Online shopping has seen a surge in the last decade, but in 2020 it looks like numbers will rocket even more due to the global pandemic that is preventing thousands of buyers to choose shopping from home for the coming holiday season, instead of going to the mall or visit shops. Here are some tips for this 2020 shopping season:

  • Shop Safely: Make sure to use a familiar website that you know and have experience shopping in. Sites like Amazon have pretty much everything you need, as well as every major retail outlet with an online shop like Target, Best Buy or Home Depot. Also, make sure to create strong passwords and don’t use your credit card to buy anything online from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed (Look for the lock icon in your browser).

  • Shop early: Because of the increase in online shopping this year, make sure to get your shopping done early so you don’t have to deal with any delivery delays. Before the pandemic, 69% of people preferred to make their purchases online, and that number will definitely rise even more.

  • Look for photos when shopping: While shopping has always been a visual and tactile experience, doing it online may be difficult for people used to this. 73% of shoppers declare they need at least more than 3 or 4 images per product to decide a purchase - so be sure to look for products with a few photos of them to make sure you get what you want.

Online Shopping

Pumpkins are a traditional part of autumn in North America and are regarded as a symbol for Thanksgiving meals in Canada and the US as well as used for decorations around Halloween. They have been around for thousands of years in our continent, and are one of its oldest domesticated plants. They can be cooked in pies, soups, made in tea, or carved to make jack-o’-lanterns! Here are some ideas of how to use them this fall:

  • Turn them in a board game! This is a great idea if you have kids: Use chalkboard paint and letter stickers through the whole pumpkin to turn it into a seasonal word search. Give them a piece of chalk and let them find all the hidden words around it!

  • Make Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate: stir together 3 cups of milk, 1 cup pumpkin puree, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. cloves, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. vanilla in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add in 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped, then top with whipped cream in a mug.

  • Use it as a keg! Hollow pumpkins can be used to serve food or drink by scooping out all its innards and seeds and using a coring tool or knife to make a hole 2-3” above the bottom of the pumpkin. Insert a tap in the hole made and fill the pumpkin with your preferred drink like punch, beer or sangria!

  • Use as a Planter: Take a hollow pumpkin and fill it with dirt and fill it around one-third or half full. Choose your favorite plant, remove them from their nursery containers, set them on top of the soil and watch them grow!

Pumpkins are definitely one of the coolest and most recognized emblems of the Halloween season. How will you be using your pumpkins this year?

Most of us can list three or four people that make it difficult for us to keep our composure throughout the day, plus all the anonymous despicable people who cut us off in traffic, in lines, in stores, and pretty much everywhere we go.

It’s important to identify those who leave you feeling demeaned, de-energized and disrespected on a regular basis, because everyone - including we - under the wrong conditions can be temporary assholes.

Here are some strategies to help you cope with abusive behavior from people in your environment:

  • Don’t take it personally: People might have their reasons to be who they are, and none of it has to do with you!
  • Decide that you’re going to find the asshole hilarious: This one it’s best to keep you for yourself— but this can help you reduce the stress!
  • Create physical or emotional distance between yourself and the rude person. For example, sit as far away from them as possible or mute/block them if it’s on social media.
  • Be nice to the asshole: Be as pleasant and composed as possible. Don’t react to or otherwise you’ll encourage their behavior.

Sometimes it’s fairly easy to get rid of a rude person. First, consider how much power you have over them - sometimes it’s easy to remove a rude person from a situation. If you don’t have a lot of power there, look for outlets to talk about it (some people might be relieved that they’re not the only one who’s noticed it, and together you might be able to find a solution to it!)

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Rude People Survival Guide

The current COVID-19 situation makes it hard to travel around the world in the near foreseeable future. If you are looking to get away from home for a few weeks, it will likely be a region in your proximity. While this might seem like a limitation, we encourage you see it as a wonderful possibility. Now you have a chance to explore your own state or region, and we’re giving you some tips to make the best out of that experience!

1) Investigate your nearby areas

Begin by googling about tourist attractions in your area. Most of us never even think about what places tourists visit when they come to our region. Much to people’s surprise, there are countless attractions in not-too-distant areas from your residence. Make a list of things you want to see and pack your car for daily adventures!

2) Meet the locals

Talking to locals is vital for getting the most of your travels. You can get unexpected tips of places to visits or fun activities to participate in.  Engage with the older generations too, that can relate first-hand or interesting historical anecdotes of the region. Get tips from locals on the best places to eat or go out for a drink.

3) Use technology to boost your travel

Thanks to the internet, you can know discover cool spots that would have been forever hidden from you. When you have decided a place or region to visit, be sure to check on Instagram for pictures of that area. You might find there attractions not described in travel books or websites. Find also local Facebook groups for the area and feel free to ask for tips and recommendations for your trip.

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Road Trip

After days or weeks of indulgence during the holiday season, many people resolve going into a diet and hitting the gym to lose some of those impending extra pounds.

Diets come and go like trends, but some of them maintain their popularity through the decades albeit having drawbacks. These are the most popular diets that people will try coming the new year:

  1. Low-Carb Diet: The idea of this one is to cut nutrient-poor foods like potato chips, baked products, candy and soda. The trick with this one is to keep in mind that lots of healthy foods also are high in carbs, such as fruits, vegetables and beans, and that a good balance is key.

  2. Calorie Restriction: Calories have always been enemies as far as diets go. There are calorie-counting apps that can help track a person’s food intake, as well as strategies to eat more vegetables, more white-meat chicken and fish, and more fruits.

  3. Keto Diet: The ketogenic (Keto) diet cuts off carbs, but increases the ingest of mostly fat with some protein. Keto dieters also cut carbs to less than 50 grams per day. The idea is that the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.

  4. Low-Fat Diet: Not all fat is bad, but doctors recommend limiting saturated fat and increasing non-saturated fats like the type found in nuts, seeds and fish.

  5. Plant-Based Diet: Be it vegan, vegetarian or not, eating less meat and eating more plant foods with high-quality proteins like eggs, soy, beans, and nuts.

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