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Why you should learn to play an instrument

Learning how to play a musical instrument, no matter what that instrument might be, has been proven by scientists over and over again to be beneficial to human health.

Many people tend to think that music is reserved only for people with the so-called ‘creative brain’. What exactly does it mean? It usually means that we don’t feel confident to try taking up an instrument because we fear we might not be good enough. To be honest, some people do pick up music faster than others due to inherent music-oriented abilities. But that should not stop the rest of us from trying. Anyone can learn how to play with enough practice. And besides, to feel the full benefits of learning how to play, you don’t need to achieve philharmonic orchestra levels. Playing badly is much better than not playing at all.

Before you buy your first instrument, be sure to read Internet reviews or ask musical friends around you to give you some recommendations.

Benefits of instrument playing

The exact benefits of learning to play an instrument can be divided into mental and physical ones.

Music makes your brain smarter and that’s a fact. Learning any skill, especially one that is so all-around complicated like instrument playing stimulates the brain which improves its cognitive abilities. Learning to play has also been linked with improved memory. It can make anyone do better at other things too. Students who know how to play an instrument perform better than other students – the same result was achieved in various scientific studies. So if you have children it might be a good idea to nudge them towards these piano lessons.

Instruments will also increase your dexterity because you need to learn how to move your fingers in a way you might not have been used to before. And while playing instruments is not as effective as going to the gym (unless you’re playing something as engaging as the drums), moving your muscles on regular basis will help you keep in shape.

It will make you feel better about yourself because you will be doing something meaningful just for your own satisfaction. Succeeding in playing your favorite melody perfectly can give you a high you will be riding for days to come. You will also enjoy increased self-confidence.

Additionally, creative skills are lauded for their ability to relieve stress – this is something that we all need sometimes. Having an outlet for stress that we can turn to at any time is immeasurably important. Just listening to music can also help with this but it is not as effective as actually making music yourself. It also has other health benefits, such as decreased blood pressure and a lower heart rate.

It is also worth mentioning that being able to play an instrument will make you a more interesting person to others. Having another topic to talk about will allow you to make friends more easily and give you many chances to expand your usual social circle.


3 things to consider before buying a high chair for kids

Childhood is one of the most difficult and ever-changing stages in our lives, and for us as parents, we get to relive it from a different perspective when we have kids of our own. Babies will go through entire sets of clothes just once before outgrowing them completely, and by the time they reach a certain size, they will be needing some other entirely different things. When they learn how to sit up straight and stand upright, it is time to take them to the next stage of feeding and sitting them on the table next to the grown-ups. In order to achieve that, you need to get them a high chair, but there are a couple of factors you should consider before settling on one model over another

Stability

All three of the factors we include in this list are evident, but perhaps the most important one when it comes to safety is the actual stability of the chair. You want a sturdy chair that can stand the weight of your baby up until his early toddler years at least. Modern chairs are usually made out of plastic and metal, which doesn’t feel very resistant even when sitting small babies on them. You need to test these models first, but one surefire way of ensuring stability at first is to get a wooden high chair. Chairs made out of wood are the old standard, but there is nothing wrong with going vintage if it will make your child safer.

Durability

Things for babies and children don’t tend to last too long, either because the kids outgrow the objects too fast or because they are easily broken or damaged. High chairs don’t escape this paradigm, even less so when you realize we are basically talking about a chair that is made to keep your child still while you try to feed him. Babies and small children will move around a lot while sitting on these chairs, so you need to make sure that the materials can hold their own against the potentially destructive rage of a toddler who does not want to remain seated. They can be quite strong, so be mindful of plastic trays that feel fragile, or legs that feel like they could give at any moment.

Versatility

Last but not least, you always want to get more bang for your buck, so investing in convertible items is always a solid choice. High chairs come in models that can adapt over time to support your children since they are babies up to their toddler years when you still need an extra hand to keep them in one place while they are eating. The seats on these chairs can expand for more space and the legs can support more weight than traditional models. You can also adjust the height and even expand the size of the food tray in some cases. With these many features, they also tend to be foldable or portable in one way or another. If you aren’t sure of what type of chair to get, you can check this list to get a glimpse at what the best high chair for your child could be.


Best stretch mark creams to use at home

What are stretch marks? 

Stretch marks occur when your experience sudden growth – either in puberty, as a result of weight gain or pregnancy and even because of exercise and muscle gain. Both men and women can get them and they can appear on many body parts, including the arms, stomach or buttocks. They appear in the form of thin purple or white lines (they start out as purple and gradually fade in color as time goes on).

What causes them?

Like we already said, stretch marks are caused by sudden growth in combination with a lack of collagen – our body’s protein responsible for keeping skin elastic and supple. If for some reason your skin doesn’t get the right amount of collagen, the result will be stretch marks.

Do they pose a health risk?

Stretch marks are in no way a risk to your health, but people often dislike them and want to lessen their appearance because of aesthetic reasons.

How to treat stretch marks?

There are several options:

  • body creams
  • body lotions
  • scrubs
  • serums
  • microdermabrasion
  • microneedling
  • laser treatment

We will focus on solutions available daily and at home, especially creams because they are still the most widely used. If you skip peeling and serum, chances are you will still use a stretch mark cream because it’s the easiest and most economic option.

Common ingredients found in stretch mark creams:

  • shea butter
  • cocoa butter
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin C
  • argan oil, almond oil, apricot kernel oil, olive oil
  • hyaluronic acid
  • green tea extract
  • ceramides
  • avocado

How do these stretch mark creams work?

When considering stretch mark creams, you probably want them to have two noticeable effects on your skin: the ability to lighten existing stretch marks and the ability to prevent the forming of any future stretch marks. Most products combine both properties for an all-around treatment.

Our favorite products

COS Naturals Stretch Marks and Scar Cream

Price: $24.95

Prevention: Yes

Treatment of existing stretch marks: Yes

Main ingredients: vitamins E, C and B, hyaluronic acid

Thena Mother’s Glow Belly & Body Oil

Price: $25.87

Prevention: Yes (to be used during pregnancy)

Treatment of existing stretch marks: No

Main ingredients: natural plant collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, coconut oil, arnica extract

Elancyl Stretch Mark Prevention Cream

Price: $32.92

Prevention: Yes

Treatment of existing stretch marks: Yes (to be used during pregnancy)

Main ingredients: vitamin E, safflower oil

Lancs Stretch Mark Prevention Cream

Price: $33.99

Prevention: Yes (to be used during pregnancy)

Treatment of existing stretch marks: No

Main ingredients: natural plant extracts – aloe vera, oat, liquorice, centella asiatica (gotu kola)

Amar Botanica Anti-Stretch Mark Cream

Price: $47

Prevention: Yes

Treatment of existing stretch marks: Yes

Main ingredients: natural spring water, organic shea butter, cold pressed avocado oil, bitter almond extract, gluconolactone

These stretch mark creams offer a perfect combination of ingredients for every skin type and need. Keep in mind they all have different consistencies and may take some time to absorb. Choose one that works best for you.


Top 3 Camping Tents You Should Consider

Every once in a while we have that urge to simply escape the rush of big cities and retreat to the beautiful wilderness that surrounds us. Such outings help recharge our overdriven minds and souls and give much needed calm. One of the essentials needed to camp out under the stars is a sturdy tent.

Here are top three tents you should consider for a lovely retreat into the woods, in order of decreasing budget:

1. REI Co-op Kingdom 6 ($439)

One of the best features about this tent is the amount of generous space it provides. The tent has a feel of near vertical walls in comparison to dome shaped tents that give roomy space only in the middle. It comes in sizes for 4, 6 and 8 people. It covers an area of 83.3 sq. ft., is two doored and weighs 19 lb. 12 oz. It boasts of copious amounts of interior storage, large doors and a center divider (helping in separating rooms) as well.

It’s customizable rainfly being easy to secure with Velcro closures can also be adapted to warm conditions by the rolling up the sides for increasing ventilation. It comes with a Connect Tech Zipper too, which aids in addition of either a garage or a vestibule. The REI Co-op Kingdom truly is the best inflatable tent at this price range.

2. Kelty Discovery 4 ($150)

For 4 and 6 people models, this affordable tent does pack a punch in terms of full coverage rainfly and vestibule for rainy/windy conditions. To stay cool in summers, mesh is used in the construction as well. The fabrics used for the tent body and floor are relatively low quality compared to REI models.

Fiberglass poles are in function, which may not hold up so well after rough use. But for the other amenities it provides, such as overall good design, it sells as a greatmid-range option. It is one doored, has a floor area of 57 sq. ft. and weighs around 10lb. 7 oz.

3. Coleman Sundome 6 ($79)

This tent is definitely worth the price it sells for. It suffices for those individuals and families that don’t go camping very frequently, maybe once or twice in good weather permitting conditions. Although it isn’t built from premium materials that are used for the tents above, it’s likely to get the job done.

In chances of harsh rain and winds, it is problematic since it doesn’t provide full coverage. Nonetheless, for the price offered, it does supply sufficient roominess, protection from weather and durability. It comes in sizes for 2, 3, 4, and 6 people. It spans an area of 100 sq. ft., weighs 16 lb. 10 oz. and is one doored.

Your camping experience also depends on the other essentials needed for your trips, such as mattresses, sleeping bags, etc. Do make sure all the essentials work in tandem so that you can have the best camping experience possible. R

eiterating, the cheaper models can be used for few quick trips in good weather conditions, whereas the premium ones can be a long investment and utilised in tough weather conditions as well. We hope this list helps you buy a tent of your choice and liking, leading to a beautiful feeling of connectedness with Mother Nature.