CategoryLifestyle

Is a Khaki Messenger Bag Better Than a Backpack?

A khaki messenger bag is better than a backpack of any color, no doubts about it. Why do I say this? Well, let’s consider the facts; a backpack is carried on your back, right? What do you do to get at this post1 Is a Khaki Messenger Bag Better than a Backpack?

what’s inside? You have to take it off. What do you do if you want a seat on a bus? You have to take it off. What do you do when you sit at the computer at an internet café? Again, you have to take it off. Are we seeing a pattern here? Now, this wouldn’t be so troublesome if it wasn’t also for the fact of human error… how many times have we forgotten about a cumbersome backpack and left it somewhere – maybe under the table at the café, or worse, on a bus or a train?

Now imagine you’re wearing a khaki messenger bag… what do you do to get at its contents? You just reach into it as it hangs at your side from the shoulder strap. What if you’re riding a bike? A simple slide of the strap positions it at your back, just like the bicycle courier workers do with theirs. What if you want to take a seat on a bus or at the local burger joint? It’s all good, because you don’t need to take it off to sit down, and in fact you may even forget it’s there due to how comfortably it is worn. This is the type of personal carry-all that you never need to worry about losing or forgetting anywhere.

Personally, here’s why I myself would rather use a khaki messenger bag than any backpack… if I was carrying my laptop computer around with me, or anything that valuable to me, I’d feel a lot safer carrying it at my side while on foot, than having it stowed behind me where anything unseen by me can happen to it. And I’d much rather have it ON me at all times, and carrying it in something comfortably enough worn even while sitting down in a bus – that would be ideal for me. It would always be at my reach, it would always be strapped to me, and I would never have to worry about leaving the bag anywhere or forgetting it someplace – it would always go where I go, no matter where, and comfortably so. Most importantly, it would always come back home with me.

A khaki messenger bag reviews clearly has many advantages over any ordinary backpack, to be sure. This is why they are rapidly replacing backpacks in popularity even by kids in school, college students, and even office workers who tote their careers around with them in the form of electronic gear like laptop computers and such.
The amount of comfort, the portability, easy accessibility, efficiency and more continue to make these personal carry-all cases more and more popular every day.

5 Critical Tasks to Tackle in 2016

It’s February. A full month of the New Year is gone already. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Have you stuck with them?

Getting off track is so easy, despite our best intentions. But it’s not too late to make a change in 2016. Instead of (or in addition to) committing to the usual things like losing weight and saving money, commit to tackling a few big tasks that have likely languished on your to-do list for years. These tasks are so easy to procrastinate on and yet so important. So I propose to you that you make these 5 items your real resolutions for 2016.

1. Get a will

A survey by Rocket Lawyer found that 71% of Millennials (aged 18-34) and 42% of Baby Boomers (aged 55-64) don’t have a will. That’s a lot.

Like other things on this list, a will is something you don’t need at all and then you really, really need it; there’s no substitute. Without a will, the government determines what happens to your estate and assets when you die.

If you’re young and have no assets at all, there may be no urgency to get a will. But if you have assets (a house, some investments) and especially if you have kids, get one. A will not only lets you determine how you want your assets distributed, it also lets you name a guardian for your children below the age of majority (usually 18).

2. And get a living will

You may never have assets. You may never have dependents to leave assets to. But you will certainly die.

It can be hard to face that fact, but it makes it no less true. That’s why it’s a good reason to get a living will, also called an advance healthcare directive or advance directive. This document records your wishes for end-of-life care and can be used if you fall into a coma or are otherwise unable to speak for yourself when you’re very sick or close to death. Your loved ones will know whether you want to use breathing devices and feeding tubes to keep yourself alive, whether you want to donate organs or tissues, what kind of pain relief you want, and more.

Like a last will, a living will is a document you get less for yourself than for your loved ones. Having it can make their lives easier because they don’t have to try and guess what you would have wanted (and possibly disagree on it).

3. Make a plan to regularly back up your data

Let’s say your computer died – like, really died, gone, can’t-be-fixed died – right now. Would you be okay? Do you have all that vital information stored somewhere else, so that retrieving it would be a matter of simply finding it?

If you’re like most people, the answer is no. Despite all the easy and cost-effective solutions for backing up the data on our computers, the majority of people don’t do it regularly. A 2015 survey by Backblaze found that just 17% of people backup their data daily or weekly, another 58% just monthly or yearly, and a full 25% had never backed up their data at all. Are you one of them?

Your computer probably has lots of priceless photos on it that you could never get back if they were lost as well as music files, videos and movies, documents, and costly programs that would be a pain to replace. Since your computer could crash without warning, taking your data with it, it’s crucial to make a plan to back up your data regularly.

You can buy external hard drives and back up just the files you use regularly or create a bootable clone of your existing computer so that if it dies, you can create a replica on another computer. You don’t even need fancy software to do it; search “free backup software” online and you can find lots of reliable programs. All you need to pay for is the hardware.

If that’s all too complicated, go super simple and back up in the cloud. Backup services like Carbonite and CrashPlan offer plans starting at just $5/month to back up your data and you don’t have to be a techie to use it; it works in the background, making sure your data is stored safely in the cloud.

4. Make an emergency plan

You never know when an emergency could hit. Your home and family could be devastated by an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flood, fire, or mudslide tomorrow. But since terrible disasters always seem like something that happen to other people, it’s easy to put off emergency preparedness. Make this the year you finally put your emergency plan together.

Visit Ready.gov to get information on making an emergency plan for your family.

5. Pack an emergency kit

Keep a larger emergency kit packed and ready to go plus a smaller one in your car. These are things you want to have ready at the drop of a hat in case disaster strikes.

emergency kit

Some items to include in your kit:

First aid kit and first aid manual

Flashlight and batteries (or battery-less flashlight)

Whistle

Radio to get emergency broadcasts

Utility knife

Emergency blanket

Extra clothing

Water

Iodine tablets or similar for purifying water

Food that lasts a long time

Waterproof matches

Adjust the number of items depending on how many members you have in your family and don’t forget your pets’ needs, too.

Veg Out: 4 Spiralizer Suppers

Love pasta, but don’t want the carbs? Then join the spiralizing revolution! Spiralizers are clever kitchen gadgets which turn vegetables into noodles courgettes become courgetti (or zucchini becomes zuchetti if you prefer)! Some vegetables courgettes, carrots, beetroot, cucumber spiralize better than others and your vegetable noodles can be raw or warmed through. Just top with interesting flavor combinations and you have yourself a super-tasty, ultra-healthy bowlful in minutes.

Season the sauce, spoon the meatballs and sauce over the courgetti, then sprinkle over torn basil.

Tricolore Courgetti

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 courgettes
  • 1 large ball buffalo mozzarella
  • 6 medium ripe vine tomatoes
  • Olive oil to serve

Method

Spiralize the courgette to make courgetti. Cube or tear the mozzarella and cut the tomatoes into bitesize wedges. If you would like warm, but still raw courgetti, put them in a large frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and stir them for a minute or two over a medium-high heat.

Arrange the courgetti in bowl and scatter over the tomatoes mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil and grind over plenty of black pepper, then serve.

Poached Egg on Courgette Ribbons

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 large organic or free-range eggs
  • 2 courgettes
  • 12 santini cherry tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Use your spiralizer to make your courgetti and halve the cherry tomatoes.

Poach each egg according to your favorite method – some people user egg-poachers, others do it the old-fashioned way. If you’ve never poached an egg before, this is a foolproof technique.

1. Put on a medium-sized saucepan of water to boil and add a pinch of salt to it.

2. Make sure your egg is really fresh and crack one into a ramekin or cup.

3. Add a small drop of vinegar to your egg.

4. When the water is boiling, take a hand-held balloon whisk and stir the water to create a gentle whirlpool in the water, which will help the egg white wrap around the yolk.

5. Slowly tip the egg into the water, white first. Turn the heat right down to the minimum setting. Leave to cook for three minutes.

6. Remove with a slotted spoon, snipping off any straggly edges using the edge of the spoon.

7. Rest the egg to drain onto kitchen paper – this is an important step as a waterlogged dish is unpleasant.

Now you have a perfect poached egg. Serve each one on a large bed of courgetti and cherry tomato, garnished with torn basil leaves and ground black pepper.

Beetroot Noodles and Pea Quinoa

Serves 4 as a vegan light lunch or side dish

Ingredients

  • 4 large beetroot
  • A large handful of fresh peas
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 lemon

Method

Use your spiralizer on the fresh beetroot and arrange it into bowls.

Prepare the quinoa to the packet instructions, drain and keep warm. Mix the quinoa with finely chopped parsley, season and squeeze over lemon.

Scatter the quinoa over the beetroot nests. Scatter generously with fresh peas and serve.

Seared Shrimp Rainbow Vegetti

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 16-20 large, raw shell-on shrimp
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 green courgettes
  • 3 yellow courgettes of all colors and varieties
  • 20-24 heirloom tomatoes
  • A bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method

Use your spiralizer on the carrots, green and yellow courgettes. Arrange into three separate nests in each bowl.

Add heirloom tomatoes which have been cut into halves or wedges.

Sear the shrimp in a light oiled griddle pan on a high heat until they turn bright pink.

To serve, dollop a spoonful of organic pesto onto the green nest, scatter over the seared shrimp and some torn basil leaves, drizzle over the remaining olive oil and enjoy.

Wet and Wild: Aqua Zumba

There’s a fabulous new workout class that is making a splash in a swimming pool near you. Aqua Zumba is just what it says on the tin: you dance your way to fitness in the usual Zumba way – but all in the water. It is taking the world by storm and with good reason – it is an incredibly effective workout and for many it’s the most fun you can have in a swimming costume!

How Does Aqua Zumba Work?

To enjoy the classes you just need to get to your pool with a swimsuit and a mind to aqua-dance yourself silly. The classes should be led by a qualified instructor who will show you all the moves to make to the lively music. Let yourself go and you’ll have loads of fun.

What Makes Aqua Zumba Fun?

Aqua Zumba is also known as the Zumba ‘Pool Party’. You dance to great music in the pool; splash, jump, stretch, twist, shout and laugh so much that it doesn’t feel like working out at all, even though it is invigorating, exhilarating and doing you a world of good.

What Are the Health Benefits?

Aqua Zumba integrates dance and aerobics with traditional aqua fitness disciplines, creating a safe, cardio-conditioning, body-toning exercise routine. Get your heart pumping so that you get fitter, lose weight and get your body into shape.

Any Special Aqua Zumba Equipment?

Nope just your swimming cossie and anything else you usually take to the pool. Very few people use added weights, most just go are they are. Just don’t forget to bring your best pool-party, booty-shaking attitude!

Is it Better Than Normal Zumba?

Exercising in a swimming pool is brilliant because there is less impact on the joints. Also, you are less likely to overheat in the pool, which can be an added benefit if you are carrying extra weight or normally prone to perspiring. Compared to standard Zumba, the aquatic version is all the pleasure with plenty of added splash.

Am I Fit Enough?

It is highly likely. The great thing about all Zumba is that you copy the instructor in a way that suits you – no one will tell you off for it not being ‘right’. Aqua Zumba is energetic, but it is designed for a range of abilities and you might have someone attending who is 60 or 16. If in doubt, please consult your doctor.

Is it Just Women?

The majority of regular classes are mostly attended by women, but not necessarily all. Contact your local group for more details.

Where Do I Sign?

Search online for your nearest swimming pool and look at their classes schedule or give them a ring. Prepare to book early – Aqua Zumba is getting more and more popular by the day.

Then just get into the pool, go wet and wild and have a total blast as you shift the pounds. Now that really is good, clean fun!

Specter of Manhood? Be More Bond!

Men are setting their watches and women’s pulses are already racing in anticipation of the new James Bond film, Specter. For decades James Bond has occupied an important place in the collective psyche as hero, gentleman and lady killer a devastatingly attractive combination. We may all swoon over Bond, but for men, young and old, all over the world, he can pose a bit of a problem. How can a man be more like this fictional icon, who can fell baddies with a loaded fountain pen just as he scoops up the girl with one hand? Not easy.

However, over the years, a few short-cuts have emerged. Going out with athletic model types is one way to assume some of Bonds glory; another is to keep yourself in the latest Aston Martins. Both are expensive, but effective ways to gain a little 007 stardust. However, the number one way to emulate James Bond with relatively little effort and expense, in the most genuine and appealing way is to get a really well-cut dinner suit.

The Dinner Suit Timeless Bond Appeal

There are few outfits that say ‘real man’ more decisively than the classic dinner suit. Black, beautifully tailored, perfectly fitting and worn with an immaculate white shirt and real black bow tie… a dinner suit effortlessly raises a man’s status and a woman’s pulse.

The dinner suit, dinner jacket or DJ, or if you’re American, tuxedo, is in itself an iconic outfit. Think of your favorite James Bond, at the card table in a casino or working a cocktail party with a glamorous girl on his arm and he is certain to be wearing a dinner suit. It is impossible to think of this most English of heroes without at some point thinking of the dinner suit. Young boys grow up knowing that this outfit alone will confer on them the image of success, intelligence, wealth, discernment, popularity with women… whilst the ladies simply grow up knowing that it makes a man look gorgeous.

Why is a good dinner suit just so flattering? Firstly, it has to be because black is the classic color of style and shows off every kind of physique in its best light. Next, the best DJ is tailored and cut to perfection, once more exhibiting timeless style and enhancing the shoulders and chest to look broad and manly. The trousers are the ideal width. The whole ensemble requires polished black shoes, the crisp white shirt and of course the bow tie, an irresistible addition which most women cannot wait to see undone. It is a powerful combination.

Coming of Age

Whereas these days there are any number of outfits for’ man boys’ or’ kidult’ – such three-quarter length shorts, printed or slogan T-shirts, designer trainers, hoodies and the like, the dinner suit remains an outfit that you have to be man enough to wear. If you don’t yet shave, can’t pay your way or have not discovered the world of romance, then you have no business wearing
a dinner suit. Sure, there are versions for boys, but they only work because they emulate the manliness of the adult version.

Unlike other types of suit, which most teenage boys acquire for first interviews and formal occasions like weddings, buying a dinner suit is a real rite of passage that says ‘ you are now a real man’. Wearing one also seems to work like a dating charm, suddenly indicating to real young ladies that you are ready to be taken seriously. A dinner suit wearer knows how to open doors, can hold his knife and fork properly, understands the potent appeal of a bouquet of flowers. It is a suit that promises much and has been proven, over the years, to deliver.

First the Suit, Next the Lifestyle

First girlfriend, first car, first job, first dinner suit – no man forgets these milestones on the road to making him who he is. The last can be a hugely exciting and rewarding experience, from getting the first measurements done, to receiving the packaged suit, with all its associations of future dinner parties, grand balls and special dates. A man walks taller in his dinner suit, with good reason – it is genuinely the sartorial mark of a real man.

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