This Awesome New Mug Brews K-Cup Coffee On The Go

Coffee is one of life’s most important essentials. Without that sweet nectar in our favorite mug each morning, civilization as we know it would falter. After all, who could cope with a Monday morning without the promise of java awaiting them?

Most of us have likely had those tragic mornings you just don’t have time to grab a cup of coffee. Whether you overslept, got stuck in traffic or your kids were giving you a hard time, it is sadly ironic that the days when you need coffee the most are sometimes the days when you don’t have time to make one.

Luckily, one company is seeking to change all that. AnyCafé has created an innovative new product that will ensure you never have to miss out on coffee again.

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AnyCafe

With the AnyCafé mug, which is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, you can brew a single-serving of coffee on the go, no matter where you are. Simply insert any K-cup of your choice, along with some water (it doesn’t matter what temperature the water is). Let it brew for a matter of seconds. And voila! You have delicious hot coffee in your hands.

As you can see in the video, it is so easy to use. You can brew a cup of coffee wherever you are, or a cup of tea, hot chocolate, cider, you name it! It’s also easy to clean and durable, so you can toss it in your briefcase or your backpack with no worries. It comes with a rechargable battery pack, or you can charge it on the go in your car.

The AnyCafé mug is not yet available in stores, but you can pre-order one as part of the Kickstarter campaign. The company is seeking to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter, and given how ingenious this idea is, they will hopefully reach their goal.

The one downfall is that the company doesn’t expect to have these mugs available for shipping until August 2017. That feels like a long time away, but you know what they say about good things coming to those who wait…

A bite from this bug could make you allergic to meat

When people think of bug bites, they usually fear itching, a potential nasty infection or in extreme cases, hospitalization or death. Most people don’t worry about an insect making them allergic to a hamburger. However, one type of tick can cause just that reaction.

Just one bite from the so-called Lone Star tick, which is found not only in its namesake state of Texas but throughout the United States, can cause a severe allergy to red meat, including beef and pork, and in some cases, poultry.

This tick is found predominantly in the Southeast, but it has been spotted in other places, including Iowa and New England, and even as far as Europe, Central America, Asia and Australia.

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RELATED: 10 Things You Need To Know About Stink Bugs, Including How To Get Rid Of Them

Symptoms can range from a stuffy, runny nose to nauseousness or a rash after consuming meat, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Usually the reaction occurs hours after eating. The allergy is called alpha-gal syndrome because a sensitivity to the carbohydrate molecule alpha-gal is what is responsible for the uncomfortable reaction.

Diagnosis is difficult, and currently there is no cure. The best prevention is to avoid getting a tick bite in the first place. Avoiding tick bites is a good idea, anyway — Lyme disease has becoming more prevalent in the U.S. in the 21st century, aided by climate change, which is expanding the range of the ticks that transmit the disease.

If you’ve had a tick bite and find that you’re suddenly getting sick after you eat meat, you might want to consult with your doctor.

RELATED: Lyme Disease Could Be A Major Problem In 2017, Scientists Warn

Colonial Williamsburg Is Inviting Brave Guests To Sleep In Its Haunted Houses This Halloween

Now that it’s October and Halloween is just a few weeks away, it’s time to take advantage of all the fun pumpkin patches, parties and haunted houses that are in full swing this month. And, for the first time ever, if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can go spend the night in one of the haunted houses of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Yep, you can stay in a potentially haunted home from colonial times. Visitors can stay in these colonial homes (and reconstructions) throughout the year, but for the first time, during this year’s Halloween season, will each participating home’s “haunted history” be provided to guests.

Past Williamsburg visitors claim to have seen and heard paranormal activity—not just feeling cold spots, but also seeing images and hearing voices. (I don’t know about you, but I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.)

For instance, guests who stay at the Orrell House (below) often relay tales of unusual activity, like faucets running on their own, or furniture that’s rearranged or turned upside down.

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The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Similarly, “The Market Square Tavern,” pictured below, states “The Best Accommodations” on its sign out front has its own haunted history. (We wonder if that means with or without the ghosts.)

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The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Even the architecture looks spooky, right?!

There’s even a Williamsburg Paranormal Investigations Facebook page where people can talk about paranormal activity they experience in Williamsburg. Creepy!

But back to the haunted houses, so to speak.

The Haunting Package includes the chance to stay in a Haunted Colonial House or, for a less spooky experience, nightly accommodations at the Williamsburg Woodlands,” states the company’s website, plus “all-access passes to Haunting on DoG Street: Blackbeard’s Revenge [which includes trick or treating for young kids and a haunted house for those 13 and older].”

Whether you buy into the idea that paranormal activity happens in Williamsburg or elsewhere, we can’t help but think that centuries-old community will be the most spook-tacular place to be this Halloween season. The website advises you “act fast” to reserve the limited number of rooms and homes available. Reservations begin at $216 per night based on double occupancy.

 

You Can Visit the Real-Life Halloweentown This Fall

Disney Channel’s “Halloweentown” has become a holiday favorite. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the movie about a million times, and Halloween simply wouldn’t be the same without viewing it at least once during the fall season.

And while watching the movie each year at home is great, wouldn’t it be a dream come true to be able to visit the real-life Halloweentown? Well, for the people of St. Helens, Oregon, this is their everyday reality. St. Helens is the town where “Halloweentown” was originally filmed back in 1998! Each year, starting Oct. 1, the town transforms into the real-life Halloweentown, straight out of the movie.

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The month-long festival is known as “The Spirit of Halloweentown,” and the celebration will be extra-special this year because Kimberly J. Brown, aka “Marnie,” will be returning to host a full weekend of Halloween events!

According to Good Housekeeping, there will be numerous activities throughout the weekend, such as a masquerade ball, haunted tractor rides and a scarecrow contest. And if here is one event that you just shouldn’t miss, it’s the giant pumpkin lighting on Oct. 8!

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And while you unfortunately can’t take a ride on the magical school bus to get to the event, you may be able to catch a haunted cab ride with Marnie and everyone’s favorite skeleton, Benny!

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Tickets for “The Spirit of Halloweentown” are selling out fast, so be sure to get yours before it’s too late! Get the full list of events and tickets here.

[h/t: Buzzfeed]

This Theme Park Is As Close To Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory As It Gets

When I was a kid, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was one of my favorite movies, and I wanted nothing more than to visit the factory on my own. Sadly, it’s not a real place, but good news—there is a theme park in the United Kingdom that comes pretty close.


One of the largest confectionary manufacturers in the world (Cadbury) has created the appropriately-named Cadbury World, an immersive experience where visitors can enjoy everything chocolate.

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Chee Hiong/Flickr

From learning about chocolate’s historical past to seeing how chocolate is made—and of course lots of tastings—Cadbury World is as close to Willy Wonka’s amazing factory as it gets.

The theme park, which has locations in Birmingham, England as well as Dunedin, New Zealand, allows visitors to see how chocolate is made and packaged, and of course, you can take home lots and lots of chocolate to enjoy later. There’s also a Cadbury Cafe where you can get such delights as a Cadbury Mini Egg Hot Chocolate:

You can take a ride through the chocolate world on a Beanmobile.

There’s even a 4D movie experience that includes motion seats for the full effect.

If you find yourself in one of these two countries, be sure to check out one of their two locations. Willy Wonka may not be real, but this chocolate factory sure is.

And if you want a trip down memory lane, here’s my favorite clip of the original Willy Wonka factory.

These Private Islands Are For Sale For Less Than $200,000, So Have Your Credit Cards Handy

I bet you never thought your vacation plans would include jetting off to your very own private island. But think again. There are a number of islands currently on the market for less than $200,000.

Now, some of these islands aren’t in an exotic location like Bora Bora, but you’d still be the owner of your very own island.

Check out some of the most affordable options as listed on the Private Islands Online website, and you may become a private island owner after all. I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that!

1. La Cornelia Island, Nicaragua

In case you hadn’t heard, Nicaragua is poised to be the next Costa Rica (aka, the next Central American hot spot). For just $90,000, you can own your own one-acre island there. Get more info here.

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Private Islands Online

2. Hangover Island, Florida

Located on the St. Martin’s river an hour from Tampa and two hours from Orlando, you can watch manatee swim by as you sit on your front porch. This view is going for the price of $120,000. Get more info here.

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Private Islands Online

3. Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia

For $69,955 you could own 11.6 acres of gorgeous Canadian land. This area is quite suitable for summer camping and fishing trips with friends and family. Ahh, doesn’t that sound nice? Get more info here.

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Private Islands Online

4. Fisherman’s Point Island, Michigan

This is two acres of your own island near the Canadian border, and it comes at the price of $175,000. Just look at that view. Get more info here.

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Private Islands Online

5. Ram Island, Maine

This 16-acre island off the coast of Maine offers a mile of coastline to explore. Make it your own to the tune of $200,000. Get more info here.

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Private Islands Online

6. Lizzies Cove, British Columbia

Lizzies Cove contains over 6 acres of beautiful forests, making it the perfect retreat. It’s also great whale watching location.  The island can be yours for $193,000. More details here.

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7. Cockroach Bay, Belize

This Caribbean island has over 500 feet of pristine beach and is just a few hundred feet from the Great Barrier Reef.  The asking price is $199,00.  More details here.

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There’s plenty more where this came from. So, head on over to Private Islands Online to find your home away from home now.

[h/t: TIME]

Mark Your Calendars! You Can Ride The Hogwarts Express At A Harry Potter Festival This Fall

Cancel your plans for October 21 and 22 because you’ve officially got more important things to do. You’ll be taking a road trip to Philadelphia for the annual Harry Potter Festival at Chestnut Hill College (pictured below).

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The annual celebration is in its fifth year, and you’re not going to want to miss out on the fun. Because seriously, where were you for the other four years? Lucky for you, however, this year’s festival will be the biggest one yet.

Thanks to the SEPTA regional rail lines in the area you’ll be able to literally hop aboard The Hogwarts Express. There will also be a Pub Crawl, a Harry Potter Conference and so much more.

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You can sign up for the October 21 Pub Crawl starting September 28. Most of the activities, aside from the Harry Potter Conference, are free and open to the public. You can pay as you go, depending on which parts of the festival you’d like to join in on.

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There will also be a quidditch tournament taking place. So, if you’ve always wanted to feel as though you were actually attending Hogwarts. Now’s your chance.

Take advantage of not being a muggle for a weekend, and I can pretty much guarantee you, it’ll be the best weekend of your life. Because who wouldn’t choose to be a wizard if given the chance?

RELATED: You Can Now Control Your TV With An Official Harry Potter Wand Remote

Find out more information about the festival and how you can get involved in this welcome reprieve from reality here.

[h/t: Elite Daily]

Map of US National Parks road trip

Here’s the ultimate road trip to visit most of the national parks

Anyone up for a road trip? This one travels through 47 of the national parks in the U.S. and will take you two months to complete. But hey, if you’ve got plenty of vacation time saved up — why not?

The route is just under 14,500 miles, according to The Washington Post. The Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip map was designed to commemorate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, which was in August of 2016, and it hit all of the national parks (at that time) in the contiguous 48 states — so it doesn’t include parks in Hawaii and Alaska, for example.

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Randal Olson

The map was created by Randal Olson, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. He had a little help from the Traveling Salesman Problem, which calculates the shortest route you can take to hit up a number of different cities before ending up back where you started.

National Park Service properties are constantly in flux, so it’s no surprise that some new parks have been added since Olson first put this road trip together. But you could easily add some of the new parks to the route: For example, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, which was designated a national park in 2021, isn’t far off the route to Shenandoah National Park.

RELATED: 5 National Park Road Trips To Take This Summer

So, if you’re looking for a road trip and want to hit most of the national parks (again, excluding those in Alaska, Hawaii and other U.S. territories), then this would be the shortest, fastest way to do it. Olson recommends setting two months aside to take in all the sights.

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Adobe

Olson designed a circular route so that you can hop on at any point and still stay on track. To learn how the trip was calculated or to create your own trip, check out his blog.

Here’s a list of all the national parks the route covers, in order:

  1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  2. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
  3. Saguaro National Park, Arizona
  4. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
  5. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
  6. Big Bend National Park, Texas
  7. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
  8. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
  9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
  10. Everglades National Park, Florida
  11. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
  12. Biscayne National Park, Florida
  13. Congaree National Park, South Carolina
  14. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  15. Acadia National Park, Maine
  16. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
  17. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
  18. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
  19. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
  20. Badlands National Park, South Dakota
  21. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
  22. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  23. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado
  24. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
  25. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
  26. Canyonlands National Park, Utah
  27. Arches National Park, Utah
  28. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
  29. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
  30. Zion National Park, Utah
  31. Great Basin National Park, Nevada
  32. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
  33. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  34. Glacier National Park, Montana
  35. North Cascades National Park, Washington
  36. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
  37. Olympic National Park, Washington
  38. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
  39. Redwood National and State Parks, California
  40. Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
  41. Yosemite National Park, California
  42. Kings Canyon National Park, California
  43. Sequoia National Park, California
  44. Pinnacles National Park, California
  45. Channel Islands National Park, California
  46. Joshua Tree National Park, California
  47. Death Valley National Park, California

Now, time to set your sights on the open road!

[h/t: Mental Floss]

This Camper Converts To A Yacht So You Never Have To Choose Between Land And Sea

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Investing in a recreational vehicle is a big decision. Do you go with a camper that will help you explore the reaches of our beautiful country?

Or do you go with a boat to enjoy all that the open water has to offer?

In the case of the Sealander, a camper than transforms into a yacht, you don’t have to decide — you get both.

This ingenious contraption hits the road connected to a trailer hitch, like a regular camper, and then operates like a flat-bottomed boat with an outboard motor on water.

While the Sealander is not the most spacious yacht or camper on the market, the company says that it fits up to six adults.

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Sealander/Facebook

You can configure the space as benches for hosting or as a bed for sleeping.

You can upgrade the basic design to include such amenities as cooking and washing stations, and audio setup.

There’s also the option to add a toilet to the cockpit storage locker to convert it to a bathroom.

Each Sealander is custom-built at the factory in Germany, and you can choose your own interior finishes as well as exterior colors.

RELATED: Mercedes-Benz Is Now Selling Luxury Yachts And They Are Spectacular

So how much will the Sealander set you back? The basic model starts at around $17,000 and takes about eight weeks to build.

See it in action here:

Pool Floats For Summer Fun

Take your summer fun up a notch with some of these quirky and downright adorable pool floats.

Dachshund Pool Float

Kool Pool’s Pool Pup Giant Premium Inflatable Dachshund Pool Float Mattress is for sale at Amazon and Walmart online for about $60 a pup. At nearly 7-feet long, this inflatable doxie can hold up to 300 pounds.

I mean, how great this this?

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“This ever-smiling dachshund will bring you years of joy and companionship,” the product description reads on Walmart.com. “Need someone to hold your drink at the pool? He’s got ya. Need someone to keep you afloat? Got ya there too! Best of all he doesn’t need to be walked or fed. People will want to pet him but that’s up to you.”

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This wiener dog even has a name: Link. And while you could get a pool float that is shaped like an inflatable hunk, we all know Link is the real good boy!

But, if you’re looking for some more fun for your summer swimming days, here’s a few other pool float options to consider.

Pool Bar Float

If food or animal floats aren’t your thing, and you’re looking to satisfy your thirst, then you might want to pick up this amazing pool bar float. You and three of your best buddies can lounge around in the AhhQua Bar, which has four chairs, a built-in cooler, and, of course, cup holders!

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Pizza Float

A six-foot floating piece of pizza? That sounds like a slice of heaven! And, you can put a bunch of them together to make an entire floating pie!

Simplemost

Donut Float

As you can see, this floating donut is looks almost good enough to take a bite out of before tossing it in the water.

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Here’s The Most American Road Trip You Can Take

There is so much to see in the United States, it can be pretty overwhelming.  From the National Parks to the big cities, there is something for just about everyone.

One really cool way to see the country would be to visit each state’s capital city and its capitol building.  And that’s exactly what the man who brought us the best road trip ever, Randy Olson, has done. This time it’s the most efficient way to visit all the state capitals.

The trip is 13,310 miles, hits all 48 state capitals in the contiguous United States and takes a total of 8.5 days to complete.

Olsen, a researcher at University of Pennsylvania, created the trip using the same algorithm that helped him created his other fantastic road trip ideas for the U.S. and Europe. And he’s made his tool available for anyone to use so you can plan your own custom trip.

To learn more about the road trip go to Olsen’s website.