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momsmartnothard.com

Fall Favorites To Make You Feel Warm And Fuzzy Now!

Comfort food is the hallmark of autumn and these fall favorites can get you in the mood. Indulge in some of the fall desserts you loved as a child to feel warm and fuzzy inside.

A lot of things have changed in our world due to current events. These changes have many moms wondering how to make autumn special for their kids this year.

So, what is a smart mom to do? She pulls out some fall dessert recipes and treats her family to something special. That’s what!

And we’re here to help you with an array of easy fall desserts to tickle your taste buds.

Make Fall Special with Our Fall Favorites

The words “pandemic” and “social distancing” have become household terms. No one is quite sure how the holidays will look this year.

Will kids get to go trick or treating? Are fall parties in the classroom a lost cause?  No one really knows right now. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season to the fullest.

Nothing says autumn like the smell of fresh baked goods. From apple dumplings to pumpkin pie to spiced cider, the aroma of these foods can stir memories deep inside us.

One taste of any of our fall favorites will have you ready to jump in a pile of leaves like you did when you were a kid.

These fall baking recipes will not only stir your memories, they will create memories for your children. Having them help you make these fall desserts will give them their own memories of a cozy autumn afternoon with mom.

Sure trick or treating is fun. No one can deny that. But an evening of scary movies with goodies that make your mouth water is an experience worth having too.

It might surprise you how much fun you can have staying home and cooking up some of these fall desserts.

And we promise the fall baking recipes we have for you are way better than the stale candy corn your neighbor always hands out anyways. Way, way better.

10 Fall Favorites to Warm Up Your Home

What kinds of fall baking will give your home the warm, loving touch you’re looking for? Well, to start with, you want to focus on foods that are synonymous with fall.

These are usually foods that are harvested in the autumn. That’s why we see so many harvest-themed festivals this time of year. The most popular are probably apples and pumpkin pie.

I mean, who doesn’t think fall when they smell apple dumplings. And every single one of us knows autumn has arrived when we drink our first pumpkin latte of the season.

One bite of gingerbread is all it takes to transport you right back to grandma’s kitchen. You have the ability to pass memories like that on to your own children, which is a gift that will last a lifetime.

Even if the rest of the world is crazy, comfort foods such as the fall dessert recipes on our list can make your home a cozy oasis. And isn’t that what we all want?

Well, you can absolutely have that for your entire family. All you have to do is start baking. Before you know it, your home will be filled with the fall spirit — even if your favorite fall activities aren’t happening this year.

So, without further ado, let’s dive on in and take a look at 10 of our fall favorites.

1. Caramel Apple Pie

Nothing says fall quite like an apple pie. But you can give it a little more oomph just by adding caramel.

This Caramel Apple Pie is exactly what you need to give you a sense of nostalgia. If you want a dessert that says “autumn” then this all-American fall favorite is just what you need.

It’s also a dish that is easy to make. Bake this caramel apple pie, add a scoop of ice cream, and your taste buds will be in heaven.

You can check out the full recipe at Delish.

2. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin is another flavor that screams autumn with every bite. After all, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without a homemade pumpkin pie.

These Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting give a new twist on an old fall favorite.

These are great for kids of all ages. And if you’re looking for Halloween desserts that don’t require art skills, these are perfect.

If you decide you would like some festive decoration, try adding Halloween themed sprinkles. There are plenty of other party favors that can go on top too, such as those plastic spider rings we all remember.

You can find the full recipe for these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes at Taste of Home.

3. Tomato Spice Cake

Now, I know this one sounds just a tad bit gross at first. But stay with us here. This Tomato Spice Cake actually became one of Cambell’s most popular recipes.

Please, just trust us on this. When it comes to the desserts on our list of fall favorites, we won’t steer you wrong. Scout’s honor.

Even though tomato soup doesn’t sound like the most likely ingredient for a cake, it blends with the spices perfectly.

This recipe first appeared during the Depression and has stood the test of time. That alone should convince you that it’s worth giving this old-fashioned fall dessert a try.

You can find the Tomato Spice Cake recipe at Woman’s Day.

4. Pecan Slab Pie

When it comes to fall favorites that will get you in the mood for cooler weather, you can’t go wrong with a good pecan pie.

The twist on this recipe is the shape. It’s a rectangle instead of the usual circle. And the benefit is that the pie comes out larger, so there’s more tasty goodness to go around.

This hearty dessert is not only a decadent treat, but it’s also just the ticket to get you into the holiday spirit a little early. Nothing says autumn and winter quite like a freshly baked pecan pie.

Out of all the foods that make us think of a holiday dinner at Grandma’s house, warm desserts like this pecan pie take the cake.

You can find this recipe for Pecan Slab Pie at Country Living.

5. Butterfinger Caramel Apples

There are no other dessert foods quite like candy apples. Autumn just wouldn’t be the same without these fall favorites.

This recipe for Butterfinger Caramel Apples is absolutely mouthwatering. These are even better than the caramel apples you used to eat when you were little.

Naturally, they are the perfect way to give your children their own memories of this festive fall treat.

Granted, making these can get a bit messy. But if we’re being honest, the mess is half the fun to the kids. Right? After all, the messier dessert foods are, the better they usually taste.

You can find this delicious (and fun) recipe at The Oprah Magazine.

6. Skillet Cookie Sundaes

If you’re looking for an individual cake treat that will stand out from the rest, you simply must try these Skillet Cookie Sundaes.

These fall favorites look as seasonal as they taste. You can customize each individual skillet treat with the ingredients of your choice. Candied pecans? Caramel? You name it, just toss it on in there.

That makes it especially good for families with picky kids who all like different foods. Each person gets exactly what flavors they are craving.

Another perk of these single-serving desserts is that you don’t have leftovers. Some people would rather not have that kind of temptation sitting around in their kitchen.

If you’d like to try these Skillet Cookie Sundaes, the full recipe is available at Good Housekeeping.

7. Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake

We’ve already established that nothing says autumn as loudly as pumpkin pie. So, of course, there’s no way we could leave this Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake off our list of the best fall dessert recipes.

If the words “pumpkin cheesecake” aren’t enough to make your mouth water, there’s more. This fall favorite features a delicious crust made of crumbled gingersnap cookies.

While this cheesecake is the perfect dessert to follow a fall meal, it’s also a great treat to nibble on while you relax in front of Netflix and your fireplace. And the kids will love it too. How could they not?

This Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe is available at All Recipes.

8. Gingerbread Pear Loaf Cake

Here is another flavor combination that may not sound appealing to everyone at first. However, this Gingerbread Pear Loaf Cake is a treat that you definitely want to try at least once this year.

This recipe makes our list of fall favorites because it is delicious but not overdone. Everything is pumpkin flavored in autumn and apples are everywhere too.

But gingerbread and pear are a bit less common. However, that doesn’t make it any less tasty or traditional. If you are trying to make an impression, this fall dessert is the way to go.

You can find this recipe at Food and Wine.

9. Classic Apple Dumplings

You can’t have a list of fall favorites and not include apple dumplings. Although these tasty treats are less common than they used to be, you can’t go wrong with this Classic Apple Dumplings recipe.

If you want a warm dessert that screams fall, apple dumplings are a perfect choice. You simply can’t go wrong with apple dumplings. Even the pickiest kids love them.

As an added bonus, you can tell yourself that they’re healthy. It’s a fruit, right? An apple a day keeps the doctor away and all that jazz, so dig on in!

This recipe for Classic Apple Dumplings is available at Southern Living.

10. Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s become a bit of a cliche, but let’s face it. Autumn isn’t autumn without a pumpkin spice latte. It’s a well-known fact.

And that’s why we absolutely had to include a DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte on our list of fall favorites.

Drinks from Starbucks can get expensive. But you can actually make one of these drinks at home and save money while still indulging. And it’s a lot easier to make at home than you might expect.

Give this recipe a try and keep the coffee flowing all through the season for pennies compared to what you’d spend at a coffee shop.

You can find the recipe for this Pumpkin Spice Latte at Inspired Taste.

Fall Favorites to Celebrate Autumn

Any of these recipes will put you in the mood to celebrate the fall season, even if this year is a little different than what we are used to.

The delectable desserts on our list of fall favorites can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside as the temperature starts to drop.

So grab your apron and pull your kids into the kitchen because it’s time to get cooking and bake some of these delicious desserts for your family.

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ancient-code.com

Ancient Aliens: Modern UFO from Chile Matches Ancient Chilean Geoglyph

Chile has an incredible rate of UFO sighting, among the highest in the world. Today, some call the country’s coastline “Alien Alley.” 

A recent UFO video from Chile is the subject of Ancient Aliens, Season 15, Episode 3, “Destination Chile.” We’ll review the episode and the compelling evidence that connects an ancient petroglyph with a bizarre and remarkable modern UFO sighting.

First, the show delves into the amazing history and geoglyphs in Chile, including the Atacama Desert.

The Atacama Desert, a Landscape with Lifeforms Like Mars?

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the dryest place on the planet, even though it runs along the west coast of South America. Conditions in the desert have long been compared to the Red Planet, Mars. Thus, NASA has carried out testing in the Atacama, drawing comparisons to probable conditions on Mars.

In 2013, a NASA rover found many microbes living beneath the parched sand in the Chilean desert, traveling by wind. The study results from 2019 determined “that microbial life can efficiently move across the driest, and most UV irradiated desert on Earth.” The authors speculated that similar microbes might spread across the Martian landscape, 140 million miles away.

Could life be similar in Chile and on Mars? Ancient Astronaut theorist David Childress believes there’s much more in common than microbes. Citing geoglyphs similar to those found at Nazca, Peru, Childress notes they are meant to be seen from the air. Although the Nazca lines are famous, there are five times as many geoglyphs in the Atacama Desert.

The Atacama Giant and El Enladrillado

For example, the “Atacama Giant” is a massive alien-looking creature with points extending from its head. Amazingly, the figure stands 30 feet longer than a football field at 390 feet tall. On the ground, it’s nearly invisible but easily spotted from the air. Ancient Astronaut theorists believe they were meant to signal extraterrestrial visitors similar to marks or on a runway.

The Atacama Giant
The Atacama Giant

Today, UFO sightings are more frequent in the area of the Atacama. So much so, that Rodrigo Fuenzalida, Director of Aion Chile, says “…Chile is honestly like a kind of arrival point.” 

“There’s a huge wave, a large quantity of UFO sightings. Quite simply, there is not one family in Chile whose member has not had a UFO experience,” Fuenzalida explains.

In San Clemente, Chile, in 2008, a national UFO trail was created that leads to an impressive formation known as El Enladrillado. There, 233 massive megaliths weighing ten tons apiece were erected like a giant platform in ancient times. Author Erich von Däniken believes the remote location could have once served as a spaceport. Today, tourists can visit and see for themselves.

El Enladrillado
El Enladrillado

The Selk’nam Tribe and Bizarre Rituals to Sky Gods

In 1919 in Tierra Del Fuego at the southern tip of Chile, a German anthropologist, Martin Gusinde, visited the native tribe called the Selk’nam, also known as the Ona people. Unfortunately, the tribe was wiped out by English explorers.

As radio host Victor Hidalgo points out, some tribe members were taken back to be shown in “human zoos,” and the tribe was subject to genocide.

 The Selk'nam, also known as the Ona people.
The Selk’nam, also known as the Ona people.

Before being wiped out, Gusinde published a book about the Selk’nam called, “The Lost Tribes of Tierra Del Fuego.” There, you can see the tribal rituals of painting their bodies in bright red with white lines. Their heads are elongated and immediately seem alien.

Selk'nam
Selk’nam ritual

“These creator gods of the Selk’nam actually descended from the sky and gave knowledge to the local population,” said Giorgio A. Tsoukalos.

In once case, a costume had strange antennae protruding from both sides of the head. Immediately, one thinks of the Atacama Giant, with the peculiar points emanating from the head.

 The Selk'nam with the Atacama Giant
The Selk’nam with the Atacama Giant

Modern UFO Sightings in Chile

The Selk’nam tribe had a deep belief in otherwordly visitors, and today, it appears visitations may still be taking place. Fuenzalida confirms the area where the tribe once lived is a hotspot for UFO activity today.

On August 17, 1985, in Santiago, Chile, the longest-running variety show on television broadcast reported a UFO moving for 40 minutes along half of Chile’s coastline. The path moved along the Atacama down to Tierra Del Fuego. Today, nobody knows what the object was.

In 1977 in Pampa Lluscuma, Chile, just below the Atacama, a military unit witnessed two shining violet UFOs land. Corporel Armando Valdés recounted disappearing into the light, appearing again to find that five days had passed. His beard had grown, and his watch showed the date from five days in the future. However, his men only witnessed the lapse of a few minutes. 

Encounters like this one are one of the hundreds reported over centuries and possibly going back thousands of years. However, unlike in the United States, the Chilean government is openly looking for answers. 

Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena

In 1990, Augusto Pinochet stepped down, ushering in reforms that led to more transparent attitudes, including toward UFOs. By 1997, the government created CEFAA, the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena. Pilots were regularly reporting UFOs, some of which came dangerously close to government aircraft. 

Hugo Camus, the CEFAA director, explains that the agency takes reports from residents all over Chile. Rather than hide the evidence from the public, the government is committed to transparency. Camus encourages other governments like our own to follow suit.

El Bosque Air Force Base UFO Footage

Thanks to CEFAA, there is more video evidence of UFO phenomena. For example, a video from the El Bosque Air Force Base in Santiago in 2010 showed UFOs zipping by squadrons of fighter jets flying in an acrobatic air-show. The jets were part of a celebration to commemorate a change in Air Force command.

Following analysis of the video, the UFO was estimated to be flying at an astonishing 4,000 mph. CEFAA found the object on seven separate videotape pieces, indicating it was not an aberration in the film.

Infrared Video of Strange UFO Discharging a Plume

On November 11, 2014, near Santiago, Chilean Navy officers testing an infrared FLIR camera aboard a helicopter captured an object flying beside them at 4,500 feet altitude. After tracking it for a few minutes, the craft discharged a plume behind it. Although not visible with the naked eye or radar, the infrared camera caught it all on tape for nine minutes. Then the government released the footage in 2017.

In 2019, Image analyst Michael Bradbury and astrophysicist Travis Taylor sat down to review this UFO footage. After reviewing the footage from 2014, they noticed the object appeared to be two diamond-shaped objects. Bradbury concludes the objects must be large since the footage was filmed from 35 miles away.

Using filters, Bradbury isolates the image to show a heat signature. Taylor notices a circle of cold air around the craft, which baffles him since there is a thin hot layer immediately around the craft.

“This thing – it is hot, and then instantly, it’s cold, and in nature, that’s not how things work,” notes Taylor. “There is a different temperature bubble around the vehicle than there is around normal vehicles, which suggests some type of field,” he concludes. “From a physics standpoint, we can’t really explain what’s causing that,” says Taylor.

Chile UFO with plume
Chile UFO with a plume

Examining the video showing the plume that comes out, the experts note that the plume is hot but not made up of particulates as in normal aircraft.

“I’ve never seen any earthly vehicle that is explained this way. What on Earth could this thing be?” asks Taylor.

Remarkable Similarity to an Ancient Geoglyph in the Same Area

After concluding the footage does seem to show a vehicle with otherworldly features, Bradbury shows Taylor something compelling. It’s a photo of a Chilean geoglyph that bears a striking resemblance to the UFO footage. 

The geoglyph shows two diamond-shaped objects with a plume-like object dissected by a line. However, the geoglyph is of undetermined age and could be hundreds or even thousands of years old.

“That’s really exciting,” says Taylor. “That’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life!”

 

“It is truly amazing,” Bradbury concurs. 

 

“These are the cases where I think there really is something to the Ancient Astronaut theory,” says Taylor. 

 

“I agree too,” says Bradbury.

Chile UFO with plume and geoglyph
Chile UFO with plume and geoglyph

Thus, we have a modern UFO which closely resembles what ancient people depicted long ago. However, it remains a total mystery how they could have seen such a craft as we only see it through infrared technology. How is this possible? Did humans create the geoglyph, or was it made or instructed by extraterrestrials? Decide for yourself.

Watch “Destination Chile” for yourself on the History Channel.


Featured images: Screenshots via YouTube

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seasaltandpepper.com

How to Choose the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

There are as many different types of sewing machines as there are sewists. The best beginner sewing machine for you might not be the best for someone else. It’s a good thing you have a lot of choices.

At the same time, those choices can be overwhelming. 

Fear not. If you understand your needs and know what’s out there, making the right choice is easy.

How to Pick the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

Choosing a great first sewing machine comes down to two things. First, you need to know your own needs. Then you need to know the market.

Step One: Know Yourself

A sewing machine is a big purchase. What’s more, your first sewing machine is a purchase you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Of course, you want that memory to be a happy one.

So there are a few things to consider before you press “buy.”

First, you want to get your money’s worth. You want maximum features at minimum cost. What’s more, you don’t want to pay for features you’re not going to use.

Also, you don’t want to lay down a lot of money for the wrong sewing machine, or worse, one that’s only going to sit in your closet.

Before buying the first machine that catches your eye, ask yourself the following:

  • What do you see yourself making with your sewing machine?
  • How confident are you with your present sewing skills?

Whether it’s your first sewing machine or your fifth, the best sewing machine is the one you’re going to love using. And the first step is knowing your own needs.

What’s your sewing goal?

Do you see yourself whipping out your own runway fashions? Or maybe you want to try your hand at a cheerful quilt. Perhaps machine embroidery is more your style.

However you see yourself as a sewist, there’s probably a sewing machine for that. A quick internet search will turn up a huge number of sewing machine types, including:

  • All-purpose sewing machines
  • Quilting machines
  • Embroidery machines
  • Sergers

And more.

You might wonder whether that $20 mini sewing machine would make a good sewing machine for beginners. Alternatively, you might think to splurge for an expensive do-it-all model for your first sewing machine.

However, in our experience, the best beginner sewing machine isn’t an expensive craft-specific model with all the bells and whistles.

Why not?

Well, complex machines can be intimidating for new sewists. Moreover, some semi-pro and professional craft-specific models don’t actually do regular sewing. And, it goes without saying that they can be expensive.

Rather, we think an all-purpose home sewing machine is often the best sewing machine for beginners.

What’s your skill level?

Be honest.

If this is your first sewing machine, your experience is probably limited. And that’s fine. There are plenty of simple models that can get you up and sewing right out of the box.

On the other hand, maybe you’re up for a challenge.

In that case, then a more complicated model can stretch your skills and help you to grow in your craft.

In either case, be honest with yourself. Don’t buy a machine so complicated that it terrifies you. By the same token, you don’t want a model so simple that it bores you before you even get started.

Look at the product. Do the controls look friendly and easy to master? Can you understand at a glance what each button, knob, and dial does? If not, are you willing to spend a bit of time with the manual?

Examine the specs. Will the machine do everything that you want it to? Will it help you to learn those new skills that you’ve been dreaming about?

The best beginner sewing machine for you will tick all of these boxes.

Step Two: Know Your Machines

Once you have a handle on your needs, it’s time to see what’s out there. That can be overwhelming.

There are a lot of different kinds of sewing machines, and many can make a great first sewing machine. Others, however, are less suited to novice users.

Mechanical sewing machines 

Mechanical sewing machines are the simplest kind of sewing machine.

First, they have a limited number of stitch designs. Usually, that means a straight stitch, a zigzag, a buttonhole, and one or two stretch stitches.

In short, they can do everything most sewists need to do, but they don’t have a lot of bells and whistles.

Also, as the name suggests, you control things like stitch length and width with knobs, dials, and sliders. There is no on-board computer.

Finally, mechanical sewing machines tend to be less expensive than other types of sewing machines.

On one hand, some users may find a simple sewing machine limiting.

On the other hand, though, other users will enjoy a mechanical machine’s ease of use. And, quite frankly, manual controls allow a sewist to fine-tune their stitches in a way that’s impossible with push-button computerized controls.

If you want to get started sewing right away, and don’t want to keep flipping back and forth between your machine and the manual, then a mechanical sewing machine may be for you.

Electronic sewing machines

Electronic sewing machines offer a compromise between mechanical machines and high-tech computerized models. Basically, they have a simple onboard computer, but it’s not as advanced as that of a computerized sewing machine.

The simple computer inside an electronic sewing machine makes certain features possible that are impossible with a mechanical sewing machine.

These include:

  • Speed control
  • Programmable needle position
  • Manual start/stop
  • Generous selection of stitch designs
  • Increased selection of buttonhole designs
  • Push-button control of stitch length and width
  • Automatic thread tension

These features aren’t strictly necessary. In fact, you can go quite far without them. However, many sewists find that these additional functions make sewing easier and more convenient.

Electronic sewing machines tend to be a bit more expensive than mechanical sewing machines. However, the price range is quite wide. What’s more, if you do your research, you can often find great deals online.

If you want a first sewing machine that will stretch your skills and grow with you, then a computerized sewing machine could be a good choice for you.

Computerized sewing machines

Singer introduced the first computerized sewing machine, the Touchtronic 2001, in 1978. It was revolutionary at the time.

However, technology advances fast. As a result, today’s computerized sewing machines have features and functions that Isaac Merritt Singer probably never even dreamed about.

Like what? You might ask.

Well, in addition to the functions listed in the previous section, advanced computerized models can provide some truly astonishing features, including:

  • Touch-screen controls
  • Hundreds of stitch designs
  • Monogram fonts in several different alphabets
  • Editing stitch and embroidery designs right on the machine
  • WiFi and/or USB connectivity
  • Uploading your own designs onto your machine
  • The ability to combine stitches into sequences
  • Stitch sequence memory
  • On-board video tutorials
  • Sensors to tell you when your thread is running out

You won’t find all of these features on every computerized sewing machine. However, if you research carefully, you can find a machine with a combination of features that you need.

The downside of advanced computerized models is complexity. These machines’ interfaces can be intimidating. Also, it can take years to explore and master all the features and functions of a computerized sewing machine.

But maybe that’s what you want.

If you’re a serious beginner, and the idea of mastering complex technology excites you, then an advanced computerized model may be the best beginner sewing machine for you.

Sewing machines by level

Your sewing machine search may include a combination of domestic and industrial sewing machines.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference.

Industrial machines tend to be focussed. They do one thing, they do it well, and they’re made to do it all day long.

Industrial sewing machines also cost a lot. And many of them are enormous.

However, you’ll find a range of levels even among domestic sewing machines. It’s important to know the differences.

All-purpose home sewing machines are just what they sound like. They perform a variety of basic functions that equip them for different crafts.

You can use an all-purpose sewing machine for making clothes, housewares, quilting, and more.

Some all-purpose machines come with crafting accessories that make them more attractive to crafters, particularly quilters. These might include a detachable wide work table and even a machine embroidery hoop.

All-purpose sewing machines come in mechanical, electronic, and computerized variations. You’ll find a wide range of complexity among all-purpose machines. Likewise, you’ll find a wide range of price points.

Intermediate sewists who want to pursue a specific craft at a higher level may choose a semi-professional sewing machine.

Semi-pro machines are often quite a bit more expensive than all-purpose sewing machines. They often have more stitch functions, as well as advanced craft-specific features such as:

  • A knee lifter (for quilting machines)
  • Built-in embroidery designs
  • On-machine embroidery design editing
  • Multiple thread capacity

Professional (or semi-industrial) sewing machines tend to be one-trick ponies. Like industrial machines, they’re tough. They’re also quite expensive.

Professional-level sewing machines are great if you’re starting your own business. A pro machine doesn’t make the best sewing machine for beginners, however.

Specialized sewing machines

Your search for your first sewing machine may also turn up a variety of specialized sewing machines.

Although we think an all-purpose model generally makes the best beginner sewing machine, if you go far enough in your chosen craft, you may eventually want to invest in a specialized sewing machine.

Quilting machines

Quilting machines come in a variety of forms.

Some manufacturers dress up all-purpose sewing machines with quilting accessories to appeal to aspiring quilters. You might find, for example:

  • A detachable extra-wide quilting table
  • A heavy duty metal frame
  • An extra-high presser foot lift to accommodate multiple layers
  • Extra quilting and decorative stitches
  • Included specialized presser feet, like a walking foot

This type of machine can take a hobbyist far. However, there may come a time when you want more advanced quilting features. A semi-pro quilting machine may include:

  • An extra-long throat to accommodate large projects
  • A knee lifter

Professional quilting machines are a different animal altogether. A high-speed straight-stitch only machine is one choice. A large, prohibitively expensive longarm quilting machine is another.

But these fall outside the purview of this article.

Embroidery machines

Embroidery machines also come at different levels.

Many entry-level computerized sewing machines have a variety of decorative embroidery stitches. These provide ample opportunity to experiment and create.

If you outgrow embroidery stitches, however, and want to move on to pictures and text, then an embroidery machine can help you to do that.

Even lower-level embroidery machines can offer an array of really fun features, like:

  • The ability to upload and use your own designs
  • Onboard design editing capabilities
  • Extensive memory to save and re-use your favorite designs

Be careful, though. Many advanced embroidery machines don’t do regular sewing. So you may need a separate machine for other types of sewing.

Sergers

Serging means sewing a seam while simultaneously sealing off the seam edges. A serger (or overlocker) is a sewing machine that does this and only this.

A serger uses three to six different threads simultaneously. It does not do regular sewing, and it doesn’t have decorative stitches.

If you’re planning on sewing garments, a serger can be an excellent investment. However, we wouldn’t recommend it as a first sewing machine.

The Best Beginner Sewing Machine: Features

Now that you understand the market, it’s time to talk features.

Dealbreakers

Your mileage may vary, of course, but these are a few features that we don’t want to do without.

One-step buttonhole

Most sewing machines come with a one-step or a four-step buttonhole. You can get by with a four-stepper, but why would you want to? Check out the difference here.

A one-step buttonhole isn’t just easier. It also allows you greater consistency, in case you need to do multiple buttonholes. Also, if you use an automatic buttonhole foot, you can tailor the size of your buttonhole to a specific button.

Automatic needle threader

Do you hate trying to thread a hand-sewing needle? Now imagine trying to jam that fuzzy thread-end through the eye of a sewing machine needle. You’re working at an angle, and there’s no wiggle room.

An automatic needle threader is an inexpensive, low-tech tool that makes threading your needle a snap.

Even the lowest-level mechanical machines often have an automatic needle threader. But be careful. Some sewing machines do not.

Reverse stitching

Almost every sewing machine has reverse stitching capability. This is essential for locking your stitches at the beginning and end of a row.

It’s also helpful for sewing curves, angles, and other fiddly tasks.

Free arm

A free arm sewing machine allows you to detach part of the base in order to create a smaller workspace.

Why might you want a smaller workspace?

For one thing, it’s essential for small, circular work like collars, cuffs, waistbands, and hems. Here’s how it works.

https://youtu.be/UFvrdrratu4

Most sewing machines have a free arm, but plenty do not. So check carefully before you buy. Especially if you’re planning to use your machine to make clothing or housewares.

Nice to have

There are other features that aren’t strictly necessary, but which can make sewing easier.

Start/Stop button

Most of us start and stop the sewing machine with the foot pedal. But if your foot pedal breaks, a start/stop button allows you to run your sewing machine without it.

Also, a start/stop button allows you to make a one-step buttonhole with a single touch. And that’s very convenient.

Finally, a start/stop button is an important accessibility feature for people who are unable to use the foot pedal.

Manual speed control

Again, a lot of us use the foot pedal to control our sewing machine speed. But manual speed control allows you to set a maximum sewing machine speed using a slider.

It’s like cruise control for your sewing machine. If your foot slips, you won’t lose control of your work. And again, if you can’t use the foot pedal for whatever reason, manual speed control allows you to adjust your speed anyway.

Programmable needle position

Most sewing machines start with the needle in the “up” position by default.

However, if you sew long enough, you’ll find that for some projects, it’s more convenient if your needle starts and stops in the “down” position.

A programmable needle allows you to set your default needle position where you want it for any given project.

Unnecessary

One way that manufacturers justify a higher price is by loading a machine up with features most people never use. What different people consider essential varies, of course. But some features are gimmicks, plain and simple.

These may include:

  • Hundreds and hundreds of stitch designs
  • Onboard “social” features like sew cams and live broadcasting from your machine
  • Excessively large accessory packs

Choosing the Best Beginner Sewing Machine

At the end of the day, your first sewing machine should be one that you’ll use over and over. For this reason, an all-purpose sewing machine is often the best choice in terms of price and features.

Additionally, knowing your own goals and needs will allow you to pick the right type of sewing machine, and at the right level.

Did you find this information helpful? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

 

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lawndethatcherguide.com

What Is a Lawn Dethatcher: The Lawn-Lover’s Guide to Aerating Machines

You may ask yourself the question, what is a lawn dethatcher? You may even find yourself wondering why you need a lawn dethatcher. Then you realize that your expanse of grass should be green, and yet, it looks sad and unloved.

A lush green lawn is something we all aspire too. However, all too often, we end up with swathes of dark, patchy grass that creep out like stains across our lawns. It’s at times like these that we realize just how vital lawn maintenance is to our gardens.

What Is a Lawn Dethatcher, and Why Do You Need It?

A lawn dethatcher, sometimes referred to as a lawn scarifier, is a garden tool designed to cut through the soil. The tins dig deep into the thatch layer to aid with its removal. Also, the spikes of the device help to remove dead moss and old grass cuttings.

If your lawn looks sad and tired with dark, patchy areas, then you need to scarify it. A lawn dethatcher may prove invaluable to aid with the removal of those unsightly patches. Scarifying your lawn and applying a little lawn feed will quickly return your grassy expanse to its former glory.

Understanding Your Lawn

When you consider the need for a lawn dethatcher, it is worth understanding the composition of your lawn.

It’s all about the layers

Your lawn consists of three distinct layers, all of which require attention to achieve a luscious green haven.

Green blades

The green blades of your grass are what forms that fabulous carpet across your garden. The lush green layer of blades across your lawn form the main level. It is the layer of your lawn that you see.

However, the next level remains equally important.

The soil

The soil in which the blades grow is vital for a beautiful lawn. Furthermore, you should not see this level through the grass. Good quality soil that is rich with nutrients will result in a beautiful lawn.

The thatch

Thatch is a layer of organic debris that forms between the blades and the soil. It is this layer that, if left unchecked, may cause problems with your lawn and result in those dark, unattractive patches.

Taking Care of Your Lawn

Using lawn mowers to manicure your garden and leaf blowers to remove debris from the grass form a vital part of lawn maintenance. However, to achieve a lush green lawn, you must start with good soil. The roots of your grass need a good bed in which to establish, and taking care of the soil is as important as grooming the grass itself.

Soil care

Your soil must remain evenly moist. If it dries out, the grass will die, and you will end up with yellow, patchy areas. Lawn sprinkler systems prove ideal to keep your soil moist.

Sometimes the soil in your lawn will compact, which means that air cannot circulate around the roots of the grass. Consequently, the grass will suffer, and patches may form. You may use aerating shoes that have spikes on the bottom to aerate your soil and lighten the texture.

The pH level of your soil may also prove useful to know. Use a pH tester to discover the pH of your soil, which needs to be around the 6.5 level for a healthy lawn.

Ensuring that your soil attains sufficient nutrients to feed your grass is also of vital importance. Use a proprietary feed and follow the instructions to achieve a lush green lawn.

A Quick Note

It is worth taking the time to understand the benefits and the correct way to move your grass. Simply hacking away at your lawn will do more harm than good, so take the time to understand the proper way to mow your grass before you start.

The Thatch

Thatch is an organic layer between the blades and the soil. More often than not, the thatch forms out of dead grass cuttings and moss. If left unchecked, the thatch may prevent your grass from growing properly. In turn, this may result in ugly brown patches.

Thatch removal forms an essential part of lawn maintenance, and a lawn dethatcher will make short work of this chore.

H3 How much thatch is good?

The thatch layer proves a valuable part of the function of the lawn. A layer of half an inch will aid with the soil condition, in that it will act as a mulch to lock in much-needed moisture in the soil. Also, the thatch layer traps heat between the layers, which benefits the lawn. Furthermore, as the thatch decomposes, it releases nutrients into the soil, feeding your lawn throughout the season.

However, sometimes the thatch layer accumulates to form a thicker barrier. Consequently, a thicker thatch layer may result in damage to your lawn.

Problems associated with a thick layer of thatch

A thicker layer of thatch will form a barrier between the blades and the soil. Such a layer will deprive the root system of nutrients, air, and water.

As a consequence of a thick layer of thatch, diseases may take hold in your lawn, and insect infestations may prove problematic.

How to Test Your Lawn for Problems

While you do not need to get out the ruler to test the thickness of the thatch layer, it is worthwhile performing regular lawn checks, especially during the growing season. If you find that you cannot poke your finger into the soil through the grass, then the likelihood is that you need to remove the thatch and aerate the lawn.

Try To Avoid A Buildup of Thatch

Overwatering and overfeeding your lawn may result in the grass growing quicker than necessary. The result of such growth means mowing your lawn. Therefore, the chances are that thatch may accumulate quicker than average.

Use a lawn feed that is high in nitrogen and avoid the unnecessary use of pesticides. If anything, you want to encourage worms into your lawn because they will help to aerate the soil and decompose the thatch.

Use a Lawn Dethatcher

Dethatching your lawn is the action of using a device to remove the unwanted layer of organic material. A lawn dethatcher may come in the form of a mechanical machine or a simple rake.

However, if you follow the basic principles of lawn care, you may find that you do not need to dethatch your lawn as often as you need to mow it. A mechanical lawn dethatcher will make short work of the chore and remains especially useful if you have a large expanse of grass.

What is a mechanical lawn dethatcher?

A mechanical lawn dethatcher may resemble a conventional lawnmower. However, instead of blades, it has spikes that the machine drives into the soil and blade layer to drag out the unwanted thatch.

Use a dethatching rake

A convex dethatching rake or power rake remains especially useful for the removal of thatch. The tines dig into the thatch layer so that you may pull it out. This method of thatch removal requires more physical effort than the use of a mechanical machine.

Types of Grass

Some varieties of grasses may prove more prone to thatching than others. Understanding this is particularly useful if you intend to lay a lawn from scratch.

Kentucky bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass has its growing season in cool weather and is particularly prone to developing excess thatch.

Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass puts on most of its growth during the warm season. It is not as prone to thatch as Kentucky bluegrass. However, you may find it necessary to dethatch Bermudabluegrass more often than most other varieties.

Less susceptible varieties

Look out for tall fescue grasses, known as Festuca arundinacea, and also zoysiagrasses, known as Zoysia japonica. Such grasses prove less prone to thatching.

What Is a Lawn Dethatcher, and Why Do You Need It, Answered

A lawn dethatcher is the mechanical means by which we remove the organic matter, known as thatch, from our lawns. A lawn dethatcher may come in the form of a mechanical device or a dethatching rake.

The thatch layer in our lawns, if left unchecked, may cause damage to the grass. The thatch will prevent air, moisture, and nutrients from penetrating the soil layer. Consequently, you may find ugly brown patches staining your lawn.

Add a lawn dethatcher to your equipment and make it a part of your lawn maintenance routine. Regular mowing may result in the thatch layer increasing. Therefore, a lawn dethatcher remains crucial.

Maintaining moisture levels and nutrition within your lawn will help to prevent excess thatch. Also, keeping the soil aerated by using aerating shoes will create a light-textured soil and result in healthier lawns and less thatch.

Author bio

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful Jewelry making business and sells his creations online.

Categories
painawaydevices.com

Stop Telling Me I Need Essential Oils… Gimme a TENS Unit!

If you live with chronic pain, you’ve probably heard it by now. Essential oils. The Holy Grail of healing. Right? Uh-huh. (Insert sarcasm here.) In the real world, a TENS unit is a much better option for pain relief.

Listen, I have no doubt that essential oils have their place. But do they actually reduce your pain substantially? Those who live with chronic pain day in and day out know better.

And that is true for much more than just essential oils. More exercise. A new diet. More sleep. Fresh air. And, of course, Yoga. You name it, everyone has advice on how to manage your pain.

However, none of these things make a real difference in day to day pain levels and those of us with chronic pain darn well know it.

You listen to their advice while internally rolling your eyes. You try your best to respond politely without telling them you have already been there done that and know it’s BS.

And it takes every bit of self-restraint in your body to not strangle them where they stand.

So, we’ve established what doesn’t work. Is there anything that actually does help to control chronic pain besides medications?

Actually, yes. Using a TENS unit relieves pain for thousands of chronic pain patients and it could work for you too. If you haven’t tried one of these nifty devices yet, you should.

A TENS Unit Provides Real Relief

Essential oils and these other things just make you think that maybe you might feel a little better because of the placebo effect. But TENS units are different.

A TENS unit can provide actual pain relief. And scientific studies back that assertion up.

The same thing can’t be said of essential oils or most of the other mumbo jumbo. There’s a reason they aren’t used by true medical experts. They don’t work. Period.

Pseudo-science may claim they work. However, pseudo-science and science aren’t the same things.

When it comes to finding a way to ease chronic pain so that you can live your life, you want a treatment that is backed by science. You want something that actually works.

Granted, there are other ways to treat pain. Medications make it possible for many people who have chronic pain to live normal lives.

However, these powerful drugs aren’t the answer for everyone. For some people, medications just aren’t enough. Using a TENS unit can be a miracle treatment for these patients.

Whatever your reason for searching out a way to control your pain, I can pretty much guarantee that a TENS unit will help you more than shoving lavender up your nose.

How a TENS Unit Controls Pain

We’ve established that TENS units work. We also know that science has proven they work. But exactly how do they work?

The word “TENS” is really an abbreviation. It stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.

Okay, I admit it. That sounds a little scary at first. After all, nobody wants to be electrocuted. But it isn’t as bad as it sounds. I promise.

Using a TENS unit isn’t painful. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. The sensation from the “electrical stimulation” actually relieves your pain. But how?

A TENS unit uses pads that stick to your skin with an adhesive, much like a bandaid. Then, the TENS machine sends electricity through the pads to your skin.

The electrical pulses trigger your body to release endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals in your brain. They also block your brain from picking up the pain signals your body is sending.

The best part about a TENS unit is that you can use it while you are exercising, working, or just trying to enjoy a little rest and relaxation.

These machines can relieve pain from injuries, arthritis, overuse, fibromyalgia, and many other conditions.

However, they aren’t for everyone. You should always talk to your doctor before beginning a new treatment plan. For example, people with certain kinds of implants shouldn’t use TENS machines.

Best TENS Units to Buy

So, now you know that essential oils are a crock of bull, athough, you probably already knew that.

You also know that TENS units really do work for pain. And you’re all ready to give one of these little miracle machines a try. But how in the heck do you know which TENS unit to buy?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. As usual, which model is right for you depends on what exactly you’re looking for.

Do you want the Cadillac of TENS units no matter how much it costs? Or are you on a tight budget? Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

The good news is that there is a TENS unit that is right for you regardless of where you fall on this spectrum. Whether you have a ton of money to blow or are counting your pennies, you can find something that will work for you.

Here are our top three picks, divided up based on how much damage they will do to your wallet.

“Cadillac” option

If you’re more concerned about customer ratings and how well a TENS unit works than the price tag, the TruMedic Deluxe TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager TM-1000PRO is worth taking a look at.

This unit has a variety of preset massage options. Users can choose between massage, beat, or knead settings.

That way, you can find not only what works best for you, but also what works best for different areas of your body.

Although this option is rather pricey, a customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars lets you know that the majority of users thought the cost was worth it.

Mid-price option

If don’t want to spend a fortune but you still want a professional-grade TENS unit, make sure you take a look at the Sport TENS from Tewa.

This model has 8 preset therapy modes and a whopping 30 intensity levels, which makes it very easy to customize to your individual preferences.

The Sport TENS runs on three AAA batteries, so it’s easy to make sure it is ready to use wherever you are. No need to worry about making sure there is somewhere you can charge it up at.

With a customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, it’s clear that users have been happy with this purchase.

Budget option

Perhaps you are working with a tight budget or you just want to make sure that a TENS unit is the right choice for you before you spend too much money.

If that’s the case, you need to check out the TENS 7000. This unit gives you prescription-strength relief but it’s available over-the-counter at an affordable price.

It comes with two pairs of lead wires and a four-pack of reusable electrode pads. This device is powered by a nine-volt battery, so it’s ready to travel whenever you are.

The TENS 7000 has a user rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and it has a price so low that you’ll have to see it to believe it.

Don’t Waste Time on Essential Oils, Try a TENS Unit Instead

So, there you have it. You were right all along. If you want to try relaxing with aromatherapy, essential oils are great. But if you want to reduce your pain levels, they just aren’t going to do the trick.

To truly relieve your pain, you need something that actually works. Thanks to a multitude of scientific studies, we know for a fact that a TENS unit is capable of treating chronic pain.

Shop smart and spend your money on the option science has proven to work effectively.

Whether you choose to go with the most expensive option on our list or the cheapest (or a different machine altogether), you may find that trying out a TENS unit is the best decision you have ever made.

At the very least, it will be a better choice than spending your money on essential oils. How do I know this? Easy. Science says so.

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sosharethis.com

Chef Millie Peartree Lost Everything But Now Feeds Thousands of Kids

In late 2019, Chef Millie Peartree, 38, lost her thriving business in the Bronx, New York. Millie Peartree Fish Fry & Soul Food was featured in New York’s top 10 restaurants of 2019. Then, somebody messed with her gas lines, forcing an inspector to turn it off. The business had to shut down right before the holidays, but she was stuck with paying her lease.

Chef Peartree lived about the restaurant with her boyfriend and 13-year-old son. Traumatized and crying, she told the Times:

“I just wanted to cook fish and be here for my community.”

It would take months to get the gas working again, so Peartree had to tell her customers, “I’m sorry, my love. We’re closed, indefinitely.”

In the meantime, she tried to go back to working as a private chef in the catering world. Then, anther tragedy stuck: Covid-19. Sadly, the pandemic devastated the entire hospitality industry, and her catering ambitions were suddenly over.

“Are you serious? What now?” she asked herself, still confident she would bounce back.

From Tragedy to Feeding Thousands

Fortunately, Chef Peartree’s gifts would not go to waste. Her friend Laura Brown, the editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine, reached out with a fantastic idea. How would she feel about donating meals to the hungry on behalf of the magazine?

Chef Peartree jumped at the chance, and soon, Millie Peartree Catering had provided meals for 6,000 essential workers. Among those who received her nourishing meals were USPS workers and hospital staff.

Then, as New York slowly began reopening amid the pandemic, she had “an epiphany.” As many as one in three children in the Bronx were going hungry. Due to the pandemic, many summer programs had been forced to close. However, she knew she could help.

“I would pivot my efforts toward feeding children because I knew that some of the city’s food distribution programs had been canceled or reduced due to the pandemic. I created Full Heart Full Bellies to provide prepared meals for children in grades K through 12, from July 6 to Aug. 28, in the Bronx, which is the poorest of the five boroughs,” she wrote for TODAY.

Thus, the Bronx children were treated to warm, nourishing meals that would make anybody’s mouth water. Her skills and Full Heart Full Bellies were able to provide 1,800 nutritionally balanced meals each week!

“These kids deserve great-tasting food — a sense of comfort during such a tumultuous time,” said Peartree.

 

“The bare minimum I can do is lend my talent, lend my strength to help feed people for these eight weeks throughout the summer,” Peartree said in an interview.

Thanks to some help from big names like Audi, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Barilla, as well as local businesses and nonprofits, Full Heart Full Bellies truly lived up to its name. Also, Peartree’s GoFundMe raised over $60k of a $100K goal. Thus, everyday people helped feed the kids.

A Plan to Keep Feeding the Hungry

Although originally planned for the summer months, the work will continue through December, thanks to Amazon’s partnership. However, Peartree wants the efforts to continue well past December.

“By then, we’ll have served 14,400 meals to kids in need and an additional 2,500 to nursing homes in the Bronx. But we hope to keep going after that. The goal is to feed children and their families for an entire school year, providing 250,000 meals over ten months,” she wrote.

Today, Chef Peartree is calling on others to follow her lead.

“When we talk about social justice, we often get hung up on the hashtag instead of the actual work. You may not march, but maybe you can feed a protester. After the money is donated, what can we do in the community to change things?”

View this post on Instagram

If you can see her you can be her! Remember when you learn, teach, when you get, give 💚🍐 #ladychef #womanchef #cheflife #seeher #beablessing #blessed #bx #bronx #Repost @seeher2020 with @get_repost ・・・ "We talked to @chefmilliepearrtree about her project @fullbelliesfullhearts and how we can continue to #SeeHerFORWARD. "My company is my passion but business also is a great way to dedicate your life to helping others. We talk about how we’re all about social justice but often we get caught up with the hashtag versus the actual work. You may not march, but maybe you can feed a protester. After the money is donated, what can we can do in the community to change things?" Read all her thoughts at seeher.com/blog

A post shared by Millie Peartree 👩🏾‍🍳💚🍐 (@chefmilliepeartree) on

In an interview with News4 NewYork, an NBC affiliate, the Chef explains why she does it:

“No, it won’t end hunger, but in the meantime, between time, I’m going to use my talents to help feed these children,” she said.

For Chef Peartree, her efforts are just part of being a decent human being.

“I don’t have the most, but I don’t have the least either, and I just feel like that’s something that you should do as a human being because you never know what any of us will be in a situation where we need something.”

See more in the video from CBS NewYork below:


Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube and Instagram

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Uncategorized

The Pure Imagination and Eternal Inspiration of Gene Wilder

When you think of the late actor, screenwriter, novelist, and director, Gene Wilder, you might think of Willy Wonka or Young Frankenstein. With seeming effortless ability, he made any of his many roles memorable, sad, and funny at once. 

Wilder won over everyone with his gentle manner, natural wit, and often anxious personality. Like his unforgettable Frankenstein costar, Marty Feldman, who played Igor, Wilder had an exaggerated appearance, wide blue eyes and wild curly hair.

There was no forgetting Wilder; rather, he left an indelible mark on our culture and a legacy full of moments of laughter.

However, Wilder approached comedy as an actor, not a comedian.

“Don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real. I’m an actor, not a clown,” said of his approach to comedy.

Gene Wilder Didn’t Think He Was a Comedian

In fact, Wilder did not consider himself a comedian at all, as funny as he was. When he was 39 years old in 1975, he was quoted as saying:

“I am not a comedian,” he said. “More than anything, I am an actor. I wanted to find parts I couldn’t find. I don’t want to write just to write. I want to write mainly to find a part that I want to act. And I want to direct in order to protect what I wrote, which I wrote in order to act.”

On Why He Directed Movies

After Wilder starred in the now-iconic movie, Will Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein in ’74, he began his directing career. In 1975, he directed, acted, and starred in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother.

That year he explained what he hoped to accomplish through directing:

“I don’t want to think of myself making great pictures. You start thinking in terms of great, and you start thinking of yourself, of your own ego. I want to make people laugh and cry and say, ‘Wasn’t that wonderful?'”

On Who He Made Films For

Wilder was down to earth about his ambitions and who his target audience would be. For example, he had the following quote about who his movies were created for, the average person who wanted a good story. He wanted to tell human stories “with people who are not perfect but who are definite in their characters.”

“I remember J. D. Salinger’s story, ‘Zooey.’ Zooey would imagine this fat lady sitting in Kansas City, sweating, swatting flies away. I picture her going to the movies on Friday night. She doesn’t know about cameras, lights, she wants a good story told honestly, without pretension I’m making films for that lady.”

On His ‘Great Blessing’

Gene Wilder had a tumultuous and tragic relationship with another icon, the comedian Gilda Radner. They went on to co-star in three movies together and were married in 1984. Wilder had been married twice before, and Radner had been married once before. 

“We didn’t get along well, and that’s a fact. We just loved each other, and that’s a fact,” he once said of their relationship.

Up until the day she passed away in ’89, Wilder says he had one blessing that kept him going.

“I had one great blessing: I was so dumb,” Mr. Wilder said, “I believed even three weeks before she died, she would make it.”

In a later interview, Wilder said he had been “divinely stupid because everyone else seemed to know, but I thought she’d pull through.”

Listen to the couple gush about each other in 1986 from ET below:

On Testifying Before Congress

After Radner’s death, Wilder became a champion to raise awareness about Ovarian cancer, starting the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry. He also testified before Congress in 1991 about the need for increased testing for cancer.

“I don’t feel guilty about what happened. We were all so ignorant about ovarian cancer. That’s one of the reasons I went to Congress to testify. I don’t like giving speeches, it makes me nervous. But I kept hearing Gilda [Radner] shouting, “It’s too late for me. Don’t let it happen to anyone else.'”

See Wilder talk about Radner and his career in the 2005 video from CBS Sunday Morning below:

On Why He Stopped Doing Movies

In 2013, Wilder said he was turned off by the foul language and noise in modern movies.

“I didn’t want to do the kind of junk I was seeing,” he said in an interview. “I didn’t want to do 3D, for instance. I didn’t want to do ones where there’s just bombing and loud and swearing, so much swearing… can’t they just stop and talk instead of swearing?”

Although he didn’t appear in movies after ’91, Wilder authored six books, including a memoir.

See Wilder speak about this below from Newsy:

On His Inner Demons

In his 2005 memoir, “Kiss Me Like a Stranger,” Wilder discusses frequent visits to a psychotherapist. Although introduced with a joke, he discussed “torments of sexual repression, guilt feelings, and his ‘demon,’ a compulsion, lasting several years, to pray out loud to God at the most embarrassing times and in the most embarrassing places. But never onstage or onscreen, where he felt free to be someone else,” according to the Times.

“I never thought of it as God. I didn’t know what to call it. I don’t believe in devils, but demons I do because everyone at one time or another has some kind of a demon, even if you call it by another name, that drives them.” 

Gene Wilder meme 2

You can listen to Wilder read from his memoir below:

On the Secret to Success

Wilder had a simple message for those who yearn for success in the movie industry.

“Well, you know, success is a terrible thing and a wonderful thing. If you can enjoy it, it’s wonderful. If it starts eating away at you and they’re waiting for more from me, or what can I do to top this, then you’re in trouble. Just do what you love. That’s all I want to do.”

Gene Wilder meme 3

Gene Wilder, born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, became a movie legend, passing away at age 83 in August, 2016. He had secretly endured Alzheimer’s disease.

After news of his passing, comedian Jim Carrey tweeted:

“Gene Wilder was one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there’s a heaven, he has a Golden Ticket.”

See more about Wilder from Vox:


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube

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watersoftenercritic.com

The 8 Best Water Softener Shower Heads for Your Home

Why would you even consider a water softener shower head? Are you going through bottles upon bottles of conditioner just to keep your hair feeling soft?

Does your skin feel tight and itchy the moment you step out of the bath?

Do you notice an unpleasant odor coming from your shower head every morning?

All of these signs point to potentially harsh chemicals and minerals in your home’s water. While the compounds commonly found in tap water are generally harmless — if you’re at all concerned, please get your water professionally tested ASAP — they don’t always play nice with our hair and skin.

Fortunately, installing one of the best water softener shower heads on the market can help.

What You Need to Know About Water Softener Shower Heads

The home improvement sphere is full of tools and gadgets promising to upgrade your day-to-day life. So when it comes to water-softening shower heads, are they really worth your time and money?

Before you can make that decision, it’s important you fully understand what a water softener is and how a shower head filter can (or cannot) replicate one.

What is a water softener, and how does it work?

There are many different water filtration systems on the market, with water softeners being just one sub-type.

True water softeners work by exchanging harsh mineral ions for sodium (salt) ions. Calcium and magnesium are the minerals most frequently targeted by this method.

Other filtration systems use physical filters (like activated carbon ) to remove unwanted particles and chemicals in your tap water. These systems mimic the benefits of water softening without facilitating the actual process.

But this all begs the question:

Do water softener shower heads actually soften water?

Right now, we don’t know of any shower heads that qualify as true water softeners.

Why?

Because the water softening process takes a long time (much longer than it takes for water to pass through your shower head). Instead, the best water softener shower heads work hard to duplicate the benefits of soft water without the bulk or expense that comes with a full-size system.

Since each filtration medium targets specific contaminants, it’s never a bad idea to test your home’s water before choosing a shower head. The best water softener shower head for your home won’t always be the best option for someone else.

Can a shower head filtration system benefit the hair and skin?

Yes! Actually, healthier hair and skin is one of the most talked-about reasons for installing a water softener or filtration system in the home.

When we shower, our goal is to step out of the bathroom feeling 100-percent clean. But bathing in hard or unfiltered water can lead to a buildup of harsh minerals — no matter how hard you scrub.

Mineral buildup along the hair follicle can make post-shower styling more difficult and even cause your dye job to fade faster. Hard water can also interfere with the skin’s natural oil production, leading to dryness, enlarged pores, redness, and other unwanted side effects.

While the best way to combat hard water is with a whole-home water softener, investing in a physical filtration system for your shower can also make a huge difference.

8 Best Water Softener Shower Heads

There’s no shortage of shower head filters available on the market, with some offering better results than others. But for our review, we focused on the best filtration systems that provide results similar to soft water.

To select the best products, we compared customer reviews, product specifications, filter media, and third-party certifications. The following reviews are in no particular order.

Paragon Integrated Shower Filter WMF1

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

The Paragon Integrated Shower Filter WMF1 offers a simple, low-profile way to improve your shower’s water quality. The shower head features five spray settings and an attractive chrome finish. Once installed, no one will even know it doubles as a filter.

The filter cartridge itself uses KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) and proprietary media to target harsh and unpleasant chemicals in your water. Each cartridge will filter approximately 10,000 gallons.

This shower head filter is NSF-certified for chlorine reduction, removing up to 99-percent of chlorine. It also claims to reduce water-borne chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, radon, and calcium.

Pros

  • Filters 99-percent of chlorine
  • May improve hair and skin health
  • Removes calcium found in hard water
  • No tools required for installation

Cons

  • Requires frequent filter changes with regular use
  • Limited shower head features

Culligan WSH-C125 Filtered Shower Head

Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0 stars

The Culligan WSH-C125 Filtered Shower Head is another option for softer water without the bulk of a large filtration unit. It features five adjustable spray settings and installs easily without any special tools.

Like the Paragon shower head, this one houses a small filtration cartridge inside the nozzle itself. Each cartridge filters up to 10,000 gallons (approximately six months of regular use).

The replaceable Culligan cartridge uses KDF media to remove chlorine, sulfur, and scale. It also includes a patented layer that specifically filters bacteria from your water and prevents bacterial growth inside the shower head.

Pros

  • Filters out 99-percent of chlorine
  • May reduce hard minerals like calcium and magnesium
  • Simple installation process
  • Covered by limited five-year warranty

Cons

  • Requires filter changes at least every six months
  • Massage spray setting is too powerful for some

Culligan ISH-100 Inline Shower Filter

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars

The Culligan ISH-100 Inline Shower Filter delivers filtered water to your shower with a slightly different shape than the other water softener heads we’ve looked at so far. While the shower head design is still compact, it’s not quite as streamlined as the Culligan WSH-C125.

This shower head only comes with one baseline setting. However, it does provide a slightly higher water output than the Culligan WSH-C125 (2.0 versus 1.8 gallons per minute).

In terms of filtration, the Culligan ISH-100 Inline Shower Filter works just like the Culligan WSH-C125. Both use the same Culligan WHR-140 filter, just housed in a different style of shower head.

This shower head effectively filters out 99-percent of chlorine, along with removing sulfur odors and other harsh chemicals. It also contains Culligan’s patented antibacterial layer to remove and prevent water-borne bacteria.

Pros

  • Removes 99-percent of harsh chlorine
  • Eliminates and prevents bacterial growth
  • May filter out chemicals that damage hair and skin

Cons

  • Filter must be changed at least every six months
  • Non-adjustable spray head
  • Not as attractive as other Culligan shower head filters
  • Some users report leaking around the filter compartment

Aquasana AQ-4100 Premium Shower Filter

Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars

At first glance, the Aquasana AQ-4100 Premium Shower Filter is one of the bulkiest options out there. But that bulk hides a powerful filtration cartridge that promises to deliver.

The NSF-certified Aquasana filter uses coconut shell carbon and KDF media to remove up to 90-percent of chlorine and other harsh chemicals. It also claims to balance your water’s pH level.

Because this shower head attachment uses an upflow design, you don’t need to worry about weakened water pressure after installation. The extra-large filter compartment also maximizes the amount of contact between your shower’s water and the filter materials.

Pros

  • Multiple shower head options
  • One-year manufacturer warranty
  • Claims to improve the efficacy of hair and skin products

Cons

  • Filters must be changed twice per year
  • May not filter as much chlorine as competitors
  • Bulky filter housing
  • Some users say the filter is hard to change

AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head with Filter

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars

If you prefer a handheld wand to a regular shower head, the AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head with Filter is another great option. This stylish filter includes a sleek chrome finish and easily doubles as a wall-mounted shower head when needed.

While this water softener shower head only has one setting, its default spray and water pressure are well-liked by users. Many compare it to a smaller version of a luxury rain shower.

The standout feature of the shower head filter is its use of 15 filtration layers. Some of these layers use trusted media like activated carbon and KDF. Others claim to infuse beneficial vitamins and minerals (like vitamins C and E) into the water rather than remove harmful ones.

Pros

  • Filters out chlorine and fluoride
  • Doubles as a wall-mounted and handheld shower
  • Claims to add beneficial vitamins and minerals to water

Cons

  • Each filter lasts only six months
  • Layered filtration may affect water pressure
  • No adjustable spray settings
  • Chrome finish is prone to flaking off

WaterChef SF-7C Premium Shower Filtration System

Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 stars

The WaterChef SF-7C Premium Shower Filtration System is yet another option that doubles as both a wall-mounted and a handheld shower head. With its flexible 60-inch hose and five spray settings, this filter is great option for homes with pets or small children.

The shower head itself features rubber nozzles to prevent clogs and make routine cleaning a bit easier. Similarly, the hose leading from the filter to the shower head is lined with silicone to prevent harmful buildup and odors.

While this filter uses catalytic carbon to specifically target chlorine, it may also remove other harsh chemicals. Each cartridge features ThermalGuard technology, which helps ensure effective filtration even at high temperatures.

This water softener shower head comes in three finishes to best match your existing bathroom fixtures. Compatible filters last an average of six months and are easy to replace.

Pros

  • Long, flexible hose for easy handheld use
  • ThermalGuard filter works at any temperature
  • Available in three attractive finishes

Cons

  • Too bulky for some showers
  • Requires frequent filter changes
  • May impact water pressure
  • Handheld unit is too heavy for some

SparkPod Filtered Shower Head

Rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 stars

The SparkPod Filtered Shower Head boasts an impressive 12-layer filtration cartridge. As we’ve already seen, more isn’t always better in the world of water filtration. But this shower head is still one of the top models currently on the market.

This shower head filter features three spray settings. The shower head itself is equipped with specialized nano nozzles that help maintain high water pressure at all times. Switching between settings is also made simple with the easy-to-access lever.

The filter cartridge includes activated carbon and KDF as two of its layers, both of which target chlorine, fluoride, and other harsh chemicals. Among its other ten stages, you’ll find ceramic balls, vitamin C, and magnets — though some of these materials aren’t proven to make a difference in overall water quality, they also won’t do any harm.

Pros

  • Easy to switch between spray settings
  • Nano nozzles help deliver higher water pressure
  • Uses filtration media that targets chlorine

Cons

  • Filter cartridges only last three to four months
  • 12-stage filtration may impact water pressure
  • Some filtration stages may not be effective
  • Users report little improvement in filtered water

The Reign Shower Head

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Compared to many of the other filters we’ve reviewed, The Reign Shower Head is extremely sleek and modern-looking. Made entirely of metal (not painted plastic), this filtration system looks just like a normal shower head until you take it apart.

While this head only comes with one default setting, it delivers a rainwater-inspired shower that many users enjoy. The laser-cut micro nozzles help ensure the best water pressure possible.

The filtration cartridge claims to remove 80- to 90-percent of the chlorine in your water along with dissolved solids. Although each filter should last up to eight months, some users reported only getting two or three months out of one.

Pros

  • Sleek, luxury rainwater-style shower head
  • Easy to install in almost any shower
  • Filters up to 90-percent of chlorine

Cons

  • Filter cartridge lifespan varies greatly
  • Removes less chlorine than competitors
  • Micro nozzles may clog easily
  • Filter housing is prone to leaking

Is a Water Softener Shower Head the Right Choice for You?

As we know, shower head filters aren’t truly capable of transforming hard water into soft water. But many homeowners (and renters) still stand behind the benefits of such fixtures.

So should you invest in a shower filtration system of your own? Do you need to install a water softener to see real results? Or are you better off just leaving well enough alone?

Shower head filters vs. whole-house water softeners

Whole-home water softeners are expensive and require regular maintenance. For many homeowners, the investment is entirely worth it. For others, the slight benefit of having soft water falls short of the sheer cost of such a system.

Another key point to consider is whether or not a water softener will “fix” your home’s water. While these systems work great against hard minerals like calcium and magnesium, they won’t do anything to remove chemicals like chlorine.

On the other hand, shower head filters excel at removing harsh chemicals like chlorine and fluoride.

Although these chemicals are technically harmless in small amounts, some people find that their home’s unfiltered water dries out their hair and skin. By removing chlorine and other common chemicals, shower head filters can mimic the effects of a water softener without the expense of one.

Are there any drawbacks to using a water softener shower head?

Depending on the filter you use, some shower heads can negatively impact your water pressure. If this is a concern for you, stick to filtration systems that only use one or two different media to get the job done.

Fortunately, the issues most often associated with whole-house water softening systems don’t apply to shower head filters. And if you want to enjoy the benefits of cleaner hair and softer skin, there’s no need to worry about it affecting the water throughout the rest of your home.

Transform Your Shower Experience in an Instant

Oftentimes homeowners will jump straight to blaming hard water for their problems, but whole-home water softeners only target very specific minerals. In many cases, though, you can get similar results with a water softener shower head.

Whether you go for the Paragon Integrated Shower Filter WMF1, the Aquasana AQ-4100 Premium Shower Filter, or one of the other great filtration systems we’ve mentioned, you can start enjoying better water with your next shower.

Of course, water softener shower heads are just the beginning. For more information on the best whole-home water softener systems, be sure to read our review. Or to learn more about the water softening process as a whole, check out our blog post on how water softeners work.

Categories
ideahacks.com

Organic Halloween Candy Ideas for the Spookiest Day of the Year

Spooky season is right around the corner and that means kids are going to be looking for delicious candy to celebrate the scariest day of the year. Sadly, for parents who want to live a healthy lifestyle, it can be hard to find organic Halloween candy for the day in the store. So many of the treats sold on shelves across the country are filled with artificial ingredients or made with fruit that’s grown with pesticides. Fortunately, there hard doesn’t mean impossible and there are still plenty of recipes to make kids of every age happy.

Even better, there are plenty of recipes for America’s favorite candy. For instance, did you know you can make an organic peanut butter cup that tastes almost exactly like the Reese’s you grew up with? And what about delicious candy apples or caramel nuts? Healthy Halloween treats are easy to make and a great activity for kids!

Organic Halloween Candy Is Tasty Too

If you aren’t making treats for your kids, or maybe you’re new to the lifestyle, there are reasons some great reasons to switch or move forward with it. First and foremost, the food is absolutely delicious. A lot of people say that it tastes better and although it’s subjective, that’s something to consider. Anyway, isn’t everything tastier when it’s made with love in your own kitchen?

Besides the taste factor, there’s the fact that it’s better for the environment. Organic gardening uses less energy and no pesticides. According to experts, farmers who grow this food aim to preserve natural resources.

The United Nations’ agricultural organization has found organic farming can even help to prevent soil erosion. In fact, it encourages healthy soil formation and creates a more stable system. That means an organic farm is productive for a longer period of time, which in turn means it’s more profitable.

Finally, there’s the health factor. It stands to reason the less artificial fillers and ingredients you put in your body, the healthier you may be in the long term. Although this isn’t conclusive, it is something that’s worth considering.

So, organic farming is good for the environment, great for farmers, and could be beneficial to you in the longterm. That’s what we call a “win, win, win.” There’s no downside to making organic Halloween candy for the spoopy (spooky, cute) day.

Organic Halloween Candy and Treats

Are you ready to make some delicious, healthy Halloween treats? We have some great recipes for you to choose from.

However, before you get started, you might want to make sure you have containers and treat bags to store your organic Halloween candy in. That’s just an extra step to make it special and it’s more sanitary than a bunch of little hands reaching on a plate to take treats from. And let’s face it, that’s something we are all considering these days. You can wrap the treats individually and it makes everyone feel better.

Without further ado, here are some of the best organic Halloween candy treats.

Peanut butter cups

Do you love the chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness of a Reese’s cup? Guess what? You can make an organic version right in your own kitchen. Fit Foodie Finds has an excellent recipe that any chocolate lover will enjoy.

When you are shopping for the ingredients for your delicious candy, make sure you buy organic products. You can make any treat at home but it has to put together with solid, healthy components, otherwise, it’s just like what you’d buy in the candy section of the traditional grocery store.

Bottom layer ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2.5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Top layer:

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place 12 muffin liners in a cupcake pan and spray them with organic cooking oil.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients for the bottom layer together in a bowl.
  3. Grab another bowl and combine the ingredients for the top layer, stirring until smooth.
  4. Put 1/2 tablespoon of the bottom layer into each of the cups. Make sure the cups are even.
  5. Put 1/2 tablespoon of the top layer in the cups and make sure it’s even as well.
  6. Sprinkle all of the cups with Himalayan sea salt and put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

The recipe’s creator says you can use any nut butter as long as it’s the oily kind because it mixes better. Do not replace the coconut oil.

Faux Butterfingers

Do you prefer the crunchy goodness of a Butterfinger over peanut butter cups? Don’t worry, Detoxinsta has a recipe for you. Their recipe has the same yummy texture of the delicious candy bar, but it’s lacking all of the disgusting preservatives and high-fructose syrup.

If you want to bring these to a party, just be sure to practice making a batch before you set out to make the organic Halloween candy. It’s an easy recipe to make once you figure what you’re doing, but you might stumble with the first batch. Like all of the recipes on the list, make sure you buy organic ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted, creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 to 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup pure honey or maple syrup
  • Coconut oil to grease with

Directions

  1. Add the honey or maple syrup to a saucepan and stir in cream of tartar until it’s dissolved. Add a candy thermometer to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil on low-medium heat.
  2. Allow the mixture to heat to 300F.
  3. Make sure your other ingredients are measured out and ready to go while you are waiting for the mixture to boil. Also, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the mix from the heat as soon as it hits 300F.
  5. Add the salt and peanut butter, mixing as quickly as you can then add it to the cookie sheet. Press it down so it’s flat.
  6. Cut the candy into bars using an oiled knife while it’s still warm Then cool in the fridge.
  7. Melt the chocolate in an oven-safe bowl. Then coat the bars on each side.
  8. Place in the freezer for at least one hour.

Enjoy your treats!

Honey caramel nuts

Do you crave salted caramel? Well, we’ve got great news for you! Butter Believer has an excellent salted honey caramel nuts you will love. As usual, you are going to want to buy organically sourced ingredients to make your yummy treat.

This recipe is a little bit different because there aren’t any measurements, but it all works out.

Ingredients

  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Nuts
  • Natural sea salt

Directions

  1. Add equal parts butter and honey to a pan to simmer until it’s thick.
  2. Throw some nuts of your choice into the caramel sauce or drizzle it over a bowl of nuts. Whatever you want to do.
  3. Sprinkle salt over the nuts.

Chill your sweet treat in the fridge until it hardens up. Kick back with your homemade wine and enjoy the spooky night.

Orange coconut fudge

Do you want something brighter and fruity instead of the typical organic Halloween treats? What about some delicious fudge? Not just any kind of fudge, though. This is orange coconut butter fudge from Catholic Homemaker. It’s all of these yummy flavors wrapped into one incredible bar.

The best part? This doesn’t have a ton of sugar. So, you’ll feel good about giving it to your kids. That is if you don’t eat it all yourself.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 cup coconut manna or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Melt the coconut manna or butter and the coconut oil in a small pot, stirring until it’s soft.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and mix them together.
  3. Pour the mixture into a small square glass container and put it in the fridge to set.

That recipe is absolutely delicious, but if you are a fan of more traditional flavors, we have just what you might be looking for.

Vegan chocolate fudge

Fudge is a great organic Halloween candy treat because it is almost universally liked. Kids can’t get enough of the sweet, chocolate goodness. It also pairs well with other snacks. I’ve been known to shove fudge and a handful of no-bake salted caramel popcorn into my mouth all at once. Don’t judge me.

The other great thing about fudge is that it’s just so easy to make. It’s literally just some mixing and waiting. Of course, you want to make sure you are buying really good, organic ingredients to make this even tastier. If you have children over your home, you can even get them in on this!

Check out the recipe from DetoxInsta below.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup warm almond butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions

  1. Mix together the coconut oil and almond butter in a medium bowl until it’s smooth.
  2. Add maple syrup, cocoa powder, sea salt, and vanilla. Mix until it’s smooth and then line a 9-inch square dish with parchment paper and pour the mixture in the dish.
  3. Put the fudge in the freezer for at least an hour and let it set.

If you’ve made a special batch for your house, you can freeze it for up to three months and it will still be delicious.

Vegan peanut brittle

If you’ve never had peanut brittle, stop what you are doing and prepare to write your grocery list down. It’s like a caramelly, peanut buttery, crispy, crunchy taste of heaven. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit too descriptive, but seriously it is incredible.

Guess what? There’s a vegan version!!

If you use organic, vegan ingredients it’s even better and most kids will like it too. If they don’t you should probably just throw the whole kid away and eat your peanut brittle by yourself. That was a joke, please do not throw any kids in the garbage.

The following recipe was found on Loving It Vegan. The creator recommends you have a candy thermometer handy and prepare to stir really quickly. Your arm is going to get a workout, so be prepared.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. First, get a baking sheet out and spray it with cooking spray to prevent any sticking. You could also use parchment paper and spray that. Also, make sure your ingredients are all measured out before you get started.
  2. Put the syrup, salt, sugar, and water in a pot and put the burner on medium-high. Stir the mixture the entire time while the sugar dissolves.
  3. Put the candy thermometer in the pot, add the peanuts and stir until it reaches 300F.
  4. Remove from the heat and quickly add the baking soda and vegan butter.
  5. Pour it on the sheet and use utensils to pull the mixture across the pan so your candy is thin.
  6. Put it in the fridge to cool and then crack the candy into pieces to distribute.

Enjoy Your Spookalicious Holiday

That’s all there is to it! Organic Halloween candy is incredibly easy to make. And the best part is that when you mess up, you can usually enjoy your mistakes as well. You might just want to give your treats to close family and friends this time around because parents don’t generally allow their children to eat homemade goodies given to them by strangers along their trick-or-treat route.

Worst comes to worst, you can keep the yummy candy in your freezer and enjoy all by yourself. We don’t recommend you gobble it up all in one sitting though. Another great idea is to use these recipes for the Christmas season. If you are an avid cookie maker, you can throw these treats on the plates. Either way, enjoy it!

Categories
bestseekers.com

17 Halloween Costume Ideas to Spark Your Creativity

With all the spooky outfits you see, it’s ironic that the scariest part of Halloween is often choosing a Halloween costume of your own. However, with a little inspiration, you too can have a Halloween costume that is sure to impress.

What Makes a Good Halloween Costume?

When choosing a Halloween costume, everyone has their own goals.

For example, some people may desire a truly frightening costume. After all, Halloween is at its core a way to celebrate the spooky and supernatural.

For kids, Halloween can give them the chance to dress up as a superhero, or perhaps something they aspire to be when they grow up.

More and more, Halloween costumes are also a way for people to show off their favorite characters from pop culture. A good Halloween costume reflects something about the person wearing it, even if it is just a desire to scare people.

It’s the little things

Of course, there is more to it than that. One thing that exceptional Halloween costumes usually have in common is attention to detail.

Whether it is intricate clothes, intense face paint, fake blood, or an epic wig, the best costumes are fine-tuned down to the tiniest features. Fortunately, there are plenty of detailed premade costumes for people seeking easy Halloween costumes.

8 Scary Halloween Costumes

If you’re looking to frighten the bejeebers out of people, you can’t go wrong with traditional costumes drawing from ancient folklore. There are also options from horror movies and pop culture to choose from.

1. A wicked witch

The witch is a classic Halloween costume with a lot of room for customization. Only the hat and broomstick are truly necessary,  leaving you with the freedom to decide the rest of the outfit.

For example, long black dresses make particularly haunting Halloween costumes when paired with black capes. You can use face paint to make yourself pale and ghostly, and paint Wiccan symbols on your forehead. Earings are also a nice touch.

This Halloween costume is only as scary as you choose to make it.

2. The Joker

Let’s be honest, clowns are already frightening enough. However, a good Joker costume takes it to a whole new level. If you’re looking for easy Halloween costumes that are still heavily disturbing, this one may be for you.

Use white face paint for the face, red for the mouth, and dark green or black for the eyes. Beyond that, all you need is the wig and his iconic purple suit.

3. Billy the Puppet from Saw

Keeping with the creepy clown-like theme, Billy the Puppet is another great choice for easy Halloween costumes. This one is sure to bring back traumatic memories for anyone who has seen the Saw movies.

All it requires is some face paint and a black suit with a white shirt and red bow tie. Alternatively, you could just buy the costume with a mask from Amazon.

4. A wailing banshee

A banshee is a female spirit that either warns of impending death or calls attention to a death that has already happened.

Malevolent banshees, as seen in the show Supernatural, emit a high-pitched scream so excruciating it causes victims to commit suicide.

Pale skin and a tattered dress are the main trademarks of banshees. However, many banshee costumes also feature white hair and tears of blood.

5. A decaying zombie

Zombies are another classic Halloween costume and provide even more freedom. Since zombies are typically undead citizens, have fun thinking about your backstory.

You could be a construction worker turned zombie, for instance, or someone famous like Elon Musk. The amount of decaying flesh you have is also completely up to you.

Use clothes you don’t care about ruining and cut holes where ever you see fit. Use face paint and fake blood to make it look like you’ve been through some stuff. Don’t forget to make your eyes look dark and gaunt.

Of course, you can always simply go for a premade zombie costume.

6. A soulless demon

Nothing says “demon” like a great set of horns and pointy teeth. It’s part of how demons choose their mates.

Depending on your interpretation, demons can be horrifying monstrosities or reserved and decadent beings.

The latter would generally be drawn to jewelry and fancy clothes such as a robe or dress. If you prefer scary then a mask and fake claws might be in order.

7. A White Walker

Despite the disappointing series finale, Game of Thrones remains one of the most beloved pop culture series of all time. The White Walkers’ single-minded goal of adding humans to their undead army makes them an excellent choice for Halloween costumes.

If you’re looking for easy Halloween costumes, then you can’t go wrong with a Night King mask and outfit.

For women or those looking for cheap Halloween costumes, all you really need is some face paint, a white wig, and some black clothes. You can use black leather straps for extra detail without adding too much to the cost.

8. Coraline’s mom

Mrs. Jones from the movie Coraline may be one of the creepiest characters in existence, making her a perfect Halloween costume.

A polka dot dress, black and white face paint, two large buttons, some wire, and perhaps a wig are all that you need for this one.

Use white paint as the base for your face and add black eyebrows, lips, and any other details you wish. For the neck and below the collar bone, use black as the base and add the skeleton features.

Glue a large button to each end of wire long enough to go around the back of your head, and paint the wire white so that it blends in. You can cut a hole in the center of the buttons to make it easier to see, or just hide them behind your hair until it’s time to take pictures.

5. Fun Halloween Costumes

Not everyone is looking to induce nightmares with their Halloween costume, and that’s okay. Your goal with your costume might just be to look cute or awesome.

Fortunately, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

9. A mystical fairy

Although not frightening, fairies are technically spirits. So even in the traditional sense, Halloween is their holiday too.

There are many types of fairies, most of which are the embodiment of a specific element. For example, an earth fairy would likely have an outfit with shades of green. In contrast, a fire fairy would wear orange and red.

Regardless of the colors you choose, nearly all fairies have pointy ears, beautiful wings, and wear pretty dresses or skirts.

Feel free to put on colorful makeup and embrace your love of glitter with this Halloween costume.

10. An adorable avocado

When it comes to eating avocados, people tend to have a love/hate relationship with them. However, most everyone agrees on the universal cuteness of an avocado with a face.

If you’re looking for easy Halloween costumes, this one requires very little effort. Simply find a costume that works for you and wait for it to arrive.

This is also a great choice for couples looking for matching Halloween costumes.

11. A Hogwarts student

If you’re one of Harry Potter’s many faithful fans, then dressing up as a Hogwarts student makes for a perfect Halloween costume.

Just order yourself a wand and the robes for your house of choice, and your job is done. All that is left is for you to convince people that you’re brave enough to be in Gryffindor, or that Slytherins are not all bad.

If you prefer to go as a specific character from the Harry Potter universe such as Harry or Ron, it’s as easy as buying a wig. You could even dress up as Professor McGonnogal if you think you can match her shrewd face and piercing gaze.

12. Your favorite character from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender is extremely popular, and is frequently among the most streamed shows on Netflix.

Any fan of the series will agree that the characters are what makes it so fantastic. In fact, we defy you to name a character that isn’t memorable. There are Ang, Saka, Katara, and Zuko to name a few.

These are also easy Halloween costumes that require very little effort. Simply buy the matching outfit and a few extra trinkets to go along with it. For example, Ang’s costume needs a bald cap and blue paint for his tattoos, and Saka never goes anywhere without his trusty boomerang.

13. A Pandora native

Speaking of Avatar, there’s also the completely unrelated 2009 film directed by James Cameron. You know, the one with the blue aliens.

Going as a Pandora native only requires a wig and blue paint for your face and any exposed skin. The clothes are really up to you since you could technically be wearing anything. But for women, there is a premade jumpsuit available on Amazon.

4 Heros and Villians

Below you will find some of the best ideas for hero and villain Halloween costumes.

Your favorite Disney villain

With Disney Plus and the wide array of Disney Villain’s merchandise now available, nostalgia for these characters is at an all-time high. Like Avatar, Disney is filled with memorable characters that people are sure to appreciate.

If you’re looking for a fun yet evil Halloween costume, there are plenty of options available from Disney.

14. Gaston

Gaston from Beauty and the Beast is the epitome of toxic masculinity, and many a Disney fan’s favorite villain. This easy Halloween costume only requires you to order the outfit and shave your beloved facial hair.

15. Ursula

Disney’s sassiest villain is also many peoples’ favorite. Ursula from Beauty and the Beast makes for an instantly recognizable and memorable Halloween costume.

You’ll want to go heavy on the makeup for this one.

Your favorite superhero (or villain)

Many of us wish we could dress up as a superhero every day of the year, but unfortunately, society does not deem it acceptable. When it gets down to it, there are only two times a year when people will understand: Comicon and Halloween.

Opening this can of worms gives access to all kinds of possibilities for both men and women.

16. Gamora

Since Guardians of the Galaxy and her appearance in Avengers, Gamora has become a beloved character within the Marvel universe. This easy Halloween costume only requires you to buy the outfit and paint your face and hands green.

17. Thor

Marvel’s Thor makes dressing up like a Viking and speaking in fanciful old English cool, and for that we should honor him. You only need to buy the costume, but you may also want a wig in order to really sell it.

You Do You!

Ultimately, what you choose to be for Halloween is entirely up to you. We have confidence that you are a wonderful, intelligent human being with endless amounts of creativity. Everyone has their own preferences, so feel free to go crazy with whatever makes you happy.

What do you plan on being for Halloween? Let us know in the comments below!