One Favored Life

living a life of travel, money and fun

Why Buying A Soup Maker Is A Great Idea


It can be hard to determine which appliances are beneficial and which ones will stay in their box. If you’re trying to decide what your next appliance purchase should be, you may want to look into picking up a soup maker! These appliances are priced fairly affordably, and they offer some very appealing perks.

If you’re thinking about buying a soup maker, you should read over this list of benefits.

A Soup Maker Makes Cooking Easy

There are a lot of people out there that absolutely hate cooking. If you’re one of these people, then you shouldn’t avoid buying a soup maker. These appliances can help you to eat home-cooked meals without doing a lot of cooking.

In fact, there are recipes that don’t require any cooking at all! All you have to do is throw a few ingredients into your appliance. After a few hours, you’ll have a delicious soup that is ready to serve.

It Can Help You To Eat A Healthier Diet

A lot of people struggle to eat in a healthy way. When you’re pressed for time, it is easy to turn to junk food. Thankfully, if you have the right kind of cooking appliance, then preparing nutritious meals is a breeze.

You can make your soups from fresh ingredients and whole foods. A lot of people like to add in herbs that they have grown themselves! If you’re not happy with the current state of your diet, then see if eating soup can help.

It Can Save You Money

People waste a lot of money on prepackaged foods. While you’ll have to spend some cash on your appliance immediately, it may save you cash when everything is said and done.

In order to make your soups, all you will have to buy is a few fresh ingredients. You’ll see your grocery bill drop right away.

In addition, this appliance allows you to make large quantities of soup. You can eat some of your soup right away, and you can freeze the rest for later. When you’re looking for a quick meal, all you will have to do is heat it up.

Not every appliance is worth investing in. You might not get a lot of use out of a bread maker or a griddle. However, if you purchase a soup maker, you will be able to to use it all the time. In fact, it might change the way you eat.

Camping In A Tent Is Where Its At

tent camping

Today it is possible to “rough it” and go camping in a tent at any one of thousands of roadside camping grounds that have running water, toilets and showers. There are many commercial camping grounds that for a small fee we can be accommodated and a small plot of land is made available for us.

While most people camp in campers that are pulled behind vehicles, camper vans, and full blown motor homes, there is a contingency who prefer to camp in tents.

It is possible to purchase tents that range in size from a pup tent, to those that can sleep six, eight or up to 12 people at a time. For most families, a tent that will sleep four to six people is usually sufficient.

It is very easy to store and take a tent along with you on your travels, and then when you come to your destination for the night, the tent can be erected withing 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the tent.

Most tents are of sufficient sturdiness so that they will withstand a moderate storm. Storms that are severe, such as a tornado you are going to have to run for shelter anyway, but for a normal tent that you erect, you will have adequate shelter from rain, sleet or snow.

The usual sleeping regimen will consist of a sleeping bag, which will provide insulation thick enough to provide adequate warmth throughout the night. The tent itself will provide some warmth, but the sleeping bag will keep the body heat inside the bag.

Some people prefer a blowup air mattress to be placed under the sleeping bag for comfort, or they can sleep on a cot with an aluminum frame. Both of these items are very easy to change into collapsible form and to store while traveling.

With a good portable camping stove that runs on white gas or kerosene, you have the perfect format for a good breakfast of bacon and eggs, along with a piece of toast and coffee, that will get you started on your day. Outdoorsman Up also suggest a good LED lantern in your gear as well.

All of these items can be purchased for a sum of money somewhere in the neighbor hood of $500 or so and they will last a lifetime. If you have the hankering to travel, tent traveling is a good and inexpensive way to go. You can get a list of campgrounds where you can stop along the way, purchase your equipment, and off you go!

Trying Out Traveling As A Digital Nomad

Dorothy The Location Independent Digital Nomad
I have just recently been able to start working toward a life as a digital nomad. You see, even though I have a pretty cushy job in accounting, I still yearn to be able to do a bit of travel instead of all the sitting at the office cubicle.  Of course, I do not really have a way to replace that accounting income just yet, which means that I cannot jump  into the deep end and take up the life of a digital nomad.

With that in mind, I was able to convince my job to let me work remotely a couple of days each week, with the exception of the month-end close week cause we are always swamped and working overtime hours during that week.  So, that was my first hurdle that I was able to successfully overcome. And, even better, I get Fridays as one of those days! That means long 3-day weekends almost every week of the month. Boom!

Now, the plan is to test out the waters of traveling and working and see if I actually enjoy this sort of lifestyle. If I do, then I need to find a way to work on making is a full-time thing. And if not, I guess I just get to enjoy those long weekends and not having to go into the office two days a week.

After getting the okay from my boss, I started doing some research on how people do this whole digital nomad thing. And it looks like minimalism is a big part of it. A lot of those travels have been gone from home for years and are only traveling with maybe a backpack or that and a small carry on bag. That is pretty amazing if you ask me!

Of course, the laptop is the main thing that you need to be a digital nomad, right? I debated for a while on getting me one of those really thin and lightweight ones from Apple but I just could not justify the cost. I mean, over a thousand dollars when I could get a Windows laptop that weighs around five pounds for only a few hundred bucks? Yeah, I bought a Dell instead.

Since I wanted to protect my investment, it was time to check out the laptop backpacks situation. Man, there are a lot of those not the market! But after reading some blog posts, I decided to focus only on the checkpoint-friendly laptop backpacks and daypacks for travel. This type of bag is designed to make getting through airport security less of a hassle when it comes to deal with your laptop and the x-ray machines.

So, now I have the backpack, a wifi hotspot and I am ready to set out on a short series of trial runs as a digital nomad. Wish me luck!

What Else To Say Instead Of ‘Good Job’

Thumbs up!
Much as it is important to complement kids all the time, have you ever wondered whether it is all really necessary? Every time your child finishes his cereal, ‘good job’, he puts back his toothbrush correctly ‘good job’. Every time, he does something small you are there to pat hi back and make him feel good. This is a great thing to do for your kid, however, as he grows and ends up in environments where you are not in charge like school for instance, he will want to keep hearing the compliments and if he doesn’t, this makes the child feel less accomplished. Once in a while it is important to let a child feel accomplished on his or her own, but that does not mean we completely ignore them. No, we can simply replace the cliché ‘good job’ with several other alternatives. Let’s check them out;

Use sentence starters.
You can introduce sentence starters into your talk. For instance, I notice you finished your cereal or I see you’ or you can even ask, ‘Tell me how you managed to piece those sticks into a house

Notice and give feedback about efforts. When you notice your child has put some effort into a particular activity, give feedback that you have noticed it. Like for instance, I see you’ve really tried hard to find the sticks that complete the structure.

Invite children to talk.
You can also give them an opportunity to show off on their own. For instance, that really is a nice house, how did you build it?

Say “thank you.” Thank children whenever they do something out of the way to impress you. For instance, if your child comes to you to report that they have put away the dishes after a meal, say thank you.

Give nonverbal feedback If you go to watch your child during a class baseball competition, give non-verbal feedback, for instance, if your son is on the spotlight and the one holding the bat to strike, smile, show them they are doing it right etc.

Use mirroring. Mirror back. For instance, if your child said they couldn’t walk down the stairs on their own and then at one point they do it. Look back to the point they couldn’t and commend them for making and effort to do it. For example, just the other day, you were afraid of going down the stairs on your own, look at you, you just did it!

How To Maintain Good Health When Traveling

Healthy snacks on the road
You always hear people say that health should be your top priority, and for good reason. Far too many people get too caught up with work. They think that work is all that matters, neglecting the other little things in life that prove to be more important. Remember that whatever material things you work hard for to attain, all of them will be of no use if your health is degenerating. But what about when you travel? It is still just as important then, too! The following are some useful tips on how to stay healthy and enjoy life like you never did before.

Maintaining your healthy basically boils down to three things. First, let’s talk about eating a balanced diet. We all know that making healthy food choices come a long way when it comes to improving our health. Junk foods and unhealthy snacks can be detrimental to your health especially when you consume them often. It is important to ensure that your daily diet consists of the right balance of vitamins and nutrients. Some of the most recommended food choices include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and nuts. Also remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

The second thing to remember about staying healthy is keeping a regular exercise program. Plenty of diseases have been associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting in front of your office desk for hours on end isn’t the best thing to do for your health. It is recommended to engage in physical activities such as sports, dancing and weight lifting. Even light to moderate exercises can help a lot such as walking and swimming.

The last thing is getting enough sleep. Sleeping is a vital process that enables your body to recuperate from all the stresses in your life. In general, it is best to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. It is also recommended to sleep at the same time every night in order to maintain a regular sleep cycle.

These simple tips should help you improve and maintain your overall health. Remember that the key here is consistency. You must have the discipline to stick to your healthy routines in order to achieve optimal results. In addition, you can’t afford to sacrifice one aspect of staying healthy for another. Exercising regularly might prove to be futile if you do not get proper nutrition and sufficient sleep. Everything must work in harmony, so start adopting these quick lifestyle fixes and enjoy a healthier you.

How To Improve Your Love Life

Love can be challenging – especially if you travel with your partner cause travel can be stressful. But, I manage to make it work and maybe I can help you. Are you in a serious relationship with someone, but you would like to improve your love life? Lucky for you, there are a number of things you can do to improve your love life. Below are a few ways you can try.

1. Workout– If you want to improve your love life, then start working out. You might be surprised at how much attention your partner will give you when you start getting into better shape. Also, you and your partner could workout together by joining a gym or even going for a jog together. You guys could end up strengthening your bond, which means your love life could become even better than what it is now.

2. Dress Up And Go Out– Another good way to improve your love life with your partner is by going out together. However, instead of making little to no effort before going out, put in a lot of effort. In other words, dress up and look as good as you possibly can look before you go out with your partner. You can buy a brand new outfit, get a haircut, buy an accessory for your outfit, some new fragrance and things of that nature, and the extra effort could very well payoff.

3. Try New Things In The Bedroom– If you want to improve your love life, then try new things in the bedroom with your partner. This can be anything you want, as the point is that you will be doing something new. This can be something as little as leaving the lights on or off. You might be surprised at how much your love life will improve all by trying new things in the bedroom.

4. Leave Love Notes– Sure, you can always text your partner a short and sweet message, but nothing beats a handwritten love note. You and your partner can leave each other notes from time to time, and they don’t have to be full on love letters, as short and sweet messages should be good enough. All you have to do is include 1-4 sentences in the note and your partner will appreciate it.

As you can see, there are a number of things you can try if you want to improve your love life. The above ways are some of the best. With that said, you should keep the above advice in mind and you should be just fine.

Planning For Your Retirement (So You Can Travel More!)

Financial security in retirement doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment and, yes, money. And if you want to be able to do lot of travel in your retirement, then the planning starts now!

Every time the word retirement pops up, everyone instantly thinks of finances. Yes, financial security is everything for anyone thinking retirement or headed there. Most people nowadays do not wait till they reach the age limit for retirement, the number of those taking early retirement is constantly increasing. As a result it is very important to note what you need to take into consideration when planning for your retirement. Below are some facts about retirement:

• More than half of people do not plan for their retirement in advance
• Most Americans spend twenty years in retirement on average

1. Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals
Saving is very rewarding so whether you are doing it to secure your retirement years financially or it is simply for investments, never stop saving. You can always start with small amounts and then keep increasing with time. If you begin saving early enough, you will be able to accumulate more money. As you make plans for your savings always have retirement as a priority. Make plans and abide by those plans to the latter.

2. Know your retirement needs
Retirement can be quite expensive contrary to what most people think to what most people think. The way to a financially secure retirement is to plan ahead otherwise, you will face financial challenges that will force you to lower your living standards. A retirement calculator can help you plan.

3. Contribute to your employer’s retirement savings plan
Sign up to retirement plans provided by your employer, contribute as much as you can towards it. Since deductions are automated, you will always be forced to contribute without failing.

4. Learn about your employer’s pension plan
Confirm whether an existing pension plan provided by your employer covers you. You can request for an individual benefit statement to check whether the benefits are worth. You also consider what happens to your pension savings when you switch jobs. Also check whether you are part of your spouse’s benefits.

5. Consider basic investment principles
You savings style will directly determine how much you save. Be aware that economic challenges such as inflation may affect your savings. You should also note how your savings are invested and your investment options. You can invest into several different investments, this way you will be able to cut the risks and boost returns you are entitled to. Knowledge on management of funds is directly related to financial security.

6. Don’t touch your retirement savings
Never withdraw your retirement savings. This would have a considerable effect on your principal amount and you would not want that. If you have to switch from one job to another, let leave your savings in your current account.

9. Find out about your Social Security benefits
Calculate how much you are entitled to from your social security benefits. You can use the retirement estimator to calculate. In many cases it is normally about forty percent of what you were earning before your retirement.

Benefits of Hiring Vacation Home Caretaker Services

There are so many ideas that you will have regarding where to spend your holiday. Most of the very common places that people spend their holiday is the vacation homes. Here, they can spend some time away from home and enjoy the serenity of a distant environment. Thus, there is no doubt that these homes play a very important role to many people. For those who do not have, they probably have a dream of ever owning one. In this case, there is no doubt that you will need a vacation home caretaker.

This is one of the most valuable properties that many people boast of having. It is however not possible to be in these homes all the time. Thus, in most of the cases, you will find that you are away from here. When this happens, then there is no doubt that you will need to trust someone with your property. This is the reason you hire someone to take care of it, as you will be away.

There are various ways that you can select these services. The first thing that you should realize is that there should be professionalism. Through this, you will be able to relax knowing that your place is in safe hands. Some people assume that it is far much cheaper when they hire just anyone to take care of their property. However, in the end, you will realize that you are taking such a great risk.

The first thing that you should do is to seek referrals. If you know of friends who have such homes, it would be better if you asked them if they can give you any referrals. The good thing about them is that you will get people whom they already know their reputation. This way, chances of getting disappointed will be quite low.

Other than this, you can also search on the internet for companies that offer these services. However, for services that you get from this type of forum, it will be better if you are quite careful about how you select them. The first thing should be to get a list and then eliminate them using a special strategy.

One of the ways that you can use to get rid of quarks is the issue of whether the company is insured and licensed. At the end of the day, you cannot trust someone with your homes yet they have not even secured their own job. This might be risky as they may also encounter cases of burglary.

The other issue is on the number of years that they have been in business. Normally, this is what will determine the kind of services that you receive. Often, it is good if you hire companies that have been in the business for some time. At least you will be confident when you are trusting them with your own.

There is no doubt that a home will do you good in terms of fun. However, vacation home caretaker services will be quite useful. This is the only way you will protect your property.

Financial Security Requires You to Have a Proper Strategy in Place

20/365- "It does not boast, it is not proud..."
There was a time when people believed that if they had land, they were financially secure. They could farm the land, grow food on it, be landlords or find other uses for it. But poor weather, crop diseases, and economic downturns quite often left property owners unable to even pay taxes.

It was also earlier thought that if you had a good job with a large company or the government you had financial security, from the steady income that these jobs offered. But economic downturns, job cuts and competing business led to this becoming just another myth. Governments have tried to create safety nets like Social Security, that does give a modicum of financial freedom, but even these are rarely more than at a subsistence level. What then does a person need to do to have financial security?

The best strategy to achieve any form of freedom from financial worries is to minimize risk and always ensure that you have a number of income avenues. You achieve some financial security if you are able to ensure that your sources of avenue are reasonably safe and give you reasonable returns. This process can be assisted if you are constantly weighing the three important aspects that make for financial security. These are:

• Assets
• Income
• Expenditure

Assets form the base for your financial strength, and must be as far as possible without any encumbrances. A mortgaged home will not fall completely within this, though valuables and jewelry will. Money in the form of investments is also subjected to risk and does not give complete protection. The degree of risk will however vary from Certificates of Deposits, mutual funds, share and stocks, commodities or any other avenue.

Income has to be steady and something that you can rely on, if you have to have the required security. This is rarely completely under your control and there always external factors that can make a difference, like job losses, reduction in interest rates, stock market variations and a general economic downturn.

Expenditure is the one area that can always be under your control and play a vital role in ensuring financial security. Learn to live minimally and you will be far more secure than all your friends and acquaintances and probably much happier as well. Save as much as you can, and do this systematically, by taking advantage of every possible avenue, so that your future is looked after. The ultimate aim, of any financial security strategy that you follow, is to ensure that you have no worries for living comfortably, even when your career is over.

Laura’s Top Travel Tips


Nothing is better than going out into the world and exploring. If you have caught the travel bug and you want to see the world, you will want to be sure that you are adequately prepared. Traveling can be stressful. It is important that you prepare yourself to travel as smoothly as possible. In this article, we will be going over some of the top travel tips that you should utilize on your next trip around the world.

1. Patience.

The first thing that you need to do when you travel is ensure that you keep your patience. The truth is, things are going to go wrong a lot if you travel frequently. Because of this, you need to learn to not sweat the stuff that you simply cannot control. Life is literally too short to be annoyed at everything. Plus, you are not going to be friendly and pleasant to be around all the time if you do. Take a deep breath and remember that things could be a lot worse.

2. Laugh At Yourself.

A lot of people may avoid participating in new things and engaging in new experiences because they are scared to look stupid and/or they do not want to be judged. The truth is, when you are traveling, you need to really let your guard down and have fun. You may look like a fool at times, but you are going to be creating new experiences and you will have plenty of memories to share because of it. If you spend your whole time traveling scared to talk to locals, you are going to miss out on some of the best interactions that you could have in your entire life. Don’t be afraid to look like a clown at times. Be yourself and enjoy the experience.

3. Bring Cash.

The worst thing that you can do on your journey is forget to bring cash. Cash is literally King around the world. In order to be covered during an emergency, you are going to want to have cash stashed around for safe keeping. This is going to help you in case something happens, you lose your wallet, your credit cards stop working, or the ATM’s run out of money. By stashing cash in different places, you will be able to diversify yourself and protect yourself in case things go wrong.

4. Take A Lot Of Photos.

Nowadays with digital cameras and memory cards, you can never take enough photos. You should keep a camera and/or something that can take pictures on you at all times. This will help you avoid missing out on anything that you want to be remembered of. By keeping a camera on you at all times, you will be able to capture literally everything that you would ever want. Because extra photos are not going to cost you anything, do not be afraid to take as many photos as your heart desires. However, do not get lost in the photo taking process. Always try to enjoy yourself and take photos after you do so.

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