What Size Cooler Do I Need? Pick the Perfect Size for Snack Attacks

As I headed out to see the game I thought it would be nice to have a cool drink and a sandwich or two by my side. I stopped at the store and as I picked up some drinks I noticed the coolers they had placed next to the refrigerators. I thought, “A cooler would be nice to have so my drinks stay cold, but what size cooler do I need?”

What Size Cooler Do I Need?

Long story short, they had small coolers, huge coolers, soft coolers and, backpack coolers. So many choices I didn’t know what to grab. I took a minute to decide and ended up picking a medium-sized cooler for the game.

For my situation, I had a few friends who were going to see the game with me. I knew they would need a cool place for their drinks as well. Even with the ice and the drinks, I was able to hoist the cooler into the back of my truck and head out to the game.

Sitting in the parking lot outside the game, I realized that my original decision may have been flawed. My cooler worked perfectly for this game, but would it be just as perfect for the other events I would attend?

I knew there were a few events I would be walking around. I couldn’t carry my new cooler around with me at those events. What size cooler do I need for those events? Since a cooler lasts, I wanted the perfect cooler for any outing. Like many things, the determination of the cooler rests the details.

And the simple answer you want to know is: The cooler size you need depends on what you’re doing, where you’re going, and who you’ll be with.

The Answer Rests in the Details

cooler-behind-the-car

Image via Unsplash

A cooler is made for many occasions. Considering this fact, we know that many variables apply when deciding what cooler to buy.

Coolers made out of fabric are mobile but don’t last as long as other coolers. Large coolers lack this mobility but have the versatility of a large space. Treated right, these coolers last for a long time. A medium-sized cooler is more mobile than a large cooler but wouldn’t fit all of the things you need for a large event.

So choosing the cooler based on your specific situation is ideal. When you ask yourself, “What cooler do I need?” Think of your needs and how the cooler you buy satisfies them.

The longevity of the cooler

Effective mobility

People, places, and things

The Determination

Based on these variables, you can make your determination. “What size cooler do I need if I am moving a lot?” you may ask. You need a small mobile cooler. What size cooler do I need if I have quite a bit of people to support? You need a large cooler.

Store your cooler in safe places if you get one with lighter material. If your cooler needs to be able to handle some wear and tear, then get a cooler made with stronger material. Make your determination based on the needs that you have for your cooler.

The Effect of the Right Cooler

drinks in cooler

Image via Unsplash

The right coolers have a big effect on the enjoyment you have at your events. The effect is felt by everyone around you. We all enjoy having a cool drink by our side, especially at the events we attend. And you don’t have to worry about your food going bad along the way.

You don’t have to run to the store as often since you have all of the storage you need. The event goes smoothly, and you travel easily. With all of the items that you need to keep cool along the way. A cooler isn’t essential for every attendee of an event, but one can be very useful for a group or party.

A cooler allows for some extra fun to be had in the time you spend out and about. They can save you money by preventing the need for stops at the store or food stand every time that you need food or drink.

Usability

The uses are vast with the right cooler. You can take your cooler to the park with a nice picnic inside. You can enjoy the game with some ice-cold drinks and even a small lunch by your side.

Or you can keep everything you need with you as you travel around in your vehicle. And you can enjoy your time at a festival with a mobile cooler.

You can even use a cooler for medicines that have to stay cool. No matter where you go, you may want to have a cooler by your side.

Ultimately the decision rests on the variables at play. Although, it may be of your own preference to go against the most logical of answers. Sure it’s difficult to carry a huge cooler around with you, but determination and strong muscles can allow you to have that preference.

Plus, if you’re moving around that much, get one with wheels!

Preference

beach cooler

Image via Pexels

It can seem so simple of a decision, but the necessity of the choice makes it an important one. When I made my decision, I made it based on the factors involved, but I also made it based on my preference. We all live our own lives and so thus have our own biases, beliefs, and preferences.

To live the best of our life is to make the most out of our choices. Logical decisions in a situation like this may not be your preference. The goal is to be happy, healthy, and fed. So make the choice that works for you.

On to the Game!

What size cooler do I need? The most effective and preferential one I can find. And the same goes for you. Whether it’s a fabric cooler, small cooler, large cooler, handheld cooler, or some other cooler in the family, it will do its job based on what it’s made for. So choose wisely.

Now it’s time to load up and head out to the game. Have fun, and stay cool! Did we help you pick the right cooler? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image source: Unsplash

How To Set Up A Tent In A Matter Of Minutes The Easy Way

Camping is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, you can’t enjoy this amazing outdoor activity if you don’t know how to set up a tent.

While straightforward for some, learning how to set up a tent is often more challenging than it looks. And this fact is especially true if it’s your first time. When you’re all alone at your campsite, it could be a struggle to pitch your tent. If you don’t do it right, you will not have a decent place to sleep and relax.

Fortunately, even a beginner can set up a tent. All you need to know are a few key steps. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying the beauty of nature instead of crying over a tent pole you don’t know where to put.

​What Is a Tent?

It would be logistically impossible to take your home while camping. Although you can’t have your plush bed, comforter, and pillow in the middle of a clearing, you can have something that comes close — a tent. A tent is made up of sheets of fabric and other materials attached to poles and frames.

Tents have been used as portable homes for many years, especially by nomads, disaster victims, soldiers, and campers. The main purpose of tents is to provide users a temporary shelter.

Given the popularity of tents for recreational purposes, we focus on small and light types of tents, which are usually used by backpackers. Most of these tents are so compact they can easily fit in any bag.

​Types of Tents

​There are many different kinds of tents available that offer distinct features and limitations. Here are the most common types of tents you can find on the market today.

​Dome tent


Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent, Green

  • Dome tent with spacious interior allows you to move comfortably
  • Easy setup in only 10 minutes
  • WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry

One of the most popular types of tent follows a dome structure. Knowing how to set up a tent is crucial if you have this type of tent. This tent is known for its flexibility thanks to its pole that can easily bend into a half-circle.

The flexible poles of this tent cross in the middle. Its sides are more vertical, which gives better headroom space and a bigger floor area.

​Basic ridge tent


Paria Outdoor Products Breeze Mesh Tent – Ultralight 2 Person Mesh…

  • ULTIMATE PROTECTION – The 30 Denier rip-stop silnylon floor has a silicon/PU dual-coating and fully taped seams,…
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – So light, you won’t even notice! Our mesh tent comes in at only 24 ounces, which also includes the line…
  • VERSATILE – Pair the Breeze mesh tent with our Sanctuary Siltarp to get the perfect shelter every time! During clear…

When you think of a tent, this type of tent may be the picture that comes to your mind. Basic ridge tents have a pole at every end, and some models have a cross pole or ridge which holds its shape.

This type of tent is a popular choice for campers thanks to its incredible stability, especially in harsh conditions. Although it is stable, you may not like the space that it offers. There is limited headspace to allow you to stand, so it’s not a top choice for family holidays.

​​​​Geodesic and semi-geodesic


Hubs Geodesic Dome Kit

  • Simple to snap together connectors that make durable geodesic domes quick, fun and easy to build.
  • The kit contains everything you need except for the sticks.
  • Scaleable – choose the size that suits you

The term geodesic refers to the shortest route between the world’s two points. This idea applies to a tent whose pole crisscrosses over its surface to form triangles. This structure helps balance the stress to make it more stable in extreme weather conditions.

Geodesic structures are the best tent to take while mountain climbing. So if you plan to pitch your tent in more extreme climates, keep an eye out for this tent.

​How to Set Up a Tent the Easy Way

Sleeping outdoors doesn’t have to be tough. Now that you know the importance of this camping must-have, it’s time to learn how to set up a tent.

When setting up your tent, always take your time. While an experienced camper may be able to set up a tent in a few minutes, someone just learning how to set up a tent may need close to an hour.

If you rush any of the important steps, you may end up with an unsecured temporary home. Just make sure to pitch your tent before night falls so you can have shelter to protect you from the wind.

​Before setting up

Setting up a tent is an art form. When learning how to set up a tent, keep in mind that you will get better in time. You are bound to run into some troubles on your first try, but that doesn’t mean it would be a bad experience.

Don’t set up your tent just yet. You first have to complete these preliminary steps before you can successfully pitch your tent for the night.

​Ensure you are carrying all supplies

​Check your tent

​Examine the campsite

tent pitched in a campsite

Image Via Pixabay

Before setting up your tent, observe your campsite first. Check to see if the ground is flat enough to be your base. Pick a wide and open space where you can pitch your tent. If you’re camping in a national park, ensure that you are setting up in a designated area. If not, double-check to be sure you’re not pitching your tent on private property.

Remove all rocks and debris from the site you choose to pitch your tent. If you’re somewhere with pine trees, you may even use the leaves to serve as a soft layer underneath your tent. Never set-up your tent where there are hollow areas since water may accumulate there if it rains.

You should also check out where the sun casts its light and which way the wind blows. Also, be on the lookout for beehives, cobwebs, and trees around your site. The last thing you want is to have a tree branch fall on top of your tent.

​​​​​​​​Placing the tarp

​The first step in learning how to set up a tent is to place the tarp on the ground. This step will serve as the protective layer between the ground and your tent so that it won’t gather moisture. Fold the tarp until it reaches a smaller size than your tent, just enough so it won’t hang beyond your tent’s edge. If your tarp is larger, it may accumulate rainwater.

​Laying the tent

man teaching young guy how to set up a tent

Image Via Flickr

​Now, you’re finally ready to break out your tent. Put all the components of your tent on the ground, including poles, stakes, and the fabric itself. Then, lay the bottom side of your tent on top of your tarp. Check to find where the door and windows should be positioned.

​Moving on with tent poles

This part may be intimidating for some people, but it’s actually very easy. Depending on which tent you have, connect it to your tent poles or bungee ropes. Ensure that you connect every single one. Then, lay the poles together across your flat tent.

Most tents come with two poles that connect to form an X in the middle. Insert the pole through the flaps on the corners and the top of each tent. Then, attach the clips to secure it. If you’re unsure of how to do this, you may check the instruction guide that came with your tent to see how the poles fit the proper way.

​Raising the tent

After you’ve inserted the poles, the next step in learning how to set up a tent is raising it. This step may be hard to do if you’re on your own, so if you have friends or family with you, ask for their help.

When the poles are inserted in the right spots of your tent, they will bend. This effect makes your tent stand up tall so you can sleep in it. Pull the tent’s corners apart and ensure that the poles are untangled until it aligns with your square tarp. Attach the necessary structural components of your tent, such as plastic hooks, to make it stand up.

​​​​​​Securing your tent

man pitching a tent

Image Via Flickr

Now that you’ve gotten your tent perfectly aligned with your tarp, insert the stakes on the flaps near the ground and push it firmly. This step is particularly easy to do, but when you find yourself in hard ground, use a good hammer. Keep in mind that some stakes bend with pressure, so be careful. You don’t want to break it.

The next step to secure your tent is to add a rain fly. This sheet will cover your tent to protect you from any rain that comes your way.

​After Camping

tents pitched in a campsite

Image Via Pixabay

Part of learning how to set up a tent is knowing what to do after you’ve used it. In this section, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about how to care for your tent.

​Drying your tent

​Packing up your tent

​Airing out your tent

​​​​​​Ready to Go Camping?

woman sitting beside a pitched tent

Image Via Pixabay

​See? Learning how to set up a tent isn’t as challenging as you thought. Even if you’re not an outdoor person, you can easily do this when the situation calls for it. Whether you need a tent for an overnight music festival or a weeklong camping trip, knowing how to set up a tent allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Once you’ve got your tent ready, you can finally toast some marshmallows, listen to the calming sounds of nature, and sleep soundly.

So do you have any additional tips on how to set up a tent? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

​Featured Image Via Pixabay

How to Get Gum off Shoes for Footwear That Never Fails

Stepping in a sticky, dirty piece of chewing gum is no fun. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to figure out how how to get gum off shoes in most cases.

What’s more, it only requires some common household items or things you can buy almost anywhere. And it won’t take long before your shoes are gum-free again.

So, if you’ve been freaking out about how to get gum off shoes, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t worry. It’ll be gone soon.

How to Get Gum off Shoes

There are many takes on how to get gum off shoes, but they’re not all interchangeable. Some are universal, but others only work for certain types of shoes or certain parts of the shoe.

If you get gum on a pair of trusty tennis shoes, almost anything will work. But if you’re wearing finer shoes when you step in the sticky mess, it can be a trickier situation.

Materials like suede and nubuck are famously sensitive, so you may need to stick to using a specialized cleaner. Saddle soap is also ideal for leather and similar materials, which may need a touch-up after the gum removal. You’ll also need a good brush, and those are helpful for all types of shoes.

Now, that’s not the only solution. Let’s begin with something simple and universal that should work for virtually all shoes.

Stick It in the Freezer

top-opening-refrigerator

image by pexels

Like most other things, gum hardens if it gets cold. Therefore, using a freezer is a simple solution to how to get gum off shoes.

First, you should stick the shoe in a plastic bag. Surely, you don’t want to get dirt from your shoes in your freezer. Also, this method is far more effective if the gum has something to stick to.

So, use a plastic bag, and make sure to press it against the gum until it sticks. Now it’s ready for the freezer.

After an hour or two, it should be sufficiently frozen. Now, the only thing left to do is to take it out and pull the gum off the shoe.

If it didn’t work, you probably took it out too soon. Putting it back in and waiting longer should do the trick. You can also try scraping off the frozen gum with a butter knife or a similar tool.

Another Job for WD-40


WD-40 Multi-Use Product with SMART STRAW SPRAYS 2 WAYS, 14.4 OZ…

  • Drives out moisture and quickly dries out electrical systems to eliminate moisture-induced short circuits
  • Acts as a corrosion inhibitor to shield against moisture and other corrosive elements to prevent rust
  • Frees sticky mechanisms, loosens rust-to-metal bonds and helps release stuck, frozen or rusted metal parts

If you know some mechanics or people who are really into cars and machinery, you’ve probably seen or heard about the power of WD-40. It’s a mix of lubricants and solvents with countless uses all revolving in getting stuck things to move.

Gum’s no exception to this effect. If you spray some WD-40 onto the gum and around it and then leave it for a couple of minutes, it should come right off.

To remove the gum, you’ll want to use a rag or paper towel. If there’s still some gum residue on the shoe, a second spray should take care of that.

Regarding how to get gum off shoes, few solutions are this simple and effective. However, it’s not suitable for suede and other porous, absorbent materials. The oil will stain fabrics, so be careful.

Also, make sure to rinse and wipe off your shoes after removing gum with WD-40. The active ingredients may react with rubber and plastic materials if left on.

Solving the Problem with Solvents

WD-40 is only one example of common products that can dissolve the gum. If you don’t have it, you may have other household products that can do the job.

Please note the importance of carefully choosing a solvent for the job. Impurities can stain or damage your shoes. Also, you need to make sure that the product won’t dissolve the shoe materials.

Acetone

Acetone is the active ingredient in most nail polish removers, and it also has many other common uses. Having some comes in handy when figuring out how to remove gum from shoes.

If you moisten a rag or paper towel with the liquid, you have a great gum remover. Simply rubbing it against the gum repeatedly should do the trick.

However, acetone is highly flammable and produces harmful vapors. So, you should do this outside or in a well-ventilated spot away from electronics and heat sources.

Also, acetone may dissolve the finish on suede and patent shoes. It’s fine for the soles on most shoes, and it’s fine to use on cheaper or sturdier materials as long as there’s no soluble finish.

Naphtha or lighter fluid

Naphta is a petroleum-based solvent that works really well for removing paint and lacquer. It’s also very flammable, so it’s a popular lighter fluid. More importantly, it can dissolve chewing gum.

So, how to get gum off shoes with it? Well, you’ll want to drip some onto a rag or paper towel and then rub the gum until it’s gone. Piece of cake!

However, it has most of the same downsides as acetone. It may dissolve more than you wished for, so you shouldn’t use it on lacquered shoes. As the name implies, it’s also very flammable, so be careful.

Certain other lighter fluids may also do the trick. However, they turn into gas very quickly. This makes them both inefficient and hazardous.

Apply Ice

Freezing and dissolving the gum are the best approaches to how to get gum off shoes. But what if you don’t have a suitable freezer and your shoe can’t handle solvents?

If you can get your hands on some ice, it’ll make a fine substitute for a freezer.

First, you’ll want to put the ice in a plastic bag to keep your shoe dry. Then, your shoe with the gummed side up and set the ice bag on top of the gum. Next, seal the shoe and ice bag inside another plastic bag to keep the cold inside.

Now, you’ll have to press the ice down for a while. You must freeze the gum solid before it’ll come off, so give it several minutes.

Next, you can scrape it off. It’s best to use something that’s thin enough to get under the gum but dull enough not to harm your shoe. For example, a butter knife is perfect.

Try Melting It

If you can harden something with cold, you can dissolve it with heat. So, let’s reverse our thoughts on how to get gum off shoes and melt it.

No, we’re not suggesting that you roast your shoes in the oven. What we do suggest is that you use a hairdryer. A heat gun can be more effective, but you must also be careful not to melt or scorch the shoe.

Grab a spoon or butter knife, then start heating the gum. Check the gum’s consistency frequently with the tool, and start scraping it off when it’s soft and less sticky. You can finish it off with a paper towel to get any residue.

hairdryer-hair-dryer-device-budget

image by pixabay

The Peanut Butter Trick

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone gets gum in their hair? Peanut butter, right?

Well, its helpful properties also apply to how to get gum off shoes. You see, the oil in peanut butter can dissolve the sticky compounds. Also, the little particles have an abrasive effect that helps you break the rubbery bonds and scrub everything off.

It’s best to use creamy peanut butter because it’s more effective. You’ll want to apply a thick layer of the buttery goodness on and around the gum for the best effect. Around two tablespoons should be enough.

Now, you need to give it at least 10 minutes to work its magic. Then, you can scrub it off. A hard-bristle brush or some steel wool is ideal. Also, you should scrub with the grooves rather than against them. This reduces the risk of damaging your shoe.

Please note that peanut butter will stain suede, nubuck, and fabrics. So, it’s only suitable for non-absorbent surfaces.

peanut-butter-breakfast-food-dinner

image by pixabay

Time to Oil Up?

oil-cooking-oil-kitchen-cook-eat

image by pixabay

What do peanut butter and WD-40 have in common? The answer is oil. How does this relate to how to remove gum from shoes?

Well, chewing gum gets its chewiness from rubbery or plastic compounds, which consist of oils. Therefore, many oils can mix with these compounds and ruin the stickiness.

So, regular cooking oil can help you with how to get gum off shoes. You can rub it onto the gum with a cotton ball or rag, and then leave it for a few minutes. Then, you can simply scrub it off.

Again, the oil will stain suede, fabrics, and leather. So, don’t use it on shoes made with those materials. It’s fine if you only use it on the sole, but you must be careful not to let it spill onto the sensitive materials.

Outside? Try Sand

shoes-chinese-men-glue

image by pexels

If you stepped on a pretty fresh piece of gum and noticed it right away, it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible. Thankfully, you can use dry sand and dust from the ground to remove the gum.

First, take off your shoe and set it with the gum facing up. Then, sprinkle some sand onto the gum. Next, grab a stick or other object you can use to scrape it off.

Keep scraping and pouring sand and mixing it into the gum. This will both dry it out and help you scrape it off.

You may not always be able to get everything off with this method. However, it’ll make things much easier when you get home and can use other methods.

Good as New!

classic-close-up-fashion

image by pexels

Wasn’t that easy? With your new arsenal of ways how to get gum off shoes, you’ll always be able to enjoy gum-free shoes.

Do you want to stay updated on outdoor games, sports, and general fun? Check out our game list and subscribe to our newsletter to get frequent inspiration for fun things to do.

Featured image by pixabay

How to Host a Murder Mystery Party Just in Time for Halloween

Are you ready to learn how to host a murder mystery party? Everyone loves to dig into a fun whodunnit type of story. There’s something incredibly exciting about seeing a problem, digging up clues, and putting the pieces together to solve the case. Whether we indulge in these sorts of mysteries by watching movies, reading books, listening to podcasts, or even hearing about the adventures in other people’s lives, there’s one place everyone can take a crack at it:

A murder mystery party.

These get-togethers can be an excellent party for any group of people, be it coworkers, family, a club, or even people who enjoy roleplaying. After all, what’s not to love about getting to put on your acting hat, pretending to be someone else for an evening, and getting to star in your detective role? Similarly, what could be a better choice for the Halloween season?

If that sounds like an excellent idea to you, there’s no better time to get started on the planning than now. But where do you learn how to host a murder mystery party? By reading our guide below!

Decide on Your Guests

escp europe london campus' halloween party

Image via flickr

While we’re talking about how to host a murder mystery party, we can’t forget about the guests. You can’t have a murder mystery party without any guests! Ideally, your invitation pool will include people who like to roleplay a little or don’t mind putting themselves out there to interact with others.

The guests you invite will decide several things, such as the tone of the party (friends vs. coworkers vs. family), the space you need, and how many players your game can accommodate. Like other parties, your guest list can also determine when you should schedule it for, so you can optimize your players.

Pick a Theme!

lights! camera! murder

Image via flickr

While the idea of a murder mystery party may bring to mind specific images (dinner theater anyone?), you can actually enjoy a variety of different themes. From classic murder mysteries to fantasy settings to sci-fi to the Old West, you have no shortage of choices. Your guest list will come in handy here, as you can pick a theme that your guests will enjoy playing.

At this stage, it’s also helpful to determine if you want your party to be dinner based or just a free for all in the evening. This decision will determine your layout later on, and it’s an essential part of how to host a murder mystery party.

If you’re uncertain about what themes you can go with, never fear! You can find numerous companies that sell murder mystery kits across different genres—which brings us into our next step!

Choose Your Story

murder mystery party

Image via flickr

We’ve mentioned murder mystery kits just above, so let’s talk a little bit more about them here. These kits essentially have everything you need to tell your story. They include the premise, character information, the identity of the murderer, possible scenes to help pace the party, and the clues your guests will need to solve the case.

Alternatively, you can take a crack at writing the story yourself! Building a concept from scratch can be a bit of a challenge. You’ll need to ensure there are enough clues to figure out who the culprit is without making it glaringly obvious and ending the game early.

There’s no one right way to choose your story. Kits are perfect for people who want time to plan the other aspects while writing the game on your own can be a fun and creative outlet. Plus it lets you customize the story for your guests!

Assigning Characters

murder mystery theme

Image via flickr

Once you have your story and your guest list settled, you’ll want to think about casting the “roles” of the mystery. There are plenty of ways you can go about this, such as:

  • Picking out characters that match the personalities of your guests, so it’s easy for them to play their role
  • Giving your guests characters with opposing personalities to challenge them
  • Letting your guests pick out the characters they’re interested in playing

While you can finalize the cast list close to the party date, stay aware that this is a task you’ll need to do to make your party successful!

Choosing a Location

murder mystery gang

Image via flickr

You can’t have a party without a venue. When selecting your location, think about how many players you’ll have, if you need extra space for food, and what your party budget can afford to rent out if necessary.

Even with small guest counts, people should have enough room to confer in private discussions without revealing their hand to everyone in the room. Locations that match the theme of the party can also add to the atmosphere!

So long as you plan it right, any location can host a murder mystery. It could be your home, outdoors, or a recreation hall—though you might earn bonus points if you can rent a haunted mansion for the evening.

Planning Decorations

decorations

Image via flickr

Even if your location doesn’t match up entirely with your theme, there’s no reason to fret! Some decorations and a bit of imagination can go a long way when the game is afoot. Some considerations to make when planning your decorations are:

  • Your budget
  • The theme of your party
  • What you’re allowed to do if you’re renting a place
  • How much time you’ll need to set up/tear down before and after the party
  • Any props or clues needed for the mystery

If you plan to have tables, several smaller ones are better than one large one to provide your guests with some places to have private conversations while in character.

Planning the Menu

cake on table

Image via flickr

Are you planning on serving dinner at your party? How about snacks or drinks? Murder mysteries can take several hours depending on the players, so some refreshments are usually excellent to have around. Having designated areas for food will give your guests a chance to encounter each other while in character as well!

If you have a kit which has a story focused around different phases where new clues enter the game, you can split up your food in courses, such as cocktail hour, dinner, dessert, etc. Keeping track of your guest list and RSVPs will ensure you have enough food prepared for everyone.

Sending Invitations

invitations

Image via flickr

No murder mystery party would be complete without invitations! As with any other party invite, you’ll need to have the essentials on it: the date, time, and location, as well as a way to RSVP and other essential details.

The invitation is the prime place to note if you’ll have a dress code for the party. People can have a lot of fun if they dress in character, but, for other groups, it can be a lot of pressure. Pick what’s best for your guests, and dressing up can be a lot of fun if you host your murder mystery around Halloween!

Make Name Tags

four markers on table

Image via Unsplash

Acting in character is some of the enjoyment of murder mysteries, but it’s not always easy to remember all the character names—especially if you have a lot of guests. Name tags are essential for your guests to have. So you should prepare them in advance. The style you decide to go with can complement your party, or it can just be convenient to make.

Plan Your Timetable

person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook

Image via pexels

Having a structure for the evening will help the game move forward. If your party is going to be in a rented area or paired along with mealtimes, having a schedule is essential. For murder mystery kits that have mealtimes in mind, there is usually a recommendation of when to introduce new clues, break for eating, and bring in new elements of the game.

At the end of the evening, it’s always fun to have a time where everyone explains what happened during the game from their perspective. Plenty of events can occur while guests are busy doing other things, so this “wrap up” at the end is a recommended part of your timetable!

Laying Out the Rules

As the party approaches, you’ll also want to lay out the rules so all your guests can learn them. Your guides can include many different aspects. But some important ones to consider are:

  • How players can win
  • If there is any dress code
  • “Combat” systems (for games that have them)
  • Who are hosts that can help with game questions
  • What areas are off limits (especially if you are renting a location)

To ensure you can run the game properly, you should also use the time when planning the rules to review the game scenario, understand everyone’s characters, and know who the murder is.

Prepare to Host

grayscale and depth of field photography of clown

Image via Unsplash

Once you have all the preparation work done, you should get yourself ready to be a host. (If you find yourself interested in playing, you might want to see if someone will feel interested in hosting for you!) When guests arrive, you should be there to pass out nametags, acquaint guests with each other, and explain the rules once everyone comes.

As the game goes on, your role as the host will be to check on players, serve food if you have it, and introduce the new phases of the game as they happen. Don’t be afraid to review your timetable and bring everyone together as you need to move the game along. From there, your job is to have fun with everyone else!

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve made it to the end of our guide, you now know how to host a murder mystery party! The earlier you start planning, the better, so don’t be afraid to get started!

The Best Lunch Box For Kids: Back To School In Style

With school right around the corner, you might have a search for the best lunch box for kids on your mind. Just add it to the list of what backpack, shoes, clothes, and school supplies to buy, right?

Without a doubt, school shopping can be overwhelming. Surely your child’s school supplies list seems miles long. Perhaps you, like me, feel like this season means being “on the run and never done.”

Whether you have one school-aged child or a dozen, this time of year is a whirlwind. Thankfully, searching for the best lunch box for kids can be both fun and successful.

Finding The Best Lunch Box For Kids: What’s On Your Mind?

back to school lunch bag for kids

Image source: Flickr

Lunch boxes have come a long way since you and I were in school! Back then, the best lunch box for kids probably featured the Power Rangers or another beloved character on a simple metal tin.

Nowadays, you have a lot more options when it comes to the best lunch box for kids.

Why Might My Child Need The Best Lunch Box For Kids?

If you regularly send your child to school with a packed lunch, you definitely need the best lunch box for kids. Simply tossing a lunch in a brown paper bag or recycled grocery bag won’t cut it.

Not only might your child feel embarrassed, but these packages are unsafe!

Your child needs the best lunch box for kids so they can travel to school in a safe and stylish manner. A high-quality lunch box helps keep your child’s food cold or warm. Also, a good kids lunch box will protect your child’s food from spilling, getting lost, or being tampered with.

Additionally, a unique lunch box is an excellent option if you have a child with allergies. Sometimes buying food at school is simply not feasible. So instead, send your child to school with the confidence of a durable and easy-to-recognize lunch box.

What Are The Most Popular Options For The Best Lunch Box For Kids?

This school year, you have virtually unlimited options when it comes to buying the best lunch box for kids. Though the metal character-laden lunch boxes of your childhood bring back fond memories, they are often made of silicone, glass, or metal. Also, they don’t provide insulation for temperature control.

Here are some options you’ll see in stores this school year:

Insulated lunch boxes

One great food-safe option for the best lunch box for kids is an insulated bag. This type of lunch box keeps food cool or warm for hours.

Did you know that the Federal Drug Administration recommends foods like deli meats, cheese, cooked foods, milk, and yogurt not sit at room temperature for more than two hours? Now think about what time your child eats lunch.

via GIPHY

Most of us send our children to school in the early morning. And generally, they don’t eat until noon or sometimes even later. This means the best lunch box for kids needs to keep your child’s food at a safe temperature for long periods of time.

The exterior of an insulated lunch box typically features a tough, fabric-plastic blend, such as vinyl, nylon, or polyester. They also feature an inner layer made of water-resistant plastic, aluminum, vinyl, or foil. Batting made of foam makes up the middle layer and most of the insulating capacity.

All three layers work to keep food warm or cool. It’s also a great idea to stick a few ice packs in your child’s lunch box. However, this type of cooler is not the only option for your kids’ lunch.

Bento lunch boxes

Long before we packed lunches for our kids, Japanese soldiers used bento boxes to carry their meals. Now, bento lunch boxes safely store and easily separate different types of food for your child at lunchtime.

via GIPHY

Bento boxes may remind you of school lunch trays. Within a small square or rectangular box, you will find a tray divided into several smaller sections.

Bento lunch boxes are a great option if you have a picky eater. As someone who admittedly hates her food touching, I wish I had a bento box when I was a student!

Also, bento boxes help teach your little one about portion control and healthy eating habits. Likewise, if you’re environmentally conscious, bento boxes help reduce the use of disposable plastic containers.

How We Reviewed The Best Lunch Box For Kids

It’s easy to get lost among all the different options for the best lunch box for kids. Fortunately, our list will help streamline the selection process for you. That’s one less thing for you to worry about this school year!

Our search for the best lunch box for kids was multifaceted.

First, we wanted to find out the different types currently available in popular stores. When I was a child, I often fended for myself by throwing some miscellaneous items together in a brown paper bag. So it was eye-opening and informative to read about all the different kinds of lunch boxes you can buy today.

lunch box in a bag

Image via Flickr

After understanding the different types of lunch boxes available, we used professional and consumer reviews to narrow down the best-rated and best-priced options. In the end, we have a list of the 10 best lunch boxes for kids out there.

Our List Of The 10 Best Lunch Boxes For Kids

We’ve assembled a comprehensive list that covers both insulated and bento-style lunch boxes. No matter your child’s age or personality, you’re sure to find a great lunch box for the coming school year.

While our list is numbered, keep in mind that these products are the best-of-the-best and are in no particular order.

MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box


MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box Insulated Lunch Bag – Tough & Spacious…

  • GRIP YOUR LUNCHBOX WITH CONFIDENCE – Seize the day with this unique tough & modern insulated lunch box. The design is…
  • KEEP YOUR FOOD FRESH FOR HOURS – Keep your drinks cold and don’t let your sandwiches spoil with our ultra-thick foam…
  • STOP WASTING VALUABLE SPACE – Don’t sacrifice an inch inside your lunch bag. This bag is designed with a max-efficient,…

First up on our list is the MAZFORCE Original Lunch Box. This is a great environmentally-conscious option for the best lunch box for kids. It features eco-friendly, waterproof Oxford fabric and a leak-proof aluminum inner lining.

You’ll feel safe sending your child to school with the MAZFORCE because it’s free from PVC, BPA, phthalates, and lead. These chemicals, used in most plastics, can leach into foods and potentially cause harm.

Additionally, you’ll love the six designs available to ensure your child has a one-of-a-kind lunch box. Also, the MAZFORCE comes with a variety of practical features and perks. For example, the handle includes a detachable buckle. This means you can easily clip it to your child’s backpack.

Inside, you’ll find mesh pockets and an outer zipper pouch, all perfect for organization. The outside of the MAZFORCE has a mesh pouch for water bottle storage.

If for any reason you dislike the MAZFORCE, you can fall back on the hassle-free refund and exchange policy.

OmieBox


OmieBox Bento Box for Kids – Insulated Bento Lunch Box with Leak Proof…

  • KIDS EAT BETTER — Your kids will gobble lunch up when it’s their favorite food served warm inside OmieBox. OmieBox…
  • EASIER, FASTER LUNCH PREP — Now you can send hot soup and chilled strawberries without using a million small lunch box…
  • HIGH QUALITY INVESTMENT – Durable, built to last and saves you the expense of buying a separate kids thermos! OmieBox…

Next up is the OmieBox, which is a strong contender for the best lunch box for kids if you’re looking for an insulated bento box. The OmieBox features an outer box with a three-compartment removable tray to divide your little one’s lunch.

This lunch box is unique in other ways, though. One of the inner-compartments includes a removable thermos insert. Also, the entire OmieBox is double-walled and air-insulated. That means you can keep your child’s food warm or cool with plenty of time to spare.

Additionally, this product is made of stainless steel and is BPA-free. Its rounded corners make it easy to clean — perfect for busy moms and dads with eager eaters! The rubber seals help keep food from spilling, and the secure clasp is still easy to open with small hands.

You can purchase the OmieBox in a variety of vibrant colors to suit your child’s taste.

OPUX Premium Insulated Lunch Box


OPUX Premium Insulated Lunch Box | Soft Leakproof School Lunch Bag for…

  • THE LUNCH BAG YOU NEED for carrying food, snacks, lunch to school, office, work, and on the go. This durable reusable…
  • KEEPS FOOD HOT/COLD FOR HOURS Our insulated lunch bag will keep your food/drinks at optimal temperature so you can…
  • FUNCTIONAL AND EASY TO CARE Equipped with a front pocket for utensils and side mesh pocket to hold beverage. This lunch…

OPUX makes a reliable, insulated lunch box option for any student. While the outer design looks fairly standard, you can choose from 18 different colors to ensure your child’s lunch box stands out.

This insulated lunch box is BPA-, PVC-, lead-, phthalates-, and cadmium-free. Its outside is polyester fabric with reinforced zippers.

You can even help promote your child’s organizational skills with the OPUX box. It features a front pocket great for storing utensils. It also comes with a mesh pouch on the side for drinks. Its handle is detachable via a buckle, so you or your child can easily clip it to a bag.

The one downside with the OPUX is it doesn’t have a pocket inside. So, your child’s food items could become disorganized.

Bentgo Kids Lunch Box


Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box – Bento-Styled Lunch Solution Offers…

  • PORTIONED FOR KIDS: 5 practical compartments portioned perfectly for a child’s appetite (recommended for ages 3-7)….
  • LEAK-PROOF TECHNOLOGY: Keeps meals and snacks fresh and mess-free during transport– Includes two kid-friendly latches…
  • MICROWAVE AND DISHWASHER-SAFE: Removable compartment tray reheats food safely in the microwave and cleans up easily in…

Another great option for a bento box is the Bentgo Kids Lunch Box. This fabulous lunch box for kids is both microwave- and dishwasher-safe, a major perk that sets it apart from competitors.

The bento box is drop-proof with rubber-coated edges, making it a sturdy and durable choice for young children. You can choose from three different color options.

You can rest easy knowing that this product is BPA-, vinyl-, lead-, and PVC-free. The tray is also removable for easy washing.

If you’re someone who likes to give back, you’ll love that Bentgo supports Feed the Children with each purchase. You’ll also love its two-year warranty.

Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Insulated Kids Lunch Bag


Skip Hop Zoo Kids Insulated Lunch Box, Eureka Unicorn, Multi

  • Roomy, insulated lunch bag keeps food and drinks cold
  • Large main compartment of the kids lunch box is big enough for a sandwich, apple and juice box
  • Easy-clean lunchbags are machine washable on a gentle cycle and allow to air dry with a gentle detergent.

If you’re looking for the cutest pick for the best lunch box for kids, the Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Insulated Kids Lunch Bag might be it!

You can choose from over 20 adorable zoo animals, like owls, monkeys, and bats, depending on your child’s preference. All of the animals are colorful, cheerful, and adorably designed.

This insulated lunch bag has a large inner compartment that comfortably holds a sandwich, apple, and juice box. You’ll also find a mesh pouch on the inside for added organization. The inside pocket is great for utensils or an ice pack. Another great interior feature is a name tag for extra security and organization.

Its handle has a clip so you can easily secure it to your child’s backpack. The lunch box itself is machine-washable, which is a significant perk for busy parents. Finally, the Skip Hop Zoo lunch box is both BPA- and phthalate-free.

Healthy Packers Insulated Lunch Box


Insulated Lunch Box for Adults and Kids – Professional Work Lunch Bag…

  • SUPERIOR QUALITY- Healthy Packers Insulated Lunchbox is made with top quality eco-friendly materials. Designed with you…
  • MAINTAIN FRESHNESS- We do not want you compromise on the quality of your lunch by letting nature dictate the temperature…
  • IDEAL SIZE- Neither too big nor too small, Healthy Packers lunch bags were designed to be the perfect size. With…

Yet another excellent option for the best lunch box for kids is the Healthy Packers Insulated Lunch Box. While we’ve included this lunch box in our list of the best children’s lunch boxes, it’s also great for adults, too.

This insulated lunch box is made of Oxford fabric, making it eco-friendly and durable. It has an aluminum inner lining that comes with a two-component insulation system. This means that the combination of thick foam and aluminum helps keep food extra fresh.

This Healthy Packers lunch box comes in six colors, and its interior is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. Take a peek inside, and you’ll also find a mesh pouch to help store utensils or an ice pack.

On the outside, an expandable drink holder and a reinforced zipper pouch on the front provide extra storage. Another great thing about this product is the buckle handle and the slim pocket on the back.

Artovida Insulated Neoprene Lunch Bag


ART OF LUNCH Insulated Neoprene Lunch Bag for Women, Men and Kids -…

  • INSULATED LUNCH BAG – This insulated lunch tote kids by Art of Lunch keeps your food fresh for longer than plastic lunch…
  • LARGE CAPACITY – Lunch bags for adults made with thicker neoprene than other brands, these insulated lunch bags stand…
  • CUTE DESIGNS – Art of Lunch works with amazing artists around the world to make lunch more interesting. Choose from a…

One of the best-rated products on our best lunch box for kids list is the Artovida Insulated Neoprene Lunch Bag. With over 20 stylish colors and patterns, just about anyone can find something they like!

This bag insulation comes from four-millimeter-thick neoprene, a synthetic rubber. This keeps your child’s food cool and fresh for up to four hours.

This lunch box stands upright and folds flat for storage, and can fit a container up to 7-by-6 inches. The Artovida Insulated Neoprene Lunch Bag is lead- and PVC-free and has a stain-resistant outer shell. It’s machine washable, which is great for on-the-go families.

It also comes with a lifetime guarantee, another major perk. However, you should note the Artovida’s handle. It is built into the rest of the cloth lunch box, so you can’t easily clip it onto your child’s bag like other products.

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag


PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Pixel Hearts

  • This lunch bag features PackIt’s patented cooling technology. Freezable gel is permanently built into the bag, so you…
  • To use, simply fold the PackIt Lunch Bag flat and store in the freezer overnight (12 hours). In the morning, the walls…
  • PackIt lunch bags are perfect for packing healthy foods such as: dairy, fruits and veggies. Food and drinks stay cool…

Next up is the PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag. It comes in 43 colors and designs so you will surely find something your child adores!

This lunch box for kids is certainly one-of-a-kind. Using patented technology and freezable gel, the entire insulated lining is a lunch box and ice pack combined. Simply place it in the freezer for 12 hours, and pack your child’s lunch the next day.

The PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag is made of non-toxic poly-canvas, which you can spot clean. It has a food-safe and water-resistant lining that can easily be wiped clean. This lunch box has a zip-top closure and a clip handle.

Another great detail is that the PackIt is free of PVC, BPA, lead, phthalate, and formaldehyde.

Though it is roomy and can fit a sandwich, snack, and 12-ounce drink, keep in mind that there are no organization pouches inside.

YumBox Original


Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container for Kids (Bijoux…

  • PRACTICAL LEAKPROOF DESIGN: Yumbox Original is designed to make your packed lunches easy & delicious. Molded silicone…
  • IDEAL PORTION SIZES FOR KIDS: Yumbox Original is designed for little kids. Our goal is to promote healthy & balanced…
  • PERFECT HEALTHY PACKED LUNCH: YUMBOX is a winner of Good Design Award for a Children’s Product. Yumbox makes it so easy…

Another great bento-style option for the best lunch box for kids is the YumBox Original. The YumBox Original has a molded silicone-lined lid, which protects against dip and sauce spills but not necessarily pure liquids.

A major benefit of the YumBox Original is that each compartment on the tray has its own independent seal. Also, its removable tray can be thrown on the top rack of your dishwasher for easy cleaning.

The YumBox received the Good Design Award for a Children’s Product, and this box is made of food-safe materials. You won’t find any BPAs or phthalates here.

Worth noting is that the YumBox Original is not insulated. You should consider putting it in a bag with an ice pack to protect your child’s cold foods.

MIER Kids Lunch Box


MIER Kids Lunch Box, Fit in Backpack, Green

  • Update version: Update to leakproof lining but without a elastic drink holder inside. Recommend to carry it flat when…
  • Mesh pouch on the inside lid for ice pack, spoon, napkin, MIER special design for hook and loop closure, the stuff would…
  • Perfect Size: 10L x 4H x 7W (inches), it has enough room for a normal sized lunch and suitable for fitting into backpack

The last product on our best lunch box for kids list is the MIER Kids Lunch Box. This insulated lunch box comes in two fun colors and patterns.

It has an interior mesh pocket like many lunch boxes. However, the MIER lunch box has a hook and loop closure along the interior pocket. That means your child can store food or other items more securely without the hassle of a stuck zipper.

The MIER has a food-safe PEVA lining and should be hand washed. Also, keep in mind that this lunch box is not leakproof. You’re best off keeping it upright when liquids are inside. Also, the handle features padding but is not removable.

Seize The School Day With The Best Lunch Box For Kids

Calling all super parents! You don’t have to worry about finding the best lunch box for kids this school year. Instead, you can choose from any of the durable, stylish options above and rest easy knowing your child is carrying the best lunch box around.

via GIPHY

On top of featuring fun colors, patterns, and kid-friendly construction, the lunch boxes on our list are all made with food-safe materials. Also, many of them are easy to wash by hand, dishwasher, or even in your washing machine.

No matter what style of lunch box is on your kid’s back-to-school wishlist, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect solution with plenty of time left to pick up pencils, a backpack, and everything else they’ll need for the year.

So, what do you think? Which lunch box is your stellar student going to rock this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image via Pixabay

Best Bento Lunch Box

If you spend any time on Instagram, especially in the foodie or parenting circles, who’ve probably noticed a certain trend cropping up to replace traditional lunchboxes: the Japanese bento box. But before you hop on the wagon and start crafting your own adorable lunches, you need to know which style is the best bento lunch box for you and your family.

What once was only adopted in the West by anime and manga fans (often called otakus or weeaboos, both lovingly and not so much), is now used by trendy bloggers and creative parents.

And with the growing popularity of meal prepping, or pre-assembling meals for the busy week ahead, the bento box is now almost entirely a part of U.S. culture.

But what exactly is a bento box? Where did the concept first originate?

And how do you choose the best bento lunch box out of the seemingly endless options currently on the market?

Comparison Table

What Is a Bento Box?

The concept of a bento box is actually quite simple. A bento lunch box is a reusable, Tupperware-like lunch box from Japan. These boxes can be made from plastic, bamboo, steel, or other durable materials.

Traditionally, bento boxes include foods like rice, fish, and vegetables. However, with the adoption of these boxes in the U.S. and elsewhere abroad, today’s bento boxes can contain practically anything.

Where did the bento box come from?

The history of the bento box is surprisingly murky. While we know that Japanese farmers and soldiers packed their food in boxes as early as the 5th Century and that this utilitarian trend spread across China, Korea, and other parts of Asia, things are a little unclear after that.

a bento rice meal on wooden lunch box

Image Source: Instagram.com

We do know that the bento box was a standard for schoolchildren in the early-1900s, and about its role as an economic status symbol between the post-war haves and have-nots. When standardized school lunches were introduced, the bento box fell out of popularity.

That is, until the 1980s.

As frozen dinners and convenience foods dominated the market, the bento box reappeared. This also coincided with Japanese-American immigrants bringing the concept over to their new home.

a bento meal on rectangular containers

Image Source: Instagram.com

A few years later, around the 1990s, character-themed bento boxes became the new trend. Today, we still see these elaborate boxes on Instagram, YouTube, and personal blogs across the Internet.

Why the Bento Box Isn’t Just a Cute Trend

Yes, the best bento lunch box photos might dominate social media, but this isn’t the only reason why this trend seems to be here to stay. In fact, bento boxes offer several benefits.
Here are just a few reasons you should consider jumping onto this new lunch trend:

They can help save the environment

One of the most important aspects of a bento box is that it’s reusable. Unlike plastic sandwich bags and brown paper lunch sacks, the bento box is just as permanent as your ceramic dishes or glass cups.

However, unlike your home dinnerware, a bento box is meant for transport. This means you can also avoid buying prepackaged foods. And, as a result, cut down on the amount of waste you produce with each meal.

a stacked of colorful lunch boxes

Image Source: Instagram.com

Many of the best bento box brands of today emphasize this focus on sustainability by choosing eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices for their products.

If you care about the environmental impact of your purchases, we suggest seeking out one of these companies for your new lunchbox!

They can save you time and money

Dining out, even if you just make a pit stop at a convenience store or fast food joint, is expensive. This can also be true for children’s school lunches, depending on your district.
Actually, reports say that U.S. citizens spend an average of over $1,000 per year on restaurant lunches. And professionals aren’t the only ones affected by this, with college students spending an average of $27.47 dining out per week!

a bento box with rice chicken and spinach leaves

Image Source: Instagram.com

If you need a little extra motivation to pack lunch each day, a stylish bento box could be just the thing you need. Plus, when you’re not rushing out of the office to grab take-out on your break, you’ll have more time to relax before you get back to work.

They can help you eat healthily

Of course, switching to a packed bento lunch won’t do much good if you fill it with junk. Fortunately, there are several resources and cookbooks out there for healthy, bento-based meal inspiration.

a healthy bento meal on pink lunch box

Image Source: Instagram.com

First, bento boxes offer built-in portion control. Not only can you only pack so much food into a single box, but most boxes feature individual compartments that let you portion out carbs, vegetables, sweets, and more.

Second, the bento box goes hand-in-hand with creative, brightly colored lunches that are often in the shape of cute animals or cartoon characters. Who doesn’t want to snack on a carrot in the shape of a star?

Okay, and they’re cute and fun

Alright, while bento boxes are much more than just a cute photo op, we can’t deny that the bento community creates some absolutely adorable and delicious-looking lunches.
For example, a bento box can turn a normal, healthy lunch into something out of a culinary magazine:

a bento rice box with honey chicken and fresh veggies

Image Source: Instagram.com

Or, you can use your bento box to scratch that itch for symmetry and organization:

a bento box with different textures and shapes

Image Source: Instagram.com

Obviously, we can’t forget the incredibly creative lunches that bento fans are constantly putting together, like this Hermione Granger-themed lunch:


a hermoine themed bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

You can even celebrate holidays with themed lunches, like this creepy and cute Halloween-themed box (just look at that orange disguised as a spooky pumpkin!):


halloween themed bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

As you can see, there really is no end to the amazing things you can create with a simple bento box.

So, are you feeling inspired? Well, then it’s time for you to find the best bento box for your newfound creative passion!

The Best Bento Box for Every Lunch and Lifestyle

Just a few years ago, buying a proper bento lunch box meant visiting a specialty shop or ordering one online. Today, though, you can find bento boxes almost anywhere.

However, just because you can run to your nearest general store and pick up one of these trendy lunchboxes doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily get the best bento lunch box for your needs. With their growing popularity, there are numerous types of bento boxes to choose from for packing your next lunch.

Whether you want something sleek and office-appropriate, or something you can haul around in a backpack all day, here are some of the best bento lunch boxes you can buy today:

For the office

Sure, panda-shaped or colorful bento boxes might be adorable. But if you work in a professional setting, they might not be the most appropriate.

If you want a high-quality bento box that your coworkers won’t raise their eyebrows at, may we suggest one of the boxes below?

BentoHeaven Bamboo


Original BentoHeaven Bento Box Bundle with FREE Lunch Bag, Divider,…

  • GET THE MOST STYLISH BENTO LUNCH BOX: Friends, family, colleagues will be longing for your lunch box by BentoHeaven from…
  • EAT SAFE HEALTHY MEALS ANYWHERE: reusable, airtight, leak proof bento box containers made of food grade BPA-FREE…
  • GIVE THE BEST MOMENTS OF THEIR DAY: use your FREE lunch box notes to send a personal message to your beloved ones! Print…

The BentoHeaven Bamboo box, available in black or white, is the quintessential bento box. This classic lunchbox is perfect for the office, or anywhere you don’t want to draw attention to your day-to-day lunch.

With two 20-ounce, stackable containers and individual sealing lids, you can pack anything you’re craving. Plus, the attached chopsticks and cutlery set mean you don’t have to haul around silverware or waste plastic utensils. Everything stays secure with the removable elastic strap.

monbento MB Square


monbento MB Square Matcha – The bento box

  • Microwave-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Airtight

If you want a bit more room for your meal, the monbento MB Square box is what the brand calls a “King-sized bento” option. This square bento box features a modern design and is available in several different colors, from matte black to rose pink.

With this bento box, you get two just over 28-ounce, stacking containers with airtight sealing lids and a secure elastic strap. Unfortunately, this bento box does not come with utensils, though you can purchase them from monbento separately.

While some say this is the best bento lunch box for men, really it’s just a great choice for anyone with a big appetite. 

Bklyn Bento Stainless Steel Bento Box


Stainless Steel Bento Box Lunch Box, A Large Metal 3 Tier Tiffin Food…

  • 3 TIER 100% STAINLESS STEEL LUNCH BOX: Some foods were simply not meant to mingle. Separate containers keep your…
  • 20% LARGER: Ahhh, nothing like market research. We found most people that use bento boxes really like them….
  • ECO & ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY: Not even a touch of BPA, PVC , BPS or PHTHALATES goes into making this food…

Are you trying to limit your plastic use? Even if you choose the best bento lunch box made from reusable plastic, there are still downsides to how these products are created. Fortunately, you can do away with plastic completely with the Bklyn Bento Stainless Steel Bento Box.

This bento box offers a secure, airtight seal for all of your favorite foods. It includes three separate, stacking containers that hold 9 ounces, 16 ounces, and 17 ounces, from top-to-bottom. Unfortunately, because of the lid sealing design, you can’t use just one or two of these containers at a time.

For the kids

Being an adult might mean doing away with cartoon-themed lunchboxes and overly bright colors. But that doesn’t mean your children can’t indulge in these simple pleasures.
For many kids, their school lunchbox is a core part of their identity. Luckily, bento boxes come in all types of cool colors, designs, and themes!

If you’re thinking about switching your child to a bento-based lunch, here are some of the best bento lunch box styles for younger kids:

Bentgo Kids Prints


Bentgo Kids Prints (Pink Dots) – Leak-Proof, 5-Compartment Bento-Style…

  • LUNCH IN STYLE: Bentgo Kids has upgraded America’s favorite children’s lunchbox with fun patterns that showcase your…
  • IDEAL PORTIONS FOR KIDS: 5 practical compartments portioned perfectly for a child’s appetite to encourage a healthy…
  • LEAK-PROOF TECHNOLOGY: Keeps meals and snacks fresh and mess-free during transport – Designed with 2 kid-friendly…

One of the best bento box options for kids is the Bentgo Kids Prints collection. These bento boxes come in six different colorways, each with their own fun design on the top (our personal favorite is the Mermaid Scales version!).

Each of these boxes has a hinged outer shell that securely clasps shut and a removable, segmented tray inside. The tray features five different sections of varying sizes. Bentgo states that these sections are the perfect size for portion control in children ages 3 to 7.

YumBox Original


Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container (Neptune Blue)

  • PRACTICAL LEAKPROOF DESIGN: Yumbox Original is designed to make your packed lunches easy & delicious. Molded silicone…
  • IDEAL PORTION SIZES FOR KIDS: Yumbox Original is designed for little kids. Our goal is to promote healthy & balanced…
  • PERFECT HEALTHY PACKED LUNCH: YUMBOX is a winner of Good Design Award for a Children’s Product. Yumbox makes it so easy…

If your child is a slow or reluctant eater, how about trying a bento box with a design hidden inside? The YumBox Original bento box, with its colorful interior images, is just one example.

These bento boxes come in all different designs, from adventurous astronauts to quaint forest creatures. YumBox even has one design that maps out the different food groups and appropriate portion sizes. Whichever design you choose, your child will be eager to finish their lunch so they can see the scene underneath!

YumBox Original bento boxes feature a hinged lid with a secure but easy to open latch. These boxes are great for toddlers and children up to 8 years old and fit perfectly into a standard insulated lunch tote.

OmieBox


Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container (Neptune Blue)

  • PRACTICAL LEAKPROOF DESIGN: Yumbox Original is designed to make your packed lunches easy & delicious. Molded silicone…
  • IDEAL PORTION SIZES FOR KIDS: Yumbox Original is designed for little kids. Our goal is to promote healthy & balanced…
  • PERFECT HEALTHY PACKED LUNCH: YUMBOX is a winner of Good Design Award for a Children’s Product. Yumbox makes it so easy…

The OmieBox bento box is specially designed to withstand the use and abuse that comes from young kids. You can even order replacement parts if your child is prone to losing or breaking things!

This bento box features three double-walled, insulated compartments, one of which can be used as a normal segment or hold an insulated thermos (which is included with the box). The OmieBox comes in several bright colors and includes a secure latch that’s still easy to open with small hands.

For on-the-go

We don’t all have the luxury of walking into the office and tucking our packed lunch in the breakroom refrigerator. If you’re constantly on the move, whether for work or for play, you need a bento box that can keep up!

From carrying a whole day’s worth of food to feeding a small crowd, you’ll find the best bento box for your busy lifestyle below.

East World Bento Box


East World Lunch Box for Kids- Leak Proof Kids Lunch Box – Bento Box…

  • SOUP-SAFE AND LEAKPROOF When lunchtime arrives the last thing you want is soggy bread and a soup catastrophe, right?…
  • NOT JUST A LUNCHBOX: As well as being an insulated lunch box that keeps food safe, Bento Friend comes with a reusable…
  • EASY TO CLEAN AND STORE! The East World Bento Lunch Box is Freezer, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe (hand wash the lid)….

What good is even the best bento box if your food ends up warm and soggy by the time you sit down for lunch? Fortunately, the East World Bento Box has you covered.

This bento box features six compartments with an airtight lid and miniature cutlery set. Each piece is entirely microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

But the key element of this bento box is the insulated carrying bag. This bag is the perfect size to fit your bento box, utensils, and an ice pack to keep everything fresh throughout the day. The handle means you can grab-and-go while the durable material means it can safely go in your standard washing machine for easy cleaning.

YBOBK HOME Cute Bento Lunch Box


YBOBK HOME Cute Bento Lunch Box with Flatware Set Stackable Lunch Box…

  • 【Safe and Durable】The cute lunch box is made of food grade stainless steel interior and high quality plastic…
  • 【Unique Design】This stacking lunch box mainly has 3 layers, adding 1 mini bowl is equal to 4 layers, keeping food…
  • 【Freedom to Combine】The stainless steel lunch box is designed to be stacked, you could freely combine them into 1, 2…

If you’re on the hunt for a versatile and hyper-mobile bento box, the YBOBK HOME Cute Bento Lunch Box should definitely be near the top of your list. Available in several different colors and designs (our personal favorite for this box is the Cactus pattern, in case you were wondering), this bento box can go anywhere and hold almost anything.

The three-tier version of this box includes three sealed containers, one small non-sealed container, a lid that doubles as a bowl, and a convenient carrying handle. Each section is fully insulated, and you can use them all together or pick and choose which containers you need.

In total, this box carries holds over 40 ounces. It also comes with a utensil set and a carrying bag that you can easily sling over your shoulder.

YBOBK HOME Insulated Lunch Box


YBOBK HOME Thermal Lunch Box, Leak Proof Insulated Stackable Round…

  • 【Food Grade Material】High quality food grade stainless steel liner and eco-friendly PP outer, BPA free, toxin free,…
  • 【Keep Food Warm for up to 4 Hours】Insulated lunch box and bag, keeps your home-cooked meals warm, fresh and ready to…
  • 【Leakproof Lunch Box】Each layer has a separate lid with the sealed silicone ring that prevents the spillage of…

If the stacked bento box above isn’t quite big enough for your needs, then here’s another box from YBOBK HOME that might be a better fit. The YBOBK HOME Insulated Lunch Box offers many of the same features as their Cute Bento Lunch Box but with larger containers and higher overall carrying capacity.

While the bento box above can hold just over 40 ounces of food, all three tiers of the Insulated Lunch Box can hold 71 ounces! That’s enough to feed a small crowd or keep you fueled through your whole workday.

Each 23.67-ounce section can be used alone, paired, or as an entire set. With this stacking bento box, you’ll also get a portable utensil set and a carrying bag.

Upgrade Your Bento Box with These Accessories

So, you have your new bento box, and you’re ready to create a picture-perfect lunch. But, of course, the bento trend isn’t fueled solely by the concept of using a box to carry your food. If it was, there would be no difference between a bento lunch and a Tupperware lunch.

Instead, the bento box trend is actually fueled by the use of shapes, characters, and colorful palettes. This concept, which started in the 1990s, is what makes bento boxes so special.

Ready to step up your bento skills? Well, you’re going to need some tools.

Fit the mold

What says bento lunch more than anything else? Molded rice balls.

You might not be sticking with the traditional rice and vegetables found in Japanese bento lunches. However, you can still take advantage of cool shapes when creating your own box.

animal themed bento snack

Image Source: Instagram.com

For example, you can mold soft sandwich bread into an adorable panda or create cat face cut-outs with cheese and lunch meat. If you can think of it, there’s probably a bento-approved way to make it!

Make some shapes

Bento lunches are supposed to be helpful for getting kids to eat healthier and learn proper portion sizes. Still, it can be hard to get picky eaters to eat their carrots and zucchini.

star and fish shaped food on bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

One of the most popular trends in bento box lunches is fun-shaped vegetables. With a set of cute vegetable cutters, you can offer a little extra incentive to that veggie hater in your life. Or, you can use these shapes in your next themed box creation!

Keep it neat

Your new bento box might have its own built-in organization. But that doesn’t mean certain foods won’t make an absolute mess!

To help keep your lunches even tidier and more aesthetically pleasing, you can use reusable cupcake sleeves. Unlike paper or foil sleeves, these silicone cups can be washed and used many times over.

snacks on a bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

And since you’re likely choosing to use a bento box for its sustainability, the last thing you want is to create unnecessary waste.

Or, you can spring for a whole kit

If you’re not too keen on buying a dozen separate accessories, you’re in luck. With the rising popularity of bento lunch boxes, especially for young kids, it’s easy to find complete kits that contain everything you need to master the best bento lunch box game in town.

Yes, these kits are typically marketed to kids and their parents. That said, we won’t judge if you start sneaking dinosaur-shaped sandwiches into your work lunch!

What’s in Your Bento?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably feeling pretty gung-ho about your upcoming bento box adventures. Bento boxes offer tons of benefits, from cutting down on food packaging waste to teaching children healthy habits. So, combined with the cuteness factor, it’s no surprise that this Japanese trend has taken off around the world.

But remember, having the best bento lunch box doesn’t need to be a competition. If you choose to dive into the world of themed boxes, don’t let Instagram and Pinterest discourage you.

We promise all your kids will care about is the love and care that goes into their star-shaped carrots — not how many likes their school lunch garnered on social media!

If you decide to try out the bento box for yourself, keep in mind that these boxes aren’t one-size-fits-all. What works for someone with an office job might not work for someone who’s running errands all day. And vice-versa.

At the end of the day, what’s important is that you choose the best bento lunch box for you.

What do you like to pack in your bento box? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com

18 Tips on How to Be Funny

What is funny or comedic is both a universal constant across all humanity, and yet paradoxically it is also a historically contextual form. We can find the humor in the plays of the Greek playwright Aristophanes or England’s Shakespeare, yet their comedies do not speak upon the present, and we could easily say the opposite is true. Even now, things that we considered funny twenty years ago are now considered unfunny.

Put simply, comedy evolves reflexively upon itself to find out what is funny and comedic within society at large; and it is a craft that has been developed and refined for as long as humanity itself.

Being funny is an art. No one is born with the “funny gene.” In fact, comedians spend years honing their craft. The same skills can be learned by anyone, even someone just looking to be a little funnier in the breakroom.

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“Genres” of Comedy

Anecdotal: Greek: anecdote: unpublished. Personal stories that may be true/partly true but embellished

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Anti-humor: indirect humor in which the joke teller delivering a joke which is intentionally not funny

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Black/Dark Comedy: comedy involving disturbing subjects like death, drugs, war, or other taboo subjects

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Blue comedy: typically sexual in nature, using profane language, sometimes using gender or race based humor

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Character comedy: derives humor from a persona invented by a performer. Often drawing from stereotypes

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Cringe comedy: comedy of embarrassment, the humor derives from inappropriate actions at inappropriate times. Usually popular in tv and film

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Deadpan comedy: Not really a genre per se, but a method of telling jokes without changing emotions or facial expression

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And that’s not all

Heritage comedy: genre in which a comedian speaks on humourous traits/stereotypes about their own cultural heritage.

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Improvisational comedy: unplanned comic routines, popular in TV

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Insult comedy: a form consisting of offensive insults at the audience or other performers.

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Mockumentary: parody using the conventions of a documentary. Used extensively in TV and Film

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Musical comedy: humor derived from music with lyrics

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Observational: pokes fun at everyday life, inflating the importance of the trivial or the silliness of something that a society accepts as normal

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And there’s more!

One-line joke: joke delivered in a single; usually pithy, concise

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Physical comedy: similar to slaptick, uses physical movements and gestures, influenced by clowning

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Prop comedy: relies on props, everyday objects used in humorous ways

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Shock humour: uses shock value to a strong negative as well as comedic emotion

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Surreal comedy: form of comedy based on bizarre juxtapositions, absurd situations, nonsense logic

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Topical comedy/Satire: relies on headlining/important news/current events. Popular on TV

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Wit/word Play: an form based on clever, subtle manipulation of languages (through puns and being crude)

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Practice Makes Perfect

You may not be the most hilarious person on your first attempt, but if you keep going, you’ll eventually get there. Give yourself permission to fail. Learn to take yourself less seriously. Being funny is an art form, and it requires a lot of time and work!

A Comprehensive Guide On How To Wash And Clean A Baseball Cap

How to Wash and Clean a Baseball Cap

What was once your favorite cap to wear out on the town is now a stained, dusty, and dirty shell of the stylish cap it once was. What do you do? A lot of people will choose to bid farewell to their favorite cap and toss it in favor of a new one.

What if there was a way to give life back to your baseball cap and avoid having to buy new ones? This is definitely the more economical option and might be the only option if the hat you have is a collectible or limited edition hat that may be incredibly expensive, or downright impossible, to replace. Here’s everything you need to know about how to wash a baseball cap.

How Not to Wash a Baseball Cap

baseball caps

Before you roll up your sleeves and learn how to wash a baseball cap you need to know some important things to avoid if you want to ensure your cap survives the cleaning process. The first thing to avoid is machinery. Your washing machine or dishwasher may seem like convenient cleaning tools. But baseball caps are not down for either of these cleaning devices.

The threads may come loose, your cap could become warped, and the detergent used may not be rinsed away completely, which leaves a grimy film. A lot of people will recommend that you put your cap on the top rack of the dishwasher. But there is a better way to get a clean baseball cap.

Also, be sure to choose the right cleaning product. You will want to avoid anything with bleach in the ingredients. Instead, you will be using regular laundry detergent or dish detergent. Before you begin a thorough cleaning, be sure to spot test a part of your cap with some detergent mixed in water. If you notice discoloration then you should only use water to clean your cap.

Put In Some Elbow Grease

spraying cap

Now that you know that the washing machine and dishwasher are out of the question that only leaves one method of cleaning. That’s right! You’re going to hand wash your baseball cap! Don’t worry, this is not a time consuming task. Plus, if you really love your baseball cap, then you shouldn’t mind putting in a little bit of elbow grease to salvage it from a life in the garbage bin.

First, gather the tools you will need for cleaning. A large bucket is handy to have but you can use your sink if needed. You’ll want to choose a detergent or dish soap which, ideally, you have already spot tested as mentioned above. For scrubbing, choose an old toothbrush or a rag.

Finally, you will need a towel to dry your cap and something to sit the cap on for drying. Ideally, this drying “tool” will keep the cap elevated so air can reach all surfaces of the cap, inside and out. In a pinch, an old mason jar will do the trick.

Time to Get Scrubbing

cleaning baseball cap

You have your tools, you know what not to do. Now it’s time to actually begin the cleaning process. Put some detergent in your bucket and begin filling it with warm water. As the bucket fills, wet your toothbrush or rag and begin spot treating some of the really stained or dirty areas on your cap. You want to be very gentle when scrubbing to protect the threads on your cap which could break or loosen as a result of vigorous cleaning.

Once you have finished the initial spot treatment, place your cap in the bucket of warm water and detergent to soak for at least an hour. Throughout the soaking, you may want to check on the areas you have spot treated and scrub those areas a little more to help along the cleaning process.

Once you have soaked the cap and you’re satisfied with the stain removal you can rinse the cap with cold water. A complete and thorough rinsing is necessary to ensure that you don’t have a leftover soap scum feeling after drying.

When the water runs clear, and you don’t see any detergent left in the fibers of your cap, you can use a towel to pat down the excess water. Just like with scrubbing, you don’t want to be too rough on your cap. Definitely avoid wringing out your baseball cap if you want to maintain its shape and avoid warping. Once the excess water is towel-dried away, place the cap on an object to air dry.

Show Off Your New Baseball Cap

wiping baseball cap

If the cleaning and drying process goes well your cap should look as good as new! If there are some leftover stains you may want to go through the cleaning process once again. Now that you know how to wash a baseball cap you can keep those beloved hats looking great for a long time and save money on buying new caps. Share this with your friends and help them to keep their headwear looking clean as well!

A Comprehensive Guide On How To Throw A Dart Like A Pro

To some, playing darts is a good way to have a little fun at the bar on a Friday or Saturday night. To others, playing darts is pretty serious business. In either case, knowing how to throw a dart is a pretty handy skill to have. In one scenario, that kind of skill will prevent you from injuring a fellow bar patron. In the other scenario, being a skilled dart player could equal winning thousands of dollars. While you may not have dreams of going pro, it’s still nice to learn how to throw a dart like one.

Grip a Dart Like a Pro

Image via Pixabay

Before you send that dart flying through the air on its journey you need to have a good grip on the dart. While there are many grips used by dart players, there are a few important rules to always keep in mind.

First, you should use at least three fingers. This is often the thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Some players will use four or five fingers for added stability when throwing. The only downside to adding more fingers to your grip is having to coordinate all fingers at once when releasing to ensure an accurate flight path.

Another important aspect of your grip is the strength used to hold the dart. You want a light but firm grip on the dart. If you have white fingertips or white knuckles when gripping your dart you are probably holding on too tight and it may be difficult to release the dart on target. Conversely, if you find the dart wobbling in your fingers as you go through the throwing motion then you may need to consider strengthening your grip to stabilize the dart.

Finally, any fingers that are not used in your grip should be positioned well away from the dart. This also includes your palm and other areas of the hand. A simple grip is an effective grip. Nothing is more frustrating than releasing a dart perfectly only to have an errant finger knock your shot off target ever-so-slightly.

Grip It and Take Your Shot

Once you have found a comfortable, effective grip you are ready to take your shot. Aiming your shot is, obviously, the most important aspect of shooting. Your motion could be perfect but if you are not aimed correctly then you will not get the results you want. Position yourself sideways with one foot in front of the other. If you throw right handed then you will want to have your right foot forward. Hold the dart at eye level to help you line up and visualize your shot.

Many dart players will lean forward. The further forward you lean, the closer you are to the dart board and the less distance your dart has to travel. Leaning forward too much, however, can cause strain on the back and negatively affect your aim. A small forward lean is best. Leaning back is not advised at all. This creates more distance between you and the dart board while also making your body less stable during the throwing motion.

As you throw it is important to keep your body as still as possible and let your arm do the work. Don’t lift your leg or shift from side to side as this will alter your balance and cause you to miss shots. The same rule applies to your torso. Keep your upper body as still as possible and allow your throwing arm to generate power. Twisting your body to generate power can cause you to lose accuracy and is unnecessary for the distance needed when playing darts.

Develop Your Own Personal Style

While there are some fundamental rules to darts, there is room for your own style. Try different grips and stances to see which works best for you. Experiment with your grip strength and the power you use to throw the dart. Change the amount of lean you put into your stance and see what works best for you.

Learning how to throw a dart is not an exact science. The only way to master the skill is to practice and then practice some more. Once you have settled on your own style then you may want to start playing more competitively. Try joining a local dart league or challenge some friends to a game where the loser pays for nachos. Learning how to throw a dart is one thing but throwing a dart under pressure is an entirely different skill. Good luck out there!

Featured Image via Pixabay