Online schools have been around for years now, but the variety of classes you can take just keeps getting better. I did some surfing the other day and found schools that were offering courses in every thing from origami to guitar lessons. And the great thing is most of them allow you to work at your own pace.
If you are considering learning a new hobby or even career, take a look at some of these classes and be sure to read the reviews to see how much students are getting from them:
I wasn’t joking. If this is an art form that has always intrigued you, you can learn the ancient art from home. Just make sure you have plenty of paper on hand to practice with. These are mostly at your own pace types of classes that you can take at your leisure. Something to think about, especially for teachers who need new ways to entertain the kids.
Online Singing Lessons
I imagine these are big for the boys and girls who dream of getting onto the Voice. Things like Singing Success and Singing Method are exploding in popularity these days.
Everyone has a belted out a tune to a shampoo bottle at some point, now why not try and improve on that talent. Again, you work at your own speed and only advance when you feel comfortable that you are learning how to sing better. With no one around to criticize, you get the full benefit of the singing lesson without any one throwing rotten tomatoes at you.
Find some reviews and more over at www.musicalu.net.
This is actually relevant to just about any musical instrument you can think of. If you can strum it, blow into it or bang it, there is an online class that will show you the right way. Great for kids who have their sights on the High School band or for an adult who wants to be the next Steve Perry. The lessons for these classes are direct and easy to follow with no particular order you must stick to. Think of the most obscure instrument, and you are going to find a class that teaches you how to play it.
Online Driving Classes
I am a bit skeptical on this one and pored over the reviews. There is nothing that emulates what it feels like to actually sit behind the wheel of a car. They may come close, but it isn’t the same. Still, if you have a teenager who is having a time passing their driving exam, this type of class can be a good supplement for the on-real-road practice that they need.
Online Cooking Classes
These are one of my favorites. Learn how to cook Italian, French, Thai, you name it and there is a class for it. The courses are structured very well with detailed lists of the items you will need each time. Some are very simplistic, starting with how to boil water, while others will have you making tiramisu in a week. The only real criticism I could find with the reviews was that some can be pricey ingredient wise. I would imagine so if you sign up for a French cooking class making stuffed truffles.
Close your facebook browser once in a while and find ways to waste time online that can really make a difference in your life. Who knows, maybe your neighbor is a Sony scout and will sign you once he hears how great your singing in the shower has become.
Many people nowadays are getting more and more concerned about their health that they are more interested in taking advantage of tools that will help them live a longer and stress free life. There are various options when it comes to detoxifying your system, however the challenges always have to do with time.
If you find time being a challenge for you to experience peace of mind after a whole day’s work. You can make use of aromatic essences and oil diffusers for a change. Instead of the usual spa and massage parlors that you go to Scentsationoil and learn how you can make use of oil diffusers.
What Are Oil Diffusers?
An oil diffuser is a device that is capable of dispersing the aroma of essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and other aromatic oils that are capable of filling up a room of its natural fragrance. The fragrance diffused from these essential oils is known for its effectiveness in terms of eliminating possible airborne issues such as bacteria, viruses, mildew and anything that can affect the air that we breathe.
Aside from the usual benefits that you are aware of you can easily choose what works for you with the various options you have when it comes to these diffusers. You can either choose to make use of electric diffusers, heat or candle diffusers, fan diffusers and more.
These diffusers may come in different shapes and sizes and you can definitely look for a device that will match the theme of your home or office.
You can get a lot of benefits in using oil diffusers to give a little stress free ambiance to your home or office. Since this device releases the scent to the air in very fine mists, you can definitely cleanse the air while you are sitting on your chair and relaxing.
The air that you breathe is now safe to breathe as these essential oils are found to be safe for the lungs. It can as well lighten up the mood to complete your relaxation session. These diffusers are less time consuming as compared to any traditional form of relaxation available for you to use.
Aside from using diffusers for your own benefit, you can as well give these devices as gifts to friends or officemates as they are made from light and safe materials which make these devices handy. Just imagine being able to have relaxation time wherever you are.
It’s September already, and although it may be premature call it the “Fall”, let’s face it, it’s pretty much Fall. For most people, this also means a marked increase in stress level. Whether it’s simply dealing with the change in seasons, less daylight, start of classes, etc, it’s always a good idea to have stress reduction strategies in your back pocket.
Exercise is known to reduce stress, increase energy (after recovering from your workout of course), and help fight depression, all on top of the well-known health and fitness benefits. Personally, I have found that exercise does wonders for the mind, body, and soul, but it can often be very difficult to motivate myself to go work out, especially on a rainy Fall day after a long day at work.
The following are a few products or ideas to consider, as they are fitness products that also focus on convenience.
This neon mesh ball is a cool contraption that can give you something to squeeze when feeling ultra stressed, and the playful design can lead to some giggles. It’s super convenient in that you can use it pretty much anywhere and they are generally quite cheap (usually under $20). However, the main drawback is durability. These things don’t last, unless you have the strength of an infant.
Heavy bag stands with added features can definitely be the way to go. They are more on the expensive side, usually over $100 (plus a heavy bag) but you can definitely get your money’s worth. Not only will you have something to hit, which is both a great workout and stress reliever, but being able to incorporate more exercises like pushups in various positions, pull-ups, dips, etc, can really get you closer to a gym-style workout without having to take the time to commute to the gym. Of course, boxing gloves will help, too. This seems to be adding up, but think of the benefits! Plus, like anything else, if you shop around you can definitely make things affordable. For more information on what type of boxing equipment is best for your budget, check out tomatocanchamp.com.
Yoga mats are a cheaper alternative, but a physical workout is less intuitive. That being said, you don’t need to bring yourself to exhaustion to relieve stress. Purchasing a yoga mat is a great idea for the office or home. Even if you only have 10 minutes a day, rolling out the mat and doing some stretching can go a long way. People typically don’t think of stretching as being a workout, but flexibility is one of the primary components of fitness and can help alleviate issues like low back pain. Focusing on relaxing your muscles and breathing calmly during stretching is also a way to bring you back down to earth and provide balance in your daily life.
At the end of the day, having this on your mind is the first step. As long as you take your time, be realistic about your goals and level of commitment, and budget accordingly, whatever decision you make will be the right one. Don’t forget, there are lots of good things about the Fall and Winter too, so look forward to those!
Find out more on living well by clicking here.
Innovation. Science. The environment. Self-Sustainability.
These are a few words that come to mind when thinking of electric cars. Electric cars are the future, there is no denying it. For the moment, they may not be available to the Average Joe, but to those whom can afford it, they offer a savings that is worth it, and a moral sense of well-being. Here are 5 electrics cars of 2014
1. Fiat 500e
Compact. Slick. Incredible sexy. The Fiat just may objectively be the coolest car on this list. With a 108 MPGe Highway rating and a manufacturer’s estimated fuel consumption rate of 29 kilowatt hours per 100 miles, the Fiat 500e is a force to be reckoned with. Plus, this car can seat up to 6 passengers, which is fairly awesome for an electric car. It also features a 24-kWh Lithium-Ion High-Voltage Battery and an Electronic Push-Button shifter, making it novel in the world of cars of the future.
2. Toyota RAV4 EV
For fans of Toyota this is the one for you. The car is entirely Tesla technology – Tesla motor, Tesla electronics – but fit for the Toyota ascetic. Much larger than the Fiat, the RAV4 EV is prime for taking the family on long trips or moving a lot of luggage. Also more family friendly, is that the vehicle is far safer in the event of an accident. With an EPA-rated driving range of 103 miles and a 41.8 kWh Lithuim-ion battery, the Toyota RAV4 EV makes a strong contestant for potential new buyers.
3. Volkswagen e-Golf
Fans of German engineering tend to stick to their guns, so it’s no surprise to see a Volkswagen product on this list. Giving the Fiat a run for its money on terms of slick and sexy, the e-Golf is going to win points on affordability as well. The e-Golf features a front-mounted electric motor capable of producing 114 horsepower and a 199 lb ft torque as well as a 24.2 kWh lituim-ion battery. The Volkswagen e-Golf claims to reach 62 mph in 10.4 seconds; meeting slick with practicality, and an average amount space, earns VW a comfy spot on this list.
4. Kia Soul EV
Another more affordable model with a loyal following, the Kia Soul EV is a great commuter vehicle with an impressive range. The Soul EV is Kia’s fist contender for the electric car market is sure to be one that will be watched closely. All of the vehicles systems, such as breaking and heating and cooling, are specifically engineered to preserve and replenish the system’s energy. This is a car build to last, and one you won’t be needing to re-charge very often.
5. Scion FR-S
Very sleek and stylish, the Scion FR-S features a sharp handling and high fuel economy. Another modestly priced vehicle, the Scion FR-S benefits form Scion’s reputation for building respectably performing, fun-to-drive personality vehicles. This may be the jack-of-all-trades of the list as far as pricing, space, and practicality is concerned.
As all who are in the profession know all too well, being a nurse requires you to be on your feet all the time. You are rushing up and down the halls, tending to patients. You are on the go constantly, moving from room to room as quickly as you can, with little or no time to sit or relax. You put on a lot of miles in your hospital, and it’s important to have footwear that can support this lifestyle. Every day is a marathon for you, and, like marathon runners, you ought to have the proper equipment. Here are some recommendations for shoes that will give you the comfort and support you deserve in your highly demanding job. Foot care may not take the stress out of what you do, but it will at least take some of the pain out of the equation. Also, make sure to elevate your feet when you get home.
Though they may not be the most stylish choice, Crocs can provide all-day comfort for a low price. They come in a number of fun colors that can brighten up your scrubs, and have good arch support. The holes on the tops and sides and open-heel design allow your feet to breathe. This aeration prevents your feet from becoming uncomfortably sweaty and smelly. In addition, they are extremely easy to clean. If you get any sort of mess on them during the day, you can immerse them in water and give them a good scrub. Or, you can just use a Clorox wipe to give the a surface-level cleaning. For someone who works in an extremely germ-rich environment every day, this can become an extremely attractive quality for footwear. Just make sure to replace them after six months or so, if you’re wearing them daily. They will eventually begin to lose their sponginess.
2. Nike Pegasus
For those of you who prefer a sneaker, the Pegasus provides some truly excellent support. The sole design propels you through your steps, giving you an extra bounce and some needed forward momentum. The mesh on the toes allows for easy breathing, and they are very light-weight. These babies won’t weigh your feet down – you’ll feel like you’re striding along clouds. Well, maybe not clouds, but they’ll make the hard floors feel far more pleasant underfoot. They also come with some very cute purple laces for women, and a smart black design for men.
Cute, classic, and comfortable, these are always a good choice. They come in a number of colors, including some exciting neon greens and pinks these days. It’s a good way to express yourself and also watch out for your feet. They also come out from a spin in the washer no worse for the wear.
4. Orthofeet Women’s Naples Fisherman Sandals
A more expensive choice, but worth the money. They combine the protection of sneakers with the breathability of sandals, and have unpatrolled arch support for those of you who have trouble in that region. These will keep you springing around the hospital all day.
These shoes put comfort first, but are also fashionable. They come in a number of designs, and I’ve heard good things about each one. Cute but sensible, these shoes will keep you going and make you proud of your feet.
No doubt about it, there are a lot of great things about being a cat owner. Those frisky felines like to play and then snuggle up in your lap while you gently stroke their backs. Yet, they’re independent enough that you don’t have to constantly rearrange your schedule around their feeding routine. And there’s no tedious housetraining or taking them on walks so they can do their business. With cats, put out a litter box and their instincts take over. Then again, wouldn’t it be great if the less-than-pleasant job of cleaning the litter box took care of itself? According to Litter Robot reviews, this device is as close as you’re going to get to that ideal.
First, it helps to learn how the Litter Robot (LR) operates. It’s a plastic globe-shaped cover that sits atop of the base, which holds the litter. When the cat enters, kitty does its thing, including scratching at the litter. When the cat is done, it leaves and that’s it, same as any other type of litter box. But that’s the end of the similarities.
After the cat exits, the LR starts doing its thing. The globe rotates, and as it turns, it collects the cat waste. The waste is pushed down into a drawer in the base as the globe returns to its original position.
All you have to do is empty the drawer—frequency depends on how often your cat uses the litter box. No scooping through litter. No wrestling with liners the cat has shredded to pieces.
Plus, the LR functions with virtually all brands of clumping cat litter, which is good news if your cat is used to a certain type—some felines are very brand loyal.
In addition to the no-scooping feature, the Litter Robot controls odor. Amazon reviewers particularly appreciated the lack of smell emanating from the LR. “No smell, no mess and that is amazing,” said one. Another reviewer commented, “This machine has changed our lives.”
Size and Location
Because the Litter Robot is a covered box, it does take up a bit more space—29 inches in height x 22 inches in width x 24 inches deep—so keep that in mind when you decide on its location. Also, think about where your kitty will be most comfortable. Although it might be convenient for you to stash the LR near the washer and dryer, the noise and heat could intimidate the cat.
Of course, nothing’s perfect. One of the biggest concerns with this model is that it is specifically intended for medium to big cats. Tiny kittens may not trigger the device automatically. Really big cats might not like the close quarters.
The other potential drawback is that the LR is on the costly side at more than $350. But if you feel like ease of use and lack of odor are worth it, then you and your kitty should enjoy the Litter Robot.
Many people put a lot of thought and time into their hairstyle. Whether it’s a trendy style, or something more edgy, a hairstyle can express a lot about the type of person someone is or the image they want to project. In some cultures how you wear your hair can even convey your status or ranking within society. There are many tools and methods available to maintain any style from the simple haircut to the complex hair masterpiece.
There are a few tools that just about every woman will have in their arsenal. The most basic of these is the hairbrush. A good brush will help keep hair tangle free and help hair to dry with a beautiful shine. The three types of brushes are flat, round and teasing. Flat or paddle brushes will help you get a straight look while round brushes will improve body and bounce. Teasing brushes should be used to give lift, but be careful not to over tease hair especially on fine or damaged hair.
Curling irons and wands are also a very common tool to help create many hairstyles. A good curling tool will create a very nice curl that lasts the whole day. The difference between an iron and a wand is simple. A wand has no clip to hold hair in place. Hair is manually wrapped around the tool. Some prefer the curling iron because the clip can be a little easier to manipulate and hold the hair. The advantages of wands are speed and a faster heating time. There are many wands to choose from and a great comparison chart can be found at betterhairday.com.
For those looking to achieve the opposite effect from curling tools, the flat iron is the go to straightening tool. The flat iron is a direct answer to the days when women would lay their hair on an ironing board and use a clothes iron to get those long straight locks. Be sure to use a flat iron with good quality plates, like ceramic or titanium. Also be sure to choose an iron with adjustable heat settings as different amounts of heat are needed based on thickness and natural curl in the hair. The thinner and straighter the hair the less heat you need.
But where does a really good hairstyle start? At the root of course. A good shampoo and conditioning regiment will make maintaing a chosen hairstyle much easier. There are so many shampoos and conditioners on the market, the task of choosing can be quite daunting. When choosing the right shampoo and conditioner examine the state of your scalp and hair. Shampoos treat the scalp, while conditioners treat the hair. Conditioners should only be used on the ends of the hair, from about the midway point to the tips, to avoid over moisturizing the scalp. For dry scalps, choose a shampoo that is labeled as moisturizing. For oily scalps choose a volumizing or balancing shampoo. For a more detailed comparison try this additional reading.
Learn more on what we’re about here.
Cuisinart PowerPrep Plus Food Processor
Consumers have the ability in almost all situations to choose just how much money they want to spend on a given product. Take cars for example. You can probably go to your local used car dealer and walk out with a decent vehicle for a few thousand dollars. On the other end of the spectrum, you could buy a high end Lexus or Mercedes for 100K. You would notice significant differences, of course, in the comfort, features, and probably the smell.
The same holds true in the kitchen. If you are looking for a new food processor, you could go over to your local department store and buy something that would do the job for $20. You could also spend near $1000 on a food processor. Why would you do this?
Is the Extra Money Worth It
I believe you get what you pay for ñ so let’s look at one of the top rated high end food processors, the Cuisinart PowerPrep Food Processor. This food processor usually retails for over $500. That seems like a lot are you really going to bet a product that is 10 times better than a $50 food processor? Yes I think you will. Here is what you are paying for with those extra dollars.
- In the looks department, it is less boxy. Rounded edges also make it easier to clean. I remember growing up my mom hardly used our food processor because she hated to clean it.
- This can hold 14 cups – which is about 3 pounds of bread and 2 pounds of meat. You won’t have to separate your ingredients into batches, and this will give a more consistent overall mix.
- The low end food processor probably only comes with one blade. This one comes with slicing and shredding discs, a chopping/mixing S shaped blade, and a metal dough blade and all are high quality stainless steel
- If you like to bake bread, this food processor has a special speed designed specifically for bread kneading. And if you make bread, you will appreciate the extra strong motor, which has a 10 year warranty.
So if you are a serious chef and are looking for the best food processor – take an extra close look at this one. It is nice enough to last a lifetime, and would make an excellent wedding gift. This is the Lexus of food processors. Sure, you could take your old rusted out 1983 sedan to the grocery store, but why would you want to if you didn’t have to?
It’s almost the end of March which means one thing. Well actually it means a couple of things. March Madness is in full swing which means I’m spending too much time on the couch and not enough time doing things. What else does it mean? It also means it’s almost baseball (and softball season).
Last year our softball team lost our final game on a very questionable call. Actually it wasn’t questionable it wasn’t even close. But hey, everyone makes mistakes and we made the mistake of leaving it in the umpires hands.
This year, we intend on taking things into our own hands. We’ve been using a quality composite bat for years, an Easton Synergy IMX but we decided after the heart break last year it’s time to buck up and get some new lumber (composite).
I’ve been to cages with both the Easton B3.0 & L6.0 and man are they sweet. The L6.0 is geared towards the power hitter, it’s end loaded and when the barrel comes through the zone and it connects it’s unlike anything I’ve ever hit before. The ball literally jumps off the bat. I’m pretty confident it’ll be adding some distance for all of our homerun hitters. Deep fly balls will suddenly be turning into round trippers.
Now the B3.0 isn’t quite as powerful, it’s the balance version (b for balanced), which is intended for more control then power. Our slap hitters are going to love this bat, it’s lighter then what they were using before and it feels smooth through the zone. It’s tougher to get a feel for a balance bat in the cages but overall I’ve been very impressed. After all, it’s all about putting the ball in smart places when you’re a slap hitter. No lazy fly balls, just sharp liners through the infield.
Over time bats do get worn out, not to mention technology changes. Once upon a time composite bats didn’t exist. And then came the double walled composite bat which almost acts like a shaved bat as it has a little bit more spring. I’m very excited to be upgrading from our old trusty synergy to the dynamic duo of the Easton B3.0 and L6.0. Hopefully this year we won’t have to rely on an out at first base to seal the deal. With any luck that lazy fall ball in the 7th will turn into a home run and we won’t have to worry about a botched call.
Looking for more reviews? Check this out.
We’re always skeptical about products that claim to be “All-In-One”. We just see it time and time again – the product tries to do too much at once and ends up doing everything poorly, not one thing sticking out. Instead of all in ones, we like to get the best of a particular product and just get each product to do the job that the all in one is supposed to.
In this case, the Philips Norelco QG3360 beard trimmer has the ability to trim your beard, act as a mini foil shaver, cut your hair, trim your mustache and fine tune your entire look, etc etc. It just seems like a lot, doesn’t it?
Let’s have a look at it, then.
It’s got 8 different attachments, which we referenced above, which means it is supposed to do all of these things well. The heads are different for each job and you just pop them on and off the body or handle of the trimmer, so that’s pretty handy. There are a few combs for various beard and hair trimming jobs, and they add quite a bit of versatility in terms of how you want your whiskers cut and what length you prefer them to be.
One of the things we did like about this is that it has top of the range battery life and charging capacity. A lot of trimmers require half a day or more on the charger after just 40 minutes of trimming. The QG3360 only requires an hour of charging time to get a full 50 minutes of cutting time. That is an amazing ratio compared to the competitors this unit has. Battery life and quick charges are important because you don’t want to be using a razor that has low battery life, the motor won’t be as strong and you’ll be more likely to pull hairs and not get a good shave. You also don’t want to be stuck having to wait hours and hours if you need a quick shave but your trimmer is out of juice.
Quick interlude to see this guy’s video review:
Here are all the attachments you get with this trimmer (which, as you’ll likely be wondering, starts at just over $60 from various suppliers on Amazon.com):
- Full-Size Metal Guard Trimmer
- Hair Clipping Comb
- Mini Foil Shaver
- Beard and Mustache Comb
- Stubble Comb
- Precision Trimmer
- Nose, Ear and Eyebrow Trimmer
This will give you a pretty much full range of options for your whole head – well, your entire body I guess!
The turbo boost button gives you some extra oomph for those tough spots, particularly if you haven’t shaved for a few days or if you generally have a thick beard.
We mentioned versatility before, but it’s got 18 length settings which is, once again, at the top of it’s class. Not only that but the thing is waterproof, too, for easy cleaning and the ability to use it in the shower if you’d really like (though we don’t think that’s a great idea…hair, particularly longer stuff, lies down if it’s wet and you won’t get a great shave).
Overall, this has pretty solid ratings, and honestly, if you need an all in one, we would recommend this unit. We’d still say get a classic like a Wahl Peanut or something for the beard and a dedicated nose hair trimmer and edger, but if you want the same tool for all jobs, then this really isn’t all that bad compared to how it could be! User ratings are pretty positive overall, too, which is a great sign to show that it is liked by the people who have already paid to use it! Big thanks to Brian at BeardGuide.com for the help and advice!