Mona Molayem, also known by her Instagram handle Mona Corona stormed onto the luxury blogging scene in 2017 with the goal of inspiring millennial women to obtain their dream vacations on a gig economy budget. Her travel blog and Instagram posts are packed with various resourceful travel “hacks” on how to secure business class upgrades to screen saver worthy destinations all over the world while gaming loyalty programs and cutting costs that might befall the less savvy (and wealthier) boomers. As a luxury travel and lifestyle influencer, she has collaborated with mega brands such as Nike and Hilton just in the last year, and her following has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in the three years since her blog’s conception. However, what sets Mona apart from her peers on Instagram and the rest of the blogosphere the most is her devotion to ethical and responsible ecotourism. Going into the near year, her platform continues to be not only making luxury travel affordable, but environmentally sustainable too.
For instance, while a many Instagram travel influencers are perfectly happy showing off their figure in a bathing suit and Gucci flip flops for “likes”, Mona would rather call her followers’ attention to her reef safe sunscreen. She says, “Sunscreen and bug sprays are the two products that tourists use which cause the greatest damage to our ecosystems. Reef-safe sunscreen while swimming in the ocean is a must to protect the natural environment from dying off. Certain sunscreens contain harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate which cause damage to coral reefs” and her posts and stories are filled similarly eco-friendly advice. Thinking about taking a cute pic of yourself posing with a tiger in Thailand for The ‘Gram? (Or maybe your Hinge profile?) Her blog points out that these animals are often drugged and sedated to their health detriment, and while she never scolds or preaches to her audience, she raises awareness to issues many Western tourists might take for granted. She is a longtime advocate of Elephant Nature Park, one of the few ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, which she ranks as one of her top ten travel experiences of the decade.
As a millennial in the Influencer Age, Mona understands that the true value in luxury travel is not merely in the over-water bungalows of Maldives or the lux “glamping” sites of the Sahara, but in the experiences themselves, whether it’s a starry desert sky or the sight of a silver Moroccan moon that could make a Carl Jung profess faith in the goddess Astarte, or more importantly, getting to interact with the local people of these distant places and appreciate their cultures. She says, “If an area is known for a certain crop such as coffee or chocolate, consider going on a locally-run plantation tour. Anything you can do to interact with locals and learn about their heritage and/or daily life is a great way to culturally immerse yourself and connect to the people and surroundings.”
With the rise of environmental awareness, green movements, and the millennial generation seeing (and reeling from) errors of our predecessors, 2020 marks a shift in collective consciousness and Mona Molayem has her finger on the pulse. To quote Chief Seattle, “Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” Juxtapose this wisdom with one of my favorite Mona Corona Instagram posts, which is a picture of a sign on a beach in Maui that simply reads, “Protect the Earth; it is the only one we have.” The image is a perfect summation of her mission: to make trips to these destinations not only enjoyable, but to protect them so that our future generations can enjoy them too.
Author credit: Barrett Lyle
Rapper Kaliwae talks about balancing mommy life with rap life
Kaliwae is a rap artist from Los Angeles, California. She rose to popularity after her viral single “Disrespectful”. Which was a response to a quarrel with her brother who happens to be multi-platinum rapper, Blueface. Kaliwae and her brother eventually settled their differences but not before she was motivated to pursue a career in rap.
Becoming a rap artist in today’s society is no easy task. When you dive into the personal life of Kaliwae, you will notice that she’s a mom as well. It can definitely be challenging to effectively manage being a rapper and to taking care of a growing child but Kaliwae is up for the challenge. She’s always been a person who can work under pressure and is no stranger to the game. When she’s not in the studio working on her album, she’s does everything in her power to uphold the responsibilities that she has as a mother.
“You have to work hard and make numerous commitments to achieve your goals” she said. “I value my family and I know that paying attention to the needs and requirements of son is important”.
Growing up there were very challenging conditions in her neighborhood. She attended five different high schools but was still able to secure a good GPA. In addition to that, she was a prominent player on the girls’ basketball team and played a major role in her schools CIF Championship Victory.
The difficulties she faced during her childhood helped her to develop a clear understanding of the importance of good parenting. Her mother had to pay close attention to her life and decisions to ensure her success and Kaliwae wants to do the same for her son.
Outdoor Kitchen Design and Appliance Cost: What You Must Know
Your outdoor kitchen should look smart, upgraded with contemporary design and the latest appliances including heavy-duty grills and burners. Then, you need to look into the cost too. The cost would depend a lot on the materials, size, and appliances set up in your backyard. If you’re looking for a basic outdoor kitchen design with a grill, patio, and just a countertop, it would cost you a few thousand dollars. Then, a sumptuous design with top-notch kitchen appliances would cost you more.
According to an article published on https://www.forbes.com, nowadays, homeowners are looking for a grill with a fully-functioning outdoor cooking space replete with a refrigerator, sink, faucet, ice machine, dishwasher, and cabinets.
Cost of appliances
The most essential appliance in your outdoor kitchen is the grill. You will find these products in a range of prices. Some of the basic ones will cost you around $800 and a few top-of-the-line grills would cost around $10,000. Therefore, you need to decide first how much money you can shell out on the grill as well as other kitchen features that you prefer.
It’s not a smart thing to spend most of your money on the grill because a luxury item with average counters will look odd. Your goal is to decorate your outdoor kitchen space in the best possible way without exceeding your budget.
The average cost of popular items including grill, refrigerator, and stainless sink are $200-$4,000, $400-$1,000, and $100 respectively. If you have an expensive grill, then ensure that you shop for heavyduty grill covers to keep it protected from dust, debris, leaves, twigs, insects in your outdoor space when not in use.
The majority of outdoor kitchen design costs are exclusive of paving a well as overhead construction. Let us look at the general costs:
Appliance installation: $2,000-$5,000
General construction: $5,000-$12,000
Outdoor kitchen with masonry or brick: $400-$600 for every linear foot
Outdoor kitchen with a preassembled framework: $300-$500 for every linear foot
Keeping costs reasonable
If you want to keep the cost within your budget, you can give up the sink, side burner, cabinets, and refrigerator. You can set up your outdoor kitchen close to your indoor instead so that you can move in and out easily. You can use the kitchen window to pass things outside like bottles of water, plates, etc. These little things matter when designing your outdoor cooking space.
Again, running the utilities for your outdoor cooking area will cost you. Yes, it’s expensive and therefore, you should try to set up your outdoor kitchen close to a point where electricity and water are easily accessible.
When you choose prefabricated kitchen frames, the average cost is approx $200 for every linear foot for the frame. It will hold all your kitchen items, appliances. Make sure that the same is finished on site. The costs of brick veneer, manufactured stone, stucco, and granite countertop are $15-$25, $20, $5, and $60-$70 for every sq. ft. respectively.
Now that you have an idea of your outdoor kitchen design and appliance costs, you can make an informed decision.
Global Home Remodeling Market is Booming
In the last decade, the remodeling market has surged globally. Growth does not seem to be limited to a single country. The US, European, and Australian renovation markets are all booming. In fact, the Global Market Insights (GMI) estimates that the global renovation market will surpass $1,120 billion USD per year.
There are many factors that have led to this uptick in the market, which will discuss later on. A Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report found that in the US alone, the remodeling industry in the years after the recession has grown fifty percent.
Whether you are looking to remodel your existing home or purchase a distressed property to flip, you need to have knowledge about the global home remodeling industry. Understanding where the market is and where it is going will help ensure the right financial decisions.
Here’s an in-depth look at the global home remodeling market.
Factors driving the market
There are a number of factors behind the rise of the remodeling market:
- Home values
A big reason for the rise in the home remodeling market in the U.S. is that home values are rising. In fact, by 2018 homeowner equity had seen an increase of over $1 trillion per year. That has only continued to grow. Even in the UK, despite recent economic uncertainty, the property market after Brexit is recovering well, with house prices in London forecast to rise by one percent this year and 2.5 percent next year.
When home equity is high, homeowners feel more secure in investing in home improvements. They are more likely to borrow again their home equity to make big changes. Or, at least, homeowners may feel rich enough to use the money they have in the bank to remodel their homes.
- Smart tech in the kitchen and bathrooms is growing
One of the most popular renovations homeowners undertake is the updating of their kitchen and bathrooms. The introduction of green and smart technology accounts for a large portion of renovations. That same Harvard report that showed growth by fifty percent in the U.S. remodeling industry also found that about half of those remodeling projects are actually to replace existing technology.
Experts do not see this trend slowing down any time soon. In fact, as smart technology continues to advance, it is likely that replacement projects in the kitchen and bathroom will only increase. So, what are the smart technologies homeowners now opt to install in their homes? They include
- Kitchen faucets that are compatible with Alexa.
- Smart leak detectors for bathtubs.
- Smart toilets
- Soaking tubs.
- Refrigerated bathroom cabinets.
- Waterproof TVs for the bathroom.
- Smart showers.
The list goes on, and it is only growing. Expect to see the rash of smart technology for the kitchen and bathroom continuing for the foreseeable future.
- Home offices are making a come back
As the job market turns towards freelance and portable careers, the home office is seeing a rise in popularity. In the last decade, the call for a better work-life balance has been growing. In response, many companies now offer work-from-home opportunities to their employees.
As more people begin to work from home, the call for a dedicated workspace has only grown.
- Millennial home buying
A final major for the boom in the home remodeling market is Millennials. Although the Millennial generation has been blamed for causing everything from the death of the mall to killing the fast food industry, they also account for the rise in other markets. The home remodeling boom proves this.
Millennials, especially the older members, are less wealthy on average than earlier generations. This means that when Millennials purchase homes, they have to buy older homes that need repair. The housing market is aging as well, especially in the United States. New construction is declining. Therefore, home renovations have become almost a requirement for first-time homeowners.
The Global remodel market
The countries experiencing the largest boom in the home remodeling industry have also worked to create their current situation. Examining the European, American, and Australian home remodeling markets helps us prove this point.
Take, for example, Australia. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates in 2019 and is expected to make further cuts in 2020. The renovation experts, Houseace, state that the reduction of interest rates coupled with the continued growth of the housing market and a slight rise in Australian wages has meant homeowners have more money to spend on home renovations. Although this growth is not expected to continue much past 2021, it has fueled a boom in the Australian home remodeling industry.
Europe, too, has experienced a huge rise in their home improvement market. In fact, the market is expected to grow 2-3% per year through 2020. Like Australia, Europeans generally have a lot of disposable income, which has fueled the home improvement boom. Most Europeans prefer to perform the renovations DIY, which has caused their construction industry to lag behind the home improvement market.
We would be amiss in this article if we didn’t end with a quick discussion of the U.S. remodeling industry. Like its Australian and European counterparts, the U.S. market is predicted to continue growing for the foreseeable future. Allstate service groups a remodeling contractor tells us that an aging housing supply, more disposable income in some segments of the population, and the rise of DIY home improvement shows have all contributed to the remodel industry boom in the U.S.
So, what’s next? Well, as we’ve mentioned, most experts predict that the global renovation market will continue to expand. As long as homeowners have disposable income and feel secure, all signs indicate that they will continue to invest in remodels. Rapidly changing technology and career opportunities will also help the global renovation market to continue growing.
Your takeaway should be that now is a good time to renovate your home. The products and expertise are easily available. Your aim doesn’t have to be to overturn the real estate industry. However, by updating your home now, you are increasing its real estate value, and providing yourself a much more comfortable living situation in the meantime.
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