10 Tips for styling your bedroom like a pro

If Marie Kondo wasn’t enough to get your bedroom into tip-top shape, we’re here to help. After all the cleaning and organization (we DON’T love a mess), your bedroom was probably immaculate but left feeling a little… simple? After perusing Pinterest for bedroom inspiration, you probably have some clue of what your style might be, but what do you actually need to know to style your bedroom to Pinterest-worthy recognition? Here, we’ll tell you.

Size up your duvet

Photo by

Go a size up for duvets/comforters to get that draped-over-the-bed look. It’s not that your bed won’t look good without, but if you have a bed frame you don’t love, have storage under the bed, or just like the draped-over look, sizing up is a neat little trick to achieve this! Going a size bigger for your duvet will also give you more coverage–especially if your partner likes to steal the blanket at night.

Keep a low profile

Photo by Architectural Digest

Low profile furniture makes your ceilings feel higher and more spacious. A low profile platform bed is the perfect way to make your bedroom feel more zen too–who doesn’t want that in their bedroom? You’ll want your nightstands and anything adjacent to the bed to be low-profile too so there isn’t a huge clash.

Artwork, meet bedroom.

Photo via

Everyone’s style is different, but artwork–no matter what your taste preference is–speaks volumes on your style without needing a whole lot of decor. Opt for something contemporary, a watercolor painting, or even a tapestry to completely change the personality of the room. Here, minimalist meets the world with ancient-era wall art and figurines.

Rug Placement

Photo via

A rug can convey a lot of different things in a room from being a piece of artwork in itself or making the space feel cozy, depending on the design or pile height. Size matters too–you’ll traditionally see a rectangular mattress under the bottom half of the bed. It’s also fun to play with rug layering too to combine textures. Pictured here, a new age diagonal rug placement draws the eyes down and makes a statement without a lot of effort!


Photo by

Symmetry in a bedroom can make a room look more put-together. This includes having two or more pillows on the bed, two sconces on either side and even two nightstands. This will also provide balance, which is important in making a bedroom feel less cluttered. It doesn’t mean that everything should be exactly symmetrical, of course; intentional decor and “un-done” bedding can bring it back to life and make it look less stiff.

Lighting is everything

Photo via

Seriously, don’t skip the lighting elements, which aren’t just for lighting the area. Pendant lights, sconces, lamps, and desk lamps can make a huge statement aesthetically in a bedroom too. Coordinate the fixtures for these to make to a bedroom look complete. Pictured, these brass fixtures pull the bedroom look together, and they make a massive statement against the black ship panel wall.

Color Palette

Photo by Matri via Nordic Design

Stick to a color palette. Depending on what your style is, a good way to ensure a bedroom look that will stand the test of time is a palette that is versatile, i.e. neutral. We’re not saying you can only stick to black and white, but having a few key colors to stick to are important for keeping the overall look balanced.

Textures = unboring

Photo via Tumblr

Play around with textures! Nothing makes a room look flatter then a lack of texture. Breathe some life and interest into your space by using wire grids on the wall, a chunky knit throw, or even layered rugs! In this styling, we see playfulness with textures like velvet, knits, and even a stripe pattern.

Indoor Plants

Photo via

Are you tired of hearing about indoor plants yet? We aren’t. Indoor plants liven up any room, and some offer benefits like air purification (since we got water purification covered with the LARQ Bottle). They’re also super easy to take care of. If you don’t want to do a real plant, you can even opt for art prints you can find on Etsy that will give a similar effect without a smidge of responsibility.

Mirror Mirror

Photo by West Elm

Did you know that restaurants use mirrors to make the space feel bigger? You can use the same idea with your bedroom. Although some feng shui experts would advise not to face a mirror towards your bed, mirrors do make your room appear slightly larger and add texture as well as function. And you can face them towards something else, like your door (good feng shui)!


How to overcome travel anxiety

If you’re struggling with travel anxiety, know that you’re not alone! In fact, it’s totally normal and you’re probably better off than people who aren’t stressed at all. If the type of anxiety you are dealing with is related to running late, forgetting things, navigating foreign countries, not knowing the right language, or even aerophobia (fear of flying), you might want to try these simple hacks that will help you overcome them.

What to do if you’re worried about being late for your flight:

  • Estimate your time of arrival days before your trip. Google Maps is pretty accurate when it comes to estimating the time it takes you to get from one destination to another. Select the date and time you are planning to arrive at the airport and it’ll give you an estimated time it would take to get there. To be extra careful you can even add 10-15 minutes to the longest duration.
  • Make a list – and check it twice or thrice. A packing list is absolutely essential when it comes to reducing anxiety, saving time, and remembering to bring everything you need. Organize the list by clothing, toiletries, electronics and chargers, documents and in-flight essentials. It’ll help you split up the packing process too.
  • Start packing days in advance in smaller increments. By packing earlier and gradually over a few days before your trip, you reduce your anxiety on the day you travel and are less likely to feel frazzled or forget something.
  • Set alarms. Use that alarm setting in your phone to set benchmarks for getting ready before you leave. Set alarms for waking up (of course), when you should be done getting showered and dressed, when you should be finished packing any last minute things, when you have 30 minutes left to leave the house, 20-min, 10-min–you get it. The trick here is to set alarms where you normally would lose track of time. This will give you peace of mind so you don’t have to constantly check the clock until the alarm rings. Just don’t forget to change the alarm tone to something that isn’t so…well, alarming.

What to do if you’re having anxiety about forgetting something:

  • Here’s where that packing list comes in handy again. We’d recommend keeping a digital copy of your packing list on the notepad of your phone (if that’s something you always have on you), or even a paper copy that you can stick on your suitcase until it’s time to leave. You can check each item off with an emoji once it’s packed so it’s easy to see at a glance what’s left. Hold onto it until you’re back home from your trip. It’s also helpful to have with you packing for the trip home–just use a different emoji to check things off this time around.
  • Ever do the wallet, keys, phone pat-down? We all have, but when you’re traveling sometimes you have a little more to remember. Use pouches or packing cubes to make finding things easier, and therefore easier to remember. If you’re putting everything back in its place immediately after using it, you’ll only need to remember the pouches and not each individual item. Organization is your friend!
  • Put everything back exactly where you had it and you’ll never really lose anything. I can’t make any guarantees against theft, but this way you’ll know exactly where everything is. When you use a lip balm and then toss it onto the bed in your hotel room, you’re probably not going to see it ever again. Things roll, drop, and slide into crevices–make sure you’re not a victim to this!
  • Have an area dedicated for your belongings–just ONE. For some, it can be the bench at the foot of your hotel bed or even the dresser. Just remember to try to keep all your things in the same vicinity to avoid things getting left behind or lost. If you use the dresser but still keep stuff in your suitcase, keep the suitcase close to the dresser. Having all your belongings strewn all over the room makes it a whole lot harder to find anything.

How to cope with a fear of flying:

  • Noise-canceling headphones are amazing if the noises and sounds of the airplane make you anxious, plus some good music. Drown the noise out, turn up the volume if you need to, and try to focus on something like a book or a movie.
  • Meditation is a great way to help you clear your mind of negative thoughts you may be having when a plane is taking off or having a bit of turbulence. You can utilize apps now to practice meditating so that by the time you have a flight, you’ll know exactly how to calm your nerves.
  • Ditch the coffee, tea or alcohol and drink water instead. Caffeine will make your heart rate increase which will amplify your anxiety. Opt for water instead, which is better anyway since proper hydration helps prevent jet lag. In fact, you should be drinking 6-8oz of water per hour of flight to deter jet lag symptoms. Don’t forget to take your LARQ Bottle with you so you have water on you at all times. Fill it up at the airport after passing TSA and press the button to allow the UV-C LED to purify your water from any bacteria and viruses. You don’t want to get sick right before a trip!
  • Positive affirmations will go a long way. Before your flight, think about everything that you may experience, what your triggers are, and plan rational responses to these triggers. If you’re afraid of turbulence because it might signal that the plane is going to go down, it may be helpful to look up statistics of the likelihood of this and remind yourself during the flight. Turbulence is actually really common and is caused by air masses above mountains, jet streams, and storms!
  • Choose a seat closer to the front of the plane. The seats in the back experience stronger effects of turbulence than the front. No matter where you’re seated, tell your flight attendant that you have anxiety or a fear of flying and oftentimes they will come by to check on you to make sure you’re okay.
  • Having someone with you is another great way to combat aerophobia. An experienced flyer will naturally be more relaxed, so those relaxed feelings may help you feel more at ease. It may sound cheesy, but having someone hold your hand or reaffirm to you that everything that is happening in the plane is normal and fine will help you overcome your anxiety and make the journey more enjoyable.

What to do if you’re anxious about navigating a foreign destination:

  • Download a map on your phone as an image or on Google Maps. Even if you don’t have cellular data service abroad–or worried about spotty service at inconvenient times–you’ll be able to access these and can reference them when you are asking for directions from locals. You can even mark important places on the map like your hotel, the airport, and other destinations you will be visiting.
  • Research, research, research. Look into the main modes of transportation (Uber and Lyft aren’t available in every country)–sometimes the easiest ways to travel within a city is by public transportation by way of subway systems, buses, or trains. There’s an abundance of resources you can find that will explain how these transportation systems work so you can feel a little more at ease when it comes time to put that knowledge to use.
  • Learn a few key phrases in the language. Articles, Google Translate, Youtube videos–all are great places to quickly learn a new phrase in a different language and basics to get you by. And hey, if you’ve got a few months before your trip you can even hop on Duolingo to learn more! Jot them down in your phone so you have them written down or can even show them to locals to get by.

If you want to travel, don’t let anxiety prevent you from doing so! Be empowered to overcome your anxiety and take things one step at a time.


Founder Spotlight: Sustainable Living with Lindsay McCormick

Here’s something you use every day–toothpaste (hopefully twice a day). And it’s been slowly poisoning the planet for decades. Well, to be clear, we mean the tube that the toothpaste comes in.

Toothpaste tubes are made primarily of plastic #4 or some type of aluminum-plastic composite, which only certain waste facilities will process for recycling, which means much of it ends up in the landfill. And let’s be real, most of us are pretty diligent about recycling when it comes to the office or even in the kitchen, but when it comes to the bathroom, just about all of that goes down the drain (pun intended). So what’s the solution here?

For #PlasticFreeJuly, we’re excited to share with you an interview we had with Lindsay McCormick, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits. She’s killing the sustainability game with her groundbreaking toothpaste product that is all-natural and zero waste.

Bite Toothpaste Bits are little pellets–they’re called Bits–of all-natural toothpaste that only require a wet toothbrush (and a good ol’ bite) to activate–hence the name. They’re packaged in refillable and recyclable glass jars and shipped 100% plastic-free. They use 100% recyclable mailers made from recycled newspapers and sealed with paper tape. They’ve pulled all the stops when it comes to nixing plastic completely.

Image Courtesy of Bite Toothpaste Bits

Lindsay founded Bite in August 2017 with the desire to keep plastic toothpaste tubes out of landfills and harsh chemicals out of our bodies.

“I was traveling all the time for my job as a TV Producer when I realized how much waste I was creating just by brushing my teeth. After looking into alternatives, I discovered all the questionable ingredients that were in toothpaste and that there were not only travel-friendly, plastic-free alternatives so I decided to make my own.” – Lindsay, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits.

Elaine: What was the process like creating a sustainable toothpaste brand and product? What kind of challenges did you face?

Lindsay: I started Bite as an advocate for sustainability— I was not trying to start a company rather I was trying to create a change. Bite is relentless in our pursuit of being the most sustainable oral care company on the market. We’re listening to our community, hearing their wants and needs and then finding ways we can make that happen.

Toothpaste is something people have used twice a day, every day for their whole lives so asking people to change a habit that is so embedded in them was no easy feat. Luckily, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their daily habits and the environmental impact they might have and are willing to take a chance on a new product like Bite.

E: How do you use the toothpaste bits?

L: Brushing with Bite is as easy as Bite, Brush, Smile, Repeat. All you do is bite down on a Bit and start to brush with a wet toothbrush and it will start to foam up like magic!

E: When did your passion for sustainability start?

L: For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with all things sustainability and the environment. As a kid, instead of asking for presents I would always ask my parents to “adopt” a specific animal in my name. They would then send a check in my name to the World Wildlife Fund and weeks later I would get a photo along with information on the animal I “adopted.” From Orca Whales to Ocelots I basically adopted every single animal I could. I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on the world.

E: What do you think is the most challenging part of living a sustainable lifestyle?

L: It’s unfortunate that most unsustainable activities are incredibly convenient. As a society, we have placed convenience over sustainability in every way. Whether its remembering to bring your own bag or reusable cup, you’re going to have to make more conscious choices about your daily activities. The good news is that after you’ve been doing it a while it no longer feels inconvenient it just feels normal!

E: What are some changes you’ve made towards a more sustainable lifestyle at home? At the office?

L: Since our home also functions as our office I made it my priority to make it more sustainable. I’ve looked at the things that I do every day and made sustainable swaps for them. Whether it’s swapping out a plastic tube of toothpaste or swapping out regular toilet paper for bamboo toilet paper. Although those may seem like small changes— those small changes really add up. Mason jars for all leftovers and reusable food wraps made of cotton instead of saran wrap.

E: What are some products you stopped purchasing because of their environmental impact? What are some alternatives?

L: I’ve stopped buying drinks in plastic containers. Whether that’s bottled water, juices or sports drink— If I can’t fill it in my own cup or buy it in my own bottle I’m just not going to buy it. In our office and in my house we’re tree-free. We use cloth napkins and dishtowels. Even our toilet paper is made out of sustainable bamboo. In my skincare routine, sunscreen has always been a must for me. I used to be a surf and snowboard instructor and was always slathered in sunscreen. One of the switches I made recently is switching to a mineral-based, natural sunscreen called Nani La that comes in an aluminum container with minimal plastic.

I switched to a mineral-based sunscreen because the chemical UV filters in many sunscreens are bleaching the coral reefs and damaging the ocean.

E: What are your favorite products that help you live a more sustainable lifestyle?

L: Well…. I can’t not say Bite. I love starting off my morning and ending my night doing something I feel good about. Also, I recently bought one of those cute, insta-worthy zero-waste net bags which has quickly become one of my most used purchases. I cram three canvas bags worth of groceries into my net bag. All of the cups in our home and office are mason jars because not only can you use them to drink out of on a daily basis but also as leftover containers.

E: What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable?

L: Real talk… take out. I always opt out of cutlery and napkins for to-go orders and I love supporting restaurants that use paper bags instead of plastic and paper boxes instead of plastic boxes. I still feel guilty when I do this because it is way more eco-friendly for me to be cooking my own meals. I try to opt for restaurants that use more sustainable packaging (I’m vegan so typically these go hand-in-hand anyway), but I still feel a little bit of guilt when the Postmates rolls up with a paper bag and excess amount of packaging.

E: What are some parting words you’d like to leave for our readers?

L: Every person and every brand for that matter has the ability to shape and influence the way people think, see and act every day. Whether it’s mindlessly tossing out an empty plastic toothpaste tube or glossing over the ingredients list, our daily habits can and will shape the future of our planet. Although you are one person, we are all one person and that’s a lot of people so you are going to have an impact on the world whether you realize it or not. We want to inspire people to make it a good one.

Something as simple as toothpaste tubes is something many of us never even think twice about, but people like Lindsay who are practicing mindfulness and bringing awareness to issues like plastic consumption in toothpaste packaging are driving the mission of saving this planet forward. It makes you wonder: what else do you use every single day that uses plastic? Can you find an alternative?


9 Essentials to build your own home gym

​Every fitness journey is different and the most impactful thing you can do is to find a workout routine that works for you so you’ll stick with it.

Easier said than done, right?

Working out at home makes training accessible which is why a lot of people opt to invest in their own equipment. It can even be more cost-effective than getting a gym membership you’ll never use. There are great ways to get a good sweat in without having to go to a commercial gym.

First, always start off with a plan, whether that’s a list of sets & reps to complete for each of your workouts, or the type of workout you’ll be doing for a certain duration. If you go in with no game plan, chances are your workout won’t be as productive and will deter you from trying it again. Establish goals for yourself–whether that is to lose weight or gain muscle mass and do your research on the types of muscle groups you want to work on, follow some fitness Youtubers, or download fitness apps that can help guide you if you’re stuck.

Setting up your own at-home gym and don’t know where to start? Here are some home gym essentials that will motivate you to continue working out in the comfort of your own home.

Exercise Mat

If you’re exercising indoors, you might want to protect your flooring from weights and jumping with an exercise mat or yoga mat. Choose something with more or less cushioning depending on what you’ll be using it for; thicker mats are great for floor exercises on harder surfaces, and thinner ones where you need less cushion but still need a clean designated area to do your workouts.

For exercising in a garage or outdoors, extra-thick interlocking exercise mats are perfect to fit your space. Let’s say you drop your dumbbells–you won’t chip them on your floor. It acts as a space for yoga and strength training alike and it’s a little easier on the knees if you’re doing jump squats or HIIT.

Buy it hereProSource Interlocking Protective Cushioned Exercise Mat


If you’re planning to do some strength training to build muscle and tone, dumbbells will be a staple in your new at-home gym. You can use them for isolated workouts (bicep curls, shoulder raises, etc.) or compound movements (weighted walking lunges or weighted squats). Go with a weight you’re comfortable with–they shouldn’t be too light for you and should tense up your muscles after 1-2 sets of reps.

Depending on your fitness goals and types of workouts you may want to do lighter or heavier weights. For example, if you’re looking to combine yoga movements with high intensity, opt for 5lb or 8lb weights, or if you’re looking to gain more muscle mass, go with an adjustable dumbbell set so you can increase weight as you get stronger.

Buy it hereCAP Dumbbells

Bench (incline or flat)

A bench (or a really stable chair) can be helpful for tricep dips, step-ups, leg lifts and a whole lot of other workouts. The benefit of a fitness bench is that it’s built for working out and will be more stable than your most stable chair–which tend to be more weighted on one side.

Buy it hereMarcy Utility Training Flat Bench

LARQ Bottle

The LARQ self-cleaning water bottle is an essential for staying healthy and hydrated. You never want to be without a water bottle, especially without the LARQ water bottle, because it self-cleans to keep your bottle and water bacteria and odor-free. Powerful UV-C LED light breaks down the DNA of bacteria and viruses to make your water safe to drink and keeps your bottle from smelling–that’s why you never need to wash it! That means less time prepping for the gym and more time actually working out.

Buy it hereLARQ BottleLimited Edition LARQ Bottle Sleeve


Add a bit of cardio to your at-home workout routine with a kettlebell! You’ve probably seen people swing these around–the swinging motion builds a bit of resistance as you’re doing each move so you’re working out in a different way than you would with dumbbells.

Buy it hereCAP Fitness Kettlebell

Resistance bands

Resistance bands are super versatile for adding resistance to bodyweight exercises to help tone and strengthen your body. Intensify your squats, target your biceps, to strengthen and tone your back muscles and even for pilates movements.

Buy it here:

Jump rope

A great way to get your cardio in is jump roping. You always want to do a warm-up before jumping into your workout to get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles. A light jump rope is ideal for speed to get your heart rate up–boxers and MMA fighters use these to maximize cardio sessions.

Buy it hereSurvival Cross Jump Rope

Medicine ball

This soft weighted medicine ball is used to add weight to exercises like sit-ups or side lunges to increase intensity. They’re a little easier to grip for certain workouts opposed to dumbbells or kettlebells–you’ll find weighted Russian twists easier with these too! You can also incorporate workouts like a squat-press-throw, v-ups, and rolling push-ups to your workouts with ease.

Buy it hereA2ZCARE Toning Weighted Medicine ball

Fitness apps

If you’re planning on working out at home and need some direction, there are some great fitness apps out there that can help guide you! Nike Training Club or NTC is one of our favorites because it’s free, has a ton of variety in terms of workouts that you could do, has video tutorials in the workouts so there won’t be too much downtime in-between moves, and sets the interval times for you so all you need to do is listen for the next move.

The gym equipment you may need will be different depending on the type of workouts you’ll be doing so plan accordingly! We think these are great basics to get you started on the right foot–or should we say… sneaker?


How to organize a beach clean-up

It’s no secret that plastic is basically the enemy of all species–especially to the ocean–and here’s one way to help: a beach clean-up. Plastic has an effect on everyone, it’s found in 62% of all seabirds, 100% of all turtles, and guess what? It’s in the fish we eat too, so chances are we’ve ingested quite a bit of plastic over the years. 


A beach clean-up is not only a great way to clean your local beach or waterway to prevent more plastic and other waste from entering the ocean, but it’s also a way to get others involved and to spread awareness about the effects of single-use plastic consumption on our planet, a way to educate others about proper recycling techniques, and to encourage everyone to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic. Here’s how you can do all that:

Choose a location

Whether it’s a beach, lake, or river, cleaning up litter around waterways prevents more of it from ending up in the ocean–so you don’t have to be in a coastal city to do your part. The location can be anywhere you frequent or a popular destination among the locals. Your community will thank you for it–and so will marine life! 

Promote on social media 

Keep your event organized by creating an event page on Facebook. You can set the page to “Public” and invite your friends and family to share your event with their friends, friends of friends, and the sharing continues!


  • When should I start promoting my event? Do this a month or two in advance to ensure that people can make time for it in their calendars, but not too much earlier where people forget about it! The key to a great turn out is how much buzz you can create. 


  • How do I write the description? Make sure the description of the event gets people excited to join your event. State why you decided to do a beach clean-up and how it benefits our Earth. Educate your fellow humans on the environmental and social impact this clean-up will have and how it will benefit us all. Also, include details on the event page for what to bring, what supplies people can donate, and anything else people might find helpful! You can take this opportunity to drop some stats too so that people know what the issue is and how this particular clean-up will help!


  • How do I promote my event? Invite friends and family to participate, spread the word, or donate money to the event. Sometimes people have prior engagements and can’t make it to the event, or don’t have the capacity to make it out to the location, but people are more willing to help than you may think! Encourage people to (at the very least) share the event so that it reaches people who can show up and are happy to help the clean-up! You can also offer an option for people to donate supplies for the clean-up, hauling services, or even donate money to purchase supplies and to cover other expenses the clean-up might entail. 


  • What other ways are there to promote my event? In addition to Facebook, promote your event on any and all other channels as well! Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Twitch–anywhere. A unique hashtag for the event will also help you generate buzz and help build recognition between channels. Have a graphic design friend or have some design skills yourself? Create some awesome graphics to help spread the word. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Videos? Even better. 


Practice proper waste disposal

Have designated bags for trash, glass, plastic, cans, scrap metals, etc. (educate participants on what goes where!). It might be helpful to distribute a digital cheat sheet of the types of waste people might find, where they go and where to put them. You might even want to have someone who knows the waste disposal system pretty well to help others figure out where to put their items. This will help minimize any incorrect disposals that may jam up the recycling process and cause problems for the waste management facility. 


Recyclables, liquids, compost, hazardous materials, scrap metal, and landfill waste must be organized into separate bins. Plan ahead so you have a good system in place that won’t get confusing over time. 


We can’t stress the importance of proper waste disposal enough! This is the perfect opportunity to educate people on how to recycle properly since this applies to how they recycle at home as well. What your local waste management company is able to take varies by location so be sure to check with them before you hold your event. 

Helpful contacts

If this is your first time putting together an event, remember–you’re not alone! Leverage your friends and family who are as passionate about this cause as you are and seek out help from others! Here are some helpful groups of people to reach out to that can provide some guidance and support for your beach clean-up:


Connect with local park rangers

For any medium-sized or large event, it’s always a good idea to make sure that law enforcement gets a heads-up. There might be supplies you were thinking about bringing that isn’t allowed. Local park rangers are the perfect people to ask questions about where to park, how to get there, the best routes to use for efficiently disposing of waste, whether or not there are dumpsters nearby or if you’d have to use a hauling service to take the collected waste to a nearby waste management facility. 


Connect with local waste management facility

It’s very important to educate your volunteers about proper recycling procedure and what goes where. Did you know that plastic toothbrushes are not recyclable? It’s because they have nylon bristles attached to them. The goal here is to be able to minimize the number of items that go into the landfill by filtering out recyclables and delivering them to the proper recycling facilities. However, some things do have to go to the landfill, and your local waste management facility will be able to tell you what goes where. 


Contact municipality

It does take a bit of leg work, coordinating, and money to haul litter away and the waste management facility does charge for its services as well. Sometimes, the city will want to step in to provide some help taking care of these types of expenses and provide hauling services as a courtesy for the cleanup. Compose a professional email detailing your event and what your goals are, how it will benefit the community, and how big of a turnout you expect. It might also be helpful to provide some images of the location you are planning to hold the clean-up. Don’t forget to provide your own contact information and the event page so city employees have a lot of information to base their decision on! 


Monetary donations

If you’re doing this right, you might have some monetary donations coming your way. Now, you don’t want to just have people Venmo or Paypal you because that might get a little messy. Instead, set up a fundraising option on Facebook, GoFundme, or another fundraising site to keep the total amount separate from your personal banking account. It’s also good practice to keep things transparent for your supporters by doing so. 


What to do with that money? 

For starters, you should check to see if you have enough supplies–if not, you could use the money to buy some for the clean-up (and plan to use them again for future clean-ups). If you were able to get enough supplies donated, you could use the money to cover the costs of hauling services or the fees for waste management and recycling facilities if applicable. If these are all covered (woohoo!), it might be nice to treat volunteers to some food (for example, from a local sandwich shop), or donate the money to the Ocean Conservancy or other environmental nonprofits focused on cleaning up our oceans!

Supplies you might need

  • Water for the volunteers – this is a must. people are taking time out of their days to help clean the area, and it’s important to make sure everyone stays hydrated. Encourage your volunteers to bring their own reusable water bottle to reduce single-use plastic waste from plastic water bottles. Although it is more convenient, we don’t want more trash on top of the trash we’re picking up, right? Remind your participants a few days before the event to bring their reusable water bottles. Provide large containers of water where participants can fill up and compostable cups for those who don’t have reusable bottles. 
  • First aid kit – always have one of these on hand for minor injuries like cuts or scrapes. 
  • Try to use burlap (reusable), buckets, wagons or paper bags to collect the trash rather than plastic garbage bags to reduce plastic waste. 
  • Trash grabbers – Trash grabbers will help reduce fatigue from bending over and picking up trash. These can also be a little safer than grabbing something with your hands.  
  • Thick gloves – If you don’t have trash grabbers, the next best thing is a pair of thick gloves to prevent cuts from broken glass and other potentially harmful litter. 
  • Metal sifter or sieve – You can do a little DIY project or ask if anyone has this, but a metal sifter or sieve is perfect for finding smaller things in the sand or dirt that you might otherwise miss. 


Safety Tips 

  • Try to find a volunteer who knows basic first aid or has medical experience in case of an emergency. 
  • To dispose of hazardous materials like broken glass or syringes, use wide mouth containers such as empty laundry detergent containers that are clearly marked as hazardous.
  • Make sure all participants are wearing close-toed shoes to prevent injury. 
  • Use the sign-in sheet as a way to do a headcount at the beginning and end of the event to make sure no one has gone missing, especially if there will be children in attendance. 
  • Remind volunteers to wear and bring reef-safe sunscreen (no matter if its sunny or cloudy outside); depending on the climate, you might want to advise participants to bring eco-friendly bug spray as well. 
  • Brush up on what to do if you find beached marine life or other wildlife during your event. Let everyone know who to reach and to stay a few feet away until the appropriate people arrive. 


Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash


Are You Hotel Snob? Here are 9 Stunning Unique Hotels You Need to See

When it comes to hotels, we love a well-designed interior and a hotel that doesn’t skimp on the fixtures or amenities. The accommodations should make the entire experience nothing short of delightful. I mean, you are on vacation, right? And while many of us aren’t influencers, it doesn’t mean we don’t like to live like one on holiday. Here are a few of our favorite–most instagram-worthy hotels across the world we’re currently obsessed with. They’re bright and airy and situated in some of the most beautiful destinations.

Hotel Habita

Source: Tripadvisor

Mexico City, Mexico

Probably one of the most underrated cities in the world is Mexico City. It’s full of amazing restaurants, nightlife, museums, beautiful architecture–and did we mention the food?? Hotel Habita is located central to everything you’d want to see and features a beautiful simplistic layout that’s clean, minimal and modern. We especially love the pool and dining areas of this place; we could lounge on the tiled pool area all day–as will you.


Source: Tripadvisor

Hong Kong, China

Designed with minimalist principles and the masterful element of natural lighting and playing with shadows, TUVE is a minimalist’s dream. The juxtaposition of natural wood grain against concrete oddly makes the rooms feel home-y yet elegant. The entire hotel is an art piece echoing touches of oxidized copper and marble throughout, creating texture and interest in every corner of the hotel. It’s located a short walk away from Causeway Bay (on the quiet and calm side) where you’ll find famed restaurants and tons to do and see.

The Relais La Sommità

Source: The Relais La Sommita

Puglia, Italy

This 5-star boutique hotel in Puglia is actually a historic sixteenth-century residence in the center of Ostuni, also known as the “white city”–famed for its stark white buildings. The light and airy-ness of The Relais La Sommita coupled with the beautifully preserved stone walls make the space so unique, clean, and comforting. The views are unparalleled here, where you can sit on the balcony and really take in the sights of this beautiful city.

Casa Azimute

Source: Casa Azimute

Estremoz, Portugal

This unique house features 4 rooms and 2 suites available for booking. It is located 1 hour and 30 minutes from Lisbon and the western coast of Alentejo, where the house overlooks the vast landscape of rolling hills, fortified cities, and fresh air. Being situated far from major cities, Casa Azimute is the perfect place for stargazing and enjoying the views. The rooms are built with this in mind–featuring panoramic windows and even an enclosed outdoor daybed where you and your loved one can enjoy the stars in the dark sky or bask in the sunlight with a good book (just don’t forget the sunscreen!).

Hotel Joaquin

Source: Hotel Joaquin

Laguna Beach, California

There are hidden gems nestled all over the place but this one takes the cake. This Spanish-influenced boutique hotel combines luxurious living with laidback California vibes to transport you on a relaxing beachside stay. All of their rooms are uniquely decorated and feature vibey things like a record player, gorgeous stone sinks with brass fixtures, and beautiful views of the surrounding gardens and ocean. At Hotel Joaquin, you’re just steps away from the beach town and the beach itself. Win-win.

Public Hotel

Source: Public Hotel

New York, New York

If light and airy by day and sensual by night sound like the ideal spot for your next vacation, you’ll love Public Hotel. The unique design of the rooms prioritizes the views by keeping the bed closest to the window in what feels like a cozy nook. With natural wood touches and custom-designed lighting that emulates candlelight, you’ll never want to leave the room–except for complimentary warm cookies and milk at Louis maybe. Some other complimentary throw-ins include wellness classes, 24-access to the state of the art gym, Shinola bicycle rentals, and in-room coffee. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Casa Cook Rhodes

Source: Casa Cook Rhodes

Kolympia, Greece

Casa Cook identifies itself as a lifestyle boutique hotel–emphasizing a laid-back feel and stylish adults-only resort by Thomas Cook. With multiple locations in sprinkled along the Mediterranean, guests will be close to the ocean wherever they choose to stay, and every location is equally as beautiful as the others. You’ll instantly feel at ease with the earthy tones, natural fixtures, and plants intentionally placed around the property. It’s the type of hotel that will make you want to quit working and just stay there forever.

Turtle Island Fiji

Source: Turtle Island Fiji

Turtle Island, Fiji

If a remote tropical destination is more your speed, Turtle Island Fiji will not disappoint. The island itself is packed with lush greenery and the resort complements its surroundings extremely well with big open entrances and balconies that open up to a panoramic view of the beach and the surrounding foliage. The natural furnishings and crisp white linens make the rooms feel relaxing yet luxurious. Oh–did we mention it’s a private island? This resort is the island, which only accommodates 14 couples at a time–talk about exclusive. Food is always fresh and sourced locally; they serve up fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables and more to truly enhance the experience on the island.

The Calile Hotel

Source: The Calile Hotel

Queensland, Australia

Want to feel like you’re living in an interior design feature of a magazine? The Calile Hotel is just the place. The color palette of sage, blush and a powdery blue with touches of brass and natural oak furnishings will make the right side of your brain so happy. Every inch of this hotel is beautiful from the pool to the gym and spa to the library and business center. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy your stay in the city of Brisbane.


7 Gorgeous Glamping Destinations and Luxury Camping Resorts in the U.S.

If you’ve read our guide to camping sustainably and decide you’re not about that backcountry life, we get it. We can’t all be nature buffs or backpacking aficionados, but we can appreciate nature without the added stress and athleticism it requires to rough it in the mountains. The term “glamping” stems from just this–a modest mash of “glamour” and “camping” that is just as it sounds (yes, I did just used “modest” and “glamour” in the same sentence). So for all of you nature enthusiasts who don’t like to sacrifice all of your creature comforts to enjoy it, glamping may be just the thing to cure you of your city-life woes. 


If you’re looking to be truly inspired by your surroundings, go glamping. Being more relaxed and less focused on surviving out in the wilderness brings you certain ease–so much so that it might just feel like an actual vacation! To truly enjoy yourself in the outdoors, here are some of the most unique glamping destinations you can go to in the United States that will get you outdoors a whole lot more. 

Under Canvas – Montana + Multiple Locations

Under Canvas Resorts - Glacier, Montana Safari style tent

With a whopping eight campsites across the United States, Under Canvas has created a family of well thought out luxury sites that will make any nature lover happy. Locations include the Grand Canyon, Moab, Yellowstone, Glacier, Zion, Great Smokey Mountains, Mount Rushmore, and Tucson so far. Each campsite is close to activities unique to the destination its nestled in, ranging from llama trekking to paddleboarding, horseback riding, and even helicopter tours. Depending on the type of adventure you want to have, Under Canvas has much to offer. 


Dunton River Camp – Colorado

Dunton River Camp Colorado safari style tent

Dunton River Camp is a rustic glamping experience set up in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. You’ll find breathtaking views of Wilson Peak or the Dolores River. There is a myriad of activities ranging from fly fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding to soaking in the Dunton Hot Springs, getting massages or taking a yoga class. There are 8 luxury tents available, so be sure to book early to reserve your spot. Soaking in the rustic charm here without giving up all the little luxuries of a resort vacation is definitely how we want to spend our PTO. 

Autocamp – California

Autocamp Yosemite airstream in California

As Californians, Autocamp holds a special place in our heart. Its unique experience features Airstreams that evoke a retro yet modern feel. Locations include Russian River (located under the Redwoods just minutes from wine country and the California coast), Yosemite (one of the country’s most treasured national parks situated in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains), and Santa Barbara (located in Downtown Santa Barbara minutes from the beach and the Santa Ynez Mountains). The campers themselves don’t feel like you’re in airstream–they feel more like a modern tiny home with updated amenities and luxurious bed and bath. Each airstream has its own patio where you can enjoy your own firepit and have a healthy local snack and wine while enjoying the lush scenery. What more can you ask for?

Eco-pods – California

Ecopods in mojave desert glamping

Not your typical glamping situation here, but definitely a special one. To really experience something, the starkness of the desert and the intensity it brings between seasons, these “eco-pods” provide the perfect shelter to experience the outdoors. The pods are constructed so that you can really experience the “intensity of the sun and wind, hear it when it rains, and experience the quiet solitude of the dark”. Experience desert activities like going off-roading or riding your dirt bike or motorcycle across the valley. 

Asheville Glamping – North Carolina

Asheville Glamping in North CarolinaAsheville Glamping provides a variety of tents and cabins to choose from depending on your budget–each with its own charm and views. Perhaps the most unique experience at Asheville Glamping is their newest Dome 4 (pictured) with a transparent roof that allows you to stargaze at night, a luxurious queen sized memory foam bed and pastoral views. It’s close to Biltmore Village where guests will find an abundance of activities to complement their glamourous stay here at Asheville. If you’re looking for a romantic stay that’s easy to access, this is it!

Collective Retreats – New York + Multiple Locations

Collective Retreats Governor's Island New York summit tent

Collective Retreats sets the bar high for their glamping sites across the United States. You’ll get that boho safari vibe from all of its tents, but there is no skimping on the glam. They’ve done their research in selecting the most breathtaking landscapes to nestle their beautifully designed tents in. Keep in mind they are on the higher end of this roundup of glamping locations. Retreat sites include Governor’s Island, Hudson Valley, Vail, Hill Country, and Yellowstone–each with their own charm. Pictured above is their Governor’s Island safari tent. This site is just a ferry ride away from downtown Manhattan (so all you city folk can glamp too without having to take a plane), with a panoramic view of the statue of liberty across the New York Harbor. 

Firelight – New York

Firelight Glamping resort in Ithaca, New york

Traveling more upstate, Firelight is glamping site you can’t miss. It’s earned its title as an eco-friendly glamping site with a homely feel. If you love being in the trees and listening to the leaves rustling in the wind, this campsite is for you. The feel is rustic and unpretentious and has all the creature comforts one could want from a luxury glamping site. Here, they encourage their guests to enjoy the site with activities like live music by the fire, artisanal wine, beer, cider, spirits and cocktails, massages, outdoor yoga, and wild foraging hikes. There’s no shortage of things to do here if you get bored but let’s not forget to enjoy the scenery and being in the woods for a spectacularly relaxing getaway. 



Fourth of July Survival Pack

Celebrating a national holiday comes with its fun and its consequences. Whether you’re going to be out all day in the sun, or partying ‘til the early morning, let’s make sure your well-equipped for the potential recovery the next day. Here’s your Independence Day survival pack for staying hydrated, safe, and ready for pure, uninhibited fun. 


Skin damage is real, and you don’t want it. Not for your health and not for your appearance! Sunscreen protects from sun damage, premature aging, and skin cancer. You need to be wearing sunscreen every single day, and the fourth of July should be no exception! 

External charger

Bracing for a long day ahead, you don’t want to be caught with 2% battery life in a crowd and looking for your friends. You’ll probably want to take an obscene amount of video and pictures to remember this day with family and friends too, so go prepared. 

LARQ Bottle 

LARQ Bottles in Obsidian Black and Seaside Mint

Hydration is key to not getting a heat stroke! If you’re going to be enjoying the hot weather outside, make sure you’re drinking enough water. The LARQ Bottle self-cleans and purifies so you can fill up with confidence at the park water fountain, sink, or at a neighboring restaurant. Don’t leave home without yours! 


Cure Hydration

Drinking and being in the sun all day can drain you of energy and dehydrate you. Hydration packets that are packed with electrolytes (without the added sugar) are perfect for hot summer days like this. Carry some Cure Hydration packets with you to stay extra hydrated! 


A hat will help block the sun’s UV-rays from your eyes and your face to add some more sun protection for you. If you’re spending a full day in the sun and don’t have time to apply, a hat is the next best thing!



The sun’s UV rays aren’t only damaging to your skin but also your eyes. Enjoy your time in the sun without damage to your eyes and wear your sunglasses!


Picnic blanket

picnic image with fruit and cheese board

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

If you plan on watching fireworks, a picnic blanket is always a good idea. Your friends will praise you for your preparedness, trust us. 


Light jacket 

We might sound like your mom chasing after you to bring a jacket, but you can’t deny that there have been oddly cold nights on the Fourth! A jacket or blanket is a good idea to bring so you can stay out later into the night and enjoy yourself without the chill–at least not that kind of chill. 


Eat water-abundant foods 

cubed watermelon

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

‘Tis the season to stay hydrated and snack on some water-abundant foods. These include watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, oranges, raspberries, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, celery, green peppers, spinach and more! These foods are high in water content–all of which contain over 85% water! They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals that keep you hydrated and well-nourished for your day in the sun. Something tells us we’ll be sipping on a lot of smoothies and getting us some greens on our fourth. 


If you’re hosting this year’s Fourth of July shindig, pick up a few of these water-rich foods to keep your guests and yourself hydrated. Bonus points if you can throw a plastic-free party!

Know the signs of a heat stroke 

On a more serious note, heat strokes are very likely on hot summer days like the fourth of July. Know how to spot someone having a heat stroke or if you’re having a heat stroke yourself and alert someone right away. Get help or notify someone if you observe these symptoms:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Rapid Heartbeat (can be strong or weak)
  • Rapid, shallow breathing 
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering 
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness 


And now, we hope you’re better equipped to tackle a hot summer day like the fourth of July–and every hot day for that matter. Remember to stay hydrated and celebrate responsibly! #DrinkBrilliantly