Fashion & Lifestyle Blog
February 20, 2016

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Dental care can be expensive. Anybody who has ever walked into the dentist in pain or taken their children for a checkup already knows this. Unfortunately, the cost of dental care prevents a lot of people from getting the basic services they need.

However, just because dental care can be costly doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. Eventually, you’ll be in enough pain or have such bad teeth that you’ll be forced into emergency services and come out with a whopping bill.

Use this primer to learn more about how you can pay your Brooklyn dentist. There could be more options out there than you think, and you may not need to suffer with yellow, cracked, broken or unattractive teeth any longer.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is designed to help you take care of your teeth without spending a lot of money out of pocket each time you go to the dentist. While it can seem costly, the fact is that most plans cost less than your cell phone or cable bill.

When you get dental insurance, you’ll find that many preventative services like cleanings are covered right away. This is to help make sure your teeth stay in excellent shape so you don’t need restorative work.

What dental insurance usually doesn’t cover right away is stuff like root canals and fillings. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay out of pocket on these things. Depending on your plan, it could be six, 12 or 18 months before you’re covered for restorative work and oral surgery.

For Kids

If you’re worried about paying for dental care for your children you’re not alone. Luckily most health care exchanges set up by the government provide free dental care for children, at least when it comes to preventative care and basic services like fillings.

These plans are designed to help children grow up with healthy teeth so they won’t need major services as adults. Get your child enrolled through one of the exchanges during open enrollment and you usually won’t have a waiting period on care.

Discount Plans

Discount plans are simple, but many people don’t know about them. For a flat monthly or yearly fee, you’ll be given a list of dentists you can see and reduced prices on their services. Often called dental HMOs, these plans still require you to pay something out of pocket.

For example, a root canal that normally costs $500 could cost $250 to $300 if you have an effective discount plan. There are usually no waiting periods on discount plans once you pay your first premium.

February 19, 2016

Sometimes, life can be such a juggling act that we never really stop to consider ourselves. Are we happy in our current situation? Are we feeling fulfilled? The quest for self-completion and satisfaction is an endless one. But that doesn’t mean we should stop reaching for the things that can really make a difference and matter to use. If you’re feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled, look for the ways that you can give yourself purpose. A lot of people turn to their love life, but this is all about what completes you as an individual.

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Picture by Kasterman

Learn to never feel out of control

One of the things that can give our lives so much pressure is the idea that we’re not really in control at all. While it’s true that many things happen in life without our being able to do anything about it, that’s not the same as not being in control of our own lives. It’s all about how we give context to the world around us. Accept that there are bigger forces at play than us. Learning and growing from events are just some of the ways of feeling we have control of our lives again.

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Picture by Ellyn Rivers

Spend time with your family

You need to make time for the people who really matter to you. A lot of us wait until the next big mandatory family event, which all parties involved tend to begrudgingly accept. Find the people important to you and plan little days out and lunches together. There are plenty firm believers that it’s the people and connections in our lives that can really fill them.

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Picture by Andrea Booher

Help those who need it

An existence lived for the sake of itself if often the most likely to feel unfulfilled. As well as the obvious benefits to helping others, it’s not a bad thing to feel the positive effects on yourself. There are undoubtedly plenty of efforts you can join in your area to help those who are out of luck. There are also programs like the Great Projects which can send you where your help is really needed. Charity is good for the body and soul of everyone involved.

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Picture by Unsplash

Get into the career you want

Today’s society is a career driven one. In the race to start earning money, we can pigeon-hole ourselves into just about any job that’s convenient. But is that really the kind of work you want to do? Especially since it takes up so much time, we shouldn’t settle for the career we don’t want. Even when we’re struggling to pay the bills, there are always steps we can take to prepare and get ourselves closer to the job we really want.

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Picture by jaymantri.com

Get out there

Travel can be a life-changing event. It can teach you not only to marvel at the world and all it has to offer. It can also help you appreciate what you have at home all the more. It’s not just for the rich and easy-living, either. There are loads of ways to make travelling cheaper, as well as smarter.

February 18, 2016

Making the decision to buy a new bed is one that you should not take lightly. It’s a major but necessary investment that will be with you for years to come. So it’s essential that you make sure that you are 100% happy with the decision that you have made. Otherwise, you may find that your have made a costly mistake that could be difficult to sort out. Before racing off to a store and parting with your money, it always pays to have some knowledge to make you more prepared. Not only will this give you some focus, but it will also help you with bed and mattress jargon used by the sales people. With so many types and styles you can be overwhelmed and unsure of which bed is right for you. So not considering what you want and doing no research ahead of time would be a foolish thing to do. To make sure you make the right decision, consider these important things before doing anything else.

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How much can I afford to spend?

When buying a new bed, your financial situation should always be the first thing you consider. There’s no point starting the search for a bed if you don’t know how much you can comfortably spend on one or cannot afford one. So always check your finances and discuss how much you can afford with your partner. The last thing you want to to purchase a bed that is too expensive and beyond your means. So decided on a price, stick to it and never go over budget. There are thousands of beds in different styles and designs that can suit whatever budget you have set yourself. If you cannot pay in full on the day many retailers have payment plans you could utilise which spread the cost over a particular time period. This can ease the pressure and help you stay within budget. You might feel inclined only to look at higher priced items because you might consider the quality to be better and ultimately last longer. But nowadays, even cheaper bed frames are made to a reasonable standard and can last a long time if cared for correctly. So there is no need to feel pressured into buying a bed that puts a strain on your bank balance.

What size do I need?

This is entirely dependent on your personal preferences and the space you have available in your bedroom. Think about the reasons why you want to replace your bed in the first place. It might be too small, take up too much room or look odd after you’ve completed your bedroom makeover. You need to carefully measure your bedroom to give you a strong indication of the size you need. Use your current bed as a guide to help you if you can. This should make it easier to avoid buying a bed that is too small or large for the space. Write these measurements down so you can take them with you when you start shopping for your new bed. You should also consider the scale of your new bed and how it will work when placed alongside the rest of your furniture and decor. Just because you have enough space and like the idea of a king size bed does not necessarily make it the perfect choice for you. It could reduce the space you have and decrease the amount of access you have around the sides. Take this into account when taking your measurements and compare these to the measurements of differing bed sizes.

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Which mattress is the right one for me?

People are often intimidated by mattresses because of how many options there are available. A mattress is never just a mattress. It could be a continuous spring, memory foam, deep quilted or pocket sprung to name but a few. While testing these out before you buy is always recommended it’s also worth doing some research too. When you’re parting with your hard earned money, you need to be sure you know what you are buying. Consider the size of bed you are buying and check which size of mattress will comfortably fit inside. Once you know which size you need you can then start choosing which type would be most suitable. Again, consider the reasons why you’re buying a new bed. You might find your current mattress uncomfortable to sleep on or find that it causes you to experience allergy-like symptoms. Use this and your new found knowledge to find a mattress that offers support and enhances your night’s sleep. You also need to consider your partner’s preferences too.

Be open to alternative mattresses types such as air beds, adjustable mattresses and water beds. You might find that you prefer these to more traditional styles. Just remember to check the measurements and specifications before you buy. You can find them at Night Air Beds or Sterling Sleep.

What style would be best?

This again is usually down to your own personal preferences and tastes in decor and furniture. No matter what style you have, there is a bed out there for you. Consider what is more important to you, style or function. If you want to add more functionality and storage to your bedroom, a bed frame with drawers in the base or headboard shelves would be ideal. Or for a fun factor, you could look for a bed which can house a flat screen TV. If style is more of a priority, consider the decor you currently have but also think ahead. You ideally want a bed that will look good no matter what paint or wallpaper is on the walls, so choose carefully. Frames are traditionally made from wood, but you can also find metal, leather and upholstered ones too. Choose something that will still like in ten years time and you can’t go wrong.

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Now you have considered these important things; you can now get started on finding the ideal bed and mattress. We spend a large portion of our lives asleep so doing this preparation will make sure every night is a peaceful one.

February 17, 2016

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Photo by Will Fisher

It was Valentine’s Day this last weekend, and our second as a married couple. We weren’t much in a celebrating mood, but it was nice to spend the day together anyway. It did get me thinking about our wedding again and how a lot of women want to get fit for their wedding. I don’t think it’s essential to lose weight or to set a fitness goal for your wedding day. But I know a lot of women want to so they can look and feel at their best. If you’re one of them, you might be finding it hard to motivate yourself to meet your goals. Here are some of my tips for feeling your best when the big day arrives.

Hold Off on the Engagement Ring

What? But you’ve got to have that beautiful engagement ring! How else is everyone going to know you’re engaged? If you haven’t got yours yet, think about waiting for just a little while. Anyone who’s going to have a long engagement could afford to wait a couple of months. But why should you? Well, rewards are great motivators when you have a goal to work toward. So picking out your favorite from the Tacori engagement rings collection can give you something to visualize. Use other rewards along the way too, whether it’s going for a cake tasting or picking out your dress.

Don’t Buy a Dress That Doesn’t Fit

It’s very tempting to buy a dress that’s a size or two too small and then hang it up in your bedroom. However, I advise against doing this! For one thing, there’s no guarantee the dress will fit or suit you, even if you reach the right clothes size. Even if it does mostly fit, you still might have to have some adjustments made. What’s more, maybe that’s not the dress size you’ll be happy with. You might lose a few pounds and decide that’s enough for you, but you haven’t lost enough to fit into the dress. Instead, find a dress you like but don’t buy it just yet.

Make Exercise a Must

Sometimes all it takes is being strict with yourself. You already have lots of daily tasks that you have to complete, from going to work to having a shower. So why not make a commitment by putting working out on your schedule? Don’t let yourself get away with making excuses. Just promise yourself you’ll do it and stick to your promise. It helps if you make plans with other people too. Maybe if your bridesmaids are willing to support you, you won’t want to let them down.

Destress with Workouts, Not Food

Wedding planning can be pretty stressful. It’s tempting to destress with a tub of ice cream at the end of the day. But working out can be even better to help you let go of all the wedding madness. You can get rid of any built up tension, and it will make you feel great.

Keeping fit and healthy in the run up to your wedding day can help you feel great. I recommend taking extra care of yourself while you plan.

February 16, 2016

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Some women have a hard time buying gifts for their boyfriends, husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and other men in their lives that deserve a treat. The reason for this is because most of the market products are aimed at women. But you do not have to worry because there is an abundance of stores both online and off where you can purchase all the good stuff that men want. No matter what your budget is, there is always a gift out there that is perfect for him. Just remember that a nice present will not only make his day but will likewise show your love and appreciation for him. For the discerning gentleman, select from fashionable apparel, accessories, manly cosmetics, books, gadgets etc.

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For those who are clueless but do not want to make a mistake about which gift to give, shop for practical items that you know they will use everyday such as under garments, socks, and boxer shorts. Make sure though that you are getting the right size and it is the style that he wants. For the guy who is more into casual attire, give him T-shirts in different colors and statement shirts. You can likewise get him ties that he can use at the office or during special occasions, accessories like belts, watches, wallets, messenger/body bags, caps, and sunglasses are also available. Also shop for footwear like sneakers, rubber shoes, boots, flip flops, and sandals.

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Help him become even more attractive and fresh by giving him a grooming set that includes a deodorant, body spray, aftershave, pomade, beard balm, and soap. A guy who wants to smell good all day would appreciate a bottle of his favorite scent. If he likes working out and you have a big budget, you can give him a treadmill, stationary bike and other gym equipment. If he is into gadgets, buy him the latest iPhone, laptop, and tablet. If he is a book worm, buy him a copy of the book he has been dying to buy. If you want to give him something unique and memorable, you can probably take him bungee jumping, sky diving, and zip lining.

February 9, 2016

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Image from Visual Hunt

Looking at celebrity homes, the first word that springs to mind is often “expensive”. You can tell at a glance that the owner of the home is a multi-millionaire. But quite often the rooms look impersonal and cold. There’s a lot of shine, a lot of enormity, but very little warmth.

You want your home to look like a home. You don’t want guests to be afraid to touch anything. When you see opulent celebrity rooms, the decor sometimes looks jagged. Like they’re trying too hard to look like royalty. This is decorating to show off to other people, or to give yourself a daily reminder that you are filthy rich. But your rooms should have personality!

The truth is, when you buy furniture that looks pretty, you’re often sacrificing comfort. That shiny leather is telling people you have the dough, but it might also be telling your guests to keep off of it. Filling your room with expensive objects doesn’t always create a friendly atmosphere. Don’t be suckered into designing an alienating room!

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Image from Flickr

Pull up a chair

With such a comfy carpet, you may be tempted to sit down on that instead of on a chair or a sofa. If you don’t mind being too close to the floor, you may want to consider a bean bag. People sometimes associate bean bags with teenagers, not luxury living. But don’t be fooled by these youthful associations! I’ve yet to meet a grown-up who doesn’t appreciate a bean bag.

Maybe an average bean bag doesn’t sound very impressive to you. Solution: get a really big bean bag. Better solution: get a really big personalised bean bag! Getting a Fombag will allow you to choose colour and size. Check out their product builder here: http://www.fombag.com/ProductBuilder.html?p=6&s=OTT&f=MS008. Perhaps opt for the Fompancake. Who isn’t tempted to sit on something called a Fompancake?

As for your sofa, don’t buy something you’re going to cover in plastic. It’s always struck us as absurd to invite a guest onto a plastic-covered sofa. Doesn’t that just suggest the guest is filthy in some way? And the noise! Sitting down shouldn’t produce this crinkly, hard sound. Your guests will be too scared to lean back!

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Designer sofas don’t have to say “don’t touch me”. Your main goal for getting a sofa isn’t to make the room look pretty. It’s to give you and your guests somewhere to sit! Keeping it elegant but simple is the key.

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Image from Flickr

That’s entertainment

Your entertainment setup is also important. Ever been to someone’s house and seen a ridiculous entertainment setup that you were scared to actually use? It shouldn’t be this way. Your TV, your gaming consoles, all your entertainment devices – the setup should be elegant and intuitive.Image from Flickr

Pull up a chair

With such a comfy carpet, you may be tempted to sit down on that instead of on a chair or a sofa. If you don’t mind being too close to the floor, you may want to consider a bean bag. People sometimes associate bean bags with teenagers, not luxury living. But don’t be fooled by these youthful associations! I’ve yet to meet a grown-up who doesn’t appreciate a bean bag.

Maybe an average bean bag doesn’t sound very impressive to you. Solution: get a really big bean bag. Better solution: get a really big personalised bean bag! Getting a Fombag will allow you to choose colour and size. Check out their product builder here: http://www.fombag.com/ProductBuilder.html?p=6&s=OTT&f=MS008. Perhaps opt for the Fompancake. Who isn’t tempted to sit on something called a Fompancake?

As for your sofa, don’t buy something you’re going to cover in plastic. It’s always struck us as absurd to invite a guest onto a plastic-covered sofa. Doesn’t that just suggest the guest is filthy in some way? And the noise! Sitting down shouldn’t produce this crinkly, hard sound. Your guests will be too scared to lean back!

Designer sofas don’t have to say “don’t touch me”. Your main goal for getting a sofa isn’t to make the room look pretty. It’s to give you and your guests somewhere to sit! Keeping it elegant but simple is the key.

Ever watched an episode of MTV Cribs? Many wealthy celebrities have an elaborate setup in this area. You have to push a button to expose the television screen. Or open specific cabinets to access the DVD player. You should keep it simple, so guests can look at the system and know exactly how to work it. Make sure that television screen is big, though! That’s one feature that’s welcome in any home!

Where can I put my mug?

Space. That’s one of the key terms of modern design. Many would urge you to keep it minimal. Minimalism can be brilliant, but some people can take it too far. If you don’t have a table or a similar surface on which guests can rest mugs or other items, then you’ve taken it too far. If your conversation creates echoes, you’ve taken it too far. Having enough space to dance around in is all well and good, but don’t remove all the character!

A table near the sofa is a must. But a keen eye can tell when you’ve just thrown a table in there just to have a table. Keep the aesthetic in line with the rest of the room! A big, elegant table isn’t going to work well. Try something more unique. Don’t get the kind of table that makes you demand guests use coasters for their mugs. No-one likes the coaster guy.

Watch the vase!

Something we still see in the rooms of the rich and famous: valuable, even priceless items placed across the room. That expensive vase resting on that ornate pillar? Bad idea. If you want some art where your guests will be hanging out, keep it to paintings. If it looks like it could fall at the slightest knock and break, it won’t make people feel that comfortable.

At the end of the day, your home is your home. You should design it in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Maybe that means ignoring this article altogether! But don’t be over the top for the sake of it.