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Happy HoliDeals with Amazon Daily Deals!

amazon daily deals

There are lots of great deals you can take advantage of every single day, with Amazon’s Daily Deals! You won’t believe some of the great things you can find. Every Tuesday we highlight some of our favorite Amazon Daily Deal buys. Here are some of our top picks from today:

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

ARTEZA Art Supplies

art supplies

ARTEZA Colored Pencils

Current Sale Price: $25.23

Originally: $32.99

You Save: $7.76‬! (24% off)

You don’t have to pay premium prices to get quality supplies for the artists in your life. These ARTEZA coloring pencils come in a set of 72 colors, from sapphire yellow to cloudy gray. They are quality made pencils with a soft, wax-based core that is break resistant and easy to sharpen. What’s more, all of this comes in a professional tin box where you can keep your numbered pencils neat and organized. This colored pencil set would make a great gift for the beginner or professional artists in your life.

ARTEZA Liquid Chalk Markers

Current Sale Price: $18.05

Originally: $24.99

You Save: $6.94! (28% off)

These ARTEZA markers are a water based chalk marker that can be used on chalkboards, whiteboards, restaurant signs, and even windows. This marker set comes with 16 markers and 16 replaceable chisel tips. This box set even comes with tweezers you can use to replace the marker tips. But that’s not the only extra feature these markers have. You also get 50 labels and 2 sticky stencils that you can use in your marker art.

ARTEZA Drawing Pad

Current Sale Price: $11.75

Originally: $17.99

You Save: $6.24! (35% off)

These drawing pads come in a pack of 2 notebooks with 50 sheets of paper in each drawing pad. The pages are 8 x 10 inches, making them the perfect sketchbook size. The pages are thick, and set in a spiral bound book for easy artist use. Artists can use these sketchbooks with pencil, crayon, pens, and even charcoal.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Avengers

lego set

Current Sale Price: $79.97
Originally: $99.99
You Save: $20.02! (20% off)

Recreate an epic scene from Avengers Infinity Wars! This Lego building set is for ages 8 to 14 years old. You can build a 3 level New York building that includes the Sanctum Sanctorum, a pizzeria, and a water tower. It also includes characters from the movie like, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Iron Spider Man, Cull Obsidian, and Ebony Maw.

Wireless Charger

wireless charger

Current Sale Price: $19.99
Originally: $27.99
You Save: $8.00! (29% off)

Having a wireless fast charger can really make your life easier. Instead of fiddling with lots of chords you can simply place your devices on a wireless charger. You can charge 2 things at once and it even comes with an iWatch stand. You can charge your iPhone, iWatch, and airpods.

Lenovo Chromebook

laptop sale

Current Sale Price: $246.99
Originally: $299.99
You Save: $53.00! (18% off)

The Lenovo Chromebook is a convertible laptop, meaning it can become a tablet as well! All you have to do is fold the keyboard over and you now have a tablet and laptop in one. It has a 11.6 inch HD IPS display with a 64 GB capacity and a sleek, thin design making this Chromebook a great choice for busy, on-the-go people.

Stanley Camping Items

camping cooking gear

Base Camp Cook Set

Current Sale Price: $47.09

Originally: $80.00

You Save: $32.91! (41% off)

If you’re serious about camping then you’ll probably at some point need some cooking gear. This cooking set is all made of rustproof, stainless steel so you know you’re getting high quality, durable products. It comes with a pot that has a vented lid, a frying pan, and a silicone trivet to put down on the table to protect it. It even comes with 4 bowls, plates, sporks, and even a dish drying rack for after you clean up.

Travel Mug

Current Sale Price: $16.00

Originally: $23.00

You Save: $7.00! (30% off)

This is a classic trigger action travel mug. The trigger action on the lid and it’s leak proof build makes it easy to use on the go when you’re traveling, camping, or hiking. It also comes in lots of colors, like blue, green, white, black, and red. It is double walled and vacuum insulated so this mug can keep your drinks hot for up to 7 hours.

Lunch Box

Current Sale Price: $26.49

Originally: $38.53

You Save: $12.04! (31% off)

This classic lunch box has a large 10 quart capacity and is made of steel for lifelong durability. You can have this lunchbox forever! It also comes with a dome shaped lid with a metal latch so that you can latch your thermos into the lid of the lunchbox.

Kindle Monthly Deals

Did you know Amazon has kindle deals every month?! It’s important to keep the joy of reading alive in your life and having your own library to go to is the key. With kindle e-readers this job is easy. Amazon also has great sales on great books going on all the time, and on audiobooks too. So reading lots of new things each year doesn’t have to cost a lot.

Thanksgiving Takeover

by All Recipes Magazine

thanksgiving recipe book

Current Sale Price:$5.49
Originally:$29.94
You Save:$24.45! (82% off)

It’s that time of year now when we start baking and cooking unique Thanksgiving and Fall-time recipes. All Recipes has some great recipes to choose from for the holidays. You can actually get the magazine subscription through Amazon if you want to keep getting their recipes.

A Fire Sparkling

by Julianne MacLean

kindle deals

Current Sale Price:$7.48
Originally:$14.95
You Save:$7.47! (50% off)

A Fire Sparkling is a fictional historic romance about 3 generations of a family. This beautifully written tale centers mostly around a woman named Vivian Hughes and her life as a young woman during World War II.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

by Kelly Harms

kindle deals

Current Sale Price:$7.48
Originally:$14.95
You Save:$7.47! (50% off)

This book is a comedy about a lovable single mom named Amy Byler who just needs a break. If you’re wanting a witty romantic comedy in novel form then this is the read for you.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

by Mark Sullivan

kindle deals

Current Sale Price:$7.48
Originally:$14.95
You Save:$7.47! (50% off)

Beneath a Scarlet Sky has everything a reader wants in historic fiction. It’s based on a true story and involves spies, war stories, and biographical fiction all entwined in one. Soon this book will hit the screens starring Tom Holland, so before it does make sure you read this bestselling novel by Mark Sullivan.

 
Sometimes deals and sales are the way that we get things we really need. You may especially depend on sales when you’re in college, or just starting out on your own, or in a new place. So when you find something you really need on sale, and payday is just a couple days too late, that can be really frustrating.

Luckily Check City can help you out with a quick and easy Personal Loan so that you can take advantage of important deals regardless of when your payday comes.

Share with us what deals you snagged today by using the hashtags #amazondailydeals #checkcity.
 

READ MORE

Make clothes shopping not just easier, but cheaper too, by doing your clothes shopping online, “Shopping for Your Clothes Online.”

Get ahead on your Christmas shopping this year, “4 Reasons to Start Early Christmas Shopping.”

Learn how to get thrifty with all your gift shopping this season, “Thrifty Gift Shopping.”

Read all about the post Christmas online shopping addiction and how to you can save yourself from overbuying this year, “The Post-Christmas Online Shopping Addiction.”

Save on all your holiday shopping with these tips, “Saving while Online Shopping for the Holidays.”


How to Succeed at NANOWRIMO

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO is a writing challenge that goes on every November where lovers of literature everywhere take on the same goal—to write an entire novel in one month. See how you can successfully achieve this goal by following these great tips!

Table of Contents:

What is NANOWRIMO?

NANOWRIMO stands for National Novel Writing Month. It occurs every November and refers to a writing challenge to finish the first draft of a novel by the end of the month. So if you’ve always wanted to write a book now is your chance!

The Logistics

So the logistics of NANOWRIMO is to get a full, first draft done by the end of the month. The official final wordcount goal is 50,000 words. If you divide that into the 30 days of November, then you’ll need to write about 1,667 words every day for the whole month of November to get to the final word count and end up with a full first draft.

Final Word Count Goal: 50,000 words

Daily Word Count Goal: 1,667 words

But ultimately NANOWRIMO is about you, your writing goals, and what works best for you. Some people only have time to write on the weekends and that’s ok! If you’re a weekend writer then can write 3,571 words for each day of the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), instead of writing 1,667 words each day of the week. Over the course of the weekend your new word count goal would be:

Weekend Word Count Goal: 10,000 words each weekend

How to Write a Novel

how to write a book

1. Pick a genre

The very first thing you should decide when going into NANOWRIMO is the genre you’d like to work with. If you’re going to write a book it’s good to first know what kind of book you want to write. The kinds of stories you could write are an endless list of categories and subcategories, so if you want to see a more detailed list check out Literary Genres.

But here are some of the more basic literary genres:

  • Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Memoir
  • Mystery
  • Tragedy
  • Romance
  • Horror
  • Self-help

It also might be important to decide who your audience is before writing because that can decide a lot about how you write your novel. Thinking about what age group you are writing for is a great way to start so your reading level and content cater appropriately to your readers.

2. Pick a perspective

First Person: This perspective is written in the main character’s point of view. The narrating character tells their own personal story with their own words. When writing in first person you’ll use words like I, me, us, my, and we.

Second Person: This perspective is written to address the reader directly. It’s as if the narrating character is telling a story to the reader directly. When writing in second person you’ll use words like you, referring to the reader who the narrator is speaking to.

Third Person: This perspective is not written from the point of view of the character or the writer. Instead, a third party narrator is telling a story that they are not themselves in any way apart of. This can also be referred to as omniscient point of view, because the narrator is like the all-knowing god of this story. When writing in third person you’ll use words like he, she, they, and it.

Multiple Perspectives: You can also write your book using multiple points of view. This is especially common when writing in first person because then you can switch between the firsthand perspectives of different characters throughout the story.

Present Tense: You can also write your story in the present tense. In this case you would write as if the character is telling their story as it is happening. For example you would write, “I walk toward the closet door and open it.”

Past Tense: It is much more common, and even recommended, to write your story in the past tense. This means you would write the story more naturally, as if it had already happened and someone is narrating a detailed, perfectly remembered account. For example you would write, “I walked toward the closet door and opened it.

Ultimately, if this is your first novel, it’s recommended you write in third person, in the past tense. If you feel a little more confident in your writing abilities then you can try out writing in first person, or even switching between multiple points of view throughout the story. If you really want to be different, you can write in the present tense, but most books are written in the past tense.

3. Create the world

All stories need a setting. Maybe your story will occur in a small town or the big city. Maybe it’ll take place in an alternate universe, or a completely different fantasy world of your creation. Get a clear vision of what your world is like, and all the important aspects of the world that will affect your story and characters.

4. Create the characters

There are many ways to create really great characters. You can make a vision board for each characters to keep tabs of all your inspiration for who they are. You’ll also want to find names for them and keep notes on all the things you know about each person appearing in your novel.

5. Make a story outline

Now that you have the materials and initial ideas you need to make a story, it’s time to start outlining! One thing that can really help you storyboard your book is to first think about your beginning and your ending.
There are many templates and guidelines out there for how to format a story outline that can help you with all of this.

story outlining

  • Freytag’s Pyramid
  • Imagine the rise and fall of a pyramid. The story starts with exposition, rising action, peaks with the story’s climax, falling action, and ends with the resolution. To see the story outline in even more detail check out the 7-Step “Freytag’s Pyramid” from the Writing Itch.

  • Snowflake Method
  • This method involves starting with a small story summary and expanding it to have more and more details until you have a larger story.

  • 8 Point Arc
  • The 8 point arc includes 8 key story points that you can write about in order to have an 8 step plot outline for your novel.

  • 3 Acts
  • The first act is the setup, act two is when the confrontation occurs, and act three is the resolution. This outline is great for writers who just need a really simple idea of the basic flow of their story.

  • The Hero’s Journey
  • The hero’s journey is a classic story outline you see in popular books like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. It’s similar to the 8 point arc in that it has a detailed 10 step plan for your story outline.

  • Notecards
  • Write out your key scenes on different notecards. Then you can use a wall or bulletin board to place your notecards in order. This outline technique is great for writers who often rearrange events.

  • Plots
  • This outline is for when you have multiple plots happening simultaneously. You can have a main plot and sub plots, or have equally important A, B, and C plots.

Story Beginnings:

  • Mid-Action
  • Also known as in medias res, starting in the middle of the action can be a great way to get your audience hooked right away and keep impatient readers from putting the book down after the first page.

  • Ask a question
  • By starting with a question you can immediately give your book an inquisitive tone.

  • Introduce us
  • You can also start your novel by introducing the reader to something or someone important. You can describe the setting, the world they live in, or a key character.

  • Origin story
  • If your story has important background information then you can start with the origin story of your kingdom, or main character.

  • Flashes, dreams, and memories
  • You can also start your book out with an important flashback into the past, a foreshadowing flash into the future, in the lucid landscape of a telling dream, or with key memories.

Create Conflict:

Every story needs some riveting conflict. It’s what keeps the story going and keeps your readers interested in what’s going to happen next. For more help in brainstorming your main and sub-conflicts read, “Decoding the Six Conflicts in Literature (With Examples).”

Story Endings:

Some people really struggle with how to end their book. There are many things to consider in order to create a good ending. You’ll need to ask some important question like, what goal or goals you want accomplished or unaccomplished by the end, how your characters change, and what do they learn or fail to learn.

  • The Happy ending
  • The goal is accomplished and things are better now.

  • The Tragic ending
  • The goal fails and things are worse now.

  • The Twist ending
  • The goal is accomplished, but for some reason things still end up worse.
    The goal fails, but for some reason things still end up better.

  • The Cliffhanger
  • The goal remains unaccomplished, leaving readers in suspense, or in the middle of events.

Writing Resources

Every writer has their go-to resources for writing. Eventually you might find blogs, forums, or books about writing that you like.

Name Generators:

Websites:

Books:

How to Cultivate Yourself as a Writer

Like with any hobby you should look into bettering yourself as a writer, just as you would if your hobby was hiking or drawing. Here are some things you can do to really enter into the writing world:

  • Join writing groups
  • Write with others
  • Get feedback
  • Read books you love
  • Read books on writing

How to Stay Inspired Throughout November

When you’re on a writing deadline it can be really hard to stay inspired. Everyone has their own tricks to beating writer’s block and as you write more frequently you’ll gain a list of your own. Here are some things you can try to get you started:

  • Explore Pinterest
  • Make vision and mood boards
  • Get in nature
  • Take care of your physical and mental health
  • Keep reading things you love
  • Watch things you love
  • Listen to things you love
  • Set up your workspace so it’s decluttered and free of distractions

NANOWRIMO is like a community event on a larger scale. By joining the groups and forums you can accomplish your goals along with your fellow writers and who knows?! Maybe you’ll make some friends or publish something great! What’s more, writing novels can potentially become a lucrative at home job to get your household some extra income.

If you’re going to do NANOWRIMO this month, you may need a little help preparing. If you do need some financial help visit a Check City store or our website to take out an easy to use Personal Loan.

 

READ MORE

Learn some other tips about making more money, “Making More Money.”

Thinking about writing as a career? “How to Choose a Career” can help you decide if a career in writing is write for you.


60+ Last Minute Halloween Costumes

last minute halloween costumes

Have you still not decided on a Halloween costume? Don’t panic! Believe it or not, it’s not too late. Pick from the table of contents below to find your perfect costume idea before the tricking and treating begins tomorrow:

Table of Contents:

If you don’t have a lot of time you may need to settle for either a low-effort costume, or a low-cost costume. Check out your favorite places to shop below. Once on the store’s website, find your store to see if it’s in stock and go pick it up! On a lot of store websites you can even purchase your costume online and then pick it up in the store.

Where to Shop:

Low Effort Halloween Costumes

The secret to last minute, low effort costumes is to take out all your clothes and get a big picture view of what you have in your wardrobe. You’ll make a giant mess in your room but it’s probably the easiest way to make a quick, feasible idea pop out to you.

1. A music note

Just cut out a music note with some black paper and tape it to your shirt!

2. Nametag costume

Jim, from the beloved show the Office, had some great low energy Halloween costume ideas. Like his nametag costume. All you need to do is wear a nametag sticker with the name “Dave” on it. This costume needs almost no effort whatsoever but fellow Office fans will still love and appreciate it.

3. A ninja

If you have a black shirt and pants then you already have the perfect ninja costume! You can add a sash on your belt and head to complete the ninja costume.

4. A burglar

Similar to a ninja costume, all you have to do to rock the classic burglar look is wear black, gloves, and make a makeshift burglar mask with paper, or by cutting out eye wholes in a blindfold.

5. Zombie

Dead people and things are always popular as a Halloween costume. You can literally dress up like anything, then just use makeup to make yourself look more dead. Mess up your hair for good measure.

If you really want to keep things current you can look to your favorite movies from this year! Here are just a few movie inspired costume ideas you could try out this year.

joker costume

6. Joker
7. Star Wars
8. Maleficent
9. Zombieland
10. The Lion King
11. IT
12. Charlie’s Angels
13. Toy Story 4 characters
14. Glass supervillains
15. Frozen II
16. Marvel
17. Stranger things
18. Aladdin

Classic Halloween Costumes

There’s nothing better than sticking with the classic Halloween costumes. Sometimes the simplest solutions happen to be the most basic ideas!

19. Ghost
20. Cat
21. Witch
22. Vampire
23. Zombie
24. Werewolf

Group Halloween Costumes

Group costumes are super fun for a group of friends or for families that want to dress up together! Group costumes can also be a great part of an epic costume contest. For more group Halloween costume ideas check out this article, “78 Amazing Group Halloween Costume Ideas to Text Your BFFs Immediately.”

star wars costumes

25. Box of crayons
26. Office supplies
27. Ghost busters
28. The Avengers
29. Inside Out
30. Josie and the Pussycats
31. Mario Kart
32. The Scooby-doo gang
33. Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3
34. The Breakfast Club group
35. Mean Girls
36. Grease
37. Power Puff Girls
38. Power Rangers
39. Harry Potter character’s
40. The Addams family
41. Dominos
42. 3 Little Pigs
43. The 4 seasons
44. The 4 elements
45. The Greek gods
46. Clue characters
47. The Wizard of OZ

Couples Halloween Costumes

Think of any couple or pairing that you love and you can probably make a Halloween costume out of it. Here are just a few great ideas to get you started with your partner or pal, but for more ideas read “75+ Amazing Couples Costumes You Need This Halloween.”

48. Tweedled Dee and Tweedle Dum
49. Wanda and Cosmo from the Fairly Odd Parents
50. Fred and Wilma Flintstone

kid costumes

51. Jim and Pam from the Office
52. Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf
53. A mermaid and a sailor
54. Food pairings

Halloween Costumes for Kids

Halloween is a special time for kids. They get to dress up as their favorite people and things and walk around showing off and gathering mounds of candy. What’s not to love as a candy loving kid? For even more adorable kid costume ideas check out this article, “95 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids of All Ages.”

55. Their favorite Disney characters
56. Dinosaur
57. Princess
58. Fairy
59. Little ghost
60. Animals
61. Winnie the Pooh characters

 
Just because it’s the last minute that doesn’t mean it’s too late to think up a great Halloween costume this year! Take a look at this master list of Halloween costume ideas to get your creativity going.


READ MORE
Complete your last minute Halloween costume with some makeup and face paint ideas, “30 Halloween Makeup Video Tutorials.”

Throw a great Halloween costume party with these spooky decor ideas, “30+ DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas.”

Feed your Halloween costume party guests with these Halloween appetizer ideas, “Halloween Party Food Ideas.”

Amazon Daily Deals

amazon daily deals

There are lots of great deals you can take advantage of every single day, with Amazon’s Daily Deals! You won’t believe some of the great things you can find. Every Tuesday we highlight some of our favorite Amazon Daily Deal buys. Here are some of our top picks from today:

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

 

Last Minute Halloween Items:

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection

classic halloween movie collection

 

Current Sale Price: $69.99
Originally: $149.98
You Save: $79.99‬! (53% off)

If you’re into older, classic movies, then you’ll want to grab up this deal right away! If you hurry, you might even get it by Halloween weekend so you can binge classic monster movies. This box set comes with 30 classic monster films in bluray. The films all come from 1931 to 1956 including films like the original Dracula and The Creature Walks among Us. But the goodies don’t end there, this collection also comes with a collectible book about the films and bonus features.

Hammer Horror 8-Film Collection

horror film collection

 

Current Sale Price: $17.99
Originally: $35.98
You Save: $17.99! (50% off)

With this deal you literally save as much as you buy! This movie collection includes 8 films from the House of Hammer Horror. Hammer films studio created these Halloween classics from the 1940s through the 1950s. This collection includes cinema classics like Brides of Dracula and The Evil of Frankenstein. The discs are also in bluray and come with theater quality sound.

Jack O Lantern Trick or Treat Bags

trick or treat bags

 

Current Sale Price: $7.64
Originally: $14.99
You Save: $7.35! (49% off)

Whether you are preparing for trick or treating this Thursday night, or stocking up for Halloween’s to come, this is a fantastic deal. These trick or treat bags have 72 bags in all, and are decorated with fun Jack O Lantern faces.

 

Getting Ready for Winter:

Cup Warmer for Desk

cup warmer

 

Current Sale Price: $14.44

This coffee cup warmer has a sleek and simple design. The design is so simple that you don’t have to turn it off and on, it just knows when your cup is on or off the platform by the weight. This is a great gift idea, and a great thing to have in the cold winter months to keep at work or in your home office. It’s an especially great buy as it starts to get colder and warm beverages become what we crave once again.

Knit Pullover Sweater

pullover knit sweater

 

Current Sale Price: $7.88 to $33.99

Another great thing to get this time of year is new pieces for your wardrobe. Comfy knit sweaters are all the rage right now, and they’re incredibly warm and comfortable as well. They come in all kinds of patterns and colors, including green, yellow, red, and striped.

Fleece Memory Foam Slippers

slippers

 

Current Sale Price: $18.99
Originally: $28.99
You Save: $10.00!

Having some indoor slippers to wear inside your house can be really convenient to keep your feet warm and covered in your home. These slippers have a memory foam cushion, and a super soft fleece lining. So grab these slippers up for yourself or your loved ones so everyone’s feet can stay safe and warm this winter.

 

Gift Ideas:

Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer

sound bar

 

Current Sale Price: $169.99
Originally: $299.95
You Save: $129.96! (43% off)

Almost everyone has a TV today. A decent sound bar can really upgrade your movie night game. But this soundbar also comes with a subwoofer for extra powerful sound. This Yamaha sound bar also has easy bluetooth connection. Elevate your movie nights, or check someone off your gift list right now by buying this deal up.

Hoverboard

hoverboard

 

Current Sale Price: $254.15
Originally: $299.00
You Save: $44.85! (15% off)

Hoverboards have become incredibly popular this year, making them a fantastic gift idea. This particular hoverboard boasts the ability to go over all kinds of terrain for if you want to take your hoverboard off-roading a bit. The Gyroor hoverboard warrior even comes with a built in sound system!

Wireless Earbuds

wireless earbuds

 

Current Sale Price: $22.43
Originally: $32.98
You Save: $10.55! (32% off)

Everyone wants the ease of wireless earbuds! These bluetooth headphones even come with their own small case. The buds are extremely lightweight for maximum comfort. It even has touch controls, so you can just tap the bud to answer or end calls, play or pause, or activate voice assistant.

 

Kindle Monthly Deals

kindle deals

 

Did you know Amazon has kindle deals every month?! It’s important to keep the joy of reading alive in your life and having your own library to go to is the key. With kindle e-readers this job is easy. Amazon also has great sales on great books going on all the time, and on audiobooks too. So reading lots of new things each year doesn’t have to cost a lot.

Winter Cottage

by Mary Ellen Taylor

kindle sales

 

Current Sale Price:$1.99 on kindle
Originally:$4.99 (digital) $12.95 (print)
You Save:$10.96! (85% off)

Winter Cottage is a contemporary romance about a girl named Lucy who has recently lost her mother. After grieving Lucy receives a cottage as an inheritance, certain mysteries begin to unfold.

Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1)

by Jeff Wheeler

amazon book deals

 

Current Sale Price:$1.99 on kindle
Originally:$4.99 (digital) $14.95 (print)
You Save:$12.96! (87% off)

The whole Harbinger series is on sale right now! This epic series is a coming-of-age fictional novel that takes place in the fantasy world of Theirs. In this magical world the rich live in the sky while the poor are left on the ground, but this paradigm gets tossed on it’s head when Cettie Pratt gets adopted by an admiral and has to learn to live in the skies.

Life in a Medieval Castle

by Joseph Gies

history books

 

Current Sale Price:$1.99 on kindle
Originally:$16.99 (print)
You Save:$15.00! (88% off)

Are you interest historical nonfiction? Amazon has sales on historical books every day! So you can get your history-fix whenever you want with these book deals. Life in a Medieval Castle was written by acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, give this book a read since it was one of the sources that George R. R. Martin used in writing his famous books.

Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life

by William Hudson O’Hanlon

self help books

 

Current Sale Price: $1.99 on kindle
Originally:$16.99 (print)
You Save: $15.00! (88% off)

It’s the 20th anniversary of this great self-help book. Bill O’Hanlon is a renowned therapist whose book teaches you his 10 solutions to leading a smoother life and getting out of the ruts life likes to put you in.

Dear Martin

by Nic Stone

kindle book sales

 

Current Sale Price: $2.99
Originally: $7.99
You Save: $5.00! (63% off)

Dear Martin is a highly recommended bestseller about a young boy who decides to start a journal where he writes to Martin Luther King Jr. The endless positive reviews and recommendations of this New York Times bestselling book speak for themselves.

 

Sometimes deals and sales are the way that we get things we really need. You may especially depend on sales when you’re in college, or just starting out on your own, or in a new place. So when you find something you really need on sale, and payday is just a couple days too late, that can be really frustrating.

Luckily Check City can help you out with a quick and easy Payday Loan so that you can take advantage of important deals regardless of when your payday comes.

 

Share with us what deals you snagged today by using the hashtags #amazondailydeals #checkcity.

 

READ MORE

Make clothes shopping not just easier, but cheaper too, by doing your clothes shopping online, “Shopping for Your Clothes Online.”

Get ahead on your Christmas shopping this year, “4 Reasons to Start Early Christmas Shopping.”

Learn how to get thrifty with all your gift shopping this season, “Thrifty Gift Shopping.”

Read all about the post Christmas online shopping addiction and how to you can save yourself from overbuying this year, “The Post-Christmas Online Shopping Addiction.”

Save on all your holiday shopping with these tips, “Saving while Online Shopping for the Holidays.”


30 Halloween Makeup Video Tutorials

halloween makeup

End your video makeup tutorial search now and check out these trending looks on YouTube. Halloween is only 2 days away! So hurry up and find your scary or not so scary look right here:

Everyone has different Halloween costume preferences, but whatever costume you choose, makeup and face paints can help complete it. In this article you can find gory, cute, glamorous, creepy, or pretty Halloween makeup ideas and the video links to get you started! You can also find easy Halloween makeup tutorials that can work for kids or adults, and for men or women.

For some of these looks you can just use the makeup you already have in your house, or you can also use makeup kits, face crayons, or face paints. Another tip for Halloween makeup is to work from a reference photo to make your job easier.

Scary Halloween Makeup

1. Skull Halloween Makeup

Skull Halloween makeup is one of the most classic Halloween looks to date. Halloween skeleton makeup never seems to go out of style. All you need to pull off this look is a makeup brush and some dark eye shadow. You can also use face paint if you want. But the key to this look is to get the main features of a skull: the teeth, and the hollow nose and eyes.

 

2. Wednesday Addams

The new Addams Family movie has made the family characters become more popular again. Wednesday Addams has always been a Halloween favorite. To get her look you’ll need black lipstick, black eyeliner all around your eyes, and dark eye shadow also all around your eyes. You can also use white baby powder, or a very light foundation to make yourself look pale like her.

 

3. Frankenstein

Draw suture lines to make it look like you’ve been patched together. You can paint your skin blue or green, and then you’ll want to get bolts to put on each temple. One way is to glue bolts onto the sides of a head band.

 

4. Bride of Frankenstein

Follow similar steps for the original Frankenstein, but since this is the female version you can add a dark lipstick and eye makeup.

 

5. Vampire Halloween Makeup

If you want to successfully accomplish the vampire Halloween makeup look then you can’t fail with the classic Dracula look. Get the classic Dracula look by slicking your hair back, powdering your face white and giving yourself dark eyes and lips. You can even add a painted on drizzle of blood from your lips to really make you look like a blood-thirsty immortal.

 

6. Zombie Halloween Makeup

The key to a great zombie costume is great zombie Halloween makeup. You want to use makeup to make your face look more dead. Make your eyes really dark and add dark shadow under your eyes. Contour the rest of your face with dark shadows to give yourself a sallow look, like you’ve just come back from the dead!

 

7. Headless

Detach your head from your body by painting your neck black! You can also use this look to be the headless horseman for Halloween.

 

8. Scarecrow

Draw cross hatches on your face, a triangle shape on your nose, and voila! You are a scarecrow. Now all you need is a straw hat and a flannel shirt.

 

9. Half Face Halloween Makeup

The half face Halloween makeup look has been a popular scary look for a long time now. You can get really creative with it too! Right now the popular half face trend is to make half your face normal, and the other half a skeleton. But you can do a lot of other things with this idea too. For example, you could do a half happy face and half sad, or half normal, half werewolf etc.

Not So Scary Ideas

10. Mermaid Halloween Makeup

Mermaid Halloween makeup is a fantastic choice if you want to look glam instead of gory. Use a hair net over your face to create beautiful looking scales. All you do is place the hair net over your face and then powder blue makeup on the sides of your face and your cheekbones. This net will act as a scaly template.

 

11. Raggedy Ann Doll

Raggedy Ann is a beloved doll that is easy to recreate with some simple makeup tips. All you need is some red lipstick, and draw on some fake eyelashes with eyeliner. Then you can use the same red lipstick to put that classic triangle blush on your cheeks and nose.

 

12. Zodiac Animals

Another popular look this year is to embody your animal from the Chinese zodiac. If you don’t know what your animal from the zodiac is, you can look it up by plugging in your birthday on ChineseHighlights.com.

Once you’ve found your zodiac animal, you can look up makeup tutorials for your animal!

 

13. Astrology Sign

If you don’t know your astrology sign you can look it up on WhatIsMySign.net, by just entering in your birthday.

Once you’ve found your astrology sign, you can look up makeup tutorials for your sign!

 

14. Robot

Paint nuts, bolts, and circuit lines to make yourself look like an android.

 

15. Fairy

Another fun look to go with this year is a pixie or fairy! With some body glitter you can really rock this look.

 

16. Goddess

Who says your Halloween costume can’t be pretty instead of scary? Unleash your inner goddess at this year’s Halloween party!

 

17. Cleopatra

With some gold eye shadow, and a dark black eyeliner pen, you can transform yourself into this ancient queen.

 

18. Cheetah Halloween Makeup

Animals are a popular and easy makeup idea to try for Halloween. You can pick almost any animal and there will be a makeup tutorial for it somewhere online. Animal face paints are also really popular Halloween ideas for kids! Cat Halloween makeup in general is a simple and fun idea to use and cheetahs just happen to be the popular cat this year.

 

19. Deer Halloween Makeup

Deer Halloween makeup is one of the newer animal costume trends this year. All you really need to do to get this cute Halloween makeup look is to color the tip of your nose with dark brown paint or eyeliner, and decorate your cheeks and the sides of your face with signature white dots found on baby deer.

 

20. Bunny Halloween Makeup

Bunny Halloween makeup is cute and easy! With some pink face paint and makeup you can give yourself a cute button nose, and rosy cheeks. Then you just need to add whiskers and bunny ears to finish this cute costume.

21. Joker Halloween Makeup

Clown Halloween makeup (or more specifically Joker Halloween makeup) is always a winning idea for best creepy costume. Get some white, green, red, and blue face paint and a picture for reference. The classic Joker look is definitely going to be popular this year since the new Joker movie recently came out.

 

22. Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn is another popular makeup idea. All you need is some red lipstick, blue eye shadow on one eye, red on the other, and some black eyeliner to draw a little heart on one cheek.

 

23. Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is an iconic Halloween choice and her makeup look is relatively easy to accomplish. You just need some green eye shadow, red lipstick, and a red wig.

 

24. Pop Art

To turn yourself into a cartoon comic just use a reference! Basically you’re going to use black face paint or eyeliner to draw cartoon lines on your face, as if you were a drawing.

 

25. Ice Queen

Take the ice queen look in your own direction with a white face, white eyelashes, and blue eye shadow. You can also add white flecks by splattering white paint onto your face with a paint brush, or by drawing some snowflakes.

 

26. Elsa

Elsa is our favorite ice queen right now and with Frozen 2 coming out soon, this look is sure to be a hit!

 

27. Anna

To get Anna’s freckled look you can use a light brown eye pencil to dot homemade freckles on your face.

 

28. Pirate

If you want to be a pirate this year you can go for a general pirate look, or you could try and mimic Jack Sparrow’s look. You can make yourself look like a cool pirate character by drawing a cool looking scar, wear some pirate jewelry, like hoop earrings, lip rings, nose rings, and finish the look off with some dark eyeliner and eye shadow.

 

29. Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball is an iconic female actress and we found a great makeup tutorial for fans who want to dress up as her this Halloween. Sometimes Halloween costumes aren’t about being scary, but about dressing up as someone or something you like!

 

30. Maleficent

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is out in theaters now, making Maleficent a great idea if you want to impress your fellow Halloween party goers.


Using a great makeup tutorial can really be the final thing you need to finish off your look this Halloween.

If you need any help making your Halloween party happen this year check out our other articles about Halloween party food ideas, and DIY Halloween decoration ideas. And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.

 

READ MORE
For more Halloween makeup inspiration check out these other great sites!

The 100 Most Jaw-Dropping Halloween Makeup Ideas on Instagram

50 Halloween Makeup Tutorials for Beginners and Pros

51 Creepy and Cool Halloween Makeup Ideas to Try in 2019

38 Elaborate Halloween Makeup Ideas to Easily Elevate Your Costume

Halloween Makeup Pinterest Board by Gothic Glitter


30+ DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas

halloween decor ideas

Decorating for Halloween is just what your house and yard needs to really give you that spooky October feeling. Here are some easy, DIY ideas for decorating your home this October:

If you’re not really into DIY projects, or you don’t feel like you have the time, you can always shop for decorations. It’s really nice when you can get deals on seasonal purchases too! The best way to get clearance Halloween decorations is to actually shop for next year’s decor after Halloween, when all their leftover Halloween stock goes on sale.

If you’re really in a rush, then you can check out your favorite store’s Halloween items right now by clicking the fast links below! They’ll take you right to the store’s Halloween decor pages.

Where to Decorate

Sometimes you need to decorate for a Halloween party you are having. Other times you just want to decorate for when trick-or-treaters come to your door. Or maybe you just like the Halloween season and you want to make your home feel delightfully spooky this time of year. Either way, there are key places to consider decorating when setting up for Halloween.

Front Porch

Transform you porch into some kind of scene! With some simple tricks you can turn your front porch into a graveyard, a pit stop for flying witches, or a home for a pumpkin village.

halloween porch

Front door

You can also jazz up your front door! You can make your door look like a monster, or wrap it in paper to look like a mummy, or decorate around it to make it look like the jaws of a monster opening up to swallow trick or treaters whole!

Yard

Decorated yards are especially eye catching. You can decorate your hard with mock murder scenes, fake gravestones, or rising zombies made from homemade scarecrows.

Living room

Make your main living space feel eerie by putting cut outs of werewolves and witches against the windows. You can also take thin sheets of black or red tissue paper and fit them over your lampshades to change the lighting in your living room. If you don’t have lampshades to cover in dark paper, you can paint your light bulbs themselves with non-water-based glass pain for the same effect.

Staircase railing

Your staircase is the perfect place to wrap up in cobwebs and lights!

Kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to take advantage of witchy themes. You can decorate with candy jars, a witch’s broom, and cauldrons ready to make yummy fall time foods.

DIY Halloween Decor Ideas

1. Make a scarecrow

You can easily make your own scarecrow people by filling up clothes with rags and pillows. Then you can use a pumpkin as the head! It doesn’t have to be a scarecrow either. You can recreate a stuffed vampire or the headless horseman too.

2. Jack-O-Lanterns

Jack-o-lanterns are a very old Halloween tradition and they make for great decorations too.

3. Scary pillows

You can sew scary pillows using old shirts! You can make an easy pillow case, and then cut pieces of fabric into eyes and mouths to sew up a little pillow monster friend! You can also use this technique to make the head to your scarecrow person.

4. Pipe Cleaner spiders

You can make your own spiders with black pipe cleaners! All you do is play around wrapping and bending the pipe cleaners together until you have a spider!

jack o lanterns

5. Make spider webs

You can make spider webs with paper, the way you would make a snowflake, or you can make them with giant trash bags. You can also pull apart cotton balls to make cobwebs.

6. Window cutouts

With big sheets of construction paper you can cut out silhouettes of witches, monsters, werewolves, and other frightful creatures. Then you just tape them against your windows and place lamps behind them to make it look like your house is full of ghosts and goblins.

7. Halloween banner

Make a Halloween-themed banner by attaching cut outs to a piece of string. You can garnish your banner with little paper bats, pumpkins and witches that you staple, tape, or glue to the rope.

8. Mummy

Make a mummy by taking a large stuffed animal, doll, or homemade rag doll and wrapping it up in toilet paper. With practically no cost at all you now have your very own mummy!

9. Halloween chandeliers

Make a bat chandelier, with cut out bats, string, and hoops from the craft store. Then you just tie and dangle the bats at different lengths from the hoop. Instead of bats you can also use ghosts, or origami black birds.

10. Little ghosts

You can make little ghosts with tissues, or tissue paper. Get balls from the craft store, then put glue on the ball and add tissue over the ball until it looks like a ghost. With sharpie draw it’s eyes and mouth, or glue on some eyes from the craft store. You can hang these guys in the air by gluing a string to the top of their heads

11. Mystery box

Make a spooky mystery box by painting cardboard boxes black. Cut holes into them for people’s hands to reach through, and then put things in the box for them to feel and guess what they are. You can use cabbage, noodles, olives, and anything else with a weird texture to freak the brave darers out.

12. Eye cutouts

Make eye that watch you in the dark by cutting out eyes in a large sheet of cardboard or construction paper. Then you can place two light sources (like flashlights) behind each eye to make it look like ppl are being watched.

13. Monster mailbox

Turn your mailbox into an open mouthed monster with paper, glitter, and craft feathers.

halloween center piece

14. Voo doo dolls

Use pieces of felt to sew simple voo doo dolls. You can also make them little skeleton people, or whatever Halloween person or creature you most like.

15. Witch’s broom

Get an older looking broom and leave it out as a witch’s broom. To add to the witch aesthetic you can take some shoes and stockings and stuff them so they look like the disembodied feet of the wicked witch of the east.

16. Witch’s hat

Make a witch’s hat with construction paper. All you need to do is make a cone with one sheet of paper, then make a large circle with another sheet for the rim of the hat. Then place the cone on top of the circle so you can trace out the hole for your head. Glue or tape all the pieces together and you have a witch’s hat that you can decorate to your choosing!

17. Chalkboard signs

Get chalkboards that you can stencil or write seasonal sayings on. This is a great thing to buy because you can use it for every season.

18. Gravestones

Get rocks and write gravestone sayings on them with paint. If you really want the gravestones to look creepy you can put just a little too much paint on your brush and let the paint drip downward a little on each word. Then place the stones in your flower bed or flowerpots.

19. Misty mirror

Make your mirrors misty by spraying them with hairspray. When you’re done partying for Halloween you can easily wash the hairspray off the mirror with your regular glass cleaner.

20. Spooky tree

Get a small dead branch from the lawn and put it in a pot as a spooky, spindly dead tree. Then you can decorate it with little black birds or lights if you want.

21. Little black birds

Make origami birds with black paper to give your house an Edgar Allan Poe feel.

22. Halloween doormat

Make a doormat for October guests by buying a cheap doormat, and using stencils to paint on the sayings or figures of your choice.

halloween candy

23. Mini Salem village

Make a little Salem village with painted bird houses. You can also make your own little houses with cardboard cutouts glued together, or popsicle sticks that you glue and stack into houses.

24. Candy jars

Fill see-through mason jars with Halloween candies and wrap the lids with Halloween festive looking ribbons. These can act as decorations you can eat throughout the holiday!

25. Halloween gingerbread house

Make a gingerbread house in October! Just use Halloween colored food dyes (like black, orange, purple etc.) in the icing, and use Halloween themed candies to decorate with. Who said gingerbread houses were only for Christmas anyway?

26. Crystal ball

You can make your very own crystal ball! You can get a glass ball from the craft store or get an undecorated Christmas ornament. Then just spray paint the glass ball with misty paints and place them on a pedestal of some kind, like a low bowl with dark fabric laid over it.

27. The living scarecrow

Pull some tricks of your own by dressing up as a scarecrow, grim reaper, or suited vampire and station yourself somewhere on the porch where trick or treaters will come by for their candy. If you hold very still, then trick or treaters will think you’re a prop! When you suddenly move you’ll give all your visitors a good scare.

28. Cereal killer

Use old cereal boxes and make your own cereal killer crime scene! You can paint faces on the boxes and laying them out in a comical murder scene. You can even make the scene a part of the party by having people deduce which of the cereal boxes did it, and how.

29. Leaf bag monsters

If you have leaves you need to rake up, then put them to decorating use! Put all your raked up leaves in big black bags, and then paint the bags to look like monsters have invaded your porch and yard.

30. Halloween mood lighting

You can give your house an eerie ambience by covering lampshades with colored tissue paper. You can even cut out images and scenes into the tissue paper to display things like hands, ghosts, and haunted forests on the walls and ceiling. If you don’t have lampshades, you can also paint the lightbulbs in a similar way. Just be sure to use a non-water-based glass paint so the paint doesn’t melt off the bulb.

31. Monster house

Make your whole house into a monster house by making key windows look like eyes, and the front door or porch area look like a toothy mouth. You can easily make cut out eyes and teeth with large construction paper.

halloween lighting

32. Halloween wreath

Wreaths make a nice touch on any door, inside or outside your house. You can make your own wreath very easily by getting a round metal wire base and filling it with ornaments of your choice. Be careful, and use hot glue to situate your materials together into the garland’s circle frame. There are many ways to put a spooky wreath together.

33. Halloween centerpiece

Dress up your kitchen table, counter, or coffee table with a Halloween centerpiece! You can use a piece of wood as a tray for things like pumpkins, or an assortment of candles or a flower arrangement with plants and buds of the season. The possibilities are literally endless for how you can accent your table surfaces in October.

 

It’s fun to make every holiday a festive time to remember. Decorations can help you give your home that haunted Halloween atmosphere you want this time of year. Making your own decorations with friends and family can also bring you all closer together during this fun and spooky season. And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party decorations right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.

If you try any of these Halloween decoration ideas take a picture of it and share the picture with us on social media! You can find Check City on Facebook, or tag your post with #checkcity #halloweendecorations.


READ MORE

Make and even scarier misty mirror with this DIY hack, “Haunted Mirror – A Halloween DIY.”

Find more specific tutorials for DIY projects you can do this year, “25 Diy Halloween Decorations to Make this Year.”

If you’re decorating for a Halloween movie night, check out this article for some scary movie ideas, “80 Best Halloween Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts.”

You’ll also need party food and beverages if you’re going to host a Halloween party, “Halloween Party Food Ideas.”


Provo’s Year of Transportation

transportation

Nobody likes getting stuck in traffic, but with rental bikes and scooters you can pass the traffic and get around quicker, all while helping the environment and air quality. See what Utah’s city of Provo is doing this year to combat these two issues.

Rental bikes and scooters are becoming increasingly popular in high traffic areas. Provo has become one of those booming, high traffic places, so it’s no surprise that so many transportation innovations have taken place in Provo in the last year or so.

Transportation is a giant part of our lives today. Everyone needs it and we often use it every day, sometimes several times throughout the day. Cities like Provo have a particular need for ample transportation. Not only is it a college city, but it has become a tourist spot, and home to numerous unique start-ups and businesses, attracting crowds from all around.

So because of Provo’s growing urbanization and success, Provo’s city council decided to start what’s being called Provo’s Year of Transportation. The initiative was begun by Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and has been ongoing since 2018. So far this transportation movement in Provo has included:

  1. Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)
  2. Rental bikes and scooters
  3. Provo airport expansion

Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)

The UVX is a free express bus with its own lane that goes between Orem and Provo station all day, Monday through Saturday. The UVX makes several new and convenient stops along the way to get people to key places between Provo and Orem quickly.

The UVX has been more than a success, giving more than 2 million rides since it began running! Provo has high hopes in having equal success with their other transportation initiatives.

The UVX is easy to pay for because, it’s FREE to all passengers! There’s really no excuse to not take advantage of this new city convenience. For other buses and the front runner, you can now pay for your tickets on the UTA GoRide app, making your UTA trips even more quick and convenient. And if you’re a student or employee at UVU or BYU, then your student or employee ID acts as a free annual UTA pass!

Rental Bikes and Scooters

The newest addition to Provo’s transportation movement is the electronic Spin scooter. Spin is the manufacturer of the scooters, and you use the Spin app to pay for, activate, and ride one of their scooters. But Zagster is the company the city council chose to oversee the overall operations of the scooters. Zagster will address and manage any problems and see to it that the new rental scooter program is a success.

They will also be adding rental bikes to their services in the coming months. The new bike rental program will be a docked system where the bikes are parked in permanent locations. They are planning to get this program up and running by January 2020.

But for now, you can use any number of the bike rental stores that already exist in Provo. Bikes are great for getting around the city quickly and avoiding traffic almost completely. But they’re also fun to rent as an activity with friends, to see the city sights!

  1. JigaWatt Cycles has 5 stars on Google. They have electric bikes for rent, with different bicycle types to choose from.
  2. Gary’s Bikes is the next 5 star review bike place in Provo. Their rental bikes can even be delivered to your home! They also sell bikes and bike accessories.
  3. Hangar 15 Bicylces is the final 5 star reviewed bike place on Google. They sell bikes and bike accessories as well.

Provo Airport Expansion

Did you know Provo had an airport? Because I didn’t! But people are hearing plenty about the Provo airport now since there are plans for major expansions. The first part of the Provo airport expansion is going to include a whole new terminal with 4 more gates. Eventually they plan on adding 10 more gates in total, allowing for more destination services to the airport right in Provo. This will not only make the lives of Provo residents easier, but a bigger Provo airport also means less traffic going into the Salt Lake airport!

Why We Welcome Provo’s Transportation Movement

better environment
 

Provo isn’t just expanding in order to draw more people and more traffic into town, but rather, Provo is accommodating the traffic already here. By providing these economically friendly transportation options, Provo can better manage its traffic flow, making getting around an easier feat for all.

These new travel options are also environmentally friendly and will help reduce the impact transportation has on the neighborhood’s air quality. The electronic bus and scooters that Provo has opted to use in their programs have a much lower impact on Provo’s environment than other options. For example, using electric buses for the UVX (instead of the traditional diesel buses) can lower emissions by as much as 87 percent!

About Spin Electric Scooters

There are currently 200 scooters in Provo, but if all goes well this number could increase if necessary. A scooter costs $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of use, capping out at a maximum $10 an hour. They can go a maximum of 15 miles per hour, and are equipped with GPS. The scooters are great for getting around to nearby places in Provo, for getting in between your other transit stops, or for sightseeing. They are extremely easy to use—you can either download the Spin app with your smartphone to activate and pay for your scooter rental, or if you don’t have a smartphone you can just text the barcode number.

As great as this all may sound for some, there are those who are skeptical about the scooter program and worry about problems arising. For those worried about the scooters being where they shouldn’t and getting in the way, worry no more! Scooters are only permitted anywhere bikes are already allowed, and they will actually shut off if the user tries to ride into an area where scooters are prohibited. For instance, the scooters aren’t allowed on BYU campus, so Zagster and Spin created a geo-fencing system that disables the scooter if it crosses that virtual fence. The scooter program also has up to 40 employees to keep the scooters from piling up at hot spots, and to gather the scooters up again each night and put them back.

How to Rent a Scooter

It is advised that you wear a helmet while operating one of Provo’s rental scooters.

  1. Open the Spin app and find a scooter near you.
  2. With the app, scan the QR code on the top of the scooter to unlock it.
  3. Once you are on the scooter use the right throttle to accelerate.
  4. When you are done just park it at a bike rack, or close to the edge of the sidewalk, where it won’t be in anyone’s way.

Heavy Traffic & Emission Problems Near You?

traffic problems
 

If you don’t live in Provo, but your city or town has similar problems with traffic congestion or pollution from car emissions, there are some things you can do to help! First of all, every town has a website, or people you can contact if there are changes in your neighborhood you would like to see. For instance, Provo residents can visit Provo.org to stay informed about their community and help make their town a better place. Start by getting more connected with your local community and government!

You can also buy your very own electric scooter or bike! You can buy online or go to a local bike shop near you and purchase your very own eco-friendly ride.

A scooter or bike can even help you beat the morning rush and get to work on time. It can also help you save on transportation costs since bikes and scooters don’t require gas. According to Business Insider the average person spends anywhere from $400 to $1,300 or more on gas each year, depending on the state you live in. Imagine what you could do, and the debts you could get rid of, if you only didn’t have to pay for gas?

If you need this kind of help in your life, but don’t have the funds to buy a decent bike or scooter right now, visit our website and get a Check City Personal Loan so you can start pedaling and saving asap!


READ MORE

Save even more money on transportation with tips from these articles:

Saving Money on Transportation

How to Save Money on Transportation


Halloween Party Food Ideas

halloween party food ideas

Having a Halloween party and don’t know what to serve? Have no fear! Here are some classic Halloween party food ideas for you to use this October:

There are lots of great reasons to eat this time of year. There are all kinds of Halloween parties and events to cook and bake for, and you’d be amazed by how many Halloween-themed foods there are to choose from! Because it’s Halloween you can literally take almost any food, and just make it scary!
 

Halloween Appetizers

At any party, if you’re not serving dinner, it’s a great idea to serve some appetizers as the main course. Think of the appetizers as the savory part of the treats for the evening.

Mummy Pigs in a Blanket

For the original recipe check out Chelsea’s website. She also has loads of other great recipes for Halloween like, monster meatball sliders, cheesy bread fingers, and 7-layer spider web dip!

Ingredients

party food

  • Hot dogs
  • Dinner roll dough
  • Dipping sauces of your choice
Method
  1. Cut out strips of dough to use as the mummy wrappings
  2. Cut the hot dogs to give them arms and legs
  3. Wrap the dough around the hot dogs arms, legs, and body so it looks like a mummy!
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  5. When they’re done you can add eyes and mouths with mustard, ketchup, or food dye pens

Then you can serve a plate of mummy pigs in a blanket with the sauces of your choice.

Ghostly Mini Pizzas

Ingredients
  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese slices
Method
  1. Set the english muffins out on a tray
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on each muffin
  3. Cut out ghosts on the cheese slices and place those on top of the sauce
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and the muffins are toasted) at 350 degrees

Now you have cheesy, easy to serve mini pizzas with ghostly apparitions on top!
 

Halloween Desserts

Now on to the desserts section! After the appetizers, or at the other end of your serving table, you can display some yummy desserts. This is the sweet section of your party menu for the night and there are so many things you can choose from.

Cups of Dirt

Ingredients
  • Chocolate pudding packets
  • Oreo cookies
  • Gummy worms
Method
  1. Make the chocolate pudding according to the instructions on the box
  2. Put the Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to crumble them
  3. Fill individual cups with the chocolate pudding
  4. Sprinkle the crumbled oreos on top of the pudding
  5. Place a gummy worm or two into each cup

If you want to get even more creative with these, you can decorate some whole Oreo cookies with icing to look like gravestones. Then you can insert these gravestone Oreos into the “dirt” to give your pudding cups a haunted graveyard feel.

Spooky Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is a great party staple. You can even leave the baked, cut out cookies in a tray with the icing and decorations out for your party guests to decorate themselves. Not only will this save you a lot of time prepping your party snacks, but decorating cookies is a fun party activity for your guests to enjoy!

Ingredients

halloween snacks

For the cookies you’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the icing you’ll need:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 to 8 tsps milk
  • 4 tsps corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Food dye
Method

To make the cookies:

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt
  2. Mix butter and sugar in a separate bowl
  3. Add both mixtures together and mix in the egg and milk
  4. Cut out your cookies into fun Halloween shapes!
  5. Bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes (until the cookies just barely begin to brown) at 350 degrees

If you want to watch a video on how to make easy sugar cookies, you can watch Alton Brown make his recipe on Food Network!

To make the icing:

  1. Put powdered sugar in a bowl
  2. Add milk, corn syrup, and vanilla
  3. Stir until smooth
  4. Divide the icing into different containers and add the food dyes you want

Now with icing bags or knives you can have a kitchen party decorating your Halloween cookies! Feel free to add other decorations besides icing too. You can add candies and sprinkles to finish off your Halloween figures with a flourish.

Other sugar cookie decorations you can have out:

  • Crumbled up Oreos
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups, cut in half
  • M&Ms
  • An assortment of sprinkles
  • Pull apart twizzlers
  • Candy corn

You can even have a cookie decorating contest with a table set up for serious cookie decorating contestants to do their work!

For some other Halloween dessert ideas, check out these awesome recipe websites below:

 

Halloween Drinks

Every good party host has to provide beverages of some kind. Otherwise, after eating all those savory appetizers and sugary sweets, your guests will die of thirst and haunt your house forever!

Below are some yummy beverage ideas for your party, but it’s also a good idea to always have some cold water available throughout the party too.

witch's brew

Cauldron Punch

Ingredients
  • A large bowl for the dry ice
  • A smaller bowl for the punch
  • Fruit punch
  • Ginger ale or 7-up
Method
  1. Make your punch by adding the fruit punch and soda in the smaller bowl
  2. Use gloves to set up the dry ice in the larger bowl
  3. Place the smaller punch bowl inside your larger dry ice cauldron
  4. When the party is ready, pour warm water on the dry ice to get the cauldron going
  5. *don’t let the punch and dry ice mix (hence the separate bowls)

If you’ve ever wondered how party pros get that misty cauldron effect on their punch bowls, wonder no more! Here is how they do it. Just remember to be safe with the dry ice! It is not remotely edible.

Ghostly Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa is a great beverage to have when a party is more intimate or calm. That way you won’t die of heat in a big crowd by drinking something hot. It’s also a great beverage to serve if your party includes activities in the chilly outdoors!

Ingredients
  • Hot cocoa mix
  • Your favorite creamers
  • Ingredients for making marshmallows
Method
  1. Make hot cocoa how you like it
  2. Make homemade marshmallows and shape them into ghosts
  3. Watch your ghost disappear in your warm hot cocoa!

To make your hot cocoa servings extra special you can drizzle fudge syrup on the inner walls of the mug. This way you get a deep chocolate flavor the more you drink!

If making homemade marshmallows seems like too much work, you can also top your hot chocolate with whipped cream, and draw spooky figures with chocolate syrup instead.

 

There are many ways to put on a Halloween party, and there are lots of choices to fill your food table. Your food choices will depend on the preferences of you and your guests, but hopefully this list can get you started!

And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.


READ MORE

There are endless websites with party food ideas you can pull from. Here are a few great recipe articles to get you started in your party food preparations:

Easy Halloween Party Food

17 Last-Minute Halloween Snacks That Will Save the Spooky Day

3 Easy Halloween Snacks


Amazon Daily Deals!

amazon daily deals

There are lots of great deals you can take advantage of every single day, with Amazon’s Daily Deals! You won’t believe some of the great things you can find. Every Tuesday we highlight some of our favorite Amazon Daily Deal buys. Here are some of our top picks from today:

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

 

Today’s Amazon Daily Deals:

Bushnell Falcon Binoculars

binoculars

Current Sale Price: $21.69
Originally: $36.99
You Save: $15.30! (41% off)

These binoculars are by Bushnell Falcon and they have a 10 x 50 wide angle lens. They’re made to be durable and give a sharp clear view. Binoculars like these are great to have if you’re into hunting or bird watching and could make a great gift idea for the avid hunters in your life.

But these aren’t the only hunting binoculars on sale today at Amazon. There are other binocular deals going on today too! Check them out HERE and pick out your own discount binoculars.

 

Acer Gaming Monitor

gaming monitor

Current Sale Price: $169.99
Originally: $279.99
You Save: $110.00! (39% off)

This monitor is a 27 inch screen with a sleek curved design. Amazon is having lots of deals today on all things computer. They have USBs, a WiFi range extender, external hard drives, core processors, gaming mouse, and even all-in-one computers. So if you’re looking to set up your own desktop computer, whether for gaming, for school, or your home office, you may find what you’re looking for with these computer Amazon deals.

 

Nutro Natural Crunchy Dog Treats

dog treats

Current Sale Price: $5.03
Originally: $8.99
You Save: $3.96! (44% off)

Amazon is also having a mass sale on lots of different dog treats. These crunchy treats are made with high quality protein, but there are lots of other great treats to choose from today as well! There are dentastixs that are up to 35% off, and other dental chews for up to 41% off to help keep your dog’s breath fresh and naturally get rid of tooth plaque. There are even cat treats! Click HERE to check out what other pet treats you can grab today.

 

Amazon Daily Deals Kindle Books

It’s important to keep the joy of reading alive in your life and having your own library to pull from certainly makes that easier. With kindle e-readers and the constant book and audiobook sales going on everyday on Amazon, this job is easy. So you can keep reading lots of new things without paying high prices or even leaving your home!

Kindle Oasis E-Reader

oasis kindle E-Reader

Current Sale Price: $174.99
Originally: $249.99
You Save: $75.00! (30% off)

This e-reader is the first kindle e-reader to be, waterproof! It even connects with your audible account so you can listen to your books with your kindle too. The Kindle Oasis E-
Reader has a glare free screen that won’t strain your eyes. This newer e-reader also comes in different colors: graphite grey and champagne gold. You can use this handy device to do all your cozy winter reading!

 

Jane Doe

by Victoria Helen Stone

Current Sale Price: $7.48
Originally: $14.95
You Save: $7.47! (50% off)

Jane Doe is about a seemingly ordinary girl, who turns out to be not so ordinary. It uses a first-person point of view and deals with emotional suspense, revenge, and sociopaths. So if you still need a thrilling read this October, now might be your chance to grab a suspense-thriller on sale.

 

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

by Robert Dugoni

robert dugoni

Current Sale Price: $6.99
Originally: $14.95
You Save: $7.96! (53% off)

Author Robert Dugoni is both a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author, so grab this promising read while you can! The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is a coming-of-age novel about a young boy who was born with red eyes.

 

When We Believed in Mermaids

by Barbara O’Neal

when we believed in mermaids

Current Sale Price: $1.99 on kindle
Originally: $3.99 (digital) $14.95 (print)
You Save: $12.96! (87% off)

When We Believed in Mermaids is about a girl who see her supposedly dead sister on the TV news, and suddenly everything changes. If you love a good mystery read where oceans of buried secrets get revealed, this book is the one for you.

 

Took: A Ghost Story

by Mary Downing Hahn

took: a ghost story

Current Sale Price: $2.99
Originally: $7.99
You Save: $5.00! (63% off)

There’s a new kid in town and at first he doesn’t believe the ghost stories the other kids try and tell him. That is, until his sister disappears. Get your ghost story, Halloween fix this year by taking advantage of Amazon’s spooky book sales!

There are many more scary kindle reads available on sale until the 27th of this month! Check out this LINK to see what other spooky tales you can get a deal on this week.

spooky kindle reads

Sometimes deals and sales are the way that we get things we really need. You may especially depend on sales when you’re in college, or just starting out on your own, or in a new place. So when you find something you really need on sale, and payday is just a couple days too late, that can be really frustrating.

Luckily Check City can help you out with a quick and easy Payday Loan so that you can take advantage of important deals regardless of when your payday comes.

 

Share with us what deals you snagged today by using the hashtags #amazondailydeals #checkcity.

 

READ MORE

Make clothes shopping not just easier, but cheaper too, by doing your clothes shopping online, “Shopping for Your Clothes Online.”

Get ahead on your Christmas shopping this year, “4 Reasons to Start Early Christmas Shopping.”

Learn how to get thrifty with all your gift shopping this season, “Thrifty Gift Shopping.”

Read all about the post Christmas online shopping addiction and how to you can save yourself from overbuying this year, “The Post-Christmas Online Shopping Addiction.”

Save on all your holiday shopping with these tips, “Saving while Online Shopping for the Holidays.”


How to Have a Successful YouTube Channel

how to have a successful youtube channel

For those with the dream to create their own video content, these are the steps you can follow to give your YouTube channel the best chance:

  1. Pick a Niche
  2. Know Your Audience
  3. Make Goals
  4. Create an Online Presence
  5. Create Your Brand
  6. Start Creating!

One of the major keys to success in any endeavor is planning. The same principal applies when creating your own YouTube channel. The most successful YouTube channels do well because they have a level of consistency, planning, and marketing to help them do as well as they can.

You may already be a creative guru, ready to add some great video content to the vlogging universe, but if you don’t go through the process correctly, you’ll miss the key elements of a good YouTube channel.

Follow these tips to make your YouTube channel as professional as it can be.

Step 1: Pick a Niche

You should start by knowing what kind of content you want to create. Being a part of a clearly defined and understood genre or niche will help your audience understand you and what your channel is all about. This will also help you find examples of other channels in your genre that are doing well and learn from their success.

youtube video genres

YouTube Genres

Here is a list of some of the most common YouTube channel genres:

  • Gaming
  • Lifehacks
  • Gossip
  • News
  • Top # lists
  • Fail compilations
  • Food
  • Art
  • Product unwrapping and opening
  • How-to demonstrations
  • Animals
  • Spoofs
  • Online education course
  • Hauls

Step 2: Know Your Audience

Just as you need to understand your niche and subject matter, you also need to understand your audience. In order to make successful videos you need to know who you are reaching and what they are all about. A thorough understanding of who you want watching your videos will help you better know how to cater your videos to their wants and interests.

Learning about the demographics that use YouTube can also be helpful in shaping the content you create. For example, here’s some statistics about YouTube users:

  • 90% are 18 to 44 years old
  • 80% are 45 to 64 years old
  • Over 50% are 65 years or older
  • YouTube is equally popular among males and females

 
youtube demographics
 

Step 3: Make Goals

You need to make long and short term goals, not only for your channel, but for you and your brand. One benefit of making goals for your channel is that they will give your channel purpose. Having a clear sense of purpose will be felt by your audience and foster your long-term success.

So make goals about how often you want to post, or how many followers you want to get in 3 months. The goals you can make are endless, and they will help you form better plans on how to grow your audience.

Step 4: Create an Online Presence

Your fans will want to find and follow you everywhere online so create accounts across all the major social media platforms. Then you can also post your videos on social media! Having an Instagram connected with your channel can also help you snag viewers from other platforms, not just people browsing YouTube.

You will also want to make sure that each of your profile pages has links to all your other accounts so that your followers can find you easily. You can also utilize social media automation tools that will post your content across all your platforms for you.

Which platforms you want will depend on the nature and purpose of your content and brand, but here are some of the key platforms you will want to look into having along with your YouTube channel:

online presence

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Your own official website
Do Some Online Spring Cleaning

When creating an online presence you’ll want to first clean up the online presence you already have. You don’t want anything you already have online to conflict with the brand you are trying to represent and the audience trust you are trying to gain.

Make sure you don’t have anything out on the web that you wouldn’t want members of your audience to find or that doesn’t align with the image and reputation you want your brand to foster.

Interact With Your Audience

Engage on social media! Respond to comments when appropriate and stay connected to your audience. You want to keep in the loop about what your audience does and doesn’t like, and about what’s popular and trending.

But don’t just interact with your audience, interact with other creators in your niche as well. Network with your fellow creators, because you never know what kind of opportunities may arise from supporting a fellow YouTuber. You can even collaborate with other YouTubers and make videos together to combine audiences!

Step 4: Create Your Brand

Branding is an important aspect of marketing. It is your symbol and how your audience recognizes you across mediums. It also sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

When creating your brand you will want to brainstorm about what makes you unique, how you want to be perceived, and what kinds of things you want your audience to think of and feel when they see your brand. Below are some of the key aspects of creating your brand you will want to do for your channel:

logo design

Make a Logo

There are many tools out there now to help you create your own logo. Here are a few you can try out:

Make a Video Intro

Successful YouTubers usually start their video with a short 8-12 second long intro that often features your logo.

If you’re planning on having a video channel then you probably know what video editors and creators you like the most, but here are some sites you can use to create your video intro:

Step 5: Start Creating!

create videos
 

Make Your Content and Marketing Plans

Make a schedule for when you post so that you post on a regular, consistent schedule that your audience can expect. Many platforms will have ways for you to schedule when your posts go out.

Create, Edit, Optimize

You’ll want to create good, high quality content that will be successful with your viewers. It may also be helpful to create 2 weeks worth of content before your first post so that you can stay a week ahead of your posting schedule.

Analyze and Improve

Keep an eye on your analytics to see how you are doing, what might be getting more or less likes, and improve your content accordingly.

Remember Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Make use of keywords and hashtags so that your content does well on search engines and reaches those who are looking for content like yours.

 

YouTubers can make money from their channels, but those who are actually successful at this are often branching out and making money in other ways as well. Their YouTube channel is often just one part of their larger brand.

But regardless, it is amazing to live in a world where personal branding and creativity can allow so many a livelihood doing what they love. And if you need help starting your YouTube channel business, you can always take out a Check City personal loan to help get you started.


READ MORE

Figure out how much you can expect to make as a YouTuber, “How Much Do YouTubers Make?.”

Learn some of the basics about making a new channel, “Create a New Channel.”

Find some more helpful tips, “How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel for Your Business.”


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