Awesome Bike Accessories to Help You Do Everything

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Cycling is experiencing a huge spike in interest for many college students. They’re opting to bike instead of driving to school and around town because it’s both cheaper in the long run and easier to find parking. This is great both for your wallet and for the environment!

So if you’re an avid biker, you might need things that help you do what those car folks have easy. Here are some accessories that make biking around a little more convenient than before.

Grocery Basket A quick trip to the store can easily be accommodated by this front-mounted grocery basket, which is inexpensive at $30 and fits most bikes. I used to use a backpack, but depending on how heavy your groceries are and how hot it outside, that can get uncomfortable pretty quickly. If you need extra storage for food, consider a rear-mounted platform or basket as well.

U-Lock Holder You might need one of these if you have a big clunky u-lock to lock your bike up with when you park it. U-locks are definitely the preferred way to keep your bicycle safe while you’re inside, but they are heavy and trust me, you don’t want to hang it on the handlebars while you ride. This lock holder is pretty cool – handmade from Oopsmark on Etsy, it mounts your U-lock behind your seat and is made from attractive vegetable-tanned leather. This brings us to the next one…

Wine Bottle Carrier From the same company on Etsy, there is an awesome wine bottle carrier so you can transport that bottle of wine to your friend’s without any hassle. This is also made from the same high grade leather as the u-lock holder and looks spectacular.

Bike Storage Owning a bike and living in an apartment can be tricky, even though the two circumstances often coincide. This bike rack is beautifully minimalist and fits almost any bike so you can mount it on the wall and get it off of your much-needed floor space.

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

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If you’re unfamiliar with tea tree oil, it’s an essential oil made from the tea tree which grows in Australia. While technically tea tree oil is not meant to be ingested and is considered toxic if ingested, it has amazing properties when a diluted amount is applied to the skin. It has natural antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which can help clear up some skin conditions. This makes it a great alternative to harsh chemical treatments.

One of the things tea tree helps dramatically reduce is acne. Diluted tea tree oil (never full strength!) can be applied directly to an affected area to clear up breakouts. The essential oil can also help alleviate fungal infections over a course of time. It can be used to treat swelling from insect bites and other minor afflictions on the skin. The list of things it can be used for is very impressive.

I like to mix a drop of tea tree oil with my facial cleanser every time I wash my face to help keep my skin clear and breakout-free. You can also mix a drop or two with your body wash if you want. Many skin care products are already made with some tea tree oil in them, so check the ingredients next time you go shopping. Tea tree oil is somewhat expensive, but a little bottle will go a long way! A great place to buy it is TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, which has it discounted a dollar or two. You can find out more about tea tree oil and the facts around it as a home remedy on WebMD here.

Keeping the Proverbial Glass Half Full

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A friend recently caught me off-guard when she complimented my ability to renew and reinvent myself following some major shifts in my life. She described how others shut down and were unable to function normally while I kept the ball rolling and continued forward. I was surprised (and flattered) to hear this and took some time to reflect on what she had said.

What it really boils down to is perspective and attitude. Needless to say, I’m not the first individual to come to this conclusion, but just one in an endlessly long line of those less interested in the enormous list of social expectations drawn up by contemporary society which cause anxiety. Apathy is a bit of a dirty word now, with more negative connotations than positive, however the original Greek word apatheia was used by the Greek Stoic philosophers to describe a lack of emotional response to events outside of our control. And there are a great deal of things outside of our control which still cause us anxiety despite that fact. I think that overcoming the desire to control what is uncontrollable is key in maintaining a happy and healthy life.

I can easily attribute this developing ability to roll with the punches and all of life’s lovely little hiccups to the teachings of British philosopher, Alan Watts. If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Watts, I highly recommend searching for his lectures on YouTube (if for no other reason to listen to his lovely speaking voice) or reading one of his books on Zen philosophy. One of his more well-known statements is that life and our social conventions are games, which once taken too seriously cease to be games anymore.   And when this happens, we take them too seriously and worry over the outcome.

So it’s been a long time coming, but when things simply do not work out the way I expected them to, I am beginning to be able to keep going forward. And really that is the only direction to move in. This attitude is not due to some sort of melancholy resignation on my part, but a joyful optimism that while there will always be sad and difficult moments throughout life, there will be a great deal more beautiful and enlightening experiences. I can truthfully say my glass, or cup of tea more often, is most certainly half full.

 

Favorite Coffee Cups

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Do you have a go-to mug you insist on using every day?  Have you had it for at least a decade and if anything happens to it, there will be a desolate void in your life which will haunt your coffee break for years to come?! Or do you like to get a trendy new one every year to match your current style? I cherish a handful of mugs from my childhood – yep, 20 some years later I’m still using the Disney mugs my brother brought me from his band trips to Disney World and Universal Studios. Mix those in with more recent acquisitions, a hodge podge collection of handmade ceramic mugs from friends and former classmates from college. All in all, it’s a pretty eclectic mix. What does your mug shelf look like?

If your coffee (or tea!) is feeling lackluster these days, maybe it’s time to spruce up its outfit. These are my favorite picks for coffee mugs:

 

For the Apartment:

The Crazy Cat Lady in me loves this mug set

Part mug, part bowl, but either way this is the most comfortable to hold

This mug is perfect for any Harry Potter fan

Pantone Mugs look nice and come in a myriad of colors

Mug Life mug from Easy Tiger Co. is classy and funny

 

On the Go:

Anything Zojirushi is amazing and durable, like this travel mug

Cute and girly travel mug from Kate Spade

Positive vibes coming from these travel mugs

Slightly more manly travel mug in a nice textured copper design

 

Teas to calm your nerves

With the holiday season coming up, you may be getting a sense of anxiety over the idea of planning that huge Thanksgiving dinner and getting all the right presents for your loved ones this Christmas.  A big mug of soothing tea may be just the trick after a long day of sending out Thanksgiving invites and holiday shopping. There are several teas that have been shown to naturally calm you that you may want to try out to get that perfect night of rest.

Kava tea

Kava is a natural, herbal tea that is very well researched and proven to fight anxiety and induce a sense of calm over you.  However, kava teas brought in your regular grocery stores will not be strong enough to combat anxiety, so check out any tea shops around you to see if they sell pure kava herbal tea.  Be sure to combine the tea with something that has fat in it, like milk and also do not drink kava if you have liver problems.

 Passionflower tea

Passionflower tea is like kava, but not nearly as strong.  It is shown to be very relaxing when taken in the right dose. However, since “dosing” is not quite well known, it is unsure if store bought teas will be potent enough.  Therefore, buy passionflower extract and put in a few drops in some warm water. Start with small amounts to see what works best with you.

Valerian root tea

Valerian root tea is not designed specially for anxiety, but it is very well known for the calming effect it has.  Since it can be pretty potent, drink it with caution and for your first time, try it at night before bed to see just how fast it makes you sleepy.

http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/healing-tea

Keeping your Wi-Fi to yourself

Having Internet access is a huge luxury, a luxury that can be expensive from buying routers, to getting virus protection to keep your computer safe from harm. However, there are people who may try to finagle free internet from you by getting access to your Wi-Fi… don’t let them.  The more internet you use, the more bandwidth you use and if one of your neighbors is using your Wi-Fi you may end up paying way more than you should. One easy way to tell if someone is using your Wi-Fi is to turn off and unplug each and every one of your Wi-Fi devices in your home, from your phone and computers to even game consoles. Once they are all off, the indicator lights on your router should be off, but if they are still blinking, someone outside of your home may be connected to your Wi-Fi. When setting up your Wi-Fi keep in mind to have a password that would be hard for someone to guess. If you are still having trouble, contact your Internet provider to take further security measures.

Puppy proofing your apartment

Puppies are adorable and a joy to be around and having your very own puppy run up to you and lick your face after a long, hard day is one of the best treats you can receive, but dogs especially brand new puppies, are also a lot of work and require you to puppy proof your apartment if you still want your home to be presentable and your puppy safe. Here are some tips to keep your home safe from your little ball of fur.

-Keep your puppy confined to one area

Not all the time, but when you are away from home. Make sure the space is large enough to give your pup a little room to move around, but small enough that if they just so happen to make a mess, it is easy to clean and only in one area of your home as opposed to stumbling upon a mess anywhere in your home.

-Keep cords and chargers out of reach

If you are at home and keeping a watchful eye on your pet, that is fine, but when you go out, make sure to put all cords, electronics, and other harmful items out of reach. To keep your puppy from chewing on your expensive electronics or furniture, make sure to leave them with plenty of toys instead.

-Put away all food

You may love to snack in various parts of your home, and trust me, your pet would love to snack on all those foods with you. However, lots of snacks like sweets or chocolates are very harmful for your pet so you want to make sure to keep them away from your pet.

Keep your home safe and your pet safer.

Gainesville Tennis Academy

For adding exercise and fun, tennis is a perfect sport to keep you in shape and you can enjoy playing at the same time. The Gainesville Tennis Academy, located at 1001 NW 34th St, in Gainesville, offers tennis programs from private lessons, to group lessons, to cardio tennis to really get in a good sweat. The programs will offer you tips on how to improve and challenge you to learn to play with ease. Their faculty offers quality tennis training in a spacious center of 8 lighted hard tennis courts, 3- 36 foot lined courts , 4 racquetball courts and large practice hitting walls. Prices vary according to which program you chose and how long you choose to go for, also check out the website to find out which of their various events you would like to attend.

http://gainesvilletennisacademy.com/