Monday, April 20, 2015

Epic Belle Comfort Grip Crochet Hooks Review

I enjoy crocheting from time to time, often making baby items like christening gowns and blankets.  The process is time consuming for sure, but I often get cramped hands after a time from the repetitive motion and need to hold such a small tool for so long.  I recently had the chance to try some new hooks and have really enjoyed the results.
This crochet set by Epic Belle comes with all of the basic hooks.  9 sizes total (2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 and 5 millimeter) with Comfort Grip color coded handles.
The hooks are well marked, in mm, with an indented number right in the rubber, so sizes are easy to see.  A conversion chart is available at purchase to translate the mm into US sizes as needed.
Hooks are well made, with all edges smooth and rounded so there are no places to catch on yarn.  The aluminum shaft goes through the rubber case for stability as well.
They are easy to hold with a rubber coating that is non-slip.  Comfortable to use and fatigue reducing, these things are a nice upgrade to my regular aluminum crochet hooks that cause callouses and hand cramps.

You can find these crochet hooks here

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.

Clearviewlight Camping Headgear Set Review & Giveaway

As summer approaches, my mind is on planning the first camping trip of the season.  This year, we are upping our game when it comes to lighting, dropping the heavy battery draining hand-held flashlights for headlamps and LEDs.  I recently added a new headlamp to my camping supplies...
The Clearviewlight headlamp is a nice little light!  It is lightweight and comfortable to wear.  It is durable and sturdy.
This light comes without batteries and needs to be assembled, as the lamp is not attached to the head band.
Installing batteries in the headlamp is easy.  The light snaps open to reveal the battery compartment, which requires 3 AAA batteries.
Once batteries are in place, this light has four functions.  By pressing the button on top once, the center white lights comes on in bright mode.  A second press of the button dims the white light some.
Pressing the button three times activates the red side lights.  A fourth press of the button turns on red flashers.  One final press of the button turns the light off.

I like how this light functions in comparison to the headlamp I reviewed previously in that the button cycles through all functions and does not require a combination of pushes or holding the button down to switch functions. I also like the ability for this light to tilt, giving users the option to adjust the direction of the beam from straight forward to the ground, depending on need.  The headband has plenty of stretch and adjustablility as well.

The bonus mini light that comes with this headlamp is cheap junk, in my opinion.  It does not come with a battery, or instructions for that matter, so I had to open it up to even determine why it might not turn on to learn it needs a button battery, though there is no indication what size.
Once open for battery installation (which I did not have on hand to try out), this light comes apart too easily and feels very cheap.
Aside from not coming with any instructions and the cheap add on light, I am very pleased with the headlamp and glad to have it for future camping trips.

You can get a set for yourself here

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review


a Rafflecopter giveaway

All Queens Chess Review

Another new game from Think Fun!

All Queens Chess is a twist on classic Chess.  This game is played with all queen pieces.
Targeted for players 8+, this 2 player game is a strategy game that requires players to plan their moves carefully.  The goal of the game is to get four queens in a row.  Like in chess, the Queen can move any direction (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) and any number of squares.  The main difference is that no pieces can be captured.
Not much of a chess player, I was a little concerned I would not be able to play this game.  Not so!  Think expanded Tic-Tac-Toe with moving pieces.  Set up is very simple, and play is equally easy.  Once the pieces are placed on the 25 square board, players determine who will move first and play begins.  Players simply take turns moving their color piece, trying to line up four in a row in any direction.  Pieces can move in a straight line any direction, any number of spaces, provided there is nothing in the way. Pieces cannot jump or capture another player's piece.  

Following these simple rules, game play is as varied as the players and their skill levels.  My daughter is able to play with her friend in several short games, while my husband and I can make a single game last over 10 minutes.  There is really no end to the possibility or the fun with this game.
I have really enjoyed playing this game, and have become admittedly a little addicted to it.  This is the perfect game to take along on trips, for a rainy day, or for game night.  Nearly anyone can play this game, and it is near the top of my current favorite games.

Retail price for this game is only $12.99.  You can find it online here

I received this game for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Houdini Review

Yay!  Another awesome game just arrived at my house from ThinkFun.  This time, Houdini is the name they have given to the fun.
Designed for players ages 8 to adult, this game plays of the intrigue of Harry Houdini.  40 puzzles involving rope, rings and a lock to secure the miniature Houdni himself allow the player to work through challenges to free Houdini, and without cheating!

Each puzzle gets increasingly more difficult, and take more time to solve.  Players start with puzzle one, which is an easy puzzle, and work their way through challenges increasing to intermediate and then expert.

I thought I was smarter than this game, that I could solve a more difficult puzzle starting out, so I set up puzzle number 11

I messed with this puzzle on and off for much of the afternoon, spending a few minutes each time trying to work out how to get Houdini free.  I finally gave up.  There is some serious challenge in working out these puzzles!  Thankfully, for those like myself who get stuck and need to know the answer, there are video solutions available at Think Fun that show the way to solve each puzzle.

This game offers players hours of fun, solo and as a group.  My friends and family have already spent considerable time working out these puzzles and have enjoyed challenging one another over who can solve it quicker.

Available for $19.99, this is a game worth the cost to add to your game cupboard.

You can check out a video here

Go get one for yourself through ThinkFun or Amazon

I received this game for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Priority Chef Knife Sharpener Review

I am a novice at sharpening knives, but am learning quick and getting much better cuts thanks to my new knife sharpener.
 This sharpener creates a concave point as opposed to a straight v shaped edge.  The benefit, it claims, is an extra sharpness that aids in even better cutting.
A non-slip base and comfortable handle make using the sharpener easy.

2 easy steps is all it takes to get a sharp blade. Begin at Step 1 (as marked on the shapener), where 3-4 pulls of the dull knife across the tungsten carbide blades shapes the edge.
Ceramic wheels at Step 2 finish off the knife, giving it a super sharp edge and finishes it off.  
 This thing really works!  I had some very dull knives around my house that I had just been limping along.  A couple of passes through the first step and I had metal shavings.  Maybe I ran it through a little to forcefully, but if that is the case you barely have to put the blade against the carbide, it is that good.
 A few passes over the second step and you have sharp knives again.  It is super easy and super quick!
This sharpener cannot be used with serrated or ceramic knives, but for all other basic steel knives, this is a great tool to have in the kitchen.

You can get one for yourself here.  They currently sell for $14.95, but will be increasing in price closer to $20 in the near future.  To help you get one at a great deal, you can save $5 on the list price by entering the following code:


I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.

Laser Maze Jr. Review

Yet another fun and challenging game is available from my favorite game makers, Think Fun.  Meet Laser Maze Jr.!
Laser Maze Jr. is created with kids ages 6-12 in mind, but is a fun game for adults too.

Players simply choose a challenge card (40 possible, ranging from easy to super hard) and then sets up their satellite mirrors and tokens on the game board to get the laser beam to light up the rocket targets.
 The laser is kid friendly, which is a winner for any parent, and allows kids to explore and learn as they play.  Players must use logic and a little creativity and critical thinking to determine how to get the laser beam to the rocket while avoiding space rocks than can block the beam and halt progress.
My kids and I had fun learning how to play this game!  Even my littles had a good time exploring the lasers and trying to work out solutions.  My 5 year old took to the game pretty quickly and was very curious to discover how it worked.  Bonus for me is that this game is well crafted and durable, as my three year old is not so cautious and it got dropped in an argument over who got to play it.  Regardless, nothing broke and it still works perfectly.

You can't go wrong with this game.

You can check it out through ThinkFun or on Amazon

* I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.