Shopping for 4K UHD Smart TV Round 5

I’m a tech junkie. I always have to buy the latest gadgets, and when it comes to technological upgrades like 4K UHD TV’s I can’t fall behind.

Early this year, I purchased an LG 4K UHD TV, which is seriously one of the greatest out there. The image quality is fantastic, and the Smart setting additions are super fast.

Recently, I decided to purchase an additional 4K UHD TV for my bedroom; but this time, I wanted it to be budget friendly. 

A week ago, I purchased the Samsung Smart TV, which was a total disaster (image quality was quite disappointing). Today, I went ahead and returned it, and continued searching for a budget friendly idea. As I browsed through the multitude of options, I came across Hisense UK UHD Smart TV, which was about $372. 
I asked around the store for opinions on this brand, but no one could tell me anything, (I’ve owned LG, Vizio, Samsung, Westinghouse, Sony, among others). But I haven’t heard much from Hisense. With the price tag, and the amazing features, I went ahead and gave it a try.


When I got home, I decided to checkout the ports, which are listed below.

Bottom of the TV has:

  • HDMI 3 (4K@30hz)
  • HDMI 4 (4K@30hz)
  • Digital Audio Out
  • AV In


Towards the side of the TV you’ll find:

  • Channel and menu buttons
  • USB 3
  • HDMI 2
  • HDMI 1
  • Audio Out
  • Service
  • USB 2
  • USB 1
  • Ant/Cable


These multiple ports allow connections for antenna, VCR, DVD player/ recorder, set-top box, and satellite receiver. 

Other features include:

  • Ultra fast access to Netflix
  • Numerous social media and gaming apps (including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video, Pandora, etc.)
  • Thousand of movie streaming content
  • 4K media player and receiver
  • App Store and web browser
  • Built-in wireless connection
  • Vibrant contrast and 4K streaming

When I first opened the box, I couldn’t help but being excited with the features on the remote control. I love that it has custom buttons to access Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and YouTube, without having to browse through the TV settings (compared to my LG and previous Vizio 4K purchase, where I had to browse through the settings to access these features).

I plan to mount the TV to the wall, but in the meanwhile, I attached the legs, which was pretty easy to do.



Upon setting up the TV, it was given the option to set it up to “home mode” or “store mode.” Home home promoted an energy saving feature, while store mode was promoted for the display of images. 

What I love about this TV is that I’m given a multitude of options to set up the color ratio, warm, brightness, display, and what not (and when I say multiple, I mean picture mode, contrast, brightness, color, tint, sharpness, ratio, advanced picture options, expert settings, and picture settings). These settings were like being at a candy store: I loved my power as a user to truly customize the TV according to my very aim or need.


When it comes to the display of its 4K features, it is FANTASTIC! From 1-10 I would grade this an 9 (or a -A) as the image 4K features is nearly close to perfect. This TV could easily compared to my X3 more expensive LG 4K UHD TV. Now, I literary don’t want to leave my room. 

For the price, I must say that this TV is a total steal. I’m able to enjoy the 4K features in my bedroom without breaking the bank. The 43 inches size is perfect, the Smart features are fantastic, the image is vivid and it allows users to customize according to your needs. I think this is one of those very few TV’s with a quality beyond their price point, and I seriously recommend you check it out! 

I Did an iOS Update Experiment, and This is What Happened…

img_1724I purchased my first iPhone after the release of the iPhone 4, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.

There are many things that I love about the iPhone, including the nature of the iOS operative system, the feasibility of iOS apps such as Facetime and iMessage, and the diversity of the available apps.

After multiple years of purchasing the latest iPhone, I started noticing one thing: After a new generation iPhone came out, it seemed like my current iPhone started slowing down, or dealing with other bugs/performance issues.

You may think, “of course, each newer generation will be faster than the older one; therefore, your current iPhone will seem slow.”

At this point, my argument is, how can my iPhone get slow (or seem slow to me) if I haven’t even tried, played with, or experienced the newer iPhone generation?

I currently own two iPhone 6S. One of these iPhones is my personal phone, while the second one is for work purposes. After I learned about the “no headphone jack” fiasco from the iPhone 7 (I could literary go on a rant), I decided that I simply won’t purchase the newer iPhone 7.

I have a Master of Science degree. As a practitioner, I approach many things in an experimental basis. Therefore, I engaged in a mini experiment to differentiate the performance factors between an iPhone 6s with the latest iOS update (iOS 10.3.1) vs. an iPhone 6s without the latest software update (iOS 9.3.5).

For this experiment, I came up with three hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: both of my iPhones 6s will perform at simultaneous speed or performance regardless of their iOS updates.

Hypothesis 2: The iPhone 6s with the iOS 9.3.5 update will perform slower than the iPhone 6s with the iOS 10.3.1 update.

Hypothesis 3: The iPhone 6s with the iOS 9.3.5 update will perform faster than the iPhone 6s with the iOS 10.3.1 update.

Additionally, I will refer to my personal iPhone 6s as “iPhone A” and my work iPhone 6s as “iPhone B.”

My experiment consisted of upgrading to all iOS software updates for iPhone A, while ignoring all software updates for iPhone B (I started doing this experiment right after the release of the iPhone 7).

After doing this for close to 8 months, these have been my final observations:

iPhone A: After the release of the iPhone 7, I updated my iPhone 6s to iOS 10. After my update, what I first noticed was that all my iMessages were freezing. I had to close down the app and then reload it for it to start working again. I also noticed that my Instagram and Twitter apps were freezing half way through my feed. At that point, my emails would also freeze, so I had to reload the email app and start writing messages all over again. After a while, my entire iPhone started freezing up (I couldn’t swipe left or right), so I had to constantly restore it. At this point, I was under the assumption that this could be related to some sort of fixable bug on iOS 10 (as it was recent release). As a result, I decided to reset my iPhone back to iOS 9.3.5 (which was possible to do for a limited time). After resetting my iPhone back to iOS 9.3.5, all these bugs were gone! My iPhone was back to normal and it was running smoothly (and faster). Time after that, I noticed that there was a new iOS 10 update (I think it was iOS 10.1.1), claiming better performance from the previous iOS 10 update. At this point, Apple was no longer supporting iOS 9.3.5, so I knew that if I decided to upgrade to iOS 10.1.1, I would have no way to reset it back. For the sake of the experiment, I upgraded to iOS 10.1.1, and ever since, my iPhone has been even worse. At that point, my iPhone doesn’t only freeze up when messaging people, I have noticed that it is significantly slower, it takes longer to load apps, when I turn it on/off the screen changes to half white and half green, and the strangest of all: my iPhone has a vibrating flick that vibrates repeatedly throughout the day. This flick sounds as is the vibrating motor got stuck on repeat, and then it followed by a notification sound; but when I check my iPhone, there is no notification of any sort. I have continued updating my iPhone’s iOS every time there is a new release; and even so, it is continuously slower and with more issues. Today, iPhone A is currently running under iOS 10.3.1, and it isn’t any better.

iPhone B: This iPhone 6s is working flawlessly. I haven’t experienced any issues in terms of messages freezing up, iPhone freezing up, or its performance slowing down. In fact, although it is operating under iOS 9.3.5, it performs faster than the iPhone 6s operating under iOS 10.3.1. With this iPhone, I get notifications 1-2 times a day, everyday requesting to update to the latest iOS software. I also noticed that my apps require updates more often than the apps on my other iPhone 6s running under iOS 10.3.1 (or iPhone A). On a final note, it has been claimed that if you don’t update your iOS, your apps will start underperfoming, but this has not been my experience with this mini experiment. On the contrary, this iPhone is performing as new!

Final verdict:

After my mini experiment, the iPhone 6s with the iOS 9.3.5 update performed faster and with no bugs, compared to the iPhone 6s with the iOS 10.3.1 software; Therefore, Hypothesis 3 was supported.

I was at least hoping that both iPhones would perform simultaneously (considering that they were both iPhone 6s). However, I wasn’t surprised when the iPhone with the iOS 10.3.1 software performed the slowest and with many bugs.

At this point, I feel somewhat disappointed. I’m torn between an iPhone 6s with increasing performance issues and the fact that I don’t want to upgrade to an iPhone that doesn’t have an headphone jack (some of us don’t have time to be charging earphones all the time). However, I’m hoping that this year’s release of the iPhone 7s (or iPhone 8, per some rumors) will encourage me to become part of the upgrade mania.

It Starts Within

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I’m a total supplement junkie. The reasons are many (apart from the obvious health reasons) but also many other of my physical conditions.

I have tried a tons of supplements, some greater than others, some causing indigestion, and many even causing allergic reactions, and many others that may have not caused an adverse reaction, but simply do nothing (so it is a total waste of pill swallowing).

One of my favorite supplement brands is Natrogix due to the potency of their supplements, with my favorite supplement being their women’s multivitamins.

What I like about their women’s multivitamins is how complete it is:

  • Contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, folic acid, biotin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, minerals, and antioxidants (this is great, as many “complete” multivitamins I have purchased before weren’t as complete as Natrogix).
  • Aids digestion, absorption of nutrients, and improved immune system.
  • Provides anti-aging properties such as bone, joints, muscles, and organ support.
  • The combination of ingredients aids the absorption of calcium and even supports the skin during its natural aging process.

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I personally love how well this has suited my lifestyle and energy level (I have too much going on). What I love the most is the fact that I don’t experience any stomach discomfort or side effects, and I don’t have to take a bunch of vitamins to accomplish my optimal health goals.

Check it out!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FHCO5LK

Treasure Hunt

img_3165I’ve been wearing anklet bracelets for as long I can remember. After trying so many styles, materials, and designs, there are a few things that aren’t easily bypassed:

  • Can break with use.
  • Can scratch the back of my foot when wearing tight shoes.
  • The made/design can scratch my skin (weather I’m wearing shoes or not).
  • The material gets dull through time.

In my experience, this has happened with every made, price, and design. In the end, sometimes it is not about price or name brand, but about quality.

After breaking my favorite heart-chain anklet bracelet (for the second time) I made up my mind about buying a different style bracelet at a more affordable price point; that’s when I got a hold of Boderier Leaf Anklet Bracelet.

What can I say? I simply like it A LOT.

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I love that it has a bunch of leafs in it (compared to my previous heart bracelet, which only had a few). Yet, it is so comfortable! My bracelet no longer scratches behind my ankle or rub painfully against my skin when I walk.

The design is also very pretty and shiny, but at the same time looks simple and classy. In my opinion, it’s a style that goes well with any style of shoes or clothing combination.

Overall I think it is a very cute piece of great value for the price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073PWWSR6

 

Butter Me Up


I have a confession to make…

Yes I’m a health junkie, but I’m also a butter junkie… that’s right, I’m obsessed with butter. I love the taste, how it melts in my mouth, and how it smells.

I also love bread, meaning that a new jar of butter along with Italian bread fresh out of the oven means that my diet routine will be an epic fail.

Even though butter is my love, I have been avoiding it for the longest time; as we know, too much butter is not healthy (not matter how we put it).

After dealing with some butter withdrawal, I figured that there is something I can possibly do to incorporate butter in my routine in the most possible healthy way, that’s when I found Veda Organic Ghee Butter.

There are so many things I like about this butter, including its gritty texture and it’s very light taste. Apart from the fantastic fact that I’m finally eating butter, there are some many positive assets to it. First and foremost, (as the title says it) the butter is organic, non-gmo, gluten free, and even suitable for paleo diets.

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This butter is packed with MCT, vitamins A, D, E, and K, Omega 3 and 9 butyric acid, phenolic antioxidants, and CLA. For people that can be lactose sensitive (like myself), the butter is casein, protein, and lactose free – that means no more boating and gas for me! And when it comes to keeping a strict diet, the butter is free from sugar, salt, hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors, and much more.

I could go on and on, but in simple terms: I’m happy!

If you’re looking to incorporate butter into your diet (as healthy as possible), you should definitely check it out!

http://www.tastysuperfoods.com/organic-cultured-grassfed-ghee.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N53M3PU

Lovely Garden

img_3128Summer has its up and downs. The beautiful weather and the colorful nature is simply heartwarming. At the same time, a beautiful garden means extra work and care for our plants.

I’ve been dying to have an expendable hose as long I can remember. I’ve been using a “typical” hose in my yard, but it is heavy, hard, it leaks easily, and overall, can be a big hassle. I knew I wanted to transition to the new thing, so I went ahead and got ahead of Kelley General flexible water garden hose… and I’M OBSESSED.

This hose is 50 feet long (longer than my old hose), meaning that I can reach my garden, backyard, and even pool; but at the same time, it is super very light weight (weights less than my old hose). I think that the combination of super light weight and lengths are fantastic. As a side note, when it shrinks, it is about 25 feet long, so when storing it, it doesn’t take a lot of space.

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The materials in this hose are also top quality. It is corrosion resistant, meaning that it can handle both cold and hot weather, and high water pressure. The hose also has a latex core that is covered with very sturdy threading, which protects it greatly from leakage and other accidents.

When it comes to the nozzle, it has great pressure control, and seven different water pressure settings/patterns to use according to my watering needs.

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I’m pretty excited and so happy that I’m no longer using the old stuff.

Check it out!!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JH0J50O

Spark Up My Party

img_3123Parties are never boring, but when they become “typical” or “basic” they lose up their charm. I love planing and bringing to life fun family gatherings, so it is always my job to figure out the coolest ways to add some spark to my parties.

After doing some online search on some party ideas, I came across LLOP 15 pack LED balloons, and I had to try them. I’m not sure how popular light-up balloons are, but I was particularly impressed with the idea.

I like that these are SO EASY to set up. I didn’t have to worry about any random or complicated preparation instructions, batteries, or anything of that sort. The balloons have a tab that you just have to pull, and you’re done. I haven’t tried to fill these up with helium (used pumped air), but I don’t see a problem with using helium.

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I like that these balloons are not like the typical cheap ones I find at the dollar store; these are actually made with a thick latex material, which you can feel upon playing around with the balloons. These also hold air very well and tightly, so I didn’t have to worry about them popping.

These come in a variety of colors, my favorites being yellow, pink, and blue. The LED lights ended up being pretty bright, and they easily last from 12-14 hours (which is enough lighting time for any party or occasion).

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Although these are great, I do have a few recommendations. For example, the balloons aren’t as bright during the day as they are during the night; so if this is something that you want to use during a nighttime party, I highly recommend it.

Overall, good item. Don’t forget to check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WHBHGS


 

Saving My Gut


I have been dealing with IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome) for as long I can remember… I just didn’t happen to know what it was until I was finally diagnosed.

I’ve been trying my very best to promote a healthy gut; from a dairy-free diet, to less alcohol.

To my understanding, dairy is one of the best sources of probiotics (especially yogurt). The problem is that when I cutout probiotic “promoters” I started experiencing more gut problems.

I was advised many times to take probiotics supplements, but I wasn’t really motivated to take these as (1-) I already take many supplements, and additional one seemed like too much work for me and (2-) I couldn’t understand how a supplement could carry live organisms (versus, a natural food, for example).

After dealing with this for too long, and accepting the fact that I needed to add probiotics to my diet, I went and got a hold of BeLive sugar free probiotic gummies, and I have seen the changes!

First and foremost, I was excited over the fact that these are actually gummy vitamins! As I mentioned, I take many supplements on an daily; so looking forward to gummies instead of an additional pill definitely adds a fun factor to my daily health routine. I also appreciate the fact that these are sugar free! This is important in so many ways, especially if you’re trying to stay on track with your eating habits. At first, I was concerned that these would taste awful, but these in fact has a sweet-like taste that isn’t overwhelming (if you have had gummy vitamins before, it tastes just like your typical gummy vitamin, without the sugar overload factor).

When it comes to its benefits, the manufacturer claims the following:

  • Equally suitable for children’s and adults.
  • Contains 5 billion CFU.
  • It contains one of the most effective bacterias, Bacillus Coagulans, which is key in improving digestion and even weight loss.
  • Free of gluten, wheat, peanuts, soy, eggs, or GMO.
  • It doesn’t only promote and improved gut, but also an improved immune system.
  • And the list goes on.

I have been using this for a couple of weeks, and some of the improved I’ve noticed include:

  • More regularity.
  • No more bloating.
  • A better indigestion.
  • Less nausea after eating.

Overall a fantastic product, I think you should check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZZPS4Q9

Sunday Funday


You (or your kids) no longer have to be in a certified lab to be scientists.

I have many young siblings, most hoping to be scientists some day. Thankfully, at school, they have access to some scientific tools (here and there, along with some school rules and limitations); and when summer time comes, they don’t have access to explore their scientific curiosities.

In order to spike their imagination, I went ahead and got them Little World HOMEE microscope science kit, and we’re all static!

The first thing that I loved about this kit is it’s affordable price point; for $15.99 it is seriously as steal!

Another thing that has been such a relief for all of us is the fact that the kids are able to explore everything they want without the limitations imposed by the school (which is always important).

This microscope is made out of plastic and is very light weight (which is always a plus); yet, it is very sturdy and very well made.

This microscope has such great features, including:

  • 100x, 400x and 1200x magnifications
  • 1 plastic container
  • 6 blank labels
  • 5 specimens of glass
  • 2 collecting bottles
  • 1 tweezer

As you can see, this set is complete as can be. It also has an LED light, allowing you to see clearly, which works with two AA batteries.

Overall, a very cool item, and I think you should check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I3K0RF6

Power Bank

img_2803I don’t know about you, but to me there is nothing more frightening than a dying iPhone, iPad, laptop, etc. when on the go.

As a result of these, I have gone through a multitude of nightmares, from not being able to request an Uber taxi at a time of urgency, to not being able to reschedule my Amtrak ticket on time.

I have tried a multitude of power banks promoting efficient and fast charge. Some work better than others, some are more promising than others, and overall they do their job. My issue with most of these power banks is how slow they can charge devices, how long it can take for them to retain their own power charge, or the fact that these can’t charge some of the most common or most used devices out there.

One power bank that has surpassed my expectations is Freewise. One of the things I truly like about this power bank is how portable it is. It measures 3 x 3 inches, meaning that I can fit it nearly anywhere (I would dare to say that you could easily carry it in your pockets). I also like that it has a very sleek design and a nice smooth suede surface (looks is always a plus!).

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When it comes to its actual performance, features include:

  1. 10,000 mAh
  2. It has two USB ports, so you can actually charge two devices at the same time!
  3. As a result of the above, you can charge nearly any device that is UBS compatible.
  4. One of the things that truly impressed me about this device is its ability to charge bluetooth speakers. I own a bunch of these, so it is always great to know that I can keep these charged anywhere I go!
  5. It actually has a mini light that always comes in handy to see in case of full darkness or emergencies (this is always important!).
  6. Overall a very solid and powerful device!

img_2801This is easily one of my favorites, if not my favorite charging bank out of all the ones I have owned or purchased. I like that the manufacturers truly paid attention to details and  other common potential needs from buyers. The extra light, the power, and even its feasibility to charge bluetooth speakers are up to par with today’s technological demands. Overall, I rate this a 10 out of 10 – I highly recommend it.

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As always, check it out!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711CWQGY

Simple Solutions

img_2788I have a HUGE purse, and when I say HUGE, I mean HUGE. The reasons for my purse overload are many, including the fact that there isn’t a worse feeling for me than to have a last minute occurrence and emergency while out of the house, and not being able to solve it. As a result, I carry everything I could potentially need throughout my day; from first aid solutions, to hair and makeup fixes, and even a few tools.

Along with my purse, I also carry a huge wallet, which can certainly feel overwhelmingly heavy from time to time. When it’s night time and it’s time to go out on my few adventures, I usually carry a small purse. As a result, I dig in my wallet for necessary keeps such as driver’s license, additional credit cards, and some cash. Due to the fact that I’ll be carrying a small purse, I just throw it all in there.

I’m a very organized person and I’m also a neat freak. When randomly throwing all these credit cards into a small purse I encounter a bunch of issues, including:

  1. I’m paranoid about losing my things.
  2. I’m usually down a few drinks.
  3. And most of the time, everything is pretty dark.

So at this point, I find myself extremely anxious, counting my credit cards and cash over and over to assure that everything is complete. There are many experiences that have lead me to this weird safety obsession, especially the experiences where my credit card information was stolen doing simple tasks such as reloading my train pass or buying a drink at a bar.

At this point I knew that I needed a (rational) solution and I needed my sanity. I started doing a mini research on potential slim wallets to store my credit cards when out and about; so I went ahead and purchased a slim bi-fold pocket wallet by Huskk. I’m aware that this is a male’s wallet, but I went ahead and gave it a shot anyways.

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Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was its style. I liked that it has an interesting minimalistic design, and by “interesting” I mean that the simple design of this wallet makes it look modern and elegant in such a subtle way (it is designed in the U.K!). As I mentioned, this is marketed for males, but the niceness of the design could easily allow any woman (like myself) to use this wallet.

The wallet is actually very slim and smooth, but at the same time it is very sturdy and easy to carry. I like that it fits so comfortably on my hands, yet it is well organized and spacious enough to store at least (3) credit cards, (1) your ID, and extra cash.

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I’m particularly very excited about this wallet because it was exactly what I needed. I needed something with a modern look, slim, easy to carry, able to store my credit cards in an organized manner (I no longer have to throw them in my small purse when my wallet doesn’t fit in), and on top of all the features, it provides RFID protection!

Overall, I’m loving it, and I think you should check it out too!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZZB49MM

Our favorite hammock 

I’ve been spoiling Dad quite a lot lately. Father’s Day wasn’t a long time ago, and his birthday is coming soon. So in between the holidays (like Independence Day) I decided to go around and get him a mini present.

See, my dad is a hammock fanatic (as I call him). He’s spends quality time on his hammock, and when he’s not on it, he’s always shopping around for one to meet his needs.

His last purchase was a fishnet looking hammock, which was very uncomfortable as your body would “leak” in between the holes. Surprised that he didn’t bother replacing this horrendous hammock, I decided to get one for him myself.

My latest finding was Pacearth Double Camping Hammock, and I’m overall very happy with my finding.

The hammock measures 94.5 inches by 55 inches and it is made of nylon parachute fabric (before my purchase, this was one of the features that caught my attention). 

This hammock is meant for heavy duty usage (ex. Camping); yet, it is very lightweight and very easy to install/hang. It brings all the tools necessary for a safe installation, including two galvanizing clamps and two nautical grade straps.

When I first gave this to my father, he was happy but not impressed (yes I caught up on that!) It wasn’t until he actually laid on the hammock that I saw true happiness on his face. When laying on it, his first comment was how comfortable it was! That was such a relief for me; this hammock is truly lightweight, so I was afraid that it wouldn’t work to my expectations. But it is so sturdy and so well made that you have nothing to worry about. My father is a little over 6ft tall and about 200 pounds, and he truly enjoys his time on it. I know this hammock is meant for camping or heavy duty activities, but due to its popularity at my home, I truly wanted to get something sturdy, and it has worked fantastically.

I like that its shape also allows for feasibility. For example, the hammock has a side pocket, which is used for storage when you’re not using it – this is very nice and neat. This same storage bag also works fantastically to put your drink (for example) as well as your other belongings. 

I overall think this is a fantastic item. It is very light weight, easy to install, easy to store, very sturdy, and most importantly, it is super comfortable. And don’t forget the fact it is very visually appealing!

Check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071Z7C1P5