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Cheryl Posner

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Best Cars for Luxury on a Budget

Looking for the full range of features and amenities without that intimidating luxury price-tag? You can still get a vehicle fitted out with premium materials and the best in high-tech and luxe features without completely breaking the bank. Here are the 5 best cars for luxury on a budget.

Nissan Maxima

The Nissan Maxima tends to defy the standard when compared to other models in its class. It doesn’t boast an official “luxury” badge, yet it performs and feels like a step above comparable models and presents a driving experience like a luxury sedan.

The Maxima is powerful and fun to drive, with strong acceleration and sporty handling, yet also sophisticated and stylish, with a refined and comfortably smooth ride. The interior feels much more luxurious than the price-tag would suggest, with soft-touch surfaces throughout and “Zero Gravity” seats that are both supportive and comfortable.

Standard features include keyless ignition and entry, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay capabilities, sound system with satellite radio and a navigation system. Optional luxurious upgrades include 360-degree parking camera, Nissan Connect, upgraded driver seat with two-way power lumbar, premium diamond-quilted leather upholstery, driver attention alert system and a premium Bose audio system.

Audi A3

The Audi A3 is a premium vehicle at a reasonable price that provides the perfect entry-level option for drivers wanting to break into the luxury market. Drivers love the sophisticated, refined style of the Audi A3 combined with the smooth maneuverability, powerful acceleration and sharp handling. This is a vehicle that speaks of luxury and sophistication while still providing a fun and sporty drive.

Basic features on the A3 include leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with four-way power lumbar adjustment, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, the MMI electronics system and a 10-speaker sound system. Optional upgrades include smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities, a powered passenger seat, Bang and Olufsen sound system and adaptive cruise control. Max out on the luxury and high-tech features with the Technology package, that comes with mobile 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hot-spot, voice controls, mobile app integration and a navigation system that utilizes Google Earth imagery.

Mercedes-Benz CLA class

The Mercedes-Benz CLA class keeps all of the classic Mercedes style and sophistication with some fun features and a reasonable price-tag. Drivers adore this vehicle because of its fun and sporty driving experience, full suite of safety features and equipment, incredible fuel economy and impressive cargo carrying capacity. You can have it all in a luxury package with a sleek, distinctive style in the CLA class.

Standard features for the CLA class are impressive, particularly the forward collision warning system with automatic braking and the drowsy driver attention system, two advanced safety features that are almost always optional or not available on other luxury car models. Also standard are eight-way power front seats with four-way driver lumbar adjustment and memory functions, Bluetooth connectivity, the Mercedes COMAND technology system and the Mbrace2 emergency communication system. Optional upgrades include advanced safety features, a Harman Kardon sound system, panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, adjustable suspension, automatic parking system, smartphone integration and a navigation system with voice controls.

Cadillac ATS

It’s hard to drive a Cadillac without people noticing your style. The ATS matches that sophisticated attitude with impressive performance thanks to agile handling, a full suite of high-tech features and an entertaining driving experience,

The ATS is a compact luxury sport sedan with rear or all wheel drive that comes standard with some impressive features including keyless ignition, rear-view camera, six-way power front seats with power lumbar and the CUE infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, OnStar, voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity and a Bose sound system.  Optional luxurious upgrades include leather surface seats with 10-way power seats, sunroof, a suite of advanced driver assist and safety features including collision alert, and parking sensors.

Volvo S60

Volvo has a great reputation for safety, but the Volvo S60 turns heads with style and power befitting of a luxury car known for speed and sporty driving. This car still feels sophisticated thanks to an all wheel drive system and interior cabin features that keep it both comfortable and quiet even while it’s roaring with its supercharger and turbocharger engines.

Standard features on the S60 include Volvo’s On Call safety system that provides emergency and stolen vehicle assistance and automatic crash notification, Volvo’s Sensus smartphone app integration, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi capability, a fully-equipped sound system, leather seats, eight-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar and memory settings, and low speed forward collision warning.

Optional luxury upgrades include a navigation system, premium Harman Kardon sound system, parking assistance, rear-seat entertainment with dual displays, keyless ignition and entry, a power front passenger seat and wood interior trim.

Babysitting Jobs For Teens Are Out There – Know Where To Look

As a teen, it can be difficult to find jobs with the flexibility to allow for homework and a social life, which is why babysitting has always been an attractive option. With so many job boards and fake posters out there, it can be difficult to tell what a real opportunity looks like. Babysitting jobs for teens used to come the old-fashioned way — from a friend, a neighbor, an aunt or uncle, church, or other social organization. But they were not very well organized, and more importantly, not always the best fit for a teen looking to break into the working world, build experience, and save money. Many of the jobs teens have traditionally had, such as working at a grocery store or in fast food, can get in the way of your studies, sports or other afterschool activities (which can all help your college applications), or your social life. Sometimes, due to high rates of workplace injury or robberies, fast food jobs can be outright dangerous. Babysitting remains a great way to save money, it’s just a matter of finding the right jobs.

Thankfully, in today’s cyber-connected society, there are plenty of safe and streamlined possibilities for teens looking to earn extra income by babysitting. Below are 4 simple features of better babysitting job sites that mean teens can find babysitting jobs near them.

1.Favorites lists: A good job site that connects teens with babysitting jobs will have an easy-to-use way for families to save a list of their favorite sitters. When it comes to babysitting part time, often families find that their number one pick is unavailable on the night that they need to get out of the house. Using a favorites list on a site like Sitter.com means they have quick access to a list of people they know and trust.

2. Notes on user profiles: When potential employers are able to keep notes directly on your profile (private notes, that is), they have an easier time sorting through their notes from interviews. It makes the hiring process easier and it’s one of the reasons employers keep coming back to sites like Sitter.com that use it.

3. Identity protection: This is an extremely important factor for teen babysitters who are just making their first foray into the workforce. Teens are constantly barraged by unsafe methods of contact through websites, email scams, and apps. A reputable site for teen babysitters will ensure safety and privacy by providing a way to mask personal phone numbers and email addresses, so that only legitimate employers can contact you.

4. Customer Support: Any good job board for babysitters will offer customer support for those who are experiencing technical difficulties, or need assistance with their online profile or contact details. Be sure to check out blog articles and advice on creating an effective profile that will attract families. Make the most of the resources available to you and find out how you can start searching for jobs and making sure families know how to find you. You can also find advice on preparing for interviews and presenting yourself professionally.

It’s easy to find a job babysitting; start your search in the right place today.

Surprisingly Awesome Road Trip Cars

When it comes to road-tripping, especially in wine country, your car may be the most important part of your trip. Here are some surprisingly awesome road trip cars that you should keep on your list and consider before you plan your next big adventure. There’s something special about each of them that makes them perfect for long drives into the unknown.

GMC Canyon Diesel

This powerful pickup truck is perhaps the most surprising on this list of surprisingly awesome road trip cars. You may not think of a pickup as being a good vehicle for a long drive due to space restrictions and bad gas mileage, but this 4-door diesel gets about 30 mpg on the highway and up to 600 miles on one tank. The turbocharged engine pulls the truck along with the ease of a sedan but allows you to tow up to 7,000 pounds of road trip toys. Convert the truck’s bed into a pool for portable road trip swimming!

Ford Flex

Ford Flex 03.jpg
By resedabearFlickr, CC BY 2.0, Link

On a road trip, traveling around in a box may be a good thing when it comes to space. This SUV has three rows, which means you have so much room for all of your passengers and cargo as well. If you aren’t using all the seats, put them down and you’ll have plenty of space for pretty much anything you would want to bring on a road trip, from mountain bikes to paddleboards. The square shape means lots of extra headroom which makes the Flex feel so spacious and makes even the longest road trips extra enjoyable.

Toyota RAV4

Toyota Rav4 2016.jpg
By RL GNZLZ from Chile – Toyota Rav4 2016, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The RAV4 might seem just just another SUV, but this compact adventure-mobile is actually pretty special. For starters, it can tow up to 1,500 pounds and has Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which will really transform your long road trip. This cruise control lets you set a speed and then uses radar to adjust if there are cars in front of you. An interior with reduced noise and vibration helps keep everyone more comfortable on your drive. Four-wheel drive lets you explore anywhere you want, while an average 30 mpg on the highway makes it the perfect cruiser as well.

Kia Sedona

The Sedona is an affordable but luxurious minivan that’s makes you forget you’re driving a van. Tri-zone climate control helps keep everyone on your road trip so comfortable, while the captain’s chairs in the center row offer reclining footrests so your passengers can really relax on the drive. A super sleek and stylish exterior looks more like a hatchback than a van. You’ll get about 25 mpg on the highway with this room-for-8 van that can also tow about 3,500 of road trip toys.

Chevy Impala

This full-sized sedan is truly comfort on wheels when it comes to road-tripping. The trunk is surprisingly roomy, and the seats for the driver and all passengers are designed for comfort. The Impala’s suspension gives the sedan’s ride a floating feeling that minimizes all feelings of being on the road. If you’re looking for a great basic sedan with a well-above average ride and cargo space, the Impala is a surprisingly awesome road trip car.

Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe

The S550 Coupe lets you look good while you travel, and gives you a good way to view the road with its huge sunroof and pillarless glass windows. You’ll get to see all of your surroundings from the comfort of this luxury ride. Nice little features like a multimedia system help keep your passengers entertained on long drives, while the Intelligent Drive safety and convenient features like radar systems, brake assistance and active blind spot assist will make the drive less stressful for the driver and more safe for everyone.

Toyota FJ Cruiser

Even though they stopped making this awesome SUV in 2014, a used one is still a great choice for a road trip vehicle, especially if you want to do any off-roading road trips. The boxy, rugged-looking exterior has little touches like 3 windshield wipers and rear-opening back passenger doors. The inside is covered with a washable rubber material to let you clean up fast after a fun day of adventuring in the sand, mud or water. They’re so fun to adventure in!

How Much Does Looking Beautiful Really Cost?

When we look at the most beautiful women in the world, now and in the past, one of the key things to remember is that their looks come at a financial cost.  The beauty industry here in the UK is worth billions and most women spend hundreds, even thousands, each year on beauty products and treatments.

What the celebrities spend

Let’s look at the top end of the scale to start with – what the celebrities spend to look at good as they do.  Two popular current examples are Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, with millions of social media followers, huge TV shows and the adoration of fans around the world.

According to a survey conducted by My Voucher Codes, this comes at a substantial cost both financially and in terms of time.  According to the study, Kim Kardashian takes at least two hours to do her makeup and uses around £2300 worth of products as part of that daily routine.  Of course, she also makes a fortune from her own range of products that is worth around £2.8 million.

Likewise, Kylie Jenner spends around two hours doing her makeup and spends around £2800 every time.  But again, she also generates a huge amount of income from selling these products to others with her income from beauty products, clothing books, posters and other merchandise said to total around £16.5 million a year.

Beauty vloggers

Nor is it just the very top level of celebrities that are making money from their beauty regimes and from their social media following.  Flux Magazine looked at the top beauty vloggers and bloggers to see what kind of following and income they have:

  • Michelle Phan – subscribers: 6 million, earnings £2.1 million a year
  • Zoella – subscribers: 4 million, earnings £50k a month
  • Tanya Burr – subscribers: 2.8 million, earnings £20k a month

When you look at the amount of month most people spend on beauty products, this all makes perfect sense.  For example, the 19-24 age group spend over £1700 a year on such products while their 25-34 age group increase this to over £2000.  It increases another £100 a year in the 35-44 age group and another £100 again in the 45-54 age group.  The last group, 55-64, reduces slightly but still spend an average £2190 a year on such products.

Saving money

Of course, there are ways to save money on these beauty products.  Watching for sales is one effective way while searching for discount vouchers can see a substantial saving.  Trying beauty boxes is another way to get the best products for a bargain price with companies such as Glossybox and Birchbox offering a range of travel or full sized items for as little as £10 a time.