Driver to Biker: Making the Switch

While the majority of us will occasionally dream about cruising around on a motorbike, when it comes down to actually choosing a method of transportation, the car makes a lot more sense. To list just a few common reasons we shy away from the idea of biking:

  • Safety concerns
  • Practicality
  • Wearing motorcycling apparel
  • Sensitivity to Weather conditions

When I was 25, I had landed my first managerial position at a large electronics retailer. I purchased my first car, a 2006 Corolla. At the time I wasn’t really interested in cars (well, those that were in my budget at least) and it was a very sensible car. The commute to work was not exactly thrilling, but a short 20minute drive each way was not exactly a big deal in my life.

However, just under a year into my job, I was relocated to another branch, and the drive would now be around an hour and some. Within months I was beginning to realize how taxing driving in the morning and driving back later in the day had become, and the commute took a big toll on my happiness and wellbeing. Of course, a lot of people make commutes which are just as long, if not longer, so it wasn’t going to be something that would make me want to quit my job altogether.

One day, I was browsing a furniture store in our retail park with a colleague of mine who was looking to buy a new bed. He was looking at the beds which were at the highest price range, and I told him, “you’d have to be mad to spend so much on a bed…” However, he turned around and said, “look, you spend around a third of your entire life on a bed, you have to be spending money where it matters!” For some reason this resonated with me, and on the drive back I began thinking about how I was spending at least 2 hours every working day sitting around driving an automatic.

I then suddenly became excited about the idea of commuting to work on a motorbike. I hadn’t actually ridden one before, but just thinking about the thrill I could enjoy for 2 hours each day seemed hundreds of times better than the dreaded drive to work. I was more than willing to sacrifice some comfort and practicality in place of an enjoyable commute every day. I didn’t know many bikers at the time, so it was difficult to find guidance, but there was plenty of discussion online. In the end I went ahead and got myself a new Yamaha FZ6R, a pretty great entry-level bike.

And since then, I haven’t looked back. I have been biking for 5 years and while a lot of things have changed in my life there is always one constant – the joy of biking to work and back doesn’t get old, and my boyish sense of excitement remains.

Damien Burton, blogger at Elswick Cycles.


Sleep like a baby when you’re pregnant!

Rarely do women experience difficulty-free sleeping while pregnant. Several bodily differences, both psychological and physical, occur during pregnancy and also make it harder to get proper rest. There are 3 essential points that impact your sleeping capability:

  • Hormones are going crazy – sending your sleep schedule into meltdown
  • Changes to your body such as a larger abdominal area and also skin irritability
  • Higher degrees of tension and also anxiety

Put together, you can end up having many sleepless nights. Nevertheless, there are numerous things you can do to guarantee that you optimize your opportunities of sleeping – without difficulty – through the night. Here they are:

  • Exercise. Although your body might be telling you exercise is the last thing it needs, your restless nights are partly down to restlessness resulting from lack of activity during the day. Not to mention, you really need to be exercising during maternity anyway, for health reasons. Also, while you’ll want the occasional nap, don’t snooze too much or you’ll be bouncing at night!
  • Do not consume a lot of liquids prior to bed. Although you intend to be effectively hydrated, you equally do not intend to really feel need to pee as you find yourself wishing for some sleep. The urge to make another loo round can be greater during pregnancy, so hold back on the drinks.
  • Prepare the bed appropriately. Feelings of frustration in bed are made worse if the sheets are folded or the duvet is so thick you’re becoming hot. Additionally, your skin is even more sensitive than usual during this period, so make certain the sheets aren’t irritable against your skin. Preparing the bed beforehand should be done so these things don’t wake you up in the middle of the night.
  • Get a pregnancy pillow. These are unusually shaped pillows that are specifically designed to make you feel more comfortable in bed while you have a baby inside your bump.
  • Have a warmer bath before bed. A nice, relaxing bath can help unwind you, and also as your body cools you will certainly start to feel a little drowsy, making sleep come naturally.
  • If you can’t sleep and find yourself tossing and turning in bed, attempting to force yourself to rest could have the other impact. You must instead awaken and walk a little, maybe doing some house jobs that do not call for way too much initiative for a few mins. This could help take your mind off things and bring an end to the circle of frustration you find yourself in when you can’t drop off to sleep.
  • Avoid those bright screens on all electronics as you’re tucking yourself into bed. These displays inhibit a key sleep inducing hormone making it harder for you to go to sleep.
  • Stay clear of carbohydrate heavy foods right before going to bed. Snacking prior to bed might seem irresistible while pregnant, yet it has to be resisted. Not only can it make rest harder, it boosts the opportunities of experiencing heartburn or heartburn throughout the evening.

There are also plenty of resources around online for dealing with pregnancy, for example parents.com and sleeping tips for pregnant women.

Woman Student In College Library

Further Education? Here are some College Considerations

Going to college is both exciting and intimidating. In addition to the formal education a good school offers, it is also a time to learn some important life skills. It’s tough to be independent and keep up with school, but that’s the beauty of college.

Go visit several potential colleges to help you decide where you want to go to college. By visiting universities, private colleges and community colleges, you can decide what environment you really want to be in. Most colleges offer several tours throughout the school year. Many also offer an opportunity to shadow a student to see what a normal day is like.

Try not to set yourself up to fail when scheduling your classes. If you are the furthest thing from an early bird, you probably shouldn’t schedule an 8am class. Take a good look at your natural tendencies and schedule your classes accordingly.

Seek out a student loan if you don’t have the funds to cover your tuition and living expenses. Take on the debt now, as college will reward you in the future.

A great skill that you should learn going into college is cooking. This is very important as it can help you to construct the types of meals that you desire and will also assist in saving money on eating out over time. Also, this skill can make you more valuable to your roommates.

Speak up often in your foreign language class. Speaking up and volunteering to write on the blackboard makes it easier for you to get a good grade. Foreign language instructors are looking at how much you improve during the term. They are not comparing you to other students. Speaking up helps your instructor evaluate you positively.

When you first apply for college, learn about the professors. It is important to develop a good relationship with the instructors if you want to do well. Talk to them all, and get to know their expectations. It will help you throughout your entire college or university experience to have them on your side.

If you recently entered college, one of the first things that you should do is purchase your books from the bookstore. This will help you to reduce the stresses that you will face as the year begins, as you should always come prepared with the right materials and texts for school.

Become a morning person. There is a lot of socializing in college, and if you are serious about your studying, that socializing can make it tough to concentrate in your dorm at night. Instead, try getting up bright and early before everyone else so that you can study in peace.

Set aside time every day to study. It is possible to find the time and even avoid distractions. Promise yourself that you will study each and every day. If you feel confident in your understanding of the subject, you should still use that time to study. Starting a habit is the best way to maintain focus.

Memorize campus security’s number. Most schools have a special number for contacting campus police or security, and knowing the way to reach them is important. Hopefully, you will never need that number, but you should have it, just in case.

Flash cards are not just a helpful tool for younger children; they can really help you with your college classes as well. In addition to them being a great visual tool for helping you to remember important information, they are also easy for you to carry around wherever you go.

It is important to remember that college is not all about studying. College is a significant step into adulthood and should be treated as such. While you should not party the night away, do not keep your nose in your books to the point that you do not get to enjoy this time of your life.

When studying for final exams, study with a partner. Making a date to study with a classmate will make it more likely for you to study hard. Furthermore, you can both motivate each other. Studying with a buddy will keep you on track and is the most effective method for achieving good grades.

Flip-flops aren’t just for politicians! Be sure to wear your flip-flops every time you use the dorm shower. They will protect you from getting athletes foot; however, don’t stop there. Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly after showering and use a medicated powder. Pay special attention to the area between your toes. Be sure to store your flip-flops in such a way that they will dry thoroughly between uses. For example, you could hang them over a hanger in your closet if there is enough room for air circulation.

Keep a notebook and a folder for each class. Even if it isn’t required, you will find that keeping each class’ work separate is easier for staying organized. Keep any returned assignments or handouts in the folder. Use the notebook for taking notes or recording your thoughts after class.

Get plenty of sleep. It may be tempting to stay up all night “cramming” for exams, but this is not a good idea. It’s been proven that students who get the proper amount of sleep do better on exams. This is because they are more alert and attentive when taking tests.

This article should give you a better idea of what to expect from college life and set you on the right path. It takes balance and hard work. Use the handy advice given and you’ll have a good time in college.

Chinese mother homeschooling her child teaching her daughter to write

Homeschooling Options Compared

When you choose to homeschool, you’re seeking a better education for your children. You want them to learn as much as they can without the negative distractions of public school. This article has all the tips, tricks and advice you need to meet your goals for their educational needs.

Know that you do not have to work on every subject everyday. Most public schools do not even have children go to each class everyday; for instance, while your child may go to science on Monday and Wednesday, they go to math on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This is the same kind of pattern you should use when homeschooling.

A strict homeschool schedule is a top priority. Each Sunday, take the time to plan the week’s lessons, excursions and meals. It is important to begin each school day with a structured plan that your child can get used to following. They will learn easier and be more productive when they know each day’s expectations.

Define an area in your home where teaching is to take place. While it may be tempting to let your child do their work anywhere, it’s important to have a defined area in the home that is dedicated to ‘school’. This area needs to be quiet, well-lit and free of all distractions.

Include art in your lessons, even when it is not time for art. Let your kids draw pictures of things they are learning, or use arts and crafts to make things. Sculpting or acting are just a few of the many ways that they can do this. When they truly have fun, they’ll learn a ton.

The curriculum you choose should not put restrictions on what your kids are learning. Use the books as tools to guide you in the direction your kids need to go in schooling. Take the information from the books and build a learning platform that your kids will do well with. If that means that you are skipping a non-critical lesson or two that is fine.

Mom helping her daughter do her homework

Understand what your local school board offers in the way of resources for homeschooling. Often you will find that your school board will reimburse you for educational supplies and field trips. Do your research and understand what is expected on your part as far as receipts, fees and the extent of reimbursement.

It is crucial when homeschooling children not to underestimate the importance of socialization. Eventually, your children will need to go out and function in and with the general public. Enrolling them in local clubs, youth programs or summer sports is an easy way to ensure that they have an opportunity to build important social skills like sharing, teamwork and leadership.

Don’t let your home school environment isolate your kids. Look for networking opportunities available in your town. Local support groups and discussion forums are important to utilize when homeschooling. The more people you have on hand, the less struggles you’ll face.

It is okay to use computers when homeschooling your children, do not completely rely on them. As you probably already know, computers are very prone to problems like viruses and freezes. Because of these problems, it is important that you continue to use textbooks and other physical materials as well.

Do not use a stuffy school-room setting to teach your children in. Use the world around them to help them learn the different subjects. Get out of the house and explore nature to teach them about insects, the stars and the way the world around them works. One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is that your children are not locked up for several hours each day listening to a boring teacher.

Before or after homeschooling, you can get your children to help around the house. Giving your child a short list of household tasks is a great way to teach them responsibility. It is also an excellent way to teach them to pick up after themselves, and it could make less housework for you.

Knowing the type of learner that your child is will help make teaching them easier. Some children learn with hands-on techniques while others learn by watching and then doing. Pay attention to how your child learns and adapts the lessons to suit their style to get the best results and the least frustration.

The great thing about homeschooling your children is that you can make it work for you and for them. Everyone learns in a different way, make the homeschooling experience as good as it can be for your children by integrating your class room for their particular learning style. They will do better and learn more.

So many parents would love to homeschool, but are too afraid to begin. With what you’ve read here, you should have enough knowledge to overcome this fear and instead move forward with bettering your child’s education. With a little bravery and drive, you’ll become a homeschooling master in no time!