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Archive for April, 2014

Standing Out As A Super Soccer Mom

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by Quik Shade

 standing-out-as-a-super-soccer-mom

There are lots and lots of cliches that go with someone who can be considered a soccer mom, and not all of them are flattering. What with the minivan or large SUV with the window and bumper stickers, the excess of enthusiasm (which can be a good thing folks, come on) the extracurricular activities other than soccer, the nice cookie-cutter suburban home (also not a bad thing) and several others.

Yet being a soccer mom isn’t as cliche as it might seem. Some would argue that aspects of being a soccer mom are aspects of someone who is a good mother. Yes, there are the ones that set the bad standards that our culture can go by, and here is a list of things to do that you, if you consider yourself to be a soccer mom, will be able to set some good standards with and fight the bad cliches that are out there.

Don’t Gossip

Being the parent of a kid who plays soccer means that you get to hang out with all the other parents of the rest of the kids on the team. And when that happens, people get to talking and get to knowing each other more and more. A community forms. For better or for worse, that community starts to grow and develop, with all the good sides and the bad sides that a gathering of people who know each other via proximity and similar circumstance can bring.

It is easy to start to become privy to other peoples business, and usually, if someone starts to reveal personal information about themselves, it is usually in confidence to those whom they are revealing it to. That takes trust, however much trust is felt to be had depending on what is being told. All the same, it is best to keep what is said in confidence as confidential, and not start to let others know in the group what is going on with Person A if they probably don’t want it to be known by everyone.

Don’t Try And Run The Show

Soccer teams have a specific order to them so that they may run as best as possible. There is the coach, the assistant coach, and then there is the team. If a parent starts to meddle in the affairs of the team and interfering with that the coach has set up as a good system, despite what anyone else may think, then let it run. Don’t be that person that has to step in and try to fix a situation that they may see as one that needs fixing, even if it does or not- it isn’t up to you.

As a parent, you are there to support the team and the coach through encouragement and enthusiasm. Not all the games will be won and not all the decisions the coach makes are going to be good ones- that’s just how it goes.

Contribute To The Scene

Aside from not gossiping about other players or their parents and not trying to run the show from the sidelines, here is something proactive that one can do to stand out as a good soccer mom.

By contributing in a constructive way to what is going on is a sure way to win the good opinion of others around you. Do things like cheer as much as possible, bring an extra few chairs for those parents who may have forgotten them or cannot afford one, bring an extra blanket or two, bring some canopies for those super hot, sunny days that you and the rest of the group can sit under (this one would really win the favor of others, for sure), encourage the coach and back them up if things get out of hand with other parents, and support your child as well as the others on things they did well versus scolding on what went wrong.

By doing these few simple things, one is sure to become a great kind of soccer mom, the kind that people start to trust and admire.

photo credit: Spree2010 via photopin cc

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself From UV Rays

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Quik Shade

commercial-canopies

The sun warms and nourishes the earth and our bodies, bringing nutrients like Vitamin D to us through our skin, as well as letting green plant life flourish. It has been worshipped across the ages by peoples of all cultures from everywhere around the globe, and it still is today. The sun is warm and comfortable, and besides, who doesn’t like a good tan?

But it is coming more and more to light (no pun intended) that the sun can also be harmful to us. Too much of us absorbing UV rays from the sun has been linked to ailments such as skin cancer, and everyone knows the bad experience a sunburn can bring on. So it is important that you take precautions and protect yourself from the sun. A fair bit of sun is fine, even healthy, but too much exposure at any one time will start to cause damage to your skin and lead to further problems.

Wear Sunscreen!

One of the most obvious of the ways to protect yourself from the sun, yet it is also the least used. How many people really put on sunscreen on a daily basis? There are, of course, occasions in which it is customary to put on sunscreen, such as when you go out hiking or to the beach, river rafting or fishing- any kind of outdoor activities. But on a daily basis, most people don’t use sunscreen to protect their skin.

Think about the parts of your body that get the most sun on a day to day basis: your arms from the elbows down and your head from the neck up. Sometimes, your feet from the knees down if you are accustomed to wearing shorts and sandals. It should be obvious to someone where they are getting the most sun from a quick once-over of their bodies. Check and see where your skin is darker than other areas and make sure to put some sunscreen on there before you go outdoors. You don’t have to overdo it or use a sunscreen that has a large SPF (sun protection factor) to it- maybe something along the lines of 10 or 15 will do fine. This is something that pays off in the future as a preventative measure to something like skin cancer.

Cover Up!

On hot days, it is hard to justify covering yourself in longsleeves and pants in order to protect yourself from the sun, but sunscreen doesn’t stop everything that is coming in from the sun. Again, you don’t have to overdo your clothing selection in order to keep those UV rays off of your skin, like wearing a jacket or sweater and thick pants on a day that doesn’t necessarily call for it, but maybe something more lightweight that will keep you cool and still protect your skin. And lastly, wear a hat, especially if you are someone whose hair is thinning or already gone to the wayside on parts of your head. Is is very common for skin cancer to crop up on the scalps of men and women whose hair is thinner than most on the top and sides of their heads.

Limit Exposure

When going to the beach, the river, out camping, and so on in areas that are more likely to have higher sun exposure, especially in areas that are of a higher altitude, make sure to stay out of the suns rays as much as possible by providing yourself with as much shade as possible. There are several ways to do this, and the best way (if you are camping or setting up a side to hang out at) is to use one or more canopies that can be easily set up anywhere. This will help you stay cool and keep those sunburns away while you are out and having fun.

Must See Music Festival Guide

Posted on: April 25th, 2014 by Quik Shade

must-see-music-festivals

South By Southwest

SXSW is the premier music festival in Austin, Texas, for uncovering awesome new talent. It’s a great place to go and mingle with people in the up-and-coming music scene in Austin’s plethora of good bars and nightclubs. Austin’s underground motto, “Keep Austin Weird”, definitely resounds here as fresh new vibes and people keep this music festival great.

And not only is there music involved, but a very thorough speaker panel and film festival that takes place at the same time under the same name. The speakers are musicians themselves or people who are in the music industry and they talk about a wide variety of topics within the American music scene itself.

Ultra Music Festival

The Ultra Music Festival is one of the most popular EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, music festivals in North America. It features the biggest names in Electronic Dance Music who come and share their blasting beats to a dancing crowd in Miami, Florida. If you’re going to be heading out that way, though, take a canopy with you because it can get very hot and very sunny down there. The festival was two weekends long last year, because I guess the powers that be decided that one weekend was not long enough.

Coachella

Coachella is one of the most famous music festivals on the West Coast, featuring pretty much everything, from rock to rap, electronic dance to reggae. This year, some rare and reuniting bands have decided that Coachella is the best place to have their shows, so groups like the reunited Outkast rap group, and the Replacements are having their fourth show ever since 1991.

Taking place in the middle of the desert near Indio, CA, Coachella is probably one of the warmest and sunniest music festivals in the country, so make sure to accompany your campsite and tailgating experience with plenty of sunscreen and a quality canopy to protect yourself.

Counterpoint

Another great electronic festival Counterpoint, this music festival is a youngling compared to the other ones in the country, having just started back in 2012. It features the same kinds of big names that the Ultra Music Festival does, and being held in Kingston Downs, Georgia, it is definitely one of those events that goes against the grain and offers people of the local counter culture to come by and be themselves. This festival is definitely growing in popularity, hosting thousands of people both years that it has happened, so check it out if you are in the area when it is going on.

Beale Street Music Festival

The Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee is one of those music festivals that offers an eclectic, diverse array of different groups that a wide variety of people can come and enjoy. Last year, the festival had bands such as The Black Keys, Alice In Chains, Bassnectar, Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Flaming Lips, Phoenix, The Smashing Pumpkins, ZZ Top and The Black Crowes show up. Talk about diversity.

And not only is the music diverse, but the fans are as well. At this festival, one can see a wide array of different groups of people mingling and enjoying themselves together without any kind of fuss.

Sasquatch! Festival

Taking place in Gorge, Washington, the Sasquatch music festival prides itself on its unique and diverse lineup. Last year, the lineup featured very laid back and chill music from bands such as Mumford and Sons, The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, Sigur Rós, The xx, Arctic Monkeys, Grimes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Lumineers, The Tallest Man on Earth, Tame Impala, and Danny Brown. And this year, they are definitely switching gears and bringing in bands like Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, MIA, and Foster The People. With this kind of diverse array of bands showing up, one can expect a diverse array of fans as well.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons

4 Family Oriented Surf Spots

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Quik Shade

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Where can one go to get some surfing in as well as having the family along with them? There are several great family oriented surf spots in America, but the ones that are family oriented are sometimes hard to find. One needs to have a friendly atmosphere, maybe a hotel or two, as well as a good place where the kids can be safe. Here is a list of 4 good places to take the family when you want to get your surfing on. Don’t forget to pack some canopies from QuikShade to keep safe from the sun.

Ocean City, New Jersey

Known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, Ocean City, New Jersey has more surf spots than most Northeastern states. Home to a few surfing champions, the city takes surfing very seriously. The local high school has won the state surfing championship eight consecutive times! That says something about the fact that the surfing scene there is not only just for people who are in their 20’s and 30’s.

Being near Atlantic City, if the parents wanted to get away for some nights in the casinos, that is, of course, always an option. The City of Brotherly Love is not too far away as well, which is renowned for it’s Philly Cheese steaks. And lastly, the city of Big is not too far away as well, which sports itself a nice big ferris wheel right on the beach.

The climate is, of course, rather cold, being in the Northeast and all. The water is usually around 60 degrees, so bring a wetsuit. And don’t worry about having to deal with a local bar scene going until the wee hours of the morning- Ocean City has banned the sales of booze since the year 1884, and is thus a dry city.

Malibu, CA

You might not necessarily be able to buy a house here, and staying in one of the hotels in Malibu will also cost you a little bit, but don’t get to thinking that the city of Malibu is any degree of crowded or smoggy like it’s parent city Los Angeles. Property value and environmentalist groups have made sure to keep the place nice and clean as well as sparsely populated. As a result, this is a nice place to come and visit with the family and maybe get some surfing in. But don’t forget the canopy, because it can get nice and sunny here.

Most of the beaches in Malibu, from Zuma up to El Matador, can accommodate some surfing, but Malibu’s famous Point Break is where you’d want to go. The water isn’t that cold, per se, or at least compared to the East Coast. And not only is there surfing, but a few beaches allow for smaller waves and better waters for the kids to play in.

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Despite the sinister name, Kill Devil Hills is a good small town, away from any bustling metropolitan area, to take the family and get some beach time in. There’s enough people there to make it feel like you’re not in a one-horse town, but small enough to offer the peace of mind a small town can. Don’t expect any kind of crazy fashion statements or Lamborghinis, because this small Southern town likes to keep things simple. With calm beaches and a lighthouse, this is a great place to get away with the family and enjoy some relaxation.

San Clemente, CA

This town between Los Angeles and the Marine base Camp Pendleton is an ideal spot to take the family and have some beach surfing and boogie boarding fun. It has a consistent year round surfing scene due to its geographic location. There are also a lot of festivals that happen there during the summer, which makes it a great spot to go and get some entertainment. Sporting several hotels and spots to take surfing classes, San Clemente is a good place to get away from the city life and take the family for a good summer vacation. And, once again, take the canopy because it is pretty much always sunny down there.

photo credit: geezaweezer via photopin cc

Best MLB Parks For Tailgating

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by Quik Shade

best-mlb-parks-for-tailgating

Going to a ballgame is not just only about the baseball. There is a whole experience to it all, from the fans to the food, the music and the showmanship, the equipment (the barbecue, the coolers, the canopy, the chairs, so on and so forth) and lets not forget about the culture of tailgating. Entire product lines have spawned up around the scene of tailgating, and people have built up quite the culture around it. Who hasn’t been to a tailgating party at least once in their lives? If you haven’t, then it is highly recommended. Not only are you socializing with friends and family and even strangers, but there are the people nearby who provide a community of fun and good memories.

If you fancy yourself as someone who would be up for something like a good tailgating event, then you have to know where to go. Not all baseball parks are great for tailgaters, but there are a few out there that are ideal for this kind of an event. Here are a few that you should check out if you’re ever in the area.

Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Los Angeles

What makes a good place for someone to go to and have some tailgating fun? Ideally, a huge, flat parking lot is pretty much what is primarily needed, but it also has to be allowed in the park as well. Tailgating can also cause havoc on traffic, i.e. people simply trying to leave the park and tailgaters kind of take up the lanes.

So, under this light, the stadium for the Anaheim Angels is a great place to set up your canopy, open the back of the truck up and do some tailgating. The best place to park it for a tailgating setup is right underneath the giant A, right next to the freeway. Seeing as Los Angeles does not have the NFL team, tailgating at baseball games get a lot more elaborate. The tailgating scene gets especially interesting when the Freeway Series starts, which is when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Anaheim Angels.

On the other end of that spectrum, tailgating can be difficult at Dodger’s Stadium due to the fact that the park lot there is not necessarily savvy towards tailgating- it could get a little cramped. There was also an incident wherein 132 people were arrested for trying to tailgate in Dodgers Stadium. So, let’s just say it might be a bit hard to tailgate there. Head to the Angels Stadium instead. And don’t forget to bring the canopy- it can get quite hot and sunny down there in Anaheim.

Miller Park, Milwaukee

In the homeland of beer and brats, tailgating can get up into the realm of epic proportions. It is a major part of the tailgating experience that happens in Milwaukee. Most Brewers fans have partaken in the experience at Miller Park, and are usually seasoned Packers fans who also take their tailgating prowess to the football stadium as well.

Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Closely rated with the fans at Miller Park, Phillies fans also have an extreme passion and aptitude for the tailgating experience at Citizens Bank Park. It is well known that people who live in Philadelphia are hardcore sports fans, so it makes a lot of sense that they would take their tailgating to the max. It is almost heresy for Phillies fans to not tailgate before they go off to a game. With prowess and style, it is recommended that one head over to the Philadelphia stadium and get in on the tailgating scene there for a great experience.

DIY Backyard Wedding Guide

Posted on: April 19th, 2014 by Quik Shade

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Having a wedding can be a very expensive proposition, what with the flowers and catering, renting the church or other space you might want to use, renting tables and chairs, hiring musicians, buying the flowers, so on and so forth. Some weddings can run in the thousands of dollars. This can be so expensive, in fact, that some people simply cannot afford it at all.

But for those out there who are looking to have themselves a good wedding and save some money at the same time, here is a guide that might just help a little bit in that proposition. This article is aimed towards the idea of providing ideas for a Do-It-Yourself backyard wedding.

Any good wedding should be fresh, fun, and feel personal to the couple that is getting married; it should be something worth remembering for the rest of your life.

Employ Friends and Family

One of the biggest things at a wedding is the food. If you have a good cook in the family or have a personal friend that is good on the grill, ask them to come by your wedding and cook up some burgers and sausages on their barbecue. This will be far cheaper than employing a professional cook who, for all you know, might not put out food that is really that great, or at least what you were expecting. With someone you already know having the task set aside for them, you know what you are getting and they should be more than happy to help- they might even do it for free for the sake of the family or friendship, but don’t anticipate that.

Do you know someone who fancies themselves as a photographer? Instead of hiring a professional photographer, ask someone you know to come by with their camera and take pictures of the event. Again, offer to pay, but they might just do it for free. Another thing that people have been known to do is buy a large amount of box cameras for people to use throughout the event, and have been asked to leave them behind. Invest some wedding money in those and the development of the pictures, then go through all of them and pick out the best for your photo album. This plus the photographer themselves should provide a nice variety of pictures.

Be Creative!

There are tons of ways to substitute expensive items for things that are far cheaper and more personal than the run-of-the-mill items that most people would use at their weddings. Here are a few examples that might inspire some thought on your part as to how to go about partaking in making your wedding fun and personal.

Instead of flowers for place settings, a couple once used clear glass cups filled with fruit, like lemons, limes, and other small fruits. This still provided a light setting and exemplified the “fruits” of the occasion.

Instead of providing a large amount of rented chairs, perhaps ask people to bring their own personal chairs for the situation. This one is kind of a stretch, but it would be fun to have everyone sitting in their own different chairs, mixing the setting up and making it kind of interesting. Of course, have rented chairs available for those people who might forget or not have any kind of their own to bring; people aren’t going to be bringing their living room chairs for this, for sure.

Be Frugal!

Look for deals online for things such as centerpieces, put ads out asking for help from people who have already had weddings and are looking to get rid of their wedding stuff that they are obviously not going to be using again. Instead of heading to expensive specialty stores for things like cups and plates, why not head to somewhere cheaper for your supplies? Remember that if budgeting is an issue, then having a super nice wedding might not be possible. But isn’t a wedding about love, friendship, family and fun and not necessarily about glamour and shine? Make sure that what you’re planning is something that is going to be memorable and not necessarily just an everyday kind of wedding that would blend in with all the others.

5 Of The Best Tailgating Innovations

Posted on: April 18th, 2014 by Quik Shade

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The Blacktop 360

The Blacktop 360 is a portable grill that will fit into the scene of any kind of tailgating party. It is small, lightweight, and can cook pretty much anything. Standing at about 3 and a half feet tall, the Blacktop 360 uses infrared grilling to provide quality cooking. It can reach temperatures of about 650 degrees. It can be used as a barbecue as well as a griddle. There is also a deep fryer right in the middle, so you can cook things like french fries, shrimp, chicken fingers and onion rings. There is also a convenient warming tray which is part of the top of the set-up that is designed to keep your food warm and ready to eat once it is done cooking. To top it all off, the flat top of the Blacktop 360 is divided into three sections, each of equal size, and comes with a lid that can fit into any. There is also a small bamboo cutting board and table that comes attached to the side.

The Blacktop 360 is powered by a small 1LB propane tank, and the option to connect larger tanks with a hose is also available. The top is made of a non-stick enamel finish, so cleaning up after the cooking is done is very easy. There is a small oil reservoir attached to the side right next to a small spill hole so that once you are done cooking something greasy, the oil spills right out and into the detachable container for easy and safe disposal. And finally, the whole set-up is collapsible and fits into a small carrying case for easy transport.

The Tailgater Dual Drink Dispenser Backpack

Now this is pretty cool. Instead of having to lug around a cooler or what have you to get those refreshing drinks at a tailgate party, you can instead have it right on your back with The Tailgater Dual Drink Dispenser backpack. Lightweight and made of nylon, this backpack contains two reservoirs made to hold anything from Kool-Aid to your favorite brew. It holds 210 ounces of any kind of fluid, divided between two 105 ounce containers.

Big Red Portable Campfire

Ever wanted the feel of a campfire at a tailgate party, but couldn’t find the means to get it? With the Big Red Portable Campfire, a small fire pit that uses the power of propane to get the fire going, you can set this thing up on any cold night after a football game, set up the chairs and roast some marshmallows right there next to the truck. It comes with a storage shell for easy mobility, and the storage shell is even designed to have the portable campfire sit on top of it for elevated warmth. There is also the Little Red Portable Campfire burner if the Big Red seems, well, just too big.

The Drinkin Partner Portable Drink Holder

Ever get tired of having to set the drink on the ground or the cooler where it can easily be knocked over and spilled? Well, there is something out there called The Drinkin Partner Portable Drink Holder, which is a standing drink holder which resembles a candle holder one might see in church which is designed to sit right next to your chair and hold your drink at an easy reachable height at about three and a half feet tall.

Magnetic Drink Holders

And to pair up with the drink holder subject, there are magnetic drink holders that you can attach to the side of your car while out at a tailgating party, or even to the fridge or something else that has a metallic surface while at home. They come with different team logos on the sides of them, so you can be able to buy one with your favorite team logo on the side.

Planning A Successful Digital Vacation

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by Quik Shade

digital-vacation

Planning a digital vacation takes time and effort, as well as careful preparing. Where do you want to go? How long do you want to stay there? What is your budget? Asking these questions will help you to be able to start looking in the right places online for what exactly it is that you want.

How To Get There

There are several different companies that provide services towards helping someone plan a successful vacation. Using the internet is especially useful in this regard because you can look up different prices for plane or train tickets that can get you to your location and compare and contrast these prices to fit your budget as well as your standards.

Of course, one does not have to go too far out of one’s way to have a successful vacation. Take a look online at local camping venues where one could go. Just because you might want to escape for a bit does not mean that you do not have to spend too much money or even go too far. There are tens of thousands of great camping spots all across the country that one can get out and experience for a small expense.

Planning and Packing

Of course, take into account what you are going to need to take with you for the trip. When it comes to traveling afar, what one can take is pretty much limited to what you can fit into your luggage. But as for going to places that are within driving distance, there is a larger capacity for what you are able to bring with you.

Are you going to be staying in a hotel or are you going to be out camping? When it comes to staying in a hotel, shelter is not going to be an issue, so once again, what you are going to be bringing with you is pretty much limited to your luggage. But when it comes to camping, you can fit everything you might need into your car, and even a towing trailer.

You’re In The Elements

Don’t forget the essentials. You are out in the elements and need to take proper precautions in order to make sure that your trip is as enjoyable as possible. In most camping sites, the temperature fluctuations between the night and the day are usually pretty extreme- this is something that most people forget living indoors. So, pack clothing for both hot weather and cold.

Take the exposure to the sun into account as well. Getting a bad sunburn on a trip is a sure way to not have a good time. Sunscreen and canopies are life-savers. There are several different types of canopies available online for sale- don’t just stick to a local vendor. There is a massive variety of canopies and tents that exist online for good prices, several different interesting kinds as well, so shop around to find something that fits your needs and styles.

Make sure to have at least one canopy for enjoying the outdoors without getting too badly overheated by the sun. Make sure not to put any open flames underneath it, which might seem obvious but it happens. As a result of wear and tear, make sure to bring some spare parts for your canopies just in case they get broken or damaged in some way.

Have Fun and Be Safe

Lastly, make sure to have fun. Take things with you that you know you’ll enjoy, like a frisbee, a good book, soccer ball, your hiking boots, and so on. There is a lot more to do while out in nature than just sitting back and relaxing.

And lastly, a specific word of advice on keeping animals away. There is storing your food in ice chests and containers in a safe place like your car, but bears have been known to tear off car doors like they are opening a tin can to get at something as meagre as a bag of candy. So, take ammonia with you and pour it into small cups, then place those cups around your campground, especially near the food. Animals have a far better sense of smell than humans do, so for as bad as ammonia smells to us, it smells far worse to them and will mask other smells.

The Top 10 Things To Do At The Beach

Posted on: April 15th, 2014 by Quik Shade

 beach-activities

When summer finally arrives, you know one of your top destinations for the season will be the beach especially when temps begin to soar. There’s nothing more synonymous with summer fun than a day spent at the shore. Besides just swimming and sunbathing, there are a ton more fun things to do at the beach that will help keep you occupied all summer. Here are ten things to try at the beach this summer.

1. Build a bonfire.

Find an area of your local beach where bonfires are allowed. These designated areas may have concrete fire pits ready for wood or charcoal. Building a bonfire allows you to enjoy the beach after hours and creates a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Invite some friends and bring marshmallows and hotdogs to cook over the open fire. Play music, bring games and blankets to add to the festive atmosphere. A beach bonfire is sure to create a memorable summer experience.

2. Stroll down the boardwalk.

Many of us are too quick to dismiss boardwalks as a tourist trap. Being more open minded and going in to enjoy the full boardwalk experience can change your mind. Get ready to play carnival type games, ride a ferris wheel, and snack on ice cream or cotton candy. Boardwalks are great for people watching. A stroll down the boardwalk at night can be a romantic experience as well.

3. Pack a picnic.

Take some time to pack locally made foods or just some extra indulgent ingredients for your next beach day. A well done picnic basket will always be appreciated by hungry beach goers. There’s something about the salty air that makes good food taste even better.

4. Play in the sand.

Write your name in the sand and watch the waves wash it away. You can also spend extra time to build an extravagant sandcastle or sand mermaid.

5. Take a hike.

Your local beach is likely to have some great hiking trails nearby. Take some time to find these trails and plan your next hike. If it gets too hot, the nearby ocean is a great place to take a swim.

6. Fishing.

Piers are great for fishing for a variety of specimens. More than likely you won’t be able to keep your catches, but it’s a fun, relaxing way to spend the day.

7. Get active.

Surfing, kayaking, and windsurfing are a few ways to get active in the water.

8. Visit the tidepools.

Tide pools are great for exploring and discovering some of the little creatures that live in the sea. You can spend hours watching sea urchin, crabs, minnows, and others move about in their natural habitat.

9. Take photographs.

The beach is a great place to practice photography and you’re sure to get a great shot or two. The light is perfect in the mornings or late afternoons.

10. Collect seashells.

Wander the shores and you’ll come across shells in all shapes and sizes. There are bits of pretty sea glass and driftwood pieces to collect too.

photo credit: Thomas Tolkien via photopin cc

What Happened To The Lost Art Of Camping?

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Quik Shade

canopy-wall

Taking time to recharge by spending time in nature or just on any kind of vacation is one of the best choices you can make to help relieve stress and encourage a healthier perspective. So why don’t more people take the time to do this? Many are afraid that vacations will make them lose their jobs, others simply say they are too busy for a vacation.

The truth is that taking care of your health, both physically and mentally, should be a priority. Not taking any vacations will have a negative impact on your health as well as your productivity. Your friends and family will be affected, as well as your employer. Making time to get away from it all, even if it’s only for a day or two, is good for you.

How to take time away from the digital world.

These days it’s harder than ever to unplug. With smartphones and the Internet, it’s possible to stay connected to everything that’s going on in the digital world 24 hours a day. The result of this is more stress and higher levels of anxiety. If you’re looking to take a vacation that truly lets you get away from it all, consider spending time in nature.

A camping trip forces you to put away the smartphone and stop obsessively checking email and social media. It may be hard at first, but in the end you’ll feel happier, lighter, and more clear. Take the opportunity to assess your life and where it’s going. A vacation like this gives you a better perspective and the energy to return to your life with a healthier attitude. Here are some other ways camping, or any vacation that allows you to get away, can benefit you:

1. Benefits physical and mental health.

Vacation time lowers blood pressure, encourages positive emotions, helps with depression, and even has a positive effect on weight. People who allow themselves more leisure time are more satisfied with their lives and are physically healthier.

2. Encourages longevity.

Studies show that those who take vacations are at a much lower risk for heart disease and live longer than those who worked continuously.

3. Improved job performance.

A vacation provides an opportunity to gain a wider perspective. The result is you’ll return to the job better able to tackle problems and make good decisions.

4. Relieves stress.

This one is pretty obvious, but many of us aren’t aware of how much stress can affect other areas of our lives if left unchecked. Concentration, sleep, and mood are all directly affected by stress levels. Taking a vacation brings benefits to all those areas. You’ll be enjoying the effects weeks after the vacation has ended.

5. Gets you moving.

Spending time outdoors, especially with swimming, camping or hiking, is likely to get you to do more physical activity than usual. Even just sightseeing gets you moving. If you can’t go far, take a walk around the neighborhood or explore a new area. Anything that takes you out of your normal routine is good for your health.