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How I Keep Calm In Traffic

How I Keep Calm In Traffic

Heavy traffic can be the bane of your existence if you drive to work. Here are the things I do to keep calm in traffic & make the commute a bit more bearable.

How I keep calm in traffic

Listen to the radio

The main reason I listen to the radio when I’m driving is to get the traffic report. Most radio stations deliver a traffic report roughly every 15 minutes during peak times. Because of this, I can make an informed decision about which roads to take to my destination.

The music & DJs also help pass the time. I often think about how I could contribute if I had to call in about the topic they are talking about.

Minimise distractions

I keep my phone on silent most of the time, not just when I’m driving but when I am work too. I also keep it in the phone pocket of my bag, on the floor on the passenger side of my car. The radio is generally up loud enough that I don’t hear it vibrate & I occasionally have missed calls, text messages or notifications when I check my phone at my destination.

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Know the roads

In case you need to take a different route, it helps to know the roads. My car doesn’t have a built-in GPS, so knowing the roads comes in handy. Sometimes you will have no choice but to figure it out as you go.

A bonus here is to be able to orient yourself by knowing which way is north & knowing which general direction you need to go.

Play a game

I like to take note of some of the cars around me & track my progress against theirs. I try to pick a memorable vehicle or two (usually ones with branding of some sort, it makes them easy to remember) & compare which lanes are moving faster. It sometimes interesting to see further along the road once the traffic has cleared if I see them again.

Know the flow

Knowing which lanes flow better on the freeway help you take advantage of the ones that move a bit faster than others. Generally, the lanes where traffic merges tend to move slower, but that is not always the case.

Use audio books

For long trips, I like to listen to audiobooks. If I know I will be in the car for at least an hour, it’s a great way to multi-task. Most of the audiobooks I like to listen to are ones I can learn from such as business, personal finance & even self-help. The only time I avoid this is during peak traffic periods where I find its best to listen to the radio for the traffic report.

night traffic text overlay: How I Keep Calm In Traffic

How To Save Your Feet At The Beach

Australia DayAustralia Day is synonymous with many things. A warm summers day. Sausages cooked to perfection on the BBQ. Ice cold beer in the esky. A lazy day at the beach. Southern Cross flags rippling in the breeze. The strange tan line on your feet from your thongs.

Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

Christmas Tree Decorating TipsAs much as I love Christmas, the tree is the only Christmas decoration I put up. It was almost the only Christmas decoration I had growing up. There was an inflatable Santa & an inflatable reindeer. But after a few years they stopped being used, I guess they got holes in them.

I like to set up my tree on December 1 but of course, it doesn’t alway happen.

Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

  • Pick two (three at most) complementary colours to decorate your tree. Some great combinations are red & silver, red & gold, silver & gold, blue & silver (my favourite), and light green & silver.
  • Only decorate with baubles. Ornaments tend to look out of place on a colour themed tree. If you really feel the need for ornaments only use a few sentimental ones.
  • Use all of the baubles. I have found that my tree looks much better if I use all of the baubles. Less is not always more!
  • Avoid using tinsel. It’s messy & it makes the tree look too busy.
  • Pick lights that are all the same colour, rather than multicolour. Like the ornaments I think multicoloured lights look out of place.
  • To store the string lights, wrap it around your elbow & thumb, making a thick loop. Use freezer bag ties at several intervals around the loop then hang the loop over a coat hanger. This helps to minimise tangles when you need them next year!


RELATED: Post Christmas Clean Up


Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

How I set up my tree

  1. Set up the tree near where you want it. Leave enough room so that you can walk all the way around it.
  2. Put the lights on starting from the bottom, walking your way around the tree, moving upwards. Remember to leave enough slack for it to reach the power point.
  3. Add the star or angel to the top.
  4. Add the baubles.
  5. Move the tree to its final location.

How I use Spare Change

How I use Spare Change

Although it is incredibly rare that I have cash to spend, I like to hang on to any spare change I get. Any coins are considered to be spare change. I like to keep them in two zip lock bags, one for gold (one & two dollars) & one for silver (fifty, twenty, ten & five cents).

The main use I have for the gold coins is to pay for any parking. I regularly see a client in the city & need to pay for parking while I am there. Honestly I could park on the street for free & move my car every few hours, but I am too lazy to do that. Plus, it could be raining, or cold, or no spaces left when I need to move it, or worse still, I could forget altogether & end up with a parking fine. And that fine costs about twelve times more than the parking! I try to keep enough money for 2 trips to this client in my coin purse. It also means that if something else come up, I have a small amount of change on me at any given time.

I have been quite lucky though. The ticket machines have been upgraded & will also take card payments. That really comes in handy when I forget to top up my coin purse.

Other uses

Occasionally I use the gold coins for the self-service car wash.

For the last 2 years I have donated all my silver coins when I host the Biggest Morning Tea. It means I get rid of all my really small change & it goes to a good cause. I also have to go to the bank in order to deposit the money into the charity’s account, so it goes full circle: I get change from a shop. I put it in the bank when I donate it. Shops order change from the bank to give to their customers.

Europe Travel Tips

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I am absolutely amazed at the number of things I learned while travelling in Europe with Contiki back in 2011. I’m sure a lot of these are still relevant and can be used in many travel destinations.

Europe Travel Tips

Obvious Tips

• Try to keep up with your travel diary – It gets really hard to remember what you did 2 days ago after experiencing so many new things.
• Carry wipes – these are great to freshen up on the plane or in the airport, in case there isn’t any toilet paper, & possible bird poo incidents.
• Use hotel soap – and don’t forget to take the packaged ones with you. The next hotel might not have any & you can generally wash your underwear with soap.
• Pack light – I packed 5 pairs on underwear for my 6 weeks in Europe. Each night in the shower I would wash them & hang them to dry. Plus you never know how many clothes & souvenirs you might buy.
• Spending money – take some in cash, some on a travel card & have access to a credit card just in case.

Not so obvious

• Carry change to pay for restrooms – I was a little surprised by this but not annoyed. Be prepared to pay around £1 or €1 each time to use a public restroom (including service stations).
• Be prepared for NO PHOTOS – while viewing some beautiful things you may be reminded you are not allowed to take photos. I never asked for a reason. But wasn’t allowed to take photos in the Sistine Chapel, of the English Crown Jewels or Michelangelo’s David.
• Throw it or leave it – another way I managed to pack light was by packing items I was prepared to throw away. I was willing to throw out jeans, a jumper, thrift store handbag & shoes if I found suitable replacements. The only thing that did get replaced was my handbag.


• Throw it or leave it– throw out or leave things at your last destination if you don’t need them. Left over moisturiser, toothpaste, things that you have replaced.
• Take note of your photos – each night I went through the photos on my camera & wrote down what they were of. Chances are you won’t remember & may delete it when you can’t tell friends & family what it is.