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My early introduction to fishing and the evolution of my love for the sport

New, improved online fishing rules

New, improved online fishing rules

I love fishing. I have loved fishing from when I was a young lad and I used to accompany my father on his fishing trips. At first when my father introduced me to the activity when I was around 12 years old, I though the activity to be a very boring activity. I imagined sitting on the water for long periods waiting for the fish to bite to be a rather dull affair.

Despite my reluctance to go fishing with my father, he insisted and finally I started going out with him to fish. During these initial expeditions, I discovered that fishing was much more than just sitting on a boat and waiting for the fish to bite. My father taught me many things about fishing that were quite exciting for me.

He taught me how to use the angling apparatus which includes the rod, line, and hook. He taught me how to bait the hook too. He taught me about the various types of fish that one could get in the water bodies that we visited and he taught me the best kinds of bait for each type of fish. Since we were mostly fishing for bass, I came to know the best kind of bait for bass fish including frogs, worms, and dragon flies.

I got to know more about fish too. Apart from knowing the different species of fish, I also came to know the characteristics of the different type of fish. I got to be an expert at predicting their behaviors including knowing the spots and times when I had a better chance of catching them.

My father also taught me to use some of the modern angling paraphernalia that is used today to make the fishing experience more efficient and convenient. He taught me how to use the baitcasting reel, the sinkers, and the floaters. He also taught me how to use gadgets such as fish finders. He however discouraged me from using the fish finders as he advised that these usually took out the novelty from fishing.

During our fishing escapades, we used a small boat that could barely accommodate us, the fishing tackle, our gear, and the captured catch.

When I was in my teens my father bought two kayaks that he managed to get at a bargain from an outlet that he found selling some kayaks cheaply. With this purchase, each of us could have a vessel to his own. It was a very thrilling moment for me since I had not used a kayak before. I realized the kayak was a much easier vessel to handle as compared to the boat we had been using.

Having a kayak to my own allowed me to go out fishing by myself. Since the kayak is an easier and safer vessel to use, my father was willing to allow me to go out in his absence. Fishing in solitary gave me a better opportunity to enjoy the peace and tranquility of fishing. I came to love the experience even more.

The Cooking Crew!

Rice Cookers 1

Rice Cookers 1Rice is a staple food in many cultures, and it one of the most versatile foods to prepare meals with. For the kitchen connoisseur, it is a fun and challenging food to experiment with. You can add spices, herbs, vegetables and even fruit to make a unique and mouth-watering dish.

Rice can be tricky to cook though. Although minute rice is quick, it can turn out clumpy and sticky. Brown rice is among the healthiest but it can take more than 30 minutes to cook, and it can also turn out clumpy and sticky. So what’s the answer? A rice cooker of course! If you eat a lot of rice and like to experiment with flavors, this small appliance could become your best friend in the kitchen.

There are several types of rice cookers on the market today and each comes with its own set of diverse features. Here are just a few brands to consider if you’re in the market for a good quality product.

BUFFALO Smart Cooker New Generation: This is a versatile product that not only does rice, but oatmeal, soup, porridge and other foods as well. You may well find yourself using this small appliance more than your stove! Some of the features include a multi-layered stainless steel insert (easy to clean), intelligent control panel, and a 24-hour pre-set time. There are settings for both brown and white rice (including varieties such as basmati), quick cook, porridge, bake, stew and soup.

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart 1000-Watt: This 6-in-1 multi-functional pressure cooker allows for quick and easy cooking. Features include a large control panel with several settings include an automatic keep warm function, and 3 temperature settings that allow you for slow cook and browning options. It also has a delay cook function of up to 24 hours. That means you can put your ingredients in before you go to work, have the cooker turned on at a certain time, then come home to fragrant rice or soup!

As to which pressure cooker you should choose, it really comes down to how much you are going to use (like most anything else!). It will also depend on the types of foods you are going to use it for; just rice, or a variety of soups, stews and porridge? Of course, there are other varieties of cookers on the market, and you will have to do your own research to decide which one suits you best. Ask friends and family with pressure cookers what they like and don’t like about theirs. Consider your own needs and then make an informed decision of which one to choose. Never choose based on price alone – consider other factors like features, ease of use and safety measures.

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle

I am not happy with my lifestyle. I am slowly becoming a fat slob and I hate it. I have never been like this before and I need to do something to get me back to my former self.

Paradoxically, things actually became good for me before I slid into my pathetic lifestyle. I got my dream job with a great pay and soon after I fell in love with a beautiful woman, the woman of my dreams; then I became fat.

I am a very talented programmer. I noticed my talent early and concentrated on it. After completing college, I joined a small firm where I was not happy since the company could not offer me the great challenge I needed to match my talents. However, my skills shone through and I was employed by a multinational gaming company. My dream came true. The pay was much more than I had ever expected and I was suddenly a rich guy. I vowed to work hard to repay the trust that the company had been bestowed on me.

Before I had started working for my current employee I had been a very active guy. I was always out engaging in some sports, parties, and all kinds of recreational stuff. I had a group of friends whom we loved to do all kinds of sporty stuff with. I remember we would spend weekends going off to camping trips where we would hike across great distances. At times we would go on kayaking trips on the country’s coastal waters or engage in river kayaking competitions. Whenever we were broke and could not afford an extensive trip, we would grab our bikes and go for long rides across the country.

These activities ensured that I always had a trim physique. Furthermore, during this time I did not eat much. I often cooked light food while at home or ate the light food prepared at the kitchen at the firm where I previously worked.

Fortunately or unfortunately my current job is very exciting and I love it very much. I love it so much that I devote almost all my time to it. Most of the weekends I am working and I am often working late into the night. As such, I can no longer have the crazy time with my friends. Then there is my wife.

My eating habits have greatly changed since I got married. My wife lovingly cooks lots of tasty food for me which she insists I must eat. We are also often out having dinner at sumptuous restaurants thanks to my big salary. The rich restaurant deserts, my wife’s generous food portions, plus my inactivity have led to a distinct transformation on my belly and waistline.

I need to do something about this excess weight and my lifestyle. I need to go back to working out. Unfortunately I cannot join my friends on the weekend-long escapades that include sports such as sea kayaking or cycling. I am seriously thinking of joining a gym where I can have a few hours every now and then to work off some calories.

I need to reduce my excess weight gained due to my unhealthy lifestyle Credit Picture License: Twitter 365 – Ft Yotsuba [009] via photopin cc

Investing on a kayak resort on our inland ancestral land

Investing on a kayak resort on our inland ancestral land

I live on the flat lands of the country close to the ocean. Our ancestral land is a huge chunk of land that runs a few miles along a huge river that slowly empties its waters into the sea a few miles off. My great-great grandfather had been the first settler in these regions and he had taken up this land primarily to control trade from the natives who would bring loads of farm produce, game meat, ornaments, precious stones, and skins from the inland.

The trade had made my grandfather grow very wealthy and he had been able to start other businesses which eventually led to the growth of my hometown. Other businessmen and farmers came to the region and contributed to the growth of the town. My great grandfather took over the river trading business from my great – great grandfather although he was now dealing with more civilized people. The other inland business continued to boom as well.

When the railway line was built much of the river transport business came to a halt since most merchants then preferred to ship their cargo on the rail. My grandfather therefore saw the business dwindling and decided to start farming on the expansive estate instead. The estate was quite fertile and with the abundant water from the river, we were able to get much profit from the land. My father inherited the business and is doing quite well with the business. He is a natural farmer and he is able to always to manage the land to produce great harvests.

Growing up, I know that I am destined to inherit this business. It is a profitable business but I am thinking that the river can also be used in other profitable ways. The river is a massive water channel about a mile long with slow moving waters.

I am particularly thinking of introducing a recreational resort where people can come and kayak on the sluggish river waters. Kayaking is a famous activity in the country especially along the beaches. I am thinking that the spot could also get a lot of revenue from fishing activities.

This mighty river running parallel to our farm is filled with all kinds of fish. Fishing was the main activity that the river became famous for after the legendary river trade died off. Lots of fish can be found on the river but there are not many ideal spots for recreational fishing, especially since most of the land on either side is privately owned and not many of the land owners are willing to open up their land to the public.

Our land is however conveniently located. We are bordered by the highway on one side and the river on the other side. I am sure that we can spare a portion of the land for a recreation haven. From my financial projections, I am confident that the venture would rake in much more profits than the farming.

Apart from hiring out kayaks to tourists, I plan to include river water sports such as kayak races, swimming, fishing competitions, and rowing competitions.

Investing on a kayak resort on our inland ancestral land Credit Picture License: North Alabama kayak fishing via photopin cc

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome

Kayaks are increasingly becoming popular as recreational vessels. This is because they offer so many advantages. Kayaks help in keeping fit, they provide families with a great platform to enjoy time together, they provide a great environment for two people to bond together i.e. when kayaking in tandem, they provide one with a great opportunity to enjoy some tranquility, and they are also great vessels for fishing!

Kayaks were traditionally designed as hunting vessels. They were designed to have all the attributes of a predatory vessel. Today these attributes are being taken advantage of to use the kayak as a superior fishing watercraft.

Fishing is an activity that is the number one recreational pastime for many people. For many anglers, one of the things that makes the activity so appealing is the quiet serenity that one gets while out on the waters. While out on the fishing grounds, one is able to think clearly and meditate on things that are close to the heart without the interruptions and distractions of the modern day world.

A kayak helps amplify the awesomeness of this remote heaven due to its design as a vessel for a solitary person.

The kayak was traditionally designed to be used and managed by one person. Even today the best experience on the kayak is on kayaks designed for one person. You will have the optimum maneuverability experience when fishing alone on a kayak. It is easier for one person to maneuver a kayak than any other watercraft. A customary fishing boat would be cumbersome to handle when fishing alone. The design of the kayak provides an intimate fit with the pilot’s body. As such, when out on the water, you feel that you are one with the boat.

Due to the predatory design of the kayak, anglers find it a convenient vessel for fishing. Due to its narrow width, one can paddle across a given distance faster and with less effort. Its rounded hull also makes it easier to turn. These are important characteristics for a fisherman. At times while fishing you might want to rush to a particular spot on the water where there are more fish. You need speed; and if you need to turn in the process, you should be able to do so in speed.

Again due to their design, the kayaks are ideal fishing vessels because they are able to squeeze through places where other bulky vessels cannot pass through. For example, you might spot an opening among the mangrove roots where you can sail through on your kayak and enter a large protected cove where you will find many fish. Fish, like people, will often like to rest and stay in secluded places where there is least disturbance. Only a kayak can be able to get to these secluded places.

A kayak is able to sail over waters only six inches deep. Many watercrafts need much deeper waters. This factor gives the kayak a great advantage in venturing into uncharted waters.

Kayaks are today designed to include many fishing accessories that make fishing a comfortable enjoyable activity for anglers.

Reasons why fishing using a kayak is so awesome Credit Picture License: Hobie_Fishing_Worlds_2014 via photopin cc

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart

Kayaking is a great pastime. I love kayaking when I am out on vacation since it provides many advantages. One of the main reasons that I love kayaking is that I am able to enjoy a mutual activity with my wife while kayaking in tandem. Kayaking helps me to exercise my body, I am able to watch marine natural attractions, I am able to get a sun tan, I can enjoy the breeze and fresh air, and I can also fish from the comforts of a kayak.

There are several factors that make kayaks stand out above other watercrafts when it comes to its adaptability and conduciveness to adventurous activities.

Kayaks are made for easy maneuverability – Kayaks are vessels that were originally made by the Inuit people of Greenland. The Inuit are a people who greatly depend on water and its resources for survival. The waters that are accessible to them are however not very accommodating waters. The seas around Greenland are icy cold and often there are storms and gales that make them quite dangerous.

As such the Inuit people had to come up with vessels that could counter this problems.

Kayaks are also designed such that they can be easily steered in all kinds of sea conditions. Unlike other boats, the kayak is made to intimately conform to the body of the pilot. As such the pilot can use the body to steer the boat. The kayak is one of the few crafts where the solo pilot can readjust the capsized kayak and continue sailing.

The shape of the kayak is also such that there is less resistance while paddling forward, backwards, or while turning. Kayaks are also very stable in rough waters due to their U shaped hull.

Kayaks are designed for solo exploits – Kayaks were made as personal vessels. The traditional kayak was made to fit precise specifications of the owner. Many watercrafts are designed to be used by more than one person. Although some can be managed by one person, they cannot provide optimum performances when being handled by one person. For example a customary boat is more cumbersome to handle for one person than for two or more people.

This is the reason why many extreme individual water sports are performed using kayaks. A single person can get more speed and maneuverability while using a kayak than when using a customary boat.

Kayaks are better designed for easy portability The kayak is not a heavy or very large. The vessel has an average length of 8-15 feet. The weight can vary depending on the materials used to make it although much consideration is given to weight during the designing to ensure that the vessel is not too heavy. This makes the kayak ideal for carrying when going to different kayaking sites. Many kayaks have weights that can be easily managed by a single person.

Inflatable kayaks are available. These are kayaks that can be deflated and folded into a very small bundle that can be carried in a normal sized bag. Some of the rigid kayaks are made such that they can be folded or snapped into two or three smaller parts that are easier to carry around.

Kayak the perfect recreational vessel for the adventurous at heart Credit Picture License: Kayaking at Wyalusing via photopin cc

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters

Despite kayaking being such a great pastime, it also has some risks. Below are some of the safety tips that one should consider before taking on the open waters on a kayak.

Learn some basics about kayaking: This goes without saying. Before going out into the open waters, you need to know the basics about kayaking. Learn the safety rules and get familiar with some self-rescue techniques.

Do you know how to swim: This is very important, not only when kayaking but when using any watercraft. There is always the danger of capsizing or falling into the water. The question of whether you know how to swim or not is not only relevant to you but also to those around you so that they would know how to react when you fall into the water.

Always wear a life jacket: Whether you are an expert swimmer or not, you should always wear a lifejacket when kayaking. This is especially important when kayaking on rough waters such as when whitewater kayaking. Life jackets may not give one that sexy cool look, but they can definitely save your life.

Always confirm the weather conditions before heading out: Weather is quite unpredictable, especially if you are going kayaking out in the ocean or seas. You do not want to be caught by a storm while out in the middle of the sea.

You also need to be aware of the possible changes in the temperature. It might suddenly get cold or hot. As such, you need to be armed with the appropriate clothes. Get a wet or dry suit for wet or cold conditions and in case the sun gets too hot, you might need to wear a long sleeved shirt and some protective headgear. You might also need to pack sunscreen for the skin.

Always follow the kayaking rules: This cannot be stressed enough. You have to adhere to the set rules; this includes observing the weight limits of your kayak, and ensuring that you have all the necessary safety gear on board.

You also need to follow the rules set for the given area you are going to tour. This is especially important if you are going to fish or camp.

Go out with someone: Having a companion or companions while out kayaking is pretty important. Anything might happen while you are out at sea. You might lose your compass or GPS in a storm and lose your directional bearing while out in the middle of the sea. In such a case a companion might help out with theirs. You could also fall sick while out kayaking, a companion will help you out. In case of an accident, you will also have someone to help you out.

Inform someone of your plans: This is especially important if you cannot get someone to go out kayaking with you. You then need to inform someone of your plans. Tell them how long you will be gone and what areas you will be touring.

This is also important when going out as a group. Let someone know how many people you are, what areas you will be in and what you will be doing.

Safety kayaking tips for novices heading out to open waters Credit Picture License: Cab over water via photopin cc

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters

My wife and I are not only the best of friends, we are also a great team together. We have not been together for very long, just about five years. Our relationship begun when we met on a kayaking trip in the sea waters of our beach town.

We had never met her before. Kayaking helped us get together. I had been visiting the sea waters regularly during the weekends and I had got to know the waters along the beach pretty well. I had also got to know the recreational kayakers who frequented the sea waters.

When Sara came to live in the city after she got employed by a local company, she had been quite lonely especially since she did not have any person whom she was acquitted with in the town. At first she had spent some time with co-workers who were kind enough to show her around. Soon she however realized that most were drab and most of the time all they did was gossip about other people in the workplace. Her spirit was more adventurous than this.

On a tour of the beach, she had notices the kayaks and had figured that it could be fun going out on one. Her wild spirit led her to hire an old town vapor 10 kayak without any previous experience of kayaking. At least she had an eye for a good kayak. The old town vapor is relatively stable, safe, and maneuverable for a novice. It also provides a lot of room while still offering a lot of protection from the surf.

Getting on board was not a problem for Sara. She was also quite fast in learning how to use the paddles. Soon she was out into the open waters. Unfortunately for Sara, that day the sea was not very calm and it was a bit choppy. Paddling could be a bit tricky for a novice in such conditions.

Being familiar with most kayaking regulars on that coastline, I quickly identified Sara as a newcomer. I also quickly realized that she was not very experienced as she was clearly struggling against the tide. Her paddling was directly perpendicular to the tide and her kayak was just bobbing up and down without moving despite her enthusiastic paddling. Being inexperienced, she probably thought she was moving forwards due to the relative motion of the sea waves.

I approached her on my sit on kayak which I was paddling while standing. I was quite an experienced kayaker. I figured it wouldn’t hurt a bit showing off to the pretty blond having a hard time with her kayak.

Seeing me approach for a distance, Sara at first made like she was not interested, but when I got close and saluted her, she had to respond. I gave her my best smile as I went on to tell her that I realized she was new to the waters. When I explained that she was paddling wrong, she was clearly embarrassed and I could see her blush.

“How is it done?” were the first words I heard from her beautiful mouth. The first words that initiated our passionate enduring relationship that seems to go stronger each day.

Love born aboard bobbing kayaks on rough sea waters Credit Picture License: Sermenzina via photopin cc

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping

Kayaking is today a popular recreational activity. Many people are opting to choose recreation sites that provide kayaking facilities due to the many advantages that kayaking provides. A recreation activity that is especially popular is sea kayaking. This is where an individual or a group of people go kayaking on the seas or ocean. Sea kayaking includes hiking and camping along the shore.

Below are some principles that sea kayakers should adhere to so as to ensure that they leave the environment clean and disturbed (leave no trace). These principles ensure that the kayakers will also respect other visitors.

Be ready to share the natural resources and be considerate of others: When out in the open seas or on the shores, it is important to consider the welfare of the other visitors in the vicinity. Try to share space reasonably. For example, it would be only reasonable to let the bigger groups to camp on more spacious beaches and the smaller groups to take smaller camping sites.

It is also good if a group of kayakers can stay as a group rather than be scattered around a large area. This helps give other groups more space and freedom. Bright clothes are ideal when sea kayaking since they help other people to quickly identify you, especially those with motorized watercrafts.

Lastly, groups should try not to make any loud noises. Many people go out into the seas in search of quite, let’s not deny them nature’s tranquility. Noise might also disturb the sea creatures.

Manage your waste appropriately: While out sea kayaking, we are apt to have some waste. This could be waste from food that we had carried such as bones, it could be in form of food wrappers or food containers, it could be the packaging of gadgets such as fishing equipment, or it could be human waste. All this waste should be disposed properly.

All trash that you might have or that you might come across should be packed back and disposed in the proper disposals in the mainland. Human waste should also be packed off. Peeing should only be done on durable surfaces i.e. on gravel, rock, grass, or compact sand. Game entrails should not be deposited in fresh water. However, they can be disposed back into the ocean. If you are kayaking on fresh water, the entrails can be buried some distance away from the water body.

Camp on durable surfaces: When camping after a day of sea kayaking, it is important that a group chooses to camp on established campsites. This is an area that has a stable ground of sand, gravel, rock, or sand. Vegetation should be avoided since the more the vegetation is trampled, the more the established site gets enlarged. Vegetation on dunes should also not be interfered with since it helps to hold the dune in place.

For safety reasons while out sea kayaking, it is important to have a tide map to know the point where the high tide reaches.

For the campfire, consider having a small fire that will minimize the risk of starting a wildfire. You might consider packing a lightweight camp stove for the trip which will also help avoid the need of using firewood.

Principles of proper sea kayaking & camping Credit Picture License: Cullercoats Bike and Kayak via photopin cc

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising

I love fishing. I like going out on the waters where it is quiet and calm and I can ran away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Living in the city at times make me feel like I have tones of pressure being applied on me. Therefore, whenever I can get a chance I to run off into the wild where I am alone with nature.

Being out in the wild is very refreshing for me. I love to breathe in the cool clear unpolluted air that is scented with natural aromas from aromatic flowers or from salty sea waters. Out in the wild I find that I am able to think more clearly and so I use this windows of opportunity to reflect on my life and to plan for my future. I find that going out on a fishing trip is one of the best ways to achieve this.

For a long time now I have been going fishing to a lake that is a few miles from the city. The lake is famous for its fish and calm waters. The lake is expansive and so there is no fear of being overcrowded by people or of overfishing. The lake is also managed by a governmental body that regulates the fishing, controls the traffic, and carefully screens the people before and after they go into the lake to ensure that the set regulations are adhered to so as to protect the fish and their habitat.

When I first discovered the lake I would go out with a few friends who also shared my passion for fishing. I still go out with them to fish although many times nowadays I prefer to go alone. I like the peace and quiet that allows me to meditate in tranquility.

During my solo escapades, I have learnt to use the kayak for fishing instead of the customary boat. At first, I had been apprehensive about using the kayak but after trying it I found it to be an awesome vessel.

A kayak is more ideal to a solo pilot due to its maneuverability. One can use the body to steer to steer the vessel. It is much smaller and hence one can move faster. I also like the comfortable reclining seat found in the kayak. One can change the position of the seat whenever they want to change the sitting posture.

Compared to the traditional sit-in kayak, I like the sit-on-top kayak because it allows me the option of standing on the kayak. This is not possible with the sit in kayak. Sit on top kayaks can also allow me to move around freely while enjoying the full effects of the sun on my entire body. Sit on top kayaks are designed such that they can accommodate a pet comfortably. Unfortunately the authorities at the lake where I fish do not permit pets on the waters.

There are times when I go to the lake not necessarily to fish but to exercise my body. I usually walk all the way to work in the morning and in the evening but I find that this does not help me exercise all my body muscles. Kayaking is a good way of working out my other body muscles.

Going out on a kayak is my perfect way of relaxing and exercising Credit Picture License: Sermenzina via photopin cc

ACV for Your Face and Hair

apple cider vinegar 11

apple cider vinegar 11To give you confidence in applying this apple cider vinegar hair rinse to your head, it’s important you know a few basics about how the hairs on your head come into being. What we typically think of as “hair” is actually a two-part structure consisting of a follicle, which is a tunnel-like segment located in the skin, and a shaft, which is the visible structure that grows above the skin.

Just below the surface of the skin are sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum through the hair follicle. This oil lubricates hair and skin, and is part of the acid mantle – a very fine, slightly acidic film that maintains and protects the overall health of the hair and skin.

The acid mantle is also critical to our hair’s appearance, which – let’s be honest, is what we all really care about. The outer layer of the shaft, also known as the cuticle, is comprised of tightly packed overlapping scales. The acid mantle is instrumental in making cuticle scales lie flat, which gives hair a shiny, smooth appearance, and protects from moisture loss.

Unfortunately, this system can be easily disrupted, which is the primary cause of the ever-popular bad hair day. The acid mantle typically has a pH of around 5, which means it is slightly acidic. Many hair care products, treatments, and some shampoos are more alkaline (have a pH above 7), which can contaminate or remove the acid mantle.

To start my vinegar excursion, I headed out to my local supermarket to pick up my key ingredient. After spending less than $3 on this bad boy, I went home to wash my face like a bombshell actress.

Being that my complexion is more temperamental than my 16-year-old self, I like washing my face once before bedtime with lukewarm water. Eager to kick start the experiment with ease, I splashed some water onto my face as usual. However, once I substituted my foam cleanser for apple cider vinegar, all hell broke loose.

When you wash your face with straight up vinegar, it feels like a bit like one of those chemistry disasters that safety video warned you about in high school. Aside from the vinegar stinging my eyes more than once, the horrendous facial burn temporarily felt like that sunburn I once had after substituting sunscreen for olive oil. Yikes!

Although the burning sensation eventually subsided, I was totally tempted to dump the rest of the vinegar down the drain. Willing to keep trying the experiment though, I vowed to be much careful come tomorrow’s nightly wash.

Cleaning and Relaxing

pet hair

pet hairMost of the vacuums looked at so far are bigger than average. You may be looking for a smaller and lighter solution and hence we have added this section to highlight some of the top choices when it comes to those that are cordless and handheld. Although the larger, more “traditional” vacuums pack a great deal of suction and power, sometimes it is just easier to grab something light and easier to move around. The next sub-sections are what we feel are the top-3 choices for both cordless, and handheld that still are effective against pesky pet hair.

The Black + Decker Platinum BDH2000FL20-Volt is a lightweight and cordless vacuum which comes with a 4-foot hose which allows homeowners to remove embedded dirt. The vacuum cleaner is an updated version of the FHV1200 which relied on a Nickel Cadmium battery with a long charging time and a short battery life. Black + Decker Platinum BDH2000FL20-Volt has a battery that charges 6 times than older NiCad’s and emits more power.

With shark perfect II, pet hair doesn’t stand a chance. The vacuum comes with plenty of features that ensure that all the dirt and pet hair in your house is removed. These include a powerful, rechargeable 18-volt battery. It’s also cordless and weighs 4.8 pounds.

With its appealing flavor, white tea is fast becoming a favorite with tea drinkers everywhere. Add the many white tea health benefits into the mix, and you’ll want to keep this delightful tea on hand in your tea cupboard!

White tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. Because white tea leaves are processed only minimally after they are harvested, they hold onto most of their naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants are so important for good health – they protect us from free radicals, fight harmful inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, reduce our risk of chronic disease (like cancer and diabetes), encourage a healthy immune system, and much more.

White tea has impressive anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities, which means it can deactivate bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In fact, white tea is even more powerful than green tea in disarming bacterial viruses! White tea also kills the bacteria that cause plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath.

The health benefits of white tea include weight management. White tea has caffeine, which may enhance weight loss, and white tea’s high levels of antioxidants can help to boost your metabolism and curb your appetite. Even better, research about white tea and weight loss has shown that white tea can prevent new fat cells from developing and encourage the breakdown of fat in existing fat cells, as well. (Just remember, if you’re thinking of adding white tea to your overall weight loss plan, be sure to check with your healthcare provider first.)

Staying Healthy all the Time

workout-clothes-7

workout-clothes-7Workout clothes for women are HUGE business these days. I can’t be sure because I was just a baby, but I would liken it to the early 80’s when aerobics classes were at their peak of popularity. From what I’ve seen, there were spandex suits and tights everywhere. It’s kind of funny because we’ve, in many ways, come full circle. The tight, form fitting, fitness clothing is back and it’s very popular. Most of these clothes are compression clothing, meaning they squeeze your body. The most popular are the shorts and leggings. Have you ever wondered…

More Sustained Power

In a 2003 study, a volleyball team of women was asked to wear compression shorts while doing a series of vertical jumps. These were more like squat jumps because they would get into a squat position each time they jumped. They jumped 10 times straight with a 3 second rest between jumps. The compression shorts did not affect their power during the actual jump, but it did register more sustained power over the series of jumps. In other words, the girls kept their strength longer after more jumps.

The researchers believe this happens because the compression holds your muscles in place as you go through impact and power moves. With less body jiggle, your muscles are able to be recruited with more ease. I hope that made sense.

Rice Cookers

Rice cooker capacities can be confusing, as some manufacturers quote cooked capacities while others quote uncooked capacities. To make matters more complex, there are at least 2 “cup” sizes quoted by different manufacturers — 6 ounce and 8-ounce. Then there’s the complexity of serving size. Some people consider 1/2 cup of uncooked rice to be a one-person serving; others say that one cup of uncooked rice equals a serving. We’ll do our best to clarify as we go.

The manufacturer of the Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker considers one cup to be six ounces. Also according to the manufacturer, a cooked portion of rice is 1.5-2 times the volume of uncooked rice. Perhaps the best way to look at it is by what actual owners told us: this is an ideal machine for couples and small families. General construction wasn’t faulted by our survey respondents, and all the internal parts come out easily for cleaning. However, it should be noted that the rice tray is metal and doesn’t have a handle, so care should be taken when the tray gets hot.

In terms of capacity, the Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker is much larger than the Aroma and will produce from 4 to 20 cups of rice. It doesn’t really matter how Hamilton Beach defines cup size or whether they are talking cooked or not — in a nutshell, this machine will produce plenty! In fact, one owner complained that the only problem with the Hamilton Beach is that it’s not very good at cooking smaller portions of two to three cups.

Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Home

Apple Cider Vinegar 10

Apple Cider Vinegar 10Vinegar is a common household product that has endless uses. It can be used as a cleaning agent, in salads, and for many other reasons. While many products out on the market tout health benefits such as cancer reducing claims and weight loss magic, there is some promise as to what vinegar can do for health. While vinegar in high amounts can be tart to the taste, apple cider vinegar is a product that tastes great and can help promote health. Listed below are 18 of the best health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

  1. Solve an upset stomach

It happens from time to time when we eat something that simply does not agree with us. When this happens, a stomach ache ensues and causes pain and possibly gas. This is usually the cause of bacteria building up where it shouldn’t, which causes pain in the stomach region. If you are experiencing acute stomach pain and feel that it is not severe enough to visit a healthcare provider, then consider having some apple cider vinegar to ease the pain. The pectin contained in apple cider vinegar is known to soothe intestinal aches, spasms, and pain. The best mixture should include up to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with some water, juice, or apple juice.

  1. Eliminate pesky hiccups

Hiccups occur at some of the worst times and when they hit, it seems like they never go away. They are usually the cause of excess air in the digestive system, which your body is attempting to eliminate through muscular spasms. Fortunately, a full teaspoon of apple cider vinegar is great for alleviating this problem. It is possible that the strong acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to prevent the spasms that cause hiccups, which will help reduce the risk of getting these unwanted spasms. Consider this for a household remedy for unwanted hiccups.

What Are the Benefits of Spirulina?

Spirulina provides a wide range of health benefits almost immediately upon ingestion. It provides a near-instantaneous boost to one’s energy, while helping to improve endurance and reduce fatigue. It helps improve the immune system, and provides exceptional support for the heart, liver, and kidneys. Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, oxygenating the blood, and helping cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health complications.

Spirulina is also a natural appetite suppressant, and it helps to improve the body’s digestive system. It also has very powerful antioxidant properties and it helps to balance the body’s pH, thereby reducing inflammation throughout the body in a safe and chemical-free way.

Partners in Cuisine

Krups EA8250001 Espresseria

Krups EA8250001 EspresseriaIt takes skill, talent and patience to create a mouth-watering masterpiece in the kitchenbut it helps to have the right tools to work with. Food is more than life-sustaining – it brings people together in ways nothing else can. That’s why it’s so important to have the right appliances in your kitchen. It will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Guests will think you’re a professional chef and you will feel great knowing you are pleasing all who pass through your kitchen.  Espresso machines and small food processors are among the most important partners in your culinary needs.

With so many options for espresso machines, mini food processors and other kitchen appliances, it can be difficult to choose the one that fits your needs.

Espresso Machines

These come with many different options as well as a wide price range. Here are a few to look at that are reasonably priced under $300.

  • Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker: Weighing in at 16 pounds with dimensions of 12” x 12” x 15” mean this will fit on any countertop, coffee bar or island. Equipped with a 15-bar thermoblock pump, you can be assured that this machine will extract the full flavor out of every coffee bean and granule.
  • Gaggia 16100 Evolution Home Espresso Cappuccino Machine (Black): While this is a popular commercial model, it is also great for home use. This machine promises quick brewing because of its high-wattage, dual-heating element boiler. It also comes with a Perfect Crema device which helps to create just the right amount and texture of foam without your intervention.
  • Philips Saeco RI9366/47 ViaVenezia Espresso Machine (Black): This is one of the heavier models, at 20 pounds, but has several great features. This unit is equipped with a pressurized portafilter which allows for maximum flavor from each coffee ground and granule. The Pannarello steam wand enables you to froth milk, and also provides hot water for other beverages like hot chocolate and tea.

Mini Food Processors

Don’t let the word ‘mini’ fool you. These are space-saving powerhouses that can process most foods quickly and easily. Here are some of the most popular models:

  • Cuisinart DLC-2A Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor: With simple control buttons and a powerful motor, this small processor can handle almost any job. The parts are dishwasher-safe, making clean up a snap. It has a reversing blade that allows for more powerful processing.
  • Ninja Master Prep Professional (QB1004): This one is a cross between a processor and a blender. The versatility makes it a great buy if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It is powerful enough to crush ice and frozen fruits, and comes with separate, interchangeable containers. The parts are dishwasher safe.
  • Pampered Chef Cutting Edge Food Chopper: This is great for quick, small jobs but is not recommended if you have a lot of chopping to do. Simply place herbs, veggies or fruits on a cutting board and ‘slap’ your hand down on the handle to activate the blade.

Both espresso machines and mini food processors can become your best friends if you love to cook and entertain.

The Smooth Operators of 2015

Electric Skillets

Electric SkilletsIf you love making smoothies and experimenting with different flavours and ingredients, blenders are an absolute must-have appliance in your kitchen. Without a quality blender, your smoothies won’t be very ‘smooth’.

With the variety of blenders on the market today it can be difficult to choose one that’s right for you. Here are some of the choices available.

  • Blendtec Designer Series WildSide Blender: With more than 1500 watts of power, this blender can handle all kinds of foods, like apples and cheese. Of course it makes great smoothies too! This is one of the more versatile products on the market, but it is also one of the most expensive. It’s well worth the price, though, if you want it for everyday use.
  • Breville Hemisphere Control Blender: This multi-speed blender combines great price and great results. It can be used every day and produces great results every time. It is also very quiet, so you won’t wake the whole house up when you use it.
  • Cuisinart PowerEdge 1000 Watt Blender: This is the most powerful blender that Cuisinart offers and is at the top of the price range. The stainless steel promises durability and the sleek design will look great on any countertop. Versatile and practical, this blender will be a welcome addition to your kitchen.
  • Vitamix S30: This just might be the gold standard of blenders. Blend in a 40 ounce jug, or a 20 ounce travel mug if you’re on the go.

Electric skillets are another ‘must have’ appliance if you love cooking healthy food quickly and easily. They stow away in a snap and most come with easy to clean components. Here are a few of the most popular models:

  • Presto 06857 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet: If you’re short on space, this unit has the ideal solution. The handles fold down and if needed can be detached. This makes for a compact unit that can be stored just about anywhere. The ample frying space means you can cook for the whole family. The glass tempered lid allows for easy viewing and the non-stick coating means easy cleanup.
  • De’Longhi BG45 Electric Skillet: This model is only 15” but compensates over other models because of its even heating system. This model has venting holes built-in to the handle, which can be opened or closed, depending on what type of food you’re cooking.
  • Presto 06620 11-Inch Electric Skillet: While the flat cooking surface is only 11 inches, the dome-shaped lid allows for more substantial foods to be cooked, such as whole chicken or pork roast. That makes for a more versatile skillet that can be used for weeknight family meals or more elaborate dinner parties.
  • Cuisinart CSK-250 GreenGourmet 14-Inch Nonstick Electric Skillet: What sets this skillet apart from the rest is the quality of the non-stick cooking surface. It is not made with harmful toxins or chemicals, like some other non-stick surfaces. This makes it a good choice for the healthy-conscious cook.

When it comes to healthy cooking and small appliances, there are no substitutions for quality blenders and electric skillets.

The Kitchen Winners of 2015

Electric Pressure Cooker

Electric Pressure CookerIf there are two appliances that no kitchen should be without it would be vacuum sealers and electric pressure cookers. Both of these powerhouse appliances can save you money (and who doesn’t want to do that?).

Vacuum Sealer

One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to buy in bulk. But most people can’t eat 10 pounds of hamburger in a week (nor do they want to!) Instead, use a vacuum sealer to pack and seal portions to put in the freezer.

So why not just use freezer bags? They may be ok for the short term, but they are not an ideal solution for most foods. The key is to make sure that there is no air in the bags; if air is allowed to get in, the food gets freezer burnt. Once that happens the food has to be thrown away, as it will not taste right and could potentially contain harmful toxins.

A vacuum sealer solves that problem by sealing your food so that it tastes just as fresh from the freezer after two weeks as it did on the day you bought it. Here are some of the best models currently available on the market:

  • FoodSaver FM2000-000 Vacuum Sealing System: Its compact size and practical price make this a popular choice for consumers. Features include an easy-latch closure and a 5-year warranty.
  • FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System: This model is slightly larger but is great for sealing canisters as well as bags. Other features include a rapid marinade mode.
  • FoodSaverGameSaver Deluxe Vacuum Sealing Kit: This was designed with the hunter and sportsmen in mind. The press-and-release lever allows for hands-free operation when sealing game meat. It is also equipped with a built-in cutter and roll storage.

Electric Pressure Cooker

These appliances aren’t just for cooking up a mouth-watering rice dish. They can be used for just about anything including meat, vegetables and stews. These are great for making large batches of food and then freezing them (with your vacuum sealer of course!).

Here are some of the most popular models:

  • Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker: This six-quart capacity cooker provides lots of space for cooking veggies and meat. It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Other features include a cover lock indicator to show internal pressure.
  • Futura by Hawkins Hard Anodized 5.0 Liter Pressure Cooker: This cooker is available in various sizes and is known for durability even with consistent use. Features include a locked safety lid and a safety cool handle.
  • Cuisinart CPC-600AMZ 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker: This has a large six-quart capacity and is designed to cook quickly without compromising on taste. Features include various pressure cooking settings and push button controls.

If your budget is limited and you can only choose one or two small kitchen appliances, vacuum sealers and electric pressure cookers should be at the top of your list. They are made to last and are sure-fire money savers on your grocery bill.

Sleep Your Way To A Better You

Sleep Your Way To A Better You

Sleep Your Way To A Better You

Then there are some individuals who are night owls and are not able to get up in the morning. Discovering good reasons to wake up early is the best way to start. Thinking about all of the things that you would be able to get done if you gave yourself an extra hour or even two. Giving yourself the gift of time can be reason enough to want to get up earlier in the morning. Going to bed a bit earlier will help you to wake up earlier. To get yourself sleepy, you can read a book or listen to some light music. This will get you relaxed before you go to sleep while also preparing your mind for sleep as well. Eating a heavier lunch and not taking naps during the day so you will be tired at bedtime.

Sometimes taking supplements such as melatonin will help you get a better night’s rest so you can wake up easily in the morning. This sleep aid relies on melatonin which is something that the body naturally produces to help you go to sleep. Older individuals sometimes have a difficult time producing melatonin so this supplement may be the best option if you have tried everything else. It is completely natural and it is not addictive.

Whether you cannot sleep at night or you maybe get too much sleep, there are ways to get you over those challenges. There are plenty of different products that can get you to sleep at night and help to wake you up in the morning.

Getting the right amount of sleep can also help with self-confidence and self-esteem. There are so many people who continuously suffer anxiety disorders and low self-esteem. It can keep them from doing the things that they used to love to do, or keep them from getting up out of bed in the morning. Many of these individuals feel hopeless and feel as if they will never overcome this obstacle. But there is help available to people who truly need it. You need to watch out for signs of low self-esteem and lend a helping hand when you are able to. Here are some of the most common signs that someone you love may have low self-esteem and what you can do to help.

People are constantly seeking the acceptance of others, it is typically a standard part of human nature. If someone is constantly asking what they look like or how you think of them, they are seeking that type of acceptance in others in order to boost their own self-esteem. These individuals are simply trying to receive a compliment, a gleam of hope, to make them feel better about themselves even if it is just for a minute.

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A Toast To Detoxing

A Toast To Detoxing

A Toast To Detoxing

Alcoholism is a deadly disease that impacts millions of people. Not just the people who suffer from the disease but also their family and friends. It can be very difficult when someone you love is suffering, especially if they do not want to seek help. Your loved one may not see the light at the end of the tunnel but there are many benefits to quitting alcohol for good. Helping them to understand these benefits and what it could do for them in the long-term could be the key to saving their lives.

One of the biggest perks to taking alcohol out of your life is what it does for your body and your mind. Your mind will begin to clear and your body will begin to heal itself from the damage that has been done. It as little as two months your liver will start to heal itself and you will begin to notice a difference in your skin’s appearance and your overall health. You will now be free of disease which can be a really amazing feeling in itself.

While there are many health benefits to quitting alcohol, there are also financial benefits. In the long run you will be saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars by not spending that money on alcohol. Your friends and family will start to see you as a real person again and have a new found respect for you and your decision to stop drinking alcohol. You will no longer have to worry about missing work due to a hangover or a binge, and you will start to feel better about yourself. You will also notice a big difference in your sex life, your ability to perform sexually, and you and your partner’s overall satisfaction.

If you have made the decision to quit alcohol you have made the right one. But how long does it take to detox from alcohol? It depends on the type of alcohol you are giving up and how long you have been an addict. It could be as little as a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the problem. You will definitely notice some physical symptoms of detox as well as some emotional ones such as irritability and sleeplessness. If you were just a casual drinker these symptoms may not be as strong or you may not notice them at all.

Alcoholism is a very serious disease and is nothing to take lightly. Making the decision to quit has the ability to change your life for the better for many years to come. You will be amazed at how much different you feel and how your life has significantly improved

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Weight Loss The Gadget Way

Weight Loss The Gadget Way

Weight Loss The Gadget Way

If you are an athletic individual, you know how important it is to run regularly. It will not only keep you in good shape but also keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy and strong. There are many different tools that you can use to help you have a better work out and get the most out of your daily run. Having the right tools, and even the right clothing, can make a big difference on the impact the run has on your body and even your mind. Keep reading to find out about some much needed essentials to get you ready for an awesome run.

Calorie Counters

There are many different calorie counters on the market for those of you who want to keep track of those pesky calories. You can even purchase calorie counter watches that keep up with the calories you burn as you are running. The best calorie counter watch on the market today is the Motorola MotoACTV. This calorie counter also has the ability to measure the pace in which you run as well as distance and how many calories you burn. This product is not only good for running but you can also use it for other activities such as aerobics and even yoga. It comes with a training portal which you can access online that will even create the best workout plan for you based on the recorded data.

The FitBit Flex is another good option if you are seeking a watch that counts calories. This product is for individuals who are looking to lose weight in a more traditional sense. It has the ability to create an estimate of calories you can burn by using information such as weight and gender. It does not have all of the added features that the Motorola has, but will help you track calories at a basic level.

Athletic Clothing

What you wear when you go to the gym to weightlift can make a big difference in regards to your work out. Here are some of the best shoes for weightlifting.

  • VS Athletics makes an excellent weightlifting shoe. It is quite affordable and has two straps made with leather that are able to handle heavy pressure and loads. They aren’t the prettiest things to look at but they are a weightlifting shoe after all.
  • Nike Romaleo 2.0 is another good choice for weightlifting. They are not heavy or very light but they are very durable and strong and will last quite a long time.

 

It is important to have all of the best tools and athletic wear when you exercise. You may not think it makes a big difference, but it can make a difference in health as well as your comfort.

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