The Most Beautiful Lakes in the USA

lakesThe United States of America is defined by water. From the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, the Caribbean Sea to the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi to the Colorado rivers, vast waterways have shaped this land and the people who call it home. Let’s not forget the lakes — beautiful bodies of water that have been awing all comers for centuries. Whether you prefer fishing, boating or just sitting on the shore with a good book, do yourself a favor and find a way to visit these lakes.

And remember, if you’re going to take the boat out for some fun on the water, you need to get a boating license first.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Nothing is quite like Crater Lake. Crystal clear, blue water filled the hole left when an ancient volcano, Mount Mazama, collapsed nearly 8,000 years ago, and everyone who has seen it since has had their breath taken away. It is the centerpiece of Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park, and a hike to the caldera is one of the best trips you could ever take.

Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid is best remembered not for its water but for ice. The 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid featured the U.S. hockey team’s improbable upset over the Soviet juggernauts in the “Miracle on Ice.” But those who have seen the lake in person would probably tell you that its splendor is even more amazing than the outcome of a sporting event. It gets a gold medal in beauty.

Skilak Lake, Alaska

The majestic Skilak Lake in Alaska is partly filled by glacial melt runoff, making it an incredibly gorgeous oasis in a land of stark, harsh terrain. And since this large lake — it is 15 miles long and up to 4 miles wide in some places — sits just two hours from Anchorage, it is one of the more accessible of the many wondrous lakes in a state that may have more natural beauty than the other 49 combined.

Lake Powell, Arizona

Not all wonder has to be natural. The manmade Lake Powell, which was created near Glen Canyon when a dam was built in 1963, is a true sight to behold. A huge reservoir of water in such an arid climate makes for a dynamic contrast that will wow any visitor. The Rainbow Bridge National Monument is something you cannot miss.

Lake Chelan, Washington

Washington’s biggest lake is a tourist draw, and it’s easy to see why. It is the third deepest lake in the United States, something that was only magnified when a dam installation in 1927 raised the water level almost 30 feet. With great fishing and easy access, it is one of the state’s best vacation spots.

Lake Okeechobee, Florida

After Lake Michigan, Lake Okeechobee — or just “The Lake” in Florida — is the largest lake entirely in the Lower 48. It is unique for being so mammoth yet so swallow, with an average depth of less than 10 feet.

Rimowa Luggage: Why You Should Invest in These Luxury Suitcases

cd2d883aa28345418dcd70decd9657e5When it comes to buying luggage, there is no substitution for luxury suitcases that will literally last a lifetime and beyond. From its iconic grooved design to Rimowa’s insistence on using only the highest quality materials, there probably isn’t a brand on earth that can compete with this German company’s line of luxury luggage.  Here Charlesfordlondon.com explains why your investment in Rimowa luggage is a wise choice on your part.

Long History of Quality Products & Customer Satisfaction

In 1898 Paul Morszeck opened his first suitcase factory in Cologne. The beginnings saw a high quality of care put into each and every piece of luggage and to this day, much of the production of Rimowa luggage is still done by hand. With such great care given to each and every piece, customers became loyal to the brand that set the standards for so many koffermanufakturs (suitcase manufacturers) to follow. Three generations down the road, Rimowa is still going strong as industry innovators and is still in the capable hands of the family with Dieter Morszeck at the helm, Paul’s grandson.

Still Largely Hand Crafted

As mentioned above, Rimowa luggage is, for the most part, still made by hand with careful attention being given to each detail, no matter how small. When you see that a product is hand crafted you can be assured that a human is taking great pains to inspect each detail as the item is being produced. This is something machines simply can’t duplicate and one of the reasons why Rimowa continues to be an industry leader.

Lightweight Yet Extremely Durable

In the beginning, Rimowa was an innovator by designing luggage manufactured from duralumin just like the F-13 all metal passenger plane that was the founder’s inspiration. At the time, most luggage was extremely large because travellers literally carried almost everything they owned! With the advent of using duralumin, even larger pieces could be lightweight enough to handle. In the year 2000 Rimowa introduced another material to the luggage industry, polycarbonate which was proclaimed by today’s president and CEO, Dieter Morszeck, to be the place where technology meets handmade. In other words, without sacrificing the brand’s pride in offering a handmade product, they could now use a space-age material that would provide a durable suitcase but with the same iconic method of making each piece by hand.

Cutting Edge of Fashion

Although there are a number of styles and models designed after the classic grooved style luggage (modelled after the F-13), each and every design still comes in at the cutting edge of fashion. Whether you buy the classic Topas grooved Rimowa luggage or one of the subsequent styles like the currently popular Salsa, you can always be assured that Rimowa Luggage will be on the cutting edge of fashion.

So why should you invest in these luxury suitcases? The answer to that is really quite simple. Rimowa luggage is still hand crafted, durable, and at the cutting edge of style. There isn’t another brand that meets all three of those criterion and once you own a piece of Rimowa, you’ll know why.

4 Personal Finance Tips for College Students


It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s back to school time for students all around the country.  Some students are heading back to see old friends on campus and some are new college students heading off to make friends for the first time.

There is this myth about college students, a myth that says they have to be broke during their four years of college.  But that’s just not true.  I think many students don’t have money because they mismanage it, not because there is no money coming in.

With a little bit of discipline and some planning along with these personal finance tips college students can pay tuition and save a little bit of money at the same time.

Leave the credit card at home

Your college years are a crucial time in establishing your credit history.  If you misuse your credit card, carry balances and don’t pay it off in full you are taking the risk of hurting your financial future – and you’re going to pay money (unnecessarily) on interest.

Next time you go out with friends leave your credit card at home to avoid overspending.  Bring a set amount of cash to ensure you stay on a budget you can afford.  Or better yet, stay in one night and save that money instead of spending it on food and drinks.

Save with every pay check

I know money is tight in college, trust me I do know.  However I think saving, any amount of saving, is a good financial habit to start.  Saving $20 a pay check every two weeks for four years can quickly add up to a lot of money.  I think we can all agree that having a chunk of savings at graduation can help start your life on the right food.

Buy and sell used books

I know this may sound awful but I rarely bought books in college after my first year and I only did it during my first year because I didn’t know any better.  I came to learn that going to class is a lot more important than reading the books.  When a textbook was absolutely required I tried to buy a used copy in an effort to save money.

If I did buy new books (because there were no used copies available) I would sell it back to the bookstore at the end of the semester.  It was a great way to save, actually earn, some extra cash.

Don’t eat on campus

This is a definite budget killer.  I don’t know about you but during my four years of college I always felt like I was ten minutes behind.  I was always rushing from class to my part time job or from my group work sessions to my next class.  It was a lot and my schedule was tight.

I didn’t bring food with me and not only did that cost me a lot of money, but it led to bad spending habits as I got older.  Learning to cook in college and bring snacks would have definitely saved me a lot of money over the years.

Photo from Pixabay


Looking for Balance and Serenity? Turn to Tech

balanceAlthough technology can be a distraction in your busy, modern life, it also can act as a helpful ally. Whether your to-do list is as long as your arm or the bulk of your stress is coming from one huge project at work, you don’t have to be overwhelmed. If you rely upon the right technology, you can find the life balance you seek.

Optimize Your Cellphone Usage

You already know that your smartphone’s functionality is nearly never-ending. And even though you try to limit the time you spend staring at its screen in fear of it detracting from your life, don’t discount its ability to make your life easier.

One of the most positive ways to employ the help of a smartphone is by using it for organization. Apple especially prides itself on the intuitive nature of its phones. TheiPhone 6’s simple navigation is just one aspect that saves you time. Devote a few minutes to organizing your phone by consolidating apps into folders and removing any apps you don’t regularly use. Then, download a few that can make your life easier, such as eMeals for recipes and grocery shopping, Every Dollar for budgeting and Trello for managing your to-do list.

Commit to using your phone for these important tasks and to putting it out of sight when you’re working or with family and friends. This helps you get the most from your phone, while not letting it take away from living your life.

Use Trackers to Stay Healthy

Don’t let stress wreak havoc on your body and mind. To keep your mind clear (and sane), use technology to help with your nutrition and exercise.

Technology helps keep you accountable and gives you new ideas. Give the Fitbit Charge HR a try if you want to easily keep track of your heart rate and workouts. It even monitors your sleep to make sure you’re getting quality rest every night. Or, if you need help staying on track with your diet, “My Fitness Pal” tracks your calorie intake and nutritional needs. “Nike+ Training Club” helps you switch up your workouts all the time.

Stay Charged

The last thing you want to happen when you’re finally enjoying the benefits of technology is to run out of a charge. Although the iPhone 6 and Fitbit boast long battery lives, other pieces of technology can die rather quickly. Invest in the Powermat or the Wagan Solar E Charger to keep your devices charged and ready to go. By preparing ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of your busy life without your essential tech gear.

If you’re in need of some serenity in your life, don’t assume you need to shun technology. Instead, focus on using tech in smart ways. Be savvy with your cellphone, incorporate technology into your fitness and diet regimens and make sure you always have a charge. This way you’ll find yourself more organized, healthy and balanced. And who doesn’t want that?