Saturday, December 31, 2016

Keepin Things Dry

When I saw the WaterProof Dry Bag from #Aulker up for a #ProductReview I had to check it out. My first impression was that it was huge! I had an idea of what 15 litres is, but now I have a concrete size in my head.

The Dry Bag is touted to be waterproof, but I have yet to have the chance to test that claim. I plan to do it asap and will update this post when I do.

This bag is very simple to use. All you do is fill it, leaving room to fold the bar three times, and then fold the bar three times. Then you take the plastic clasps on each end of the bar and connect them. It also comes with a nylon strap that is simple to clasp to the three d-rings that are connected on the ends of the bar as well as towards the base of the bag.

What is really neato is the see-through
pocket that is inside the bag. The size of the pocket will fot most "flagship" smartphones such as the Note or iPhone. Right above that pocket on the inside of the bag is an audio cable. This cable connects to an audio port on the outside of the bag so you won't have to miss your "stories" when river rafting. Just plug your phone into the cable inside and plug your headphones into the port on the outside.

You can see my video review of this bag on my YouTube channel.

This is something I would recommend. As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

QC Tumbled Down On The Job

I am not impressed with the Stainless Steel Double Walled Lowball Tumbler from #titangearonline. I really wanted to like this tumbler because I love my stainless steel cups and straws, but there are some major flaws with this tumbler.

On my YouTube channel you can see the video I made of the unboxing. From a marketing standpoint the logo is well made and distinct enough to create the brand and the feel of it. The box is well made and the space on it is nicely used. It looks like the box has been moved around a lot due to the scuff marks and the crush marks. But the box is still in pretty good condition.

When I take the tumbler out of the box I see some issues with it. There are a few places where it is smooth to the touch but uneven to the eye. There is at least one pit that I can see right off the bat. And it looks like there are a few scratches like I did not get a new one or their qc process needs help.
The most noticeable quality issue is on the lip of the tumbler. This is the best photo I could get of the uneven area that runs along the lip for about two inches.

There is supposeed to be a lifetime (of the original purchaser) guarantee that I will be attempting to use. This tumbler, as is, is not something I would want to use myself and really would not feel comortable using it with company. If this is where the story ends, I do not recommend this product.

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

There Is No Short Straw

There may not be a short straw in this set of 6 (two of each size) from #Chefast, but there are different reasons to have this selection in your utensil drawer. You can find this set of straws here and I recommend them. In the below photo I placed them next to a standard paper wrapped plastic straw I picked up at a fast food place.

These stainless steel straws are very nice for those who want to get away from the disposable plastic ones for health or conservation reasons. I really like them because Jasmine does not. Socks (the cat we had to put down earlier this year) would actually steal plastic straws from drinks we would bring home. In the middle of the night we would hear the sound of a plastic straw being slooooooowly pulled out of a to go drink cup if we had forgotten to throw it away...or even if we just weren't looking! Anyway, these straws hold no appeal to our cat now which means we won't find a cache of them under some large piece of furniture.

The three sizes are in length as well as width. If you like your smoothies and milkshakes thick or with chunks, you'll want to use the wider one. If you like tall glasses, use the taller one. It's not rocket science, but try to choose what works for you. I did try the tallest one in a 1 ltr soda bottle and it did not reach out of the mouth of the bottle at all but was level with the top. With a rubberband and some ingenuity, it could work if necessary.

I like that they come in a bag just because I like to have a place for everything. The little brush (not pictured) that it comes with is nice for anything that might get stuck and dried on. However these are stainless steel and should not rust. I have yet to test the theory. I suggest you throw them in the utensil holder in the dishwasher to get them clean and sparkly again.

As I said at the beginning, I do recommend these for anyone who wants to cut down on waste or does not want to drink from plastic. As always I did receive this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Ice Spheres Reqire Planning

Here you see the top of the Ice Ball Sphere Mold from #barbratlove that I was sent for a #ProductReview. I think this is a neat little gadget and good for a special occasion. It is not, however, good for everyday use.

You can see it opened here and it kind of gives you an idea of the size. I found that once the balls were frozen the silicone did make them easier to unmold. But getting them filled up enough without spilling needed a strong base such as a metal cookie sheet. And to get them frozen took a good amount of time. This is not something that you can do at a whim, it takes planning.

If you desire to have the ability to make a maximum of 4 ice spheres at time then this is for you. I have not honestly used it since the first time and it is just taking up space in my kitchen.

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Big Appetites need an Extra Large Insulated Lunch Bag

Also good for several people or meals for normal appetites. I was very pleased with the Extra Large Insulated Lunch Bag that I was sent for a #ProductReview. I had the brilliant idea to use the bento portion control meal box set I had just reviewed to show how much could really fit into this huge bag. Check out the video below

An entire week of meals (or one meal for seven people) could easily be transported in this insulated bag! The front pocket is well made and the elastic on the side is a wonderful touch. I did briefly show the side handle in the video but I wanted to point it out again. The side handle allows the bag to be carried sideways in case the food being transported does not fit well when the bag is upright. Nice design addition and well made.

Well done, designers!

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Instructions, PLEASE

I was asked yesterday how many product I had reviewed this year. I checked on my amazon order profile and saw that I had ordered over 1100 items in 2016. I would have to say that at least 95% of them were for reviews and I used a coupon code to get them for a very reduced rate or even free.

Within those 1100+ products I would have to estimate that only HALF of them came with instructions. Now, I do have to say that there are some items that do not require instructions for use. Like socks. But if they are special socks and can't just be thrown in the clothes washer with the rest of my laundry, then I would still expect some kind of care instructions.

So, I get this nifty looking #BackPostureCorrector for a #ProductReview (at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion) and it comes with NO INSTRUCTIONS. I mean, nothing. I'm usually pretty good at figuring things out without instructions, but this one baffles me. I can't figure out how to get it on, how to use it or if it might just sprout wings and fly off by itself.

Not impressed and I do not recommend this.

If you want to try this out for yourself you can find it here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Name is Kate...

...and I'm addicted to Bluetooth speakers. Luckily I get them at a discount or free (like this one) in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion and #ProductReview.

I always have my phone with me and prefer to listen to music with apps like Pandora when I'm out. It's a good thing I have T-Mobile with their BingeOn program and unlimited data. Otherwise I would only be able to use these Bluetooth speakers when talking on the phone. Yes, you *can* use a Bluetooth speaker as a speaker phone in your vehicle or elsewhere.

I'm sure you're wondering which #PortableBluetoothSpeakers of which I am speaking today. That is the Ancord speaker found here. I decided to play a song of which I am very familiar through this speaker while on the road. The song played just fine through my phone but as soon as I connected to the speaker it came out very strangely. See below:
As you hopefully can experience through the above video, the song was split into different parts. One line of it was going the correct speed while another line would speed up and then slow down or pause altogether. It made for an interesting listening experience, but I wanted to hear it as it was made. In the video you should see, at the end, that my phone was only a few feet away from me. This should not have happened and, honestly, I don't even understand the mechanics of HOW it could happen.

Let's pretend the warped playing of the song didn't happen. I'll just look at the speaker itself, because there could have been something wrong happening with Pandora, although I doubt it. 

So, I charge the speaker and it does not take long. I turn it on and the voice has some issues. One, it is difficult to understand. It is not an American voice so the accent on the English does affect the understanding. If I could get past that there are two other issues with the voice that I just could not. The quality of the voice is so sub par that it sounds like the person speaking is doing so while swallowing water, or with a swollen vocal box or underwater. It just is not good. Then you have the improper words being used like, "

With all that being said, there are some positives to this speaker. I love that it is water resistant (although I have not tested this) and shock proof, which I have tested. Accidentally, By being me and dropping it several times. The port cover for the power connection and other stuff is nicely designed. It opens and closes quite securely and is attached by a silicone connection. I love that the cover itself is sturdy and not susceptible to warping (and therefore negating the water resistance) like silicone is. The speaker does take a memory card which is pretty cool, too.

Honestly the negatives far outweigh the positives for this little speaker. I cannot recommend it.

Multimeters for Everyone

Everyone should have a Digital Multimeter. I was lucky enough to have #Metertech send me one for a #ProductReview.

The first thing I noticed out of the box was that it came with a battery already installed. The exterior of the box shows it comes with a battery but nit that it is installed. At one point, before I decided to try to turn it on, I thought the battery had been forgotten.

The instructions included are detailed but assume a level of base knowldge that an average person might not have. When explaining what items I could test with this multimeter it was assumed I knew which category a battery fell under. You can see my unbixing and initial testing below.

The multimeter works well and I like how secure the connections to the testing probes are, but I would have liked a cover for ezch probe. A case that could keep the probes and the multimeter together would have been a nice addition.

This is something I would recommend to someone who had a base knowledge of electricity and multimetrs, not a novice who only wants to test batteries to see if they still work.

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bright Lights and Big Cables

I am really needing some help with my "witty" attempts at post titles.

Anyway, I thought today would be a great day to head out to a lunch at the local Cafe Zupas and to put together a #ProductReview or four. The staff at Cafe Zupas were game to help me unravel the Leapair Curtain Lights in an attempt to get a photo or two. Well, I took a video of the unraveling (and if anyone knows how to make it so the video plays in fast forward, please let me know!) and uploaded it to my YouTube channel. I also have a video of the unboxing and a few photos I'll share here.

This shows the end result of the unraveling once the length of the curtain was gathered into the hands of one of the staff members at Cafe Zupas. By the way, awesome food here!

One aspect that really impressed my assistants was the different modes that the LED could be run. The photo here shows the control box and the different modes that are available. The following quick videos shows the different modes being played as well as a pan of the length of this curtain.

I was impressed with several of the features of this curtain but there were a few negatives, too. First, this is not a one person job. When the instructions say "easy installation" I expect to be able to install this myself. As you can see in the really long YouTube video, four people and five minutes of work was not enough to get this curtain ready for use. Secondly I expected it to have the light strands closer together and be more like a bead curtain you place in your doorway. That being said, if this were used in a backdrop of a wedding or even a photo booth, the effect would be stunning.

I like this curtain and would recommend it IF the photos on the amazon listing were more detailed and really showed what it looked like by itself. And, if the instructions that say "easy installation" were modified to be more realistic. You can find the Lepair Curtain Light here.

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Chalk Markers that SPARKLE?!?

I love anything that sparkles. I also love anything that allows me to mark on markers. (Normally I am a bit more witty, but I'm running on a half glass of hot chocolate, so bear with me) I was very excited to try out the Liquid Chalk Markers from GReen Day for a #ProductReview.

These markers remind me of paint pens because they have the metal ball bearing inside each marker in order to help you mix up the chalk paint before use. They also have some of the same design qualities of paint pens like the need to release the pressure before using the first time by pushing down on the nub. Well, I could go into more detail about the first use of the pen but you can watch my video of it on my YouTube channel. Or you can just view the video below.

I have to say I am more than impressed with these markers. They work well, although they are slow to get going. I was surprised that the gold and silver, which are notoriously off color in most paint pens, were not only true to the color but also SPARKLY! The only potential problem that I have yet to encounter would be how long they last

These are chalk markers that I can totally recommend!

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Charger, Charger, Who Has the Charger?!?

Finding an empty USB port for charging can be difficult nowadays. And don't get me started on the single plug in that comes with almost every device. That just is not enough to power my phone, tablet, flip camera, bluetooth headsets, bluetooth speakers, bluetooth remotes, portable batteries and anything else that always needs to be charged. This is why I have a few of the 5-port hubs just for charging. I also have a few multi port hubs that attach to my computer so I can easily charge and transfer information.

So I received the #UsbChargerStation from Freewise for a #ProductReview. My unboxing and initial thoughts can be seen in the video below from my insta account.

Honestly it does not seem any different from my other multi port hubs. It works, the cord is standard and my items get charged. I do not know to what the "smart" designation refers. This seems to be a good charger and pretty standard price wise. If anything changes or if I notice any fast charging happening, I'll update this post.

As always I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ski Like You Mean It

I remember the first time I went skiing. I was about 14 and could not understand why I had to wear sunscreen. If you don't know, I grew up in Houston where we did not have snow, we had slush. And when it did get cold enough for the slush to stay on the ground, the weather was always grey. Fast forward to that first day at Angelfire, NM and I could not believe how bright it was! The sun was out even though it was freezing and the sunlight bounced right off the bright white snow. I really wish I had some good ski goggles then. And a baklava...

Today I was so pleased and excited to try out the Double Lens Goggles from #CoziaDesign which also came with a baklava...imagine that! You can see a slightly off-center video of me trying them on for the first time and even quickly changing the lenses here on my YouTube channel.

A bit later I tried the goggles on without the baklava later and was pleased that they fit just as comfortably with and without the cloth. I was concerned that my hair would be an issue. Either the head band would slide or it would catch. If you look closely at the photo on the left you can see a set of wavy lines. Those are made with a silicone bead that is supposed to give a better grip. I am pleased to pronounce that they did not pull out my hair and also kept the band from slipping around on my hair so the goggles can be comfortably used without the baklava.

These goggles come with two lenses which connect easily and securely using magnets. I was not expecting the change of lenses to be so easy and thought I might have to press them in firmly. But you just pop one out by pressing on the inside and then pop the other on just by getting it close enough to the frame for the magnets to engage. Everything fits in the drawstring pouch and they even threw in a microfiber lens cloth.

And for the bonus points, I don't look like a goober either!

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I would totally purchase these at full price for the next skiing adventure, if I didn't already have them.