Author Archive: Louise Black

The wonder of pack and plays

Out of the numerous pieces of baby gear and equipment, few are as multi-functional and useful as pack and plays. They are rarely on the lists of essential baby items because it is true that you can get by without one if you want to. However, pack and plays make life so much easier and we strongly recommend you buy one if you can.

What are pack and plays?

Pack and plays can also be called a portable crib or a portable playpen. They are compact and easily foldable which makes transporting a pack and play a breeze. Your baby can both sleep in them and play in them. Pack and plays can be easily moved between different areas of the house, allowing you to always have your baby next to you wherever you are. You can fill them with a blanket and the favorite plushie to help your child fall asleep or place some toys in it to let your baby play without fearing that they will crawl/walk away from you.

Some pack and plays come with a bassinet and a changing table, making them even more functional. These attachments are usually put on top of the pack and play. All elements – the main crib, the bassinet and the changing table – are safe for your baby to be put in. A pack and play allows you to bring your baby with you anywhere and still provide them with a safe environment.

Pack and plays can usually be used for children up to 3 years old (each product has specified age limits). The ones with a bassinet attachment can even be used with newborns.

What can they be used for?


The most obvious use of a pack and play is putting your baby to sleep. Unlike a regular crib or a toddler bed, however, pack and plays can be transported easily so if your baby gets sleepy while you are in the kitchen, you can simply put them in a pack and play to keep an eye on them.

Keeping separate play areas

A pack and play can also be very useful if you have more than one child. Sometimes siblings aren’t keen on sharing their toys and spaces, especially if it’s a younger sibling. Having a pack and play will allow you to draw some boundaries regarding different play areas for your children.


This is perhaps one of the most useful usages of a pack and play. Because of how multi-functional they are, pack and plays are often the only piece of baby equipment you will need when staying at a hotel or your cousin’s. And for an added advantage, your child will feel more comfortable because they are in a familiar environment, even if it’s a different country.

For thorough reviews of different types of pack and plays, visit the Lillie Nord website. The best pack and play by should provide everything you and your family need.

Your cheap midi keyboard buying guide

Are you looking for a low-cost, reliable keyboard that can translate your ideas into musical reality? A good midi controller is crucial to any computer-based music production set-up, and inexpensive models are no way near to disappointing your expectancies. However, choosing a great cheap midi keyboard is not the easiest thing one could pursue. The market is full of impractical models that not only shake you down but also cannot deliver proper assistance to your studio.

In this manner, you shouldn’t launch yourself into impulsive buying and get yourself a product that doesn’t fulfill your needs. Thus, the first thing you should do is make a list of indispensable features that your keyboard should provide and look for the model that ensures them.

 Essential factors to a gratifying midi keyboard

To give you a hand in the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a few aspects to consider before purchasing an inexpensive midi keyboard:

  • Quality. Firstly, your keyboard mustn’t feel cheap when you grab it. Make sure that the model is made out of at least a seemingly expensive material. Although you’re on a low-budget shopping spree, a high-quality material ensures endurance to the product.
  • Functions. Perhaps the most enchanting matter to discuss is the features the model provides. Even at lower prices, midi keyboards offer great functions that have the purpose to tempt you. Yet you surely don’t want a product with useless, or worse, non-functioning features. Look for the model that integrates functions that you find valuable for your work.
  • Your style of musicIntuitively, the keyboard you’re purchasing has to fit your style, so that its features meet your expectancies. Whether you create beats and want better pads or use synthetic sounds and find important the pitch bend and modulation features, you surely want a keyboard that doesn’t disappoint.

Best cheap midi keyboard alternatives on the market

On a more practical note, when we confront the market, it is fairly easy to be deceived by products that display great amenities. Thus, prior research to the actual purchase would come in handy.

On Mr. Pianist you can find listed the best picks for cheap midi keyboards, based on customer reviews, features, and brands. Moreover, you can guide yourself by the notes on Mr. Pianist for each keyboard and find the product that fits best your needs. Your expectancies play the most important part of the process, after all.

We selected our top-tier choice of the best cheap midi keyboard, and that is the Monoprice MIDI 49-Key Controller. This model provides every aspect that makes a keyboard a great studio tool. Starting from modulation and pitch bend wheels to MIDI out port and two assignable pedal inputs, this product seems to have it all. The 49 keys the Monoprice Controller disposes of are sensitive to the touch and mimic a classical piano’s keys. Moreover, this is an authentic driverless plug and play device which can be used with both Windows and Mac Pcs or simply operate it all by itself. Maybe the most beloved asset in consumers’ reviews is the four rotary encoded knobs that are included in the price.

How to arrange a tiny flat

When young adults first move out of their parents’ house they usually don’t have many options when it comes to housing. A small studio apartment is usually their first step into independence. And while it may seem daunting to live on your own, having full control over your living arrangements can give you the chance to fully express yourself.

Many fear that tiny living means feeling claustrophobic all the time but in reality, it is all about preparation. Living in a small apartment doesn’t have to be an awful experience. Here are some tips and tricks I picked up when I first started living on my own.


In any apartment furniture layout is key to living comfortably but this is especially true when it comes to small spaces. I lived in a studio apartment for five years and I went through three different layouts to find the one that I loved.

I found it crucial to divide the only room in the house into various zones. I am the kind of person who needs to have a proper computer desk to get any work done and I absolutely cannot write anything while lying on the sofa. So what I did was: take a medium-sized bookcase and put it in the middle of the room to separate the sofa and the desk. This way I didn’t sleep where I worked and vice versa. It created an illusion of having two rooms during the daytime, one for me where I worked and the other for my boyfriend. The bookcase ‘barrier’ obviously wasn’t soundproof but it gave me enough space to concentrate.

However, creating independent zones in one room will almost definitely make it seem even smaller and more cramped so be aware of that.


Do you also have a tiny kitchen that is too small for even one person to be in? I know what that’s like. What you can do is firstly, use smaller appliances or appliances that have many functions in one. For example, I definitely recommend purchasing a short fridge, the one that isn’t taller than the countertop. This way you gain not only a place to store your food, you can also put items on top of it. Many common kitchen items come in mini sizes now, you can easily get a tiny cutting board or a small dish rack that will fit right next to your sink.

Any storage needs should be fully covered by shelves and cabinets to leave the counters free for preparing food and cooking. If there are any items that you don’t use often, maybe take them out of the kitchen and put them somewhere else where you have more room. I always took the bulky kitchen equipment, like the wok frying pan I got as a gift and hardly ever used, to the small closet in the entry hall. Same with the waffle maker. I like waffles like any other person but if I’m only going to be using it every two weeks at most, its place is not in my tiny kitchen.

Don’t fret about living in a small apartment because any space can be made into a place you want to spend time if you think outside the box.

Gaggia Anima Prestiga Espresso Machine

Gaggia Anima Prestiga

Even though the cost for this coffee and espresso maker can be shocking or even overwhelming, it may be worth considering. This machine does way more than you would typically expect from a mere coffee maker. With the very large cost combined with the machine being a coffee and espresso maker, its capabilities have to be greater than what it can’t do.

To begin with, the appearance of this espresso maker has a sleek, silver design with a metallic appearance. This makes the machine look nice just about anywhere you put it, which is a nice plus!

As for the brewing part of this machine, there’s quite a bit to be said. With the ability to make yourself that perfect cup of coffee or espresso, the Gaggia Anima Prestige is also capable of more than a regular cup of caffeine. This espresso maker makes not only coffee and espressos but also a cup of cappuccino or lattes. Coffee specifically can be brewed with either beans or preground coffee so the options are never too limited. At the top of the machine lies a bean hopper and a water reservoir to simplify the brewing process. Even the temperature of the water can be controlled, which helps with the overall taste of the coffee! The espresso maker also works with a button above a spout like that of a drinking fountain. If the machine isn’t being used, it can go into an energy-saving mode too.

Attached to the machine is also a milk carafe, which is a container built to hold milk until it’s ordered to pour into a cup. It isn’t exactly like pouring a pitcher of milk, as it actually froths it while serving. Both the milk carafe and the brew unit for coffee have automatic cleaning cycles to help maintain the equipment of the machine as well.

A notable worry about the product worth mentioning is the packaging. For the cost, it’d be awful for this expensive espresso machine to break on its way to your home, right? Thankfully, this worry shouldn’t be too much of one as the packaging is carefully protected and sealed.

For the cost of the espresso machine, it would have to be worth the purchase to even considering sealing the deal. Thankfully, this machine does its job beyond what it aimed for and more. Even though things can be a bit confusing at first, the Gaggia Anima Prestiga Espresso Machine is more than worth the penny if it’s within your budget. The machine definitely does what it sets out to do with its broad range of capabilities. Whether it’s coffee, espresso, cappuccino, or even a latte, this machine manages to retain its high quality throughout its broad-ranged brewing process.

It should also be mentioned how if you’re an avid and frequent caffeine drinker, having an espresso machine waiting for you at home can cut back – if not remove entirely – those trips to a coffee shop every day. With a high-quality espresso maker at home, what else is there to ask for? Gaggia Anima Prestiga is indeed one of the best super automatic espresso machines on the market right now.

Ski clothing you need if you plan on going on a ski trip

Skiing is one of the sports that not everyone gets to experience on the regular. It requires living or going to a mountainous place with snow all-year round, or at least somewhere that is snowy for a good part of the year. Ski professionals and amateurs alike should practice the sport wearing specific gear and clothes to avoid any unwanted accidents or injuries that might end up causing major harm to them and others at the venue. Injuries sustained from skiing can be pretty serious, so you better take a look at these ski clothing items you should wear if you plan on going on a ski trip.

Ski jacket

Any place with deep levels of snow requires a jacket of sorts, just out of common sense’s sake. Ski jackets and one-piece suits are designed to withstand the harsh conditions that can come about in the backcountry. They also feature many ways to keep everything tight, so as to not let any of the snow that flies all over the place when going down a slope or just in general when traveling on skis.

Ski pants

While you might not give it much thought, winter sports like ski and snowboarding involve a lot of falling and getting back up again. Things would be much easier if we were talking about grass or sand, but we’re talking about snow sitting on the face of a rocky mountain. Of course, ski pants are a necessity to avoid as much bruising and hard hits as possible. These pants have special padding in the rear and other specific parts to protect skiers from such falls.

Ski boots

Logically, practicing a sport like skiing involves riding on skis, and you simply can’t put your bare feet on them. You need ski boots that attach to the skis themselves with bindings, which are designed to protect your feet while giving you maximum mobility as well as thermal coverage. Keep in mind a ski boot bag is also recommended, since once you’re down the mountain, walking back up in your ski boots isn’t the most comfortable thing ever.

Ski goggles

Snow flies all around when skiing, particularly when you pick up speed and you start avoiding obstacles at maximum velocity. Add the fact that just the cold wind hitting your face can be quite inconvenient for your vision, and you end up obviously needing some eyewear for protection. Ski goggles are just that, and some designs not only keep snow and wind off your eyes, but also harmful UV rays that you ignore on sunny days due to the cold atop the mountain.

Ski gloves

Skiing is only possible as long as you’re able to move, and the gear that makes that movement happen is a pair of ski poles. So, last but not least, ski gloves are necessary but to protect your hands from the cold and get a good grip of those poles. Coming down the mountain at full speed and taking regular impulses using the poles also means you’re prone to falling at one point, which is why these gloves are also padded like pants to protect your hands.

Top Indoor Tanning Lotions You Should Consider Next

There is no denying it – dark, bronze-colored skin is the ultimate look that thousands of people strive to achieve each and every year. Unfortunately, most people can’t just head over to the beach each day to soak up the rays of the sun. Instead, they resort to the other option – the tanning bed.

When it comes to tanning (whether inside or out), most people use lotions to help accelerate and intensify their color. While most outdoor tanning products are inexpensive and work moderately, indoor tanning lotions pack the most power (and often cost much more). If you’re one of those who uses indoor tanning lotions, then you’re well aware of their strength and how deep of a hole they put in your pocket!

Best Tanning Lotions for Tanning Beds

Are you looking for tanning cream that will give you the color and tone you want at a price that won’t break your bottle after bottle? If so, take a look below at reviews of the 3 best tanning lotions below and learn where you can find them for more than half-off of those ridiculous prices you see at most tanning salons.

Without wasting any more time, here is the breakdown of the best tanning lotions:

1 – Smoke Black Bronzer

Smoke Black Bronzer is one of the best tanning creams on the market. It’s one of our favorites, and for good reason – this bronzer brings some serious results quick! Once you apply this to your skin, you’ll notice the effects start to sink in right away. In fact, many people who have used Smoke Black Bronzer reported a noticeable difference in color immediately after their first session!

If you want a deep, dark tan right after the very first session, Smoke Black Bronzer is the answer.

2 – Designer Skin Spellbound

Another amazing lotion is none other than Designer Skin Spellbound. The Designer Skin brand has been around for years, establishing themselves as a leader among all indoor tanning lotions. While they have a large variety of lotions and bronzers, they hit a home run with Spellbound!

Designer Skin Spellbound is a powerful bronzer that will interact with your skin to produce an intensifying color that will last. Unlike other bronzers, you won’t be left with orange looking skin. Instead, you’ll have a great, all natural looking tan that you’ll be proud to show off, and that’s why Designer Skin Spellbound is one of the best tanning lotions on the market today.

3 – Millennium Paint It Black

The last of the best tanning products out there is none other than Millennium’s Paint It Black formula. Its bronzing formula helps deepen the color and tone of your skin after every session, giving it that radiant and bronze glow that you desire most. Millennium Paint It Black works with all skin types – even those who are fair skinned noticed a major difference in their overall color without suffering from any burns or irritation. With all of these amazing benefits, it’s no wonder why this is one of the best tanning lotions out there!

Get the Best Tanning Lotions Now

Now that you know what the best tanning creams are, wouldn’t you like to find out how to get them for nearly half-off their retail price? Its best to look at online shopping website and you will be shocked at how available these lotions are.

Why People Love Hawaii So Much

Hawaii is the youngest of the fifty states of the United States. It was found on August 21, 1959 and is the only state in the Union that is composed of islands. This state covers an area of almost eleven thousand square miles and has a population of one million and three hundred thousand residents. Because of its mild climate, warm waters, superb waves and natural scenic beauty it is a popular destination for tourist, as well as scientist looking to examine the ocean or the active volcanos on the islands. Because this state is situated in the mid-Pacific Ocean, it has had many Polynesian and Asian influences. The capital city of Hawaii is Honolulu, located on O’ahu Island. Hawaii is compose of almost the entire Hawaiian Island chain, which is made up of lots of islands spread out over an area of fifteen hundred square miles. The main Hawaiian islands consist of Hawaii, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and Niihau.

Hawaii can trace its roots back to Polynesians who came from Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. European settlement of the islands didn’t occur until 1778, when Captain James Cook discovered the islands while searching for a passage between Alaska and Asia. After his discovery, other Europeans flocked to the islands, as well as Americans. During the nineteenth century, the islands were united under a single ruler named Kamehameha I. In 1816, Kamehameha II ascended to the Hawaiian throne. In 1874, Hawaii granted the United States exclusive trading rights. The next year, the Reciprocity Treaty was enacted and allowed for the duty free importation of sugar cane into the United States from Hawaii. This resulted in an influx of Asians (necessary to work the fields) and an improved water works program to divert water from the streams to the lowlands. In 1959, Hawaii became the fiftieth state of the United States.


A popular Hawaiin attraction is Diamond Head Crater. Its located on the island of O’ahu and is officially known as a volcanic tuff cone. It received its name from English sailors during the nineteenth century when they mistook the calcite crystals in the rock for diamonds. Diamond Head is only one part of a large complex of eruption flows and vents that are known as the Honolulu Volcanic Series. This attraction, as well as Punchbowl Crater, Koko Head and Hanuama Bay were created by eruptions from Kooalau Volcano.

Diamond head is now a national monument and a popular tourists attraction. Part of the crater is used by the United States government as an antenna platform and is therfore closed to the general public. The rest of it, which is close to many of Honolulu’s hotels, make it a popular tourist attraction. A three quarter mile hike leads to the rim of the crater. Another popular attraction in Hawaii is Waimea Bay. Waimea Bay is situated on the northern shore of Oahu at the head of the Waimea River. During the winter months, Waimea has a variety of surfing contests due to the size of the waves that can be seen here. During the summer months, the bay is generally quiet and is frequented by a number of scuba divers, free divers and cliff jumpers.

Another prominent Hawaiian attraction is Akaka Falls State Park. Akaka Falls State Park is situated on the Island of Hawai’i and is eleven miles north of Hilo. The key feature of the park is Akaka Falls, which is a four hundred and forty-two foot waterfall. The part of the park that can be reached by hikers rise along a deep gorge that the waterfall plunges into. Akaku Falls, as well as Kahuna Falls can be seen from different parts of this trail. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is another site to visit while in the Hawaiian Islands. This botanical garden is situated off of Route Nineteen on Papa’ikou.

It sits in a valley that opens out to Onomea Bay and contains waterfalls, a boardwalk and streams. It was opened in 1984 by Dan J. Lutkenhouse. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden contains over two thousand species of plants that come from more than seven hundred and fifty genera and one hundred and twenty five families. It contains over two hundred species of palms, eighty species of bromeliads and eighty species of heliconias. A beautiful and fascinating attraction in Hawaii is Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano. It is one of the five that form the island. Its peak rises over thirteen thousand feet above sea level, but is over thirty-three thousand feet above its bottom on the Pacific Ocean. By this measure, its the tallest mountain in the world. Its summit is above the timberline and is composed of lava rock covered with patches of tundra.