How to Choose a Futon: The Basics

best futon mattress

Buying the best futon mattress takes more than knowing if you want a futon mattress or not. While they are fun, flexible, and feature foldable frames for those that have smaller spaces to work with, you’ll want to know some of these tips before buying. It’s necessary to know that you’ll probably want to utilize this as a piece in your studio or your dorm room. If you have to make two spaces into one, futons are the way to go. Tips on how to choose the best futon mattress include the forth coming:

Make sure you know your measurements – Without knowing the measurements of your room, you may be buying a futon mattress that is entirely too large for the room. Beyond this, if you have a smaller apartment or you’re in a studio or dorm, you’ll want to get a futon mattress and frame that’ll perfectly fit as a couch and bed combination. If you have more than enough room, we don’t suggest you utilize the futon as a couch unless you’re looking to save a bit of money. It’s worth mentioning that you’ll also want to use the measurements of the room to determine if your futon can bend without hitting walls or other pieces of furniture.

Don’t forget about the materials – When choosing the best futon mattress for your needs, you’ll want to look at materials of the frame. When you shoot for metal frames that are basic, they’re generally inexpensive and great for form rooms or those that live in a basement or studio. If you combine a metal frame with a living room set or furniture set that’s wood, this will look a little odd, so we suggest looking for something that matches in at least the color of wood. Because of the versatility of the best futon mattresses and frames, there are a number of styles of colors, prices, and frame styles.

Speaking of frame options – As we mentioned, there are quite a few frame styles. Two of the more popular styles of frames include the lounger frame and the bi-fold frame. The lounger is one that folds twice and uses the longer measurement of the mattress (the width) as the couch portion, and the bi-fold which uses length, and ultimately gives you more room for seating. If you have a super small area, you may want to look towards the lounger frame, whereas those that need more seating should look towards the bi-fold frame that only folds once.

Materials for the futon mattress itself – You don’t have to settle for only one type of futon material, as there are quite a few and each will work better for different uses and desires. Let’s take a quick look materials and uses:

  • Cotton and foam – Those that want a mattress that weighs less and doesn’t sag should use a combination of cotton and foam within the mattress.
  • Cotton and polyester blend – Looking for something that’s even lighter than the aforementioned and is more soft and flexible? Maybe you’re looking for something that holds shape well. If so, the cotton and poly blend is perfect for you.
  • Cotton and wool combination – Want something that’s super soft, but not super flexible? If you’re willing to compromise, the cotton and wool combination is great for you!
  • Innerspring mattress – Yes, this exists for futon mattress, and is a mattress that gives more of a traditional feel rather than futon feel.

The Final Verdict

There are a number of frames and mattress styles that cater to the needs of everyone. Whether you want something for your guest room or one that doubles as two pieces of furniture in your studio living space, a futon should work out just fine for you!

3 Ways Buying the Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes Will Make a Difference in Your Game

best basketball shoes for outdoor

Basketball is rough and tough on not only the feet, but the shoes themselves. When you don’t purchase the proper pair of outdoor basketball shoes, or great basketball shoes in general, you run the risk of injuring yourself as well as ruining your playstyle. Having the right gear makes all of the difference, even if you’re being stubborn and don’t want to accept that fact. In this article, we’ll show you three ways that buying the best outdoor basketball shoes will make a difference in your overall game and playstyle.

Materials That Are Meant for Outdoors

Sure, indoor shoes can go outdoors, but the actual structure and composition of materials typically used in outdoor basketball shoes will allow you to play far better than indoor shoes. With outdoor basketball shoes, they typically have deeper grooves to allow for better impact protection for not only the feet, but the soles of the shoes. Beyond this, the outsole of the shoe is made more durable to ensure the impact of the travel won’t rip apart your pretty new pair of outdoor basketball shoes. Those that wear indoor shoes outdoors will inevitably see a drop in performance, as well as their money thrown out the window due to indoor shoes not holding up well outdoors.

If we’re talking about materials, we should also talk about breathable fabrics on indoor basketball shoes versus outdoors. While indoor shoes may have mesh and breathable fabrics, they cannot withstand the movement and performance of someone playing outside. The aforementioned is due to the structure not being for outdoor movements, meaning that there isn’t enough ventilation within the shoe to proper circulate air; however, those that are meant for outdoors have more than enough ventilation to reduce and eliminate foot odors and sweat, both of which can deter your performance and throw away your confidence. When you’re not slipping around in your shoe and your feet can breathe, your performance will amplify immensely.

Bettering Movements on the Court

One of the most important aspects of indoor or outdoor basketball is being able to move when needed and at the drop of a hat. When you’re unable to move, accelerate, and deaccelerate, your performance suffers immensely. Whether you’re cutting or changing directions, you’ll need a shoe that supports this while supporting your feet, ankles, and the impact of gravel – an indoor shoe may be able to give you some of these things, but not all of these things at once. Some people need better support on their ankles, and depending on their position, an indoor shoe just won’t do. When you’re wearing a pair of indoor shoes that don’t support well or give you enough flexibility for movement, you may run the risk of rolling your ankle, or not being able to switch directions and cut fast enough. With that being said, your skill cap will decrease and you won’t see an improvement in your game.

Varying Levels of Traction Versus the Court

We all know that indoor and outdoor courts are very different based on their terrain. With outdoor courts, the pavement or gravel is used as a court, whereas the indoor courts are generally more polished, smoother, and artificial. While they’re both hard, ultimately, the shoe traction versus the court material will decide your shoe fate. You do not want to purchase a pair of indoor shoes and expect them to outperform those that are meant for gravel. You should also know that you can’t force a pair to be good on other terrain, as that’s not what they are meant for – so if you’re someone who is stubborn and doesn’t want to believe that you need terrain specific shoes, then you may find out the hard way and suffer from a decreased performance.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the type of shoe you purchase will ultimately amplify or decrease your game. When you’re not sporting the proper footwear, you can expect to feel a slight learning curve – even if you’re one of the best in the game. Beyond this, you run the risk of harming your ankles and your legs when you don’t have the proper footwear equipped. Purchasing the best basketball shoes for outdoor courts will inevitably amplify your playstyle and game.

A Website That Offers Tips For New Moms

BabyCareCenter.com

Have you welcomed a baby anytime in the past 5 or so years? If so, there is a site you must know about. It is called Babycarementor.com and it’s a lifesaver. There is no way you know everything there is to know about parenting, even if you’ve been a parent for several years, Baby Care Mentor aims to fill in the gaps on what you don’t know.

What are Some of the Things I Can Learn?

Browsing Baby Care Mentor, you can find a seemingly endless supply of articles and columns to help you with the daily grind. Some of those topics include:

  • Essential advice for newborns
  • How to potty train
  • How to boost your child’s creativity
  • Best body lotions for your body
  • How to choose the best bottle Warmer
  • 10 best baby food brands
  • 10 best baby food makers

As you can see, there is a very wide range of topics and for a very wide audience. There are tons of more articles, on every topic under the sun, way too many to list here.

Is it only for moms?

No, absolutely not! Baby Care Mentor isn’t one of those sites that are geared towards women exclusively. It is a great source for both moms and dads of kids of all ages. And even though it is geared towards parents, really anyone could use the site. Maybe you’re going to a baby shower and have no clue what to buy the mom to be. Baby Care Mentor is a great way to get some insight as to what the best products are. After all, you want the best for your friends, right?

But I already have 3 kids, will this site still help?

Absolutely! Instead of stopping after the newborn phase, like most baby sites, Baby Care Mentor follows through for several years and guides you right through the first few years of your child’s life. Plus, like I said earlier, there is no way you already know everything, and that’s ok. Even with 5 kids, there is still more to learn. More tricks to learn and more hacks to try, anything to make your life easier, and once you have kids, life doesn’t get much easier.

But with my kids I don’t have time to read long articles

Who does? In today’s busy world, so many things are competing for our attention that long, verbose articles hardly make the cut. What I love about Baby Care Mentor is that they don’t have any of that fluff, no useless nonsense. Their articles aren’t any longer than they need to be and they’re very easy to read and follow.

Instead of long, boring, and confusing articles, they have concise and to the point articles that are just as easy to read as they are to skim.

Do they sell anything?

No, they do not sell anything directly. They include links to all of the products they recommend, making it super easy to shop for the best baby products on the market. This takes the guess work out of online shopping and makes it a breeze. It even saves you a trip to the store. Instead of having to go to the store and compare several things for yourself, you can do it right from home.

How often do they post new content?

Fresh content is always being added the site. This makes for an almost endless supply of reading material. They do not follow a specific schedule when it comes to posting new content, but it is updated frequently. Chances are there will be something new each time you visit.

How can I find out about new content?

Checking the site is always a good way to find new content, but since there is not a set schedule, this is kind of just taking a shot in the dark. To be the first to find out about new content and what is going on with the site, you can subscribe to their newsletter. They don’t spam your email, or sell it to any third parties, they just give you updates and tips straight to your email. This makes it easier than ever to get tips and help.

But, before you get ahead of yourself, first you’ve gotta go look around the site for yourself. It’s possible it isn’t your cup of tea, but chances are there is something on the site that you’ll find helpful, so check it out today.

A List of The Best Strategy Board Games

Strategy board games are the best way to keep the mind flowing and keep you on your toes when you’re not interested in playing any sort of video game. If you’re not down with the idea of playing a typical board game like Candy Land or Life, then you’ll definitely want to take a look at some of the more popular strategy board games the market has to offer.

Top 7 Best Strategy Board Games

Hasbro 28720 Risk Game

risk board game
risk board game

First on our list is one of the more popular strategy games that you may or may not have played. Manufactured by Hasbro, this game is a game of strategy where you can attack as much as you want, or as little as you want. Arming yourself with troops to attack your enemy’s troops, you’re going to want to utilize strategy to defend your territories against any sort of attack. If you’ve ever played Battleship, this 2-5 player game may be right up your alley. One of my favorite parts of this game is that you earn troops and no one starts off with a set amount. The better you are, the more you’ll have to attack with. The only aspect I don’t like is playing with any more than four people – it gets a bit too hectic for my taste.

Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition

Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition
Twilight Struggle Deluxe Edition

This next game may not be one you’ve heard of, and it’s a 2-player game that takes place in the Cold War. With combat between the Soviet Union and the United States, this game aims to recreate the struggle between the most powerful areas known. I like the fact that this game is only two players, and deals with a setting that hasn’t been done much before, but I dislike how long it takes to play. With board games, I cap out at around 2 hours. If you’re a history buff that isn’t too anal about accuracies, then you should definitely check out Twilight Struggle, as it’s one of my favorite strategy games.

Monopoly Board Game: The Classic Edition

Monopoly Board Game
Monopoly Board Game

This wouldn’t be a list about strategy board games without including Monopoly. With a table that reminisces over the original board, you’re going to want to sit down and enjoy a game or two with a group of friends. One can argue that it’s one of the longer games you could ever play (maybe longer than Twilight Struggle), and others may see this as a downside. One of our favorite features of this game is that it’s the classic version, not any fancy entertainment edition (i.e. Star Wars, Pokemon, etc.) Sometimes, classic is the best.

The War of the Ring Board Game

The War of the Ring Board Game
The War of the Ring Board Game

You might not have heard of this game, and if you’re someone who likes medieval or Skyrim era games, you’ll love The War of the Ring. I personally love adventures revolving around the “middle earth” trope, and if you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings, you’ll definitely want to nab this game. The fact that it is a Lord of the Rings styled game is one of my favorite bits about it, and one of my least favorite things about it is that there are SO many pieces (over 200 plastic figures alone) – it’s tough keeping track of everything! Even if you don’t like Lord of the Rings, but still like the art style and general time that it takes place, you’ll definitely want to pick this up.

7 Wonders

7 Wonders
7 Wonders

Last on this list is “7 Wonders” a short strategy game that can suit up to 7 people for battle. As one of the players, you take your stance as a leader of one of the 7 great Ancient Cities. You develop commercial routes and put together a fantastic military in order to take out others and reign supreme. The whole idea around this game is one of my favorites, being able to take out another ancient city through short strategy, while the shortness may also be a downfall. Typically, strategy games are long and can become boring and tiresome – unfortunately some on this list are guilty of that, but if you’re looking for something quick that doesn’t require an incredible amount of learning, then you should definitely check out 7 Wonders and dominate the playing field with your quick-witted strategies.

4 Ways to Regrow Hair Naturally

The day you look in the mirror and realize your hair just isn’t as thick and full as it used to be can be a scary day. Suddenly all these emotions overcome you and all you can think about is how to get your hair back. Instead of scouring the web for hours, look no further than here. Below, I will tell you how to regrow hair naturally using 4 tricks that take less than 30 minutes a day. Taking the natural route can save you tons of money and time and get you back to feeling like your old self in no time.

Diet & Exercise

hair loss and diet
a bad diet is linked to hair loss

The culprit behind your thinning hair could be your own lifestyle. Sure, you could chalk it up to age, or genetics, but changing your diet and exercise regime can greatly help your chances of regrowing your hair. When it comes to your diet, make sure you are getting plenty of protein and omega 3 fatty acid. Good sources of these would be red meat, fish, legumes, nuts, and leafy greens. These foods will provide your body with the building blocks necessary to grow hair. Also, make sure you are exercising at least three times a week. The type of exercise does not really matter, just stay active. Exercising will promote blood circulation throughout your body, and increased blood flow to your scalp will help regrow your hair.

Vitamins

omega 3 supplements
omega 3 supplements

Another way to regrow hair naturally is to take vitamins and supplements. Omega 3 is a great supplement to take if you are not getting enough in your day to day diet. Another really popular supplement is biotin. Biotin is a crucial component of hair growth, and if you are lacking biotin in your diet, which many people are, supplements can be a great alternative.

Natural Oils

natural oils for hair regrowth
natural oils for hair regrowth

There are several natural oils out there to help regrow your hair and keep it healthy. One of the most popular oils for hair growth is rosemary oil. Rosemary oil boosts hair growth by improving cellular metabolism. The most effective way of using the oil is to apply directly to your scalp and massage it in. other popular oil options include coconut, jojoba, oil, and argon. There are tons of recipes for hair masks. However, my favorite one is one I have pieced together from various recipes. Combine even parts rosemary oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and olive or coconut oil. Mix the oils together well and then apply to your scalp. Let it sit in your scalp for at least an hour, or overnight if possible. After letting it sit, rinse it out using an herbal shampoo. Repeat this process at least a couple times a week and you should start seeing results in about a month or two.

Natural Herbs

There are just as many, probably even more, herbs to promote hair growth as there are oils. I was really amazed when I learned the sheer number of herbs that could help me regrow my hair, and most of them are ones I already had in my kitchen. Some herbs that you may already have, such as cayenne pepper, green tea, black pepper, and garlic can be added to pretty much any hair mask recipe to help regrow your hair. Or you can simply add a little bit of your oil of choice and create a paste, and then apply the paste to your head.

The herbs I had the most success with, I found while reading about Ayurvedic techniques to regrow hair. Ayurveda is a traditional system of Hindu medicine, focused on balance and equilibrium in the body. These herbs are a little more exotic and probably aren’t at your local supermarket, but they are well worth searching for. The Ayurvedic herbs I recommend are Amla, Bhringraj, Shikakai, Neem, Ashwagandha, Fenugreek, and Ritha. You can typically use these the same way as you use the other herbs. You can either infuse your oil of choice with them or create a paste using them. You can infuse your oil by heating the oil over medium heat, adding the herbs, and then letting the oil sit on low heat for a few hours.

Alternatively, by adding just enough water to the herbs to make a thick paste, you can save lots of time. Regardless of which way you choose, once you have your oil or paste ready, apply it directly to your scalp and let it sit for a few hours. Rinse it off with a mild shampoo and repeat two to four times per week.

Final Thoughts on How to Regrow Hair Naturally

In the end, by using a combination of the methods I have laid out, you should see results fairly quickly. Feel free to tweak the recipes and methods provided to better suit your needs. For example, if you already eat lots of fish, you probably don’t need to be taking omega 3 supplements. Hair regrowth is a process, and lots of times it is a matter of trial and error, so be patient. The one thing you definitely don’t want to do is stress about it, which I know can be hard. But stress can make hair fall worse, so try to keep your stress levels low. I have had great success using these methods, and hopefully, you will too.

Best Hybrid Bikes For Men – What To Look For

If you ask any man with an adventurous bent of mind he would certainly like to go in for a hybrid bicycle. This is because it is considered to be an all terrain bike which could be used for different purposes. It can easily be used as a road commuting bike and could be a good way to travel from home to workplace and back. It also could be useful for running errands and also for exercising and other physical activities. But buying the best hybrid bikes for men could be a difficult and challenging task. There are so many options available in the market which makes the job even more difficult and challenging. So here are some useful points which could prove useful for all those men who are looking to buy the right hybrid bike to cater to their specific needs and requirements.

Be Sure About The Purpose Of Use

To begin with, it is important for you to find out the main purpose for which you will be using a hybrid bicycle. If it is for the purpose of regular exercising and commuting within the city, then it may not make sense to spend big money on hybrid bikes because any ordinary road bike would be enough for the purpose. However, if you are keen on getting into an adventure mode and would like to discover some hilly terrain and areas beyond it, then you have no other option but to go in for hybrid bikes. Therefore, the first task is to identify the purpose of use based on which budgets could also be decided.

Pay Attention To Size

Once the purpose has been clearly defined and identified, the next important task is to be sure that you end up choosing the right size as far as these hybrid bikes are concerned. The size must be perfect and must not be too big or too small. Large sized bikes make riding unsafe and you could always have a fear lurking behind your mind. Bikes which are small sized could make riding a harrowing experience and could lead to fatigue and tiredness sooner than later. Therefore, you must be sure that you are able to touch the ground comfortably with your feet as you stand on the middle of the frame.

Quality Of Frame Is Vital

 The frame is one of the most important parts of any bicycle and therefore as a man you must be sure that you spend quality time choosing it properly. The frames should be attached to the seat and also the front fork giving the much-needed stubbornness to it. The frame material is also an important consideration and it must be made from high-quality aluminum, carbon steel or other such alloy based metals. This will ensure that they are free from rust, corrosion and other problems usually associated with it when exposed to the various elements of nature.

Other Points To Be Kept In Mind

Apart from the above points, there are a few more things which must be taken into account when buying a hybrid bicycle. These include the fork, the seat quality and design, the brakes, the spokes, the quality of tires, rims and wheels. Any good hybrid bicycle must have tires of 700 cc width which will help them to grip slippery and uneven roads quite well and make cycling easy and safe. The quality of brakes should not be compromised under any circumstances and so is the case with gears especially when negotiating hilly terrains. The bicycle must also have quality head lights using LED technology, both for city rides and rides in mountain terrains.

The Capresso Ultima Espresso Maker Review

For an easy to use, clean and maintain espresso machine the Capresso Ultima is a fantastic buy and a wonder for great espresso and many other hot drinks.

I received the Capresso Ultima, and a few days later my wife got sick, tea coming up in less than a minute. Hot water on demand for any occasion and you have only to make sure the tank is full to maintain a steady supply of hot water through the frother spout.

This may sound like a silly thing to have for the start of the product review but it happened and is one of the first points of the Capresso Ultima that I found was great, it can pour out hot water in about thirty seconds. The unit, when filled with water and turned on, will start hot water out the frothing nozzle in thirty seconds or so. This is great for coffee drinkers who also have kids who enjoy hot chocolate or others in the house with a taste for tea.

The Capresso Ultima also makes coffee, espresso and coffee related drinks and excels at that as well. The Capresso Ultima is a semi automatic machine for making espresso, cappuccino and lattes as well as just plain old hot water. The Ultima works using an 18 bar pump and creates espresso and such using hot water under pressure.

The semi automatic part comes in with the turning of the carousel on top to get rid of old grounds and get the machine ready for the next batch. You can also froth and steam milk using the frothing spout as well as get hot water for your other hot drinks, or even oatmeal. Yes, you can use the hot water for anything you want like quick oats or other hot cereal in the morning.

I have found some great uses for the Ultima as well as making great espresso and cappuccino drinks and the Capresso Ultima makes these very easy. To make espresso all you have to do is turn the top carousel so the hopper is pointing to the front. Add one or two scoops of coffee grounds and turning the carousel so the handle is front and pull and push the handle.

This pulling and pushing is on the small handle bar of the top handle that locks and unlocks the tamping device down on top of the grounds and also is the top of the brewing chamber where the pressure is built up. If you look at the bottom of the carousel in my pictures you can see the round silver top of the brewing chamber with its rubber seal.

The small chamber builds up pressure and has several stops for the lever that pushes down or tamps the coffee grounds for a variety of pressure so you have several different tamping settings. The handle and carousel is easy to use and operates cleanly when turning even after several uses during the day. That is the great thing with the Capresso Ultima; you can use it again and again without having to clean it out after every use.

The Capresso Ultima can make cup after cup all day long by simply turning the carousel and making it ready after each use. The Ultima makes a great cup of espresso and cappuccino as well as the hot water stuff. The carousel comes off for convenient cleaning and the rest of the machine that does not come off wipes easily. The grounds when you turn the carousel fall down into a hopper and the tray and hopper pull out of the machine from the front for cleaning.

The hopper holds about a dozen measures of grounds and is very easy to clean along with the other removable parts of the Ultima. Cleaning the Ultima once a day or so and getting all the grounds out is recommended when you are making coffee or espresso’s all day. This machine is perfect for anyone who wants the convenience of making espressos or other drinks and not wanting to clean the thing out after every one.

The spout where the espresso comes out is split and adjusts in height for more versatility like being able to brew two cups of espresso at once like many other espresso makers. You can use the adjustable height of the spout to fit a variety of cup sizes underneath the spout for your coffees. You should also clean out the internal parts of the Ultima like the spout and frother every once in a while to clean and decalcify it using vinegar and water.

You can make one or two shots of espresso and use regular ground coffee or espresso ground beans for a great variety of coffee’s and espressos. I found that using the regular ground coffee that you buy pre ground is not as flavorful or enjoyable as using whole beans and grinding your own just before brewing. Making a somewhat regular coffee using the Ultima is not as enjoyable as using your own ground beans and making espresso but it can be done as easily as making espresso.

The hopper that you put the beans into and the brewing chamber make for an easy brewing of espresso and cappuccino’s. The brewing process using the carousel works well but may not get you the very best and finest espresso but you do get a good amount of crèma on top of your espresso and it does a great job. The espresso tastes great and you can alter not only the amount of grounds for a better flavor but the amount of tamping somewhat while making your espresso.

One of the things I found to be a bit of an annoyance with the espresso makers that use the filter holders and sieves is having to clean the machine out immediately when using it. I find using the Capresso Ultima all day long is great for not having to continually clean out parts right after using it. Simply turn the carousel to get the machine ready for the next use after making your espresso or cappuccino.

The Capresso Ultima also froths and steams quickly using the patented DualFrother nozzle and the hot water that heats so quickly. Using the Ultima for hot water is more of a side line for the machine but it is nice to have the convenience of hot water so quickly since the thing is sitting around on your counter ready for use so quickly.

The great ease of use and how quickly you can be making and enjoying your espresso or cappuccino is only the one part of the Ultima. The easy cleanup and how quickly you can go from one cup to the next is the best features of the espresso machine. Cleanup for the entire machine is easy even though you have to wipe off the carousel area and do some wiping in the used coffee grounds area.

The Capresso Ultima is a great espresso and cappuccino maker with plenty of great features. I highly recommend the Capresso Ultima for espresso and cappuccino drinkers who want an easy to use machine that they don’t need to clean immediately after every use. For a great tasting and easy cappuccino or espresso easily all day long the Ultima is the ultimate espresso machine at a great price.