera
Okay, this one’s easy. You always remember to bring your phone with you, right? Make sure your phone has a good camera, so even if you forget to bring your primary camera with you, you have a reliable backup.

Problem: I’m not a good photographer
Yes you are! You just don’t know it yet. I promise, the more you take pictures and flip through them with your favorite software the more you’ll become aware of what looks good and what doesn’t. Besides, the point of the photo is to capture a moment in time, not to see who can take the “best picture”. Believe me, getting an oddly cropped/slightly blurry photo is still better than getting no photo. But if you feel you need some training, you can take a FREE digital photography class online. How easy is that?

For more choices and crazy-awesome digital camera deals be sure to check out eBay!

Now get out there and take some pictures!

New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: Edwin Pijpe

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Fri 03 Jan 2014

Get In Shape: New Year’s Resolutions

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Get In Shape: New Year’s ResolutionsWith last year just days away, you’ve probably got New Year’s resolutions on the brain. Amirite? There’s definitely something about a fresh calendar year that jump starts our desire to make positive changes. Being surrounded by friends, family, and co-workers who are also brainstorming ways to improve makes this an especially ideal time for such endeavors. Bonus!

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring some of the most popular New Years resolutions in a new series of blog posts. Be sure to come back and let us know which of the featured resolutions that you will be committing to, or to suggest tips for sticking to new resolutions.

The most popular New Years resolution is always… drumroll please… Get In Shape!
There are countless ways to do this, and here are a few of my favorite tips and fitness products.


Get Fit this year

The best in-person fitness option is Groupon
Seriously, Groupon just obliterates your excuses for not trying something new.
The discounts are insane, and you get lots of local options to choose from.
Bootcamps, personal trainers, and unlimited fitness classes for a month are just a few of the fitness related Groupons I’ve seen listed.
Why not try a new style of exercise this year? Who knows, maybe you’re a Capoeira master and you just don’t know it yet ;)

Xbox 360 plus Kinect
The best at-home fitness option is a Kinect.
An Xbox 360 with Kinect was totally The Best gift I got this Christmas!
Nike+ Kinect and Hip Hop Dance Experience are my favorites for straight up fitness.
There’s just something about workin’ and twerkin’ at home in my undies :)
But you know what? Even the non-fitness game titles – like Adventures – give a pretty decent workout, too.
Plus, there is a huge variety of niche exercise games like Zumba, UFC training, and of course lots of dance games.

No matter what option you choose, be sure to set clear fitness goals for yourself, get plenty of rest and pure water, and maybe most importantly…

Be playful about fitness!

Studies show that when we approach a task with a playful mentality – also called “beginners mind” – we reach our goals faster and have a better time along the journey.

So speak kindly to yourself as you’re transforming your body, and remember to approach exercise like a game.
You’ll have more fun :)

New Year’s Resolutions

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Mon 31 Dec 2007

Exciting Experience: New Year’s Resolutions

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Exciting Experience: New Year I’ve had some exciting experiences this past year, but they weren’t the awesome fun kind you can get from Signature Days or Great American Days. Most people, including myself, would like to try new things, visit new places, and learn new skills, which is exactly why these make perfect additions to our New Year’s Resolutions list.

Great American DaysThe beauty of an experience gift is that they are planned experiences and activities that can make positive changes in people’s lives. There are so many to choose from that there really is something for everyone.
Some of the more popular experiences are:
NASCAR, Dinner Cruises, Fighter Pilot, Cooking Classes, and Helicopter Tours.
Some of the more unique and unusual are:
Personal Jazz Performance, Rock ‘n Roll fantasy camp, be an Interior Designer, learn to DJ, Kids artistic discovery, and more.

Obviously these can make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, or just for the fun of it. These are all location based as some cities can offer certain experiences others can’t. This allows for either a truly memorable trip away from home, a fun surprise for a visiting family member, or, for those who live in big cities, just an easy way to get someone out of their house.

Signature DaysSome of my personal favorites are:
Private Raw Food Course, Vegetarian Cooking Class, Kids Drawing Class, Kids Surf Party, Stunt School, Skydiving, and Hot Air Balloon Rides. I’d look forward to any one of these experiences for myself if you are interested in buying me a gift certificate. :)

Where can I get these exciting experiences?
Great American Days and/or Signature Days. Both provide experiences as low as $50 with some experiences up into the $1000′s and both seem to have many options for many popular cities.

COUPON: Save 10% OFF at Signature Days, when you use coupon code SIGJASOND at checkout.

New Year’s Resolutions

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