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Streetwear

Voice of Insiders Streetwear

Redefining modern streetwear and conveying a new freshness to the “jungle” of fashion.

Unless you’ve been camping out in the actual jungle for the last several years, you’d have noticed that technology and fashion have started to blend together in new ways. In fact, probably almost everyone you know has a Fitbit (which started with a bracelet and has now branched into apparel) or Apple Watch (which did a collaboration with Hèrmes to create luxurious leather straps for the timepieces) or some other kind of wearable device that can measure heart rate, calories burned, and a wide array of other metrics. And the appeal of such devices is easy to see. Sure, a watch tells time, but why shouldn’t it do more for us? The Fitbit and Apple Watch do indeed, do much, much more.

But, why confine such obvious benefits to simply accessories? While a watch is a great accessory, not all of us prefer or choose to wear one. However, putting on clothes before we head out the door every day is not an option for any of us, it’s an obligation. “No shirt, no shoes, no service” still applies in most or all public spaces, so unless you happen to live in a nudist colony, you may want to keep reading.

Some brands offer clothing made from high performing textiles. These special fabrics have properties far beyond what fibers like cotton, linen, silk and wool can offer. Benefits of these textiles may range from anti-wrinkling, quick drying, antibacterial, light-up/color-changing, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, water repellant, UV protection, temperature regulating, and might offer the wearer energy return and even support the treatment of injuries. While some of these streetwear technologies are more gimmick-y or just for fun, some of them are really incredible. For example, Outlast, a technology originally developed by NASA for use in spacesuits on account of its temperature regulation properties, is now used in products like bedding, apparel, footwear, seating and beyond. Another amazing technology we discovered is called Celliant, which originally had a variety of uses for aiding performance, recovery and sleep on account of its proprietary infrared energy technology, but is now also being used in a multitude of different products, including fashion garments!

Modern streetwear

Although the number of fashion brands that have discovered the benefits of using technologies like Outlast and Celliant are still few, there’s no doubt that performance textiles being used in clothing is going to be a huge trend. One brand that’s ahead of the flow and combining fashion and function in a way we’ve never seen before is the NYC-based performance streetwear brand, Voice of Insiders. Voice of Insiders was founded in 2016 with a mission to seamlessly fuse technology and fashion and a vision to re-define modern streetwear and convey a new freshness to the “jungle” of fashion. Their simple, yet thoughtful designs are comfortable and wearable, yet elevated at the same time. We can see their Energy Zip Dress pairing equally well with sneakers for running errands during the day or with a strappy sandal for a night out, and the Energy Track Pant can take you from the basketball court to dinner, just pop on a jacket (like their Double Zipper Aviator Jacket) and you’re good to go! All pieces feature technologies like Outlast and Celliant and each one comes with a tag detailing the unique benefits of each individual piece. For example, the Transformable Down Filled Parka is a true 2-in-1 piece, with a water and wind repellant shell that zips off, showcasing a down filled jacket underneath. The piece is also breathable and packable! Voice of Insiders’ collection is the ideal capsule wardrobe for someone who wants to do a lot with a little and who believes that clothes should do more than simply look good.

You can find performance streetwear from Voice of Insiders online at www.voiceofinsiders.com and use code “INSIDERS” for 10 percent off your order. You can also check out what they’re up to on Instagram @voiceofinsiders.

Empowering Women

Empowering Women: We Need More Lady Bosses!

The term, “The clothes make the man”, is often misinterpreted. When someone enjoys what they are wearing, they feel more confident and delighted with themselves and the world is at their fingertips. This is the goal of ButtaFly Jeans & Apparel and the vision of owner and co-founder, Ehren Muhammad. Empowering women through the clothes they wear, either casual or recreational, an empowered woman can change the world, in the right pair of jeans or course.

Empowering female entrepreneurship

More than just fashion, ButtaFly Jeans & Apparel knew that by designing a platform for ambitious women to start their own empires—where they network, share what they have learned, and grow together—that we would help fill the void of female business leadership.  ButtaFly Jeans has two ways for women to become their own bosses and start making a difference—and money.

Brand Ambassador Program

  • Individuals with a strong social media presence and outgoing personality receive a promotional code to post wearing and promoting ButtaFly Jeans apparel. In exchange, they receive 10 percent commission of every sale when their code is used. Also, they get free clothes every month.

Consignment Vendor Program

  • A great way to bring in additional income for those with a full-time position or have another small business already, ButtaFly Jeans will send a small inventory of product for the vendor to sell at a retail price. The vendor and ButtaFly Jeans split the retail revenue.

These programs were created to help empower women by both developing new entrepreneurs and giving established business owners a new revenue stream. When women win in business, everyone wins. This is the stance that ButtaFly Jeans owner and co-founder, Ehren Muhammad has taken. The fact is that under-served and struggling communities see substantial improvements when the women in these areas are educated and have prominent roles in business. And nothing beats owning a business and helping their entire community.

Fashion has no type

Fashion for those with curves and those that want them; there is no one type—all figures and shapes are catered to at ButtaFly Jeans. The clothing styles at ButtaFly Jeans Apparel were crafted with the idea that all women should enjoy what they wear and feel confident about it, empowering women along the way.

From casual fashion, such as jeans, summer dresses, leggings and swimwear, ButtaFly Jeans clothing is designed for all women. No two women are alike and neither should their fashion selection be. Your fashion is as unique as you feel. The brand has fitness apparel designed for the most intense training session yet sporty and stylish for a young lady to rock when hanging out with friends. Everything from compression styles to breathable, flexible cotton blends, ButtaFly Jeans clothing is crafted with durable, quality materials for the lifestyle of a lady boss.

Making a dream a reality

Raised by a single mother on the Southside of Chicago, Ehren Muhammad saw his mother struggle to provide for both him and his older sister. But she did provide a place to live and solid upbringing without fail. Moreover, he saw her put her dreams of fashion design on the backburner in order to pay for her children to go to school. Muhammad wanted to draw and design, and that’s when presented with the opportunity he helped to establish ButtaFly Jeans. Merging fashion design with a platform to help women build their own business is his way of paying homage to his mother and empowering women worldwide.

Cannabis Smoker

Cannabis, Women and Staying High in Style

Smoking Cannabis is an everyday thing for many women, but the physical effects of cannabis leave the smoker with low red eyes. There are two ways to combat this; eye drops or shades. Sadly, eye drops don’t always work.

Blazed Shades is catered to the female cannabis smoker that wants to slay and BLAZE in cute SHADES.

Cannabis consumption risks

Smoking cannabis comes with many tell-tale signs, such as smell. Over the years, however, many stoners have found that simply consuming outdoors is an easy alternative to fighting the smell. Another tell-tale sign of cannabis consumption is the low red eyes that come with it. Many wonder why this happens or why it happens more to some, but not to all:

  • Cannabis strain. This is one of the known causes of low/red eyes. In fact, different cannabis strains cause different levels of bloodshot eyes.

THC contained in cannabis lowers blood pressure, causes the blood vessels to dilate and increases blood flow to the eyes, thereby turning them red.

  • Smoke. When exhaling the smoke travels upward and usually hits the smoker in the eyes, causing their eyes to water and burn.
  • Don’t panic! It’s just cannabis doing its medical thing!

Eye drops don’t always work

Cannabis has side-effects including red eyes which takes time to resolve. Although it is something not to panic about, many smokers would say, “Just use some eye drops then you’ll be all right.” Yes, that is, in fact, true but some specialists warn that overusing eye drops may be detrimental to your eye health. Blazed Shades is a brand that provides female cannabis smokers with shades to hide their low/red eyes, to combat this side-effect of cannabis consumption. Not only do Blazed Shades provide women with fashion-forward shades, they also offer a place to feel empowered about being a lady smoker. Who wouldn’t want to slay and blaze in cute shades!

Cannabis destigmatization

More and more people are beginning to learn about the incredible benefits of using cannabis. Destigmatization of the substance isn’t completely achieved, but great progress is being made in the American society as the number of individuals advocating for the legalization of cannabis increases every year.

A recent survey conducted by Yahoo News and Marist Poll showed that 52 percent of Americans over the age of 18 have smoked pot at some point in their lives, that most adults in the US have tried pot and 44 percent of them still use it today.

The poll also discovered that most American parents aren’t worried about their grown kids being a cannabis smoker. In fact, many of the parents surveyed claim they would have freaked out if they found out their kid(s) favored tobacco over hemp. Blazed Shades is also behind the movement of cannabis destigmatization. Using their platform to give women an open space to be comfortable with their dosage.

Cannabis in the beauty industry

With the legalization of marijuana in 10 states in the US, cannabis is getting societal acceptance and making its mark in not just the medical arena, but in such areas as the beauty and fashion industry globally.

In recent times, cannabis has become a key ingredient in the creation of some beauty products owing to its remarkable healing properties. Hemp oil is making its way into the beauty industry. It made the list of many 2018 superfood trends articles by popular news outlets. Blazed Shades is expanding to provide women with eye makeup products as well. Hemp oil is full of Omega-3s and Omega-6s with no psychoactive effect. It is lightweight, can be consumed or used as a topical agent. Being added into an eyeshadow palette is one of the many ways to add hemp oil to your beauty regime.

Safe consumption

Though there are no recorded cases of death by a THC overdose, intoxicated individuals might end up doing things that cause them much harm or even brings about their death.

There are so many methods of consuming hemp, but not every one of these methods is safe enough—especially for novice users. It is therefore recommended that inexperienced users  consume cannabis through a vaporizer.

Experienced cannabis smokers are also advised not to hold their breath for too long after taking a drag, as a study titled Breathhold Duration and Response to Marijuana Smoke, by the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, showed that doing so didn’t improve the user’s high but exposed the lungs to all forms of toxic nastiness.

Women in cannabis statistics

As destigmatization of cannabis heightens in American society, more and more women are becoming open about their use of marijuana. In fact, a greater number of women than men have admitted to using cannabis daily to cope with stress, body pain and anxiety.

A report from the Cannabis Consumers Coalition (CCC) made it clear that there are as many women using cannabis in society as there are male users. In fact, CCC’s survey in the US showed that women shockingly dominated the cannabis consumption crowd with 53 percent of women consuming cannabis versus 42 percent for men.

Staying Safe on Vacation

Bon Voyage! Staying Safe on Vacation

With nature beginning to bloom and the sun bright in the sky, summer is quickly approaching. Summer fills our minds with dreams of vacation on the crystal-clear, white beaches of Cancun, in the snow-peaked mountains of Switzerland or in the mind-blowing skyscrapers of New York. Many people have already planned vacations or are beginning to do so, but in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, many forget the most crucial ways to stay safe on vacation and traveling. For those of you lucky enough to turn those vacation dreams into reality, here are our top tips for staying safe on vacation:

Before arriving at your destination

Before heading out on that trip you’ve been planning for months, don’t forget to pack all of your important documents like passports or IDs in a waterproof container (especially if you’re headed to those crystal-clear beaches in Cancun!) or somewhere they won’t get lost or left behind.

Do some research before you book that cheaper hotel. Read the reviews online and ask around about the area where the hotel is located before making a decision.

Before leaving home for your trip, notify your bank that you will be vacationing in another state or country. Save yourself the anguish of trying to make a purchase while abroad before realizing the bank froze your debit card due to “fraud”.

Arriving at your destination

When you travel somewhere unknown, stay together with the people you are traveling with to ensure you are staying safe on vacation. Getting lost is way easier than it sounds, even with our modern GPS in hand. The number of times a phone dies exactly when you most need it is astounding.

While you may be itching to explore your holiday spot’s nightlife, remember: You’re in a strange, unfamiliar place, so think twice before hopping into whatever taxi appears first. Tourists tend to stick out to natives, making you an easy target for theft. Only use well-known transportation methods like Uber or Lyft. These companies perform background checks on their drivers, making them a safer option.

If you are traveling in your own vehicle, make sure to complete a full inspection on the car before heading to your vacation destination. There’s nothing worse than getting a flat tire 200 miles from home and realizing you don’t have a spare.

While out & about

Nothing goes better together than drinks and fun while on vacation. Remember to watch those drinks like you would with any other outing with friends. Don’t accept drinks from strangers if they’re open or if you didn’t watch them pour it.

If you’re in a sunny climate, don’t pass on the sunscreen. Those UV rays are hitting you hard even though you’re having too much fun to feel it. If, on the other hand, you traveled to those beautiful mountains in Switzerland, remember to keep Chapstick and lotion handy so your skin doesn’t dry up from the cold.

Watch out for pickpockets in big cities by keeping your phone and wallet in your front pockets. With the old habit of putting your phone in your back pocket, you may think someone is squeezing past you, but they might be taking your phone or cash.

Wherever life takes you this summer, make sure to enjoy yourself by staying safe on vacation. You want to make safe, happy memories—not an experience you’ll regret!

Further reading: 6 Surprising Travel Destinations for 2018

 

Mindful and sustainable world

Cultivating a Mindful and Sustainable World with AboveBoard

Planting seeds for a better tomorrow.

The seeds for The AboveBoard Co. began with family. When we were young, our parents provided us with awareness that our actions will drive consequences. In our micro view of the world, we knew that if we acted with good intentions, we would be rewarded with positive outcomes and vice-versa. With simple upbringings, our parents created a balanced environment of strength and flexibility. Sacrifices of material wants were met with love and compassion. We were constantly reminded to be grateful. That if we search, we will come to understand that people and experiences make us stronger, even those we do not get to experience firsthand. This grounded notion stayed with us beyond childhood and created a curious need to do better and create a mindful and sustainable world. The world was our stage. An audience of familiar and unfamiliar faces was wishing us well.

As we passed through the wonder years and entered adulthood, we found ourselves in two very different environments, serving in the military and college life. Each one brought different challenges and opportunities but a few things stayed consistent. Actions drive consequences, good intentions manifest positive outcomes and experiences along with connections make us stronger.

Diversity created awareness   

We were learning how to be citizens of the world. Having responsibility of “who we are” was real. The choices we were making had an impact on oneself, others and the environment, even if we were incognizant of the connection. Interconnectedness is a force. This was a new level of awareness. It was exciting!

Toward the end of our college years, we came across an excerpt from the Dalai Lama stating that most Buddhists are vegetarian simply to treat all sentient beings with compassion. Simple, yet powerful. Choosing vegetarian options became a lifestyle. Now, vegan options are our norm.

We feel that a vegetarian lifestyle is a compassionate one, in addition to having positive impacts on both health and environment.  With this understanding, we realized that mindful choices made us feel better.  We quietly remembered what our parents taught us about gratitude and forces that drive the world, visible or not.

Over the years, mindful choices have led us to support sustainable practices like organic farming, eliminating chemicals from health and household products, water conservation, recycling and reducing plastic waste, among other practices.

Mindful clothing surfaces

What is next? To our own surprise, clothing! The fashion industry is reported to be the second dirtiest industry in the world next to oil.  We found this to be unnecessary harm to all that is impacted. With our understanding that actions drive consequences and good intentions bring positive outcomes, we decided to take action.

Our goal is to create mindful clothing by way of sustainable practices made for everyday explorations, whether you are resting, on the go or enjoying your favorite practice. This is our way to plant seeds for a better tomorrow. We can cultivate a mindful and sustainable world with what we choose to wear.

AboveBoard is a movement

AboveBoard is the awareness that the world is our stage to do better. We can choose products that are coercion and cruelty free. We can choose products that support safe work environments and local living wages. We can choose products that reduce our environmental impact by conserving biodiversity, keeping water sources clean and waste out of landfills. We can choose products that are high-quality and AboveBoard. AboveBoard is a reminder that we are interconnected. AboveBoard is a by-product of who we are and our curious need to do better.

As our seeds continue to grow, we are reminded that sustainability is the practice of conscious and collective actions that manifest stable and harmonious outcomes. And that taking action together makes us stronger. We ask you to make mindful and sustainable choices whenever possible. Together we can make this our greatest experience yet. We wish you well.

The idea

The AboveBoard Co. began in San Diego, CA as an idea for a clothing brand to be a globally recognized voice for interconnectedness. Inspired by conscious minds and compassionate hearts, we create quality products by way of sustainable practices to encourage mindful engagement with the world.

Sand-Free Beach Towel

How This Australian Company Created the Sand-free Beach Towel

School is out, and summer is finally here! Many are headed to the beach for sure.

Time to pack the essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses and a beach towel.

Speaking of towels, there’s an amazing sand-free beach towel that’s changing the whole beach game—because yes, it truly repels sand!

How did it come about? Well, it all started with a hike a couple of years ago. Two friends, along with some buddies, trooped to Sydney’s Royal National Park for a beach outing.

It was a day well spent. But having to carry wet and heavy sand-laden beach towels dampened what would have otherwise been a perfect day. However, as the saying goes, “Everything begins with an idea”.

These college buddies—Volkan and Jacky—thought about making a towel that not only functioned better but looked terrific, too. Hence, the concept for Tesalate was born.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing at first. These young visionaries fondly recall those early days full of sleepless nights researching and designing. It was a rollercoaster ride of stressing out, crying and laughing.

Tesalate finally launched at Bondi Beach Markets 18 months after that fateful beach outing. From humble beginnings, this Australian company rapidly expanded to 70 countries.

Tesalate is making a big splash for a lot of reasons. Apart from being a sand-free beach towel, it’s also incredibly innovative. Now here’s where it gets technical.

Tesalate is made from AbsorbLite™ microfiber. That’s why sand easily slides off, instead of getting stuck in the looped fibers like regular towels.

No matter how drenched one gets from swimming all day, Tesalate is capable of absorbing as much as one liter (33 ounces) of water. Despite that, it dries up pretty fast!

The towel is so lightweight and compact, it fits into a small tote, too.

So, say goodbye to the days of going home from the beach drenched. Say goodbye to messing up your car seats with water and sand. Goodbye to packing smelly, wet, bulky beach towels. Tesalate is genuinely a heaven-send for every beach lover.

But hey, just because it’s a hardworking towel doesn’t mean it looks boring.

Tesalate sand-free beach towels are very much head turners. There are over 20 mouth-watering, vibrant designs catering to guys and gals’ distinct tastes.

Retailing at USD$59 each, the company offers free shipping worldwide and free returns.

Thousands of beach lovers have snapped up this fantastic beach essential. The sand-free beach towel has, in fact, earned thousands of positive reviews from all over the world since it’s launch.

Check out the towels exclusively at www.tesalate.com. Go ahead and indulge.

Because Tesalate, no doubt, will make beach days better.

 

Flat Water Bottle

memobottle: The Original Flat Water Bottle

The original flat water bottle designed to fit in your bag!

memobottle™ creates flat and easy-to-carry water bottles. With shapes inspired by international standards for paper size (A5, A6, A7) the memobottles are tailored to fit into bags/backpacks and for those on-the-go situations — ideal for commuters, minimalist, adventurists and bookworms.

Having grown up in a coastal town, memobottle founders Jesse Leeworthy and Jonathan Byrt saw first-hand the devastating impact single-use water bottles were having on their coastline.

They also recalled that throughout their schooling, college and working lives, they were constantly frustrated with the inability to fit round water bottles in carry/laptop bags. The duo realised that they weren’t alone with these frustrations, when they launched memobottle in 2014. The bottles struck instant fame—gaining inclusion to the Oscars gift bags, being endorsed by celebrities including Anne Hathaway, and winning multiple international design awards.

“Somewhere along the line, society became fixated on designing cylindrical shaped bottles. Bottles hadn’t changed shape in decades, yet tablets, laptops and computer bags were all flat in their design. Round bottles just didn’t fit with our modern lives. So, we decided to flip the equation,” says Jesse. And it makes sense. We carry satchels, laptop bags, and compact backpacks to school, college and work.  There is limited space for our essentials, let alone bulky water bottles.

480 billion single-use bottles were consumed globally in 2016 despite 91 percent of the world’s population having access to clean drinking water. “We have one planet; we are the first generation to feel the effects of manmade climate change and maybe the last that can do something about it,” says Jonathan. By providing a more convenient water bottle that is optimised for travel, memobottle strive to inspire a more reusable society.

In addition to their mission to reduce single-use bottles, memobottle have a charitable partnership with water.org (A US not-for-profit founded by Matt Damon), which provides two months’ of clean water to one person in need for every memobottle sold. To date, memobottle have contributed over three million days of clean water to people in need.

memobottle’s range of flat, premium, reusable drink bottles have captured the world’s attention through innovative, convenient design while carrying a strong message of the importance of a sustainable future. Sharing a similar shape to the common items in our bags, the range couples stylishly with laptops and notepads, fits neatly in hiking packs and saves space in beach bags and clutches.

With four sizes ranging in volume from six to 25 ounces, memobottle is the hydration solution this summer at the beach, the mountain, and the desert. There is a memobottle for every bag, lifestyle and occasion. Check out the memobottle range at www.memobottle.com or @memobottle.

Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet

Preventing Sexual Assault with Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time in which we promote awareness for those who have suffered from sexual assault or violence and to help prevent such acts from happening to others. Both men and women rely on a number of tools, both physical and non-physical, to combat the very real threat of sexual assault. For the college student, pepper spray is arguably one of the most useful tools one can use for protection. Let’s go over a few basics, as well as discuss one of the best picks on the market: the Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet (link: www.littleviper.com)

You can stay safe from assault by being aware of a couple important basics with regards to pepper spray: how to use it and response time.

How to use pepper spray

As a college student, do you know how to properly handle pepper spray? Many people make the mistake of holding their spray in their hand, while using their index finger to deploy it. The problem with this method is that the spray is not secure; it can easily be snatched away and used against you in an altercation. The proper way to hold it is to wrap your hand around it in a fist and deploy with your thumb. This allows you to keep the spray secure, as well as to use it as a striking tool if a person gets too close.

When threatened, extend your weak hand and make a “stop” sign. Hold your spray with your strong hand, but inward so you have more distance from the threat. Yell “get back!” when approached by an assailant and spray as necessary. Make sure to side-step and spray if the assailant decides to charge you. They will be blinded, but can still come after you while amped on adrenaline.

Response time

Being able to react to a threat in time is extremely important. If you cannot get to your pepper spray in time, then what good is it? That is why it is crucial to remain situationally aware of your surroundings at all times. Do NOT leave your pepper spray in the bottom of your purse or bag, as you will not have time to dig for it; a criminal will not give you the chance to do so.  When walking in transition from one place to another (e.g. campus, parking lots, alleyways, etc.), it is vital to keep your hand on your spray at all times. Complacency, or being lax, is the last thing you want.

Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet

Back in February 2018 we here at Stun & Run Self Defense acquired Little Viper, manufacturer of the Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet. Little Viper is “the world’s first and only fashion pepper spray self-defense bracelet”, providing personal protection at a moment’s notice.

There are reasons why the Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet is so popular:

Quick Response Time. In an altercation, seconds count.  The Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet solves the problem of poor reaction time; no more fumbling with canisters and no digging in your purse or pockets!

Concealable. The discreetness of the Little Viper is one of the best features, as it allows you to “get the jump” on your attacker. They won’t know what to expect when you dose them with pepper spray, when they think you just had a regular bracelet on.

Water/sweat-resistant. The rubber silicone design of the band provides protection against water and sweat, making this pepper spray perfect for joggers, runners and anyone else on the go.

The Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet helps protect against sexual assault on and off campus. It is your personal chaperone, giving you protection at a moment’s notice. Personal safety has never gotten easier!

You can get the Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet at www.stunrun.com. If you purchase at www.stunrun.com, you get our in-depth Pepper Spray 101: How to Protect Yourself at a Distance course FREE with purchase. Use promo code “LVIPER” to get 15 percent off your order. All sites offer free shipping for this product.

Studying Abroad

10 Things You Should Know Before Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be one of the most eye opening and life changing events in a student’s career. It’s exciting and filled with new experiences, which can also be a bit daunting. Here’s the top things you should know before studying abroad, and how to prepare for your trip.

1. Take responsibility for the safety of your belongings and have a backup plan.

Studying abroad may be the first time you’re really traveling solo for a long period of time. This means that you don’t have the safety net of your parents there to take care of big things like lost or stolen luggage. Have all your bags clearly marked with your name and email address, and store important names, phone numbers and copies of your passport in secure cloud storage.

Research what common crimes there may be in the area, such as pickpocketing techniques and purse theft so that you can be more aware, and invest in practical bags like this Anti-theft Waterproof Travel bag from Arden Cove. With features like slash resistance, locking zippers, RFID-blocking material and waterproof materials, you will be protected from purse slashers, thieves using scanners, pickpockets and unpredictable weather!

 2. Research the country you are traveling to.

Everyone has stereotypical ideas of people in other countries, but they’re often not true. Be more open and sensitive by learning about the culture and customs before you land. What is the common etiquette of people who live there? How do they act in public? How do they dress? By learning these things and practicing their customs, you have the chance to gain another perspective by looking through their eyes. Also check out travel.state.gov to see the “Safety and Security” advice for the country you are going to. Whatever happens, Arden Cove Travel bags can help keep things organized and secure.

3. Learn a few key phrases before you leave.

Knowing some phrases will come in handy if you meet someone who doesn’t speak English, and almost everyone will appreciate the fact that you took the time and effort to learn their language as a guest to their country. If you have the time to, taking a language class before and during your time abroad will really help you become conversational. If you’re serious about improving your language skills you’ll have to put in a lot of time studying and practicing, so don’t be shy!

4. Pack light.

You might be tempted to pack everything you might ever possibly need for the duration of your study abroad, but the truth is you will probably never actually need most things. Prioritize items that will realistically need and a few emergency items like a basic first aid kit. You’ll be thankful when you’re not trying to roll two luggage bags and a duffle bag though a packed train station. The Arden Cove crossbodies are also great to keep all your essentials like credit cards and cash handy and safe.

5. Have a budget in mind.

Learn the local currency and the conversion rate to US dollars so that you don’t spend blindly and blow through your budget. Make sure your credit card doesn’t come with any crazy international fees and call your bank ahead of time so that they won’t flag it as suspicious international transactions. While you don’t want to carry a ton of cash around with you, make sure you have enough to get through the day and lock up the rest somewhere safe.

6. Use your student card to get discounts on things like transportation, accommodations, and entertainment.

Every time you have to pay for tickets for a museum or show, it doesn’t hurt to ask if there’s a student discount. This will help you stretch your budget so you can travel and do more! Arden Cove purses have built-in wallets so save a card slot for your student ID.

7. Prepare to be a bit uncomfortable.

You can pack an eye mask, ear plugs, and an inflatable pillow to save yourself some restless nights. But you’ll never know what will happen when you walk into the dorm, stay at a hostel, or nap at the airport.

8. Challenge yourself to try new things.

You’ll be introduced to a ton of new foods and ways of living, so be open and receptive to trying new things. Even if a dish’s ingredients sound strange or unsavory, you’ll never know until you try, and it might even grow on you. Enjoy these moments of surprise when studying abroad and wonder as they may be some of the highlights of your journey!

9. There are always going to be tons of things you want to explore right outside your door, but you do actually have to study and do your classwork.

Some programs may be easier than others, but remember that the whole reason you decided to study abroad is to take classes at a foreign institution. At the same time, you should take advantage of your surroundings and not just stay cooped in your room cramming for tests. Find a balance between doing your school work and going out to learn about this new place you are in.

10. You’ll probably get lost a lot when studying abroad, and that’s OK.

From bad GPS signals to misunderstood directions, you’ll probably wander in the wrong direction more than once. Don’t panic and take your time to figure it out, even if you need to ask for help from a stranger. Perhaps it’ll be how you’ll stumble upon your favorite place in the whole city. Remember that despite even if you had a bad day, you got lost, or made a mistake, you’ll learn that you can figure it out.

 In the end, your study abroad trip will be whatever you decide to make of it. It’s up to you to decide what you want to experience, and to design the trip in a way that’s most meaningful to you. Have fun and enjoy! It’s your chance to step outside your comfort zone and live your own adventure.

To have more piece of mind, pick up an Anti-theft Waterproof bag, which will protect your belongings from purse snatching and slashing, pickpockets, electronic theft, and sudden downpours. Shop ArdenCove.com to purchase your travel bag today.

Marc Skid Organic Underwear

Make your Marc on the World with Marc Skid Organic Underwear

Premium, eco-friendly underwear brand donates $4 of each purchase to Charity Navigator Four Star charities.

With Marc Skid eco-friendly underwear, you can better the world one pair of undies at a time. It’s all about everyday people helping everyday people, because anyone can make a difference—just by wearing undies.

OK, OK—but who is this Marc Skid guy?

Marc Skid is not a real person but an idea thought up by two buddies tossing around ideas while kicking back beers. The creator of Marc Skid organic underwear, Dan Barry, noticed a pair of high-end men’s underwear on his buddy’s coffee table. “We just got talking about underwear,” Barry recalls.

The pair noticed and chuckled that the packaging of the undergarment was so serious—a man with a six-pack and a “Zoolander-Blue Steel” look on his face. Barry remembers thinking, “That’s all you have to bring to the table to sell underwear?” It was that thought that inspired the eventual ethos of the brand. All brands, not just underwear, should have the same qualities as the people we’re drawn to in life: The ability to laugh at oneself, a strong character and a purposeful existence.

The humor of Marc Skid organic underwear can be found in its cheeky name. Barry laughs that another connection made that night was a common childhood experience between the two friends. “Both of our mothers were insanely concerned about the status of our underwear prior to a pediatrician visit,” Barry recalls. So Barry channeled their mothers’ fears into a fictional fashionista that sells underwear. On a more serious note, Barry draws inspiration for Marc Skid organic underwear from his mission work. “During my mission work, what I remember most is the laughter, it was everywhere,” says Barry. As Mark Twain said, “The human race has only one really effective weapon, and this is laughter.” If just one time the wearer, going through their morning routine, looks in the mirror and is reminded of the gift of laughter, then the true meaning or purpose of Marc Skid’s little play-on words has been achieved.

The character of the brand can be found in how Marc Skid organic underwear is made. Barry traveled to Peru to source the world’s finest cotton, organic Pima. Only approximately .0005 percent of the entire world’s cotton in a given year is organic Pima. Marc Skid also paired up with REPREVE® to use recycled polyester made from recycled water bottles—incorporating one bottle in each waistband. This isn’t magic: Water bottles are made of polyester so we upcycle them into waistbands. Although expensive, this is the right thing to do because of the world plastic issue. 85 percent of plastic waste, which can take 1,000 years to decompose, goes to landfills.

“Make your Marc on the World” is not only the brand’s call to action, but also its purpose. Barry says, “We believe there are people out there who share our passion for changing the world—one pair of undies at a time.” Marc Skid’s commitment to every customer is to facilitate their desire to help cure those who are ill, Feed those who are hungry and save our beautiful world. In addition, Marc Skid wanted to give each person a choice. After deciding whether to help cure, feed or save, you then direct which of the nine four-star charities you want to receive your $4 donation ($4 is donated per pair). “We have a deal for three pairs, which equates to a $12 donation because we hate to see you leave a cause out,” Barry says with a laugh.

“The one thing that wasn’t mentioned is that conversation with my buddy happened over 25 years ago,” Barry states. “I had a 25-year corporate career that came to an end in 2015. It was then, inspired by the many giving people I’ve had in my life and somewhat challenged to do more by their example, I knew what I needed to do next.

“So, hold on to your ideas and dreams and when the time is right, go for it. We’re a six-month-old company and I’m driven by the opportunity to Make our Marc on the World together. If one pair of undies and that $4 donation can feed a child for twelve days, plant four trees or vaccinate two children, imagine if we sold a million or even ten million pairs.”

Barry laughs, “I was never good at math, so you can figure it out.”

(Partnered charities include, Action Against Hunger, Amazon Conservation Association, Carbon Fund, Catholic Medical Mission Board, Concern Foundation, feedONE, Project C.U.R.E., The Hunger Project and Water.org. 4-star rated by Charity Navigator).