My Son’s 88 key keyboard present

My Son’s Birthday

This week, I’m going to order a keyboard with 88 keys for my son’s birthday. This is the place to go if you want one too 88 key keyboard piano

boy at the pianoHe’s been learning to play the piano since he was six, in two weeks time he’ll be eleven. He’s really taken to it in the last year or so and I want to encourage the passion he has. So I think now is the right time for him to have his own instrument to practice on.

His young sister is a reluctant student, when it comes to piano lessons. But I’m hoping that having a keyboard in the house will encourage her as well.

My Piano Story

When I was younger my father taught me and my sister to play. He played a reed and pipe organ at our church. And I was fascinated how he new what just what to do and pull all those stops to change the sound. I’m still not entirely sure how he did it Reed and Pipe organs But as I became a teenage I was allowed to play some hymns with him.

My Sister’s Piano Story

My sister went on to play keyboards in a local band, she could play anything by ear. And any style of music she wanted. I used to envy that as I had to have sheet music in front of me too play it. But as with most things, she got married, children came and partying in a band was no longer viable.

The keyboard present

modern keyboardSo getting back to Josh, who’ll be eleven on the 23rd. I new I wanted as close to a piano as I could get but without taking up a huge amount of space. In this day and age, that means it has to be electronic. That deals with the size problem and also they’re a fraction of the price, which is very important to us. There’s also the running expense of keeping the piano in tune, which you don’t need with a modern electronic piano keyboard.

88 keys sweet spot

88 key keyboardThe 88 keys was a must have feature. When you have 88 keys you’ve got the full piano set. Which means you can play anything that’s written for a piano. What has impressed me most with the ones I’ve tried is how close they are to the real thing. They sound deeper somehow and the keys behave just as they would on a real piano.

There are lots of other cool features as well. You can change the sound produced so you could replicate other keyboard instruments, harpsichord, church organ and plenty of other instruments.

But the model I’ve chosen has a really neat feature. You can change the sound produced from the lower octaves to those at the higher octaves. Whereas years go you’d need to syntheses to do this now you can this on one instrument. How cool is that?

iPhone and Wireless Chargers

The Present

I was given an attachment for my iPhone last week. I don’t buy attachments but this was my husband’s birthday present to me. Typical man’s present but it’s the thought that counts, I suppose?

What is it? Well it clicks into the the charger socket on my iphone. A short cable has what looks like a business card attached to it. You put this card thing over the back of phone and it sticks there.

How to Get You Own Wireless Charger

iphonenewer modelYou now have a wireless charging iPhone. There’s a good site here that goes into more details wireless charger for your iphone

Now to charge the phone you just place it on a charging station which can be located anywhere. We’ve got four, two in the bedroom, one in the kitchen and one in the hall. That means we can both charge our iPhones at any time, the charging units are really quite cheap, so it makes sense.

What I really like is that when I put the phone down, I’ve gotten into the habit of putting it on one of the chargers. So when I need my phone or the phone rings, I know exactly where I put it. And when it’s on a pad it’s charging which is the big deal.

My iPhone Is Always Charged Up

iphone chargingI no longer worry when I’m in a rush and the iPhones on low charge because now it’s always topped up.

Now a word on charging pads, some are better than others. So don’t just buy because it looks nice. Make sure that the charging rate is high as that affects the charging rate.

The other thing to watch for is phone covers (protectors) these tend to reduce the wireless charge rate into your phone. Again some covers are better than others but it’s hard to find this out when your in the shop, as they tend not to give this information out. Or it just isn’t recorded by the people that make protective covers.

But hubby takes care of all those techie things and the charging results we get from our wireless chargers is very good.

What the chargers look like

Domestic Water Softeners

shower headWater Softener Installed

We had a water softener installed. Straight away we noticed how different soft the water felt. In my case, the place I work uses untreated hard water, so I get reminded of the difference between the two on a daily basis.

I won’t say it changed my life, that’s to big a claim. But it is definitely a much better experience and it’s so nice to was and bathe in soft water it just feels so luxurious.

Our neighbors are impressed too. The Anderson’s, next door to us are having it fitted in the coming days. They asked for a recommendation so we pointed them to this web site whole house water softener. And I’m pretty sure the Clark’s, Bob and Betty, will convert as well. They’re talking about it.

Bath TapWarning

A word of warning that you don’t get from the sales pitches. The softening process uses salt to remove the hardness. This is just like table salt, so the water has a slight saltines to it. It’s only slightly salty but there’s definitely a hint of it. So we use a water filter jug, like Britax, just to remove these residues and that works really well.

The other thing they don’t mention is that the salt used to soften the water gets used up .Then you need to buy replacement salt, that comes in small brick size blocks. Still these aren’t so expensive and are easy enough to change. Just make sure you don’t run out.

clean bathroomThe Good News

Washing dishes is quicker and uses less detergent than it did before. There’s no marks on the saucepans either.

But where we noticed it most is when we take showers and bathes. The water really is wet and soapy water gets really soapy. Washing and rinsing with soft water does make you feel cleaner. If I compare out to our hard water days, the hard water felt rougher somehow and my skin felt drier. That doesn’t happen anymore.

I thoroughly recommend you invest in a water softener for your household, you won’t be disappointed.

Water Softeners and how they work

Camping, the Great Outdoors

Going Natural

Have you ever considered camping? These type of holidays make great family vacations and really bring families together.

There’s something special about being in the woods and by the lakes in summer with those summer smells and the sounds birds and crickets. Rivers and streams, fishing and trekking and a nice hot meal round the campfire at night.

Then into a nice warm cosy sleeping blank protected by a sturdy tent, keeping out the drafts and any rain. After all your outside and somewhere reassuringly dry is where you want to spend the night.

When we’re outside we need the right kit. Good boots if you’re walking a lot. Lots of dry clothes to change into. And sun cream because the sun can be very penetrating even on overcast days and we all need protection from the sun’s UV rays.

Good tents

You can find a great select of large 8 person tents here Great for big parties or large families. Remember tents are not just for y

our sleeping bags, you want to keep all your gear dry so a bigger tent is essential. It provides storage as well as sleeping quarters.

Something rather special happens when you, your family and friends go into the wilderness. Miles from cell phone masts, no Internet, no TV. You have to socialize once again, talk to each other, something we don’t do enough of these days. It takes a bit of time, a few tiffs along the way but everyone ends up seeing each other in different ways and bonds form. They have to because that we humans are good at.

Have Fun but be Safe

Camping is great fun but at the same time be safe. Always be aware where your young children are because this isn’t a Disney theme park. Don’t be too protective but always have an adult in place. Enjoy and explore our natural wonders as nature intended.

For more details on camping in the USA, check this out

House and Travel

Traffic Jam
Traffic Jam

Our lives revolve around two main themes family and work. But we redefine this as house and travel. Most Americans spend much of their day traveling, to the office, to the store, to the school, to the church.

We spend a lot of time in automobiles, traveling to and from our places of work and a lot us spend that time with the radio for company and to pass the time. But here, we look at ways to relieve the stress and anxiety of driving and of endless jams. Being in your own car cocooned from the rest of the world gives ample ways to use that non productive time and improve your well being.

Traveling on public transport, trains and planes, presents different challenges and stresses. But we have ways of coping with that a well, which we’ll share. The point here is that every part of the day should about designed around you. And travel, occupying a fair amount of that time, should be dealt with in a conducive manner to aid your wellbeing.

ideal balanced house
ideal balanced house

At the same time our lives revolve around our family and our home. That’s why we put so much emphasis on the home because if the home is right it helps anchor the family. We use a lot of techniques for this. The ambiance, the setting all contribute. We use the ancient art of Chinese Feng Shui to bring harmony and balance to the home.

Our homes, apartments are very important for our chi. If you don’t get this right, situations arise which interfere with the balance and harmony of your work, between your family and relationships with friends. At first, you won’t see the connection but we aim to to show you that a happy home is a happy family and vice versa.

We intend to add articles, over time, that stimulate and help to bring order and balance back into our lives. Hopefully you’ll find this journey useful. So stay tuned, bookmark this site and come back often.

Here’s a short video that deals with work-life balance, enjoy…