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5 Of the Comfiest Pieces of Clothing to Travel In

I’m heading out for some teaching trips at the beginning of 2015 and it got me thinking about what I should pack with my limited space. I’ll be on some flights and bus rides over 10 hours so i’ve got to be able to stay comfortable.

Of course everybody wants to look cute while traveling, but the reality is, you’re going to sit on your butt for the duration of the flight in the tiniest spot ever and looking cute is the last thing on may travelers’ minds. Unless, of course, you’re a celebrity since that’s where the paparazzi tend to congregate to snap photos of jet-lagged A-listers. That’s why most travelers pick out their comfiest clothing pieces. Here’s a list of five of the comfiest clothing pieces to travel in:

  1. Harem pants

My husband bought me a pair of women’s harem pants from One Tribe Apparel and my god are they comfy! I basically live in them because I can do anything and still feel stylish which makes them the number one item on this list! Always in style, harem pants in a variety of patterns and colors are always chic and are super comfy to wear when you’re sitting in a tiny seat for a 5-hour plane ride.  Fashion bloggers and fashion’s elite swear by harem pants, so if you want to still look chic while running through airports as you live a jet-setter’s lifestyle, grab a couple of harem pants!

My Comfy Harem Pants

  1. Loose or oversized sweater

Planes can get super chilly when you’re up across the Atlantic Ocean, which is why it’s essential to bring along a loose or over sized sweater whenever you travel. We especially love boyfriend cardigans that are super easy to fold up and place in your purse when not and use and they also double as a pillow when you’re trying to catch a few zzzs as you take a red-eye to Europe. And depending on the weather at your destination, it’s the perfect piece to throw on if it’s barely getting cold or if you have a layover at another chilly airport.

  1. Yoga pants or leggings

Comfy is what you get when you roll up to the airport in yoga pants or leggings. Sure, they’re not runway items you’ll see model wearing, but they’re comfy as hell! You won’t have to worry about tight pants and they’re the perfect piece for both cold and hot weather. They’re warm enough on a chilly day and on an airplane, but cool enough if you’re headed to some beach destination.

  1. Boyfriend jeans

Besides yoga pants or leggings, boyfriend jeans are pretty comfortable to travel in. They’re also perfect for trips when you don’t want to look too shabby (like when you’re visiting your long-distance boyfriend). They still look stylish yet laid back and are a great traveling piece when yoga pants just won’t do.

Boyfriend Jeans

  1. Sneakers

Only celebs travel in heels and that’s because they fly first class. But when you’re in economy, comfort trumps style…that is unless you have some chic sneakers on! Not only are they a fashionable option, but they’re also practical and can add a bit of flair to any ordinary airport outfit you put together! And they’re super easy to take off mid-flight!

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

How Big Should Your Business Be To Open An Office ...

Opening an office space is often seen as a mark of success in business. After all if your enterprise now requires office space to handle all of its various functions then you must be doing something right. Figuring out whether your business should open an office space or not will depend in large part upon your business and what needs it has.

How Big Should Your Business Be To Open An Office Space?

This is the question many business owners are asking, but chances are that it’s the wrong question. The real question that should be asked is “what causes your business to need an office space?” In many cities like Austin, office space is highly sought after, so you need to find out exactly how big your requirements are.

Is size one of those factors? Absolutely! If a business employs hundreds of people and has hundreds (or thousands) of clients then office space will be required to manage human resources, to keep records, and to make sure that the proper licenses are renewed, appointments are kept, etc. But what about small businesses that have relatively few employees? Will they ever need office space?

Yes, it turns out. Businesses whose service is largely provided in an office-style setting such as call centers or debt collection businesses may find that office space is ideal for them right out of the gate. Businesses that require a central headquarters, such as a private security company or a lawn care service where employees go to care for the clients, may also find that office space is a necessity for conducting business. So while size is a consideration for getting office space it’s important to also look at the nature of a business and what it needs to function.

How Big Should The Office Space Be?

Once a business has decided it needs office space (for whatever reason) the next question is deciding how much office space is necessary. This is partially dependent on the office setup, how many people are going to be working there, and what the purpose of the office space is. A call center filled with cubicles can put a lot of people into some fairly small spaces, for instance. A legal office on the other hand might have different space requirements, setting aside individual offices for the attorneys and creating a work pool for assistants similar to the setup of a police bullpen. If there’s a huge amount of equipment or files that need to be stored on site then it might be prudent to rent a location with plenty of storage that can exist alongside a working area for employees.

The difficulty with these questions is that there really is no one, right answer that every business can use as a benchmark. Every business needs to evaluate its needs based on its goals, its staff, its operations, and whether or not acquiring an office space would be a boon. If office space is a necessity then everything from the layout of that office to where it’s located will need to be decided based on the business who’s acquiring the space. What’s right for a chain of supermarkets might not be right for a plumber’s union, for instance. There are many office spaces in Portland available that will be suitable for your company.

For more information on choosing the office space that’s right for your business simply contact us today.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Future Designs: The Realities of Becoming an Archi...

​If you’ve ever gazed up at a building in admiration and been inspired to create something similar, you might want to consider architecture as a career. This discipline is a blend of art and science, on a truly colossal and visible scale.

Behind every beautiful building lies bureaucracy, procedure and precision. Every talented aspiring architect must hone their skills for years by learning about the trade and studying on architecture courses beforehand, then gradually transforming into masters of their art project by project. Still interested? Read on to learn about how you can make your dream job a reality.

The interest

Choosing to become an architect is a huge commitment: you have to be prepared to live and breathe design. If you are fascinated with the urban environment and the living spaces therein, if you always seek out the iconic buildings first when you visit a new city, and if you have a natural flair for interior design, these could all be clues you could have the right combination of passions to become a talented architect.

The skills

As architects have to be able to visualize and communicate their ideas quickly, fluent craftsmanship is a good place to start. Technical drawing is a skill that can be honed from taking an art or design qualification in school. More importantly, good spatial awareness is also important, as is being able to think outside the box and solve problems, and usually it will be a prerequisite to have good grades in both maths and physics.

Having sales skills is greatly advantageous; after all, you have to be able to sell your ideas to future clients, and in the short term, to a potential employer. A pathological attention to detail is critical, and good architects are rigorous in their approach to projects. If you’re laid back, slapdash or impatient by nature, it might be worth considering if your personality is a good fit with architecture.

The qualifications

Depending on the country you choose to qualify in, the route to becoming an architect can be variable, but it is always a long and rigorous journey. In the UK, qualification is quite straightforward, if arduous. In the US there are 117 schools which offer an accredited course, which will usually commence with a relevant Bachelor of Architecture or Bachelor of Science degree. Graduates must then complete an internship of 5,600 hours’ experience under the Intern Development Program, in a range of different areas of expertise. Finally, they can progress to sit their Architect Registration Exam, which comprises seven different exams.

If you have the determination, the commitment and the drive, there’s always the hope that the buildings you create will endure for generations to admire, and you’ll leave a lasting legacy long after you’re gone.

Image by George Smyth,

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

A day in the life of an architect

Is becoming an architect your dream job? It sounds pretty exotic and adventurous, but do you know what the job involves? If you picture yourself designing ground-breaking buildings, you’re part of the way there, but there is also a lot of paperwork and meetings involved as well as research and customer interaction, which makes for a lively and varied role indeed.

If you’ve always wanted to become an architect or have just completed an Architecture Degree At Southampton Solent University, this guide will give you a better idea of what to expect as we go through a typical day for an architect, from the moment you get to the office to the minute you leave.

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You’ll likely have to be suited and booted, and at the office by between 8 and half past, but closer to eight if you want to stay on the right side of your boss.

The first task on your to-do list is to tackle the mountain of emails that are sitting in your inbox. These might be queries from developers or consultants, the planning office or your colleagues.

It’ll take you an hour or so to deal with them all, but don’t be surprised if you’re interrupted by a meeting with a client. There’s a lot to do in and out of the office for the rest of the day, so you have to schedule in clients as and when you can.

The two-hour meeting turns out to be a disaster as your client threatens to leave the firm. Why? Because your initial costing was way off the mark and now the client is faced with paying thousands of pounds to get their build back on track.

Don’t forget, being an architect comes with a lot of responsibility. The decisions you make throughout the day not only affect your firm, but they can also have a much wider reaching impact on the lives of others.

The next hour or so might be filled with finalising the details on your report and researching building codes and zoning laws for a new project. Oh, and answering the phone to existing and prospective clients at the same time.

Your second meeting is much more successful, with the client thrilled with the work you’ve done so far. If there’s one word to describe the life of an architect it is without a doubt—varied.


About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Careers in health: What opportunities are availabl...

Deciding to work in the health sector can be daunting. After all, with so many opportunities and job roles available, it can be hard to know where to start searching. The thought of working shoulder to shoulder with esteemed, highly qualified colleagues can also be incredibly intimidating, as can the thought of going up against numerous, equally determined candidates. However, the health sector is a vast and varied one, with numerous opportunities that a person may not even have considered.

Choosing a new career in the health sector

Including highly skilled clinical practitioners, junior medical staff, clerical, and support staff, the health sector is positively overflowing with job opportunities, while the industry itself covers a multitude of areas; from pharmaceuticals to optometry and dentistry to emergency medicine, each has something to offer those looking for a new career. However, the best way of accessing a career within the health sector is often the most overlooked – that of support staff. There are numerous supporting roles within the healthcare industry, including administration and clerical positions, clinical support workers, and healthcare assistants, and each offers entry into the world of medicine and a highly rewarding career.

These supporting roles are vital to the industry and can offer new employees opportunities that may otherwise pass them by. They are also a fantastic way of developing a meaningful, and long-term, career in the sector, while providing experiences that job seekers won’t find in any other position.

Job satisfaction at its best

As the largest industry and provider of employment in the US, the health sector is also thought to be one of the most rewarding, offering excellent job satisfaction to workers in every field, from the most entry-level positions upwards. Healthcare is a great setting for people to grow and flourish in their chosen careers, and positions offer job security, room for progression and personal development, with the potential for earning competitive salaries. With so many advancements in medicine and healthcare happening every day, there will always be a demand for health workers, creating unmissable opportunities for those who are truly passionate about helping others.

Working within the health sector is truly rewarding, offering employees the chance to make an impact on the lives of those around them on a daily basis. Whether that’s directly saving or changing someone’s life, facilitating those who do, or playing a key role within the community, there are few career choices that can boast such job satisfaction. Those who work in the field of optometry, will know about Stanton Optical, a company that takes as much pride in their dedication to helping people as those on the frontline of emergency medicine; the health sector is an all-encompassing industry, regardless of job title.

Choose to flourish

It is important for anyone considering a career within the health sector to think carefully about the area in which they would like to work, and any skills and qualifications they may possess that would help them best fulfill the role. Not all positions will require endless qualifications, and others will allow employees to access their education as they go, though it is always a good idea for candidates to match their experience and ambition with existing roles.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Help your child plan for studying abroad

Spending time living, working or studying in a foreign country is an experience that should not be missed. There are many advantages to spending a prolonged amount of time in a foreign country, and parents can do a lot to help their children to prepare.

Benefits of studying abroad

The opportunity to spend time living among people who have a different culture will give young people a much broader outlook on life and a greater understanding of the world. Language skills are going to be essential in many jobs in the future, and one of the best ways to pick up a foreign language is to spend time living in that country and using it every day. Being able to communicate effectively will also offer more opportunities for travel in the future.

Living abroad means making new friends, and for many young people this is an important factor. This is why spending time at a foreign university or college is a good idea, as young people will be well placed to meet a lot of new people and really integrate themselves into the local culture.

There are so many destinations to choose from. Many students from the US opt to study in Europe and vice versa, but there are also opportunities to study in Asia, Australasia and South America.

Popularity of studying abroad

It has always been common for those individuals studying languages to spend time in other countries, but now it has become much easier for students of other subjects to do the same. The advent of the Internet has made the world feel like a much smaller space, and living abroad for a time does not seem like an impossible dream. It also allows students to research their travel much more easily, so they can be better prepared before they go.

Planning for time abroad

It can be much more difficult to help out children when they have moved to another country, so it is a good idea to make sure that they are financially savvy before they go. Ensure that they know how to handle a budget; it is important that some research is done into the cost of living in the destination country. Thanks to the Internet though, if there is a financial emergency, parents are easily able to send money abroad with the help of websites such as’s benefits include fast transfers of money, so that the recipient does not have to spend too long short of cash. With a wide variety of destination countries, this is the easiest way to reach them with financial help.

To make the most of time spent living and studying abroad, it is important to plan carefully. It will help them to settle in much more easily if they are prepared for life in another country and if they know that they have the support of their parents. With so much information and many resources available online, making the right plans and preparations is not going to be difficult.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Cooking with Children: 5 Fun and Easy Tips

If you already cook for your family on a regular basis, why not let your children in on the fun? Yes, cooking with children can get a little messy sometimes, but the memories you create will stay with them throughout their lives. Not to mention the skills they learn and the treasured time they get to spend with you! Cooking and baking with your children can be great fun, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Read on for five easy tips for kitchen success with the kiddos:

cooking with kids photo

  1. Start before you even get to the kitchenin the garden! Have your children plant, maintain and pick their own vegetables. It’s important for them to realize where their food comes from (typically not grown in grocery stores) and appreciate the work that goes into cultivating it. Then, once the plants are ripe enough to eat, the possibilities are endless! See #2 and #3 for further ideas.
  2. Mini pizzas are quick and easy and allow for a lot of creativity. Dough and sauce can be bought at any supermarket (or homemade, if you’re ambitious), and toppings can include veggies from the kids’ gardens, meat of their choice, cheese – keep an open mind and they might surprise you. Another option is the ever-popular pizza bagel; bake a dozen at once and save them for lunches and snacks.
  3. Muffins make marvelous snacks, breakfasts and desserts. With thousands of simple recipes available, getting started is a piece of cake. Ask your child what he or she would like to include in the muffins – applesauce, raisins, blueberries, carrots, chocolate chips – perhaps something out of his/her own garden. If your kids help with prep work that includes chopping or slicing food, make sure they use a plastic knife and keep a close eye on their activities.
  4. Cookies! If your kids are less than enthusiastic about vegetables, chances are they won’t say no to cookie dough. My daughter did an Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough fundraiser for school and it was a great stat to us spending time cooking together. Now we cook everything from vegetables to pasta but it wasn’t until we did cookie dough that she saw how fun it could be. Go through the options with him or her and pick two or three flavors that are irresistible; then bake away! Make sure the kids are in charge of at least one part of the process – such as breaking the dough apart or placing it on the pan – to ensure they gain real experience and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
  5. Macaroni and Cheese: the ultimate comfort food for adults and children alike. Take your kids on a special trip to the store and let them pick out a type of pasta, a cheese (or three), and anything else they’d like to include. Think: hot dogs, bacon, broccoli, seasonings, tomato, etc. This can be a simple but wildly fun meal to make – and even more fun to eat.

No matter what you choose to cook or bake with your children, remember it’s not just about the food you’re creating; it’s about the lasting memories. Be patient, don’t expect them to learn and retain everything the first time, and let them amaze you with their creativity.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

How to Improve your Attention Span When You Study

With a seemingly endless array of distractions, it can be different to truly concentrate your entire attention on a single task, no matter its importance. Typical techniques such as ingesting high quantities of caffeine are seldom recommended and can have more negative repercussions than positive results.

Whether you are studying for an important exam or as part of a continuing course, here are a few more natural methods for improving your attention span, helping you achieve a greater retention of knowledge.

Give your Body and your Mind a Workout

Research shows that physical activity can sharpen focus by releasing chemicals into the brain that aid attention. This method is so effective that results have even shown improvements in sufferers of severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The University of Illinois has published results from research demonstrating that just 20 minutes of yoga can vastly improve people’s cognitive function and attention span, making it ideal as a pre-study workout.

Meditation has also been found to be helpful for improving the attention span as the act helps to regulate posture, breathing and body function.

Embrace Single Tasking

Acclimatising your body and mind to completing tasks one at a time can help improve attention spans. It can be tempting to embrace multi-tasking in a day and age where stimulation comes in many forms. Avoid the temptation to sit in front of the TV with your laptop open and Candy Crush Saga playing on your phone and allow single-tasking to flourish. By attuning your mind to become used to completing one task at a time, it will not seem so alien when you open the book to study.

This is more of a long-term technique that may not render direct results immediately. Stick with the technique until single-tasking becomes second nature. Forbes Magazine also reports that single-tasking could make you smarter.

Adapt your Surroundings to You

Rather than trying to study whilst lay prone on the sofa with your line of vision blocked from natural light, customise your study area so it is beneficial to the work you are undertaking. This will help to keep you comfortable and ensure your mind remains on the task at hand rather than constant fidgeting and moving. This can even be extended to the clothing that you wear, ensure it is something comfortable.

Innova Solutions are currently designing bespoke classrooms to aid study and improved attention span. The Hot Corners concept is a design of desk that allows users to alter its shape, giving them the opportunity to customise the workspace to the needs of the day’s area of study. By creating your own version of this is your area of study, can help you retain the highest level of concentration.

Dedicate your Best Hours to the Task

Over the course of the day our energy levels rise and fall, often in a regular pattern. Sleep, nutritional intake as well as physical and mental exertions can all influence energy levels. Dedicate the hours of the day where you feel most energetic and vitality to the important area of study. This can help you perform at peak standard.

The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr discusses the finite nature of daily energy and how managing this can help improve the quality and quantity of a person’s daily output.

Eliminate Distractions

Possibly the most basic way to avoid be distracted is removing the factors which are distracting you. This may seem like a short-term solution but if you are cramming for one final exam then short-term solutions are all you need. If you keep getting distracted by Netflix, ask a friend to change your password without telling you what it is until the examination is over. If you are using the internet to study but find yourself surfing the web for funny cat gifs instead of completing the required reading, remove your mouse and put it in a different room. The shameful act of having to reconnect the mouse just to procrastinate could be enough to put you off absent minded browsing.

Pinpointing the root of distraction can help you alleviate the problem and vastly improve your attention span and subsequently your performance.


About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.