Top 5 Things to Prepare for When Planning a Trip to India

After deciding to visit the beautiful, vast and unique country that is India, the most important preparation you can make is to expect a total sensory overload. The sounds, temperatures, smells and sights can easily overwhelm new visitors who haven’t conducted thorough research.

No amount of reading up about other travelers’ experiences of the country can fully prepare you though – the best you can do is arrive with an open mind and expect the unexpected.

That said, we want you to go in with some idea of what you will find when you step off the plane into India. Here’s some of the immediate things you’ll notice, and how to deal with them.

  1. The Noise

From the moment you leave the airport, there’s one thing you’ll be hit with straight-away: booming noise. You’ll be met with 100 vehicle horns per minute, people shouting, dogs barking, and music from all angles. Especially for night times, anyone who’s been to India will recommend that you bring stocks of earplugs on your travels with you.

  1. The Heat… Or Lack Of

Of course, Indian heat in the day can be stifling. On crowded streets under the midday sun, the heat from food cooking, the baking sun and hoards of people equals sweat overload. Depending on the month of the year and the region of India that you visit, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius. However: temperatures can steeply drop at night, and the winter in Northern India (October-March) can actually drop below freezing. When packing clothing for India, you’ll need a mix of garments.

  1. How to Dress

It’s important to consider dressing for both the heat and the culture. Women especially should try to cover up all parts of the body while keeping cool – loose but long clothing is recommended for this. As per cold nights and chilly winter months, throwing a couple of jumpers in your luggage will not go amiss.

  1. Spending Money

Being discreet with your money is essential when traveling anywhere, but pickpocketing is especially easy in India on very crowded streets – anyone could stick their hand in your pocket and swipe your wallet without you noticing a thing. Therefore, having hidden money pouches (ideally under your clothes) is a must.

The safest option when you plan to travel India for a month or more is to open a local bank account. This keeps your money safe from prying hands and means you don’t have the burden of carrying large amounts of cash with you. Plus, a bank card is much easier to conceal.

Opening an Indian bank account also allows those at home to transfer money to you – with money transfer apps like Pangea you no longer have to wait days or even weeks for funds to be sent from country to country. Visit their website to find out how cash can be sent instantly to India (and 14 other countries) from a smartphone.

  1. Feeling Ill

Not only do you have to mentally prepare for India, but there are some physical symptoms you might want to prepare for! Differences in food, water and way of life can take its toll on new travelers. Here’s some of the essential ointments and treatments you’ll want to carry everywhere with you in India…

  • Tiger Balm: soothes insect bites, cures headaches, eases muscle and joint pain, and masks unpleasant smells – the number 1 magic cure when traveling in Asia!
  • Plasters: for making your feet comfortable from rubbing shoes when walking far.
  • Peppermint oil: a few drops of this in some bottled water can help soothe an upset stomach; plus it works to make things smell a little better.
  • Bottled water: never drink any water not from a bottle – and avoid raw foods and juices that may contain tap water.
  • Insect repellant: hot countries are awash with biting bugs!
  • Paracetamol: relief for mild aches and pains.
  • Electrolytes: to rehydrate you after bouts of sickness – these are a lifesaver for recovering quickly.

Ever been to India? Share your top tips for other travelers with us!

How To Do An Easy Purple Smokey Eye Video Tutorial

My love of makeup is surely no secret by now! I’m always happy and ready to try the next best thing. Which means that I love discovering a new beauty company. Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around the Younique brand of makeup products. I found out that my friend Kristen sells them, and so when she offered to send me some of their best products to try out, of course, I said yes!

Here’s the amazing collection I received! You can check out all of their collections here. It’s a great way to try out a bunch of amazing products for a little less! Plus, Younique has a Love It Guarantee, which I always appreciate anytime I’m trying new beauty products out.

I sifted through the website, poured over different shades, and eventually picked out these products to try.  Younique has great tools to help you find the right shade of foundation. Kristen was also so fun to work with as she helped me select the products she loves the most, and the shades she thought would work best for me! Here is the glorious stash that arrived at my doorstep:

Younique Products:

I’ve been using the products daily for over a month now, and so I was ready to put together a few looks for you using my favorites! I’m absolutely in LOVE with the Eye Shadow Palette. I got palette #3 which is a gorgeous mix of cool pinks and purples. Today I’m sharing with you this super pretty, super easy Purple Smokey Eye.

My favorite makeup tutorials are videos because I love being able to actually watch how to apply the products. Because of that, I want to start bringing you makeup tutorials on how to do easy, pretty looks that are quick enough for a busy mom to fit into her schedule! So this is my very first one! I’m excited to delve in and learn more about the whole new world of vlogging and video makeup tutorials!

One thing that’s especially amazing about this look? From start to finish it’s under 10 minutes to recreate!!!

How To Do An Easy Purple Smokey Eye Video Tutorial

Next time I’ll be focusing on the lips, so be on the lookout for another look with these products soon!

Want to recreate the look? Get all the products here!

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Custom Air Dancers – A High-Impact Marketing Tool

 

How Do Custom Air Dancers Help Increase Store Traffic?

Custom air dancers are designed to make businesses stand out.   Yes, these huge inflatable puppets are fun to watch bopping up and down, but they’re also a mighty powerful marketing tool.  Do not underestimate their big grins to drive store traffic.

These guys (or gals?) are retail magnets, stopping potential customers in their tracks and compelling them to visit a store or remember a brand—all for a low out-of-pocket cost.  Some retailers report a 10% to 20% increase in sales over a 6 to 9-month period of daily 8-hour use.  Results will differ by location.

Custom Air Dancers Deliver Branded Messages

Every custom air dancer can be created to deliver a branded message or promote a special sale.  If possible, include a logo and select PMS colors to match it. Most custom air dancers can handle all sorts of graphics, gradients, and images to deliver your specific message.

How to Select Colors and Other Components for Custom Air Dancers

In general, pick vibrant colors that can be seen from a distance.  Differentiate the color of the body, arms, and hair for the best visual results.  For mostly solid color designs, select one solid color for the body and one solid contrasting color for both the arms and hair.

For example, choose red for the body and a bright yellow for the arms and hair. This type of color combination gets noticed and enables a message to be read easily. Constructing custom air dancers even means choosing a facial expression–happy and goofy looks attract the most attention.

How to Create the Advertising Message for Custom Air Dancers

The text should be concise to make the message quickly understood by passersby, even those traveling at 40+ mph.  Don’t use a script or fancy font. Do use a bold font such as Ariel Black or Futura.  Big is better than small, so the type should be a substantial size. You can even print on both sides of custom air dancers, so your message can be seen from two directions.

Remember, the arms are especially important as they move about and typically showcase key words. Design the arms with only a word or two and make sure the text and background colors work well together so the message pops.  An excellent example: “Sale” in yellow placed on an arm in solid blue. Again, contrasting colors, a light color on a dark color and vice versa, help to communicate the point. Put all these elements together, and custom air dancers will be hard at work attracting new customers for you.

By Sophia Grimes

Your New Secret Weapon To Looking Cute, Feeling Comfy, and Doing Good

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was sent these oh-so-comfy and cute pants and dress in exchange for helping you know how to look cute and be comfy! As always, all mermaid hair and posing outside my house so my neighbors think I’m crazy as they drive past is my own.

 

As a busy mom, there are two biggies when it comes to my wish list for how I look.

#1 I want it to be cute

#2 I want it to be comfy

I have a sneaking suspicion that you might also want to look cute and be comfy. When products bring #1 in along with #2 and add the extra bonus of doing good for the world, and the people in it? Well that, dear friends, is the cherry on top.

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Que my introduction to prAna . I instantly fell in love with their “wear it everywhere” styles and themes. These clothes are designed for athletes, people in the midst of their careers, or busy moms transitioning from yoga to an appointment. They are some of the few I’ve seen that can actually work across all these categories seamlessly.

(Psstt don’t miss scrolling aaallll the way to the bottom–I have a special discount code just for you!)

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Their Mantra Pant especially caught my eye. Online it looked super comfy while also being stylish. In real life, it’s even more so! This explains why it’s rated so highly! The Mantra Pant is designed to be great to work out in, but is also so easy to dress up for anything!

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Here’s an interesting fact you never would guess. The company uses Hemp to make these pants. I know–when I first think of Hemp “soft and comfy” is not what comes to my mind, either! Check out this fun video on Why Hemp Matters to learn more about this product. The video also shares why hemp is great to use, and how you’re doing good for the world when you purchase it. prAna’s ultimate goal is to make sustainable clothing accessible and important to everyone.

How To Look Cute And Comfy prAna clothes

Recently I told you that my go-to piece for being cute and comfy is a great dress. So I absolutely love that prAna also offers several cocktail dress options that are right up my alley! Pretty, stylish, and yes, again, oh-so-comfy! This Cali Dress in Lavender Gemstone fits all three of these, and is sure to become my go-to piece to battle off the 110+ degree heat this Texas summer!  I can confidently wear this dress because it’s made of recycled materials! You can also purchase it knowing that you’re looking cute, being comfy, and creating a sustainable future!

I actually threw a light pretty purple jacket over this and wore it for Amber’s School Open House, it was just the right amount of dressy for the occasion!

cocktail dresses

It comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns, so be sure to check them all out!

Another thing that prAna is especially passionate about is using Organic Cotton. Check out this video to learn Why Organic Cotton Matters. I love that they work directly with the farmers who produce the crops they use!

As I get older, I also really appreciate better quality products that last, and whose companies give back. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all cut down on the quantity of things in our house?  Instead of focusing on getting more, we can purchase pieces that we truly love, that do good, and that increase our quality of living and that of those around us. That would make looking cute and being comfy the best it could possibly be!

Get your own prAna makeover towards cute and comfy when you use this special and unique discount code. The company created it *just* for you! 15% off your entire prAna order! Just use code PMOMNCF it’s good through April 14!

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What You Need to Know About the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage at the DFW Auto Show

What You Need to Know About the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage at the DFW Auto Show

What: Capital One Auto Navigator Garage at the DFW Auto Show

When: March 22-26, 2017

Where: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin Dallas, TX; the Auto Navigator Garage is located in Hall F

Details: What You Need to Know About the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage at the DFW Auto Show

What You Need to Know About the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage at the DFW Auto Show

It’s almost time for one of the largest new car and truck shows in the nation, and it’s happening just “down the road” from where we live! If you love cars, are a family looking to upgrade your ride, or if you just love checking out the coolest new things, you’ll find something for you at the DFW Auto show. The show has all of the hottest new models and features, plus, there’s also helpful areas with tools for your life that you won’t want to miss.

One of these is the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage. A huge draw is that you can have a meet and greet experience on Saturday and Sunday with Chip Foose. How cool is that?! Hubby and I have always loved watching him transform vehicles on TV. Getting the chance to meet him will be amazing!

That’s not the only reason to stop by the garage, however. Here’s where the helpful part comes in! At the garage they will also be demonstrating and explaining a cool new tool that will make your life easier! It’s the Capital One® Auto Navigator®

Do you feel like buying and financing a car is as fun as getting a tooth pulled? Maybe you think it’s just overly complicated, or a long and confusing process? If so, you’re not going to want to miss this! Capital One wanted to take the pain out of purchasing vehicles, and so they created this easy and transparent tool with that in mind.

Capital One® Auto Navigator®

At the garage, you can see just how easy it is to finance the car of your dreams. Their  Capital One® Auto Navigator® makes it possible for you to find a car and see your financing options, plus get pre-approved, all in one place. You can even see your personalized APR and monthly payment on each car once you pre-qualify for financing.

This tool is simple and hassle free. I tried it myself today, and I’ll definitely be using it the next time we purchase a vehicle! The process makes it possible to walk into a dealership with almost all of the work done in advance, from the comfort of your own home! One feature I really appreciate is that they even include vehicle and dealership reviews, and the car history report as well. This allows you to feel confident that you’re making a completely informed and smart decision, without any pressure!

So, really, getting to participate in the garage’s fun interactive photo booth, and see a Chip Foose custom designed car, are just the icing on the cake! For more information about the Capital One Auto Navigator Garage, visit Capital One’s Facebook page.

Don’t want to wait for the show? You can actually check out the Capital One® Auto Navigator®  today! The great news is that even if you’re truly “just looking” right now, the pre-approval has no impact on your credit score. This means that you can feel good about testing out and getting familiar with all the features now!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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What It Means To Be Strong

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StrengthHasNoGender #CollectiveBias

I grew up in Wyoming, in a family with brothers and a sister, who didn’t feel the need to pigeonhole any of us into stereotypes.

Now as an adult, I’m so thankful for that. It meant that I grew up being equally comfortable playing in the dirt, chasing lizards and snakes, wearing pretty dresses, and aspiring to be a princess. As a teen, I learned how to do makeup, and how to change a tire.

My favorite job ever, outside of the one I’m doing right this second, was a summer hire position at a Trona Mine & Plant in Wyoming. My Dad worked there for eons, and if you worked hard and received great grades you could apply for one of the coveted high paying college summer positions. I was accepted and placed to work in one of the plants. I was the only female in the entire building, but I absolutely loved it. I loved the work and I loved my hilarious co-workers, who were all my Dad’s age or older. This dirt playing girl was thrilled to put on a hard hat, go around into dirty and dangers areas to collect samples, and then after a 12-hour shift to go shower, put on some perfume, and rush off on a date with my sweetheart (now hubby.)

Because, beautifully and thankfully, I always grew up knowing that Strength Has No Gender™.  I pursued the play and work that delighted me, not the paths that I felt forced into. As a result, I was blessed to experience the challenges and rewards of a full time, Trona Plant, male-dominated job.Now I’m also blessed to experience the totally different, yet equally challenging and rewarding career as a part-time work-from-home writer and marketer.

Strength is not just physical. It reaches across boundaries. It’s the emotionally challenging push that gets you through that grueling final in college. It’s the bravery that allows you to tackle a career field that you love but is uncharted territory for you and those around you. It’s getting up with a colicky baby for the 10th time that night. It’s reaching that career goal you’ve been working towards for years. It’s being there for those that you love. It’s reaching out your hands, time, resources, and genuine concern to those in need.

The fact that Strength Has No Gender™  is a beautiful truth. It encourages us to delight in the success stories of others, and be inspired by them.

Which is exactly how I felt when I saw this Strength Has No Gender™ video that was put together by Brawny®. I adore this campaign and their mindset behind it. The Strength Has No Gender™ campaign highlights the inspirational stories of everyday women in cities across America who have been breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries and changing the world as a result!

We all love Eric Solie, the original Brawny® man, but at the same time, it’s awesome that they’re letting him “step aside” and share the platform with these inspiring women! To do this they’re featuring this fun, exclusive to Walmart, limited-time Strength Has No Gender™ pack. This package is the Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus, which is perfect since it’s the size we use and love in our family already! Because Brawny® can help tackle giant, strong messes at home, they were inspired to take that same focus and encourage and inspire all their customers to extend it into every area of their lives.

Speaking of family, one of the areas that I need to be strong in the most, right now, is parenting! I’m discovering as we tiptoe into the tween years that while parenting in the early years is physically exhausting, parenting in these years is emotionally exhausting! It takes real strength to allow your children to discover and become who they are meant to be.

I wanted to bless my kids with the same freedom I was given as a child. Last fall Amber had the option to pick an after school program. The writer in me was immediately interested in the storytelling and writing programs. Wanting her to choose for herself, though, I gave her the sheet to look over and to tell me which sounded fun. To my surprise, she chose Chess Puzzle. Not simply just teaching the kids how to play the game, Chess Puzzle makes them learn strategy, memorize terms, and the competition they have is a paper and pencil test that includes a series of chess boards with pieces in particular positions. It is great for developing strengths in the STEM fields!

The first day after practice the door opened and out swarmed our entire city’s 3rd and 4th grade hoard of boys, and a gentle trickle of girls. Amber climbed into the car smiling, and declared she had “lots of fun”. Before the Christmas break they took a test to cut the team down to less than half, and happily Amber made the cut! This time the swarm of kids at pickup was smaller, and now only Amber and two girls remained in the sea of boys.

The final test cut both grades, 4th, and 3rd, down to two tiny teams of just four kids each. These would represent our entire school district in a competition with other cities and their top Chess Puzzle Students. Amber diligently practiced to prepare for the day. The test came, and the next day we waited anxiously for the results. That morning I got the call that she had made the team–the only girl to do so!

She was all smiles and bouncing excitement!

The competition was the past Saturday, and I’m so excited to share that her 3rd grade team placed 2nd overall, with all the different teams from her school putting them into 1st place for the regional meet!

Throughout this all she’s never stopped to think much about the fact that she was one of the only girls, or had any extra challenges or hurdles to overcome because of it. Like me, in my childhood, right now she’s able to happily accept the fact that Strength Has No Gender™ because it’s just a truth.

A beautiful, wonderful truth.

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5 Hope-Filled Prayers for Your Marriage

by Jennifer O. White

During the difficult days of marriage, there is a very real temptation to focus on what is wrong, why it is wrong, and whose fault it is. This earthly focus can result in a hopeless state of mind. Hopelessness and discouragement makes us even more vulnerable to the enemy’s schemes to divide us.

Throughout the Bible, God offers us hope. He shows us over and over again that nothing is impossible when He is involved. He promises that we will experience peace when we keep our eyes on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Jesus literally spoke the words “Peace! Be still!” to a storm, saving the disciples’ lives while increasing their faith in His life-changing power (Mark 4:39).

Our task is to believe, to ask, and to resist doubting (Mark 11:23).

Praying according to God’s Word has been very effective in my own marriage restoration. Knowing I am asking something in line with God’s will for us gives me confidence and the courage to expect God to move on our behalf.

The following five Bible passages and prayers will help us to humbly refocus on God who is able to do infinitely more to heal sacred marriages than we can imagine.

  1. Remember Me

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Genesis 8:1

God, I trust that You see me and know what I am going through. You saved Noah, his family, and the animals from the flood. You sent a wind over the earth and caused the waters to recede. I am waiting on Your winds of change, Lord.

Change me, Lord. Here is my heart. Cleanse me of impure motives. Reduce me to love. Let Your pure love be the driving force behind my words, my touch, and my tone of voice.

Change my perception. Help me to see myself and my spouse through Your eyes.

Reveal to us where we are making the situation worse by resisting Your leadership and disobeying Your commands.

Help me to wait prayerfully and expectantly for You to move in us and our circumstances.

  1. Encourage Me

Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” “Selah” But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. “Selah” I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Psalm 3:2–6

Forgive me Lord for being discouraged by those who do not believe in Your power. The temptations to give up outnumber the billboards in the city.

But You, O Lord, are my encourager. Shield my heart and mind from discouragement.

Remind me of Your great acts of love for Your people.

You fed five thousand with one boy’s lunch. You transformed Saul from a Christian killer into Paul, a Kingdom builder. You are able to do so much more for our marriage than I have asked of You.

I rest my hopes on Your faithfulness. I will not fear based on what I can see with my eyes. I will trust in You, the unseen God, to shield me and my husband from reacting to the enemy’s schemes to divide us.

  1. Reward My Faith

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30–32

God, You have promised that if I offer You a minuscule amount of faith, You will create something so much bigger out of it.

Today, I offer You my faith in Your ability to bring Jesus into this world from a virgin girl. I believe that You breathed life into Adam and made Eve from his rib. You transformed Zacchaeus from a crook into someone who wanted to give back four times what he had stolen.

I believe that You, O Lord, can turn our bitterness into kindness. You can transform our self-focused stubbornness into a “your needs come first” mindset.

You are able to restore us completely and allow our marriage to point others to Your perfect love for imperfect people.

Let my faith become sight, Lord.

  1. Heal Our Marriage

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35–43

Lord, I want our marriage to be healed.

Let the healing begin with me. Have mercy on me, Lord, a spouse who has failed so often to demonstrate Your love.

I want to love my spouse the way You love me. Help me.

I want to be a vessel of Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in _____’s life. Use me.

I want to love in such a way that ____ is inspired to praise You. Glorify Yourself in me, Lord.

  1. Make Me Brave

Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Joshua 10:25

Lord, I want to be filled with Your courage and strength. I want to live by every word that comes from Your mouth and speak boldly about what You can and will do.

The threats against my marriage are wimpy compared to Your great power.

Joshua put his godless enemies to death. He listened to Your voice and obeyed You.

You gave him authority to accomplish Your will. He commanded the sun to stand still, and You made it happen for the glory of Your name and the protection of Your people. 

Teach me, Lord, to exercise the authority You have given me. Train me to hear Your voice and respond without hesitation.

Make me brave. Use me to war against the enemies of our marriage in prayer using the Sword of Your Spirit.

I believe You are able, Lord. Please help my unbelief.

With faith in Jesus’ blood and righteousness, I pray.

Amen

wedding dresses AU

Jennifer O. White is an author, speaker and artist passionately encouraging women to depend on God through prayer and His Word. She is the author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor After the Wedding Dress. Don’t let the name of the book fool you. Every wife who wants God to do more in her marriage will find it a great devotion and prayer guide.

Jennifer also offers Marriage Armor for the #PrayingBride and Prayer Greeting Cards.  Today she is offering us the opportunity to purchase her cards (which are showcased in the beautiful pictures above), which are prints of her original art with a prayer and Scripture, at 25% off with the coupon: #prayingbride. Start shopping now at jenniferowhite.com/shop.