Is learning how to play the piano expensive?

The piano is a very tempting instrument. It looks and sounds beautiful. It can be used to play a wide range of genres, from classical music to funky bops. No wonder it is loved by people all over the world. Each year new learners discover the piano’s greatness.

However, while the thought of playing the piano is exciting, the thought of purchasing one can be daunting. We think of pianos as these expensive and space-taking instruments that look and feel intimidating. To some extent, this is an accurate impression.

In reality, it all depends on the type of piano and your space and budgetary restrictions.

There are two main types of pianos: acoustic pianos and digital pianos. Acoustic pianos of the grand piano subtype are what you would find in a classical orchestra. These are the characteristically shaped large instruments that are used by professional musicians. Upright piano subtypes are a little bit more compact, with a rectangle frame that is taller than it is wider. However, none of these are really a good choice if you are looking to purchase a piano for a beginner. This is mainly due to their usually exorbitant prices. And even if you do manage to find one second-hand, you might be surprised with how much money it costs to repair and refurbish it. Real string instruments like acoustic pianos cost real money to buy and maintain. That’s why digital pianos are a recommended piano type for beginners. You can find online reviews of them at

Why are digital pianos better for beginners?

Digital pianos, unlike acoustic pianos, don’t employ strings and hammers in their mechanisms. Instead, they are filled with all kinds of electronics. When you press a key on a digital piano, a prerecorded sound from an acoustic piano plays.

There are two subtypes of digital pianos. One is, as you might have guessed, an electronic keyboard. These are piano keyboards that at the first glance look like a digital instrument. They have a lot of control settings that can be used to play around and customize the sound you make with different digital effects. The other subtype is often simply referred to as digital pianos and describes electronic pianos that have a similar shape to acoustic pianos. They disguise the fact that they are digital pianos by masking their shape to give the player that acoustic piano feel.

There are two main advantages to buying a digital piano over an acoustic piano. The first one is obviously the price. Digital pianos are much more affordable than acoustic pianos and as a beginner, you probably don’t want to sink all of your money into an instrument that you might get bored of after a month. You can find very good ones under 1000.

The second advantage is weight. Keyboards especially are very lightweight and can be easily carried around. You don’t need to find a permanent space in your room for it because it can be easily put away and just taken out when you want to practice. They are the most accessible type of pianos and they are highly recommended for beginners who just want to try out the instrument.

How to look casual yet stylish (Men)

If you wear formal wear to work every day then it can feel really nice to put on something more comfortable on your days off. For just spending your time off at home wearing a washed-out pair of sweats is more than enough. But there are still times when we still have to go out, run errands and socialize. And it is worth putting some effort into how we look at those times even if it is just to raise our self-confidence. Besides, no one wants to look like a slob if there are chances of running into someone they know while at the post office.

Fortunately, there are many ways men can achieve a sharp look with clothes that are comfortable to wear and still show off the wearer’s individual style.

Sporty looks

A pair of sweat pants with holes and stains in it is on a completely different level from a clean and well-fitting tracksuits from quality material. Black is the safest choice here as a well-made pair of sporty sweat pants that fit your frame well will not look out of place outside and they will be extremely comfortable. Combine with a pair of clean sneakers (but again, maybe without any eye-catching colors) and a long-sleeved shirt or a simple parka to get that sporty casual look that is still fashionable. Remember, graphic t-shirts will probably give the opposite effect so leave them at home.

Cool weather looks

For colder days knitwear is a type of clothing you can’t go wrong with. A simple knit sweater of one, maybe two colors can elevate any look and is comfortable to wear. If you need more layers because of the temperature then wear a long-sleeved buttoned-up shirt so that the collar is visible under the sweater. It is a simple adjustment that can give you the freedom to experiment with multiple looks and patterns. A lightweight elegant jacket, even a denim one, will complete the look if needed. For the bottoms you can try simple jeans but remember that they need to fit you well – oversize clothing may be casual but will make you look immature. You can also get a pair of chino pants in a neutral color such as brown or beige for even more outfit choices. A pair of leather shoes will go perfectly with these combinations.

Warm weather looks

What if the sun is out and you don’t want to force yourself to put on a long pair of pants that will only make you feel hot? That’s fine too! Just wear some Mens long shorts, preferably ones with simple patterns or no patterns at all. Wearing long shorts during hot weather is completely acceptable, after all, we all want to feel comfortable. Put on a simple t-shirt, maybe a V-neck for a sharper look. If you choose to go with a tank top then maybe put on a thin buttoned shirt and leave it open to slightly elevate the look. For footwear, sandals will be fine but if you are showing your toes then make sure that the nails are neatly trimmed and clean.

DeLonghi ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

Upgrade your morning.

The DeLonghi America ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Lattecrema System is the perfect espresso machine for the savvy espresso customer looking to have that personal barista poured espresso at home.

DeLonghi makes a whole line of home brew espresso machines and supporting appliances. If you need anything from drip coffee, electric milk frothers. coffee grinders, small manual espresso machines, or fully automatic espresso machines, DeLonghi has the you covered. As a leading name in home brew espresso, they have perfected the cost efficient home brew machines.

The DeLonghi America ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Lattecrema System is the headliner for DeLonghi’s retail home brew machines. It is great for the experienced home brewer, as well as the new aspiring espresso enthusiast. With push button programming, this machine will do almost everything but drink your perfect espresso.

This amazing machine gives you a eye popping 13 different grind settings. It lights up the inside of your cup during the pour. Speaking of your cup, it comes with a cup warmer to pre-warm your cup to not lose any heat from pouring into a cold cup. No matter if you like it mild, or even extra mild, or extra strong, no worries here, it comes with five different coffee strength settings for you to totally customize your perfect cup of java.

The digital programmable menu settings allow you fully customize your clock, the start time, an auto shut off, the temperature of the coffee, the length of the shot, and even adjust for water hardness. It comes with a 68 ounce water tank that let’s you know when it is time to refill. The milk frother is fully automatic, but if you like to put your own touch on your milk frothiness, it has a manual setting just for you, too.

The milk tank removes easily to put in the refrigerator to keep cold between brews. The bean hopper is sealed to keep contaminates out and keep the beans fresh and ready for a fresh grinding before each pour of your shots. It comes with it’s own water filter to ensure your source water is both keeping the machine clean and your coffee tasting like coffee. The the clean up is also very easy, and the base has a red float to let you know when too much coffee, milk or water has collected in the drip tray.

All in all the DeLonghi America ECAM28465M Prima Donna Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Lattecrema System is truly the best home brew machine for any level of espresso maker. It would also make a great addition to a AirBNB or other vacation rental kitchen or a nice Bed and Breakfast. DeLonghi didn’t hold back on this machine, and neither should you. When you are looking to upgrade your coffee espresso bar, you may look at other machines, but this should be the only one you put in your home espresso bar. Enjoy and happy brewing.

For more on coffee, make sure you check out this awesome Mama’s Royal Coffee Guide.

Best ways to entertain yourself at the lake

During the summer months, going to the pool is guaranteed to be a refreshing break from the potentially overwhelming heat. It also poses a great opportunity to have some well deserved fun, but when talking about best entertainment on water during the summer, nothing gets close to the beach or the lake in terms of fun. Pools can be way too crowded and are controlled environments that don’t offer the same possibilities that open water does. If you want to get the full potential out of your summer, then you definitely need to consider a trip to the lake or the beach, and make sure to bring along at least one of the things listed below.

Inflatable boats

Inflatable boats of all kinds are a certain way to get all your family or friends entertained while out at the lake or the beach. Pump some air into that inflatable kayak, banana boat, or paddle board, and spend some time sailing around. Boats are a great way to exercise while having fun and also a safe way to go into deeper waters. People around you are sure to notice you brought along a boat and who knows, you might even make a friend or two who want to join you for a ride!

Waterproof speakers

Music makes everything better, and it wasn’t until recently that we could stop worrying about damaging our electronics like smartphones and MP3s. These devices are now waterproof and internationally certified, so the next natural step was to bring these safety features to speakers. Portable speakers of all sizes are now available from many different retailers, and they are all safe to bring along with you into the water. Be careful though, you need to keep in mind that most of these won’t withstand being submerged too deep nor for extended periods of time.

Volleyball ball

A good old volleyball ball is another great way to keep large groups of people entertained and even make some friends. There are plenty of games you can play and you don’t necessarily need a net to play in teams. Play 1 vs 1, in pairs, or just in large groups of people passing the ball to see how long you can keep it off the ground. If you want to get creative and competitive, organize your own open tournament and welcome everyone at the lake or the beach to participate!

Books and e-readers

For those who look forward to these rare moments of leisure and all they want to do is have some peace and quiet for themselves, a book or an e-reader loaded with content of their choice is perhaps the greatest form of entertainment imaginable. Hundreds or thousands of pages filled with the most amazing stories, characters, and worlds, all within your reach on a sunny day. It doesn’t get any better than that, and reading while basking in the sun or enjoying the sea breeze under the shade of an umbrella is something you don’t get to experience that often.

Safety Tips for Laying Out in The Sun When Pregnant

Pregnant Women Tanning
Pregnant Women Tanning

A pregnant woman is responsible for caring for herself and her baby. Any action she takes usually has a direct or indirect influence on the baby growing inside her. Therefore, it is always in their best interest to engage in only activities that are safe all through the period of her pregnancy.

One of the activities that are usually tempting to pregnant women is laying out in the sun, particularly during summer. The allure to get into a swimsuit, get a towel and lay out in the sun is usually strong, especially considering the fact that the body needs Vitamin D. However, it is important for pregnant women to protect themselves and the baby when they are laying out in the sun.

Why? Because some problems are associated with laying out in the sun when pregnant.

Problems associated with laying out in the sun when pregnant.

These include;

• Folic acid challenges

In a study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology in 2005, it was revealed that when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, the degradation of folic acid occurs. Considering that folic acid is essential for the growth and development of the baby, it means that pregnant women need to exercise caution when laying out in the sun. Folic acid deficiency may result in the baby’s physical deformities, like spina bifida.

• Issues with pregnancy

Female hormones are usually secreted in excess in a pregnant woman’s body and this opens the door to some specific problems when the skin is exposed to the sun. Melasma, which is also known as pregnancy mask, is a condition in which the area above the lip gets hyper-pigmented. These pigments may get darkened during pregnancy upon exposure to sunlight causing the darkened skin to be more visible. It is also possible to experience overheating from laying out in the sun when pregnant, and this my lead to dizziness, general nausea, or some kind of deformations in the baby.

Safety tips.

If you are going to lay out in the sun when pregnant, then it is vital that you take follow these safety tips to ensure that you keep yourself and the baby safe from the problems that are associated with staying out in the sun. The safety tips include;

• Use sunscreen

The skin of a pregnant woman is more susceptible to sunburns. So, it is important that pregnant women protect themselves from the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. The sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours to ensure the skin is protected from UV rays – both UVA rays and UVB rays.

Don’t use any tanning lotions, reserve these after you give birth, and we strongly recommend you use quality tanning lotions for outdoors use only, do not go for indoor tanning just yet.

• Get cool from time to time

Every now and then when laying out in the sun, take out some time to sit in the shade, an air-conditioned room, or in a pool. Doing this will reduce the chance of experiencing overheating, dehydration, or overexposure, all three being conditions that may lead to pre-tern contractions. If there’s no shade, cover the baby bump with sun-protective clothing.

• Drink lots of fluids

Drinking water while laying in the sun help keep the body temperature low enough for the pregnant woman and the baby to be comfortable. Since sweating will be pronounced, more fluids should be taken.

Pittsburgh, The second largest city in Pennsylvania


Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and the seat of Allegheny County. The city covers and area of fifty-eight square miles and has a population of three hundred and sixteen thousand people. The downtown area of the city runs along a triangular tract carved by the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. The city can trace its history back to the eighteenth century when Europeans arrived in the area as traders. Europe settlement began in 1748, when an English land speculation company received a grant of two hundred thousand acres in the Ohio Valley.

In 1753, the governor of New France sent an expedition to build Fort Presque in present day Erie, Pennsylvania. Over the course of a few years, the French built several other forts in the area. Startled by the French expeditions into the Upper Ohio Valley, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to tell the French forces to withdraw. Major Washington arrived at the forks of the Ohio River in 1753. He then proceeded up the Allegheny River and gave Dinwiddie’s letter to the French commanders located at Venango and Fort Le Boeuf. Governor Dinwiddie then sent force down to the Forks of the Ohio to build a fort. Captain William Trent was sent to oversee the project and the resulting fort was named Fort Prince George, which was located at present day Pittsburgh.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Pittsburgh developed a bustling economy. The city was situated in the center of one of the most productive coal fields in the country. The Pittsburg region was also naturally rich in natural gas, petroleum and lumber. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the town had a population of over fifteen hundred people and had sixty shops which including stores, bakeries and retail shops. During the eighteen century, the city developed a thriving river trade. The War of 1812 caused major changes in the United States and in Pittsburgh. The war with Britain, cut off the cities supply of goods so it had to develop its own industries. The British blockade of the coast only served to increase inland trade, and the city received goods from every direction. In 1816, Pittsburgh was incorporated as a city and its industries were in full swing.

While the economy of Pittsburgh has historically been tied to the steel industry, today the city has shifted towards other industries. Other industries in the city include robotics, health care, biomedical technology, finance and tourism. Education is also a major part of the economy. The city is home to eight Fortune 500 companies which include Consol Energy, U.S. Steel, Mylan Laboratories, PPG Industries, WESCO International, H. J. Heinz Company and PNC Financial Services. Tourism is also a driving force in the city and millions of visitors come to Pittsburgh to see its rich collection of attractions.

A popular attraction in the city is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This museum was founded in 1896 by Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie. It covers an area of one hundred and fifteen thousand square feet and has twenty galleries, research facilities, a library and office space. The museum holds over twenty-one million specimens and about ten thousand of these are on display at any given time. Major exhibits at the museum include Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt, Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems, Benedum Hall of Geology, Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians and the Powdermill Nature Reserve. The research facilities of the museum are well organized and divided into the following departments; Paleobotany, Herpetology, Invertebrate Zoology, Anthropology, Mammals, Invertebrate Paleontology, Birds, Botany and minerals.

Another popular attraction in the city is the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium sits on seventy-seven acres and contains over four thousand animals taken from four hundred and seventy-five species. This zoo was originally opened in 1898 and over the years it has added new attractions. Features added since the zoo was built include a childrens zoo in 1949, Asian Forest in 1983, African Savanna in 1987 and a Tropical Rainforest in 1991. In 2000, a forty-five thousand square foot aquarium was added. This aquarium has forty exhibits and contains over three hundred and eighty thousand gallons of water. Feaures of the aquarium include Pennsylvania Waters Exhibit, Amazon Rainforest Exhibit, Open Ocean Tank and Stingray Tunnel. Animals housed at the zoo and aquarium include African Bush Elephants, Dwarf Crocodiles, African Wild Dogs, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Angola Colobus, Bornean Orangutans, Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Xingu River Ray, Barn Owls, Gila Monsters, Mexican Redknee Tarantulas, Wild Turkey, South American Rattlesnakes, Colorado River Toads, Emperor Scorpions, California Sea Lions, Striped Skunk, Seba’s Short-Tailed Bats, White-Tailed Deer, Domestic Sheep, North American Beaver, Milk Snakes, Reindeer, Red-Bellied Piranha, Leafy Sea Dragon, Staghorn coral, Banded Archerfish, Common Creek Chub, North Pacific Giant Octopus, Blacktip Reef Shark, Macaroni Penguin, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, North American River Otter, Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill and Madagascar Day Geckos.

Other attractions in Pittsburgh include PNC Park, Senator John Heinz Regional History Center, National Aviary, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory, Carnegie Museum of Art, Andy Warhol Museum, Cathedral of Learning, Carnegie Science Center, Fort Pitt Museum, Heinz Field, Carnegie Institute, Squirrel Hill, Sandcastle Water Park, Roberto Clemente Bridge, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Prince Gallitzin State Park, Station Square, Kayak Pittsburgh, Mattress Factory, USS Requin, Point State Park, Allegheny Cemetery, Allegheny County Courthouse, Mellon Arena, Mount Washington, The Nationality Rooms, Schenley Park, Forbes Field, Ppg Place, Shadyside, Boyce Park Ski Area, University of Pittsburgh, David Lawrence Convention Center, Heinz Memorial Chapel, South Park and the ToonSeum. The city also has an extensive collection of bars, restaurants and hotels. Restaurants in the city include Tessaro’s Restaurant, Mallorca Restaurant, Dor-Stop Restaurant, F Tambellini, Mad Mex, De Luca’s and Palomino Restaurant Rotisseria. Hotels located in the city of Pittsburgh include the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, Hilton Pittsburgh, Omni William Penn Hotel, Priory Hotel, Doubletree Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh City Center, Hampton Inn Hotel-University Center and the Courtyard by Marriott.