Affordable Ideas For A Romantic Date

Affordable Ideas For A Romantic Date

Falling in love is free but taking your sweetheart out for a night on the town can end up costing you a pretty penny. Even a simple dinner and a movie out can cost as much as $75 and if you want to go out for drinks, then you can expect to double your bill. Enjoying a night out is great on occasion, but the weekly expenses can quickly add up. If you are looking for ways to spend time romancing each other without emptying your wallet, there are plenty of creative ways to go about it.

We have put together a list of romantic date ideas that are both fun and affordable. You and your partner will still get to spend some quality time together, but instead of going broke in the process, you can save money and build on your relationship instead.

Take Dance Lessons Together

You may already know how to groove, but there is something utterly romantic and passionate about learning a new dance with your partner. Consider a new style or even learning a dance that you have both been interested in as a way to connect and share your passions. There are many dance studios in every city that offer one-time classes for couples. If you enjoy your date and learn some new moves at the same time, consider extending your lessons by making them a weekly event.

Candlelight Dinner at Home or in The Park

What is more romantic than a delicious dinner by candlelight? Instead of waiting weeks for a reservation at a pricey restaurant, you can create your own romantic dinner for much less. Order in from your favorite neighborhood restaurant or cook a delicious meal on your own to share with your mate. Dine-in or spend a night in the park watching the stars together as you please your palette and your heartstrings. With the right ambiance, any meal can be transformed into something special. The soft light of the candles will help to create an intimate and romantic environment wherever you happen to be.

Take A Long Romantic Drive

Depending on the season and also where you live, taking a long drive to enjoy the spring or autumn scenery is a great way to connect without breaking the bank. There is something soothing about watching the leaves as they change colors or marveling in nature as it starts to bloom. A scenic drive is not only soothing, it is a low-stress way to connect with your partner while disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are near a farm or orchard, consider stopping to pick berries or apples to snack on during your return trip.

Cook A Decadent Meal Together

The point of a date night is to spend quality time with your partner; what you are actually doing is less important than who you are doing it with. A great way to spend time getting to know each other or just reconnecting is by cooking a meal together. Granted, culinary arts are not for everyone, but it is a fun way to experiment with new flavors and new activities while spending time with each other. Plan out your menu, shop for ingredients, and then make a whole night out of preparing and preparing a decadent meal to enjoy together.

It is a great time to try new flavors and cuisines as well. Perhaps you love Thai food or maybe you want to recreate an Ethiopian dish, what better way to romance your partner than by spending time cultivating mouthwatering flavors together. Make sure to leave room for a luxurious dessert. A fancy ice cream Sunday or even an old-fashioned peach cobbler like grandma used to make is the perfect end to a pleasant evening in the kitchen together.

Catch A Summer Park Concert

With summer in full swing and most venues still choosing to host their events outdoors, what better way to date on a budget than with an open-air concert. Most music festivals or park concerts are either free or have a minimal cover charge for admission. This is a great way to spend time together while enjoying some seasonal entertainment under the stars. If you have some friends who live nearby, consider making it a double date to ramp up the fun.

Take A Day Trip

No matter where you live chances are there are some nice attractions nearby. Instead of a date night, consider making a whole day of your date. Take a trip within driving distance to explore the sites or attractions nearby. You can save money by bringing your own food in the form of a packed picnic or can clip coupons and grab some local delicacies instead. Fun ideas include a day at the beach or a weekend in the mountains. If you love nature, consider a hike up a scenic trail. Not only will you be able to enjoy an affordable date, you and your partner will have a chance to explore your surroundings while also spending time with each other.

Pamper Your Partner

Guys and girls alike love to enjoy the finer things in life such as a day at the spa. Instead of spending money on luxurious services outside, create the same experience at home. Stock up on mouth-watering treats, aromatic candles, soft towels, and soothing oils. Treat each other to deep tissue massages with soothing, passionate music playing in the background. Knead the stress of the workweek away while indulging each other in the sensual sounds, scents, and sensations of your own personal spa.

Indulge Your Partner With A Romantic Date While Sticking To A Budget

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more. 

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Chemicals Found In Consumer Products Could Increase Breast Cancer Risk: Study

Chemicals Found In Consumer Products Could Increase Breast Cancer Risk: Study

A new study has shown that several common chemicals, including pesticides, ingredients in consumer products, food additives, and drinking water contaminants, could increase the risk of breast cancer. (Anna Shvets/Pexels)

WASHINGTON — Several common chemicals, including pesticides, ingredients in consumer products, food additives, and drinking water contaminants, could increase the risk of breast cancer, a new study reveals.

These chemicals cause cells in breast tissue to produce more of the hormones estrogen or progesterone.

The findings of the study appeared in the journal ‘Environmental Health Perspectives.’

Every day, people are exposed to a variety of synthetic chemicals through the products they use or the food they eat. For many of these chemicals, the health effects are unknown.

However, this study has found the adverse effects of these chemicals and how they may increase the risk of breast cancer.

“The connection between estrogen and progesterone and breast cancer is well established,” said co-author Ruthann Rudel, a toxicologist and research director at Silent Spring Institute.

“So, we should be extremely cautious about chemicals in products that increase levels of these hormones in the body.”

For instance, in 2002, when the Women’s Health Initiative study found combination hormone replacement therapy to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, women stopped taking the drugs, and incidence rates went down.

“Not surprisingly, one of the most common therapies for treating breast cancer is a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors,” said Rudel.

“It lowers the levels of estrogen in the body, depriving breast cancer cells of the hormones they need to grow.”

To identify these chemical risk factors, Rudel and Silent Spring scientist Bethsaida Cardona combed through data on more than 2000 chemicals generated by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ToxCast program.

ToxCast aims to improve scientists’ ability to predict whether a chemical will be harmful or not.

The program uses automated chemical screening technologies to expose living cells to chemicals and then examine the different biological changes they cause.

Reporting in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Rudel and Cardona identified 296 chemicals that were found to increase estradiol (a form of estrogen) or progesterone in cells in the laboratory.

Seventy-one chemicals were found to increase levels of both hormones.

The chemicals included ingredients in personal care products such as hair dye, chemical flame retardants in building materials and furnishings, and a number of pesticides.

The researchers don’t yet know how these chemicals are causing cells to produce more hormones.

“It could be that the chemicals are acting as aromatase activators, for instance, which would lead to higher levels of estrogen,” said Cardona.

“What we do know is that women are exposed to multiple chemicals from multiple sources on a daily basis and that these exposures add up.”

The researchers hope this study will be a wake-up call for regulators and manufacturers in how they test chemicals for safety.

For instance, current safety tests in animals fail to look at changes in hormone levels in the animal’s mammary glands in response to chemical exposure.

Although high throughput testing in cells has been used to identify chemicals that activate the estrogen receptor, mimicking estrogen, the testing has not been used to identify chemicals that increase estrogen or progesterone synthesis.

“This study shows that a number of chemicals currently in use have the ability to manipulate hormones known to adversely affect breast cancer risk,” said Sue Fenton, associate editor for the study and an expert in mammary gland development at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“Especially concerning is the number of chemicals that alter progesterone, the potential bad actor in hormone replacement therapy. Chemicals that elevate progesterone levels in the breast should be minimized,” said Fenton.

The researchers outlined a number of recommendations in their study for improving chemical safety testing to help identify potential breast carcinogens before they end up in products, and suggest finding ways to reduce people’s exposures, particularly during critical periods of development, such as during puberty or pregnancy when the breast undergoes important changes.

The project is part of Silent Spring Institute’s Safer Chemicals Program, which is developing new cost-effective ways of screening chemicals for their effects on the breast.

Knowledge generated by this effort will help government agencies regulate chemicals more effectively and assist companies in developing safer products.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Amrita Das and Pallavi Mehra)

The post Chemicals Found In Consumer Products Could Increase Breast Cancer Risk: Study appeared first on Zenger News.

Top Destinations For Black Travelers

Top Destinations For Black Travelers

A lot of us had plans for travel in 2019 and 2020, but with most of the world closed to casual travelers, a lot of experiences went unfulfilled. With vaccinations at a good saturation point, travel is now back on the books, and 2021 is set to be a year to remember. There is nothing better than packing your bags and setting out for an unforgettable adventure. Even if you are not looking for adventure, a relaxing vacation in places that you have always dreamed of exploring is worth your consideration.

The travel industry has always been a bit of a mixed bag for the Black diaspora even well before the outbreak. With the spotlight on equality and revolutions being launched across the world, now is a better time than ever to travel according to your moral compass. Use travel companies that support our causes and choose travel locations that not only are Black traveler-friendly, but also those that support black communities and our allies.

Marrakech, Morocco

No travel list is complete without the addition of Morocco. Well known as being the city of creativity and mischief, Black travelers and black creative’s alike have been flocking to Marrakech in droves. By design, the city features a healthy mix of ethnicities and cultures which makes it easy to feel at home no matter where you are from. Marrakech has been the hub of international travel for hundreds if not thousands of years. No matter what your age, if you are looking for adventure and something a bit different from your normal beachside vacation, take a trip to the culture-rich city of Marrakech.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam has long been a tourist spot for all races thanks to its highly progressive levels of tolerance. It has also been rated as one of the best places for single females to travel. Aside from that, Black travelers are guaranteed to enjoy their time in the city and feel welcomed by the community as a whole. There are several communities that are predominately black, such as Oost. The nightlight is rich, colorful, and always shifting with a steady influx of international travelers and locals alike. Their easy libation laws are another draw that many Black travelers will also come to appreciate.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Despite the name this little island is anything but cold making it a scenic place to visit when you want to get away. It offers a range of stunning glaciers, epic volcanoes, and even luxurious hot springs that the likes of Beyonce has enjoyed on occasion. Although the small nation is largely extremely homogeneous, it is very open to travelers of all backgrounds. There has been some controversy in the past regarding how the country celebrated some of its ancient festivals, which is in no way a reflection of how they treat people of color. The country is very welcoming to black travelers and even has a rich black community of natives of the island, including Ms. Chambers.

London, United Kingdom

While the UK may be known for its fog, it is also known for its welcoming atmosphere when it comes to travelers of color. The country features one of the world’s largest and oldest cities that boast a mix of interests, cultures and ethnicities. Many neighborhoods feature a rich and storied black culture such as Brixton which is located in south London. If you have a bit of extra time, you can even visit some of Idris Elba’s favorite spots in his home country. In addition to modern culture, London has a long history with the African race. Consider taking the Black History Walk tour which details in vivid color the contributions black people have given to the London scene.

Accra, Ghana

It makes sense that Ghana would be welcoming to skin folk, being that black people are in a way kinfolk. Accra, in particular, is one of the most generous and friendly places to visit as a black traveler from any part of the world. As soon as you land, you will be greeted with warm smiles, kind words, and graciousness you will only find in west Africa. It may even surprise you to know that many Black Americans have taken their travel to the city a step further and moved there permanently. Although the county is different, it is a safe haven that will welcome you with open arms and open hearts for however long you choose to stay.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

For Black travelers who are seeking a bit of adventure or less commercial travel for their adventures, Vietnam should be one of the top choices on your list. This county offers lush landscapes, healthy food, and a rich culture that is extremely inviting towards melanated skin. A quick look at the film Da Five Bloods from Spike Lee’s will give you a few reasons to make this country a place to visit on your bucket list. Not only will you get a lesson of the real story behind the participation of the black diaspora in the Vietnam War, it will also give you a look at history from another perspective. Visit the War Remnants Museum and also take a tour through the underground complex to view history up close and personal. Aside from history, the country offers a wide array of luxury resorts, vibrant nightlife, and plenty of other attractions to keep you entertained during your trip.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, – Black Holocaust Museum

Most of the travel spots on our list have been international locations, but we have Stateside that is not only worth mentioning, but is also worth visiting. Milwaukee, Wisconsin has faced a long road in terms of racial history. It was almost destroyed in the ’60s due to various urban renewals but like all things Black, it has fought its way back from extinction with the same spirit our skin folk has always been known for. There are now many businesses and neighborhoods that are once again the highlight of the culture. One important place of note that is the main reason this spot deserves a place on your travel list is America’s Black Holocaust Museum that is set to reopen its doors this year. The museum originally opened on the site of the Sultan Muhammad Islamic Center. This is historically important because the center was opened by the only Black man in history to survive being lynched in America, Dr. James Cameron, who died naturally in 2006.

Each month we curate and present subjects and topics that matter to you. We work with Content Publishers in each of the major areas that impact our readers. Find out more about how you as a content publisher can benefit and grow your audience with curated content.

From Lifestyle to Entertainment to Business and Politics, The Narrative Matters showcases the content from the top minds and authors in their generation.

10 Things to Buy Before College

10 Things to Buy Before College

Source: Unsplash@element5digital

Colleges tell you what you need to buy before you get there. However, they’re just talking about the classes, supplies, and books. What they don’t tell you is that once you get to college, there are a few little things that would make your life so much easier. Rather than go to college and endure the first semester without these things, we’re here to get you ahead of the game! Here are the 10 (non-academic) things you should buy before college.

1. Portable fans

Source: Unsplash@Delaney Van

Many colleges require you to stay in the dorms. One thing no one tells you is that the temperature of your room won’t exactly be in your control. Especially if you’re in a state that stays warm, a portable fan may be the difference between being comfy in your room and not being able to sleep at night.

2. Noise-canceling headphones

Whether in a dorm or a house, you never know what could go on in your living space. Rather than wait for your dorm to throw a random 1am party on the night that you have a big test in the morning, invest in some nice noise-canceling headphones.

3. Desk lamp

Source: Unsplash@Beth Jnr

You may not think that lights will be an issue, but a large, portable desk lamp could really come in handy. Your dorm may not be lit well, or you may be studying after your roommate goes to sleep. You need a warm, functional desk lamp to get through those nights.

4. Pillows

Pillows are shockingly cheap. You can get generic ones for just a couple of bucks. Whether it’s to give your guests some comfort or surround yourself in a fortress of fluff, pillows provide a lot of pleasure for the price.

5. Water filter

Whether you’re in a dorm or renting an off-campus room, water filtration is one of those things you won’t think about until you’re annoyed by it. Even cheap water filters can provide much-needed peace of mind.

6. Umbrella

Source: Unsplash@ewitsoe

You can’t just grab your parents’ umbrella when you need to go out in the rain. Rather than have a bad experience with drenched art supplies, an unprotected laptop, or an important essay, take our advice and get a little umbrella.

7. Whiteboard and markers

You may be thinking you can just use the calendar on your phone, but there’s something about having your week mapped out on the wall that makes everything easier.

8. Backpack

Source: Unsplash@Lina Verovaya

We know it’s tempting to think that you don’t need this. You’re not in grade school anymore! But a good-looking backpack you can just sling on as you board the bus or head to class makes a huge difference.

9. Rugs

College will make you wish for the comforts of home. A nice rug by your bed, covering the cold tiles of the dorm floors, will go a long way to making it feel like “your” room.

10. Printing supplies

A lot of teachers still ask for your assignments to be printed out. You may have a printing lab on campus, but they may require you to bring paper. Or you may be off-campus and need one of your own. You definitely need to work this out before that first paper is due!

The Takeaway

Your first year of college won’t be easy but a few supplies can make a huge difference. We think that you’ll miss all of the things listed above at least once. Conveniently, nothing except the headphones and printer should set you back too much. Rather than wish you had the little things when it’s too late, make them a priority now!

Each month we curate and present subjects and topics that matter to you. We work with Content Publishers in each of the major areas that impact our readers. Find out more about how you as a content publisher can benefit and grow your audience with curated content.

From Lifestyle to Entertainment to Business and Politics, Narrative Matters showcases the content from the top minds and authors in their generation.

Tips For A Great Staycation

Tips For A Great Staycation

For those who love getting out there and enjoying what the world has to offer, being grounded can feel like a serious punishment. Even for those who are not used to traveling, taking a break from the daily grind is probably something that sounds quite enticing right about now. With fewer options for long-distance travel on the table, creating a unique Staycation experience is the next best thing. Even if you can travel but you want to think economically, a staycation is the ultimate budget choice.

In addition to saving money, staycations are eco-friendly, time-saving, and ultimately more flexible than hopping on a flight overseas or even completing a drive across the country. If you are interested in making the most of your time at home but are at a loss about how to do it, we have some creative suggestions. With our tips, you can experience a vacation here at home that you will never forget.

#1 Plan Your Staycation In Advance

The point of a staycation is to enjoy time away from the daily grind it may seem unusual to spend time planning. Just like you would plan a vacation away from home, you will need to plan your staycation at home. If you don’t create a structure for your getaway without getting away, it will be the same routine that you routinely follow at the end of the workweek. Planning out your staycation will give you a range of new activities to try, or simply a collection of things to do that you previously never had time to complete.

#2 Set A Theme

Think about your travel style, is it relaxed and laid back, or healthy and active? Are you an indulgent traveler who lives in the moment or do you make calculated choices? Whatever your style you can adopt the same methods to your staycation. Knowing your style will help you chose a theme and schedule for your time at home. For example, if you like to explore when you travel consider taking in the marvels of your town through the eyes of a tourist. Explore new places that you may have overlooked or even join a professional tour of your city. If your area is recognized for its culinary delights, consider turning your staycation into a gastronomic getaway. Visit the premier restaurants in your area and try new dishes that are out of your comfort zone. You can even go camping if you have local mountains and trails in your area. Naturally, nothing beats getting away from home while staying in. There are plenty of Airbnb in just about every city so you can discover a new place to explore the city for a change of scenery.

#3 Turn Your Home Into A Hotel

For those who will be staying at home, take the time to transform your house into a private getaway. Consider hiring a maid service if that is within your budget so you can enjoy all of your time instead of splitting it between cleaning and vacationing. You can also decorate your home with fresh flowers and plants to give it a different vibe than your usual daily setup. Skip your usual breakfast items and invest in fancy coffees, teas, and treats that you would usually find on a trip away. There are even many food delivery services that you can arrange in advance to provide freshly cooked meals for however many days you plan to vacation in. If you plan to vacation locally at a BnB or hotel, choose one that offers the atmosphere you desire for your days off.

#4 Create A Budget

Staying at home will be much more affordable than traveling somewhere far away. As a result, you can probably afford to do much more than you would otherwise have been able to if you had to worry about hotels and travel expenses. That being said, it is still critical to set a budget that is also reasonable. Aim for about a third or even half of the amount you would have spent on an external vacation. This will give you enough leeway to enjoy good food, quality cleaning services, and some entertainment without breaking the bank.

#5 Treat Your Staycation Like A Vacation

When you go away on a real vacation, your work and stress stay at home. The same thing should be true when you vacation at home. One of the best ways to do this is by not telling your officemates or your friends and family that you will be taking your time off and spending it at home. If you do, chances are people will still try to draw you in to do extra work or even stop by to infringe upon your staycation time.

#5 Unplug From The Internet & Plug Into Your Partner/Family

The most important way to make the most of your staycation is to be present and aware in each and every moment. Log off of social media, stay away from the news & television, and make an active decision to unwind. Talk with your partner and your family if they are staycationing with you. Explore activities together and use this time to reconnect without distractions. This is a great way to relearn everything there is to know about your partner or your kids while having fun at the same time.

#6 Pick Up Some Mementos

One of the best parts of traveling is picking up some meaningful goodies to take home that will remind you of your time away. Even though you are staying locally, you can still grab some momentos to remind you of your time off. Consider stopping by some local boutiques for off-the-wall items that you may have never seen until now. You can also take pictures at IG-worthy locations or during your upscale meals to mark the date. Anything that calls out to you during your staycation is a promising candidate for a souvenir.

Bringing You Relaxation Ideas With Your Budget In Mind

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more. 


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