Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tips For Buying A Cruiser Bicycle

Also known as beach cruisers, these bicycles were originally designed for using on the beach and its surrounding terrain. Its upright handle and balloon tires were perfect for riding on flat and smooth surfaces. These simplistic old-styled bikes also had faux gas tanks, a feature that continues to be retained in many of the new bikes being manufactured. As compared to other types of bicycles, cruisers are more durable, sturdier, and affordable.

The comfort and ease offered by beach bikes make them a hot favorite among beach goers and commuters who wish to stay active and run errands as well. If you plan on buying a cruiser bike for yourself, this Buzzle write-up points out a few things you will need to bear in mind.

Bike Size
Firstly, you must decide whether you’d want to go in for a men/women’s bike frame or one that is unisex. The reason the frame design matters is because the bike frames for men usually have straight-across top tubes, which may impede movement and prove uncomfortable for women. On the other hand, the step-through frame is more comfortable for women to ride and easier to dismount. You may also consider hybrid designs that have stretched frames with extended cranks, which allow the legs to stretch further and paddle comfortably.

Secondly, as compared to mountain and road bikes, cruiser bikes are sized differently. Unlike other bikes, cruisers are sized as per the diameter of the wheel, not by their frames. There are four basic wheel sizes available in most cruiser bicycles, which include 16″, 20″, 24″, and 26″. While size 26″ is meant for adults and tall teenagers, there are bikes with 29″ sized rims that are suitable for people who are as tall as 6′ – 6’9″.

Thirdly, every model of a cruiser bike comes in only one standard frame size. Therefore, you will not be able to find the same design and make of a cruiser bike, in a different size. Fortunately, since there is a huge variety to select from, you are bound to find a bike that looks and feels perfect.

Gearing and Brakes
You will also need to consider whether you’d prefer a cruiser bike with or without gears. The single-speed cruiser does not have any gears, and instead has a coaster brake/foot brake. These bikes are suitable for minimalistic and slow biking on smooth and flat terrain. On the other hand, many cruiser bikes are also equipped with both front and rear handbrakes, and a rear derailleur. Bikes with higher gear ratios offer more speed and resistance, thereby, making such cruiser bikes suitable for flat and even terrain. On the other hand, the resistance offered diminishes with every lowered gear, which makes it easier to peddle uphill without being too slow and ride against the wind. Multi-speed cruisers can be found with a range of speeds, which include three-, six-, or seven-speed shifters. The three-speed derailleur cruiser bikes are equipped with a rear internal gear hub. The three-speed bikes combine the utility of a coaster brake and more speed options.

Frame
The metal of the cruiser bike frame is of extreme importance. Frames made of steel are sturdy, but need more maintenance to protect it from rusting and peeling paint. The frame may start to show signs of aging if it’s not protected from excess heat or moisture. Steel frames are also comparatively much heavier than those made of aluminum, thus, making it harder to lug the bike around. Consider the portability of a steel-framed bike, before buying one. Unless you have a lift in your building that is large enough to accommodate the bike, you may have to carry it up the stairs. In which case, an aluminum-framed bike would be a lot lighter and easier to carry.

Aluminum-framed bikes are comparatively more expensive than steel, because this metal is very light and makes riding less stressful. This frame also lasts longer and can go on for several years before showing any signs of wear and tear, is more or less maintenance-free, and is resistant to moisture and rust. Similarly, the frames made of metal alloy are more expensive because of the durability and weather resistance offered by these bike frames.

Seat
Unless you’re actually testing the bike out before buying it from the store, you will need to make sure that the specifications about the bike saddle on the online store are accurate. The seat of a cruiser bike must be wide and padded with sufficient spring action. The reason the seat needs to be wide is because the upright-seated position of the rider puts a lot of weight on the seat and requires the sitting bones of the rider to be well-placed, with ample cushioning and a little extra outer space. Secondly, since a cruiser bike is intended for slow and leisurely biking, it does not require streamlined saddles that are meant for an aggressive biking posture and racing bicycles. If possible, try to go in for a seat that is equipped with a quick-release binder.

Front and Rear Fenders
Depending on your needs and intended use, go in for a cruiser bike that has fenders pre-installed. If you do not need them, you may remove them later on. However, it is always better to buy the cycle with these pieces so that you do not have to spend more in future. Most cruiser bikes come with fenders, as they help keep the sand, dust, or water from spraying on the rider. This is a huge advantage for those who plan to use their bike for commuting.

Cost
Cruiser bikes can cost anywhere from USD 90 – 600, and the price may rise further if it is custom-designed to include added or newer features. Therefore, decide on the type of bike you intend to own. The more simplistic the bike, the cleaner it will look and will have lesser features, thereby, making it more affordable. Go in for a bike that fits your budget and expectations. Secondly, select a bike that comes equipped with basic necessities, such as bottle holder, front and rear fenders, basket (optional), gears, and brakes.

Always insist that the warranty and assembly instructions be included with your bike. It is advisable to buy a preassembled bike, or get it assembled by a professional from the store you purchased the bike.

Tips For Used Car Buying

With ongoing slowdown, buying a used car seems to be a much better option as compared to buying a brand new car. However, buying used cars is not as easy as it seems, especially with the ongoing monetary crunch. In such a situation, your negotiation power becomes a deciding factor.

How to Negotiate For a Used Car?

The foremost thing to do when you plan to own a used car is to do some research. Be ready with what you want before you approach a dealer. You can interact with a few dealers through mails or on phone, and inquire about the models, price, etc. Once you are sure as to which car model you want to buy, you can approach the dealership that offers a convenient price.

You will be able to negotiate the price to suit yourself only when you are well-versed with the market condition of the model you are planning to buy. Never offer the exact amount that you are willing to spend. Instead, quote a price which is slightly lower than what you plan. Remember that the price you quote should not be too low. It’s important that the dealer looks at you as a potential customer.

Even if you have cash in hand, never let the dealer know that you are going to pay by cash or what your limit is. If you are planning to buy a pre-owned car by financing, get your loan approved before you choose the vehicle. This will let you know what your limit is, and till where you can stretch the negotiations. Spending a few hours negotiating will surely let you peek in the dealers mind. Let the dealer quote a price, thus creating more options for you to choose from. The onus is on the dealer to convince you for a potentially good deal.

If the dealer quotes an unexpectedly low price, the chances are that there is something fishy about the deal. The car may be priced low either because the dealer is in haste to sell it, or because there are some flaws in the vehicle. Ensure that you do proper research about the particular used car before buying it. There may be a situation wherein the dealer has priced the product low unknowingly, but the chances of you being so lucky are very less, often negligible. Therefore, it is important to probe into the matter, if the price quoted sounds unrealistic.

Never hesitate to walk away; especially, if you feel that you are unnecessarily pressurized or if you feel that the price being quoted is too high. The sales agent is likely to follow you to the door to persuade you. Even if he doesn’t, you don’t need to worry. You can always approach another dealer. In many cases, the sales agent tries to lure you with lots of extras. You should understand that this luring is just to push you through the deal. Keep in mind, nothing comes for free, so the cost incurred on these extras is likely to be shelled out from your pockets in the form of hidden costs. The sales agent may try to force you into making a hasty decision by making you feel that you are losing on something if you don’t close the deal right then. Don’t fall for such tricks. Be patient and take time in researching, especially the price.

If the dealer quotes a price you are comfortable with, you don’t necessarily have to wrap up the deal there and then. Evaluate all the probabilities and legalities before signing the dotted line. After all the efforts you put in, you surely don’t want to end up in legal tangles. Keep in mind that the most effective bargaining strategy is your ability to walk away. At times, that may seem difficult, especially when tempting deals are put in front of you, but what is the harm in trying.

Tips For Shopping At A Mall

A bustling metropolis is full of luxury shopping malls and in the US, it has become the top-notch destination for the weekly and monthly shopping of urban families. The mall culture, as economists call it, has opened avenues for tremendous shopping and business activities. Shopping in malls was earlier considered expensive but with a large number of malls sprawling in the recent years, competitive pricing and discounts have made it affordable for most of us. Here we will inform you about some tips for shopping at a mall. Have a look.

How to Shop at a Mall

If you are a newbie in the world of shopping in malls, you must know the fundamentals of visiting a mall for shopping. Shopping is one of the favorite pass-times of many people. Before you step into expensive places like shopping malls, ensure you are aware of the critical difference between needs and wants. If you have enough money to splurge, then you can enjoy shopping but if you have a tight budget, be careful with your spending while entering into one, as it can be expensive for your pocket.

Avoid Weekends: Shopping on the weekends can turn out to be very exhausting due to a huge crowd and congested environment. Prefer week days to shop. Leave from your office early some day and then go for shopping.

Plan the Shopping: Shopping malls are a storehouse of all brands and you will literally never get bored of shopping and splurging extra, if you are unaware of what you exactly want. Hence, to manage your budget effectively, shop with a proper plan in hand.

Social Media Offers: Facebook fan pages will often inform you about some amazing discounts on branded apparels. So if you have a facebook account, do check frequently about the latest shopping offers from the greatest brands.

Don’t Just See Labels: Just because it is Levi’s or Denim, doesn’t mean it will fit you. Unless you are not satisfied by trying the accessories and clothes, don’t buy them just based on a hunch or merely because you like it.

Wait for Festivals: If you don’t have urgency for shopping and you can wait for a few days, always do that. Malls across the country give special discounts during festive seasons. Festival sales are always huge crowd pullers in the shopping malls.

If You Want, Rest: Bookstores in shopping malls are a great place to give some moments of relaxation to your tired feet especially if you are shopping alone. Read something and relax the feet after hours of shopping in the mall.

Arrive Earlier: If you arrive earliest in the mall, you will get a better parking lot that is a big advantage in festive seasons when people have to walk hundreds of meters to just park their car!

Plan Your Attire Well: If you are planning to try several clothes, it is logical to wear shorts, T-shirts and slippers, so that you can easily change every time you are in the trial room.

Be Aware of CP: Don’t just focus on prices in a single mall. Be aware of the competitive pricing of brands. If you can get the same clothing or brand at a cheaper price in a nearby store, it is worth saving some money.

Use Gift Coupons Wisely: If you are in possession of some gift hampers or coupons, store them at separate places in the purse so that when the need comes, you can easily take them out. Don’t mix them with other papers in your purse. Also, use the gift coupons smartly.

Mall Shopping Safety Tips

Shopping malls attract significantly high number of people of all ages. This gives miscreants and notorious pickpockets sufficient opportunity to take advantage of unaware shoppers. People who frequently indulge in shopping at malls must keep in mind the following safety tips.

  • Never leave your belongings and purchased items unattended even for a couple of minutes.
  • Try to limit the number of shopping bags you carry in malls. Prefer one large bag, or at the most two, so that you can keep a track of everything.
  • Men must make it a habit to keep their wallets in the front pocket.
  • Women, if they carry purses, must make sure that they hold it close to their body. If there are two people, the bag must be held in between the two people. This must be done during peak sale seasons when there is a huge rush in the malls.
  • Never leave a child unattended outside malls, in a store or toy house. Always take them with you and keep a watch on them. Malls are the places where kidnappers are on the lookout to abduct kids.
  • Avoid using washrooms that are situated very deep inside the mall or at the end corner of it.
  • Never allow a child to go to the washroom without your assistance.
  • If you’re shopping at night, request mall security officers to escort you to the parking area. This is most important, if you are alone.
  • Avoid staying inside the large halls and top floors of a mall, especially, if it is the closing time.
  • Assist kids aged below 6 years while using the escalators.
  • When taking your kid to the mall, if possible, take another adult with you.
  • Don’t look for items near warehouses in the malls or places where only the staff is allowed to enter.
  • Be careful when standing in line, as children drift away from the line, while you are reading about some product or looking elsewhere.
  • Don’t overburden a trolley by making more than a kid sit on it. If needed, use more than one trolley.
  • Avoid using lifts or stairs, at night in the mall, if you suspect someone with restless or suspicious behavior.
  • Push the cart on your own and don’t let it be pushed by the child. Children are unable to see shoppers coming in the front and they may bump into them. Let them smoothly move with the traffic.
  • Don’t carry strollers on escalators. Use elevators for that purpose.
    Inform your child that he or she should be careful with using the escalators and must stand comfortably instead of leaning on the sides or trying to do something different.
  • In case a person or child meets with an accident while using the escalator, don’t immediately rush back or jump. Instead press the alarm button provided at many places on handrails in elevators. If you start running back on the escalators, even you may fall.
  • It is good to read safety pamphlets distributed by the shopping malls, every time you visit a mall.
  • If shopping with toddlers, it is vital to bring good strollers and you must be accompanied by another adult. Right timing and weather conditions are also important determiners when taking toddlers out.
  • Don’t park in areas very far from the vicinity of the mall. It is ideal to use the parking area.
  • Be careful while withdrawing money from close by ATMs near malls. Pickpockets are mostly in hideouts, watching your every move. They target careless and casual shoppers. Make sure you are alert.

Shopping in malls is going to be here and rule the heart of people. While malls have become the perfect places for families to indulge in some shopping and luxuries of life, questions about safety issues in crowded places are certainly a matter of concern. By using the aforementioned shopping tips, you are surely going to get the best deals! Happy shopping!

Tips For Buying Duvet Covers

A duvet is a type of bedding that is flat and filled with feathers, cotton, wool or synthetic fibers. It is used as a single covering, and unlike a comforter, is not meant to be used along with sheets and blankets. A duvet is generally placed inside a cover that is generally made of cotton, and this is what we call a duvet cover. A duvet cover protects the duvet from getting all soiled up, and is easier to clean than the duvet itself. It also serves aesthetic purposes.

Duvet covers are available in different sizes and shapes, which makes it difficult to choose one. However, here are some tips that will make the task at hand easier.
Choose One in the Right Size

The first thing to consider when buying a duvet cover is the size. How large do you want your duvet cover to be? There are 4 standard sizes for duvet covers, corresponding to the standard duvet sizes, and these are as given below.

► Twin Size Duvet Covers (66″ x 84″)

► Double Duvet Covers (80″ x 84″)

► King Size Duvet Covers (102″ x 86″)

► Queen Size Duvet Covers (88″ x 86″)

► California King Duvet Covers (114″ x 106″)

If you’re unsure, measure the duvet that you’re purchasing the cover for, and also look for size specifications on the packaging of the cover. If you’re shopping online, make sure you’re shopping one in the right size before placing an order. It’s important to note that, for example, not all king size duvets are of the same size. So, it is always recommended that you know the exact measurements before you buy one.

Choose One with the Right Fabric
Once you know which size to buy, the next thing to consider is the fabric that it is made of. Duvet covers are available in different materials, including cotton, velvet, satin, silk, jersey knit, flannel, and linen. If you wish to settle for nothing less than a soft fabric, then silk and satin are your best bets. While warm fabrics, such as flannel, are ideal for times when it gets really cold, they can be difficult to maintain. Unlike cotton and linen that can be safely washed in a washing machine, fabrics like velvet and flannel require dry cleaning. Another factor to consider is the durability of the fabric. If you’re looking for a duvet cover for everyday use, then you should opt for durable fabrics such as cotton and linen. However, if it’s only meant for use on special occasions, then you may choose luxurious satin, silk, or velvet.

Choose One that Complements the Décor of the Room
An important point to consider is whether it complements the décor and color scheme of the room. While most people opt for a white duvet cover, you can safely play around with funky colors as long as they don’t clash with the color on the walls. If you want an elegant look, try silk or soft satin duvet covers in lovely jewel tones. Printed duvet covers is also a trend that is fast catching up, all the more so with duvet cover sets. A duvet cover set includes a matching bed sheet and pillow cases.

Decide How Much You’re Willing to Spend
Not all duvet covers are the same, and needless to say, are priced differently depending on the size and the type of fabric. While you cannot do much about the size aspect, you can definitely opt for cotton or linen if you do not wish to spend a lot. However, if you have a bigger budget, then go for a gorgeous one in velvet or high-quality silk. Before you decide to splurge on a delicate fabric, consider factors like ease of cleaning and maintenance, which might add up to the cost.

Know the Thread Count Before You Buy
This is one of the key factors to consider when shopping for duvet covers. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of the fabric. Higher the thread count, warmer the fabric. Most good quality duvet covers have a thread count close to 400, but it varies from 100 to 1000, depending on the quality.

Check the Closure System Before You Buy
Duvets and duvet covers are analogous to pillows and pillow cases. Once you have put the duvet inside the cover, there is a closure system to close the opening, and this can widely vary. While some have zippers, others have buttons, and still others have Velcro tape. It’s not the type of closure system that matters, but the sturdiness is what you need to check. Look for broken buttons or zippers that just won’t close. A high-quality duvet cover would have a solid and sturdy closure system.

As an afterthought, some may consider duvet covers to be an additional expense. However, the truth is that they are a worthy investment, as they increase the life of your duvet. So, go ahead and buy a duvet cover that protects your duvet and, at the same time, adds a touch of freshness to your room décor.

TIPS ON BUYING AROMATHERAPY PRODUCTS

My weary feet could take me no further, I wanted to sit down with my favorite book and a cup of coffee and doze off to sleep. However, I still had to finish my chores and work for the day. Walking along the boulevard I noticed a quaint little store, which looked welcoming, and I do not know why I went into the store. But I am glad I did, because stepping inside was like stepping into another world, where traffic, noise and pollution could not enter. I had just walked into an aromatherapy store. It smelled heavenly, and I felt instantly relaxed.

Candles, skin care products, and even the bath care products; it was all there: to relax and soothe away a weary body, or energize a lethargic one. The benefits of these products have been popularized by ‘new agers’, who prefer using these natural products for all ailments than popping pills. Also, with the trend of going to spas and indulging in massages, why not use a cheaper, better, and natural way of relaxing like aromatherapy.

❀ Important Tips
There is a whole range of products available, some are medicinal and some are cosmetic. Do not be tempted to buy everything in sight, start small and then splurge. But some of the essential products are the oils, candles, and bath products. These should be sufficient to suit your every need.

✿ If you are buying essential oil, check the bottle well. Do not buy oils that are stored in a plastic or clear bottle. Light damages essential oils, and oils stored in clear and plastic bottles most certainly, are damaged.
✿ If the label on the bottle of essential oil has the words ‘perfume’ or ‘fragrance oil’ then these are not ‘essential’ oils. You do not want oils that contain harmful perfume chemicals.
✿ If you go to a store and notice that the products of essential oil are kept on shelves where dust has gathered, this means the products are old and aromatherapy loses its power with age.

✿ Choose candles according to your moods. If you are suffering from headaches and fatigue then its citronella candle you want. If you suffer from restlessness or insomnia then it’s a German Chamomile candle. For those with bronchitis, toothache or chapped skin its Myrrh essential candle. Do some research before buying the candles.

✿ Choose soy candles over paraffin wax candles, as these are better and do not harm a person, who could suffer from asthma or bronchitis.

✿ If you want bath products, then there is a whole variety available. You can choose from bath oils, natural soaps, and bath salts, whichever suits you better.
✿ Always check the price of essential oil products. If all the products have the same price then there is something wrong. Some essential oils are exotic, and are always more expensive. Let the price be an indicator for you.
✿ Always do your research about the different kinds of essential oil products and their benefits; therapeutic or otherwise.