Camping with Everything from A to Z.

“Is it time to go camping?” Austin asks.

“Not yet. We haven’t finished packing,” Mom answers. Dad carries the Air mattresses up from the basement. Austin’s brother, Dylan, has no trouble carrying the two room tent because it’s so light. Austin finds his dad outside.

“Is it time to go camping yet?” he asks.

“Not yet,” Dad tells him as he loads the Cooler and Chairs.

“Don’t forget to leave room for the Dog,” Dylan yells out the front door.

Mom is in charge of the food. In the kitchen, she gently packs the Eggs and pancake batter for breakfast. After the Fishing poles are packed, Dad checks the batteries in the Flashlight while Mom gets the Griddle and the Grill. Austin puts on his lucky fishing Hat and new Hiking boots. “Is it time to go camping yet?” he asks.

“Almost,” Mom replies, out of breath.

Dad throws his hands in the air, “We forgot Ice for the cooler.” He runs to the freezer. Dylan appears with his bug Jar that he uses to catch fireflies. Austin thinks bugs are gross. He’d rather go Kayaking on the lake.

“Is it time to go camping yet?” Austin asks.

“Pretty soon,” Mom assures him as she packs the Ketchup.

“Don’t forget the Lanterns,” she tells Dad.

We have a bed experience with our last tent. It was definitely not a best family tent for camping. We couldn’t hang the lantern in it and had to put it on the ground. It caused too many inconvenience.

She turns to Austin and asks, “Do you know where the Marshmallows are?”

“I ate them,” Austin says, grinning.

Dad interrupts. “Have either of you seen 1 the fishing Net?” They shake their heads no.

Continue reading Camping with Everything from A to Z.

Espresso – Unleash Your Inner Italian

Ever wondered why neither of your parents rather married an Italian? Good food, great wine and of course, espresso. That kick start in the morning before work, one shot and then you’re ready to properly start your day. The art of coffee making has long been in Italian history and now you can unleash your inner Italian by making a fantastic espresso.

  • A vital component in the art of espresso-making, is the machine. A must-have is a double boiler system. One boiler heats the water for the brew while the other heats the water for the steam wand. They need to be separate because both processes have different temperature requirements. 212 degrees Fahrenheit for steam and 200 degrees Fahrenheit for espresso. The separate boilers ensure that neither of the processes throws the other one off.
  • To produce an unforgettable espresso, your coffee beans should be carefully handpicked to ensure that only the ripe red “elite”are selected. They are then processed and then sorted to separate the coffee beans from the shells. Good beans produce good coffees.
  • Coffee must be ground freshly – even the best coffee can be spoiled by a poor grind. It must be freshly ground since good coffee beans lose their flavor due to oxidation.
  • Training and experience allows you to achieve the correct tamp. Tamping refers to the amount of pressure used when packing ground coffee into the filter. If the tamp is too light, the coffee will be watery and tasteless, whereas if the tamp is too firm, the coffee will be too strong.
  • One of the most important points to create a fantastic espresso, is the dose. The perfect dose for a shot of espresso is 7 grams.
  • Take 7 grams of coffee and extract it for 25 seconds until you’re left with a 25ml shot.
  • Don’t underestimate the rate of the pour, which is essential to the making of a perfect espresso. The speed at which the coffee flows into the cup to create that creamy, dark and rich exterior is key. The rate of the pour should be slow and steady. If you pour too fast, the espresso becomes weak and if too slow, the espresso will be too strong and will have a burnt flavor.
  • Drink it like any other shot at the bar. Espresso means “fast” in English and when you order a shot of espresso, don’t hold back. Most people savor the taste of an espresso, but it is meant to be drunk like a shot.

An espresso is a very specific drink and it might look easy at first, but in order to create a perfect shot of espresso, one with a creamy, dark and rich exterior, one awakening your taste buds with its nutty, earth-like taste and with its full-bodied aroma, you need to practice. It takes time and precision. Now it’s time to unleash your inner Italian with these fine steps to create your own perfect shot of best espresso machine. Brag to your friends and invite them over for a shot, because there’s a new barista in town.

How to calm the baby when they are crying

As a pregnant mother, you dream about the baby in anticipation. You know, how they will look like, their smiles and peaceful sleep. That’s nice! But have you prepared yourself how you will handle them when they begin to cry. It is important to note that when they are born, they will be crying more. This is because that is their way of communication.

Ways of calming your baby

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Depending on the type of cry the baby has, there are different ways that you can keep them calm.

  • Take them out: if they are fussy crying one of the sure way of calming them, is taking them out on their best lightweight/umbrella stroller so that your baby can feel comfortable. The fresh air will do wonders. They will also be clam when they connect with nature. Taking a stroll with the baby is not only beneficial for the baby but also for you.
  • Hold the baby: when the baby is crying comfort them by holding them close to you. Let them feel your warmth. You will agree that babies do love to be held and carried in the arms. You may also carry the baby on the sling or the front-pack carriers if you have other things to do. The movement will calm them down.
  • Feed the baby: sometime the baby is crying because they are hungry. When you notice that it has been three to four hours and the baby is crying- that could be sign that they are hungry and you should breastfeed the baby. No matter the age of the baby (0-24 months) breastfeeding the weapon to use. The babies tend to be calm immediately you place them on the breast.
  • Play some music: play some soothing music that will calm the baby. You may decide to sing for the baby instead. This may even be more beneficial for the baby. You need to experiment with different type of music for you to know which type the baby favors. Babies sometimes can be calmed with rhythmic sounds like heartbeat or the sound of the vacuum.
  • Massage the baby: everyone relaxes when they are massaged to ease the stress including the babies. Massage the baby gently on the bottom or on the backs. Make it rhythmic.
  • Distract the baby: a new scenery or new activity may distract the baby enough for them to calm down. Take a walk, sing, dance, clap or anything that is out of your daily routine.
  • Give your baby the pacifier: let the baby suck the pacifier or a teething toy. This will calm them down if teething is the reason for crying.

Understand the different types of baby crying

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It is important for you to know why the baby is crying. This will greatly help you in determining how to soothe and calm your baby

  • Hunger: This is one of the reasons why the baby cries. You need to be aware of his feeding schedule. If the baby has been sleeping for 3 or 4 hours then they may be hungry.
  • Colic: your baby may be having colic if they cry continuously at the same time every day. Colic occurs to new born babies but they usually outgrow it when they are about 5 months.
  • Discomfort: if the baby is uncomfortable or wet they will cry. You need to keep them dry by changing their diapers often.
  • Pain: the baby will cry when they are in pain or distress. If the baby cries suddenly, you need to figure out the cause for they may be sick. You should constantly take the baby’s temperature.

Buying Your Own Bike

Having your own bike makes the riding more fulfilling. You will get comfortable with the bike you are using and you cannot avoid being sentimental. To have one makes these moments personal. Here is a quick guide to show you how to get the best mountain bike under 1000 dollars that fits you.

First and Foremost…

What should you do before you actually look for a bike?

Choosing the proper bike is not easy especially it involves money. So before you get excited and buy impulsively, consider these first.

  1. Know Your Reason

World is big and there are a lot of options you can choose from. Knowing your reason is important in making decision.

You should ask yourself what you want from mountain biking from the start. What do you want it for? Is it for training or leisure riding? Once you decide your purpose, you can pick the right type for you.

  1. Determine Your Budget

You do not want to eye a bike and be disappointed when you discover that it is out of your budget. Always remember how much you are willing to pay.

You might have low or high budget. The important thing is set your own range.  Even if your budget is only $500, you can pick one of the best mountain bikes under 500 reviewed here.

  1. Prepare and Research

Know a little bit more about mountain bikes before you shop. It is important to avoid blind buying. Familiarize yourself with the slang of the sports.

Moreover, choose between buying online or from a shop. Determine where you can get the best out of the deal. Check bike shops near you and compare online shops.   Continue reading Buying Your Own Bike

Futura by Hawkins Pressure Cooker

Futura by Hawkins Pressure Cooker

Hawkins Cookers introduced an excellent model named the Futura Pressure Cooker. This model has highly appealing looks, mainly due black finish. It has withstood the test of time over the last few decades and has millions of satisfied customers around the world. It is better known for its timeless classic looks.

The manufacturers took a serious note of the not so pleasant looks of its earlier models of cookers and redesigned the equipment to its present state in the form of Futura. Though a bit more expensive than competitors’ makes, it offers trouble-free service for years to come. It’s available in varying capacities to suit the needs of any family.

Though some of the consumers may not find it attractively priced, its good looks, features and materials make it a desirable item for the kitchen. Some of its features like finger-touch release of pressure make cooking a simple affair. It saves lot of time, energy and cost to use this device for cooking on a daily basis.

Every manufacturer provides a manual for the handling of its equipment and so does Futura. It’s a simple manual that gives step-by step instructions for its handling in a very simple language. Yet, some of the users don’t find its handling so friendly. And, as already mentioned, price is a big factor for many.

In the beginning its lid may pose some problems, but once you get used to it, you’ll appreciate this feature. Unless it is properly fixed, the pressure could leak from its sides.

The Hawkins Futura Pressure Cooker finds many good recommendations in many consumer reviews. It is reported to cause a saving of time and is economical on fuel consumption. It’s a well-designed cooker with handles remaining cool even when it’s hot. Its stylish looks prompt the user to use it even as a serving dish. It comes with a five-year warranty and the spares are easily available.

You may be taking your chances if you decide to purchase this best pressure cooker. I did see some comments stating that customer service was good about replacing the unit, if there was an initial problem. You will have to decide if this electric pressure cooker is worth buying. You may be taking a chance with this one.

This is just a short post to evaluate a model of best pressure cooker available on Amazon, to know more about the type of multi-function pressure cooker else you can view the article in Pressure Cooker Portal.

Best Slow Pitch Softball Bat Reviews of 2015

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Best ASA Slow Pitch Softball Bats Review 2015

Ever Wonder Why The Other Team Hits The Ball A Mile Farther Than Yours? It’s got nothing to do with athletic ability. The secret is in the bat. So this season don’t miss the playoffs and get the best softball bats 2016 on the market for 2016. Below we have a list of the top three bats that will add instant pop to your lineup. Not only are these softball bats the best but they are all ASA legal softball bats. For a more extensive review with product links click the link to the article at the bottom of the page.

Demarini SF7 – This bat is a classic. The Demarini SF7 was always known as one of the best asa softball bats until the ASA put it on the banned list. Demarini modified it’s design and created the Demarini SF7. This bat is durable and has a lot of pop. It generates maximum flex through the barrel and truly is one of the best bats on the market. Every team should carry a Demarini SF7 . At 224 dollars you can’t beat it.

Mikel DC41 Reviews. This bat offers pop right out of the wrapper. If you are looking to impress the ladies with the long ball then this is the bat for you. Continue reading Best Slow Pitch Softball Bat Reviews of 2015

The other Catskills: a convenient and historic place to go backpacking near New York City (3)

WHEN WE moved to New York, my older son, Alex, had just gotten too big to be carried places, but he was much too little to go hiking. When he turned five, I started breaking him in with overnightcamping trips in the back yard. (Kids are just the opposite of adults: to them, sleeping in a tent and cooking over a camp stove are the alluring parts of hiking, and have to be displayed in the store window, so to speak, in order to get them to sign on for the walking part.) After a year or so he was ready for real mountains but not the Catskills, with their thousand-foot ascents. On the advice of John Bennet–the co-author of Walks in the Catskills and now, by coincidence, a neighbor of mine–I took Alex to a place called Tom Jones Mountain, in Harriman State Park.

Harriman Park is the former country estate of E. H. Harriman, the robber baron who owned the Southern Pacific Railroad. It’s at the northern end of the Ramapo Mountains, and has a strange, moody, windswept terrain that alternates between boggy fens and outcroppings of rock. It’s only lightly forested in most places, lacking the Catskills’ deep-in-the-woods feeling–but that makes for better views. Harriman Park adjoins Bear Mountain State Park, named after a mountain on the bank of the Hudson, which is notoriously crowded. The crowds, though, stick to Bear Mountain. Despite having been much worked over by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which constructed roads and beaches on dammed lakes there in the thirties, Harriman Park usually can deliver near-solitude. Continue reading The other Catskills: a convenient and historic place to go backpacking near New York City (3)

The other Catskills: a convenient and historic place to go backpacking near New York City (2)

I FIND THE Catskills strangely unappealing except as hiking terrain. Of the towns in the area, only Woodstock and next-door Bearsville are at all charming; most of the pleasures of rural touring, such as good restaurants, inns, and antique stores, are absent. In human terms the Catskills are a blue-collar neighborhood: the roads are lined with mobile homes, gun stores, diners, and auto-repair shops, and the mountains rise too steeply for there to be any picturesque rolling farmland. The only really pretty parts of the built environment I’ve seen there are three small, gated late-nineteenth-century summer colonies in the vicinity of the clove: Twilight Park, Elka Park, and the Onteora Club.

But the obscurity of the area is a great plus for hikers. Most of the Catskills are now part of a beautifully maintained state park. Only two areas of the park-Slide Mountain, which wa~ memorialized in John Burroughs’s essay “The Heart of the Southern Catskills” and which is, at 4,180 feet, the highest point in the Catskills; and a large campground accessible by car at North Lake, in the Kaaterskill Clove area–are regularly complained about as being too crowded. The rest is amazingly empty, considering how close it is to the biggest concentration of people in the country. Writing a hundred years ago, Burroughs described the Catskills in terms that today would almost have to be reserved for a Himalayan expedition. Still, of the thirty-five Catskills peaks above 3,500 feet, sixteen have no trails to their summits. On most Catskills trails you’re unlikely to see more than a couple of people a day on weekdays, or more than a dozen on weekends. Continue reading The other Catskills: a convenient and historic place to go backpacking near New York City (2)

The other Catskills: a convenient and historic place to go backpacking near New York City (1)

AS A KID at summer camp I fell in love with hiking, but it was not an activity that I could easily work into the fabric of my life–I grew up in New Orleans, which is about as far from any mountains as it’s possible to get. When my wife and I moved to New York, a few years ago, it didn’t occur to me that I was getting an opportunity to take up hiking again. Like many provincials, I thought of the entire New York metropolitan area as extensively and unrelievedly urban, to the point where you’d be able to hail a cab on the street anywhere within a hundred-mile radius of Times Square.

Lately outdoor-gear stores seem to be proliferating in big cities. Poking around in one shortly after we moved, I noticed a book called Walks in the Catskills, by John Bennet and Seth Masia, which, I was amazed to find, was a real hiker’s guide to an area barely two hours’ drive north of Manhattan. I bought the book and read it, and soon I had become a hiker again.

Southern New York State looks like a giant funnel, with the Bronx as the spout. The term “Catskills” tends to be used indiscriminately to refer to just about everything at the top of the funnel, all the way from the Pennsylvania border on the west to the Massachusetts border on the east. The borscht belt Catskills, home to Grossinger’s and other famous Jewish resorts, and the fly-fishing-paradise Catskills are not the same as the hiking Catskills, which are a small, steep mountain range, “swelling up to a noble height and lording it over the surrounding country” (as Washington Irving once put it), near the west bank of the Hudson River. The spiritual epicenter of the hiking Catskills, my Catskills, is an area called Kaaterskill Clove–“Kaaterskill” being an alternative spelling for the mountains, and “clove” being a regional version of “gorge” or “canyon.” On a twoor three-mile stretch of New York State Highway 23A, between the towns of Palenville and Haines Falls, you ascend nearly 1,500 feet into a dark green forest punctuated by small, fast streams, with, because of the rapid gain in altitude, wonderful views. Continue reading The other Catskills: a convenient and historic place to go backpacking near New York City (1)

Get going with your electric scooter!

Hate getting stuck in traffic jams and playing candy crush to while away the time? Well, there is a way out of the honking monstrous car-web when you feel that the time stands still. Instead of zooming about in huge mass-produced cars that take up all the space on the streets, riding a best electric scooter (produced by Bill Electric Scooter) grabs eyeballs and lets you speed past others in the congested roads.

electric scooter for adults

A scooter for a song

  • While an SUV or MPV drains your budget out, an electric scooter is such a cut-rate purchase that you would not feel its burden on your pockets. While you save on time on the roads, you also cut on spending additional bucks in buying a vehicle.

Structure and Design

  • Electric scooters are designed to help you to cruise through to your destination. The light-weight construction and the ease of handling an electric scooter save you from being stuck in line while a huge vehicle makes a diversion. Designed for a quick getaway, the best electric scooter for adults has become increasingly popular among people who love to hit the roads.

It’s for one and all

  • The simplification of its design and its streamlined body calls for the attention of the aged and elderly who aim to access maximum reliability through minimum effort.
  • The ease with which the vehicle can be maneuvered complements the needs of the specially-abled.
  • It’s speed customization coupled with its size allows the youth to both arrive in time and arrive in style.
  • For adventure-driven people, electric scooters are a new, gripping concept which lets you be on your whims while on the road.

Continue reading Get going with your electric scooter!

Floating fun: California Scouts spice up their camping by setting up shop in the middle of a lake

Camping is a second-nature kind of thing for Boy Scouts. It never gets old, but it can easily become a been-there, done-that endeavor if you don’t strive to make it interesting.

But camping like this? On a floating platform? In the middle of a lake? Now that’s something new.

For the guys of Troop 222 in Sonoma, California, one memorable excursion last summer–spending four days on that platform in the middle of California’s Lake Oroville–made for perhaps the most memorable camping trip any of them will ever experience.

“It was a hybrid trip almost,” says 15-year-old Wyatt Lage. “It was very different from anything we’ve done before. You’re standing on solid ground, but 360 degrees around you, there’s water.”

Water that can be fished. And skied. And swum. And canoed. And traveled by motorboat–all during an unforgettable four-day, three-night expedition marked by fun, friendship and can-do camaraderie that helped the guys get through rainy nights, reluctant catfish and every other obstacle that popped up.

Continue reading Floating fun: California Scouts spice up their camping by setting up shop in the middle of a lake