Gluten-Free Food List: These Are the Foods to Stock Up On if You Have a Gluten Intolerant Person In Your Household

Having a serious gluten intolerance can be difficult to live with at first. Not only are you restricted to certain types of food, but you also have to make sure you’re eating the right things. As the family chef, a gluten intolerant person can be easy to cook for, especially if you know what they should eat. As more restaurants and brands become aware of gluten intolerance, the list of gluten-free things you can buy from the store will continue to grow. Below is a list of the most important food groups to focus on if you’re gluten-free, as well as some fantastic products to consider.

 

Gluten-Free Whole Grains

Whole grains are essential to anyone’s health, as they contribute to healthier bowel movements as well as skin, nail, and hair growth. They also help to manage blood sugar levels, but many whole grains contain gluten. It’s important to double check labels to make sure you’re choosing whole grains produced in a gluten-free facility. Our favorites include:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Sorghum
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet

 

Fruits and Vegetables

There are a numerous amount of benefits that fruits and benefits can bring to the table. In fact, they’re some of the healthiest things that everyone should try to have in their diets. With that being said, as a gluten-free person, you’re going to want to opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. This is because some of the processed varieties will include gluten, especially in terms of added juices or thickeners. The most important ingredients to avoid with fruits and vegetables include malt and maltodextrin, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and modified food starch.

Our recommended list of fruits and vegetables to eat with gluten intolerance include:

  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Berries
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes, squash, and corn)
  • Greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Green beans

 

Protein

Similar to whole grains, proteins are incredibly important to the human body. Not only does protein help to promote the healthy development of muscles, but it also provides the body with energy. Protein is also responsible for healthy hair, skin, and nails as well as it helps our bodies to naturally produce amino acids. Even vegans will need to find a source of protein, as it’s one of the most essential building blocks for a healthy foundation.

With all of that being said, you’re going to need to be careful when it comes to choosing the meat to consume on a gluten-free diet. This is because a lot of the seasonings and marinades uses on prepared meat contain some source of gluten, such as flour or malt vinegar. The best gluten-free proteins to keep an eye out for include:

  • Red meat (lamb, bison, beef, and pork)
  • Poultry (turkey and fresh chicken)
  • Legumes (peas, peanuts, beans, and lentils)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Seafood (scallops, shellfish, and fresh fish)
  • Soy foods (edamame, tempeh, and tofu)

 

Dairy

One of the most interesting things about dairy is the fact that most types are naturally free of gluten. However, there are some brands that contain flavoring and additives that you should avoid. Similar to preserved fruits and vegetables, some dairy products might include modified food starch, thickeners, and malt. With that being said, the best dairy products for gluten-free individuals include:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Yogurt

 

Our Favorite Gluten-Free Snacks

At this point, you should have a strong understanding of the basics of how to develop a gluten-free meal plan for the gluten intolerant person in your household. One of the most difficult areas for people who can’t eat gluten is finding snacks and treats that they can enjoy. Most treats that you find from the grocery store are packed with ingredients that contain gluten, which makes it a little tough. Not to mention the snacks that you get from health food stores are highly expensive and unrealistic for most families. We’ve made a list of our favorite (and affordable) gluten-free snacks that everyone can enjoy!

 

  1. Shrewd Food Protein Crisps

Available in a package of 8 bags, the Shrewd Food Protein Crisps are simply delicious. You’ll be able to choose a flavor of your desire ranging from baked cheddar to strawberries and cream. These snacks also come with a wide variety of health benefits including being high in protein, low in carbs, and entirely gluten-free. The best part is that an entire bag only adds up to 90 calories and gives you 12 grams of protein.

 

  1. HighKey Mighty Cheese Crunch Snacks

If you’re someone who has an affinity for cheesy snacks, these crispy HighKey Mighty Cheese Crunch Snacks are fantastic. Available in an assortment of flavors including bacon, cheddar, and a variety pack, you’ll always have something to munch on throughout the day. High in protein and low in carbs, every ingredient is natural, gluten-free, grain-free, and filler-free.

 

  1. This Bar Saves Lives Granola Breakfast Bars

Ideal for someone who is usually in a rush in the morning, these granola bars are a real life saver. Developed by This Bar Saves Lives, their granola bars are absolutely scrumptious and work perfectly as meal replacements. Their ingredients are fully natural and gluten-free, made from nuts, seeds, and other fantastic ingredients. They’re also kosher and non-GMO, which gives you the peace of mind that you need. When you order the variety pack, you can get flavors such as Madagascar vanilla almond and honey, maple pecan, dark chocolate and peanut butter, as well as PB&J.

 

  1. Zac Brown’s Remedy Bakeshop Gluten-Free Cookies

Looking for something sweet to enjoy as a dessert or a mid-day snack? These phenomenal gluten-free cookies are exactly what you’ve been looking for. In flavors such as snickerdoodle, chocolate chunk, and oatmeal cranberry, you’ll fall in love with them after one bite. Crafted using whole non-GMO ingredients, these are the type of cookies that everyone will love. Also, they’re fully developed by Zac Brown’s, of the Zac Brown Band, company, Remedy Bakeshop.

 

Final Thoughts

Being gluten-free isn’t as difficult as it used to be in the past, especially with healthier options available in stores. With the right ingredients, you can live a better lifestyle by eating foods that don’t agitate your food intolerances.

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10 ideas for the most original Halloween costumes for this year!

Although Halloween is not a national holiday in most parts of the world, it symbolizes the start of the holiday season and the run up to Christmas and New Year celebrations. Halloween goes back to an ancient Celtic festival when people lit bonfires and wear costumes to wear off ghosts and demons. When November 1 was designated All Saints Day, the Celtic Samhain festival was incorporated and so All Hallows Eve became Halloween.
The Halloween celebrations we know today began in the early twentieth century. About a hundred years ago it became a community event with big parades and entertainment, and adults and children would dress up for the street parties. In the 1950s the big parades began to wane, and the celebrations became more school or home-based, and going door to trick-or-treat was revived from decades earlier. Nowadays Halloween is the second largest commercial celebration after Christmas in the United States, with people spending more than $6 billion annually.
Nowadays, Halloween is celebrated in most of the English-speaking world, and many Spanish-speaking or Catholic countries where it is known as the Day of the Dead.
The tradition of dressing up for Halloween goes back to its earliest roots. The idea was to dress in a frightening costume to scare away any evil spirits. When the big Halloween parties started becoming popular in the 1920s, some savvy entrepreneurs realized that costumes could be anything you wanted. Over time it’s morphed into what we know today, and Halloween costumes can be scary devils and skeletons, and characters from the movies, television, and history too. So here are ten ideas for costumes this year for both children and adults, and how you can get the look.
Lego
This is an easy costume for kids of any age and can be made in 10 minutes. You’ll need a large cardboard box, that’s big enough for the wearer to slip inside comfortably, and some small plastic cups or old yogurt containers will work just as well. You’ll also need some glue and brightly colored spray paint. It’s a simple matter of cutting out holes in the box for the head and arms, making sure there is enough room for the wearer to move without obstruction. On one surface of the box, which will be the front, glue the plastic cups, in equally spaced rows down the length. Once the glue is dry, you can spray paint the whole thing. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area. After the paint has dried, the costume is ready to wear.
The Rainbow Fish
The classic children’s book about the Rainbow Fish can be the inspiration for a costume for a boy or a girl of any age. The basic to start with is a blue outfit to resemble the body of the Rainbow Fish. It can be a dress, or a t-shirt and trousers, but it really has to be blue. You’ll need some remnants of material in other shades of blue, pink, and silver. These can be cut out into D-shapes, and then applied to the outfit overlapping one another to look like the scales on a fish. The size and number of D-shaped scales will depend on the size of whoever’s wearing the costume. If you want a 360-degree look, you can apply the scales to the back and front.
Rene Magritte Painting
I guess this works best for a man but can work with either sex if desired. We’re going to recreate Rene Magritte’s famous painting of a man wearing a bowler hat and an apple called the Son of Man. It’ll mean a trip to the novelty shop to pick up a bowler hat, and a plastic apple. Both can be picked up for the grand total of about $10. I’ll assume you already have a dark suit, and maybe a red tie. If not, I’m sure you could get a tie from a friend. Make sure the plastic apple is as light as possible, as you will have to cut out a section from the side so it can be slipped over your nose. If you are going to go around wearing it for part of the evening, you don’t want it to feel too heavy or fall off.
Instagram Photo
If you’ve not got much time to prepare, or just forgot you needed a costume for the Halloween party don’t worry as making this is probably as quick as it gets. You can wear it with any clothes you have! First of all, you need to take a screenshot of your Instagram account just after posting a picture. Make sure you have the top and bottom of the screen with all the icons. Your local print shop will be able to print and mount it onto poster board for less than $15. When you get it done, cut out the center picture, and your costume is complete. Hold it up in front of you every time anyone asks what your costume is and they’re bound to get the picture.
50 Shades of Gray
This can work for guys or girls, which is kind of cute. To start creating your costume, you’ll need to take a trip to your local home improvement center. Head to the paint section, and pick up as many of the free sample color swatches you can in various shades of gray. Back home it’s a simple matter of sticking the swathes onto a cheap black t-shirt.
Green with Envy
How about a costume for a couple, that is cheap, simple and witty at the same time. For her, you will need a green t-shirt and maybe a headband or headscarf. For him, a white t-shirt and some iron-on letters. The t-shirts can be something you have in the bottom of the wardrobe, or something bought cheap off eBay or Amazon. You’ll need four iron-on letters to spell the word envy. Just iron the letters onto the white t-shirt, and the costume is done. Walk into the party arm-in-arm, and everyone will know you are green with envy!
Bump in the Night
When you’re pregnant, it’s not easy to find a costume for Halloween that will work. Here’s one that is simple to make, and fits with the theme. The things that go bump in the night are sometimes the most terrifying, so why not make the most of the baby bump. All you need is one of the staples of any wardrobe, a simple black dress. You can either cut out white stars from old material to pin or sew to the clothing or get adhesive stars to stick onto it. Either way, you have a black night sky with stars shining. Voila, you have your very own bump in the night.
Rosie the Riveter
One of the iconic images of the home front during World War Two was Rosie the Riveter. The poster of a female war worker was the inspiration for thousands of women to take on jobs by replacing men who had gone to war. Getting the look right is very simple indeed. First, you need the signature red polka dot headscarf, to wrap the hair. To get the factory worker look to match the posters, you’ll need a jumpsuit in dark blue or any dark color. To add some authenticity to your appearance, how about carrying a classic lunchbox rather than a handbag.
Che Guevara
How about becoming a revolutionary for a night, and donning a Che Guevara costume. For the guys, it’s not that difficult to create the ‘Che’ look. Let’s start with a black beret, with a little star motif or badge on the front. Forget to shave for a couple of days, and you’ll have the right amount of partisan stubble. Then it’s just a matter of green fatigue colored shirt and pants, and maybe a t-shirt to match. If you want to take it a little further, you could always add a Cuban cigar.
Doctor Who
With Jody Whitaker taking over the role of the eponymous Doctor Who, there is now a chance for girls to dress up as the Time Lord. The publicity shots before the premiere of the new series had Doctor Who wearing an outfit that is very easy to replicate. Trousers that are a little short with suspenders, along with socks and boots, and a t-shirt with horizontal stripes and a long overcoat. To complete the look a short blond bob wig, and hey presto you’ve turned yourself into the first female Time Lord in 50 years.

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Searching for a Gift for an Impossible Guy? Check Out Our List!

At times, finding the perfect gift for a male friend loved one, or colleague can seem relatively impossible, especially if they’re the type of person that already has everything they need. You would be amazed at how often it is that people find themselves searching for the perfect gift only to come up empty and wind up settling for a gift card. If you’re in that boat, there’s no need to worry as we’ve found five phenomenal gifts that any guy is sure to love, and you can bet they likely don’t already own them!

 

  1. 13-in-1 Multitool

Buying a guy a multitool might seem like something that is relatively conventional, however, you’ve most likely never seen a 13-in-1 multitool before. Not only will they have access to the generic things such as a knife and pliers, but there are several other tools they can use to their advantage, including a Philips screwdriver, bottle opener, wood sharpener, and even fish scaling tool. Above all else, it also comes with a LED flashlight that they can use in the event of an emergency.

This 13-in-1 multitool is designed for absolutely any situation that they might come across and even the flashlight is more advanced than conventional models. Not only will you have the regular strobe of light, but two other lighting modes to where you can even emit SOS signals.

It’s the type of gift that they can either carry with them in their pocket or that they can keep in the trunk of their car in the event of an emergency, which not only makes it the coolest but also the most useful gift that would make the ideal gift for any occasion.

 

  1. Holy Stone RC Drone HS100

Drones had a boom in popularity a few years ago and now that the technology is a little more well-known, they’ve come down in price. With that being said, the Holy Stone RC Drone HS100 is one of the more expensive gifts on this list, but it is well worth the investment, especially if you’re looking for a gift for a guy that loves to play with toys. What makes this drone unique is that it can also be used for professional tasks, as it has a wide variety of features that they’ll be sure to appreciate, including:

  • GPS-assist: When in flight, the drone will give you immediate details about its positioning and it offers a return-to-home function in the event that you lose sight of the device. Its integrated GPS feedback also helps to make sure that the drone returns home in the event of a low battery or loss of range.
  • High-quality camera: With a 720p 120-degree FOV/FPV WiFi camera, you’ll be able to capture a wide variety of scenes while piloting the drone. It gives you an incredibly high-quality birds-eye perspective without needing to fine-tune any settings.
  • Multiple operating modes: Aside from the generic piloting mode, you’ll also be able to take advantage of altitude hold, one-key takeoff, and headless mode. There’s also a “follow me” mode where the drone will automatically follow your every movement.

 

  1. Beardclass Organic Bamboo Beard Kit

Beards are back in style and in order to make sure you always look your best, you’re going to need to invest in some beard grooming tools. If the person you’re buying for is someone who takes pride in their beard growth, the Beardclass Organic Bamboo Beard Kit is a phenomenal gift as it comes with plenty of different components designed for maintaining facial hair.

In the kit, you will receive a wooden beard comb, beard/mustache/nose scissors, mustache comb, keychain, and the revolutionary Beardclass beard brush. What makes the beard brush so unique is that it’s crafted using wild boar hair bristles with a superior curvature, so you can perfectly comb through your beard with little to no issues.

 

  1. S.T.E.A.M. Line Toys UGears Mechanical U-9 Grand Prix Car

Keeping your mind occupied with hobbies is one of the best ways to de-stress after a long day of work, which is why we love the idea of the S.T.E.A.M. Line Toys UGears Mechanical U-9 Grand Prix Car as a gift for the impossible man. Even if they’ve never had the ability to build a wooden puzzle before, you’ll be giving them an activity that they are sure to appreciate over the years.

Perfect for the type of guy that likes to spend time crafting unique objects, this high-quality project is designed to emulate the real-life mechanism that you would find in a U-9 Grand Prix Car. Above all else, it’s not only a model that will sit on your shelf, but it’s also a self-propelled mechanical wooden model that actually works, making it a great project for the entire family.

 

  1. APEMAN Dash Cam

Having an added layer of protection when it comes to driving is of the utmost importance, especially with more new drivers on the road every day. The superior technology of dash cams gives you the ability to not only ensure that accidents are captured on film, but it also gives you the ability to constantly monitor activity around your vehicle or capture picturesque moments when on the road.

The APEMAN Dash Cam is one of the better models that you can find as it offers an easy-to-use 3-inch LCD screen and a 170-degree wide angle lens, making it perfect for capturing all activity around your vehicle. With added benefits such as motion detection and parking monitors, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your vehicle no matter where it’s parked. With 1080p resolution and a built-in G-sensor, you’ll be giving the gift of protection which is something that every driver deserves to have at their disposal.

 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to finding the perfect gift for someone that seemingly already owns everything, you just have to open your mind to a couple of other interesting gift ideas. With the help of these five gifts, you’ll have more than enough inspiration for finding the perfect present that will not only be put to good use but that will also be appreciated for many years to come.

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The 5 Smart Home Products That Can Help You Save On Your Bills!

When smart home products first emerged on the market, they were advertised as items that could help you save on electricity and that’s about it. As they have become far more popular and diverse, now there are plenty of smart home items that can help you to save money in a wide variety of areas. No matter if you want to cut back on your monthly energy consumption or even your water consumption, you may want to take these products into account.

 

  1. Smart thermostats

Nest is by far the most popular smart thermostat that you’ll find from your local hardware or big box stores, and for good reason. Not only does it make it far easier to have control over your heating and cooling, but you can also take advantage of plenty of its features designed to help you save on your bills. You can also find manufacturers such as Tado, Hive, Honeywell, and Ecobee who all have smart thermostats.

With these unique devices, you’ll be able to pair them to your smartphones, tablets, and/or computers and set the temperature of your home to your desired level from absolutely anywhere. You can also take advantage of setting schedules so your home can start to cool or heat up on your way home from work, rather than having the thermostat on every second of the day.

There’s also the unique benefit of installing multiple thermostats that control different areas, or zones, of your home. So while you’re in the house, you can remotely turn the heating or cooling off upstairs if you’re downstairs and vice versa.

 

  1. Smart sprinkler systems

Programmable sprinkler systems have been around for plenty of years, but in most cases, they simply allow you to choose when you want your sprinklers to turn on and off. With the implementation of a smart system, you’ll have far more control over how your sprinklers work and the areas that they have access to. One of the most important things about smart sprinkler systems is that you can choose to cut back on your water consumption from anywhere, instead of having to go home to turn the sprinklers off manually.

With the right sprinkler system, you can even optimize how your lawn is watered, as you can input the type of soil in each sprinkler zone as well as the plants that are growing in that area. Your sprinklers will then adjust their settings to make sure that all areas of your lawn get the perfect amount of water in order to make sure that your plants and grass flourish. With that being said, our favorite feature of smart sprinklers is they pay attention to weather patterns, so if rain is in the forecast, your sprinklers won’t turn on.

 

  1. Smart flood detectors

We all know that limiting the amount of water your household consumes is environmentally-friendly, but you would be surprised at the sheer amount of money homeowners lose every month as a result of faulty seals on plumbing, leading to leakage. Smart flood detection is also essential for giving you the peace of mind you need to make sure that you never become a victim of flooding as a result of shoddy appliances or plumbing work.

These technologies are to be installed on the floor and will send you an alert to your device if they detect water, though there are far more advanced models that you can invest in as well. The more expensive models will monitor how your water system flows and will send you an alert if there are any significant changes in water pressure, suggesting that a leak has formed.

Even though smart flood detectors aren’t able to repair the leaks on their own, they are incredibly useful for letting you know where an issue with your plumbing is occurring so you can hire a trained professional to help. Also, they give you the ability to shut your water off in the event that you turn all of the water in your home off to protect your valuables and belongings from water damage.

 

  1. Smart electrical sockets

Also referred to as smart plugs, smart electrical sockets are ideal for families that seemingly have things plugged into the wall on a regular basis. From computer chargers to oscillating fans, it’s easy to leave things plugged in that are going to draw energy from your home on a regular basis. However, with the help of smart plugs, you’ll be able to put all devices on a timer to help regulate their energy consumption. Not only will you be able to set a timer that turns devices off, but in most cases, you can pair the plugs to your phone so you can have remote control over all of the outlets in your home.

The time when smart electrical sockets become the most useful is when you have days when you forget whether you unplugged something before leaving, such as hair straighteners. Instead of having to turn your car around and go back home, you can open your smartphone and shut the entire socket off so that no power gets to the straightener. You’ll surely find that at the end of the month, your energy bills will be lower than they have ever been.

 

  1. Smart lights

Apart from smart thermostats, smart lights are one of the most popular smart items that people have in their homes. At first, they were used to create ambiance or as a fun and unique thing to have in your house, but today, they can be used for a wide variety of tasks around the house. For example, some smart lights will change their color if your doorbell is rung or if your phone is ringing.

Apart from their aesthetic benefits, smart lights give you the ability to save money on your bills as well as you can turn them off remotely from anywhere, as long as you have your smartphone or tablet paired to the network at home. No matter if you want to turn the lights off in every room, turn a certain light on, or change the colors of the bulbs, smart lights are a fantastic thing to have at your disposal.

 

Final Thoughts

With the world becoming more dependent on technology, you can guarantee companies are going to continue developing smart devices that give you the ability to save more money than ever before. If you’ve been looking for ways to cut down on your household consumption, consider all five of these phenomenal smart technologies that you can use to your advantage.

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10 Workout Shoes That Look So Awesome You May Leave Them On Even After Your Workout Sesh!

Workout shoes are everywhere but it’s tough to find the right pair that you’ll feel comfortable wearing after the gym. Plenty of people decide to simply repurpose old shoes for their workouts, but what if you had a pair that you could be proud of? We’ve found 10 phenomenal shoe designs that will not only look great during your workout sesh but that you can wear while running errands afterward.

 

  1. Feetmat Slip-On Running Shoes

If you’re looking for a hypermodern pair of shoes, the Feetmat Slip-On Running Shoes are one of the best pairs on this list. There are plenty of activities that you can do with these shoes ranging from running to playing tennis, but we also love them as everyday streetwear shoes as well. Available in colors such as red, black, grey, and blue, the options are endless.

Designed to be breathable, lightweight, and with a non-slip sole, you’ll get plenty of benefits from wearing them. We also love how they’re entirely slip-on, so you don’t even have to worry about laces.

 

  1. Keezmz Athletic Sneakers

These workout shoes have a similar appearance to some pairs of Adidas, but they’re far more affordable. They’re also incredibly lightweight and breathable, two factors that are necessary for workout shoes. The slip-resistant high-elastic MD outsole is great for optimal traction. You’ll also love how there are plenty of colors to choose from, so you can pick the right pair for every outfit.

 

  1. Reebox Crossfit Nano 8.0

Crossfit shoes usually get a bad rep because they can look a little different, but the Reebox Crossfit Nano 8.0 shoes are different. They fall somewhere between traditional athletic shoes and more modern skater shoes, making them ideal for the gym and real-world purposes. The main thing you’ll love about these sneakers is how they feature RopePro, which is one of the top tier technologies for optimal traction and foot protection.

 

  1. Nobull Training Shoes

As the most expensive pair of runners on this list, the Nobull Training Shoe is fantastic for someone looking for a high-quality and luxurious pair of sneakers. They offer flexible protection and durability unlike any other pair of shoes. Featuring SuperFabric, an incredibly lightweight and abrasion-resistant material, you won’t have to worry about rips or tears. Also, the outsole lug pattern is fantastic for using the shoes in multiple environments, whether it’s outside or inside.

 

  1. Hetohec Basketball Shoes

What makes the Hetohec Basketball Shoes unique is the fact that they’re soft and breathable, helping your feet to experience maximum air circulation while working out. You’ll also love the integrated insole that feels like you’re walking on a cloud with every step. Also, the MD sole is lightweight and gives you superior bounce-back while playing basketball, helping to protect your knees.

 

  1. Nike Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainers

Nike is renowned for their fashion appeal and the Nike Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainers are no different. We especially love the cross design made with synthetic fabric along the upper of the shoe, which adds a more artistic appeal to the shoes. With the help of the Dynamic Fit technology, your shoes will feel like perfectly-sized gloves on your feet. We also found that the rubber outsole didn’t leave marks on the gym floor when engaging in more in-depth exercises. Constructed using breathable and lightweight mesh, there isn’t much else you’ll need from a dual-purpose pair of trainers.

 

  1. Nike Flex Contact Running Shoes

As another pair of Nike’s, the Flex Contact Running Shoes are sized for women and they have an impeccable style that will fit perfectly with all of your workout gear and streetwear. Featuring a circular-knit pattern, you’ll have the most comfort possible in the toe region. You’ll also love the soft foam inside of the sole which helps to give your feet a more natural feel while wearing the shoes. With fantastic traction and flexibility, while walking, running, or playing a sport, they look great and work even better.

 

  1. Umyogo Athletic Blade Fashion Sneakers

With a combination of various influences from top designers including Gucci and Adidas, these Umyogo Athletic Blade Fashion Sneakers are great for people looking for something a little different. Available in colors including red, black, and a combination of red, black, and green, there’s something for everyone. Designed to last over years of regular wear, you’ll surely be impressed by the high level of flexibility these shoes offer. The knit upper also helps your feet to breathe as you workout and there’s added cushion for additional comfort.

 

  1. Asics GT-1000 6 Running Shoes

If there’s one thing to be said about running shoes, it’s that they’re designed for optimal comfort. You may find that the Asics GT-1000 6 Running Shoes are the most comfortable shoes on this list. With that being said, they have a more traditional aesthetic but it’s still show-stopping and blurs the line between workout shoes and everyday wear. The most unique aspect of these trainers is the patented Impact Guidance System. This helps to enhance your natural gait for more natural movement while running.

 

  1. Asics Women’s Jolt

Perfect for women that are looking for shoes to help protect their feet while moving around all day, the Asics Women’s Jolt look fantastic and feel fantastic as well. Built with an EVA midsole and specialized outsole, they’re useful for both outdoor and indoor activities. You’ll also find that they absorb a lot of the impact from full ground contact, helping to protect the most delicate areas of your legs and knees.

 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing sneakers, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right pair for everyday wear. You never know when you might have to run errands after working out and you’ll want a fashionable pair of trainers you can rely on. With the help of the pairs on this list, you’ll be able to protect your feet, feel more comfortable while at the gym, and still look fantastic after your workout sesh is over.

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The Easiest Handmade Gift Ideas to DIY

Are you feeling a little crafty? While going out and purchasing a gift is great, sometimes it is even better to get your hands dirty and make something yourself! Best of all, DIY projects are fun, personal, and really do make for great gifts.

DIY projects are also great if you have children and want to get them involved. Perfect to do as a weekend project, or for those rainy days when you have to stay inside, DIY is always tons of fun! Best of all, there are plenty of easy ideas to choose from that won’t have you tearing apart your house, or spending a lot of time.

With a little creativity and some time, you can create an excellent handmade gift that works great for a Christmas party, housewarming gift, white elephant gift, or even as a sympathy gift. There really isn’t an occasion where a handmade gift isn’t appropriate! These gifts are also great to give as a thank you gift say for a special nurse or doctor, or a teacher at your child’s school.

If you aren’t very creative, or you just have run out of ideas on what to make next, you’ve come to the right place! We have found some of the easiest, but best looking, handmade gift ideas that are completely DIY. If there is a party or holiday coming up, check out this list and see if there is something here you want to consider making. It is sure to be an absolute hit!

1. Rock Picture Holders

Rock Picture Holders

Do you know someone who loves taking polaroid pictures? They have really made a comeback! Even though social media seems to dominate today’s world, plenty of people enjoy having their photos actually printed. Once they are printed the problem becomes – where to display them? That is where this fun DIY project comes in!

With this project, there are only 3 main items that you need- rocks, wire, and paint! That’s it! If you want to go more rustic, simply head outside and find some decent sized rocks to use. If you want to create a more sleek looking gift, go to your local craft store to purchase some smoother rocks. Use your creativity to paint them however you want. Are you gifting these over the holidays? Paint them red and green! Or, for other occasions, pick other solid colors, or go crazy and do multiple colors! What is great about this project is that it is very open to interpretation.

decorative pebbles

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If you are doing this with your kids (perhaps to make a photo holder to give to dad for Father’s Day?) let them each paint their own rock however they want. You can paint your own as well! Next, all you need to do is get some wire (we like the look of copper wire and it is easy to work with), and wrap it around the rock a few times.

wire

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The end of the wire is where your picture will go- to make a nice tight loop, consider wrapping it around a marker and wrap it at least twice so that a picture can easily be wedged in between the loops. Use some pliers to cut off the wire and that’s it! Simple, easy, and it makes for such a great gift! These holders look great almost anywhere- at home, or at work on your desk!

2. Watercolored/Marbled Mugs

watercolor mugs

This might be our favorite DIY project- the end result is so beautiful and it seriously looks like you spent a lot of money on these mugs! Perfect for anyone who enjoys a nice cup of coffee in the morning (or afternoon, or evening…we don’t judge) this is a wonderful gift to get them. This is also great for tea drinkers!

plain mugs

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Best of all, you probably already have the main item needed to make the color – it’s nail polish! Yes, seriously! Go out and purchase a plain mug that you will use to color. This is easy to find at almost any major store like Target or Walmart. You will also need a container to dip the mug in, so either purchase a new one that you don’t mind staining, or use an old one that you were planning to get rid of anyways.

All you have to do for this project is fill up the container with warm water. Make sure you don’t fill it up too much- you don’t want it spilling over the side when you dip the mug in. Next, get your nail polish and put in a few drops. You could do just one color, but we recommend doing at least two to get a really nice marbleized look to your design. You don’t need to use a lot! A few drops of each will do.

You might need to swirl the nail polish a little bit, using something like a straw or skewer to lightly start to mix the polish. Don’t spend too much time, though! Grab your mug and dip and swirl it around where the nail polish is. This is where you get to be creative! You can keep the color focused on one area of the mug, or spread it around and cover more of the entire mug. Do what you like! We recommend leaving at least part of the rim free from polish so that whoever drinks from the mug doesn’t have to come in contact with the polish. Looks great, not for eating!

nail polish set

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When you are finished, remove the mug and place it on a paper towel and don’t touch it! Let it completely dry before picking it up. That’s it!

This is a great, quick project that kids will absolutely love helping out with as well. The end result are some seriously cool looking mugs- you might just keep one for yourself!

3. Bath Bombs

diy bath boms

Who doesn’t love bath bombs?! The last couple of years they have become all the rage, but the truth is, they can be sort of pricey to buy from the store! Plus, when you buy them, you don’t get to experience the fun of making them yourself (which includes picking your favorite scent which we love).

Believe it or not this is a fairly easy project, even though it requires a few more ingredients than the other projects. Either way, it is a great DIY project, tons of fun, smells great, and makes for an excellent gift! Perfect to give out at a birthday party, or for a bridal shower or bachelorette party.

Here is the best ‘recipe’ to make beautiful, delicious smelling bath bombs!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces baking soda
  • 4 ounces epsom salt
  • 4 ounces corn starch
  • 4 ounces citric acid
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons essential oil (pick the scent you like best!)
  • 4 drops food coloring (again, pick the color you like best!)
  • Dried flower petals (optional, but they add a nice touch!)

Steps

First mix the baking soda, epsom salt, corn starch, and citric acid together in a large bowl. If you have dried flower petals you can add them at this stage as well.

Next, mix together your wet ingredients in a separate bowl (that would be the coconut oil, water, essential oil, and food coloring).

Now for the fun part! Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and start incorporating them. If it starts fizzing too much, slow down! We want to save all the fizzing for in the bath!

Transfer the mixture into silicone molds. This recipe will make around 10-12 bath bombs so make sure you have enough. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t dry out before you’ve formed the bombs!

Let them totally dry, and that’s it! You can now package them up and give them out as presents. Truly a great gift that makes for an even greater, relaxing bath experience!

4. Bead Bracelets

diy bead bracelets

It wouldn’t feel right to have a DIY list without the classic project, bead bracelets! Maybe you made some as kids, but they are always a fun project that still make for a great gift. Best of all, these bead bracelets are fun to mix and match and stack, which is a very popular jewelry trend these days! For a trendy, fun gift that your kids can help with, bead bracelets are the way to go!

beads set

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For this project you will need stretch cord, beads, and some type of glue to hold it together. We recommend something like hot glue and not elmers glue. First you will want to cut a piece of the cord that is going to be the right size for a bracelet. Use someone’s wrist as an actual guide to make sure you get it right! Tie a knot at one end (leave a little extra) and start adding your beads! Add whatever type of beads you want- do all one color, or mix it up. The choice is yours! Have fun!

stretch cord

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Once you have strung all your beads (leave some space at the other end) you will tie the entire bracelet in a knot to make the loop. We suggest adding some type of glue to really secure the knot in place, as well as tying several knots if you can so that the bracelet is super secure. That’s it! This project really couldn’t be easier, but the end result is a really nice looking piece of jewelry that makes for a great gift!

Wrapping Up

There you have it! These are some of the easiest DIY projects out there, but they result in some beautiful pieces that make for excellent gifts! These don’t take much time, but their impact is huge! Which project will you tackle first?

The post The Easiest Handmade Gift Ideas to DIY appeared first on Thatsweetgift.


The Art of Drinking Tea: How to Prepare Tea the Right Way

 

 

If you are used to ordering your favorite tea drink at your local tea or coffee shop, we don’t blame you. You just can’t beat the convenience of enjoying a nice drink without having to deal with making it yourself! However, while you can’t beat the convenience, you may be able to beat the taste by learning how to make it yourself.

 

If you think that making tea just means placing a tea bag in some hot water, you have much to learn! While you can certainly brew tea that way, the truth is that preparing tea the right way is much more of an art form, and there is much more involved!

 

For any avid tea drinker, they will understand the nuances of brewing tea. From the water temperature, to steeping the leaves, the amount of time needed based on the type of tea, what to add to the tea, there is a lot to consider!

 

Are you interested in learning the art of drinking tea? Would you like to learn how to prepare it properly so that you next cup is all that more delicious? You’ve come to the right place! Brewing tea at home is almost sure to result in better tasting tea, and saving money in the long run instead of always purchasing it while you are out!

 

Here are all the steps you need to know in order to prepare tea the right way.

 

The Water

 

To start off with, you want to have the best quality water to brew the perfect cup of tea. Believe it or not you should actually start off with cold water! It may be tempting to warm the water up in your faucet first, but stick with fresh cold water instead. Preferably you should use filtered water, and not water from the tap, as that water could not only have contaminants, it could alter the taste of the tea.

 

The Boiling Process

 

All you’ve got to do is bring your water to a boil, right? Nope- it’s a bit more complex than that! In fact, you can actually heat your water up too much. You do not want to bring your water to a strong rolling boil, as that can actually reduce the flavor of the tea. Instead, shoot for gentle just boiled water.

 

Part of this depends on the actual tea you are brewing. Believe it or not, each type of tea typically needs a specific temperature of water if you are in search of the perfect cup! Here is a general guideline to follow based on the most common types of teas:

 

Black Tea: 180-212 degrees Fahrenheit

White Tea: 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Herbal Tea: 212 degrees Fahrenheit

Green Tea: 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit

Oolong Tea: 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit

 

You can check out this cool temperature guide for more information on the specifics based on the type of tea you are brewing.

 

Another tip when boiling your water is to actually look at the brewing instructions! Yes, the tea you want to brew comes with instructions. Even if it is very basic tea in a tea bag from the grocery store, it will have recommended instructions. Follow them!

 

If you brew your tea exactly as you are supposed to and don’t like the taste, feel free to experiment. Make your water a little hotter or cooler and see how that impacts the taste. After all, you are the one drinking it, you should enjoy what you sip on!

 

The Tea Pot

 

Now that you know how hot to heat your tea, what do you heat it in? While you might want to be lazy and use the microwave, that is certainly not the proper technique. Using a teapot and heating your water on the stove is the traditional, best way to heat your water.

 

There are two main types of tea pots- porcelain and metal. You might not think it matters, but it does! Metal teapots are best if you are brewing a tea like a black tea that needs water at a higher temperature- as metal teapots can hold in heat better. Porcelain pots do not hold heat as well, so they are a better choice when you are boiling your water to a lower temperature for something like green or white tea.

 

You might not think it matters, but small details like this all add up to make your tea truly the right way! It does make a difference, try it to believe us!

 

The Amount of Water

 

Now your water is the perfect temperature- before you can actually steep your tea leaves, how much water do you need? This is a crucial step in the tea making process. More water will dilute your tea, where as you will have stronger tea with less water.

 

Most of this depends on personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to have about 6-8 ounces of water. This is a standard amount and will fit in any standard sized mug. This amount will work for 1 tea bag, or if you are using loose tea, you should measure out about 1 teaspoon of tea. Again, check your specific tea to see what it recommends!

 

Start off by following the instructions, and then adjust to your taste. You may prefer slightly more water, for example.

 

The Actual Brewing/Infusing

 

Once you’ve brought your water to the perfect temperature and know how much to pour out, it’s time to actually make your tea! Essentially all you are doing here is placing your tea leaves in the water and having the flavor of the leaves infuse the water. Even if you use a tea bag, that is the process that is going on!

 

Each type of tea will require a different amount of time that will result in the perfect cup of tea. How you infuse your tea leaves can also make a difference. If you use a tea bag that is more straightforward, but if you have loose tea leaves, you have several options!

 

Typically lighter, fresher teas like green tea and white tea need less time to infuse, where as darker teas like black tea require a bit more time. Like mentioned before, follow the instructions that you have with your specific tea! Once you reach the recommended time, remove the tea bag or leaves! Do not leave it in there- it may be more convenient if you have a tea bag, but that is not proper technique!

 

Consider getting a metal tea baller if you have loose leaf tea, or consider investing in an actual tea infusion device that will hold your tea leaves and hot water. When you’ve reached the correct infusing time, you place the device on top of your mug and the tea pours out, leaving the tea leaves behind!

 

Wrapping Up

 

So there you have it! Did you learn some new tips you didn’t know before? It may be hard to believe, but the truth is that subtle changes in things like water temperature or water source can make a big difference when brewing your tea!

 

By following these steps you will be preparing your tea the proper way, and are sure to end up with an excellent cup. Once you do it the proper way, you can make small adjustments to your personal liking in order to have your own personal method for brewing the perfect cup of tea!

 

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Salt Lamps: What Do They Do? (Bonus: 10 Salt Lamps We Love on Amazon!)

It’s quite often that people learn about new techniques and products that are designed to assist with a variety of physical and mental ailments ranging from stress to joint pain and fatigue. Salt lamps are one of the most popular alternative healing products and for good reason, as they have been known to bring a wide variety of advantages to homes across the world. Below are the most prevalent things that salt lamps do, as well as 10 great models you can order online.

 

Reducing electromagnetic radiation

In today’s society, we’re surrounded by a wide variety of different types of radiation, though with the popularity of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices, we’re constantly surrounded by electromagnetic radiation. There haven’t been many scientific studies into the long-term effects of electromagnetic radiation exposure, however, some studies suggest that it can decrease your immune response, increase your overall levels of stress, and lead towards chronic fatigue. With the help of a salt lamp, it will reduce the number of ions you are exposed to as a result of electromagnetic radiation.

 

Hygroscopic benefits

Another notable benefit to having salt lamps around your home is their hygroscopic abilities, which is a fancy way of describing how the lamp will trap airborne contaminants inside of the salt to create a healthier environment. Plenty of homeowners have found that as soon as they added salt lamps to their bedrooms or living rooms, signs of allergens, cigarette smoke, dust, and other airborne elements have been drastically reduced. This is because the salt lamp absorbs water molecules from the air, giving you a cleaner breathing environment.

 

Improving performance and productivity

A study conducted by the Materials Department at Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, Inc. found that with the reduction of positive ions in a work environment, study participants had a significant increase in productivity levels and their overall performance. As salt lamps are commonly known to help neutralize the level of positive ions in a room, you will find that you’ll be able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. The study also found that work-related stress was reduced when exposed to a higher level of negative ions, which are also produced by salt lamps.

 

Adding an aesthetic benefit to a room

At the end of the day, there hasn’t been a lot of research into salt lamps and their benefits, especially when compared to other forms of Western medicine. This makes it incredibly difficult to tell the difference between the causal effects of being exposed to salt lamps and the true benefits of owning them. With that being said, they can be a beautiful addition to any room in your home to help elevate its aesthetic.

The warm glow that is emitted through the salt creates a comforting ambiance that can help you to fall asleep faster at night or to create a more romantic ambiance for relaxation with your significant other. Even if there are studies conducted in the future that prove salt lamps aren’t as beneficial to your health as some circles suggest, they’re a beautiful fixture to have.

 

Our Favorite Salt Lamps

Now that we’ve discussed what salt lamps do, it’s time for us to recommend our favorites that we were able to find on Amazon so that you can find the perfect ones for your home and/or office.

 

  1. Himalayan Glow 1002 Pink Crystal Lamp

With the most traditional look out of all of the other salt lamps on this list, the Himalayan Glow 1002 Pink Crystal Lamp is ideal for people who are looking for a more classic aesthetic. We especially love the 100% natural Neem wooden base that adds to the overall look.

 

  1. d’aplomb Himalayan Salt Lamp

Crafted to emulate a stunning rose, the d’aplomb Himalayan Salt Lamp is a fantastic choice as a gift or for a more feminine setting. This lamp is crafted out of 250 million-year-old salt and comes with a dimmer switch so you can have complete control over the lamp’s brightness.

 

  1. Crystal Décor Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp

What makes the Crystal Décor Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp is its beautiful basket that holds all of the individual salt crystals around the bulb. You can choose from a wide variety of different basket designs depending on your aesthetic.

 

  1. Himalayan Glow Salt Night Light

As another basketed salt lamp, the Himalayan Glow Salt Night Light comes in a decorative metal vase that looks great in any room in your home. It’s another great option as a gift for someone who is looking for a salt lamp that looks just as great as it works.

 

  1. Arvidsson Himalayan Salt Lamp

With a stunning decorative basket designed to emulate a forest, the Arvidsson Himalayan Salt Lamp is perfect for holiday décor or to display during any season. With a 6’ cord and an adjustable dimmer switch, you’ll appreciate the unique lighting experience with this salt lamp.

 

  1. Levoit Cora Salt Lamp

Perfect for the more modern décor enthusiasts, the Levoit Cora Salt Lamp is a USB-enabled salt lamp with a touch dimmer switch. You will have the ability to either plug it in via its USB port or an AC adapter in the wall. We also love the acrylic casing that gives it a more contemporary feel.

 

  1. Levoit Aria Salt Lamp

If you’re a fan of the way that the Cora looks but you want something that is a little less tall and a little wider, the Levoit Aria Salt Lamp is a fantastic alternative. Constructed using the same acrylic basin design, you won’t have to worry about salt crystal shrinkage or unnatural chemicals.

 

  1. AMIR Salt Lamp Pack

Instead of having to clear space on a desk or table for your salt lamp, why not consider the AMIR Salt Lamp Pack? In every order, you’ll receive 2 salt lamps with wall plugs that can plug into any receptacle that you have throughout your home. This also means that they double as a nightlight, making them perfect for children’s rooms.

 

  1. Mayamii Home Grey Salt Lamp

As something that you’ve likely never seen before, the Mayamii Home Grey Salt Lamp gives you the same benefits as the typical pink salt lamps but with a blend of white, grey, and black instead. In the gift package, you’ll receive the basic lamp as well as two additional lamps with wall plugs so you can purify your entire home.

 

  1. Homy LED Salt Lamp

Another unique salt lamp that takes their traditional aesthetic to a completely new level is the Homy LED Salt Lamp. This particular lamp changes colors based on the settings that you choose, alternating from red, blue, purple, green, orange, and magenta. With the USB adapter, you can plug it into any USB-compatible devices.

 

Final Thoughts

The science behind Himalayan salt lamps is yet to be proven as concretely as other forms of stress reduction and air purification, but until the true benefits of the lamps are uncovered, they surely add a beautiful touch to any room in your home.

The post Salt Lamps: What Do They Do? (Bonus: 10 Salt Lamps We Love on Amazon!) appeared first on Thatsweetgift.


5 Gift Ideas to Bring to a Holiday Party!

 

 

Have you got several holiday parties coming up? Between Christmas and New Years, there is much to celebrate! ‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and for most that you attend, it is a good idea to show up with a gift. If you’ve ever been the host for a party, you know how much work goes into planning. Picking a location, creating the guest list, sending out invites, determining the menu, music, and activities, and so much more!

 

If you have received an invite for a holiday party (or for several parties) for this year, you should absolutely bring a gift to thank the host for their hard work. Are you unsure what the perfect gift is for the situation? Not to worry! We are discussing 5 great gift ideas that are perfect to bring to any holiday party.

 

Best of all, these items are also incredibly affordable! We all know how expensive the holiday season is to begin with, and adding one more gift to the list can feel overwhelming. These gifts are all affordable, but are perfect for any host.

 

  1. Wine Charms

 

This is an excellent gift for a holiday party. Have you ever set your drink down and forgotten which was yours? Not only does this waste whatever you were drinking, it makes you dirty another glass! As a host, this is incredibly frustrating and results in far more dishes to clean at the end of the night. While you could always resort to disposable cups, many people like to use nice glassware during the holidays. The solution is- wine charms! These charms attach to the stem of a glass so that you can easily keep track of your drink all night long.

 

Best of all, there are so many types of charms out there- meaning you can get a set that perfectly matches the personality of the host! From sleek modern charms, to bold designs, or even funny charms, there are so many possibilities. These make the night fun while also being incredibly useful.

 

  1. Party Game

 

Sometimes there can be a lull in a party and things can get a bit awkward. The perfect solution is a great party game! You can easily save the day for the host by providing a great fun game that can be played during the holiday party. From family friendly games, to more adult games, there are plenty of party games available. Consider getting a game that will be appropriate for the party you are attending so that it can be used right then if needed.

 

If it isn’t needed during the party, it is still a great gift that the host can enjoy during future game nights with friends and family!

 

  1. Chalkboard Serving Tray

 

While most hosts having a party have some type of serving tray, the truth is that you can never have too many when it comes to holiday parties. These make it easy to quickly serve all sorts of appetizers and desserts. To make it more unique of a gift, we love chalkboard serving trays. Instead of having to answer the same question over and over again (looks great- what is it?) you can write it out on the serving tray and present it to your guests! This is a useful fun gift that is perfect for the holidays, but also for all other parties all year long.

 

This is also great if you are serving a variety of options based on people’s dietary preferences. Easily point out items that are gluten free, vegan, and more!

 

  1. Personalized Cutting Board

 

A cutting board is also a necessary kitchen item when preparing for a holiday party, but you can easily make this into a special holiday gift by having it personalized! Consider adding the host’s name and a favorite quote or special date. Not only will this be useful, it looks great and is something they could even decide to place on display when it isn’t being used! We love finding a practical gift and turning it into something that is also nice to look at, and this does the trick perfectly!

 

  1. Wine/Champagne

 

Finally, if you are attending a holiday party more than likely there will be various alcoholic beverages served. Showing up with an additional bottle of wine or champagne is actually a great gift idea, even if it feels like it wouldn’t be necessary. In truth, the host can either save the bottle and enjoy it after the party in order to relax after the stress of hosting, or, in an emergency it can be enjoyed during the party if other drinks run out!

 

There is nothing worse for a host than running out of something during a party. In particular, people aren’t thrilled when they can’t have more to drink (it is the holidays after all- it is time to relax and have fun!) An extra bottle of wine can help save the day to keep the party going. This is a classic gift that you just can’t go wrong with, especially during the holidays!

 

Wrapping Up

 

It is the height of party season, and showing up with a thoughtful gift is the perfect way to thank the host for planning an excellent party for friends and family. From games, to drinks, to serving platters, and more, these are some of the best gift ideas to consider this season.

 

What is your favorite gift to receive while hosting a party? Let us know- and Happy Holidays!

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