Top 5 European Imports 2019

Top 5 European Imports 2019

mercedes s class

If you are a European car enthusiast then you have definitely heard of the cars that made our 2019 list of top European Imports. Mercedes Benz, Maserati, Audi, Range Rover, and BMW are this years featured automobiles on our Top 5 European Import listicle.  If you are new to European luxury cars, this list will get you familiar with some of the best models on the road. Owning a European luxury import can be an expensive decision, make sure you are financially prepared to cover the costs involved with ownership. From registration fees and general maintenance, to warranted part replacement and manufacturer recalls. Also, it would be wise to find a qualified mechanic for European Imports. Having a trustworthy source to take your vehicle can save you time, money, and have you back out on the road enjoying your vehicle sooner than later.

  1. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Benz will always be mentioned, this may be a personal preference, or this just may be the fact that they produce a truly superior luxury automobile. Mercedes has been in the automotive game since 1926 and has been crushing the industry since its inception. The Mercedes emblem represents class and sophistication and has been long been an American Icon imported from the shores of Germany.

The 2019 S-Class is truly in a class if it’s own. While its body style may not be as sleek and sexy as some of the other European Imports, it stands out among the crowd with reliable performance and exceptional functionality. The smooth ride glides along the road as a luxury sedan should, and with enhanced air suspension and adaptive dampers, it almost feels like you’re floating on cloud 9. The nine-speed automatic makes the operation of this vehicle effortless, and the 48v hybrid electric powertrain technology only increases the performance and the overall experience of the drive. This vehicle was engineered to please high-end consumers, and it did not fail. It’s extremely quiet, comfortable, fast, and functional. Operating this vehicle is easy and precise with a well laid out dashboard and pristine interior. The touchscreen on the dash is big enough to make you wanna park the Benz and have your own drive-in movie night right in your driveway. The S-Class rivals any of the top luxury European imports to date.

  1. Maserati Quattroporte

The Maserati Quattroporte is another European import that screams sophistication and wealth. I remember the first time I laid eyes on one, I was instantly drawn to the innovative body style and the name Maserati. This beast of a machine is almost limo-like with it’s extended wheelbase and roomy interior. It boasts what many of the big-body luxury sedans do these days, high-end comfort with sport-like performance. The interior is plush and designed to impress, any other luxury import looking for an example to follow should open the door of the Quattroporte and take a peek inside.

  1. Audi A8

Audi A8Audi has long been a favorite of mine, my buddy Sam had one in High School that we would roll around in and I have fond memories of those times. Nostalgia aside, this European import just screams badassery and is one of the more advanced high-performance luxury imports on the road today. It is said that the Audi A8 surpasses the Mercedes S-Class with its in-car technology and hi-tech chassis. There are turbocharged versions of this automotive masterpiece that comes in diesel and standard petrol. These vehicles are all-wheel drive and boast a 48-volt electrical system to give it hybrid-like functionality. The interior of the Audi A8 is something that was designed for the elite, it truly is a breathtaking interior. This is a smooth drive with plenty to offer in the city and on the road. The Audi A8 will not disappoint anyone that gets behind the wheel.

  1. Range Rover

I am all about luxury vehicles that operate on-road as well as they do off-road. The Range Rover is often seen on city streets traveling among the lesser SUV’s in a class of its own. It’s not often you see a Range Rover out in the hills plowing through some off-road terrain, but when you do, you know that the person behind the wheel it taking on that terrain in luxury. The Range Rover has long stood the test of time as one of the world’s most elite off-road/on-road vehicles. The newest model doesn’t waver from that status and only continue to impress and carve themselves out as an industry leader. This vehicle is a luxury on-road experience first, and a off-load 4 wheel drive vehicle second. The luxurious interior is roomy enough for you and your family to ride the town in comfort, while the tank-like exterior was built to keep the outdoor ambiance levels low, and the rugged impact of exterior terrain as minimal as possible. Driving a Range Rover puts you in a class that many wish to be in, and taking ownership of one of these will let you experience why first hand.

  1. BMW 7 Series

BMW 7 series importAre there any other combination of three letters that define luxury? Not in the automotive industry! The BMW 7 Series has been in production since the late 1970s and has continued to revolutionize what luxury vehicles should be. They represent what it means to take pride in design, and take pride in ownership. BMW owners have long been the envy of other automotive enthusiasts. The 7 series has always lived in the shadows of the Mercedes S Class, but this year BMW showed up with this version of their classic car. It’s a vehicle that embodies luxury and performance that only BMW owners are aware of. It’s their biggest push to rival Mercedes since the 7 series hit the pavement. The luxury air suspension provides a ride smoother than silk, the infotainment system will keep you on course and entertained like never before. Two wheel and all-wheel drive options are available depending on your needs. This is a smooth quiet ride and it handles like a sports car. From a functionalist perspective, this car deserves to be in the top 3, as a European luxury import it sits comfortably at number 5.

The importation if European automobiles has made driving in America a far more luxurious experience. As the years pass, the exterior designs and interior modifications continue to improve and make European imports stand out among other automotive imports entering the country.

Top 5 Sports To Learn Online

The 5 Best Sports To Learn Through Online Training

Online Sports

Let’s face it, there are loads of different sports out there to play. Some sports can be performed by individuals, some in small groups, and some require very large groups. There are sports that require extreme physical fitness, strength, and speed. However, there are also sports that don’t require you to be in peak physical condition and focus mainly on body control, mental fortitude, and vast understanding of how various elements of the game interact with each other.

That being said, to be truly good at any sport one must dedicate time and effort to practice. Many athletes hire coaches to help train them. Coaches can be expensive, and sometimes you can’t practice at all unless you have someone physically there to train with you. Online training (paid or free) is a great alternative for training when you don’t have a coach or other athletes to practice with.

I don’t know about you but I usually prefer sports that don’t require large groups, where you need other people to train. That’s your friends here at PageFlakes have created a list of sports (which are generally considered individual sports) that you can master on your own, through personal training and online tutorials & drills.


golf online training

Golf is one of the best individual sports out there. Sure, you can go hit some balls with a friend (which is a lot of fun), but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty it’s just you, the club, and the ball. In order to be good at golf, you have to understand the way the club and ball interact with each other. You also have to have a solid understanding of how your body motion effects the swing of the club.

If you look up online tutorials of golf you’ll be sure to find outstanding players who are ready and willing to give you tips, tricks, and drills that you can practice next time you’re out on the course. In fact, there are many golf drills that you can practice in your backyard. That is why golf is such a great sport to learn through online tutorials.


Bowling Online Tutorials

What’s more fun than heading out with some friends (or a fun date) and going bowling? I’ll tell you: it’s heading out for fun night and blowing your companions’ minds when you are awesome at bowling. Honestly, most people aren’t very good at bowling, and your friends will be very impressed with you when you show off some great coordination and strength on your lane.

Bowling tutorials are readily available online and can help you move up from your novice status very quickly. Having knowledge of how to throw the ball, the spin of the ball, pros and cons of varying ball weights, and different oil patterns and conditions on the lane (to name a few) will greatly improve your overall performance and score.


tennis online tips

Tennis is an awesome sport which requires good hand-eye coordination, strength, speed, and mental sharpness. It can be played between 2 people (1-on-1), or in groups of 4 (2 vs. 2). Despite the fact that it can be a group game, tennis is largely considered an individual sport. Your skills grow when you learn to better react to different situations. Practicing your tennis skills can be done on your own, which makes it a great sport to learn online.

You can practice a lot of the skills and drills on your own, either at home or on a tennis court. One way to do this is to learn new drills and techniques online, then use a tennis ball launcher to practice what you’ve learned. Different tips you can learn online may include proper footing, body positioning, racket positioning, ball spin, etc.


great cycling online drills

Who doesn’t like a going for a nice weekend bike ride? Get the most out of your ride by looking up some online cycling tutorials. There is online training for all levels of cyclists- from the leisurely weekend rider to a club/professional cyclist. Learning some drills that can strengthen your legs, core, and balance will drastically affect your ability to enjoy cycling.

Many cycling tutorials will help teach you the differences between various bicycle parts and their pros and cons. Online training can also prepare you for varying weather and road conditions, and difficulties. Having a strong knowledge of how to react to different environments and situations will absolutely help you go that extra mile. When it comes to online cycling courses another huge advantage is that you don’t actually have to leave your house and go on long rides to practice what you’ve learned. You can use a stationary bike (spin bike) to practice your drills in the comfort of your own home.

Martial Arts

martial arts drills online

Martial arts are all about having complete control of your body and mind. Within the umbrella term of martial arts, there are many various forms- mostly focused on self-defense and self-control. These other forms can include Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, Krav Maga, Capoeira, and Kickboxing. Each form focuses on a different style of self-defense (grappling, punching, kicking, weapons, disarming, etc). For each variation of martial arts, there are loads of online tutorials. If you’re new to martial arts, try out a few and see what style you like the most.

Once you have found the form of martial arts that you like, check out some online training. You’ll find that there are many high ranking martial artists who have created videos teaching different skills and drills that you can practice before you get into your dojo/training center. Not only can you learn the intricacies of how to move your body during different moves, but you can also learn about the thought and reasoning behind these moves, so you would be able to apply them to real-life situations. Learning the fine details online will also improve your performance when you’re on the mat practicing with a partner.

Top 10 Most Common Terpenes

10 Naturally Occurring Terpenes Found In Cannabis

cannabis terpenes

With edible marijuana being consumed like candy it’s no surprise that the buzz around terpenes has generated a lot of interest in the cannabis community. Those with a green thumb, or with any knowledge of growing will probably tell you that terpenes are the essential oils found in a plant that is responsible for aromatics and flavor and can be extracted and infused into CBD oils and the best marijuana edibles. With more and more states legalizing marijuana, the production of edibles has increased drastically over the years and the demand for terpenes are at an all-time high (literally). So that begs the question, what exactly is a terpene?

Weed smokers around the nation are becoming more familiar with this household term that is gaining popularity like CBD oils have recently. With so much talk about terpenes, I think we should understand why they play such an important role in flowers and edibles. Terpenes are what give the plant you are smoking its unique smell, and those edibles you are buying the unique “weed flavor” that some of them have. Other edibles are being infused with terpenes from other plants to add fruity flavors and unique combinations of flavors to these products.


As more people are getting into the edible business there is a higher demand for terpenes as producers are trying to innovate more flavor combinations with unique products as the market expands. Marijuana growers are also seemingly more interested in terpenes, in an industry that once focused purely on THC content, more and more growers are finding that flavor is becoming equally important in a market full of cannabis enthusiasts and aficionados. Because of this, growers are working hard to improve the flavor profiles of their plants by maximizing the levels of terpenes in the crops they are growing.  

There are also medical benefits associated with terpenes that we are just starting to really understand. When one strain of cannabis provides medical treatment and another is not as effective, we can look to the terpene profiles of the strains to gain a better understanding of the role they play when consumed for medicinal purposes. With hundreds, if not thousands, of cannabis terpenes, the possibilities are almost limitless. These are the top 10 most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant.

Top Organic Terpenes

terpene flavor profile

  • Limonene

The Limonene terpene is one of the most common terpenes being used today. It can be found in foods, drugs, cosmetics, and detergents. This popular terpene is very aromatic and is being produced at high levels and can be found in many cannabis strains. This herbal compound’s medicinal values are actively being researched. Limonene terpenes offer a unique taste and can enhance the experience in flower, edibles, and full spectrum CBD oils.

  • Pinene

Another one of the more popular terpenes is Pinene. It has a very unique flavor profile, is common in cannabis, and carries a unique pine-scented bouquet. This terpene can also be found naturally occurring in pine needles, dill weed, basil leaves, the rosemary plant, and parsley.  The two types of Pinene are alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, however, alpha-pinene is most prevalent terpene found in the cannabis plant. Alpha-pinene also happens to be the most naturally occurring terpene found in natural plantation around the globe.

  • Myrcene

Myrcene is another popular terpene found in cannabis and we are fans of the aromatic terpene. Myrcene can be found in many of the strains being produced around the world. It’s unique flavor profile and aromatics make it a desired terpene among growers. It has a very earthy aromatic to it that has hints of musk that are similar to clove. There are also hints of spice and fruity elements that have been related to grapes.

  • Linalool

The Linalool terpene is not necessarily specific to cannabis strains. It has an aromatic characteristic that resembles lavender with a hint of spiciness. The terpene is common and can be found in over 200 types of plants. The terpene is naturally occurring enough in plants that consumers will ingest over two grams of linalool each year through the foods they consume.

  • Delta-3-Carene

The Delta 3 carene terpene is a cannabis terpene that carries a sweet, earthy aroma with undertones of pine similar to Pinene. Delta 3 carene can also be found in rosemary, basil leaves, bell peppers, cedar, and turpentine. The Delta 3 carene terpene is also commonly found in cosmetics, and perfumes, and has is known to be a naturally occurring antihistamine. It is said that this terpene may be the culprit for cotton mouth and the red eyes often associated with cannabis use. Delta 3 carene may also be a reliable source for combating fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Delta 3 carene may also promote memory retention and increase mental awareness.

  • Eucalyptol

Eucalyptol is another terpene frequently found in cannabis. This terpene has a cooling scent that is often found in eucalyptus, rosemary, bay leaves, mint, mugwort, tea, basil leaf, sage, and certain strains of cannabis. Eucalyptol, like Delta 3 Carene, can also be found in cosmetics, lotions, essential oils, balms, and body butter.  

  • Beta-Caryophyllene

Beta-caryophyllene can be found in cannabis among other plants. This terpene profile is naturally occurring in basil, oregano, rosemary, copaiba, clove, black caraway, lavender, and cinnamon. The terpene is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits and through controlled studies, researchers are beginning to understand the benefits these terpenes can have on our health.

  • Humulene

The Humulene terpene is naturally occurring in basil, clove, hops, and cannabis sativa. It has aromatic hints of earthy, woody, and spicy herbal notes you might be familiar with from cannabis use. Even though cannabis is commonly associated with the stimulation of one’s appetite, the humulene terpene has been found to suppress hunger.

  • Borneol

Borneol a popular perfume making terpenes that can be found in over the counter products. Borneol has a minty, camphor-like aromatic note. Borneol can be found occurring naturally in camphor, ginger, thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, and mugwort. It’s also been noted that Borneol has a medicinal value associated with fever reduction.

  • Terpineol

Terpineol is a monoterpene alcohol, it’s made up of 4 different isomers (alpha, beta, gamma, and terpineol), alpha-terpineol is the most prominent one. Terpineol has been isolated from natural oils such as pine, petitgrain, and cajuput. Although naturally occurring, it is commonly manufactured from the more-readily available alpha-pinene terpenoid. It is a colorless liquid with a pleasant aroma and a sweet, lime flavor. With its naturally enjoyable smell, it’s been used to enhance the fragrance of perfumes and cosmetics. Terpineol is also being used in CBD oil blends and full spectrum products.

more than 200 terpenes in cannabis The most common terpene found in the cannabis plant is myrcene. Beta-Caryophyllene, humulene, and pinene terpenes have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and are commonly infused into CBD oils. With all the potential health benefits of full spectrum extracts, it’s no wonder consumers are preferring them over isolates. In addition to the cannabinoids, the terpenes found in these full spectrum extracts can provide aromatic results that keep consumers coming back for more. For those seeking terpene infused extracts, let the aroma of the product guide you to the most terpene rich products on the market.

If you are in looking for quality terpenes for your edible products or line of CBD oils, we recommend that you check out some of the internet’s best-kept secrets, quality, organic terpene blends are being produced and sold to vendors across the country looking to infuse their edibles and CBD products with the best flavor profiles on the market. Companies like Xtra Laboratories are leading the way with cannabis and fruit-flavored terpene blends.

Top 5 Best Ways To Unclog Your Drain

The 5 Best Ways To Unclog Your Drains On A Budget

kitchen sink clogged in Toronto

Drains clog, and it usually sucks when they do. There is never a good time to have your plumbing back up and cause a stink. Drains clog for many reasons, hair, foreign objects, grease, and natural causes like root systems. Yes, tree roots can grow into your pipes and cause them to clog up, especially if items are going down the drain and toilet that shouldn’t be. Most of the time drains can be unclogged with some elbow grease and a few household items. Other times you may need to call upon a local plumber to come and clean your pipes for you. If the clog is located deep enough in the pipeline then you may require an industrial snake to get deep enough to loosen up the debris and pull it out. There are great websites out there like Advanced Plumbing in Toronto that can be great resources for finding plumbing solutions, and finding plumbers if needed. If you don’t have a local plumber that you can call upon, then you can take these 5 simple tips for unclogging drains and do your best plumbers impression. Good luck!


  1. The Hanger

Depending on the depth of the clog, an old wire hanger stretched out should give you enough reach to get ahold of hair clogs and foreign debris that might be logged just out of reach of your fingers. A hanger can operate like a snake, once you run it down the pipe you can twist it so that it scrapes and collects the debris or objects that are causing the drain to clog. If you bend the end of the hanger like. Fish hook before feeding it down the drain pipe, you will increase your chances of catching something in there, especially hair. The hanger isn’t as effective in the toilet bowls as it is in sink and shower drains. I do remember a time though that I recovered a pair of eyeglasses from the toilet using a coat hanger.  

  1. Boiling Hot Water and Dish Soap

Boiling hot water is great for so many things and unclogging drains is one of them. You can try it first without dish soap, but I always just pour it in first and let it sit for a few minutes. Soap and hot water are great for loosening up grease and grime, it can also act as a lubricant and help lodged objects that are stuck slide through. I usually use something like Dawn dish soap, pour about a quarter to a half cup down the drain and let it seep into the nooks and crannies needed to get things to move. Next, take some boiling hot water and start slowly pouring it into the drain, add a little, wait a minute, add a little, wait, rinse and repeat. Again, this is not something that is going to be effective for unclogging the toilet, but is great for sink and shower drains.

  1. Drain Snake

This is more than just a household item, you are going to need to make a trip to the local Home Depot and drain snake operator in torontopurchase yourself one of these, and that is the only reason it is third to the first two. A drain snake has a much further reach than a hanger and is typically designed to twist and turn as it snakes through the pipe. Most snakes have a claw-like extension that claw and grab at hair and debris in the pipes as you fish them through. Some snakes are operated manually, while others are machine operated. I am a huge fan of snakes and have a few on hand at all times. Mine are all manually operated, one day I may upgrade to a motorized plumbing snake. Hopefully, I never clog a toilet so bad that I need a motorized snake to shake things up.

  1. Draino Max Gel

I’m a fan of all their products, I have unclogged some nasty backups in the shower before with Draino. This makes the list at 4 because it’s not a common household item, otherwise, it’s the first thing I reach for if I know the pipes are clogged from hair and debris. Draino Max Gel is not something you use if there is a foreign object lodged in the pipe, nor is it used much in toilets. Draino is great for kitchen sinks that have grease and debris clogging up the pipes, it’s also good for bathroom sinks, and the hair clogs that typically happen in them. Pouring a bottle of Draino down the pipe and letting it sit for 15 minutes is a great way to get an idea of what you are dealing with. Small time clogs that have hair or grease building up will almost always be resolved with some liquid Draino, if the bottle doesn’t clear the clog, time to get a snake or hire a plumber.

  1. Baking Soda and Salt

unclogging drain in torontoThese are ingredients most of us have in our homes, and while it would make sense to rank it above Draino because of availability, it just hasn’t been as effective for me with my clogs. This is an effective unclogging method for new clogs. Maybe you gave the dog a bath, or maybe someone in the house shaved in the sink, or maybe someone dumped some bacon grease down the kitchen sink and didn’t run hot water with it. There could be many reasons like these that a drain could clog, having an accessible resource like baking soda, salt, and hot water available to address these issues promptly is a great start and can also be used as a preventative measure. The concoction is also pretty harmless, so there isn’t concerns about skin contact.

What Are Fluorescent Dyes

What Are Fluorescent Dyes?

excitation moleculeWe had an interesting request to blog about the Fluorescent Dyes that are out on the market. Before we do that though, let’s get you up to speed on Fluorescent Dyes. One of our content writers studied chemistry in college and had this to say.

Most biological research laboratories depend on Fluorescent Dyes during standard tests that require the use of fluorescent molecules. The dyes are becoming more widely used as more people researching are finding just how versatile these fluorescent dyes can be in addition to their sensitivity levels and quantitative capabilities. These fluorescent probes have many uses in the lab, they can detect protein location and activation, and have the ability to identify complex protein formations, in addition to conformational changes and monitor advanced biological processes in vivo.

The real benefit of these fluorescent molecules (fluorophores/fluors) in the laboratory is that they have a unique reaction to light that passes through them when compared to other molecules. As the light passes through, it actually gets absorbed by an electron of a fluorescent particle. This then generates energy in the electron and propels it to an exited state. While this moment of excitation is happening, there is energy that begins to dissipate from a molecular collision and/or gets transferred to a proximal molecule, and the energy that remains then gets emitted as a photon which intern brings the electron back to a grounded state. Typically, the emitted photon will carry less energy, as a result it usually has a longer wavelength than the photon that experienced excitation, this allows the emitted fluorescence to be distinguished from the excitation light. The excitation produces an emission from the fluorophore that is cyclical, and until the the fluorophore is damaged beyond use, researchers can continue to excite the fluors until it reaches that stage. Because of this, the fluors can emit numerous photons repeatedly during this cycle of excitation, as a result the emissions and fluorescent molecules can continue to be used for a vast range of research.

Fluorophores can thus emit numerous photons through this cycle of excitation and emission and fluorescent molecules are therefore used for a broad range of research applications. You can learn in detail how fluorescent molecules work.




Fluorescent Dyes

diagram of Alexa Fluor 488

• Alexa Fluor 488 Dye

This dye is very bright, it is a fluorescent green dye that experiences excitation that is commonly suited to the 488 nm laser line. This dye is great for generating stable imaging and flow cytometry. It should also be noted that the Alexa Fluor 488 dye is pH-insensitive over a very wide molar range.

These probes that contain high fluorescence in addition to high photo stability are often times better for detecting a low-abundance of biological micro structures that illuminate with increased sensitivity. It’s common for Alexa Fluor 488 dye molecules to become attached to a protein molecule when exposed at high molar ratios without experiencing significant self-quenching. This can enable brighter conjugates, and and provide a more detailed detection.

• Cyanine Dyes

Cyanine dyes are specific molecules that contain a polymethine bridge between two unique nitrogen atoms that have a delocalized charge. As the result of this structure, cyanine dyes are known to have incredibly high extinction coefficients. There are different substituents that allow for the control of these properties, those most commonly being absorbance wavelength, photo stability, and fluoros.

• IR Fluors
“Bright, photostable and hydrophilic near-IR dye that is spectrally similar to Alexa Fluor® 750 and Cy7® Dye.

Bright and hydrophilic, far-red-fluorescent dye excited by the 633 nm or 647 nm laser lines.”

• MB Dyes

M.B. Dyes Chemical & Silk Ind. (Pvt.) Ltd. is a manufacturer of diversified auxiliary chemicals and dyes/pigments for Textile, Leather and Paint Industries. We also deal with many raw materiel used in these industries. We produced gamut of these chemicals for customer convenience to lessen their worries regarding raw material regular supply from a single source. Our manufacturing unit is located in Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate Swabi NWFP and producing more than 110 products.

• Classic Fluorescent Dyes

What’s a fluorescent probe? It is a fluorophore that has been designed to localize in an isolated region of a biological specimen or to react to a specified stimulus. The Fluroprobes are fluorescent and give researchers the ability to identify specific components of complex bio-molecular structures that include living cells. The dyes have also been used regularly to modify things like amino acids, peptides, proteins, carbs, and other bio-molecules.

About Fluorophore
From Wiki:

“A fluorophore (or fluorochrome, similarly to a chromophore) is a fluorescent chemical compound that can re-emit light upon light excitation. Fluorophores typically contain several combined aromatic groups, or planar or cyclic molecules with several π bonds.

Fluorophores are sometimes used alone, as a tracer in fluids, as a dye for staining of certain structures, as a substrate of enzymes, or as a probe or indicator (when its fluorescence is affected by environmental aspects such as polarity or ions). More generally they are covalently bonded to a macromolecule, serving as a marker (or dye, or tag, or reporter) for affine or bioactive reagents (antibodies, peptides, nucleic acids). Fluorophores are notably used to stain tissues, cells, or materials in a variety of analytical methods, i.e., fluorescent imaging and spectroscopy.

Fluorescein, by its amine reactive isothiocyanate derivative FITC, has been one of the most popular fluorophores. From antibody labeling, the applications have spread to nucleic acids thanks to (FAM (Carboxyfluorescein), TET,…). Other historically common fluorophores are derivatives of rhodamine (TRITC), coumarin, and cyanine. Newer generations of fluorophores, many of which are proprietary, often perform better, being more photostable, brighter, and/or less pH-sensitive than traditional dyes with comparable excitation and emission.”

5 Best Places To Buy CBD Oils Online

Where To Buy CBD Oils Online – Our Top 5 Online Stores

Most CBD oils and products that are derived from the oils can be found online. The world of CBD oils has taken off and the internet wasn’t slow to adjust and monetize. CBD oil sites are showing up on every corner of the web, some are legitimate companies, making legitimate efforts to provide high-quality CBD oils as pure as possible. Others in the game could care less where the CBD oils are extracted from, or if they are truly organic or not, nor do they care about the amazing health benefits CBD’s provide to people suffering from inflammation, anxiety, arthritis, TMJ, and other chronic illnesses. I use CBD oils, and I must say that there is a sense of calm that comes over me when I ingest them. I prefer the soft gels over vaping or even the candy, but that’s just preference. The convenience of buying CBD online is obvious, the drawbacks, of course, is that there are world class jerks out there trying to snatch up your hard earned money and selling you low-quality CBD oils in return. The other perks when purchasing online is that you can go read product reviews, watch testimonials, and engage other users online to learn more about their experience. Facebook groups and CBD forums are a great way to go about this. Social media is a hot spot for information, if someone has purchased CBD oils online, chances are they have shared the experience on social. So dig around and see what you can find about the vendor before jumping in and making a purchase. Reaching out to a vendor and seeing how responsive they also speak volumes about the experience you can expect to have. Responsive vendors that answer questions in a timely manner should be considered trustworthy, if you reach out to a vendor and don’t hear back for a few days and the response doesn’t fully answer your question, you might want to think twice about buying from them. Know what it is you want before you buy, research the products, and gain an understanding about what you should expect the CBD oils to do for you. Any website out there that is making outlandish claims and promises of cures and miracles should be avoided. Whatever your reason for buying CBD oils, we hope that you find what you are looking for and it provides the relief you are in need of. On that note, these are our top 5 places to buy CBD oils online.

1. Medicinal Essentials

essential hemp oils

Our experience with Medicinal Essentials was great. We reached out via email and the response time was almost immediate, and that email exchange eventually led to a phone call where the conversation turned into something far more informative than I would have expected from an online vendor. I ordered CBD Oils and some topical salve. My joints from years of grappling are inflamed and the topical salve was recommended to me. I used the product for a month and I was rather surprised by the results. My elbows, wrists, and knees felt relief. My wrists hurt most of the time and having a topical ointment I can rub on for temporary relief is a blessing. I do a lot of typing during the day, then grapple in the evenings and neither of those arts are good on my joints. This experience as a whole was the best one I have had yet, the customer service was phenomenal, and the products were everything they talked them up to be. This is now my go-to spot online for buying CBD and Hemp products.

2. Green Roads World

where to buy cod oils online

Buying from Green Roads World was also a solid experience. They are much bigger than Medicinal Essentials, so I didn’t get that warm “mom and pop” feeling when I was having email correspondences with whomever I was dealing with. The product shipped in a timely manner arrived in nice packaging and appeared to be everything they were advertising online. The 1500 MG dose was enough to take the edge off and allowed me to get the shut-eye I was in need of. It’s nice being able to consume something like this, relax, and not be high. The other benefit is that there isn’t the groggy feeling in the morning like you might have from smoking some green leaf. I do like the way the products were displayed on the website, it was a clean interface, easy for me to navigate, and I liked the selection they had. As far as taste is concerned, the CBD Oils were comparable to those I got from Medicinal Essentials.

3. Try The CBD

online store for CBD products

These guys are located in Colorado, and these days I pretty much love that place. I have made trips there in recent months and have really enjoyed consuming legalized marijuana while there. The community in Boulder is solid, it has the best dispensary in Colorado there, and the breweries have some really good local brews on tap. When I found Try The CBD online I immediately liked the landing page. Pretty much everything seemed to be on the page in an ongoing scroll. I like scrolling down a single page, rather than bouncing from page to page searching for different products. The experience was pretty good, the shipping time took a little longer than the others at this point but it turned out to be worth it. The oils really tasted different, there was a unique flavor that my palette picked up on but I couldn’t identify it. The CBD oils worked as advertised, again, taking the edge off and providing me the sense of calm I prefer at the end of my work days. I also ordered the CBD Shatter which I had never had before and was impressed by the flavor of that. After reading the description I found out that there are added terpenes for added flavor that mimics the strain profile of popular marijuana plants. They titles their website Try The CBD, so I did and I was impressed.

4. Barlean’s

bar leans hemp and cbd oils

Barlean’s is located in the Pacific North West which made them cool long before I ordered from them. If you have never made that trip, go visit and enjoy the local scene. Marijuana is legal in Washington State, and it was called the Evergreen State long before marijuana was ever legalized. Barlean’s seems like a pretty cool place, they make all sorts of healthy oils and CBD Hemp oils just happen to be one of them. The website was a little slow, and I’m a pretty impatient guy, so the lag was enough to get me shuffling in my chair, then I took a rip off my CBD pen and all was good. Seriously, it’s like that. I had contact with Barlean’s and asked a few questions about their products, these people definitely knew what they were talking about and you could tell they were passionate about what they did. All the enthusiasm was expected though, they make oils for a living including fish oils, flax oils, coconut oils, and CBD hemp oils. It was no surprise to that I was greeted on the other end of that line by a well informed CBD enthusiast. The products shipped on time, and they arrived well packed and ready for consumption. The oils were good, I would buy again. The only thing that didn’t jump out at me was the flavor. That might have been because I had previously tried that terpene infused CBD shatter from Try The CBD and the flavor was amazing. The overall experience was solid though.

5. Bluebird Botanical

bluebird botanical CBD oils

These guys are doing it, I have seen them grow from a small little operation to absolutely crushing it online. I really like the product, I think they truly care about where their product is sourced from and the quality of the CBD shows that. I used to order from these guys regularly a year back but ventured on to try some of these other vendors that have been making noise online. I would definitely buy again but didn’t make a purchase to review for this article. I’ll tell you that when I was buying from them, they were super responsive, CBD oils shipped quick, produced tasted great, and the people I felt with all seemed to be genuine and truly cared about the experience people were having online with their products. The website was really clean, easy to navigate, and loaded pretty quick. I see them around a lot now, not sure how they got so big so quick but they did it. I had to squeeze them into my top 5 list for a few reasons, most of which are listed above, but one vibe I really got from them is that they really cared, it wasn’t just about getting a sale, it was about helping people and that always counts for something in my book.

Top 10 Weed Dispensaries In The U.S.

Our Top 10 Weed Dispensaries In The U.S.


If you blaze then you dream of the day that the state you live in legalizes weed for recreational use. Until then, you’ll be scoop’n Zips from your buddies pad on the low. The states that have legalized the natural herb have benefited from the taxation of the previously illegal natural herb. The industry itself has exceeded the $6 Billion dollar mark and other states in the U.S. are salivating at the lips to get in on this smoking hot business opportunity. Until that happens though, people are traveling in droves to visit states where weed has been legalized. I just happen to be an avid traveler, a joker, a smoker, and a midnight toker! Because of this great self-serving job description, I have given myself I have had the luxury of traveling to states where it’s legal to exchange greenbacks for green bags. To be totally honest and transparent, I haven’t visited every dispensary in the U.S. and probably not even half of them, but I have been to some pretty cool ones, met some really cool people, smoked some great weed, and had some amazing times doing it. That being said, this is my top 10 list of weed dispensaries in the U.S.


1) Helping Hands – Boulder Colorado –

boulder dispensary

There was just something about being high in Boulder that had me in a state of Zen. It might have been that bubonic chronic that made me choke, shiiit, it ain’t no joke! Or it could have been a combination of the awesome natural landscapes, the people, and that natural herb. There is something about smoking in certain environments, with certain people, that can make the experience so much better. It’s like that beer you crack on Friday night when you get home from work, it’s just a better beer when you are drinking it with your buddies at the pub. Helping Hands Dispensary in Boulder was the perfect storm of quality weed, good people, and the beauty of Colorado outdoors nearby.  


2) World Of Weed – Tacoma, Washington –

tacoma dispensary

World of anything is pretty cool. World of weed takes the cake though. With all it’s brilliance, it’s also located in a state that has amazing landscapes and natural outdoor beauty. What could be better than rolling a joint and walking around the base of Mt. Rainer? Its awe-inspiring and we recommend you try it if you ever make the trip. Tacoma is located south of Seattle and has always been more of an industrial area due to its ports and location. In the past 10-15 years, Tacoma has really cleaned up its act and has become a desirable place of residents just south of Seattle. This weed shop couldn’t have picked a better city to set up. Tacoma is thriving and timing is everything, this shop has definitely picked the time and place to do this. The display cases here are really cool, the staff is rich with culture, and they know their weed. Washington State has always been known as the Evergreen State, and now they are really living up to that name.


3) Essence Cannabis Dispensary – Las Vegas Strip –

Las Vegas dispensary

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…. Unless your friends capture everything on phones and push it to social media. It also helps if you smoke enough weed to forget what you did, then there are never any worries of spilling the beans. Vegas is one of my favorite spots in the country. I love the outdoors and that will always be priority #1. But there is something about a weekend in Vegas to get excited about. The fact that you can legally purchase mind-altering drugs on the Las Vegas strip just made those trips to Vegas that much better (and safer). This is a cool, dark little spot that you can kick back in and get super high in. It’s the kind of environment that promotes mega bong hits and a kickback atmosphere. Vegas is a balls to the wall kinda place, people drink till they can’t think, and burn till they can’t learn. With all the excess consumption that takes place there, Essence Cannabis even keeps a nurse on staff during business hours for anyone that can’t handle their weed smoke.


4) The Greenhouse – Glendale, Arizona –

Glendale dispensary

The Green House. That’s all I need to know, to know I wanna go! Arizona summers are blazing hot, so is the weed that burns in my bong! Marijuana is not legal in Arizona for recreational use, but that hasn’t stopped the medical dispensaries from popping up like boners. The competition is stiff, so these shops need to get creative. Glendale is about 30 minutes outside Phoenix and is where the Arizona Cardinals stadium is. If you have a medical marijuana card in Arizona and want to venture into Glendale, The Greenhouse is a cool little spot to score some burn. It’s got a very structured atmosphere, it runs like a corporation, and doesn’t necessarily have that hippy feel to it like Helping Hands, but it’s cool. If you like quality herb, and you are in Arizona, this is one dispensary to check out.


5) Nectar – Portland, Oregon –

portland dispensary

I have always been a fan of Oregon. The microbreweries in Portland and the surrounding areas have brewed up some amazing sauce. The coastal communities are amazing and definitely ideal places to roll a little and stroll a little. If you have never walked the sandy beaches of Oregon while smoking a joint you are missing out! Not to worry though, there are miles of beaches that are waiting for you and marijuana is easily accessible thanks to Nectar! Nectar is one of many cool dispensaries in Oregon, it’s a multi-chain location, and is well known for its quality plant life. They are very dialed into the local community and the growers that harvest their crops. Talk to the weed heads behind the counter and you will notice real quick that these guys/gals know their pot!


6) Pot Shop – Seattle, Washington –

Seattle dispensary

Back in the Evergreen state for another mention. I should also mention that Seattle has been coined The Emerald City for longer than I have been alive. This is telling of the weed industry there. Located up on Queen Anne, this little hemp haven is conveniently close for anyone coming in from the downtown area or the Eastside. Queen Anne is a cool little area that is rich with culture and now weed. Cruising through Queen Anne to score some righteous nugs for the weekend sounds like a pretty epic adventure. I think it’s time for anyone visiting or living int he area to swing by the Little Pot Shop of Horrors to and experience it for themselves. 


7) Humboldt Patient Resource Center – Arcata, California –

humboldt dispensary

Humboldt County! That name goes back 20+ years for me. It was legendary in the 90’s. If you scored a bag from Humboldt, it was always chronic, always potent, and always pricey. Who knows if that weed actually ever was from Humboldt, but nobody ever sold schwag and claimed it was from Humboldt. There was always something about Humboldt that made it the weed Mecca of the West Coast. From California to Washington state, everyone smoking weed knew of Humboldt County. Now, you can waltz right into Humboldt without having to know a grower and snag a bag of the infamous grass from a local dispensary. While this place definitely lacks culture, it does provide an amazing service to patients that need their weed for medical reasons. Those reasons are usually more important than recreational reasons, both are good reasons to smoke though.


8) The REEF – Detroit, Michigan –

the reef dispensary

Any dispensary that uses the word REEF is a place I wanna visit. That’s the kind of weed slang (reefer) I was toss’n around like a frisbee as a kid. There was some foot traffic we noticed coming in and out of a home not far from this dispensary, that might have been the real reefer operation that was operating on the DL if you know what I mean. This place though got our attention from the name alone. We stopped in and it didn’t disappoint. The weed was stanky, sticky, icky, and green like that goblin. This little pot shop was opened up along 8 Mile Road, makes you wonder if B-Rabbit and the D-12 delinquents frequent this joint.


9) ReLeaf – Las Vegas, Nevada –

relief dispensary Las Vegas

Back to Las Vegas for another brother! Look, the Raiders are about to relocate here in a few years, you gotta open up them weed shops here for that alone. But this place was far fancier than any Raider fan could dream of being. This place looked like it should have been featured in The Robb Report, or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The dispensary was beautiful, reeked of weed, had beautiful people working the counters, and offered upscale weed smoking products and utensils. This might be the first place I visit if I score a Jackpot on the slots.


10) The Green Solution – Denver, Colorado –

green solution weed dispensary

And back to Colorado where this all started. Denver was awesome, fun place to be and again the atmosphere made the experience even better. They had plenty of weed to choose from and it was all chronic. They were also active growers and were involved in the local scene. The place was located downtown only about 10 minutes from the Ballpark and is a great place to stop before you watch a game or head out into the city for the night. Cool little vibe, cool people, and cool products.

Top 5 Places To Retire Like A King

Top 5 Places To Retire Like A King

We all want the good life, but not all of us end up in a position to truly live it. If you have lived your life on the East Coast and you decide you want to settle into a Long Island Retirement Community, you may find that the cost of living exceeds your retirement budget. Don’t give up on the dream though, Long Island is a beautiful place to live out your golden years, you just may need to be a bit more savvy about your spending habits so that you can save enough to afford that luxury. But let’s say you didn’t need to retire on Long Island, or in Beverly Hills, where else could find an affordable place to call home while living out your life like a king? Well, the answers aren’t too far away, intact they are right here. These are the top 10 places outside the U.S. where you can truly enjoy retirement living like a King!

1. Rocky Point Mexico

retire in rocky point

I chose this first on the list because I have been there so many times and absolutely love it. Another reason this is such an attractive option is that it’s close to the States, get a ton of American visitors every year, and is extremely affordable. South of Rocky Point you will find many retirement communities nestled along the coastline, sky rise condos that are extremely affordable and have million dollar views of the blue ocean waters. I know some people feel that Mexico is a little sketch, and I won’t argue that there are some things about the place that would make you consider otherwise, but all in all, it’s an affordable place to retire like a King. You can rent an oceanfront property anywhere from $600 to $1500 per month. The sun shines year round with an average rainfall of 2-3 inches per year.

2. Belize

live like a king in Belize

I have never been here, but I have read amazing things about this beautiful island in the Caribbean. Belize get’s year-round visitors from all over the world and has many permanent residences that are foreign to the land. As popular of a destination as this is, it is extremely affordable to live there. No need to learn a new language here, English is the primary language spoken among locals. Food is cheap, to dine out for lunch or dinner you can expect to spend under $10 dollars. Compared to the U.S. that’s a pretty decent price point for non-fast foods. You can get by on a monthly budget of $1,200 dollars or less if you wanted. Rent can be found as low as $300 a month, depending on where you live in Belize.

3. Thailand

Thailand retirement options

Another destination for tourists looking to explore the island life and rich culture of the Thai people. If you love Thai food as much as I do then you know this would be a dream destination for retirement. The low cost of living is appealing, but like any of the other retirement destinations listed, you will want to make sure you find an expatriate community that is safe and has a low crime rate. The waters are beautiful and the cost of living can run as low as $1k a month. Try living in the state for 1k a month, not happening near any beaches, that’s for sure.

4. Philippines

retirement destinations

A great place to check out is Davao City. It’s a thriving community with a modern airport and a solid local government. The crime rate is low in comparison to other parts of the country and the food is amazing. It’s an affordable area that provides the out of towner with enough local amenities to feel safe and secure retiring there. There are cheaper places to retire in this country, but considering all it has to offer, Davao City is a pretty decent option. You can settle down here comfortably for $1500 to $2000 a month. That will have you living like a king for sure.

5. Panama

senior living in panama

Living on the Azuero Peninsula of Panama will have you feeling like a King. The town of Las Tablas is an extremely affordable place to retire. You can live out your life like a King for next to nothing. Depending on your monthly budget and your desires, you can rent a place for as little as $200 a month. If you are retiring with a significant other and need a little more real estate you can upgrade those living conditions to something bigger for less than $700 a month. Power is fairly cheap, and the local community of expatriates will have you feeling right at home. Enjoy your senior living in style while enjoying the beautiful weather, amazing local culture, and of course authentic foods from this beautiful country.

10 Signs You’ve Reached A Midlife Crisis

Top 10 Signs You’ve Reached A Midlife Crisis 


  1. Making Out Of Character Decisions

mid 40 male driving sports carLook, we all hit that age eventually and everyone will handle it differently. Some will buy a new cherry red sports car, or adopt new clothing trends, while some will make career-changing decisions that may not be in the best interest of the family. If you find yourself making out of character decisions, I’m talking about decisions that you would not have made 10 years ago then it may be time to re-evaluate your life and where you are going. Change is good, change is awesome, but there is a big difference between good change and irrational change. If you have been a lifelong fan of Bon Jovi and have suddenly purchased a red sports car with 2 fifteens and you bump Drake with your windows down, connect with a buddy (or specialist) and talk to someone about this. It’s really not normal.  



  1. Getting Out Of Bed Is Getting Harder


If you were once an early bird that got up and out the door in the mornings to tackle the world, and now you can hardly be bothered to wake, you might be experiencing a midlife crisis. Maybe it’s time to spice up your day a little, change the routine, and learn something new. The monotony of everyday life can really make the mid-life blues seem like an ankle weight from hell. It can be tough to get up and out to the door to try something new, but you gotta do it. Refresh your sequence, modify your daily routine to incorporate some new and exciting events. I’m not talking about 8 balls and strippers, I’m talking about learning new languages, taking online guitar lessons, or learning a new trade. Learning something new and interesting might give you the nudge you need to get out of the bed in the morning.


  1. You’re Losing Your Drive


That passion that used to drive you to stay up all night working to build that business, middle aged male losing drivethat effort you used to put into getting laid, the time you spent getting dressed to impress, it’s all gone! You don’t care, the belly weight is building, you groom less, hygiene isn’t a priority, and you just don’t care much. This can be a sign of a mid-life crisis, or that you are married, either way, you need to spice things up. Start caring again, it’s easier said than done but it will occupy the mind and body enough that it will help you week to week. Getting your mind back on something positive that benefits you and your body may be the decision-making event that turns things back around.



  1. Groundhogs Day Over And Over


The alarm goes off, you hit snooze, sleep, snooze, sleep, snooze, then you wake. You shower, grab one of your 5 favorite shirts, a pair of pants, shoes, and you’re out the door for some more of the same. Lame. Yup, if your routine is to rinse and repeat on a daily basis you may have reached that undesirable place in life where complacency has grabbed you by the balls and holds you hostage. Wiggle those suckers free, tug, pull and adjust as needed to get yourself back out in the world doing random things. Living the life of a groundhog isn’t good for anyone at any age, but especially for middle-aged men looking in the mirror every day wondering where the time went. Time is still here, make the best of it, adjust your sack and your schedule and get back to living life!


  1. Your Are Treating Your Hair


middle aged male treating hair lossOne true sign of aging is gray hair. Middle-aged men get it on their heads, in their beards, chest hair, and eventually other places that hair grows. Most guys will let that natural coloring process run its course and go gray, the midlife man that finds himself in crisis treats this ordeal a little different from the rest. It’s one thing if you have always dyed your hair, treated it with chemicals, and rocked colorful looks. But if you’re the guy that has never reached for a bottle of bleach or hair dye to color his mop, and now you’re frosting tips and rock’n a fade at fifty, there may be some indication there that you hit the MLC. The treatment doesn’t stop with coloring, there are some guys that have been balding for 20 years without giving it a second thought. If that is you and you are now searching the internet for a hair transplant specialist, you may be the victim of a mid-life crisis.



  1. You Are Not Piloting Your Vessel


Have you always led the charge on life? Were you the guy that took the wheel and commanded life’s ship to the shores of your dreams? How are you doing now? Are you still commanding that venture, or have you let life’s current take control of your vessel and now you are riding the wave wherever it takes you? This is common in the mid-life, it’s definitely easier to let the current pull you along wherever it may go. That there is a true sign that you have lost your drive to survive. Holding on and floating into the abyss was never part of your plans, you had a purpose, motivation, drive, and you were once the captain! Put the bottle down, sober up, and grab that wheel again. You only get to captain this vessel once, might as well steer it till your dying day. Ride or die!


  1. Father Time Is Getting The Best Of You


Wondering where the years went, reminiscing on what could have been, what should have been? Easy to do if when you hit that midlife crossroads. lifes clockIf you are not as financially successful as you thought you might have been, maybe you don’t have kids, or your wife has left you, or you look in the mirror and realize you are old, all that can hurt bad and father time has no mercy on anyone. Time waits for no man, anyone past their mid-life crisis and into the golden years can confirm that time blows by faster than you could ever imagine. If you wish you took those risks in your twenties, wish you had asked her to marry you in your thirties, or cried when you turned forty, then you know how valuable every moment is and you can’t waste another. Reflecting back on these things is great for learning, but if you allow yourself to get stuck in those moments you fail yourself. Father time waits for no man, don’t spend another moment regretting or wishing, take action now so that in ten years you can rewrite your story.



  1. You Feel Lost


It seemed like you had it all, you were on top of the world in your twenties and making money hand over fist. Your thirties kicked in and the money was still good and your family began to grow. Life continued moving forward at a decent pace but never really took off like you had anticipated. The jobs came and went, there were dreams and passions that you pursued half ass but never really gave it your all. You are now at an age where time is not on your side, the kids are growing, there are no savings, you are check to check, and you have no idea where to take this thing. You truly feel lost at sea behind the wheel of a ship you have been sailing for years with no real direction. You feel lost. Time to get a map, time to get a new direction in your life and steer this thing to the promised land. If you bottom out, you lose. If you reach the shoreline, you win. Either of those results is better than the course you are on. I would rather die trying than staying the course of complacency without direction.


  1. Envious Of Others


envious male When you were young you dreamed of ungodly success. You remember thinking to yourself that you would be a millionaire in your twenties. The places you would go, the level of success you would reach, it was all a dream and you had your whole life ahead of you. Twenty-five years have passed and there you sit wondering how come it didn’t go as planned, why your childhood friends achieved their goals and you didn’t. Do you look around at other profiles on facebook and become envious of the life they created? Do you look at others on the road in their cars and wonder why that’s not you? If you constantly feel bitter, envious, and hate towards others your age that has accomplished their dreams you may be suffering from a MLC. This is common, not only are you battling the demon that is Father Time, you are looking at real-life examples of what could have been and it’s killing you inside. Instead of feeling envious, use this as a motivation factor to give this thing one last shot. Find that passion again, go after it, and stop being envious of others.


  1. You Are Living To Survive, Not To Conquer


The groundhogs day effect can leave you in a monotonous situation of daily routines. It’s easy to get swept up in the current of life and float along for the ride. Your older, you have less drive, you don’t believe in yourself like you used to, motivation levels are low, your competitive edge is as dull as a butter knife, you are living to survive, you are no longer living to conquer. You have to find purpose in your life again, get that fire lit up under your ass and pull yourself out of this life rut that has your tires spinning in place. Get traction again, power out of that hole, and conquer that mountain in front of you called life. It’s yours for the taking, change your mindset, get out of survival mode and back into conquer mode!


5 Things To Consider When Growing A Beard

Top 5 Things To Consider When Growing Out A Beard

growing out your beardBeards are as popular as ever, and the modern man is borrowing looks from past generations to stay stylish while maintaining a manly appearance at the same time. Men with beards used to be stereotyped, it wasn’t always as socially acceptable as it is now. Long beards, short beards, 5 o’clock shadows, goatees, sideburns, stash, the list goes on. Men’s facial hair can be modified to give just about any look desired. Most guys prefer to manage their own facial hair, give me a pair of scissors and a set of clippers and I’ll manage the trimming of my beard myself. There are the other types of guys out there that prefer to be pampered at the Barber Shop with a close razor shave, hot towel, and an aftershave lotion. For those guys that already visit the barber, here are some tips for determining if your barber is the right beard barber for you. For those of you self-groomers out there that are considering this as an option but have yet to give it a try, here are some questions you should be asking yourself and your barber before diving in and letting another man trim your facials.

1. Grow That Sucker Out

It’s hard to find a look that’s good for you if you haven’t rocked the style before. Looking at pictures online is one thing, living the look is another. If you grow the hell out of your beard you can try many different looks before trimming it back and settling on your style. Too many dudes I know start to grow it out and get it trimmed before it’s had time to age and season. Grow that sucker out and start with a full beard before trimming up and deciding on a look.

The average man’s beard will grow around an inch per month, so calculate that and give your self a timeline for your desired length. Again, don’t be gun shy! Let that sucker grow, let it come to life and mature into the facial piece you dream of it being. If there are patches that outgrow other areas of the beard that need a trim you can tend to that yourself, otherwise let that sucker fro-out like some 70’s bush!

During this time you will experience a few issues. Food will find a home in areas that it never did before, your skin will itch at times, and sometimes it will snag on things. For me, that’s usually beer cans and inner thighs, well… only if her inner thighs have whiskers. That being said, you will want to pay attention to your face bush every time you eat or drink a beer. I have had beer foam sit on my chin for hours before someone notified me that it was there. You can reduce the itch and keep your face bush looking good with some beard oils. There are a ton of them on the market, look around, ask the broski’s and invest in a bottle. Oh, and keep the teeth clean, a mug full of hair doesn’t pair well with a grill full of food and plaque!

2. Find A Barber With Experience

Every barber chair you land in has a story, there are going to be men that came before you and men that will come after you. barber trimming beardIt’s not the man in the chair that has the story to tell, it’s the man that stands behind the chair with the scissors and razor that is the storyteller. Hundreds of haircuts, hundreds of beard trims, stories told back and forth over the years, these guys are seasoned vets behind the barber chair and you can usually tell who they are. If you spend any time in a barbershop, possibly waiting for a friend or family member you will notice who has been doing this for a long time and who is still new to the game. The OG barbers are cool cats, they are smooth with their scissors and shears and can hold a conversation that keeps the time ticking by. New School cats may not have the same swag behind the chair, not as cool with conversation, and definitely not as quick to snip, cut, trim, and shave. The approach is slower, the confidence doesn’t radiate off them like it does with the OG’s. If you are looking for a hair and beard barber, stop in a shop, talk, and get a feel for the crew before trusting them with your hairdo.

Because the popularity of men’s barber shops has risen like some morning wood, they have begun opening up all over town with plenty of wannabe barbers trying to get in on the men’s grooming trend that is upon us. Because there is now a selection of barbers to choose from like never before, you will want to do your due diligence when choosing one. Trusting in a fly-by-night barber with your hair or beard can be risky. Pay attention, take your time, and find the right barber for you. I visit this barber shop in Denver to get my face bush trimmed, and they offer a me a drink while I am there! No wonder why I don’t mind paying for a monthly trim.

Also, chances are that if you are growing hair on your head and face that you might have buddies that are doing the same thing. Asking around to see where the broski’s are grabbing a trim is a good way to get a quality referral. If you trust in the bros, then ask em.

3. Once You Go Barber, You Won’t Go Back

If you are used to trimming your beard yourself it’s natural to pop in the bathroom real quick and zip off a few stragglers, if you are getting ready for a night out on the town you might even throw a #2 attachment on that sucker and take a few swipes around your ball sack because you never know what the night has in store for you. Aside from the occasional moments where the self-trim is necessary, once you get your beard cleaned up by a pro you won’t go back to the life of self-trimming. The money is always well spent, the downtime, the cut, the convo, and the input is priceless. Remember, these guys see hundreds of beard styles a month and can provide some pretty valuable information regarding beard styles that may work best with your hairstyle and color. Facial hair grows different for everyone, some can grow thick full beards, while others can barley sprout some chin hair. Some guys have patchy spots, others have course hair, others have fine hair. You need the advice of a pro to point you in the right direction.

4. Experiment Then Commit

stylish beardYour beard style will eventually form out of experimentation. The longer you grow your beard, the more options you will have to experiment with. Facial hair, like the hair on your head, can become trained to lay in certain directions, spike, fall, and curl. Some guys like to braid their hair, others brush it down, while some brush it upwards. They all create unique looks that may compliment a haircut, an outfit, or the desired style. One thing I have noticed among friends and internet beardies is that once they find a style they like they stick with it for a long time. It’s easier to groom and maintain when you are consistent with the trimming and care of the beard. Commitment can be tough, but I’m not talking about a new dog or a girlfriend, I’m talking about some face bush. Grow it, trim it, find your style, and commit to the bush!

5. Get Tips And Maintenance Ideas From Your New Friend

You are going to need to treat your beard with oils, trim on rare occasions, and manage the bush without professional help on a day to day basis. Your beard barber may become your best bush faced friend and should be able to provide you with the tips you need succeed. So what should you ask your dude about the daily maintenance needed to get the most out of your beard? I would start by getting suggestions on beard oils, what to purchase, and how often they should be applied. Get combing tips, and trimming tips. Once you have locked in the style you wanna roll with, ask how often you should return to trim. If your beard is growing an inch a month on average, you may need to return monthly depending on the desired look and length. If your an older dude and need to add some color, ask about products and application techniques. Look, it’s facial hair, not rocket science, but there are things that an experienced beard barber can offer that others just can’t. You can beat experience, and a guy that trims another man’s beard can give you the kind of feedback you need to make the right decisions on this journey.