Authors Posts by Danielle Kosanovich

Danielle Kosanovich

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Danielle Kosanovich is a contributor for The Web Tribune, a brand manager for a marketing company, as well as the writer and photographer for her own blog. With a focus on lifestyle, travel, food, and overall wellness, she has been writing in some form for over a decade.

Affordable Travel – The Road Trip

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Everything these days is about maximizing. We aim to maximize our time, our worth, our efficiency, and our world experiences. One way to travel more this summer is to do so with an affordable budget. You’ll be able to travel multiple times this summer with a road trip to the places around you, rather than hopping on a plane once to only explore one city.

In order to maximize your budget for this summer’s road trip, be sure to follow our suggestions below.

Plan ahead to not only determine the end destination, but the destinations along the way too. It’s important to allow for a little spontaneity, but it’s not great for the wallet to suddenly find yourself in an ultra touristy town or at a restaurant that would warrant three dollar signs on Yelp. Not only do you want to make sure you are visiting cities that you want to see that are within your budget, you also want to make sure your lodgings in those places are within budget ahead of time too.

Pack snacks and water bottles for the road. While stopping to fill up the gas tank is important, it’s best to not be tempted to purchase gas station snacks with each stop. Unplanned gas station purchases will take away from your budget. You can get healthy, affordable snacks for the road at the grocery store before you leave for your trip.

While it may seem counter-intuitive on your set budget, it’s important to put a little money into your car before you hit the road. Request your mechanic to take a look at your car, the outside and the inside. Your tires might not make the trip, or one of your belts might be dry and near-cracked. The last thing you need is for a belt to snap on the highway, with limited auto shop options around.

This summer, pack up the car with your overnight bag, snacks, tunes, and roll those windows down with the open road ahead.

The Fashion Trends We’re Looking Forward To

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Being halfway through the year, it’s time that we assess the fashion trends that 2017 has brought us, and what lies ahead. This summer, you can expect to see trends that nod toward our past, and our future.

Super-bright clothes, a la the 80’s glam scene, are making waves. Don’t be afraid to stand out, the summer trend is not about blending in.

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Post-minimalism clothes, think structure, think cut, are turning heads in very subtle ways. With the minimalism trend making its way into our homes, decorating styles, and organization – it was inevitably going to end up in our closets as well.

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Athleisure wear and workout clothes have become popular with many luxury athletic brands on the market. It’s increasingly more acceptable to leave the house in leggings and work out gear. Now, it’s time to flaunt your athleisure wear, instead of hiding it.

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The classic button-down shirt is getting a face-lift with unique styles abound. Memorable embellishments can range from a different structure, interesting colors, or fun embroideries. Whatever way you wear it, it’s going to make a statement.

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Bralettes and tops that show off bralettes are making a statement. They are becoming the focal point of outfits, rather than being the item that gets covered up.

The Rise and Fall of Restaurant Trends

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People have always gone out to eat. But when did going to restaurants go from spending a nice meal with your family to trying the latest and trendiest places on the map? Over the years, the trends within the restaurant business have fluctuated with the onset of social media and Millennials changing the dining scene.

These days, ambience and décor are just as important as the menu and the quality of the meal. Décor items like the Edison light bulb, Instagram worthy bathrooms, and chairs that might not be comfortable but look oh-so-chic are highly regarded. A restaurant staple that is rarely seen these days is the white tablecloth. It’s a hint that a great restaurant doesn’t necessarily have to look like one.

With hard surfaces come hard-to-hear conversations. Surely, great décor can be inspiring, but restaurants should be sure that their furniture is as comfortable as grandma’s house. On the other side of the spectrum, there are too-comfortable situations with the trend of communal dining tables for patrons. While this works in certain restaurants, not every dining experience should be a free-for-all cafeteria. Restaurants should be using this trend with caution.

In the past, restaurants were expected to have a reservation policy. These days, it’s quite common for the trendiest restaurants to have a no-reservations policy. The waiting in line for a table is an event itself. BBQ joints in Austin, TX are known for their three hour line-up and you can expect to wait two hours for a table at an upscale diner in Chicago, on a Tuesday.

Easy Ways to Reduce Stress Today

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Stress levels are constantly on the rise. Whether it is family drama, work responsibilities, or financial instability, there is almost never a moment with nothing to worry about. What’s important to the designate some time to decompress each day, week, or even once a month if that is the only amount of time that you have. Here are some ways that you can start by making today, or tomorrow, a little less stressful.

Sleep is one of the simplest things that you can change. However, it may not be so easy. Going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier will allow your body to get enough rest, and you’ll be able to accomplish more in the morning without rushing to get out the door. Starting your day with a healthy meal and productivity will set the tone for the rest of the day.

Each day, create a list of what needs to be accomplished. Whether this is for work, or just for chores around the house, this will help you visual how much time you can spend on each task before the day ends. Don’t stress about accomplishing everything. Prioritize and accomplish the necessary things first, and move less time-sensitive tasks to the next day in order to keep a good life/work balance. Limit distractions around your to-do list. Only allow for certain interruptions like time-sensitive emails when you’re at work, or important family matters if you’re focusing on chores.

Although you might be worrying about all of the items you’re going to push from today’s to-do list to tomorrow, don’t. You cannot control everything, especially how many hours there are in day. If you ran out of time to work on a project, it has to wait until tomorrow so that you can get home to have dinner with your family. The quality of your work will suffer if you’re working through late hours or anxiously trying to finish something.

Sometimes, you can’t take on another project, or another chore, or join your friends for a night out. If you have an incredibly busy work week ahead of you, it’s important to say no to socializing, just for the moment. You’ll need your rest, and you’ll also need a reason to celebrate when you accomplish a major project and can get together with friends or family afterword.

Lastly, it’s important to be grateful. Each day, whenever you find some quiet time, be sure to reflect on the day, or that month, or even your life in general. Think about where you were a year ago, and how far you’ve come. Growth can happen slowly, so it’s important to stop and appreciate it from time to time. Keep your reflections positive by thinking about the highlight of your day. Let that positivity carry you into the night for a restful sleep.

Can the Effects of Hot Springs be like Working Out?

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Your eyes are not deceiving you. A study published recently by Temperature states that soaking in hot water for one hour has similar benefits to working out for one hour. The benefits include anti-inflammation and blood sugar responses from the body.

Hot springs don’t have to be just for vacation anymore. With this information, it is an easy suggestion to take hot baths at home more often, as well as find time to soak in a hot spring.

This is also useful information for people who aren’t able to exercise. The exposure to hot baths or hot springs can increase their heat shock proteins similarly to the effects of exercising.

Researchers call the effect “passive heating,” implying that both exercising and hot baths increase a body’s temperature. The day after either, the benefits can still be seen with a person’s blood sugar level. This can even assist people with type 2 diabetes, who have lower levels of heat shock proteins. The bodily heating from both hot springs and exercise can raise these levels.

Inflammation is also linked to those with type 2 diabetes. The heat from hot baths or springs can also reduce inflammation. The research is still early, but there are some studies that show there are benefits to lowering blood pressure with hot springs and baths. This could be related to the relaxing nature of a soak in hot water itself, and not necessarily correlated to the heat.

While the hot baths and hot springs are seemingly a great addition to anyone’s routine with these new studies, it does not replace the regular benefits of exercise.

Are Un-Retouched Ads Making a Difference?

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Up until recently, it was completely acceptable to heavily edit models in photos for advertisements to appear closer to society’s “ideal” body. This editing started innocently enough by retouching small blemishes, and it grew into the expected routine of completely adjusting body-types.

As of late, more companies and organizations are making a point to use un-retouched images of models in their ads, and they want you to know that.

With the un-retouched images, the data doesn’t always show the ads bringing in more revenue for the company. What it does do, however, is sometimes worth more than cold, hard cash. Un-retouched advertisements can show honesty, authenticity, and empowerment. While specific ads may not show sales increased, over time, the positive messages that un-retouched images share will generate the increase in profits.

Even for companies that have never used retouched images from the beginning, some have not seen additional profit because of it. Why do they continue to hold fast to that policy? For a company to start from the beginning with un-retouched images, it shows their beliefs in the matter, and the fact that they celebrate all of their customer’s body types.

Success can be shown in other ways, such as increased social media engagement. With the influx of influencer marketing, increased revenue from social media campaigns over time can be harder to track that the data from one particular un-retouched advertisement.

The Affect of Constantly Viewing Screens

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These days it is very common for people to go from looking at a computer screen all day to looking at their phone or tablet all night. By the end of each evening, your eyes might be tired or your head might ache. This digital eye strain is becoming more common for people due to the increase in office environments, computer jobs, and mobile usability.

While it’s obvious that screens are the reason for increased eye strain these days, researchers are not convinced that it is the reason for glasses or contacts. There is evidence that prolonged screen usage can lead to drier eyes, due to less blinking during viewing. Researchers have found an increase in nearsightedness, but it has not been linked specifically to increased screen usage.

With all of the concern, it’s recommended that people follow a 20-20-20 regimen. If you typically work with computer screens or with items up close, every twenty minutes take a twenty-second break to look at something twenty feet away. Or, if you can, it’s suggested to leave your desk altogether for your 15-minute break or your lunch break. In schools, children are encouraged to have a recess and play outside. The same movement and break should be encouraged for adults to ensure rest and relaxation for your own eyes.

There Are Now More Women Students than Men Enrolled at the Culinary Arts Institute

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For a long time, the chef world and restaurant industry has been a male-dominated field. Recently, the Culinary Arts Institute reported that they now have more women enrolled in classes than men, coming in at a 51.6 percent enrollment. The CAI opened in 1946 and out of the 50 students, only one was a woman.

The restaurant industry is known for its long and late hours, and lack of benefits, which makes it difficult for women to opt into a career as a chef if they would also like to balance a family. In other countries like Japan, it is common to see women behind the grill in many restaurants. However, in America, it’s started with mostly men, and has slowly been on the rise.

The Vice President of the CAI believes that the rise can be attributed to the fact that women own more food related businesses these days. With business being owned by women, they know the importance of a work-life balance and can offer the benefits and flexibility that working families need. This is empowering other women to follow their passion, such as a career as a chef.

The Benefits of Being More Adventurous

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There is new research that suggests that adventurous people often consume more fruits and vegetables, making them healthier over all. So while there are some adventurous folk that might take riskier vacations, their day-to-day health is better due to their eating habits.

The adventurous type tends to be those who are more open, outgoing, and extroverted. Openness and a sense of adventure can go hand in hand, considering you need to be open to new experiences in order to be adventurous. On the same note, those who are open to eating a variety of foods are more likely to consume a broad range of healthy foods.

While the study shows some compelling association between eating healthier and being more adventurous, there is no causation effect. However, the relationship between the two definitely shed light on personalities and behaviors.

Overall, eating more adventurously can lead you to lead a more adventurous life too.

The World of Mardi Gras Recipes

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Mardi Gras is February 28th this year, so let the celebrations begin. Mardi Gras is known in some countries as Carnivale, and it is a day to celebrate with costumes, eating an abundance of food, and parading. All of this celebration is because of the upcoming Lent, a holiday in which people give up certain luxuries like sweets or specialties. Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. Cities around the globe associate certain foods with their Mardi Gras celebrations.

King Cake in New Orleans

The birthplace of Mardi Gras, New Orleans has created and maintained the tradition of baking a king’s cake for the annual celebration. The cake is a hollow, round shape, with the colors of Mardi Gras usually in sprinkles or icing (purple, gold, and green). Inside the cake is a hidden baby figurine. Whoever gets the piece of the cake with the figurine will have special privileges. The colors of Mardi Gras also have symbolisms; purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power.

Feijoada in Brazil

In Brazil, Mardi Gras is called Carnivale, and is just as extravagant as the original celebration in Louisiana. Instead of baking king’s cake, Brazilians make a dish called feijoada. A stew made with black beans and tender meat, feijoada is a staple in many Brazilian households. It’s a dish that brings many people together, much like the celebration of Carnivale.

Packzi in Chicago

Packzi (misleadingly pronounced ‘poonch-kee’) are Polish doughnuts filled with jelly or cream. In Chicago, Mardi Gras is also Packzi Day. There were many Polish people that lived in the city of Chicago, which is where the influence on packzi comes into play.

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