Best Open and Comfy Cat Beds under $100

For all those cat lovers out there, having a comfy and snug bed for your kitty is essential. Purrs and kneading from our furry friends are the rewards.

  1. Aspen Pet Self Warming Beds (<$20)

    The Aspen Pet Bed is the tops for being one of the highest rated cat beds on Amazon, with >4.5 stars. This bed uses mylar and no electricity to reflect heat back towards your feline friend, just like what they use in marathons and in emergency situations. A toasty bed that is cozy and warm is what your kitty needs.
  2. American Kennel Club Orthopedic Sofa Bed (<$50)

    Doubles as a puppy+kitty bed if you have the canine/feline combo itching for a snug together. Lots of space, and a bolster to boot for those kittens that like to live life on the edge, the Orthopedic sofa is the perfect fit.
  3. Ombré Swirl Cat Bed (<$25)

    The Ombre Swirl cat bed is simple and awesome. Works well for the kitties that want an open space to lounge. Who needs cold hardwood or tile when a soft and supple bed can keep the kitten comfy?
  4. K&H Manufacturing Mod Half-Pod for Pets (<$30 for un-heated, <$60 for heated)

    Coming in both heated and un-heated versions, the bowl-bed from K&H helps kitties in both cold and warm climates. Fickle cats who like an open-bed will love the two options available here.
  5. K&H Thermo-Kitty Heated Cat Bed (<$50)

    The last but not least Thermo-kitty heated cat bed DOES use electricity, and keeps your kitty warm with a minimal amount of electricity. It’s UL listed, so safe to use in your home, and safe for your cat too, and comes with a one year warranty. For colder places with tougher climates, preventing a feline freezing frenzy is essential and the heated cat bed will help your kitten be toasty and comfy. Check it out!

What’s the best cheap and simple lapdesk for my laptop?

For a long time I didn’t use a lapdesk, since hey, why not just use a pillow? But after owning a simple and cheap lapdesk for a while, I can say that at the least, the one I own is great. I use mine on the couch, in the bedroom, and oddly enough use it for food too, so it’s not just for laptops.

I looked at a few lapdesks, and the one below is my favorite, in part because it is simple: thin, cheap, the side part retracts easily and is secure, and it also stores easily since it is thin.

Logitech N315 portable lapdesk and cooling pad

logitech n315 white lapdesk

The one above is in silver/white, but I own the one below:

logitech n315 black lapdesk
The texture is a bit hard to describe, but it’s the rubbery texture seen on a few electronics that is pretty grippy, here’s a close up:
logitech n315 lapdesk close up

The plain black and grey version works great. The grippy-ness holds my laptop well, and keeps me shielded from the extra heat, without having a noisy fan, not bad, not bad at all.

Here are the many other styles of the Logitech N315 lapdesks as well, if the basic black or white are not your favorite.

Where can I get my caffeine fix when I don’t drink coffee?

Caffeine. The legal drug of choice for many in the US and others throughout the world. Difficult to avoid when you need to stay up late or wake up early. Nonetheless, many of us consume it, but not all prefer the traditional choice of coffee to get an AM kick. What other caffeine choices are available?

hershey's cocoa powderContains caffeine (8.4mg per 1Tbsp). Yum.

List of caffeine sources for non-coffee-ists, and their caffeine content:

For reference, coffee has 95-200mg of caffeine per 8oz.

Also, caffeine is impossible to spell (“i before e, except after c, or as in -eigh as in neighbor and weigh” — or in caffeine, because… yeah). Two f’s, e before i, and an e on the end. What?

The best high quality, single ingredient dog chew

Our dog loves a great chew treat, and it helps to keep his teeth clean too. We have tried a number of chew-treats, but two single-ingredient chews are our favorites: dried sweet potato and bully sticks.

  • Dried sweet potato chews. Loaded with lots of great vitamins to keep your dog healthy. Sweet potato has vitamins C, D and iron and is great for humans too.
  • Bully Sticks. These last a bit longer than sweet potato chews, and don’t have as much sugar as sweet potato chews to keep your dogs teeth healthy too. Odor-free versions are of course nice and might save your nose and a slightly increased cost.

Related links:

  • BestBullySticks.com is our go-to place for cheap bully sticks. Look for the odor-free versions as well as the “free shipping” mixed-packs to save some extra cash.
  • DIY Sweet Potato Dog Chews recipe from Food.com is a great and super-simple way to make customized chews for your pup, and hey, if you make them yourself you can try a taste as well! On top of that, making them yourself helps to make sure you know what goes into your pets diet — organic sweet potato chews can keep not-so-great pesticides out of your dog’s body.

What are the best dog beds under $100?

Updated 2/15/2015

We searched for a great dog bed for our pup and tried several dog beds until we finally found a bed with ridiculously good reviews, and decided to buy — we were pleasantly pleased.

dog bed

Check it out here: Comfy Couch Pet Bed, although we’ve also found it at SkyMall (yes, that gadget-ey magazine you see inflight). It really is the best pet bed we have owned (feel free to check out the 1,899 reviews and counting at Frontgate for further proof), and the spectacular construction certainly helps in why it’s such a great pet bed.

Looking for some other options? Here are three of the best dog beds available on Amazon, all with 4.5 stars or more, all under $100.

1. Happy Hounds Oscar Orthopedic Dog Bed
Orthopedic Dog Bed
Modern design, very firm foam orthopedic dog bed will keep your pup comfy and ready to romp. Eases ailing joints for the older dogs out there as well.

2. Majestic Pet 52-Inch Suede Bagel Dog Bed
Donut Dog Bed
Anything described as “majestic” is sure to please as this bed does. A giant bean-bag like bed will keep one (or two, or three?) dogs happy, cozy dozy.

3. K&H Memory Large Foam Cozy Sofa
Memory Foam Bolster Bed
Finally, a bed similar to our top pick, the K&H has memory foam which is all the rage lately, and rightfully so. Feels great, and has a great bolster to keep those dogs heads up and ready to go.

 

With that, we wish your the best in finding comfort for your canine companion. They will love you given some of these best dog beds, and given some of them you might as well cuddle up right there on the bed too.

Where can I buy cheap but good quality undershirts?

A good quality white, grey or other color undershirt is a wardrobe necessity, and often very overpriced at brick and mortar retailers. Luckily bulk retailers are available on the web to aid in your undershirt needs. My favorite is CheapesTees.com (whom I have no affiliation with other than being a frequent customer).

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when ordering undershirts:

  • Component materials. Is it cotton? Polyester? A 50/50 cotton/polyester blend? Look at your current favorite shirts (undershirts and otherwise) for a helpful guide for what you might prefer, as ordering in bulk means that you will have quite a few of a single shirt.
  • Quantity. Given a bulk order you might not expect to need a large quantity now, but undershirts often wear out faster than other shirts, so it may be worth ordering a larger quantity for future use.
  • Brand and product type. A 100% cotton shirt from company X might not be like a 100% cotton shirt from company Y. For example, the heavyweight versions by Hanes (Beefy-T) and Gildan are thicker cotton and may wear longer than thinner shirts.
  • Tagged or tagless. Michael Jordan of course prefers tagless, but not all shirts come in tagless versions.

Also, if you order from CheapesTees through August 9th, 2013, you can use promotion/coupon code WB520 to get an extra 20% off.

Related links:

Picking out the best portable bluetooth speaker for you

Jambox in the garden
Photo source: abrackin on flickr

Portable bluetooth speakers are great for playing music wirelessly from your phone or iPod touch (4th gen and above) in the car, outside, while on a trip in the hotel room, or in any room of the house. However, there are a TON of portable (rechargeable battery within, that is) bluetooth speakers out there, and unfortunately not a lot of information to help make the decision on which speaker to buy. So make sure to check out a few features below before picking out a portable bluetooth speaker to pair with your phone or iPod.

Features to look for:

  • Replaceable battery. A few speakers offer this nice option, and some even use a common cell phone battery that you can find (cheaply) on Amazon or eBay. Examples: GOgroove SRC, Nokia Play 360
  • Built in microphone. Yes, since these are bluetooth devices, they oddly enough often have a microphone built in as well for use as a speakerphone.
  • Long battery life. Battery life can vary a lot from speaker to speaker, so watch out, and check out the reviews to see how long the battery might last. Of course volume and music choices may change battery life as well, so buyer beware.
  • USB charging. Phone low on juice? Plug it into the… speaker? Yes, that’s right, some offer back-up charging for your phone if need be. Examples: TDK Life on Record A33
  • Warranty. When looking at speakers, you may notice that some come from basically unknown companies. Probably not the best choice, but even those often will have a 1 year warranty included. However, if you want some sort of peace of mind, pick a well-known brand, like Nokia, Cambridge Soundworks, Jawbone or Monster (yes, I am recommending Monster oddly enough — just please don’t buy their overpriced cables). Examples: Nokia Play 360, Jawbone JAMBOX, Monster Micro Clarity, OontZ by Cambridge SoundWorks
  • Size. Bigger is often better when looking at these small speakers, however, it often comes with a bigger price to boot. If you extend your budget to the $200+ range, you can get a large, still portable, bluetooth speaker that sounds great. Example: Jambone BIG JAMBOX
  • Price. Ah yes, price, the constraint that keeps us from owning one of everything (not a bad thing!). Price can vary drastically, although often (but not always) price increases with size and build quality. So as the saying goes, you get what you pay for — just make sure you’re not overpaying (check slickdeals.net or fatwallet.com for a hot deal before buying).
  • Great reviews (4 stars of 5 stars at the least). Unfortunately since many of these have not been on the market longer than even a few months, so it really is hard to know which speaker will be the best, durable speaker. Or even a speaker that won’t die after light usage. Nonetheless, check out Amazon reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations for now, or wait until a few of the cheap brands die off in the next year before making your choice.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? Well, that’s the nature of the game with new technology, and portable bluetooth speakers are new technology. Luckily they’re fun devices to have around. So either pick a cheap option and expect to upgrade in a year or two (or when it breaks unexpectedly), or spend the dough to go with a name brand that will replace your speaker for yours when or if it breaks.

All options under $99 (in no particular order!):
Anker Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker (handheld size)
V7 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker and Stand
EasyAcc 2nd Generation Bluetooth Speaker
JLab Crasher Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Urge Basics Soundbrick Bluetooth Stereo Speaker w/ Built-in Mic
The OontZ Angle Ultra-Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker by Cambridge SoundWorks
The OontZ Ultra-Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker by Cambridge SoundWorks
Logitech UE 984-000298 Mobile Boombox Bluetooth Speaker and Speakerphone
Photive CYREN Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Built in Speakerphone & 8 hour Rechargeable Battery
Bem HL2022D Bluetooth Mobile Speaker for Smartphones
a.m.p SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
HMDX Jam Plus Portable Speaker
GOgroove BlueSYNC EDG Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Wireless Stereo , Rechargeable Battery & Blue LED Accent
mPulse GO Rechargeable Portable Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Speaker Box with 3.5mm Aux Port
Gear4, Inc. StreetParty Wireless Portable Speaker for Any Smartphone with Bluetooth
Monster ClarityHD Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
CHIL ChilBox Bluetooth Speaker with Speakerphone
GOgroove BlueSYNC SRC Portable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker
Nokia Play 360 Bluetooth Speaker

Options usually over $100 (also in no particular order!):
Sony Bluetooth Wireless Speaker system
TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof speaker
Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (note, this is the smaller one)
Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Grace Digital GDI-EGRX607 ECOXGEAR – ECOROX Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Beats by Dr. Dre Pill Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Braven BZ625BGB 625s Wireless Bluetooth Speaker/PowerBank
Native Union SWITCH Bluetooth Speaker
Monster Micro Clarity Bluetooth Speakers

Our favorite pick around $50: Photive CYREN 
It’s a great price, sounds decent (for a small speaker), has great reviews, looks nice and solid, although there are some reliability issues (as there is with most portable speakers, even the higher priced units) — arguably they’re less reliable in part because people carry them everywhere. But at under $50 (the lowest I have seen it is $29.95), you can buy a new one in a year or so without breaking the budget.

 

Our favorite pick at any price: Jawbone BIG JAMBOX
If you want something nice and hefty that will fill a room with solid sound (but still wireless), the BIG Jambox is your best friend. The only issue is the price, which is pretty hefty in the ~$250 range, but as they say, you get what you pay for — and you definitely get a lot more “oomf” at this price point.

What’s the easiest way to feed my dog a pill?

My signature method for giving our pup a pill is via his favorite treat — a freeze-dried puffed-up liver treat. Just insert the pill into the center of the liver treat (it’s relatively accommodating for smaller pills — large pills, well, you’re on your own), and your dog will swallow the whole thing well, whole. In my opinion, way better (and tastier for the dog) than “pill pockets” or other oddball treats that may contain more than just a single ingredient like liver treats.

Our favorite are the Belly Rubs liver treats, but I am sure others would work as well — just make sure they’re relatively light and airy treats, otherwise a pill won’t easily insert into the treat.

liver treats photo
BellyRubs Liver Treats

Relevant links:

Which deodorant is the best?

So I sweat a lot. Way too much, and I need a great antiperspirant. Like many products in the US, there are a million to choose from. So which deodorant/antiperspirant did I choose?

Because of the sweating, I have tried lots of deodorants and antiperspirants — Old Spice of course (all the types, there are tons), Degree, Axe, natural ones, the list goes on — if you’re a male who sweats a lot, you know what I’m talking about. But personally, I keep coming back to a specific brand and specific scent — Mitchum Advanced Control Arctic Rush, even when some others — and yes, I have tried a ton, even the “clinical” ones, including Mitchum’s clinical version — say they’re better, or smell better and so on.

Who knows, your specific deodorant that works for you might depend on your individual chemistry, I am no chemist, but I hear there are a bunch of bacteria in those pits! So Mitchum is what I use. Give me any sort of free deodorant and I will throw it in the trash (or donate them if I haven’t used them). Just not worth using others (at least for now — innovation never hurt anyone, right?).

Anyways, the Mitchum Advanced Control works well, at the least I have figured out because of its high percentage of aluminum chlorohydrate vs. other deodorants/antiperspirants. Pseudo-scientists will disapprove of this deodorant for this reason — that’s fine with me — I sweat way too much and I highly doubt my pores are clogged as much as skeptics would suggest. Heck, if it works, I will keep using it.

Right now I use the solid stick, although in the past I’ve used the gel versions, which work well too. Just a funny texture — that is, I like the solids better, just a personal preference.

mitchum deodorant
Mitchum Advanced Control Solid (antiperspirant)

Relevant links: