9 Board Games For Those Stay-In Nights

9 Board Games For Those Stay-In Nights

"Gin!"
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Now that Fall's here, the dark falls earlier and the temperature's dropping, and we're all gonna be spending a lot more time inside. Everybody loves to sit quietly with a cup of their favorite hot drink and watch a movie or read a book, especially during those perfect Fall thunderstorms. But the cold season can be pretty draining as well, and being on your own is not always favorable. So how does one find a way to socialize while maintaining that level of comfort? The answer, obviously, is board games. And if you're having trouble figuring out some board games that you and your friends might enjoy, fear not; below you'll find a few board games I've tried and loved.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

This is a pretty strong start, as Betrayal at House on the Hill is probably one of my personal higher-ups on this list. The innovation of this one is one of its most prominent positive attributes. It's played in two phases: the first, during which the players build the game board and create different circumstances each time; and the second, in which on player turns against the others after an "event" takes place. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into its creation, and playing multiple rounds is almost necessary.

Taboo


Many people know about this classic, but not many appreciate its beauty. The goal, for those who aren't aware, is to get your partner (or team members) to say a certain word by defining it, but the trick is that you aren't allowed to use that word or certain related words. It's pretty high-energy, and the frantic shouting that ensues can get pretty amusing.

The Game of Life


In The Game of Life, you begin your career as an adult, and proceed to go through "the motions." Getting a job, buying a house, getting married, having children, everything all the way up to retirement. Things happen along the way, some good and some bad. At the end, the winner is the one who's happiest with their outcome. While it's only a board game, it's a really unique analogy for Life in general. Plus, it's like a more detailed game of "house" like you played when you were young.

Quelf


Quelf is not for the faint of heart. One must have an exceptionally strong sense of humor, and an overwhelming lack of shame. Sometimes you must answer random trivia questions, and then act like a giraffe for fifteen seconds for extra credit. Other times, you have find exactly 68 cents before time runs out. Or, make a mask out of nearby objects. If you're goofy like me, Quelf is your best option.

Sleuth


At some point, we've all played Clue. And when we're young, Clue makes you feel like a real-live detective. But after a certain amount of plays, the combinations get boring, and the characters get too familiar. If you're looking for a more age-fitting, difficult, and altogether breath of fresh air, I highly recommend Sleuth.

Monopoly


I take no responsibility for any loss of friendships, family members, or limbs. That's all.

Scattergories


This one's a good thought provoker. You're given a list of twelve categories, and someone rolls a 20-sided letter die. When the timer is started, you must write up to three words for each category, starting with the letter that the die chooses. Any shared answers must be crossed out. This one's ore lowkey, but it's a unique kind of fun.

Pit


Pit's based off of the old bartering market system, in that one tries to trade off materials to get a certain more desirable one. There are 8 different suits (or types of card), and the player's job is to get a full hand of one suit, by trading with other players, in bundles anywhere from 2-4 cards strong. No body can know what they're trading for, so everyone shouts their bids and barters blindly until someone wins that round and the market closes. Probably among the most intense games you can play, but it's definitely worth that satisfaction of cornering the market on wheat.

A Plain Deck of Cards


Last but not least, the age-old deck of cards. Growing up, my mother and I would always play games of Rummy, and Go Fish when I was too young. My brothers and I would always play intense games of Spit, and I've become closer to some of my closest friends over games of Palace. You can never go wrong with a deck of cards, whether it's a game of War or President.

Again, board games are an amazing way to spend time with people on cold and rainy days, or when you're just too tired to leave your dorm/house. Especially now that Winter's coming, you'll need all the downtime you can get. If ever you're in the mood for a game or two, I highly recommend all of the games on this list; I promise you won't be disappointed.

Cover Image Credit: http://magicbeansco.com/events/book-board-game-drive-for-scottish-rite-hospital/

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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If Yoga Poses Were Your 11 Favorite TV Shows

Binge-watching Netflix and taking a yoga class might be more similar than you think.

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Namaste, my yogis, and TV connoisseurs. I'm here to tell you your worlds might be more similar than you think, so let's cue up the Netflix account and start stretching.

1. Bridge - "Law and Order SVU"

You know what city has A LOT of bridges? New York City. 39 major bridges and anywhere from 790 to 2,000 bridges in total depending on who you ask. SVU is set in NYC and a large amount of the crime scenes are near bridges. Just sayin'. Next time you're binge-watching SVU at 2 a.m. because nothing else is on, try to imagine Ice-T in bridge pose.

2. Birds of Paradise - "Survivor"

This pose is beautiful when done correctly, but wow is it difficult. "Survivor" is set on a beautiful island, but it's extremely difficult to hunt for food, win challenges, make alliances, and find hidden immunity idols. Plus a lot of the challenges require deep focus and balance, just like this pose. Only the best yogis can outwit, outplay, and outlast in birds of paradise.

3. Running Man - "Breaking Bad"

Nope, no drugs necessary for this pose, just lots of practice, focus, and tricep strength. So how is it similar to "Breaking Bad?" Walter White was running from the Police, DEA, and Uncle Hank for five seasons. Therefore, he is the original running man. Also, in every yoga class, there is an older man who is oddly really good at yoga, and they always seem to look similar to Bryan Cranston. Coincidence? I think not.

4. Headstand - "Project Runway"

Headstand is the most photogenic yoga pose out there. Although it looks difficult, I'll let you in on a little secret... it's not as hard as you think. Just practice and be okay with falling every once in awhile. "Project Runway" designers creature photogenic looks every episode that kills it on the runway and on an Instagram, but just like yogis in headstands, sometimes the designers fail too. As Heidi Klum would say, "in fashion, one day you're in, the next day you're out." So "make it work" designers and yogis and give headstand a try!

5. Child's Pose - "Big Mouth"

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This Netflix show is hilarious! The show stars Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, and Gina Rodriguez. How can you go wrong? You can't. Similar to Child's Pose, you really cannot go wrong because it's arguably the easiest pose in yoga. Plus, "Big Mouth" is about children going through changes and yoga is about change and growth. So pop into Child's Pose and give the animated children of "Big Mouth" a try.

6. Dancer's Pose - "Dancing with the Stars"

Dancer's Pose is another iconic yoga pose, and just like dancing it takes lots of focus and balance to do properly. You also feel like a star when you get to your fullest extension. Also, Dancer's Pose can be a partners pose if you lock arms with someone else and a partner can help you go deeper into the pose. It's the partner that helps the star get better at dancing, just like a partner can help you grow in this yoga pose. Luckily, there is no judging in yoga!

7. Warrior II - "The Office"

Almost every yoga flow includes Warrior II. It is an easy pose, but there are always improvements that need to be made in order to improve form. Similarly, almost everyone goes into the office for work and almost everyone has seen "The Office." The show is addicting and although the concept is extremely simple (just a paper company with normal employees), it's iconicity hilarious and the series continued for nine seasons. We love Warrior II, and we love "The Office" because we wouldn't know what to do without them.

8. Malasana - "Parks and Recreation "

I truly believe you cannot watch just one episode of "Parks and Rec." Every episode flows seamlessly into the next and you need to keep watching to see what Leslie Knope and the people of Pawnee are going to do next. Personally, I can binge this show all day. This is perfect for Malasana because it is a pose that you are supposed to sit in for awhile and the second it becomes comfortable, stretch your legs a little farther and keep sitting! I could watch "Parks and Rec" and sit in Malasana forever.

9. Crow - "Stranger Things"

Getting into this pose is STRANGE. The first time an instructor told me to get into crow I just sat down and laughed, but after more classes and falling on my face a few times, I got it and was hooked. Now it is one of my favorite poses to do and I can always work on improving my form. This pose is similar to "Stranger Things" because to an outsider it is weird, but once people get hooked, they are fans for life. Let's get a little strange. Take a risk and try crow pose, and then sit down and devote 48 minutes to watch the first episode. I promise you will thank me later.

10. Tree - "New Girl"

Jessica Day is the ultimate tree hugger and we love it! Tree is such an easy pose and it is so great for pictures. "New Girl" is such a fun show and it puts a smile on my face. So watch some new girl, smile, and take a picture in tree.

11. Shavasana - "The Great British Baking Show"

This is everyone's favorite pose in yoga! Pretty much every yoga flow ends in Shavasana, where you rest and try to clear your mind (you basically get to take a nap for a few minutes). And what is the most relaxing show ever? "The Great British Baking Show," of course! Yes, it's a competition, but they are British and super polite. In American Reality TV, there are tears and betrayal, but in this show, contestants help each other and the judges are extremely kind. If you ever need to de-stress, watch an episode of "The Great British Baking Show" and then go into Shavasana. Who needs a spa day when you have this relaxation at your fingertips?

It doesn't get much better than yoga and TV. So try a new pose and different show and you will not regret it!

Cover Image Credit:

Abigail Rose Fuller

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