Urban Trails

urban trailsSo you’re living in the city and you love the urban lifestyle. For those of us who grew up in a suburban community or the country, a move to the city can be like a whole new life. I grew up in the suburbs where you needed a car to get around and buses were not frequent or reliable. Once I hit my teenage years and wanted find a job, it had to be within walking distance until I got myself a car. That turned out to be a money pit and quite frankly, driving stressed me out.

Years later it was off to the city for me and I sold my car with joy in my heart. One of the biggest selling points for me was the fact that I could walk to most places I needed to get to and my job was on the subway line. It felt good to just slap on some shoes and sprint over to the grocery store or to the bank. No more waiting to change lanes, red lights and rude drivers. Instead it was head nods to neighbors and cute smiles from the vegetable stand owner down the street.

I like walking long distances too. It’s a great form of exercise and it’s peaceful and low impact. The only downside to living in the city is that it can seem like there is nowhere to walk. When I first moved to the city, my friend and I would just choose a street and walk straight for about seven or eight blocks, just to see what was there. That was good fun for a while, but once I became more accustomed to my surroundings, I found the “mystery block” game to be a little tedious.

I decided to look up what parks were in my city and I found quite a few. Some of them you need to jump on a bus or the subway to get to, but once you’re there it feels like you’ve left metropolis and entered back into suburban sprawl. A simple search online produced five major parks in my city and I grabbed my friend to check it out.

The first one was huge and took us quite a while to get to. It was on the other side of town but it was beautiful even had a forest trail. The park was filled with walking paths that interconnected and split off all over the grounds. There were also trails that took you into the woods where you could follow on the ground or head up an incline, taking you deeper into the woods. I could not believe this was 40 minutes from my apartment.

Another park had ponds and more footpaths, weaving you in and out of sunny spots and shady coves. It was free to enter and had no real closing time either. Some of the bigger parks have tennis courts and snack bars and those had operational hours, but as for the paths themselves, they were open to the public at almost all times. There were bike paths too so if walking isn’t your thing, then perhaps a bike trail is more for you.

Life in the city doesn’t have to mean life away from nature. Take a moment to ask around or search online and find out what parks are near you. You may not need to break out your best mens hiking boots for these trails, but you’ll get away from city life for an hour or two and enjoy the adventures of your own two feet.

3 Ways To Spruce Up Your Urban Abode


Living in the city often leaves us wanting a touch of rustic added to our lives. Although we like where we live and wouldn’t change it for the world, there are times when we see a cottage style home decoration and feel a pang of nostalgia for the woodsy designs. Especially for those of us who live in the type of urban area where all of our doorsteps look the same and it’s hard to tell a home apart from the next without a house number.

If you’re looking to get a little woodsy, here are 3 easy things you can make with some wood and a table saw.

1) Mailbox

Start simple with a small, rectangular box. Make sure there is enough width and length inside the box for magazines or small packages and don’t forget to add a top flap. Some designs don’t require a top flap but in case of rain, snow or just privacy in general, you may want to consider a lid for your new mailbox. Easy how-to-guides can be found online and it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to make. Be sure to affix some sort of hanging mechanism so you can put it outside your home with pride. Sand and paint it any style you like to add that little touch of country to your home.

 2) Plant Holders

Another easy one that only requires cutting four panels and the floor of the box. Depending on the size of your plants, measure and cut your pieces and you can make as many as you need. Don’t forget to consider some extra height on the boxes for soil and roots to grow. Again, you can sand and paint or just stain the wood if that suites your home décor. If you have somewhere to hang them, like a large front window, go for it. If not, perhaps consider lining your front steps with a series of small plant holders. One box on each side if you have the room, or lining one side of the steps to create an image of cottage life for you.

 3) Bird Feeder

A bird feeder is a little more complicated and many have gone awry, but with many online guides available, you can find a simple pattern to get you started. One for the front and backyard is great if you have the room for it, or perhaps just two on each end of the front yard for those with no backyard space. Some people like the ones that hang from trees while others like the ones you can perch up on a branch. Others prefer the ones on big wooden polls that can stick into the ground so whatever suits your living space. Depending on the color scheme on the front of your home, you may find it an eyesore to paint and may want to leave it sanded and stained. There are so many designs and options out there, you’re sure to find the one that suits your home the best.

All of these country style creations will require a good table saw, some measuring tape and a good set of hammer and nails. To find what size and style of table saw is best for you, go to http://tablesawhq.com and see what fits your needs. If you can’t find proper building tutorials online, you could always ask your neighborhood hardware store employee for tips on where to look or enroll in a class if you have the time.

Top Protein Powders for the City Woman

BEST WHEYLiving in the city can be stressful. There’s so much activity and bustle and hubbub, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s right for you. When it comes to your fitness however, there’s no reason why you should be in the dark. Here’s our list of the top whey protein for ladies in the city.

-       BioTrust LowCarb Protein

The BioTrust LowCarb Protein Powder is a great starter Powder for any active woman. It gives you the protein you need without adding in extra carbs and calories. It’s got no added hormones and its sweeteners are naturally sourced. It released amino acids gradually over time instead of all at once, so you get what you need throughout the day instead of one big lump at once. It comes in two great flavours, too: Vanilla and chocolate, everyone’s favourites.

-       Optimum Nutrition 100% Natural Whey Protein

Whey is a great source of protein, so you know you’re getting your bang for your buck with the ON. It’s has a low carb count, and doesn’t add in anything you aren’t expecting. It also has no added sugar and comes in three great flavours: Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. Mix it with milk for that creamy, shake taste.

-       Natural Factors Unflavoured Natural Whey Protein

The great thing about this brand is that they deal in organic, natural powders. They’re GMO free and a lot of their product focuses on more obscure things like bee pollen and Echinacea. However, they also have non-flavored version. You can add your own flavours or keep it simple and have this great powder the way it is.

-       Dymatize All Natural Elite Whey Gourmet Protein

The Dymatize is a powerful protein-packing product with a whopping amount of protein stuffed into it. It’s got zero sugars and fat, too, and very little in the way of carbs. Great some anyone who wants to bulk up fast. There are a range of sweet tastes and, unlike some other brands, it actually tastes like what it says.

-       MRM 100% All Natural Whey Protein

The MRM doesn’t contain as much protein as some of the other brands, however it also contain the least amount of fats an carbs, so if you’re looking to bulk up your protein without affecting your figure then this is the one for you. It comes in Vanilla or Chocolate flavours and mixes well with both milk or water.

For any city woman who wants to get more active an get out of the house Protein Powders are a great choice. Get that protein you need without packing on the pounds.


Repairing an Older Home in the City

Ghost House - post restorationSome people love modern homes while others love the character of an older home. Either home style is ok when living in the city. Most cities have large expansive older homes on the main streets in town that overlook all the beauty of the city. While some modern style homes are just outside the city limits they can also be found inside the city limits. Whichever home you’re looking into buying make sure you check out all the important necessities of the home. Older homes have been known to have electrical problems, and plumbing problems. So hire a specialist to come out and check out these things before making an offer. Just because it does need updating doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it, it simply means that you need to budget that into your remodel.

Whether you’re going to remodel the home to look like it did originally or update it to a more modern look and feel inside with that old timey feel outside your still going to need to check the electrical and update it if it hasn’t been updated in the past twenty years. You can find a few electricians at www.electrician-capetown.com or you can look them up on google at South African Electrical Contractors. Most of the information that you will need to know you can obtain from the first initial walk through. Once they figure the budget you will know how much to budget in for the repair or update.

Working with a plumber is also something that you will need to do when updating the plumbing. The best plumbers are the ones that are experienced in updating from older pipes to more modern pipes. Plumbing is something that takes time. You will have to replace all the inside pipes and the outside ones all the way to the water meter, even the ones underneath the house. This can get a little tricky and expensive. So make sure you get a few estimates before settling with the one you choose.

Other contractors that you should consult when purchasing a house in the city would be ones that remodel the outside. Sometimes these older homes get grimy and lose the curb appeal. Some even lose bricks or stucco. So consulting a contractor to tell you what needs to be replaced and how much it will cost you is very helpful when thinking of purchasing a fixer upper. The time it takes to fix the outside can also put a damper on the other repairs so knowing your time schedule is a must when working with multiple contractors.

Other things that are really important when buying a home to update is that you will need city approval for a historic home and permits for any remodel. The city has a vested interest in historic homes in the city, so if you purchase one for remodeling you are going to need to petition the city for permission and get approval on the master plan. Once they approved it you need to apply for your permits and wait till they are approved before you can start working. This is something that goes with any house that you remodel or build, city permits or county permits are necessary for any project that is built or remodeled.

Now that you’re more aware of the necessary steps to take in buying an older home in the city you can be more prepared when the time comes to buy that house and start working.

Tired of hitting the pavement trying to get a walk or jog in the city. Time to hit up a gym!

CITY FITNESSYou may be living in what they dub as the concrete jungle, but there’s nothing that’s a jungle about it. Since moving there, you have trouble doing your daily jog since the sidewalks are so packed with people that see you coming yet do not move out of your way. You’ve thought about getting a treadmill but don’t want to spend that kind of cash, plus you live on the top floor, you’d have to shell out extra bucks to get that puppy delivered. Why not check out any gyms that might be in your area! There’s bound to be a few, after all it’s the big city. Chances are there’s a gym not far from you and you don’t have to do the meat market like Rocky did in the movie.

It’d also be a great place to meet people who are into living healthy like you as well too. Most people think of a bunch of muscle bound guys hanging out making others uncomfortable when they think of a city gym, but it’s not so much like that anymore. There are people there just like you who want to get their walk on too or do a little weights or cardio classes. When you meet these people you’ll also learn tips from them, and even exchange tips of your own as well too.

You might even learn ways to help boost your workout as well. Such as 2014’s best muscle supplements that are available on the market. They probably even have them available at the gym and you just might find yourself adding a new element to your health work schedule. You’ll find that you can get more protein and nutrients and well as healthy supplements than you do in that smoothie you have every morning before and after your workout.

Living in the city there’s a lot of choices for workouts, just take a look around and find one that offers what you’re into and looking for. It could be one that specializes in aerobics, or there are even gyms with built in tracks for walking, jogging, or running inside. You could do work on elliptical machines or treadmills and maybe see what kind of classes they offer. You might get into learning about integrating weights into your workout schedule.

Gyms in the city offer a plethora of programs that might catch your interest. All it takes is a little time on your behalf to do the research and find out about the ones around you. It’s time to say goodbye to trying to run on a crowded sidewalk when you want to get your exercise in. They are also great for meet and greet places because you’re surrounded by others in your city who have health on their minds too and want a place to work out, just like you. So it’s time to jump on the information superhighway and find what there is near you in the city as far as a gym you can join. You’ll be glad you did.

Things you can enjoy for free in the city

CITY LIFEYou can start by visiting the city library. I’m sure it’s well stocked and full of a wide array of books as well as other things that might interest you. While there you should check the schedule that they have there and see what events they have coming up.   There might have options such as book readings and signings as well as classes that have to do with all that is literary and then some. For instance, they might even go as far as to showcase a cooking class because of a book that’s just been released to them or have the author come in a lead a discussion based on their latest book that you just so happened to adore. Taking advantage of all your city library has to offer is free and widely varied so you should definitely take a stroll through it one of the days when you’re low on cash but itching to do something. It’s a great place to start.

Go and view some of the graffiti your city might have set up to be displayed in a certain area. You’ll be amazed at what you’re eyes take in. We’re not talking about the words or jumbled art sprayed in truck yards and such. That’s what first comes to mind for most when they hear the word graffiti. We’re talking about how some cities have areas designated for graffiti that is mind blowing and beautiful. There might be a section with old buildings that just sits there and the city donates the area for people to showcase their artistic abilities with spray paint.   It’s nice to take time and see what magic can be made with spray paint. Some graffiti relays a positive message through their use of paint while other graffiti just shows the artists ability to create. It’s definitely different but a way to spend some time in the city exploring and for free.

You may live in what is hailed as the concrete jungle, but there are areas blocked off for park activities. Grass and all. Take a walk on down to your local park and take in the day there. IF it’s just for sitting outside in the park environment maybe enjoying a book or if it’s to watch people play with their animals or families enjoying their picnics in a park setting. While you’re at it why not fix yourself a lunch to take down to the park and enjoy it there. Go for a walk or a jog around the perimeter as they probably have an area designated for those who like to take their fitness to the park. Even bring your laptop and find something different like SnazzyChecks and browse the internet in the fresh air and area of the park.

There are many more things that you can pick up and do for free in your city. From the library as aforementioned to even spending a day enjoying the pier and watching the ships come in and out. It’s your city so explore it and save some money while you do.

Decorating your city dwelling with country flair!

Decorating your new city dwelling to still show your country style can be accomplished quiet easily. Just because you in the city doesn’t mean everything has to look so modern and clean. A man cave can be anything you wish it to be. Say for instance you love nature and hunting. Why not make your man cave represent your love of hunting and nature? The rest of the house can look like a city dwelling with modern furniture and a few pieces here and there to show your country side but when you enter that man cave you can feel at home with your nature and animals. Hang a deer head on the wall, use a bear skin rug, you could even showcase your hunting rifles and bows. Like for instance the best recurve bows you have can actually be quiet decorative on your wall. It adds character and a focal point for your manly friends to look at and wonder how many times you have used that in hunting.

INTERIOR DESIGNWith the rest of the house you can add little touches of nature to your walls to tie in the man cave look. For instance add a drawing of a deer head with antlers to the center of your main wall in the living room, something tasteful and unique but not grotesque. Or throw an antler chandelier in your dining room for lighting and natural attraction. Put a bear skin rug on the hard wood floor and maybe incorporate white furniture into the living room to counter the bark tones of the rug. Use a distressed piece of wood as the kitchen table and add beautifully cushioned chairs in a floral print to the table arrangement.

In the bedroom you could fashion a head board and foot board out of old distressed limbs from a big oak tree and apply a lovely country blue paint to the walls. Maybe add a duvet with white bunnies on a grey background for the bed linens. This will incorporate nature into the bedroom without over whelming the room with country boy style. Put a claw tub in your bathroom with brass fixtures and a leaf designed curtain for the shower. This makes your bathroom so inviting and uses antique along with modern to give it a homely feel.

Adding trees and plants to your home will add oxygen to your home and make the air pure. It will help to incorporate nature into the rest of the home without over doing the nature theme. Mixing modern techniques with a country theme can make your home flow and invite new friends into conversation on who decorated and how you come up with such a beautiful and unique design. Once you show them the flow of the house the man cave will make perfect since with the nature and animals and hunting equipment.

Moving to the city doesn’t mean you have to change who you are and how you want your home to look. You just have to bring your country feel with you and blend it with the modernisms of the city life you are moving into.

Urban people hear the call of the water and follow where it leads you

FISHINGEven in the big city, chances are you live near a body of water. If you don’t, find out if there’s a lake or river nearby that you could travel to because its summer and even us city dwellers hear the call of the water this time of year. It’s time to get on your tablet or computer and do a little research on fishing. It’s a fun activity that takes you from the concrete jungle for a little bit of time and surrounds you with nothing but nature at its finest. Who knows, you might even catch that night’s dinner or have a story to tell about your adventure on the water. It’s time to see the city from the water. The best way to get some information on fishing is to visit Reel Experts and pick up on some great information to help get you prepared for an excursion on the water. All you need is a reel and a boat for a day which can be rented at many a port or recreational water area near the city. Since you don’t do this on the regular there’s no need to invest in a bunch of lures to fish with either. Fish nature with nature. That’s right, worms. You’ll get the better catches. You’ll see!

All you need is a small boat to use for a day. Take a look at some favorite smaller fishing boats and find one that suits you best for your trip. Like I said the water is calling you, your family, and your friends to come spend a day enjoying life outside of concrete. The fresh air and fun water await you, and the fish you catch will be icing on the cake of your trip to the water. Taking time out to enjoy nature should be done often especially since in the city you seem to miss out on a lot of nature and nature quests. Sure there’s rock walls for climbing, but wouldn’t you like to take a day and climb a real trail, a real rock and not just a wall with foot holds stuck in it. The same goes for water. It’s summer! The sun and water want you to come out and enjoy while you can before the cold weather rolls in from the next season on the horizon.

You don’t get to do things like this often, so now is the perfect time to get together a group and make a day of water and nature for everyone. You’ll make fun memories and who knows what you might catch too. Imagine just sitting there on a boat in the middle of a vast lake of water soaking up some sun and then there it is, a tug on your line. Now there’s a tug on someone else’s line. It’s time to see who got the bigger catch and who’s going to do the cleaning or are you going to put the fish back in the water. Either way, it’s urban day on the water, have fun!

4 Things To Do in the City    

CITY LIFEThere are more and more people moving to the city from the country and most those people have no idea what the town has to offer or they are just over whelmed with the options. There are many places and things to do in the city. Whether you’re moving there or just visiting it, it doesn’t help to explore your surroundings. Here are a few options for athletic people to do in the city that will help with their exercise routine.


Shopping is one of the best things to do when coming to a new place. It helps you get a feel for the people and the atmosphere around the city. Most the time there is an area called the shopping district or mall. Every major city has a mall or shopping district, such as Rodeo Dr. in Los Angeles. Every shopping district will have unique stores that may not be in your home town. This is an opportunity to see new stores and clothing that you wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to. You can always look on line for the best shopping for the area you are visiting or moving to.

Gym or YMCA

Every city has a gym or YMCA and while you’re visiting a new city or moving to a new one you’re going to have to keep up with your exercise routine. Maybe you want try a new type of fitness routine such as Crossfit? Well if that’s the case then looking online for what to look for in training shoes will help you to buy the right shoes for your new routine. This is also a good way to meet new people in your new town.

Tour the Museum

Museums are also ways to learn about the culture of your new town. Most Museum’s will have local artists featured and a history of the city you are in. In Columbus, GA the Museum has a large stuff crocodile that came from the local river and some models of housing from the 70’s to represent what the city looked like back then. You can learn about the local Indians that habitat in the area you just moved to and much more like artifacts found on the land from settlers. History is a great way to learn about your new home and the people that live there and will also help you to meet new and interesting people.

Take a walk in the Local Park or tourist attraction

Most cities have at least one park or tourist attraction. New York City has Central Park, New Jersey has Jersey Shore, Virginia has Virginia Beach, these are all special places to visit that represent the town they are in. Parks can introduce you to the foliage in the new city, while you explore the park you will see the wildlife that is natural to this town. By visiting tourist attractions you get to see the color of the city. Most everybody visits the tourist attractions in their hometown, this will help you to people watch and learn about the culture and environment in which you have moved to or are visiting. Tourist attractions are also great ways to have fun.

These are just a few tips on how to learn about the new town you’re visiting or moving to. Every town has a story and most the time you can hear that story by getting out into the thick of it and conversing with the locals and visiting a few of the places listed above.

3 ways to adapt to city life if you’re coming to live there from the country

CITY LIFEMoving to the big city after living most of your life in the rural country can seem to be a little overwhelming. Okay, make that very much overwhelming. You are in a totally new situation and have to find a way to blend in and become a part of the city you’re in. You’ll always have the country in your heart, but now you have to make some room in that heart of yours for city life. How do you go about getting used to city life?

Use your hobby as a way to find something that suits you and what you like to do.

Start by finding a place that embraces your favorite hobbies. Whether its music or reading or even a walk with your dog, there’s a place for you and what you like to do. Learn your way around the city and see what it is you find that captures your attention and you’d like to learn more about.

For instance, maybe you can find a café where they do poetry readings with the locals. You could even participate and share some of your very own poetry you’ve written. It’s a great way to get your face out in the crowd. Show you’re a local now too and become a part of the environment. Possibly maybe even find the best cup of java in the city too!

Another way you can ease into city life is by using their public library

Here not only will you find books, you’ll find a lot of information about the city. You can also look and see if they have community events for you and your fellow city dwellers. The library is a great place to find local activities held there and throughout the city. Your local librarians are chock full of helpful information and will be more than happy to tell you about their city and about what there is to do in it.

Attend a community fair or get together or even better yet volunteer

Say you find out about an activity that’s going on such as an outdoor picnic at the local park for you and your fellow city dwellers. Be sure to attend and soak it all in. You’ll be able to see and meet people and better yet if you volunteer you’re guaranteed to meet people. By volunteering you are showing that you want to help your community and you’re not afraid to pitch in. Pretty soon you’ll be pulled into a whole new environment of activities and new people you’ve met. Your smile will win everyone you meet over since you used Invisalign Philadelphia to get that beautiful and straight new grin, use it to win them over.

These tips are just barely scratching the surface of ways to get acclimated to life in the city. There’s so much to see and do. Don’t be afraid to get out there and explore, meet new people who can turn into friends and find new places that you want to know more about. This is your home now, make it count.