Everything you need to know about Invisalign

Everybody wants a great aligned tooth; however, due to various reasons, not many people can feel really confident when they smile. Surprisingly, it not only damages self-confidence but equally affects an individual socially and psychologically. On the other side, most people don’t want to go for an alignment due to the fear of traditional braces. 

Traditional braces use the wiring system that runs along with your teeth. Likewise, they come with various pain points such as: 

  • Irritation
  • Limitation on your diet
  • Periodic maintenance
  • The overall structure

One significant point is that it can equally be costly, and that not how much does Invisalign cost as compared to traditional wired braces. So, what actually is Invisalign? As you stick with the article, we’ll put a detailed insight on Invisalign.

What Exactly is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a modern solution for aligning your teeth without wireframes. These are actually clear, smooth, and durable plastic custom molded into invisible aligners that snap over the teeth. Likewise, every two weeks, you’ll need to go for an exchange of your Invisalign. New aligners will slowly straighten the position of the teeth giving a perfect posture.

How Does It Work?

While the traditional braces need readjustment every time you visit a dentist, Invisalign is a snug fit, and they gently push the teeth to the right places, further aligning and gradually bringing the desired result. 

Invisalign comes with a lightweight aligner that slips over your teeth. Each aligner forces your teeth in the shape as required, and you will slowly figure out the change in your smile.  

How Can You Get Started?

If you want to get a perfect smile for your teeth, you’ll need to make an appointment with the specialist. Your dentist will make sure that Invisalign is right for you. Invisalign comes with specially developed software with 3D imaging technology too. This allows you to virtually preview how your teeth will align over time. 

After you decide to move ahead, the dentist will attach fixtures to the teeth. A mold is developed in your teeth, and the Invisalign aligners are further fabricated as per the treatment stage.

Is Invisalign Better Than Traditional Braces?

There are several benefits of using Invisalign over traditional braces. Here’s why you need to go for Invisalign 

  • It’s Invisible
  • It’s a brace that’s invisible. There is definitely a great advantage. Your employer, friend, partner, and family won’t be able to notice when you smile in front of them. 

It’s Comfortable

Invisalign can cause mild discomfort at first; however, once you are habituated to it, you will be more comfortable applying an Invisalign than go for traditional braces, which generally cause abrasions.

Removal

It is a fact that you can take Invisalign for meals and dental care. This is one of the biggest reasons why patients prefer Invisalign.

Side effects

There can definitely be mild discomfort when you start wearing Invisalign. They fit over the top of the teeth, and therefore, they may take some time for adjustment. Most of the patients have been found to face the issue of prolonged irritation to the cheeks or the lips. If you face such a thing, don’t hesitate to speak about the issue to your doctor. 

Allergens

In very rare cases, one may face allergic reactions. This reaction is generally mild and irritating gums. However, even after several days, the aligners don’t adjust, and you still experience irritation, its best to consult a dentist and go for treatment accordingly. 

Is it Possible to Switch to Invisalign?

Yes, it is definitely possible to switch from traditional braces to Invisalign. However, you need to consult your dentist before you take that step. In fact, your dentist will determine the best treatment before going through the process. 

You need to know that Invisalign is a separate form of treatment, and the cost of switching over can be sometimes costly depending on how long you’ve been wearing your braces. Remember, Invisalign may not be as efficient as continuing with the existing plan. 

How Much Does Invisalign Dost?

There are several factors to think about when comparing the price between traditional braces and Invisalign aligners. Meanwhile, you can understand the final cost depending upon how severe the teeth alignment issue needs to be dealt with. 

Traditional braces can be quite cheap as compared to Invisalign. Typically wire framed braces cost about $2,500 to $6,000. On the other side, Invisalign can be a little expensive than traditional wire framed braces. The average cost remains between $3,500 to $8,000. 

Conclusion

If you are one of those seeking to correct misaligned or crooked teeth without any hassle, Invisalign is the ideal solution for you. Do you want to feel confident? Are you willing to pose for that perfect smile? Don’t stop yourself when you have got the best treatment for your teeth. You can go for easy fixation of Invisalign from the best dentist at the best price. Happy Smiles!

 

Must-visit places in America for sports fans

America is known for many things: technological innovation, fast food, and a lively sports scene. Most of the major sports originate or were popularized within America and it’s in every sports fan to watch a game or visit an iconic locale within the country. 

What’s even better is that the local sports betting laws have started loosening up. At least 22 states in the country, with Maryland being the latest to legalize sports betting, have sports betting action.

Every sports team creates its own set of culture that brings together different elements of society. There’s the financial and technical aspect within the sports betting realm, the arts and entertainment portion with team design, and traveling and tourism with sports venues. 

America is the place to visit for sports tourism with each state, city, or venue offering a piece of history and culture. Looking everything up will require a textbook, but we put together a small list of where to begin.

Places every diehard sports fan must visit in America

Lambeau Field (Green Bay, WI)

Pic via MilwaukeeINSIDER

 

This tops the list of any football fan’s bucket list. The iconic Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operating NFL stadium and has an extensive list of historic football events from being dubbed “Titletown, USA” in the early 60’s to the Frozen Tundra of 1967. 

The stadium is home to the NFL’s most beloved franchise, the Green Bay Packers and together, they are the only team and stadium to be completely owned by the fans. For its immense history and football tradition, Lambeau Field is one to visit for fans looking for the authentic American football experience.

New York City, NY

New York City boasts a record TEN major league sports teams: two for each pro league from the NFL to MLS. Collectively, NYC has won 50 championships including the Yankees’ 27.

Speaking of the Yankees, arguably the most popular sports team in the world, visiting Yankee Stadium is a no-brainer. Madison Square Garden is also just as iconic as the Yankees hosting not just the Knicks and Rangers but a slew of historic sporting events like the “Fight of the Century” between boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Boston, MA

Boston has transformed itself into the “City of Champions” in recent years with all of its “Big Four” teams winning a championship in the last decade. 

Of course, Boston’s sports tourism goes beyond just having four amazing teams. The historic Fenway Park is the oldest active ballpark in the majors and the Boston Celtics are eponymous to the NBA representing the state where basketball was invented. 

Camden Yards (Baltimore, ML)

Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park may be more recognized, but Camden Yards is the pinnacle among American ballparks.

The Orioles’ home turf popularized the concept of “retro” major league ballparks and has often been copied. Several parks like the PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Oracle Park in San Francisco, two must-visit ballparks in their own right, were both inspired by Camden Yards.

San Francisco, CA

“Bay Bridge – San Francisco” by KP Tripathi (kps-photo.com) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

When it comes to representing the sports scene in the West Coast, San Francisco edges out Los Angeles by way of being more scenic. 

The Bay Area is home to a plethora of quality sports teams like the Giants in baseball, the 49ers in football, and the Warriors in the NBA. The Giants play in Oracle Park, arguably the best sports venue for sports tourists. Its picturesque view is one to behold.  

Las Vegas, NV

Sin City is not only the “Gambling Capital of the World” but also offers a unique sports scene on its own. Previously barren of any major league teams, Vegas has since acquired a hockey team (Vegas Golden Knights) and a football team (Las Vegas Raiders).

But that’s only for starters. Vegas is also the “Fight Capital” and constantly features UFC and major boxing events. Several motorsports, golf, and even rodeo are featured.

More places to visit in America for sports fans

With all the sports history in America, it was all but impossible to fit everything. But here are a few more places sports fans should put on their checklist:

  • Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta, GA)
  • Chicago, IL
  • Los Angeles, CA

Visiting these places isn’t just about taking in the sports scene, but basking in the different character each state or city has. And that’s the beauty in a place like America. There is something for everyone and that includes even the most eclectic sports fan.

 

Learn How to Shield Skin from the Harmful Effects

beautiful beach

It is almost inevitable that during the course of our lives, we will receive some skin damage from the effects of the sun. Even if you don’t feel the sun is exceptionally bright, it can still be causing damage, and the only way to totally avoid this is to stay out of the sun is not particularly practical. There are other things you can do to help protect yourself, including avoiding the sunlight when it is strongest, which is during the middle of the day and wearing protective clothing. We’ve also put together some more information to help you learn how to shield your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

Benefits of the Sun

There are some benefits to exposing your skin to the sun, fresh air and being outdoors is good for the body and also the mind. Being outside generally means being more active, and of course, this is good for your body. Vitamin D is also the first thing people think about when it comes to getting some sun, and of course, this is true, but there are other ways to ensure you get enough vitamin D including many of the foods that we eat which are fortified with vitamins and minerals. You are unlikely to be able to avoid the sun altogether, so moderation is key.

Dangers of Exposure

Getting too much sun can be dangerous, and of course, one of the most immediate signs that we have been out in the heat for too long is sunburn. Like any burn, sunburn causes damage to the cells and blood vessels of the skin. If you are continually getting sunburnt, the skin will be unable to recover and will be wrinkled, leathery and discoloured. While this may look like the skin has become thicker, it is actually weak and more susceptible to being bruised. Skin cancer is not something you can immediately see but is caused by too much sun, and by the time it is discovered you can be seriously ill so avoiding this risk is a better tactic. 

Avoiding Skin Damage from the Sun 

One of the simplest things you can do to help avoid damage is to use sunscreen. It should actually be a daily habit because even in the winter, the sun’s rays can do damage. The sun is strongest between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, and this is when the ultraviolet Rays are most likely to catch you out. If at all possible, avoid the sun during these times. We have some really great UV protective clothing on offer, and if you do need to go out into the sun for long periods, you are advised to cover up with these special garments that do not overheat you but protect from the damaging UV rays. Wide-brimmed hats are also recommended, and this will also help avoid sunstroke. You should also protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that have a UV light filter. 

Choose High SPF Factors

Each sunscreen comes with an SPF rating, and this indicates the efficacy of the product when it comes to protecting from UVB rays, these are the rays of the sun that burn you. Sunscreens are also designed to absorb UVA light. So logically, the higher the SPF number, the better the product is going to protect you. Even if you don’t burn quickly, you should still look to use a sunscreen that has an SPF factor of at least 30. If you have ever been diagnosed with skin cancer or precancer cells, you should aim for something that is even higher. 

Skin That Doesn’t Burn

People who have skin that doesn’t burn often think they can get away with using low SPF factor sun cream. However, it is not just about ensuring we don’t burn. Some of the damage from the Rays is not immediately seen, and there is no apparent adverse effect. But later in life skin cancer or precancerous cells can be detected and cause a lot of long-term damage. No matter what sort of skin you have, it is much better to protect yourself from the sun at all times even if you don’t burn so no matter what SPF 30 and above is recommended.

What About Children?

Sunscreen is vital for children, once they are over the age of six months, getting them used to regular skin cream use can really help protect them against cancers in later life. Studies have shown that if children applied sunscreen from the age of six months to 18 years, skin cancer cases and later life would be cut by about 72%. Children under the age of six months should be kept in the shade and wear protective clothing

 How to Use Sunscreen

You should look to apply your sunscreen at least half an hour before you plan to go out of the house, especially if you’re going to be exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes. While you are out, you should also reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If you get very wet because you have been swimming you should actually reapply your sunscreen on a more regular cycle. Any exposed area of skin can burn, people often forget their ears, backs of the hands, face and lips. Be generous with your sunscreen and smooth it on, for women who wear makeup the sunscreen should go under your makeup. Sweating makes your sun cream less effective, so factor this in and if needs be, apply more regularly.

Sorry We’ve Been MIA- We’ve Had #Covid19

So, we’ve been a little hard to reach lately, and the emails have been stacking up. I wanted to share with you that we’ve had Covid-19, and were very, very sick for quite a minute there. Now that we are starting to get back online and back to “normal” lives again, we wanted to let you know that we didn’t forget about anyone and we are going to get back to every single one of you.

I have a few winners to announce, and lots of items I had planned for my annual “Holiday Gift Guide”, but I was just to sick to do it this year, I apologize. I tried to get on as much as I could, but it wasn’t a lot. I really wan’t well.

We made a short video for you, thank you for sticking with us and for understanding.

PLEASE BE SAFE out there. As hard as we tried and as little as we went out, we still got sick. Take every precaution, I hope you all stay healthy and have a wonderful 2021. Hugs!

Looking for Non-Candy Valentines Gifts for the Kids? #Ideas

Looking for fun Valentines Day toys and games for the kiddos? Since we are stuck indoors (too cold to be outside for long, and the pandemic is keeping us from being out and about), you’ll want to have boredom busters. Not to mention, no way you’d want to fill the kids up with candy when they can’t burn off all the sugar, haha. CHeck out these fun finds, you are sure to find something you will love.

ARTS & CRAFTS

iLY Pura Loom Bracelet Maker from WeCool Toys

Making beautiful friendship bracelets doesn’t have to be difficult! The new iLY Pura Loom Bracelet Maker by Activity Kings is the easiest way to make the most beautiful and trendy friendship bracelets! Learn different techniques to make a variety of textured and colorful bracelets for you and your friends! Create colorful twisted designs with beads, charms & more! It’s easy to create, wear, and share with your BFF! The combinations are endless, the only limit is your imagination! Ages 6+, MSRP $19.99.

STEM/SCREEN FREE EDUCATION

Smarty PAD™

The new Smarty PAD™ interactive LED tablet gives preschoolers and kindergarteners a new way to play and learn with 12 smart games and age-appropriate curriculum. Motion sensors give the lightweight tablet an innovative spin, encouraging unique sensory play. Smarty PAD™ speaks in both English and Spanish as kids play with colors, patterns, ABCs, and numbers up to 25. Smarty PAD™ teaches phonics, language, early math, and beginning coding, nurturing small motor development and critical thinking. Positive reinforcement, helpful encouragement, and over 100 different responses keep kids engaged every time they play. Ideal for kids 3 to 6 years old. MSRP: $34.99.

Smarty JOJO™

The Smarty JOJO™ is a super-charged interactive airplane that gets high-energy preschoolers learning on the go. Motion sensors encourage physical activity while JOJO teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites. JOJO’s kidspeak conversation also nurtures emotional intelligence, calling out feelings and helping kids recognize their own emotions. Bi-lingual JOJO speaks in English or Spanish. The newest SMART technology enables JOJO to identify colors. “Can you find something blue?” “Yes, you can!” Over 150 random actions and reactions make the experience different every time a child plays!  Ideal for kids 2 to 4 years old and $24.99.

Smarty FLUTTER™

Flycatcher’s Smarty FLUTTER™ learning toy teaches preschoolers on-the-go as they fly through a room or a yard. Smart Technology identifies colors, and kidspeak conversation calls out feelings, helping kids recognize their own emotions. Fun missions teach right and left directions, shapes, and opposites. Motion sensors encourage active physical play. Over 150 random actions and reactions make the experience different every time a child plays. Smarty Flutter™ also speaks in both English and Spanish. Ideal for kids 2 to 4 years old and $24.99.

STRESS FREE TACTILE FUN

Insta Studio Hands-Free Video Station from WeCool Toys

The new Insta Studio by WeCool Toys has everything one needs to shoot their very own viral videos. Equipped with an adjustable base and rotating head to shoot at the best angle possible, this device allows kids of all ages to shoot viral videos hands free! Kids can use their Insta Studio to shoot all types of videos. From cooking, crafting, and sliming, children have the freedom to create fun videos. Includes fun and trendy backgrounds, mixing tools, various slimy compounds, and sparkly mix ins! The only limit is your imagination. $19.99, 4 and up.

Angry Putty from Crazy Aaron’s

Turn your frustration into fun! Angry Putty™ features a unique formula that builds resistance as you play. This amazing putty actually absorbs your tension— getting tenser and tenser with each stretch—to leave you feeling happy and relaxed. The line includes three skus’, Hot Head, Stress Ball, and Drama Queen.

scenty putty

Holiday SCENTsory from Crazy Aaron’s

Cozy up with these four delectable holiday scents featuring fun SCENTsory texture that will joy to anyone’s world. The line includes two skus’, 4” Jingle and 4” North Pole. MSRP $3.50

Vibes SCENTsory Putty from Crazy Aaron’s

Vibes SCENTsory® putty is great for gamers, all-night study sessions, and anyone who is craving a little more intensity from their SCENTsory® experience. This collection features bright colors and bold scents that are perfect for powering up. The line includes Jam Session, Flower Power, Crunch Time.

Mixed by Me kits from Crazy Aaron’s

Mix up your very own custom-colored Thinking Putty! Each kit includes 5 tins of clear putty, 3 color concentrates, 3 special effects, and an instructional mat—everything you’ll need to make cool colors that are all your own! You can even use the included colored pencils to decorate your tins to match. Two sets to choose from, Holographic and Glow in the Dark.

SUSTAINABILITY

shore buddies

Shore Buddies Plush Line

Shore Buddies stuffed animals collection are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are collected and sorted by recyclable collectors before cleaned and shredded into plastic flakes. Some of these flakes are used for the Shore Buddies’ stuffing, others get melted and turned into polyester yarn for the soft outside. It takes six plastic bottles to make one 12″ stuffed animal and the line features a fun array of characters including Sammy the Seal, Stephen Seagull, Shelly the Sea Turtle, Emma the Whale and Finn the Dolphin. Each of the five Shore Buddies also has its own unique authentic sound when pressed. All ages MSRP 19.95

Cargo Plane from Green Toys

All systems go! The Green Toys™ Cargo Plane is filled with freight and ready to take flight! This bright yellow and blue flier features a three-wheel design and handle on the body, so little pilots can easily go from taxiing on the ground to soaring in the sky on an eco-friendly adventure. Access the spacious cargo hold through a flip-down door that doubles as a ramp, perfect for loading up the included Green Toys™ Mini Car or anything else imaginations want to stow away. Great for indoor and outdoor play, the super-safe design has no metal axels or exterior paints or coatings. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with eco-friendly inks. For ages 3 and up. MSRP $19.99.

Green Toys™ Disney Baby® Mickey Mouse Stacker

The Green Toys™ Disney Baby® Mickey Mouse Stacker takes a classic toy and makes it safer and more playful, with no sharp edges, small parts, or interlocking pieces that can pinch fingers and an adorable Mickey Mouse-themed topper and base. The seven brightly colored red, blue, and yellow nesting pieces stack easily from large to small, while also allowing children to use their imagination and stack in any order. This eliminates frustration when they’re little, and leaves room for learning and improvement as they grow. The set is designed with no center post, making it a perfect first stacking toy for babies. With this toy, babies and toddlers can gain practice in important developmental areas, including but not limited to motor skills, coordination, categorization and sorting, problem solving, spatial reasoning, and color identification. Like all Green Toys™ Disney Baby® products, the Mickey Mouse Stacker meets FDA standards for food contact and is dishwasher safe, making it safe for teething babies to put in their mouths. It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic and free from external coatings, eliminating the fear of toxins and lead paint. No BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged using only recycled and recyclable materials printed with environmentally responsible inks. Recommended for ages 6 months and up.

ACTIVE PLAY

Mobo Explorer Balance Bike

With the Mobo Explorer Balance Bike kids can experience the thrill of riding California freestyle with the security of having two feet on the ground. As your child masters the use of the explorer you will see them go from small steps to riding with ease. With its multiple safety pads and extended frame your child will be extra safe while learning. The cushioned premium seat accommodates children 2-6 years old. The included two seat posts accommodate most kid sizes! As your child builds strength, balance and confidence they’ll have a blast using the integrated footrest to roll in style. With never-flat tires your child will have many years of maintenance free fun. The sturdy frame and optimized geometry makes it stable and easy to handle. A child’s first bike encourages their sense of freedom, curiosity and wonder. Let them experience that feeling in style and safety with the Mobo Explorer Balance Bike. MSRP $89.00.

BOOKS

Guion the Lion

Guion The Lion is a new children’s book that celebrates the differences in all children through a colorful and exciting journey. The book, which follows the adventures of an imaginative little lion who sees things a little differently from his friends, was penned by mother, entrepreneur and author Rebecca Wilson Macsovits and inspired by her three children including Guion, her oldest son who also has Down syndrome. Full of whimsical delights, discoveries and beautiful watercolor illustrations, this book teaches children that appreciating individual differences and embracing others’ ideas can lead to unimaginable adventures and endless fun. Guion The Lion is available now via Amazon and online at www.Guionthelion.com. MSRP $17.99.

diverse dolls

DOLLS

I’M A GIRLY

I’M A GIRLY fashion dolls encourage children to play creatively and help them find their very own style. All dolls are co-designed by the brand’s own kid design team, KIDS4KIDS. The design panel, made up of 8 to 14-year-old boys and girls, tells the brand exactly how the products should look. Kids can customize a doll just for them with more than 150 accessories, interchangeable wigs in many colors, and dolls with different skin tones. I’M A GIRLY fashion dolls are made of 100% high-quality vinyl. The hair can be styled and combed in various ways, thanks to the procurement of first-class Kanekalon. Kanekalon is a material used for the production of adult wigs. For the first time, one can even cut the doll’s hair and simply exchange the wig afterwards. The packaging is made of recyclable materials and can be used as well to store the fashion doll or for crafting.

RELATIONSHIP GAMES

Fog of Love – from Hush Hush Projects

Learn How To Play Here

Playing Fog of Love is like starring in a romantic comedy, it’s a rollercoaster ride of awkward situations, laugh out loud moments and difficult compromises you have to make. Two players will create and play two vivid characters who meet, fall in love and face the challenge of making an unusual relationship work. Just like in a real relationship, you each might want different things. Do you stay true to yourself, or do what your partner wants for the good of the relationship? You can even decide to break their heart. There’s no guarantee it will end happily ever after, but you will always get a story full of surprises that will make you smile. Available at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Barnes & Noble. Learn how to play Here. Suitable for players ages 18 and up, MSRP: $50.

INTERGENERATIONAL GAMES/RELATIONSHIP GAMES

What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups? – from Authentic Agility Games

Learn How To Play Here

How often have you wished that your teen would stop playing video games, sending friends videos you can only hope are appropriate, and going out, and instead, share what they’re thinking… with you? What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups?, a new intergenerational card game from Authentic Agility Games, can help. A fun way to engage kids of all ages, the 500-question card game creates an open two-way dialog that allows you to make new connections and deepen your bond. They may think you’re cool — for a few minutes. Authentic Agility Games donates a portion of proceeds from your purchase to organizations advancing education and entrepreneurship. Available now on Amazon. MSRP: $24.99, all ages.

STRATEGY GAMES

Sagrada – from Floodgate Games

Click Here

Learn How To Play Here

As a skilled artisan, you will use tools-of-the-trade and careful planning to construct a stained glass window masterpiece in the Sagrada Familia. Players will take turns drafting glass pieces, represented by dice; carefully choosing where to place each one in their window. Windows have unique color and shade requirements, and similar dice may never be adjacent so placing each die is more challenging than the last. Fortunately, you’ll have just the right tools to help you through. Gain prestige by adapting to the preferences of your fickle admirers, and of course, by adding your own artistic flair while completing your glass masterpiece in Sagrada. Available now at Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, Hobby Game Stores. Suitable for players ages 6 and up, MSRP $39.95

Holi: Festival of Colors – from Floodgate Games

Every spring, celebrants gather to spread color and cheer during one of India’s most vibrant festivals. Move around the festival grounds throwing colored “gulaal” powder onto your friends and the crowd. Aim higher and let your color fall from above on as many people as you can. For Holi is a time for playful mischief and a little friendly rivalry is just what the festival calls for… Playing Holi In Holi [hoh-lee], players gain joy by throwing color on the boards (higher levels are worth more points), getting color on others, and from collecting sweets. Play your color cards cleverly, climb up at the right time, and spread the most joy! Available, November 10, 2020 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hobby Game Stores. Suitable for players ages 13 and up. MSRP $39.95

Click Here

Prisma Arena – from Hub Games

Begin your training as a Guardian of Hope in this fun, tactical, all-ages game of over-the-top arena combat. Spar alongside Mo’kon – friendly creatures that embody emotions. As you train, customize your hero with unique powers and costumes that reflect YOUR unique personality and play-style. Suitable for players ages 10 and up. MSRP: $40.00

MEMORY GAMES

Flip Over Frog – from Hub Games

Help your brightly colored frogs take control of your tiny corner of the rainforest. Pay attention and cleverly place your frog tiles, causing those around you to flip face down OR face up. When all squares are occupied, the game ends and the player with the most face-up frogs is the winner. Suitable for all ages, Flip Over Frog packs a surprisingly tactical area control game into a small portable box. Suitable for players ages 6 and up. MSRP: $15.00 alentin

2021’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family

best places

With families looking for a fresh start once the COVID-19 pandemic dies down and moving becomes practical, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Best & Worst States to Raise a Family, as well as accompanying videos.

To determine the best states in which to put down family roots, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 52 key indicators of family-friendliness. The data set ranges from the median annual family income to housing affordability to the unemployment rate.

Best States for Families Worst States for Families
1. Massachusetts 41. Nevada
2. Minnesota 42. Arizona
3. North Dakota 43. South Carolina
4. New York 44. Alabama
5. Vermont 45. Arkansas
6. New Hampshire 46. Oklahoma
7. New Jersey 47. Louisiana
8. Washington 48. West Virginia
9. Connecticut 49. Mississippi
10. Utah 50. New Mexico

Best vs. Worst

  • Minnesota has the highest median annual family income (adjusted for cost of living), $85,473, which is 1.5 times higher than in New York, where it is lowest at $57,450.
  • Utah has the lowest separation & divorce rate, 15.74 percent, which is 1.7 times lower than in Nevada, where it is highest at 26.07 percent.
  • New Hampshire has the lowest share of families living in poverty, 4.60 percent, which is 3.4 times lower than in Mississippi, where it is highest at 15.50 percent.
  • South Dakota has the lowest average annual cost of early childcare (as a share of median family income), 7.22 percent, which is 1.8 times lower than in Nebraska, where it is highest at 13.19 percent.
  • Maine has the fewest violent crimes (per 1,000 residents), 1.15, which is 7.5 times fewer than in Alaska, the state with the most at 8.67.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-raise-a-family/31065

The Ultimate Safety Guide For An International Traveler

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, safety should always be a priority. When it comes to safety, it goes beyond safeguarding your luggage and valuables. Personal protection matters the most when you are far away from home. It becomes a tad more crucial for international travelers because you have no idea where to get help. So it makes sense to be proactive about staying safe when you travel to another country. Here is an international traveler’s safety guide that can be of great help for regular and occasional globetrotters.

Know your destination 

Your safety preparation starts even before you leave. Start with some research on your destination, particularly if you are planning to visit a less-ventured one. It may be an exciting prospect for adventure-lovers, but being aware of hidden dangers keeps you safe. Checking facts and stats about crime rates and hotspots in the country is a good place to start. You can even plan your itinerary accordingly. Don’t forget to share your plans with someone back home so that they always know your whereabouts.

Save emergency contact details

When you research, save the contact details of people who could help you in an emergency. It is vital to have the contact number of the local embassy of your country there because they can come to your rescue when you get into an unfortunate situation. Save the contact number of local acquaintances, if any. Apart from having the details in your phonebook, jot them on paper and carry them in your wallet.

Pack smartly 

Being safe in foreign land is also about packing smartly. Avoid carrying too much luggage and steer clear of carrying expensive stuff and cash because they make you an attractive target. If traveling to a dangerous destination on a strategic mission, you will need body armor for personal protection. If you don’t own it yet, investing in engarde body armor is a good idea. Before you take it along, check the legalities of civilian ballistic protection at your destination. Also, check the formalities you may have to follow at the airport when you carry a bulletproof vest in the luggage.

Get travel insurance

Even as travel insurance may seem like an additional expense while embarking on an international trip, it is worth spending. If you get sick or injured abroad, your regular policy will not offer coverage for expenses. However, travel insurance covers everything, so you need not worry even if you get into trouble in another part of the world. Make sure that you don’t skimp on this one!

Be vigilant at all times

A good presence of mind keeps you safe every time you step out, and it becomes all the more important as you travel overseas. Staying alert and listening to your instincts is the best place to start. Follow the common-sense rules such as avoiding outing during late hours, not getting too friendly with strangers, and choosing safe accommodation to stay. Taking up a self-defense training program before you leave is also a good idea.

Being an international traveler requires an extra bit of caution from the safety perspective, but it is worth the effort. You will surely have a great time if you are sure about being safe as you explore a new destination! 

Stargirl’s Season Two Villains

Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Season One of CW’s Stargirl.

The first season ending of Stargirl answered many lingering questions, but like any good season finale, it also brought up new ones. Although most of the studio is tight-lipped about the show’s second season, there are a few villains that we can reasonably suspect to see, according to Geoff Johns, the show’s executive producer.

The Shade

The Shade is a shadowy character at best. He is said to be an immortal of English descent. He left the Injustice Society after realizing that their current plan for world domination was doomed to fail. The Shade also betrayed Icicle, who died in the first season.

In Season One, you see pictures of The Shade and a bit of his power in the pilot episode, but he remains mostly a mystery. This is not surprising since his superpower is to manipulate darkness itself, hence his name.

Eclipso

By far the scariest villain in Stargirl, Elcipso is the ancient incarnation of vengeance and corruption. So, in other words, he’s the perfect bad guy. Although he isn’t mentioned much in the first season, it seems he may have a huge role to play in the second.

As far as can be discerned from Season One episodes, Eclipso spends his time trapped in a blue crystal waiting for someone to set him free. At the end of the finale, Shiv is looking through a warehouse for the crystal. It appears that she finds it, but you will have to wait for Season Two to find out what she does with it.

Part of what makes Eclipso so terrifying is his ability to empower others’ flaws and feed off the darkness they generate. It is not a far leap to see that he could be working with The Shade in the future, assuming he’s released from that blue crystal.

Shiv

The scene at the end of Season One’s finale indicates that Shiv will also play a predominant role in Season Two. As a fellow high school student, she is a rival both to Stargirl the hero and to Courtney as a regular teenage girl. She is your typical mean girl in school and even meaner when she is with her father, the Dragon King.

She got her powers as a result of her father experimenting on her as a child. She is physically superior to other humans, can regenerate, and is supernaturally agile. Her father also implanted wrist blades in her, hence the name Shiv. She can shoot these blades at will and retract them back into her wrists without suffering any consequences due to her ability to regenerate.

Other Possible Villains

Other lesser villains are still lurking around. Tigress, Sportsmaster and The Gambler are still alive after the final battle in Season One. They can easily make a reappearance as minor villains in Season two. No one has confirmed or denied whether they will be participants in the new season, but they seem like obvious choices for a comeback.

What’s really going to happen in Season Two? Showrunners, cast, and crew are tight-lipped about how the new season will unfold. But no matter what Season Two has in store, it is sure to include exciting new chapters in the adventures of America’s newest teenage superhero.