Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Vicks Smart Temp Thermometer

Thanks to Influenster, I got the chance to check out the new Vicks Smart Temp thermometer for free!  
This thing is really cool.  Stepping into the bluetooth world, this thermometer syncs to an app on your smartphone.  Once the app is installed, pairing is as easy as turning on the bluetooth capabilities on the phone and then turning on the thermometer.
 This thermometer can take oral, axiallary and rectal temperatures, simply by choosing which method being used on the phone.  The temperature is displayed within 8 seconds.
 The app is really cool.  It has the ability to set up users within the family, and then under each user there is the ability to track temperatures over time, record any medication given and maintain those records for the life of the app.
 In addition to the temperature taking abilities of the app, there are many options in the menu.  One of my favorites is the chart displaying the temperature ranges in a color code so users can know when they read the temperature where it falls in terms of being safe, mid-range or high.
 There are so many other options in the menu as well.
 This thermometer is small, fitting easily into the palm of my hand.  It is super lightweight, and is comparable to any other thermometer on the market.
 The tip is super flexible, which is awesome when using it with kids!
 Included is a cover for storage when not in use.
I am in love with this thermometer.  Not so much with the fact that I have already had opportunity to use it with all of my children in the past week. but glad I had it.  It is super reliable, quick to record and display the temperature, and so convenient with the app data storing capabilities.  This is a tool I will be recommending to all of my friends for their medicine cabinets.

* I received this product for free to review in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.  All thoughts are my own.

Balance Bath Pillow Review

A new whirlpool tub in my home has been such a blessing, but I have always resorted to using a towel to rest my head on.  Not anymore!  I just got a new bath pillow and am so happy.
 The Balance Bath Pillow is a sturdy, well constructed, soft pillow that has seven suction cups to hold it in place.
 The suction cups are so strong that it has not moved from the spot I put it in when I first got it.  Even when the suction cups were dry, it stuck and I have not seen any indication of it sliding around.  Multiple baths with bubbles and jets have not affected it either.
 The design of my tub and the position I desire to have the pillow in found me using only five of the suction cups, and yet the pillow stayed put.  It did not affect the function of the pillow at all.
This pillow offers shoulder, neck and head support.  There is plenty of cushion to make it comfortable in any position.  It is also plenty big to support any user, with a wide pillow and shoulder pad that fits men and women.  Made of a soft vinyl covering that stands up to water and wipes clean easily.  I definitely recommend this pillow.

You can find it here

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

Galaxy Buck: Mission To Sector 9 Review & Giveaway


In a new adventure from "What's In the Bible" creator Phil Vischer, the familiar character Buck Denver embarks on a new adventure with many familiar faces. I got the chance to check it out before it was released, and I was impressed.
A space adventure that appeals to parents with it's fun references to Star Wars and Star Trek, it appeals equally to the kids with the fun characters, silliness and adventure they love.  A clear message can be learned by even the young watchers.

My five year old really enjoyed this video.  While not a space adventure fan, she found opportunity to laugh, question, learn and enjoy.  She walked away from watching, and a few hours later I found her making a poster like the one at the end of the video, so she could hang it in her room and remember that God wants her.  She picked up on so much more than I expected, and I was thrilled about that!

Not necessarily a Star Trek or Star Wars fan myself, I have been exposed to it through my husband many times and picked up on several funny references, so I found myself enjoying this video for the lessons it was teaching my kids as well as the entertainment factor.

Phil Vischer does a fantastic job of reaching kids with his characters, and keeps them engaged with the kid humor as well as the lessons they learn.  Another win in my book, and a video I will definitely be recommending to my friends.

About the movie:
Buck Denver has a simple dream - to save the galaxy.  Working for the Galactic Mission Board, Buck dreams of carrying God's love to every corner of the Milky Way!  Except he doesn't have a starship.  Or a crew.  Or even a captain's license.  He just needs a chance.  But when that chance comes and Buck finds himself leading a real mission into deep space, things don't go at ALL like he imagined!  If he's doing what God wants him to do, why is everything going wrong?  From VeggieTales® and What's in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer, Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9 is a wild, galactic adventure that teaches kids a powerful lesson about trusting God with everything - even our dreams! 
Run time: Approximately 40 minutes 

You can check out the trailer here


So, here's the cool thing:  I get to give away a copy to one of my readers.  Simply leave a comment below telling me who your favorite character is, or if you are new to these characters, who you hope to win this video for.  Good luck!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Snug Cat Litter Mat Review

Two cats in the house + three litter boxes for them to share = lots of tracked litter around the basement.

One of the big annoyances in my home is this tracked litter in the basement.  Despite my constant vacuuming and rugs placed in front of the litter boxes, I am endlessly cleaning up the cat litter. Now, that battle has gotten a lot easier.  Enter the Snug Cat Litter Mat...
 This thing is big!  plenty big to fit my litter box in the center with room all the way around to track litter as the cat steps out.
 Backed with a smooth rubber to keep it from slipping, it stays where it belongs.  The front is a woven rubber/plastic material with loops to snag the litter pieces and trap them in place.
 Now what was a constant mess around the litter box...
 Is contained, and this cat owner can relax a little.
Easy to clean up, any litter tracked onto this mat can be easily shaken off, swept or vacuumed.  Yet, it grabs the pieces to keep them from spreading.  A soft texture that is soothing to my hands, it is comfortable for cats to walk on.  No obnoxious odor or plastic smell, it comes out of the package ready to go to work.

You can find this mat for yourself here

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

Plug n Play Kids Headphones Review

I have recently discovered the need for an option to have quiet listening for my oldest, who is beginning school and sometimes needs to hear sight words on the iPad.  With the chaos of younger kids in the house, it is difficult for her to focus.  When these headphones arrived, she was thrilled!

Very simply made, with no bells or whistles, these headphones are great for kids.
While on the flimsy side of things as far as how they feel, they function well.  Simply plug them in, fit them on the child's head with the adjustable headband, and hit play.  They contain the sound well and do equally well blocking out external noise.  The ear covers fit well over the child's ear, and I like that they are not internal ear buds, which can do damage to ears much easier than this format.
My one complaint with this product is that the ear pads easily come off, as my toddler has proven over and over.  They go back on easily enough, but are not attached any further than to fit around the speaker.  I remedied that with a bit of hot glue around the edge, and now they are working well for my family.  I'm not sure how long these will last because they do feel cheap, but since they don't cost much to begin with, I'm not out much if I do need to replace them.  

You can find a pair for yourself here

* I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Portable Bluetooth Outdoor/Waterproof Speaker

I love having the ability to play my music through a Bluetooth speaker.  One of the things I can't do much with my current Bluetooth speaker is take it outside for fear of it getting dirt inside, wet, or even dropped.  Thankfully, I now have an option!
 The Soundfit speaker by AYL (Accessorize Your Life) is a handy little speaker that packs a big punch.  Complete with a storage bag and the cords needed for connecting and charging, it comes in a perfect little package.
I love this little speaker and it's big volume.  There is no need to have it cranked indoor, it is just too loud.  Outside, it can be heard well from quite a distance away.  This speaker has up to 12 hours of continuous battery life and recharges in a quick 3-4 hours with the included micro-USB cable.  It also comes with an adapter cable so the device you wish to play from can be connected if Bluetooth capabilities are not available.  Both ports are conveniently hidden under a panel that easily removes for access.
The bottom of the speaker has a spot that could be screwed onto a tripod for mounting.
Buttons are all protected under the case, but push easily with little effort.  With this speaker, you can power up, adjust volume, and even answer phone calls.
It also has a handy strap attached for hanging in the shower, on a bike handle, or anywhere else you might find.

The speaker works up to 33 feet away, giving you a good range with Bluetooth active.  It is universally compatible and easily pairs with any Bluetooth device.  Once the speaker is turned on, pairing is as easy as selecting the device.  With my phones, it quickly located and connected to them, without any fuss on my part.

One of my complaints is in advertising.  It is indeed NOT waterproof, but water resistant.  It is able to withstand a drop in the water if retrieved quickly.  The speaker can withstand a low pressure water stream from any angle, so the shower or a light rain should not hurt it.  I chose to play it safe and use it in the bathroom, knowing that the humidity would not harm the speaker.  

I am also a bit disappointed in the volume at which it chimes when powering on/off or pairing.  It cannot be adjusted and is very loud.  However, this little speaker is heavy duty and durable.  My kids have already put it to the test, dropping it on several surfaces and from different heights and it still works just great.

3 Year Warranty

You can find this speaker here

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

Spreading the Word: Seventh Generation

I have the opportunity to be a part of some great things going on with Seventh Generation.

Seventh Generation Baby Wipes
I was able to get some samples of their wipes to try and share. These wipes are designed with baby and mother nature in mind, so one can feel a little better about a baby care product that gets thrown away.  Safe for little ones, they are free from fragrance, parabens, pthalates, alcohol and dyes.
My Review:

Like Them, Wish I Loved Them

I like these wipes for their attempt at being safer and more natural in comparison to the other companies on the market. The wipes are better than ok, but not the best, unfortunately. I like some of the competition better for their strength, durability and longevity. If these could be built a little stronger I would be all in, but for general easy clean ups (not heavy duty diaper messes) they will get you buy and leave you feeling like you have done something good for your baby and the environment.
I received a free product for the purpose of my review. Opinions are 100% my own."

Get Unsafe Chemicals Off Store Shelves

I am also participating in a campaign to make people, especially lawmakers, more aware of the need to regulate and eliminate toxic chemicals from the market.  Below is the call to action from the Generation Good Community:

The Senate is likely to review the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), which regulates toxic chemicals, shortly after they return to Washington.
This is your chance to be heard! Join Seventh Generation, and other health and environmental advocates, in reaching out to your Senators to call for meaningful changes to the updated TSCA law.
Tell your Senator that any TSCA reform legislation must contain provisions that:
1) protects the rights of states to regulate toxic chemicals; 2) immediately gets the worst, most toxic chemicals off the market; and 3) prioritizes identifying and reviewing the most high-risk chemicals first.
It's unacceptable that legislation would be considered without these common sense elements. Tell your Senator that reform should only go forwards, not backwards.
Join us and our partners the Breast Cancer Fund to tell our leaders it's time for real toxic chemical reform.

You can contact U.S. Senators from your state to let them know that you want meaningful change to the chemical regulation standards last set in 1976.
Step 1 - Email your Senators NOW to tell the senate we want strong TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) reform!
Step 3 - Copy and paste their handles into the Twitter Sharing tool below with your message and tweet them to show how much you care!
Sample tweet: @senatorsname I'm a mom who wants toxic chemical laws fixed! Support stronger TSCA reform, please!

Join me and the Generation Good Community in spreading the word!

Cheap Chic

Cheap Chic: Hundreds of Money-Saving Hints to Create Your Own Great Look
by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy

The 40th Anniversary Edition of Cheap Chic has recently been released, with a Foreword written by Tim Gunn.  This book was originally published in 1975 and looked to as a classic guide for finding clothes to make one feel comfortable and fashionable, regardless of where the clothing items are purchased.  Forty years later, it is promoted as providing advice to build an affordable wardrobe that can help one make their own fashion statement without breaking the bank.  Original vintage photos along with advice from noted fashion icons fill the pages.

I was interested in this book because I do not have the income to afford new clothes and seldom have the opportunity to shop for clothing at all.  I was hoping to find money saving options and advice to help me fit in the world of fashionable clothing without needing to start over.  Sadly, I am very disappointed in this book.  I am admittedly not a fashion world follower, nor am I one to follow trends.  However, I read the pages of this book hoping to find those tidbits of helpful information as the book claimed to help guide the wardrobe regardless of where the item was purchased, even thrift stores.  

Essentially, the outdated pictures detract from the information, and it felt like I was flipping through an old magazine at my grandma's.  What I learned was what I already knew - dress in what makes you feel comfortable, define your own style and shop within your means.  So, no big revelations there.  I can't say that I learned anything about how to look fashionable and I definitely did not discover "hundreds of money saving hints to create my own great look".

This book is a huge let down for anyone who is not into fashion models and designers.  A waste of my time reading it and a book headed to the thrift store itself.  Don't waste your time unless you are a contestant on "America's Next Top Model".

If you are interested in checking it out, you can do so here or through the publisher.

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review, thanks to the Blogging For Books program.

iClever® 4.8A 24W Dual USB Travel Wall Charger

We have a lot of Apple products in our home, so the charger battle is a regular occurrence.  When we travel, it is a problem sometimes to find enough outlets or to even remember enough chargers.  Thankfully, a bit of help is available to us now.  I recently purchased this dual USB travel wall charger and we now have twice the charging capability from a single outlet.
 The iClever charger comes in a compact design, complete with a lightning cable.  When not in use, it folds up into a little cube.  When one is ready to use it, the prongs simply flip out and it is ready to be plugged in.  Plug your USB cord into one of the two ports and charging begins.
 The dual USB ports are really handy, freeing up valuable outlet space.  The included "SmartID" technology claims to recognize your device to maximize charging efficiency.  I don't know how to review or back that claim up other than to tell you this is what the seller claims.
This product comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, a 12 month replacement warranty and a lifetime support guarantee.  With that, it's a safe bet to try one out.  You can find them here.

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

75 Feet Expandable Garden Hose Review

I do a lot of gardening and yard work in the summer, so a reliable garden hose is always necessary for me.  Recently, I had the chance to try this expandable garden hose.
 I had already tried a similar hose from a different manufacturer and was pleased with it - until recently when I tried to use it and found it's inner hose burst despite it being stored empty.  Sad day for me, because I really like the convenience of these hoses.  So, when I got the opportunity to try a new one, I took it.

This hose already starts out better because it comes with a spray nozzle, where others just come with the hose.
 An 8 function sprayer, it is not anything special or fancy, just your basic plastic model, but for general around the house stuff, it works just fine.
 The hose comes with brass ends, which is much better than other hoses with plastic ends.  These feel strong enough to last, not cheap and definitely will not break or crack if dropped.
The hose starts out 25 feet coiled up.  Once filled with water, it expands to 75 feet in a matter of minutes.  Once the hose is filled, it is ready to use and will continue to fill as it is being used.  Once the work is done, simply let the water out and the hose re-coils for storage. 

This style of hose is really convenient!  No kinks, bends or bulges that interfere with water flow.  They are lightweight and easy to pull around the yard, and durable enough to be drug over rocks, sticks and other obstacles without causing damage.  I love that it stores so neatly and that I don't have to fuss with coiling it back up carefully or needing to find a hook to hang it on.  So far, I am very pleased with this hose and have hopes that it lasts me several gardening seasons.

You can check this one out for yourself here.

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