vegan

The Vegan Shopping List: How to Know That What You’re Buying Is 100% Vegan

Whether you are a starting vegan, want to know about veganism, or are an expert vegan, it helps to be armed with information vital to this lifestyle. It is not particularly hard to be a vegan. The point of veganism is never to consume products with ingredients and materials coming from animals. Vegans do not see animals and their by-products as things we can consume. With around 32,000 (as of 2019) products registered as vegan, it is not exactly impossible to find a product that complements this lifestyle. Still, it pays to be well-informed about the products you’re buying.

If you’re a vegan, shopping online seems to be impossible because you cannot check the labels and the allergen information. With a little bit of effort, you can make this tactic work. Why should shopping for vegan items be any different than shopping for regular products? You can ask the seller to send you more information about the products. Or you can research the products on the Internet and read reviews about its vegan quality.

Labels

The easiest way to tell if a product is vegan is to read the labels. There should be “suitable for vegans” or “certified vegan” labels on the product’s packaging. If you’re a vegetarian and a vegan, look for the “cruelty-free and vegan” label. Because followers of vegan diets are increasing, these labels are appearing more in your grocery aisles.

Allergen Information

The law requires food manufacturers to put a label on the products indicating if it contains common allergens such as dairy and nuts. Moreover, they are required to put the label on bold letters so that the buyers won’t miss it. The allergen information usually looks like this: “May contain traces of nuts, eggs, or milk” or “This product is processed in a facility that also processes eggs, nuts, and milk.” The allergen information might miss ingredients such as honey and egg lecithin, but for the most part, it covers the usual suspects.

Ingredients

checking for ingredients

This is when it gets hard. The list of ingredients is confusing for most people. What’s in a gelatin or whey powder, for example? Gelatin comes from animal bones, and whey powder is from milk. These are not vegan ingredients. You have to research more about the ingredients. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lists down animal ingredients on their website to guide vegans.

Cruelty-free

Another characteristic of vegan products is whether they are cruelty-fee. So the products may not include animal-derived ingredients, but they could have undergone animal testing. This is particularly for those who want to use only vegan cosmetics. Animal testing is not being advertised on the packaging. Before you buy a blush-on, an eyeliner, or a lipstick, make sure to check the Internet if these were tested on animals.

When looking for vegan products to buy, shop only in vegan establishments and look for products trademarked by vegan organizations. You should also ask your vegan friends for recommendations. Google is also the best place to know about vegan products and ingredients that you should stay clear of.

home decorations

Practical Home Decorating Ideas to Play with Colors and Patterns

Homeowners often hire professionals, such as interior designers, to improve the aesthetics of their property. Others prefer to design their own homes by themselves. They can look for design inspirations posted on websites or blogs. If you are planning to redesign or redecorate your home, you can also ask an expert to accomplish tasks for you. If not, you can ask for help from family and friends regarding your DIY home project. Either way, you need at least to have an idea about basic home designing. This way, finalizing your home’s interior style will be easier.

You have probably searched for home design inspirations online. That is a great start, but it’s better if you also learn a few basics, such as rules about colors and patterns. If you learn how to mix and match patterns, you won’t consume a lot of time figuring things out. Here are a few tips to help you decide about your home’s design:

  • Choose your main color—Know that you can choose any color that you like. Think about one color that you will never get tired of. Imagine your home painted with that color and start checking out specific shades. That is where you will base the other colors and patterns that you will be using next.

living room

  • Observe the most prominent pattern at home—Check if you have a patterned rug or upholstery at home. Choose a few colors from that patterned item. For instance, if you have Turkish kilims from Scottsdale, AZ, mostly made of red patterns, take note of that. You will need to choose color palettes, which will complement that color.
  • Ceilings should always be light-colored—If you are deciding on what to paint your ceilings, stick to light colors. White is a popular choice, but you can also go for cream or light gray. You only need to take note that ceilings should have the lightest color followed by the walls. The floors should be darker than your walls and ceiling.
  • Always include neutral colors—Patterns can make things look cluttered and messy if not used properly. To break a busy pattern, include neutral and plain colors in between the patterns. Neutral colors can also help balance loud or bright colors, especially on walls and large furniture.
  • Don’t go over three patterns—A basic rule about patterns is that you should never go over three of them in a single space. One to three patterns should be enough. For example, if you want them in your bedroom, the design of your pillows can be different from your bedsheet and blanket. If all these items have different patterns, the rest of the room should be plain and simple.

Colors and patterns are fundamental elements in interior design. Learning about them may seem irrelevant to some people. However, if you understand a few concepts about these elements, you will find it easier to redesign your home in the future. Aside from this, you will also find new opportunities to change your home’s design whenever you want. You don’t always need to consult experts to decide on a new wall paint color. You don’t have to browse the Internet to copy designs from someone else’s home. Now, you won’t find it complicated to improve your interior design, especially when it just involves colors and patterns.

Dog and owner

At Home: How to Protect Furniture from Your Pets

Sofas and pets usually don’t go well together. We still don’t know why cats love scratching on sofas and why dogs are so fond of biting on it. Most of them even prefer chewing on it rather than their own toys! Luckily, though, there are things you can do to keep this furniture safe from your lovely pets. Below, we will discuss how you can protect your new sofa from your pets. Keep these in mind before buying that sofa online or from a local shop.

Place a few pet toys next to the sofa

Try placing a few toys next to the sofa and see if your pet will pay attention to them rather than the sofa. If you have a dog, then consider placing something they can bite on. If you have a cat, you can try placing their cat condo or a scratching post near the sofa so they can turn their attention to that instead.

Not all toys will be loved by your pet, though, so make sure to choose the once that they truly love or else, they will still be nibbling on your couch instead of the toy.

Keep their nails trimmed

Cats love scratching on things, and unfortunately, they especially love the texture of the sofa. If you want to keep them from ruining the brand new sofa you just bought, consider having their nails trimmed regularly.

Now, you have to remember that cats can be sensitive, and they are usually not welcome to the thought of someone cutting their own nails. If you are not used to cutting their claws, have a professional groomer do it instead. Also, you should never declaw a cat since this can harm them. Regular nail or claw trimming is usually the key to a better-looking sofa.

Get a couch cover

If your cat or dog still wouldn’t give up on nibbling or scratching on your sofa, you might want to consider getting a couch cover. This will keep your sofa from getting damaged by your pet because they simply would not be interested in nibbling or scratching on it anymore. You can also try placing their favourite pet bed close to the sofa, as this is a great way to control fur dispersal, which can be difficult to remove from your sofa later on.

Give them lots of exercise

Dog playing ball

Dogs and cats usually have way too much energy, so you should let them play in your backyard to get some exercise. Dogs are especially super energetic, which is why it is important to take them on to walks regularly. Aside from getting your pet in better shape and health, you will also allow them to use up the extra energy they have inside their bodies. If you do not have enough time to take them on a walk, then consider hiring a dog walker or a sitter to do it for you instead.

Don’t ever punish your dog or cat for scratching or nibbling on your sofa, as they would not be able to understand what they did wrong. Apply the tips that we have discussed above so you can have a perfect-looking sofa even when your pet is around.

married couple on their oudoor wedding

Getting Married in the Philippines on a Budget

If you and your fiancé just got engaged, you’re surely excited about your big day. Planning a wedding is a momentous event in the life of a couple. One excellent wedding location is the Philippines. Each year, several foreigners go to the Phillippines to marry their fiancé.

Wedding Preparation and Expenses

Keeping costs down to a minimum is a real challenge. Every bride and groom has to consider a lot of expenses. These include the ceremony and reception venues, wedding dress and clothes, invitations, food, guests, bridal car, souvenirs, and a whole host of things you need to spend on. If you’re not careful, your budget might blow out of proportion without even realizing it.

The most challenging and stressful part is the wedding cost, especially if your finances are limited. The truth is, Philippine weddings are big and festive. It’s a grand time for families to celebrate and witness the union of two people in love.

Philippine weddings are an expensive affair, and most have forked out around 21,000 to more than 100,000 pesos.

Budget-friendly Wedding Ideas

Wooden plaque with the inscription Wedding

While there’s so much you want to achieve on your special day, you can still save money by being smart. One way to go is to find the best yet affordable wedding venue around or near the city. Better if you can have a venue to hold both your ceremony and reception. Also, keep your guest count at a minimum. Just the presence of your family members, godparents, relatives, and closest friends are already enough. There are also bridal fairs that you can attend where you can score discounts and freebies from wedding suppliers. You can even make your wedding invitations.

Agree with your partner about which expenses you can do without. For instance, you can use your car as a bridal car or book a Grab car service. Another way to lessen your wedding cost is to have a wedding during off-peak seasons. Peak wedding months in the Philippines are January, February, June, and December. Better choose less busy months when costs are lower. Don’t forget your family and friends who are willing to help you with the preparations and even on the day itself.

Lastly, the most budget-friendly and practical wedding choice is to have a civil wedding. This will only cost around 5,000 to 10,000 pesos.

Dream Weddings in the Philippines

No matter how much your budget is, you will surely have the best wedding in the Philippines. With some budgeting tips, you can achieve your dream wedding without emptying your bank account. While it might be tempting to shed out additional money for this once-in-a-lifetime-event, don’t splurge too much. Remember that you’ll be starting your family soon. See this phase as a practice ground on how you can save money. It’s not a wise move to waste all your hard-earned money on just one day. The key is to set realistic expectations and get creative when maximizing your budget.

Having your wedding in this country proves that the road to forever doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. The last thing you want to happen is to start your married life drowned in debt.

stressed working man

Stressed Out: Reduce Stress without Pharmaceuticals

Stress is everywhere. In the UK, more than 75 percent of the nation has experienced overwhelming stress over a year, and politics isn’t entirely to blame. While the ongoing debacle over Brexit and the recent elections were undoubtedly stressful for some, most people are more concerned about work issues, their health, and their financial situation. Stress can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to turn to pharmaceuticals to get relief.

Sleep Right

A night of sleeping is your body’s way of recovering from the physical, emotional, and mental stress accumulated throughout the day. Too little sleep puts pressure on your body and mind, reducing your efficiency, whether performing physical tasks or mental calculations. A good night’s sleep makes you feel refreshed and capable of overcoming the obstacles of the day, but getting one can be a bit difficult. Artificial light from light bulbs, the television, laptops, and smartphones mess up your body’s biological clock and keep you up at night. Caffeine also plays a significant factor, especially if you drink sodas, tea, or coffee late in the afternoon, as the effects of caffeine can last for more than 6 hours. Stick to water, wine, or milk before going to bed.

Get Some Sun

Sunlight makes everyone happy; it brightens up your day. A little bit of sun during the morning will stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that balances your mood and lifts your spirits. Regular exposure to early morning sunlight resets and fortifies your body’s natural circadian rhythm, giving you more energy and boosting your thought processes. Take short walks in the mornings and soak in the sunlight. Just 10 minutes of sun exposure every day can keep your bones healthy, lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of Type II diabetes, and fortify your immune system. Just don’t soak in too much sun as too much ultraviolet radiation can be harmful.

Meditate

meditation with butterfly

Do some yoga and practice a few breathing exercises. It might surprise you that just breathing properly can significantly reduce stress. Take short sessions to reflect on your life and your goals. Meditation is about finding your center or your self and maybe making it better. Grasp your prayer beads and chant a few life-affirming mantras. You don’t have to be religious; focus on your goals, and believe you can succeed. Meditation can help you deal with anxiety and depression or give you a clear mind for a relaxing rest. A few minutes of meditation a day will increase your ability to concentrate and promote your self-esteem.

Socialize

Meet up with people you care about. Subconsciously affirming connections and strengthening bonds produces the hormone oxytocin. Given the moniker “the love hormone,” oxytocin produces the overwhelming feelings of being accepted and loved. Actual proximity and physical contact prompt the production of oxytocin, reducing or eliminating feelings of doubt, depression, and loneliness.

Stress is a reality of life, but you don’t have to let it consume you. Take the time to focus on yourself and allow your mind and body to relax and recover.

two men holding hands

How to Date as a Gay Introvert

Most people seem to assume that all gay people are extroverts. They always seem to be the life of the party, and the ones in your group of friends who always have a hilarious joke to tell. However, not all gay people are extroverts, and for most introverted ones, dating can be pretty tricky.

This is the reason why today, we will discuss how you can date as a gay introvert. From joining a London gay elite dating website to knowing the right dating etiquette, we got you covered.

Don’t Fake It

Never try to mask your personality and try to come off as an extrovert when you’re really not. This will seem totally fake, and your date will notice sooner or later. Always let your real personality shine through, and if they like it, then good. If not, then that is their loss.

You must remember that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert, and you should always be proud of who you are and what your real personality is.

Make It Simple

Don’t make your date too complicated, especially if it’s your first one. You should keep things simple. For instance, you can have dinner or watch a movie. Don’t go too far by inviting them to go hiking or rock climbing, especially if extreme sports and adventure are not your passion.

Know what your prospect wants in advance and make sure that they will be comfortable with the date that you are preparing. If you’re going to surprise them, then make sure to ask them some questions beforehand so that you can be sure that they will like the surprise.

gay couple with their adoptive child

Decide Whom You’d Like to Date

You might like dating introverts like yourself, or you might want to go for someone who’s got the opposite personality. Whatever it is, make sure that you’ve figured it out before going out with a guy.

Some introverts simply love dating like-minded people as they get along pretty well. On the other hand, some want to date extroverts so that they can have someone else do the work.

Don’t Be Scared to Go Out There

If you are having a hard time finding the right guy for you, then go ahead and let the guys in your area know that you are available. There is ultimately nothing wrong with signing up for online dating or matchmaking websites, as this has become quite the norm nowadays.

There are lots of success stories when it comes to online dating, and who knows, you might even meet the love of your life here! Just make sure that you are joining a legitimate and well-known website so that you will not be scammed.

Dating doesn’t have to be difficult for introverts. As long as you know what you like and what you need to do, then you are good to go. Don’t waste your time waiting for the right guy to come and sweep you off your feet; do something about it today and meet the love of your life!

Couple dating

Turning Your Luck Around in the Dating Game

Some people say that love will come when you least expect it. But, in this digital age, this thinking seems to be debunked by most individuals. So, you want to connect with someone on a passionate level, don’t you? Professional matchmaking service in Washington DC and other locations can lead you to the right path to finding Mr. or Ms. Right. This is a practical way to figure some things out before deciding to marry the person.

According to some, when you stop looking, it will find you. But what if the wait takes forever? When you’re looking for a modern romance, you cannot just be passive when it comes to finding love if it’s your priority in life. Here are some reasons matchmaker companies will shed light on the dark path of yours in finding the right partner in life.

No More Passive Swiping

People these days are so busy. You might have experienced passive swiping to look for a date. But you suddenly get disappointed because the person is nothing like the photos. Sometimes, swiping left and right will consume the time of your life, but you still can’t even get the date you want.

If you find the right matchmaker company, the job of doing all the vetting for you will be accomplished. They can do the background check and social media check for you. The company can also conduct an intensive interview before you meet a match for drinks.

Don’t Let Your Regular Activities Confuse You

Dinner dateYou’re 20 now. In fact, you’re in legal age to start familiarizing yourself with the person who you believe will be with you for the rest of your life. But there can be too many distractions while finding the future dad or mom of your children. You have lots of friends inviting you to unwind every weekend. You’re a health-conscious individual. That’s why you need to attend your sessions when you’re no longer doing your office tasks.

If you really want to date and you think that it is impossible to happen, you need to allocate time to experience it. A date can be extraordinary, and you don’t expect it to happen every day of your life. You can always go back to your routines, but finding the perfect partner is not something you can’t typically find and grab at the supermarket.

Be Less Meticulous

Here’s a piece of advice for you to enjoy your date. Go into it with an air of entertainment and lightness. Think of it as a vacation that you have been craving for after stressful office work. Being an open-minded person is an edge. It lets you enter the gateway to know the person better.

Finding nothing but unhappiness may lead you to remain single for the rest of your life. If you can’t find the right soon-to-be-partner who fits the bill for you, find an effective matchmaker. There’s a guarantee that you’ll get the closest to matching your expectations. Be less meticulous on a date. Nobody’s perfect, and pretty sure, you’ll find something on the person you’re dating with that might make you feel contented while raising your children together.

Today, the process of finding love has changed. Dating apps are readily available to get a date. But the help of professional matchmakers will give you a better chance of finding the life-long commitment that you desire.

different colors of face powders and a brush

Top Reasons to Stop Supporting Animal-tested Cosmetics and Skincare Products

You’d think that by this time, in the age of rapid technological development, we would have found a way to produce cosmetic and skincare products that do not need to be tested on animals. But, no. According to Cruelty Free International, more than 115 million animals worldwide are being subjected to cruel testing and procedures each year. Thankfully, there are many brands that remain cruelty-free, including Kedma Cosmetics in the Philippines. These brands source their ingredients naturally, and they test their products using modern technology such as human-reconstructed skin (EPISKIN, EpiDerm, and SkinEthic).

These cruel animal tests look for skin allergies and eye irritation. To produce results, scientists rub chemicals onto the shaved skin of the animals or dripped into their eyes. The tests may also include force-feeding the animals with these chemicals for weeks to see a “valid” effect on their health. Scientists will look for general illnesses and specific health hazards. However, these tests cause massive pain and distress to the animals, including swollen eyes, blindness, bleeding skin, internal bleeding, organ damage, convulsions, birth defects, and in many cases, death.

Animal Testing Is Not Even Reliable

Animal testing on cosmetic and makeup products are not even that effective anymore. In ancient times, during the second and fourth centuries BCE, even popular theorists and philosophers such as Aristotle tested experiments on living animals. This has become a trend and a key aspect of scientific research and development throughout the 19th century.

But today, studies have shown that animal testing isn’t reliable at all. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) pointed out the flaws in animal testing. The study shows that humans and animals have differences in physiology and genetics. What does not harm animals may be harmful to humans, and vice versa. These differences can cause more harm than good because the results of the experiments are misleading.

There Are Over 7,000 Available Safe Ingredients

When cosmetic brands say that they use new and innovative ingredients for their products, you may have to check how they tested these ingredients. There are over 7,000 safe ingredients for cosmetic and skincare products. These have already been tested and proven to be safe for humans. They don’t need to be tested on animals. Thus, why do brands continue to seek animal testing? Because they want to be ahead of the game and gain more profit.

Animal Testing Is Unnecessary and Unethical

woman in green scrub holding a white chicken

The world doesn’t need eyeliner, lipstick, blush, eye shadow, and foundation to survive. Humans can continue living without using chemical-based cosmetic products. The use of animal testing to produce chemical makeup and skincare products is unnecessary, unethical, selfish, and cruel. Millions of animals die each year just for the gunk you put on your face. Imagine that.

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and taking care of your physical appearance by using skincare and cosmetic products, there is a greater need to be responsible consumers. Choose only brands that do not engage in animal testing their products. Not only are these products manufactured ethically. They are also safer for human skin and body.

close up photo of woman's hands and feet

Skincare: Don’t Forget Your Hands and Feet

Our feet are among the most overworked—but often neglected—parts of our body. Our feet carry us around the whole day and take us to places. So, it is only important that we ensure they are kept healthy at all times.

Taking good care of your feet and keeping them healthy is not difficult. In fact, this routine must be part of your daily grooming and hygiene habits. With the right foot care regimen, you can avoid any impending foot problems, which, later on, can be unsightly. These include calluses, corns, dry skin, athlete’s foot and infections.

There are several ways you can keep your feet nourished and healthy looking. It is very straightforward to follow and will not cost you much.

Foot and Hand Care Products

At first, I did not know exactly what to expect with the Handy Kit from Kedma Cosmetics. I used their hand and foot cream to help nourish my hands and treat my dry feet. The foot cream is to be applied liberally and massaged on the feet for better absorption. It contains all-natural ingredients, such as olive oil, lanolin, hamamelis virginiana extract, Dead Sea salt, and aloe barbadensis leaf juice.

Additionally, I bought the Golden Touch Nail Kit, too. The set includes a magic buffer, which is known to help stimulate blood circulation and enhance healthy nail growth. It also comes with cuticle oil, mineral-based lotion and nail file. The cream and oils have Dead Sea minerals, plant extracts and other natural oils that provide the skin with the moisture that it needs, keeping it soft and moisturized for a long period.

After a month of consistent use of the Handy Kit and Golden Touch Nail Kit, my feet were never the same as before. Now, I have smooth, deeply moisturized and soft skin in my feet and my toenails look healthy and strong!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it only took a month to rejuvenate my feet and nails. Also, my skin never felt so nourished and smooth. I could definitely say my feet feel great, and they are now smoother and healthier than ever!

Great Savings in My Hand and Foot Care Routine

close up photo of woman's hands, legs and feet with healthy skin

With the prices of foot spa and treatments at the salon, it is easy to waste your hard-earned money on foot care. But with the Golden Touch Nail Kit, you will save on expensive treatment and enjoy premium quality products with the best ingredients. You get to have lovely and healthy feet while saving money.

Ingredients are important to me, which is why I was happy to have read the labels on Kedma’s skincare products. I can assure you that what they have placed in every jar or tub of cream contains nothing but the best ingredients for your skin.

This luxury beauty brand offers a great selection for all your foot, hand and general skincare needs. I am very happy and totally satisfied with the results I got and will recommend it to everyone I know.

Clean plates, glasses and cutlery on white table

Forever and Always: 4 Amazing Wedding Gift Ideas

One of the best occasions you could probably ever get invited to is a wedding. Imagine a couple who is about to experience one of the most unforgettable moments in their lives, and they want you to be there to witness it. It would be such a huge honor to witness such an important moment between two people that you care about.

Now, while this couple does appreciate your presence during that unforgettable moment, it would also not hurt to actually bring something that would be there for them for the rest of their lives (or past the wedding at least). So, how can you be a good guest and what should you get the happy couple?

Here are some unique ideas that would be helpful in picking an amazing wedding gift:

Dinner Plates

This might seem like an odd choice for a gift, and you would not probably want to receive dinner plates for your birthday or any other occasion — except of course, during your wedding day. This is a unique option as a gift since the couple would probably need all practical support they could get to start their marriage.

All you have to do is pick the right sets of dinner plates, such as old Havana dinner plates which come in different colors. This would add some life in their kitchen and are microwave and dishwasher-friendly too!

Customized Champagne Wedding Vase

Trust to have a load of drink-related gifts, such as wine or champagne gifts in the UK, to be given at a wedding ceremony to the couple. So you could put your own twist into the number of those champagne-related gifts just to be different but changing it into a personalized wedding vase.

This would not only make a cute design in the newly-married couple’s house, but it would also be a cute reminder for them to keep their relationship’s fire burning to always celebrate with a bouquet of flowers. It would also probably remind them of you, and that amazing day.

Matching Suitcases

A cute set of two suitcases for the newly-wed couple is perfect, especially if the couple loves to travel. Every time they would pack they would be reminded of your thoughtful gift too.

You could also add your own extra touch for flair, such as the initials of the couple engraved on both the suitcases, or perhaps an “I Do, or matching locks if the suitcase is they designed that way. Either way, this is a great gift for the couple with a very thoughtful message.

Gift Cards

Blank card and envelope on old wooden background

A honeymoon place does not always need to be somewhere fancy or expensive; it could also be somewhere meaningful for the couple. A luxurious hotel room is usually the first choice, but if you cannot to arrange such an expensive gift, you could team up with the couple’s families and contribute to their plan. If all is taken care of, maybe you could have your own touch for them to remember the night by arranging a massage or a spa treatment for the couple.

Those were just some thoughtful gift ideas to give to the newly-wed couple — ones that they would not forget, much like that wonderful day for them!