November 2018

Looking good, or at least decent, while traveling is difficult to master. Although I’m probably not an expert at it, here are a few tips I follow that help me stay put together, and not completely worn out, while I travel. Hopefully they work for you too!
Looking cute, or at least decent, while travelling is difficult to master.
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1. Keep skin looking fresh with moisturizer.

We all want to look cute while traveling, whether it be on a plane, car or train. The first thing you must do to look fresh and clean is moisturize your skin. In order to look good at any point in life, you have to feed your skin what it needs! Invest in moisturizers that have Vitamin E in its formula and are oil free; oil can build up on your skin as you travel. If your skin is really dry, you can try a serum with a rich moisturizer to prevent damage and dehydration. And of course, don’t forget to transfer some of your moisturizer into a travel sized container that you can easily buy at Walmart or Target (particularly for those traveling on planes).
The first thing you must do to look fresh and clean is moisturize your skin.
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2. Prevent chapped lips with tinted lip balm.

You can’t look cute if you have dry, flaky lips – so just like your skin, you must moisturize your lips! Instead of getting any basic lip balm, opt for a tinted variety to add a little “pop.” I recommend the Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy – it’s known for its moisturizing miracles and will definitely amp up your lip game as you travel.
Get a tinted lip balm so that your lips can look poppin and un-chapped.
www.instagram.com/solnaturalbalm

3. Beat static with dryer sheets.

One of the most annoying things that happens to me while travelling is the war I have with my static hair. I actually got this tip from my sister: keep a pack of dryer sheets (or just a couple) in your purse. Why dryer sheets? Well, we use dry sheets to prevent static when we put clothes in the dryer, right? Using dryer sheets for your hair will do just that – eliminate the static from your hair.
Carry around 1 to 2 dryer sheets for hair static.
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4. Avoid oily hair with travel-sized dry shampoo.

For some reason, I have hair that gets oily just 24 hours after my last shower. But when I travel, that time span is even SHORTER! Fortunately, someone, somewhere invented dry shampoo. Every once in a while, spritz some of this product onto your roots. By applying the dry shampoo before your hair has reached oiliness – you will be able to prevent it looking greasy all together. It’s super easy to apply and totally worth it to stay fresh and cute while traveling.
Using dry shampoo will keep your hair fresh.
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5. Bring panty liners…yes, panty liners.

This may sound odd, but panty liners are great for traveling. You are not taking a shower for… who knows how long? So what does that mean? That means Lady V down there is not getting clean either! Alleviate this problem with panty liners. They absorb all the sweat that Lady V is going through, especially when you are walking through the airport, train station, or wherever you are going. Plus, once you get to your destination (or right before), you can change out your panty liner to prevent any lingering smell.
You can change the panty liner to prevent from getting smelly and sweaty.
www./pin/574349758701425033

6. Sweats can actually look cute.

You may think that sweatpants and a hoodie are only meant for “lazy days,” but if you choose the right pieces, you can still look stinkin’ cute. I personally enjoy wearing simple black leggings, a baggy tee, a sweater, and my comfy and trusted flats from Keds. You may think a baggy tee and a sweater are not the cutest items, but guess what? You are not looking hard enough for the right ones!
Invest in comfortable pieces to travel, you will be thankful.
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7. But you don’t have to wear sweats to be comfortable.

You can also try a cute maxi skirt, or dress with a chambray button if you want to go for a more stylish vibe while traveling. Any long skirt or dress gives you room to breathe, and almost acts as a blanket – keeping you warm during your travels. Don’t forget to bring layers in case you get cold. Scarves are great for added warmth and can double as a pillow if you crumple them up! For shoes stick to flats, ankle boots or sneakers. You want to look fashionable, but not overdressed!

8. Wear minimal makeup.

For makeup, do not go too crazy. Stick to the basics. BB cream is probably the best thing to use for your face while traveling. It’s perfect for covering those pesky bags under your eyes. I only apply the cream under my eyes, as opposed to my whole face, to reduce oil build up on my skin. For eyebrows, fill them in with a liquid formula so that they last the whole trip, or a wax formula so that they stay in place. For your eyes, use a pearly eyeshadow on top of eyeshadow primer (to prevent creasing), black mascara, and white eyeliner. The lighter shades of shadow and liner will give life back to your tired eyes. For lips, go back to tip #2.
For make-up, do not go too crazy, use your basics and versatile products.
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9. Eat healthy snacks.

Try to stay away from eating salty snacks like peanuts or pretzels. Eating raw fruits and vegetables while you travel will keep you hydrated and prevent puffiness and bloating. You will also get a boost of antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients.
Try to stay away from eating salty snacks like peanuts or pretzels.
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Hopefully these tips will help you look cute while traveling on your next trip. And don’t forget… moisturizer is essential!

Are you interested in adding Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana) to your yoga practice but not sure where to begin? Not only is Forearm Stand a beautiful and impressive asana – Forearm Stand has great benefits to your mind and body too.

Adding inversions like Forearm Stand to your yoga practice can help increase brain function and memory, create a sense of balance and grounding, stimulate the endocrine system, and strengthen your arms and shoulders.

The key to a strong Forearm Stand? Gaining control over your body and letting go of fear.


To achieve your Forearm Stand goals, properly preparing your body and mind is essential. Practicing the following yoga poses will help you increase body awareness and body control, create more stability, and conquer fear in your Forearm Stand practice.

Here are 4 yoga poses to prepare you for Forearm Stand:


1. Forearm Plank

Forearm Plank is an excellent pose to strengthen your arms, shoulders and core. Adding Forearm Plank to your regular yoga practice will help you gain the strength needed to hold Forearm Stand.

forearm-plank-forearm-stand

Let’s try it:
  • From a Table Top position, place your forearms on the mat with your fingers pointing forward
  • Straighten your legs to come in a Plank position on your forearms
  • Direct your gaze down between your forearms
  • Hold and breathe steadily for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Release to Childs Pose for a few breaths then repeat
Alignment tips:
  • Keep your shoulders stacked above your elbows
  • Push your shoulders away from your ears, and don’t allow your chest drop toward the ground
  • Focus on engaging your core – don’t allow your belly or hips to drop toward the ground
   

2. Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose is an excellent yoga pose to feel the weight shifting to your forearms and hands. If you consistently practice Dolphin Pose, you will strengthen your core muscles and create muscle memory to prepare yourself to balance this way upside down.

dolphin-pose-forearm-stand

Let’s try it:
  • Begin in Forearm Plank
  • Slowly walk the feet closer towards your elbows and allow your hips to lift
  • Keep your shoulders stacked above your elbows
  • Release your head and neck, and gaze toward your feet
  • Shift your weight slightly from your feet to your forearms and hands
Alignment tips:
  • Spread your fingers wide and press your fingertips into the mat
  • If you have tight shoulders, interlace your fingertips for more comfort and stability
  • Continue to push your forearms into the mat and press your shoulders away from your ears
  • If your hamstrings are tight, keep a slight bend in the knees


3. One-Legged Dolphin Pose

One-legged Dolphin Pose increases your body awareness and teaches you how to depend more on your upper body and forearms for balance. Lifting one leg adds more weight into the shoulders and arms and gives you an idea of how it will feel in a full Forearm Stand.

one-legged-dolphin-pose-forearm-stand

Let’s try it:
  • From Dolphin Pose, lift your right leg straight up to the ceiling without opening the hip
  • Continue to press your forearms and hands firmly into the mat
  • Keep your core engaged so your leg remains lifted with control, and you’re not arching into your lower back
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds, and then change sides
Alignment tips:
  • Come as high as possible onto the toes of your standing foot to bring more weight into the shoulders
  • Be sure your shoulders stay strong with the added weight. Continue to press your shoulders away from your ears
   

4. Forearm Stand with Knee-to-Chest Variation

When you feel strong practicing the Forearm Plank and the Dolphin Pose variations, it’s time to shift your weight completely to your forearms and hands. The knee-to-chest variation allows you to stack your hips over your shoulders and become more comfortable with the weight shift and balance.

knee-to-chest-forearm-balance-forearm-stand

Let’s try it:
  • From one-legged Dolphin Pose, bend your standing leg and gently kick the lifted leg to stack over your hips
  • The bent knee will stay hugging close to your chest
  • Actively engage your core and shoulders to keep your body stabil
  • Practice a few times, then switch to the other side
Alignment tips:
  • If you do not immediately find balance, no worries! Keep working to stack your elbows, shoulders and hips to find the most stability
  • Keep your legs engaged and squeeze your muscles into the midline
  • Continue to press the forearms into the mat and the shoulders away from the ears
 
Now you’re ready

Forearm Stand

Ready to go for it? If and when you can hold the knee-to-chest variation, you are a small step away from coming into the full variation of Forearm Stand.

forearm-stand

Let’s try it:
  • Find your steady knee-to-chest variation and then engage the legs and core as you slowly extend the bent leg to meet the straight leg
  • Point or flex your toes to keep them active and keep pressing in your forearms
  • Keep your core engaged for stability and to protect your lower back
  • Hold for a few breaths or as long as you can, and repeat when ready
Alignment tips:
  • Visualize your elbows, shoulders and hips stacked directly over each other in alignment
  • Firmly press the heel of your hands and your fingertips into the mat to help with balance
 
Inversions are a great addition to your yoga practice when you are ready to include them. Be sure to take the proper steps needed to prepare the mind and body for going upside down. Practicing inversions is never about mastering a pose – instead, it is about the connection to your body and learning from the journey.

HOW TO BOOK THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS: IT’S TIME FOR TAKE-OFF!


These 8 tips will show you, step by step, how to find cheap flights every time you need to book your holiday. Who hasn’t spent hours and hours on search engines and websites trying to find the cheapest possible flights? Here is how to always find the best deal!Who hasn’t spent hours and hours on search engines and websites trying to find the cheapest possible deals for your next flight? There are so many websites to look through, and with prices changing within a few minutes and so many options to look at, booking cheap flights has become a stressful experience!
During the years, I read so many articles about how to find cheap flights so I decided to put together the best hacks I now use every time we need to book a flight.
These tips will really help you to make sure you will always get the best possible deal. Follow these strategies and the next time you need to get cheap flights for your next vacation you will save money, time and irritation!

How To Find Cheap Flights

1| Use the best search tools

All search engines make their money through a commission added on top of the ticket cost, therefore you need to watch out for the less greedy ones. There isn’t a single search engine that beats them all, but my favourites are the four below.
Make sure you check them all before making a booking.
  • Skyscanner: One of the leading search engines out there, and definitely one of my favorite.
  • Momondo: It gets the cheapest option 99% of the time as it picks up fares from the cheapest agents.
  • Kiwi.com: Much more flexible than Google Flight or Skyscanner in the number of options you can find.
  • Google Flights: Very useful calendar option to search for the cheapest days to fly. Once you find the cheapest date, use one of the other websites to book the flights.
  • Jetradar: Includes some budget airlines that other websites don’t have, so it’s always worth a look.
There doesn’t seem to be a consistent winner (and I book many flights a year!), but the two websites that seem to come to the top over and over again are Momondo and Skyscanner. I love them both, and I always check them first.

2| Hide your search!

Some websites claim this isn’t true, but I have witnessed it with my eyes: if you keep searching for a specific route, prices go up!
Airlines use cookies in your browser to make you believe the prices are going up and up and you need to book NOW to save as much as possible. Always make sure you search for cheap flights in incognito mode or private browsing mode for the cheapest prices.
Open a new incognito or private window between new searches, as cookies are reset and deleted between each session. By doing this you will have the best chance to find cheap flights without being fooled by airlines.

3| Go local

If you are booking with an airline from another country, always check the price in the destination currency. You might find differences closer to hundreds of dollars!
A lot of airlines offer cheap prices for locals, but make sure you check your credit card fees for foreign transaction fees and exchange rates or you could lose all the savings!
Make sure you use a VPN connection when looking at local websites. We use TunnelBear and it’s great! It has an app and a chrome extension. The first 500MB of data is free every month, and if you send a tweet out to share Tunnel Bear, you get another 500MB on top (1GB of data).
We have been using the free version for over 2 years and never had to upgrade!

4| Find the best time to book

These 8 tips will show you, step by step, how to find cheap flights every time you need to book your holiday. Who hasn’t spent hours and hours on search engines and websites trying to find the cheapest possible flights? Here is how to always find the best deal!
There are two factors to consider here:
  • Cheapest time to fly
  • Best time to book

Cheapest time to fly

The cheapest time to fly:
  • January through mid-May
  • September through early December
The most expensive time to fly:
  • Peak summer (mid-June through mid-August)
  • Christmas/New Year’s
How cheap or expensive a flight will be, also vary a bit by destination, for example, if you would like to visit Kyoto in Japan, during the cherry blossom season, you cannot expect to find cheap flights, even if you book months in advance!

Cheapest Time to Book

There are different theories on the best time to book based on the type of flight you are after.
If you need to fly during peak and holiday season, the best time to start looking is as soon as the flights are released by airlines (usually 11-12 months in advance).
For other times of the year, the “sweet spot” varies a lot, but this is usually what works best:
  • Domestic flights: 1 to 3 months in advance
  • International flights: 4 to 8 months in advance
Airlines often announce sales at the beginning of the week, and you can normally find excellent deals on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Friday and Sunday are normally more expensive, as most people book on those days a and airlines and hotels tend to increase prices. So, if you can book your flights mid-week, you will find much cheaper deals.
How to find cheap flights with skyscanner: Enter your departure and arrival cities. Select “one-way”. Click “Depart” but instead of entering a date, select “Whole Month” so you can see which date is cheapest.

5| Be Flexible

In your quest to find cheap flights, you need to be ready to be flexible in:
  • Where
  • When

Where to find cheap flights

Always check for airports that might not be the obvious choice. Smaller airports or an airport that is only an extra hour drive from home might save you hundreds of dollars!

When to book

When we book our holidays we normally pick a destination first, decide when to go and then check the price of the flights for those dates. This normally leads to find flights that are more expensive than necessary. If your top priority is to get cheap flights, you need to change your approach.
This is how:
Find what flights are available through Skyscanner or Momondo etc. in your budget range, decide what cheap destination you would love to visit and select the dates that will give you the cheapest fares available. Make sure you check several date ranges: you will be surprised by how much you can save by simply changing dates.
You could half your airfare!
 By changing your mindset, you could save hundreds of dollars.

6| Spot the mistake fare

Airlines occasionally make mistakes due to computer glitches, human error or currency conversion mistakes, which lead to unbelievably discounted cheap flights. These are known as error or mistake fares.
If you find an error fare, we suggest you wait at least a week before booking your accommodation as sometimes airlines might revoke your ticket.
AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying are great websites to follow for finding the best error fares.

7| Airlines are your best friend

If you subscribe to airlines newsletters, you will get sale information ahead of everyone else and might be able to snap a bargain. Also, by signing up to Facebook pages or Twitter feeds, you might hear about great deals.

8| Single?

Normally buying a return ticket is much cheaper, but you should always compare the price of two single tickets, instead of opting straight away for a return flight, as you never know! You could find a good deal!
This also gives you the flexibility to arrive or depart from different airports and this might help you to get a much cheaper price.

Now you know how to find cheap flights! Ready for your holiday? Do you have any other tips you would like to share?
TRAVEL RESOURCES THAT I LOVE
Airbnb: There are so many reasons we love using Airbnb, but the main ones are these 2. It’s much cheaper than booking a hotel and you can meet local people. Click here for a free $35 credit!
Booking.com: we use this website to compare prices with Airbnb. You can find amazing deals here.
World Nomads Travel Insurance: Travelling without insurance is a big risk. You could end up with bills worth $$$ if anything happens. Get the best travel insurance out there. World Nomads Travel Insurance is available to people from 140 countries and includes cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities!
Momondo: It helps us find cheap flights!
Skyscanner: It helps us find cheap flights!


THESE 5-INGREDIENT NO-BAKE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS ARE READY IN RECORD TIME, AND ONLY CONTAIN HEALTHY, EASY TO FIND INGREDIENTS (GF, VEGAN, PROTEIN-PACKED)


Insanely easy to make and delicious: with 5 simple ingredients these no-bake peanut butter balls are ready in record time, and are incredibly healthy!
I have been cooking since I was 9 years old. My passion for food started with baking. I loved baking cakes for my family’s birthday parties! Since then life got busier, but my passion for food hasn’t changed!
But lately, I’m trying to cut down on refined sugar as much as I can.
Plus, between working, blogging and traveling around, I don’t have as much time in the kitchen as I used to. And I always find myself craving for a healthy snack during my afternoons.
I discovered no-bake energy bites only a few years ago, and I’ve been in love with them ever since!
These no-bake peanut butter balls are incredibly easy to make, quite cheap, contain only 5 simple ingredients and are alarmingly good!
So, what’s in these vegan energy balls?
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Dates
  • Gluten-free rolled oats
  • Cocoa powder
Insanely easy to make and delicious: with 5 simple ingredients these no-bake peanut butter balls are ready in record time, and are incredibly healthy! Dates, oats, cocoa powder, peanuts and peanut butter!
And these are the reasons why I love these healthy peanut butter balls so much:
  • Insanely easy to make and ready in 10 minutes!
  • Made with just 5 simple cheap ingredients, that you won’t struggle to find in your food cupboard
  • Full of proteins and healthy fats
  • Peanut buttery and chocolaty, with a slight crunch
  • Made with only whole, healthy ingredients and naturally sweetened
  • Vegangluten-freedairy-freerefined sugar-free
  • Perfect as your go-to everyday snack!
Insanely easy to make and delicious: with 5 simple ingredients these no-bake peanut butter balls are ready in record time, and are incredibly healthy! Mix all the ingredients.
These healthy no-bake peanut butter balls are perfect if you are a fan of meal prep on Sunday! They store well for a week in the fridge and are perfect to be made ahead of time. Ideal for travel, work snack, hikes, school (kids LOVED them!), road trips!

Handy Tips for Making No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

  • If you don’t like chocolate (really?!), you can just omit it from the ingredients. Your peanut butter energy bites will still be delicious.
  • If your dates are a bit dry, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain well. Or, if you are in a hurry, just add a couple of tablespoons of water when you are processing.
  • Keep them resting: by leaving your energy bites in the fridge for a few hours, the ingredients will stick together and the flavors will blend to reach complete awesomeness!
  • You can use any kind of nut butter in this recipe: almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter…just make sure your nut butter doesn’t contain anything else but nuts (no added oil or salt).
  • Same for dry nuts: you can substitute peanuts with almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts…anything you like!
Insanely easy to make and delicious: with 5 simple ingredients these no-bake peanut butter balls are ready in record time, and are incredibly healthy!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
Prep Time
10 mins
 
Insanely easy to make and delicious: with 5 simple ingredients these no-bake peanut butter balls are ready in record time, and are incredibly healthy! (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Protein-Packed)
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: no-bake peanut butter balls
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 94 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup (95g) peanuts
  • 1 cup (200g) medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder vegan
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (30g) gluten-free rolled oats
Directions
  1. Pulse the pitted dates in a food processor or blender for a couple of minutes, until they form a smooth paste.
  2. Add oats, cocoa powder, peanut butter, peanuts, and pulse until it's fully mixed. If the mix is a bit dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water to make it a bit stickier.
  3. Use your hands to roll into 1-inch balls. You should be able to make 15-16 balls with this dose.
  4. Place the rolled balls into the fridge to firm up for about 15-30 minutes. Or, if you are as impatient as I am, you can just eat them immediately!
  5. Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them if you want to store for longer.



Most of us lead busy lives, trying to balance work and private life. It’s difficult. On top of this, we also want to stay active, fit and healthy. So what can we do? Thankfully there is yoga.
A Hatha yoga practice is designed to keep our body in good health, and our mind balanced. In order to see the benefits of a morning yoga workout, it doesn’t really need more than 20 minutes. Regularity is the key. So the excuse that you don’t have time for a yoga practice, doesn’t really count anymore.
Disappointed? I hope not, as your life will be much richer with a daily 20 minute morning yoga workout.

20 Minute Yoga Workout

Hold each yoga pose for about one minute or 7 deep, long breaths, unless another time is indicated.
  • Equal Breathing Pranayama
  • Cat-Cow
  • Balancing Table
  • Butterfly
  • Hatha Sun Salutation
  • Warrior II
  • Triangle
  • Tree
  • Locust
  • Navasana
  • Bridge
  • Savasana

Benefits of a Regular Morning Yoga Workout

regular yoga practice has many benefits. Similar to meditation, the benefits increase when doing it more often or even daily. Which benefits? Well, let’s see, there are plenty of them. And they are so tangible, that also many doctors and psychologists have come to recommend yoga to their patients.

1. Wakes up your body and mind

A morning yoga workout wakes up not only your mind but also your entire body. It gets your heart pumping, and increases the oxygen supply throughout your body, nourishing every cell, plus it kickstarts your digestion.

2. Improves focus and concentration during the day

Yoga has been shown to improve your focus. By turning our senses inwards and focusing on our breath, we directly train our concentration. But also the physical workout has been proven to increase concentration and focus right after the activity and long-term.

3. Improves well-being and lowers risk of mental health issues

Several studies have been conducted, researching the effect yoga has on mental health. While more extensive studies are still needed, a positive effect on people suffering from depression and anxiety has been shown. This goes back to yoga activating our rest and digest mode, which decreases our stress levels, and helps us to relax.

4. Improves immune system

Regular physical activity is strengthening our immune system, making us more resilient to stress which is a major cause of falling ill.

5. Increases flexibility and mobility

Flexibility is probably the best-known benefit of yoga, as pictures of bendy yogis, young and old, are to be found all over the internet. So yes, it is true that the yoga postures are designed to increase the flexibility of your muscles and tendons, ligaments and fascia, plus extends our mobility in the joints. This prevents stiffness and creates our general physical wellbeing.

6. Increases strength

Most of the yoga postures demand the engagement of the entire body. In flowy classes like Vinyasa or during Sun Salutations, our balance is challenged, requiring focus, and strength in all our muscles. Even in the ones that don’t seem part of the pose.

7. Increases energy

Do you know that feeling of being alive and energized after having completed a yoga class? You can get the same feeling after your personal 20-minute morning yoga workout at home. For free.

8. Healthier lifestyle

This is a fantastic side effect of a regular yoga practice. You will probably realize after some time, that after you have completed your morning yoga workout, you don’t want to eat heavy, processed foods, but prefer fresh and healthy meals. Most of us just really don’t want to ruin that well-being we experience after a yoga practice.
Plus, becoming more aware of our body and mind, we are also growing more mindful about the psychology behind our eating habits, about why we think we need that chocolate pudding every day. What’s more, many smokers turn to yoga or meditation when trying to quit, as it calms your mind and helps you to overcome the immediate urge of reaching for a cigarette.

Full 20 Minute Morning Yoga Workout

Follow this sequence:
Start in Tadasana, reach your arms up overhead, lean slightly back, Forward Fold, Low Lunge (right leg back), Mountain Pose (Downward Facing Dog with feet close together), Chaturanga, Cobra, Mountain Pose, Low Lunge (right leg front), Forward Fold, come up into Tadasana.
Repeat on the other side to complete one round, continue for 2 more rounds.

1. Equal Breathing Pranayama

Starting your yoga routine with a Pranayama exercise allows your mind to fully arrive on your mat and to prepare for the yoga practice to come. Equal Breathing is a calming breath, helping you to bring your senses inwards. It’s important to sit comfortably with a straight spine, so the breath can flow freely.

2. Cat-Cow

From tabletop position, take an inhale and arch your spine, look up towards the ceiling. On the exhale, suck your belly in and round your spine, gaze goes towards your navel. Nothing wakes up our stiff spine in the morning as Cat-Cow.

3. Balancing Table

This is a Core strengthening posture, so take it easy if you’ve just woken up. Extend one leg to the back and the opposite arm to the front. On the next exhale bring elbow and knee to chest, rounding the spine. Our whole body has to work during this movement to keep the balance and to hold our weight with one arm.

4. Butterfly

This is a beautiful hip opener. You can move the knees up and down for a dynamic pose. For a more static posture, push the knees down and stay there for a few breaths. Breath deeply into the groin. The butterfly is supporting the health of our reproductive organs.

5. Hatha Sun Salutation

Hatha Sun Salutation is not as well known in the West as Sun Salutation A, practiced in Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga. But this doesn’t mean it’s less beneficial or less fun. Especially in the morning, this simple sequence wakes up our entire body. Perfect for people with little time.

6. Warrior II

Warrior II is an open hip pose. Keep the angle of your back foot less than 90 degrees if your hips are still tight. Relax your shoulders, but keep your arms active, reaching in both directions. Your gaze can be soft, looking over your fingers to the front.

7. Triangle

From Warrior II reach your arm forward as much as you can and hinge forward from the hips. Then let your arms grab hold of your shin or ankle, the other arms reach up towards the sky. Don’t compromise the openness of your chest for bringing your hand all the way down to your ankle or onto the mat.

8. Tree

The tree is a great balancing pose that can be modified according to your energy in the morning. Feel free to keep your toes on the mat, pointing your knee to the side. If you weren’t able to identify your mood of the morning yet, you might find out in Tree Pose if you’re calm and focused, or if you are a bundle of nerves.

9. Locust

Locust is opening our chest and shoulders and is strengthening our lower back muscles. So it’s giving us everything we need to sit through a day in those uncomfortable office chairs.

10. Boat

Oh, wait! We also need a strong core to help us sit upright. So there you go, Boat Pose will do just that. Over time you might be able to straighten your legs more and more. But most importantly, keep your spine straight to avoid back pain, but also to really make your abdominals work.

11. Bridge

You can make Bridge a restorative pose, resting your lower back on a block, or an active pose keeping your hips lifted high, maybe even lifting up one leg at a time. Press your shoulders strongly into the mat, opening your chest up even more. Careful with your neck here, keep your head still, as you otherwise run the risk of injuring your neck. The cervical vertebrae are the smallest of the spine and therefore prone to injuries.

12. Savasana - 3 minutes

You’ve made it! Even if you don’t feel the desired calmness now but anxious to finally get started with your to-do list, make these last 3 minutes yours. Spread out on your mat, feel your weight sink into the mat, a little bit more with every exhale, and harness all the benefits of the yoga postures you’ve just done. Enjoy your day!

HAPPY TO SHARE YOUR VIEWS ON HAIR PRODUCTS OR POLITICS? IF SO, YOU CAN EASILY MAKE UP TO $150 AN HOUR FROM ANYWHERE, TAKING PART IN MARKET RESEARCH!


Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups.
The other day I got an email in my inbox that said:
“Sara, you might be a fit for a $150.00 study!”
If it wasn’t coming from a legit consumer research company, I wouldn’t even have opened it! But I knew the company really well and knew that this was a real money-making opportunity.
It was for a study about hair care purchase and routine!
But hey, $150 for an hour of my time? Why not?
That’s pretty special, and not that easy to find!
I used survey companies before! And as much as I love Swagbucks for their Gold Surveys and cashback (I made over $200 in a couple of months, just by buying through their links! So you should really subscribe for free…), $150 for an hour is not bad at all!
And as I am always super interested in side hustles and ways to make extra money, I decided to do a little research to find other companies that look for people to do paid focus groups, either in person or online.
And the great thing about online focus groups? You can do it from anywhere!
So you can take part in some of these, no matter where you are or your nationality!
Table of contents

But what is a Focus Group?

A focus group is a small group of people that have been invited to share their opinions.
Focus groups can be conducted in-person or online.
They are normally used for market research for new or existing products, to be able to determine people’s attitude towards specific branding, usability, packaging or ideas. They can also be used for political campaigns and opinions research. You can think about paid focus groups as much more in-depth surveys.
They normally involve you giving opinions and answering questions on a specific subject, get some free coffee, and go home with an extra $50-$150 in your pocket!
More and more companies are now using paid research studies to get a much better understanding of the market and trends, and connect with the consumers, not only locally but around the world.

How Focus Groups Work

In-Person

If you find an in-person focus group near you, you will be expected to attend the interview in person. You will normally be interviewed within a group where each participant is able to talk to each other.
There is normally a researcher or moderator to lead the group and take notes and ask questions, and record the results.
If you join an in-person focus group, you might need to go to more than one session, but you will be paid for each session you attend.

Online

An online focus group is very similar to an in-person focus group. You’ll need to join online via chat, on your tablet or smartphone. You’ll normally receive a link to access the focus group and from there you’ll be able to join the discussion and give your feedback.
There are some online focus groups that also use video or specific web-based software. You’ll need to download the software ahead of your focus group research.
More and more research studies are now opting for online focus groups as it’s a lot less expensive for them: they can cut down on money spent for materials and staff, plus it makes it a lot easier to have a bigger pool of possible participants in the research study.

How Much You Can Expect to Earn With Paid Focus Groups

Each focus group will be different, but you can expect to make from $30 to $150 per focus group (although some very specific focus groups can pay up to $450 for an hour of your time!).
The amount you will receive will depend on the time you’ve spent, which is normally an hour or two.
You’ll normally get paid in cash, via PayPal, check or gift cards. Some market research companies pay with points that you can redeem using a specific credit card.
Make sure you know exactly how you’ll get your money before you agree to take part in a focus group!

How to Find Legit Focus Groups

Whether you are looking for online focus groups or in-person focus groups near you, you will have to be a bit patient as you have to go through a screening process before you can participate to any research study.
Consumer research companies are normally looking for people with very specific interests and profiles, and you are not going to be able to qualify all the time.
By joining as many companies as possible, you will be able to maximize your chances of qualifying for as many focus groups as possible.
But before you start signing up, spend a couple of minutes to check out the company and make sure it’s legit. The last thing you want is to waste your time and get scammed online!
Read all the fine prints and check their Facebook pages, to find out what kind of reviews they are getting. Like with all surveys companies, you’ll never find a 5-star rating from everyone! Some people will love them, some will hate them.
But lucky for you, I have done a lot of the hard work!

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Top 15 Online Focus Group Companies

Here I put together for you a list of 15 companies that pay the biggest sums, to make the most of your time!
You will find info on how each company pays and if they accept registration from specific countries, cities, or from all over the world.

1. Respondent.io (my favorite)

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. Respondent.io
Respondent is my favorite option for in-person and online focus group studies and the one that got me the $150 focus group.
Their payout is great, up to $250 per research, sometimes more!
And they accept respondents from ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Respondent.io have projects that are available to US Residents as well as International. This means you don’t have to be in the US to join and earn from $50 to 250$ per research.
All you need to join is a PayPal account, and either Facebook or LinkedIn to connect your profile to.
This is how it works:
  1. After you have created your account you’ll be able to browse all the open studies.
  2. You apply to participate in studies that you think are a good fit for you.
  3. The researcher/sponsor of the study reviews responses and sends invitations to respondents that are the best fit.
  4. If you receive an invitation to participate, you choose a time that suits you from those made available by the researcher.
  5. After you have completed the study, you are paid via PayPal.
Respondents are paid the cash incentive amount advertised by the researcher, less a 5% (or a $1 fulfillment fee whichever is higher). Example: If the cash incentive is $150 you will receive $142.50 via PayPal.
I know you’ll love it, and you’ll soon find something that’s right up your alley! Just sign up here.

2. Recruit and Field

With an outstanding 4.9 out of 5 on Facebook, Recruit and Field offer US nationwide online studies as well as focus groups in different locations.
They look for participants from any gender and age for their studies, including professionals and medical professionals (doctor, nurse, lab technician).
They normally pay via PayPal but also offer Amazon or digital gift cards.
Their payments range from $100 to $275 per study.

3. 20|20 Panel

20|20 Panel conducts market research and paid online studies for clients from all kinds of industries.
Not the most well-designed websites, but has great Facebook reviews (4.3 out of 5).
It has paid opportunities for participants to share their opinions. You can sign up for local (Charlotte, Nashville, Miami) or online focus groups (US and Canada) and can earn $50 to $2500!
They will post pre-qualifying surveys on their Facebook page or send them via email. If you qualify, they will then get in touch to give you the details of the study.

4. Ipsos i-Say

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. iSay
Ipsos is the third largest survey-based research firm in the world and their consumer survey platform accepts people from all over the world.
Most of the offers available here are for small surveys where you can only earn $0.40-$1.50 per survey, but they do offer from time to time high-end surveys and focus groups that pay $50-$100 for an hour of your time.
They also have a mobile app that allows you to take surveys on the go.
When you complete a survey or focus group, you’ll earn points instead of cash. Points vary depending on survey length. You can redeem your points when you have at least 500 in your account.
You’ll get paid with gift cards (including Amazon and iTunes), or you can also choose a prepaid Visa or PayPal cash.

5. FocusGroup.com

FocusGroup.com offers both in-person and online focus groups all over the US. You can have a look at “Available studies” to check how much you can get paid. Most studies pay between $70 to $250.
Most of the research studies you’ll find interesting are probably under consumer topics, which includes:
  • Child-Related Products
  • Cell Phones
  • Dining Out
  • Pets
  • Cars
  • Entertainment
  • Electronics
  • Sports
But they also run Business specific topics and Medical topics.
Their payment methods are different for each research study. Make sure you check if you are happy with the payment method before you apply!
They normally pay either via pre-paid Visa card (normally valid 180 days), check, gift card, or cash.

6. American Consumer Opinion

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. American Consumer Opinion.
American Consumer Opinion is a big survey company for people from the US with over 7 million users. It’s free to sign up and you can receive money in two ways: PayPal or a check.
It normally doesn’t pay very much, with short surveys making you $0.05 to $0.50, but if you get selected for longer market research surveys you can make up to $50.
You get points for each survey that you take. 1 point is equivalent to 1 penny. When you hit $10.00, you can request your money.

7. Fieldwork

Fieldwork compensation to participate in a focus group starts at $75 and their focus groups normally last one to two hours.
It has locations throughout the US:
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago-Downtown
  • Chicago-O’Hare
  • Chicago-Schaumburg
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Fort Lee, NJ
  • LA-Orange County
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
But if you don’t live near any of this locations, you can still apply to join their national database. They normally pay with Visa gift cards, but check before you apply for a focus group.

8. Probe Market Research

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. Probe Market Research.
Rated 4.7 out of 5 on Facebook, Probe Research is a US-based market research company and constantly hosts focus groups to get feedback for clients’ new advertising campaigns, products, or services.
Focus groups normally pay between $50 and $400 and in some cases, you may not even need to leave your home! Interviews are conducted in groups, by phone, or online—depending on the amount of time assigned to that particular study.

9. Survey Feeds

Survey Feeds is US-based and has opportunities all over the country and online. You can earn anything from $75 to $475.
Survey Feeds Specializes in:
In-Person Studies
  • One-on-one Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Clinical Research Studies
Online studies
  • Web Conferences
  • Online Surveys
  • Phone Interviews
You can browse the different options online by clicking here or you can follow their Facebook page. They normally share their most profitable market research studies there!

10. Mindswarms

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. Mindswarms.
Mindswarms is quite unique: they will pay you $50 to answer 7 questions about a product or service, or $10 to answer 1 question.
You can create an account using one of two ways:
1) On the web platform using your laptop/desktop.
2) Using the MindSwarms app on iOS or Android operating system with your smartphone or tablet.
You’ll need to record a profile video or two (to verify that your camera works well) and answer a few questions, then you can begin applying to surveys.
Once you have registered, you’ll be able to see studies that might qualify for you, based on your profile. You can apply by answering a few simple questions in less than a minute.
If you are invited to take a survey, you’ll be asked to answer up to 7 questions using the video function on your smartphone, tablet or webcam. It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to record your answers.
Then you’ll get paid automatically via PayPal, 24 hours after you post your responses to a study.

11. Brand Institute

Voted 4.6 out of 5 on Glassdoor, and 4.5 out of 5 on Facebook, Brand Institute seeks participants to take part in pharmaceutical and market research, all over the world.
You just need to register your details and reply to some simple questions. Make sure your account is as up to date as possible and you will be contacted if you qualify for any study.
If you do, you will receive an email, so make sure you check regularly.
You will be paid via PayPal (remember to claim your payments within 30 days of completing a study!), or check.

12. User Interviews

Happy to give your views on hair products or politics? If so, it's possible to earn up to $150 an hour, without any special skill with online focus groups. User Interviews.
User Interviews pays for your feedback on real products and brands. After you sign up, you’ll need to complete surveys via email. If you qualify for a study, you’ll get paid to participate. You can only apply from US and Canada.
If you connect via Linkedin and Facebook, you’ll get more chances to participate in surveys, as they’ll be able to see details in your profiles.
You can check out active projects by clicking here. You’ll be able to select between:
  • Focus groups
  • 1-on-1 interviews
  • Multiday studies
  • Tasks
The pay goes from $75 for 30 minutes of your time up to $450 for very specific one-hour studies.

13. Inspired Opinions

In order to participate to research studies, you just need to be over 18. You can register from all over the world.
You will be asked for some basic information and will be able to create your own personal login and password. Once your profile is complete, they will match you to their research studies. When they find a study that fits your profile they’ll contact you either by email or phone, to see if you qualify.
You can then participate in research studies in a variety of ways:
  • In person at one of their 16 offices across the US
  • On the telephone
  • Online from a computer anywhere in the world
They have a great 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook. By participating to one of their focus group, you can earn anything from $50 to $250.
They use an Opinion Reward points system. And you need to reach 1,000 ($10) before you can redeem points for gifts cards.

14. WatchLab

Voted 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook, you can earn from $50 up to $200 for a study (US-based only).
WatchLab has online focus groups, in-person research studies, and in-home studies. You can check out their Facebook page to see the range of focus groups they offer.
I saw focus groups in San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Denver, and Portland. There might be more!

15. Engage

Engage has a pretty old school looking website.
It specializes in consumer and healthcare market research studies (you’ll need to pick one when you subscribe), and they pay ranges from $50-$250.
You can subscribe from all over the world, just select your country when you sign up!

More Ways to Find Paid Focus Groups

My 15 favorite websites for online and in-person focus groups aren’t the only ones around! And as I said before, the more you can find, the more opportunities you have to be a perfect fit for a paid focus group.
You can also search Facebook for “focus group” to find a list of pages of companies looking for applicants. I’ve listed some more companies below that might be worth checking out!
  • FindFocusGroups.com: will help you to find focus groups near you in the US, by state.
  • FocusGroups.org: another US-based website that will help you to find focus groups in your city.
  • TakePartInResearch.co.uk: if you are in the UK, this is an amazing focus group finder! You can earn up to £150 for an hour of your time!
  • SIS International Research: conducts focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and research studies all over the world.
  • Advance Focus: a top-rated website that hosts focus groups and market research panels in New York City.
  • Plaza Research: specializes in in-person focus groups and has facilities across the U.S. and pays $50-$200 to group participants.

Get in There And Get Paid for Research!

Focus groups are not going to make you rich overnight, but they are a nice side hustle to make some extra cash in your spare time!
And if you are not going to get a free coffee from an in-person focus group, you can sign up to Swagbucks and get free $5 credit that you can use for s Starbucks gift card!

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