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4 Essential Steps to Storing Your Car in the Winter


Some cars are just not meant for the rigor and abuse a harsh winter can deliver, so it’s into the garage for your baby. Whether you’re in possession of a classy BMW, an iconic ’69 Corvette Stingray, or you just don’t want to drive that Audi convertible through the salt-laden ice and snow, there are a few steps that you should take in order to stash your ride for a few months.

Winter can wreak havoc on a vehicle, even if it isn’t being driven. Just because you aren’t trampling over the dirt, grime, salt, rocks, moisture and dust doesn’t mean that your baby isn’t going to come into contact with these nasties. It is important that you keep this in mind, because there is a delivery method for winter problems: the wind.

When the wind whips up, it carries those particles, and they begin to accumulate on car surfaces. Also, critters are another concern, because your vehicle looks like a lovely home for them. There’s a good chance that you’ve experienced this before: the month of April arrives, you gleefully skip over to your pride and joy, remove the cover and find patches of rust and other cosmetic evils! How can this be?

Let’s avoid such a tragedy this year.

1. Store a Clean Car

Before your Chevy hibernates for the winter months, you need to clean her. No, we don’t simply mean just a quick scrub — we mean a thorough, total, elbow-grease-driven kind of clean.

Be sure to remove any problem areas that already show dirt, as this will attract and hold moisture like a sponge. Also, don’t allow any rust spots to persist, as these will only worsen over time, and especially over the winter. Similar to how that lovely-smelling ocean salt spray can damage your car’s paint job, the wind-blown salt from the roads will do even worse. That kind of salt is actually more damaging and will likely accelerate rust corrosion.

Next, protect your ride with a good, dirt-rust-moisture-repelling wax. If there are any exposed metallic surfaces, then be sure to hit those with a protective polish. Even WD-40 will do a fantastic job at keeping the evil grime-monster at bay.

Last, clean out the inside of your vehicle. Not only will it be nice to come back to a spic and span beautiful car, but leaving that old Twinkie rapper and bag of curly fries in the back seat could cause more than just a stench problem. It could toss up a flag that says, “Please live in me! I have food!”

2. Critter Proof

Now that we’ve gotten the hardest part out of the way, it’s time to start thinking about that other issue of winter storage: critters. Tiny rodent creatures will find just about any crack or crevice to turn into a lovely winter home. This might be convenient for them, but it could be very bad for you.

First, you will want to shove a sock in the tail pipe. This makes sure that nothing will live, or die, in there. The implications of a critter living in your tailpipe should be somewhat obvious.

Unfortunately, mice are also a major issue, but the biggest problem with them is their size. These guys can climb into just about anything. It’s said that dryer sheets and mothballs might do the trick of keeping them away. However, there really is no foolproof way of keeping them out. The key is to make it less inviting and a little bit harder to access.

3. Car Cover

This step is arguably the most important. You need to get yourself a car cover that will fit your particular vehicle and not leave any surface material exposed. The car cover will not only keep out the rain, ice and snow, but it will also make it just that much more difficult for a critter to find a home in your baby.

There are plenty of nifty custom car covers that will fit snuggly over your vehicle. The best part about them is that they give your ’72 Corvette a snazzy place to hibernate for the winter.

Unfortunately, car covers will not block out the wind, which means they won’t be able to keep all moisture out, but it is certainly better than exposing your car to the elements.

FMCSA To Hold Public Listening Session On Entry-Level Training

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMSCA announced that they would be holding a public listening session on January 7, 2013 to get feedback and ideas regarding the safety training for all entry-level commercial drivers. The feedback from this meeting will be taken into consideration as the government agency makes revisions to the current Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) bill. The listening session offers a unique opportunity for those in the industry to have a real say in the legislation and regulations imposed on commercial drivers.

Moving Ahead for Progress Bill

The MAP bill was signed into law back in July by President Obama and will remain in effect, until mid-2014. The bill not only addresses safety for commercial vehicle drivers but also ruled on funding provided to states to improve the conditions and safety of their roads, transit systems, and bridges. The Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood expressed the bill was completely bipartisan with the aim of increasing up safety efforts in roads, transit, and motor carrier safety.

Importance of Adequate Safety Training for New Drivers

When it comes to introducing new drivers into a fleet, they need to be trained fully in safe practices as well as the extensive regulations placed on commercial drivers. A recent article from Fleet Owner spoke with the director of safety and policy with the Truckload Carriers Association, David Heller, who explained that generally changes to training requirements are well received when they benefit the industry. He went on to state that the FMCSA should be focusing on ensuring entry-level drivers are receiving the best training and that the processes surrounding this training are sound.

Getting Involved and Making Your Voice Heard

Those who will be impacted by any changes to the MAP bill such as drivers and fleet owners/supervisors should ensure that their thoughts are heard. The FMCSA asks that all that choose to participate and provide suggestions and ideas also include studies and research when applicable.  All information presented will be reviewed by the agency and considered when drafting revisions to the training. The driver safety training talk will be extremely important in deciding future laws and regulations for drivers.   The more training commercial drivers have can lead to less accidents on the road.  Making sure these drivers are prepared to the fullest before they get on the road is extremely important.  Some of these changes could lead to an overall safer experience for all drivers on the road.

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Chuck Stevens is an avid blogger always looking to share his experiences and recommendations. He loves traveling, is a huge football fan and works everyday towards preparing you drivers for the road.  You can follow him on Twitter @chuckstevens12.

Why Buy A Used Car?

Just because you have a poor credit score doesn’t mean you should be eliminated from buying a used car. After all, that car may play a key role in getting you to and from the very job that will pay the bills, and therefore help increase your credit score. If you can’t afford, or unable to qualify for new car financing, then buying a used car may be the right option for you. However, buying used cars is not only for people who are unable to qualify for new car financing. Timothy Allen, who sells used cars in Brownsville TX, says, “Buying used cars is no longer something mean for people who can’t afford a brand new car… it’s a smart decision for first-time car buyers… particularly young adults who don’t want a pricey car as their first vehicle.”

Below are the two biggest benefits to buying a used car:

Saving Money
The most obvious benefit of buying a used car is of course, saving money. A used car usually costs a significant amount less than a brand new car and often is in great shape – it just has a few extra miles on it. Depending on your budget, you may be able to buy a used vehicle that’s like new… otherwise it may require a few minor fixes to get it into shape. Buying a used car is perfect for a shopper on a budget or someone with less than perfect credit.

No Worrying About Minor Damage
It’s a fact of life that your car is going to suffer a few minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises whether you  buy it new or used. However, when you buy a used car, you don’t have to worry too much about a tiny dent from another door hitting it or a scratch from a tree branch that was just a little too close. New drivers are more likely to get into fender benders so by buying a used car, you won’t have to worry about spending a lot of money to fix such a minor problem as you would if the car is new.

As Timothy Allen, who sells used cars in Brownsville TX said, “Used cars are becoming more and more popular among consumers in today’s economy.” If you simply don’t have the money to put down for a new car or you’d rather spend that money elsewhere, buying a used car is a great option. Whether you’re a brand new driver or simply don’t see the sense in buying a brand new car, start looking into used car dealerships around you to see what they offer – there’s most likely something out there that’s perfect for you and your needs.

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Samantha Wideman is part of a team of writers and specializes in writing about current news events.

Golf Carts Are A Practical Form Of Transportation Almost Anywhere You Go

Today, golf carts are used on everyday basis throughout the entire world. Besides being used in their most conventional manner, which is transporting golfers from hole to hole on a golf course, they are also used in a variety of different locations as well. These locations include places such as apartment complexes, large corporate offices, warehouses, hospitals, construction sites, shopping malls, and a host of others. In fact, in some instances, golf carts are a necessity as opposed to a luxury. If you have ever gone to view an apartment complex property before, than chances are you were definitely driven around by a property manager there in a golf cart. Golf carts are used at almost every single apartment complex in the world these days. If you happen to live in an apartment complex, than you probably witness many golf carts driving on the property each and every day.

Golf carts are often used by employees that work in large warehouses too. This is because often times such employees are sent out to do routine tasks such as inventory checks, and the use of golf carts is needed to both save time and occasionally transport an item or two inside of the warehouse. Besides large forklifts and other equipment, you will often see a few golf carts located inside of any warehouse that you walk into. Golf carts are also used in hospitals on many occasions. This is usually when patients are not quite well enough to walk yet, but do not necessarily require the use of a wheelchair. Many hospitals today offer golf carts to patients and their visitors as a means of comfortable transportation within the hospital. Golf carts are also used at a variety of other locations on a regular basis, such as some of the following:

  • Shopping malls
  • Corporate office buildings
  • Resort hotels
  • Sports arenas and stadiums
  • Construction sites

Many resort hotels make use of golf carts:

These days, a large amount of resort hotels out there these days offer golf carts to their guests. Many resort hotels are located in hot weather climates, so guests want to be able to get around the entire property in as quick of a manner as they can. Most resort hotels are very large properties in terms of their overall size, so having golf carts available to transport guests around is very important. A lot of times, hotel security staff members will make use of golf carts as well, especially at night time when they drive around the entire property and do routine security checks. Many maintenance workers on resort hotel properties use golf carts on a regular basis as well. Golf carts allow them to get from location to location in a very quick manner, and also allow them to transport their tools with them as well. Since the majority of golf carts provide storage spaces within them, maintenance workers are able to keep their important work tools on them at all times when doing work on any part of the property.

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This post was contributed by the golf part experts, Performance Plus Carts. To check out custom made golf carts and more golf carts parts, visit Performance Plus Carts here.

The F-Type: The Unplanned Baby and How it Stands Apart from the E-type

There is word going around that the F-type was not on the immediate cards for the Jaguar design team. The team had been thinking about it, true, but it wasn’t going to be built in the near future. So it’s lucky for us car enthusiasts that the circumstances that precipitated this beauty into the production line came to be.

And what were these circumstances? It turns out that industrialist Ratan Tata was the reason the car made it to the factories. He believed the Jaguar lineup needed to tap into its original inception as a sporting line. We think the Jaguar Land Rover owner was shrewd in knowing our minds – we wanted to see a Jaguar sports car that was different, innovative and modern. And the F-type definitely delivers on that desire for modernity.

The car is also special for another reason. It’s the first 2-seater authentic sports car that Jaguar has given us in decades. Those of us – my car enthusiast friends and acquaintances – that made it to the Sydney Auto Show last October were stunned with the exhibit at the Jaguar stand. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything so seductively splendid. It also stands out as being so similar yet so different from its great predecessor of another era, the E-type.

It’s inevitable that the E-type enters the conversation every time we talk of Jaguar, and it seeps into the F-type design as well. Yet we can tell that the Jaguar is a nod to the E-type only when the two siblings are stationed side by side. This car has its own personality, and for those of you that couldn’t make it to the Sydney Motor Show, here’s a firsthand account of this gorgeous roadster.

The F-Type’s Design Features

The F-type can also hold its own when it comes to design. We love the shape of the headlamps. It flows out of the lines of the bonnet, instead of breaking up the front of this roadster. The two shark gills set on either side of the mesh grille is a new feature, it lends a slight welcome meanness to the otherwise soft-looking Jaguar roadsters.

Inside, the car is quite modern. It’s clean under the bonnet (which only contains airbag warning labels and cladding) unlike the E-type’s attractive insides, but that’s okay, given that this fits in with an overall clean design. The cabin is ergonomically designed and fitted with airbags for safety. Such features were absent in the E-type, and the F-type is none the uglier for these.

We also love the low dashboard with its center console fitted with pop-up vents. These come up only when they’re needed, and this makes good use of little space. The switches feel raw and technical, and we love that the gearlever also fits in with this raw metallic look, in place of Jaguar’s usual shifter panel and knob.

We’re sure that sounds good to most readers out there. It will be a while before we can test drive one of these when it hits the showroom later this year. Meanwhile, we can look forward to British actor Damien Lewis co-starring with this stunning streetcar in a short Hollywood film named Desire, due to be released in early 2013.

Mandy Forsythe is a writer and car enthusiast. She works full-time at a local paper and does part-time work online to save up for the red f-type she hopes to buy before she turns 35.

3 Reasons To Pick Toyota

In New Jersey, the question of the year is what car to buy. After Superstorm Sandy devastated so much of the state, a lot of the attention went to damaged roads, ruined houses and downed power lines. But as every Jersey resident knows, that wasn’t the end of the story. Thousands upon thousands of cars were destroyed – some by flooding, some by the torrential downpour, some by flying debris. Some parked cars washed away altogether and may be lost at sea. And the pressure’s on the replace those vehicles – but with insurance payment delays, many people are taking their time and thinking carefully about what kind of car to buy.

Obviously, everyone has their own favorite make but for a reliable, high quality car our money is on Toyota. Both used and new, Toyotas offer a number of benefits to a prospective owner, including;

Resale Value. If you want to maximize your eventual resale value, Toyota is one of the best investments you can make. Toyota routinely tops the blue book for most value over time. One of the most important aspects of car ownership is making sure you will be able to get good value out of your car at a later time – whether to trade it in directly or to sell it secondhand. Toyota makes sure you come out on top.

Safety. Toyota frequently leads the business in terms of safety features and decks out even its standard-equipped models with the latest and best rated safety equipment. Front and side airbags are now standard on many models, but safety goes far beyond that. Toyota’s six-point safety system includes features to help prevent accidents in the first place, such as better brake, vehicle stability and road traction controls. Thanks to its commitment to safety, 11 different Toyota models won the IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2012.

American Craftsmanship. Many people are surprised to find out that Toyota USA assembles its vehicles – nearly every model – right here in the United States. Although Japanese owned, Toyota has created hundreds of thousands of US jobs and invests heavily in the US economy. By establishing large-scale factories and distribution centers in American communities, Toyota has made a long-term investment in the US and they’re here to stay.

All of New Jersey is working hard to recover from Sandy, and the car you drive should be one you can count on, not another question mark. For our money, Toyota fits the bill for one of the best buys and best long-term investment. You won’t regret cruising down route 22 in a Toyota.

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For more writing by Jillian Johnson follow her @MissWritey.

Buying Vs. Leasing A Vehicle – 5 Must Read Facts

The time has come for you to get a new car, and you’re already feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you’d been sure you were going to buy, but then a trusted friend or coworker suggested leasing. Perhaps they lease themselves and couldn’t stop raving about it. If you don’t know anything about leasing vehicles, it can be a little intimidating, especially if you’ve heard any of the myths and rumours about leasing. So what’s the difference between buying vs. leasing a vehicle? Here, find five must-read facts that can help you make a decision.

Leasing is usually cheaper—at least upfront.

Surprisingly to some, leasing is usually a less expensive option upfront. The down payment you make on a lease is often negotiable and far less than what you’d put down to purchase a car. There are often fees incurred when you return the vehicle—primarily if you didn’t keep to the mileage agreement you made when you signed your lease—but in the moment, leasing is a more budget-friendly option.

You can get newer cars more frequently if you lease.

Because of the budgeting, leased vehicles are often newer vehicles; and, since you turn them in every three years, you can continually get the newest car available if you lease. If having the latest of everything is important to you, or if you’re considering about having the most up-to-date safety considerations in your car, leasing might be a better option. It’s also a great option if you don’t want to be burdened with the physical vehicle in a few years’ time; once your lease ends, you turn the vehicle back in and walk away.

If you don’t know where you’ll be in 3 years, don’t lease.

Because breaking a lease can be so difficult, it’s best not to lease if you think you might not be able to see the terms of the lease through. While there are options to breaking a lease in emergencies or if your circumstances change, planning to break a lease is not the best bet. If you’re going to want to be rid of the car in a year or so, buy instead. There are more options available to you.

If you drive long distances frequently, buying is better for you.

If you routinely drive more than 12,000 miles a year, buying is likely the most economical solution for you. Leases have a mileage limit of around 12,000 miles each year built in, and going over that mileage limit can incur heavy fees and extras. You can negotiate for more miles in your lease upfront for a little extra, but if you know you’ll be regularly driving far more than that, buying is a better choice.

Buying vs Leasing a Vehicle: If you put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle, buy it outright

If you’re going to do a number on your car, be prepared to pay extra when it comes time to turn in your lease. If you know that you’ll be using your car for labour, purchasing your car is probably a better bet.

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Tim is automotive blogger who loves to write on various topics related to automobile industry.Recently he got a chance to write and review a new and unique leasing from 1Alp known as Novated Lease Packaging.

The Most Collectable Cars Of All Time

There are many factors that make a collectable car, from design flaws to special features. Some of the most collectable cars can command incredibly high prices at auction.

Cars will always hold a particular fascination to some individuals. A classic car collection has for a very long time been the quintessential status symbol among the rich and famous. It is hard to say exactly what makes a car collectable. For some it is a particular flaw that is only extant in some models of a particular car, while for others it is the iconic nature of the brand or model.  Many classic cars are highly valued for their link to famous celebrities or cult icons.

Whatever the reason for a car’s collectability, if it is highly desired, it will catch a big price at auction.

Whether you are looking to sell or buy, it is worth knowing what kinds of features make a car collectable so keep an eye out for odd design features or flaws, such as left hand drive, distinctive paint jobs or ornamentation. You never know, you may stumble upon a rare find, like the cars mentioned below.

The 1978 Datsun 280Z Black Pearl Edition was originally introduced as a test to determine whether or not black paint jobs would be a selling point of this particular car. The Black Pearl was so successful that it spawned an entirely new range of automobiles. A very sleek looking vehicle, the 1978 Datsun was a highly regarded car in its time, and even more so now that it has achieved classic car status, fetching prices of up to £14,000 at auction.

A slightly more modern collectable car, the 1990 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo, is only around 23 years old yet has already taken its place as one of the most collectable cars. A reliable and comfortable car, the Oldsmobile is sought after by car collectors for its hardiness and ease of drive. Occasionally selling for as much as £12,000 pounds, this car can be very hard to track down.

Last, but by no means least, ’57 Chevy is one of the most collectable and recognisable cars in the world. Incorporating many of the design features that make cars of its era so distinctive, the 57 Chevy is a car collector’s dream. Iconic, and very rare, the 57 Chevy has been known to fetch up to £60,000 pounds at auction.

Car collecting can be a very serious business. Collectors will bid incredible sums of money for their favourite cars, knowing full well that it might be a very long time before another one comes along. If you see yourself as a car collector, keep an eye out for the cars listed above, you never know when you might chance upon a find. However, if you are so lucky as to buy a rare car, don’t forget your insurance. You would feel more than a little foolish if you spent £40,000 on a car, only to end up damaging it!

Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article was written on behalf of Admiral Car Insurance

Take A Peek Into The Lighting Side Of Cars!

The car industry has epitomized technology by always keeping up with it or always providing technologies that seem to be innovative, these being both new and adopted. Lighting technology is one of those fields highly developed in cars. Cars need lighting for many functions; it has been employed in cars to help the drivers see clearly at night, know the condition of their engines and even show direction. Cars use different types of lighting, depending on the weather conditions or the general design of the car.

Several parts on the car are for lighting. These are the headlamps, which illuminate the front of the car, the taillights that illuminate the back, and brake lights that warn the car behind that the one ahead is stopping. The signal lights which show the direction the driver wants to take and the reverse lights that show when a car is on reverse and the interior lighting to show the inner part of the car.

Many Overexposed Colours...

There are also internal dashboard lights that are used to give the driver indications about the engine, the engine light, the oil light, fuel, temperature and other unique lighting depending on the model of the car.

However, the most important thing to note is the effective use of different lighting to accomplish different things such as communication and security. Cars employ the use of all types of lighting available, incandescent lighting, light emitting diode lighting (LED), neon lighting, halogen lighting, HID lighting and laser lighting.

  • Incandescent lighting in cars

Many car manufacturers have adopted the incandescent bulbs for lighting the car’s headlights. They are most preferred because they offer a more realistic picture of the road at night and they consider the other drivers because they are not too bright such that they hinder vision. However, their main disadvantage is the fact that they burn up the filament with time, which can be a bad thing especially if they do so when you need the headlamps on.

They are also used to light the interior part of the car; this includes the inside and the truck of the car. These bulbs come on automatically when the car headlamps are on, apart from the light inside the car, which is turned on when needed. Due to their short life, they are cheap and affordable. They are the oldest type of lighting in the auto motive industry.


  • Laser lighting in motor vehicles

Unlike other employment of lasers, such as cutting and burning, lasers have been developed by the removal of phosphor that enables them to cut items or burn them up. They are energy saving when used as headlamps and other means of lighting, unlike the incandescent bulbs they do not burn out or generate heat.

They are also preferred especially in cars that are almost fully electrical because they can manipulate the patterns on the headlamps and tail lamps, the most popular being the circular motion of the Volkswagen Passat tail lights.

  • Halogen lighting in cars

Halogen lamps in cars have been on the rise replacing the old incandescent bulb, because despite needing filaments, the halogen lights last longer than the incandescent. They are called halogen lights since they contain halogen gas in the bulb to help in illumination. They give off almost a yellowish light but it is distinguishable from the incandescent because it is brighter.

  • High intensity discharge lighting in cars

In non-technical language, these lights are called xenon lights due to the composition of the gas inside the bulb, in this case xenon. They are designed such that the headlamps produce enough heat to vaporize salts in the bulb chamber, these salts contain xenon gas which then produce the High intensity discharge or HID. Due to their nature, they are commonly used in high-end and expensive cars and are popular for their strong lighting. They are best applied in foggy conditions or in conditions that hinder vision.

Most SUVs and military carriers have these lights installed as headlamps because they offer the best visibility compared to other lighting. They also offer an advantage in blinding the enemy during a military operation.

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Jayden is a retired race driver turned driving coach. Apart from blogging, he likes to shop for his lighting supplies at

What Are The Different Types Of Car Insurance?

After your home, your car is probably the biggest and most important purchase you’ll ever make, so making sure it’s well insured is vital to your peace of mind – and your bank balance. However, navigating the different types of cover – from comprehensive car insurance to greenslip – can prove tricky, even for seasoned drivers.

To help you avoid getting overwhelmed by jargon, we’ve compiled a user-friendly list of the main types of car insurance in Australia – and what they offer you.

CTP Greenslip cover or Compulsory Third Party (CTP) car insurance

This is the most basic type of insurance, and, as you might have gathered by its name, it’s compulsory, meaning you have to have it in order to register your car. A Greenslip policy protects you, or the person driving your car, from a personal injury claim in the event of an accident. This claim could come from passengers in your car and/or other road users, such as drivers, their passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. In real terms, it stops the driver or owner from being potentially bankrupted by a personal injury claim and also ensures the person injured will get the right medical care. It does not protect you against damage to your car or other cars or property.

Third-Party Property Damage cover

Third-party only cover is another basic insurance that covers damage you cause to other people’s cars or property if you have a crash – but does not cover damage to your own car, unless you can prove the other person involved was at fault. In that case you will have to claim off their insurance. In the event of the other person being an uninsured driver, it’ll cover damage to your car up to a certain amount, which varies from insurer to insurer.

Third-Party Fire and Theft

This cover is ostensibly Third-Party Property Damage, as detailed above, but with added protection in the case that your car gets stolen or catches fire. It covers you up to the car’s market value.

Comprehensive Car insurance

This insurance is probably the one most regularly taken out, particularly on new cars, as it covers accidental damage, malicious damage, theft, fire and storm. Some insurers, such as NRMA, go even further to cover things like alloy wheels and custom sound systems. This insurance means that no matter who was to blame in an accident, your insurer will pay out.

So, these are the four main types of car insurance on offer in Australia. Though comprehensive car insurance may seem like the best candidate every time, if you prefer, let’s say… older more ‘lived-in’ cars, then forking out for comprehensive car insurance may be an unnecessary expense. If however, new sports cars are your four wheels of choice, then fully comprehensive would definitely be the way to go. Bear in mind also that policies do vary enormously from insurer to insurer, so it really pays to do your homework before you buy.

Joanne Lemke is a final year creative writing student at UOW, who is looking to break into the corporate copywriting space once she graduates and hopefully go on to eventually some day write a book around her other passions, namely cooking and travel.