Sep 17

Tony & Candice (TM) 100% Silk Extra Long Oblong Scarf ★★★★★

TONY&CANDICE(TM) 100% Silk Extra Long Oblong Scarf,70.8″L*47″W (Colur 2)

I’ve seen pretty scarves before, but the Tony & Candice Silk Scarf took my breath away. I keep thinking I need to go buy an outfit to go with the scarf.

It’s sheer, in the most sophisticated warm fall colors. Think greens, oranges, yellows. The size is large enough to cover like a shawl, wrap around like a headscarf, or wear it around the neck like a traditional scarf. It’s gorgeous. I love it.

This product was provided for review by T&C Mall.

Sep 17

Kevenz Senior Cell Phone ★★★★★

Kevenz Senior Cell Phone, SOS Button, Unlocked GSM 2G Elderly mobile Phones -Brown-KM300BROWN

My husband gets so flustered with smartphones. We have one dumb phone, but it’s not dumb enough for him. Not long ago, he was cursing that the volume was set too low and he couldn’t figure out how to adjust it. I knew the Kevenz Senior Cell Phone was the phone for him.

This is one rugged phone. It’s bigger than our other dumb phone – the better to grip, the better to see the number pad. Large numbers, they are. All raised, so he could operate by touch, and it speaks every number so he could do it blindfolded.

Large display. He doesn’t need glasses to read it.

OTHER NOTABLE FACTS:

SOS BUTTON: It’s on the back of the phone. This button has to be programmed, and it’s not intuitive how to do that.  In fact, I can’t figure out how to do it.  It’s not in the instruction sheet.  An alarm sounds and it wants to dial, but that won’t happen until the senior selects “options” and then “call.”  You’d think 9-1-1 would be programmed in by the factory and that it would automatically dial.  Nope.  The numeral 1 is preprogrammed in.  Also, the SOS button is camouflaged.  For these glaring flaws: -1 star.

Better to just call 9-1-1.

DUAL SIM CARD SLOTS: I’m not sure I’ve ever needed one, and I think an elderly person looking for simplicity would be too confused by dual cards. I’m using an Airvoice Wireless SIM card in one slot and leaving the other one empty.  It works flawlessly.

TF SLOT: Located under the battery. It’s not easy to access. On the other hand, is it necessary? We have the option of using the phone’s memory. For someone who wants to use a dumb phone, that’s probably sufficient.  I put a card in, because I always fill up memory slots when available.

TEXT, PHONEBOOK, CAMERA: These are all available through a tree menu. Honestly, I didn’t bother, because anyone wanting a dumb phone will not want to use the phone for photos and texts. It’s much easier to use a smartphone for that. Even knowing how to do it, I find it clunky and a complete turnoff. That would be true of my other dumb phone. It’s the nature of the beast.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Love it. Phone calls are easy to make and receive. Calls come in loud and clear. This would be a good phone for children, also, when you don’t want them using up data. Trust me. They would be embarrassed to use this for anything but phone calls. Even texting, though doable, is out of the question. It’s a phone. It makes phone calls, and it does that well.

My only wish is  they replace the proprietary charging cord with a micro USB charging cord. Proprietary cords are easy to lose and difficult to replace. Put one of those in the hands of a forgetful senior and it may not last long.

This product was provided for review by Kevenz.

Sep 17

Simply Beautiful Tangle Teaser Brush ★★★☆☆

Simply Beautiful Tangle Teaser Brush – Professional Detangling Hairbrush – Pink, Black, Purple, Blue or Green (Black)

This Tangle Teaser Brush has bristles of different lengths. Its handle will fill up the grip of one hand.

I’ve been using the brush daily, and while it doesn’t pull hair, neither does it seem to dig into the hair. I feel like I’m brushing just the surface. If I push to get deeper, the bristles scratch my scalp. It’s not my favorite brush, but brushing afterwards with my preferred brush doesn’t catch a whole lot of little missed tangles. I guess it works.

This product was provided for review by Second Glance Beauty.

Sep 17

J.S. Hanger Superior Gugertree Wooden Wide Shoulder Coat Hanger ★★★★★

J.S. Hanger™Superior Gugertree Wooden Wide Shoulder Coat Hanger, Women Clothing Hangers with Polished Chrome Hook, Attractive Walnut Finish

I put these J.S. Hangers™ to use from the day I received them. They are gorgeous finished wood, perfect for suits. Nice weight, and very classy. Too bad there’s no bottom bar to hold his pants, but that’s okay.

These are hangers I’d use for special occasion clothing, suits and large coats. They are too bulky to fill up a closet, unless you have a huge closet or not much to hang.

This product was provided for review by Appearances International.

Sep 17

Vinsic Classic 5000mah Power Bank ★★★★★

Vinsic Classic 5000mah Power Bank, 1A External Mobile Charger Pack Battery for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung Nokia Devices, Cell Phones, Tablet PCs (Black)

I love this power bank. Really, I do. It is ultra-slim, lightweight, and so attractive. At 5000 mAh, it can give my HTC One M8 a full charge and still have a little bit left over to charge my Kindle Fire HD 8.9” tablet 9%. Impressive.

I like power banks that easily fit in my pocket or purse. I like the rubberized texture that resists fingerprints. I like the capacity to fully charge my phone. Only one USB port . . . well, we can’t all be perfect. I would recommend Vinsic Classic to all my friends. It’s that nice.

This product was provided for review by Vinsic.

Sep 17

D’Addario Reserve Alto Saxophone Reeds, Strength 3.0 ★★★★★

D’Addario Reserve Alto Saxophone Reeds, Strength 3.0

I admit that I know nothing of saxophone reeds. My daughter’s just a beginner, so I had to be a quick study. Through the help of her music teacher, I learned a few things.

First, there are two major brands of saxophone reeds: Rico and Vandoren. D’Addario Reserve Alto Saxophone Reeds are Rico.

They vary in strength (i.e., thickness). He starts beginners on lower strengths (1.5 or 2) until they develop stronger jaw muscles. The stronger reeds will hold up better and increase range.

Her teacher said to try the 3.0 and she may feel a difference when she uses the softer reeds. 3.0 may make her lips more tired. Well, we tried it.  She says there’s no difference in feel, and the 3.0 allows her to play higher notes.

She likes it, and anything that wears out less quickly is good in my book.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Sep 17

Cramer 750 Athletic Tape ★★★★★

Cramer 750 Athletic Tape

My daughter’s a gymnast and she said she needed some athletic tape. She’d been using the stuff they have at the gym, so she has a good idea what she likes, but I was clueless. I bought Cramer 750 Athletic Tape because the price was good. When she got it, she was ecstatic. The rolls are huge. She’d never seen them this big.

So far, so good. She’s gone through more than a few rolls. She said the rolls are bigger than the ones she’s used. The tape feels softer, more comfortable. It takes less effort to tear off a strip.

She uses the tape a lot on her hands when she’s on bars. With all that friction, it stays on. Yet she can remove it with ease.

I hear nothing but praise, so I’ll be back to buy more when we run out.

Sep 17

Cranium Cariboo ★★★★★

This review was originally posted December 24, 2008.

Cranium Cariboo

We received Cariboo for a gift for my then 3 year-old. It was so much fun. My kindergartener loved it and so did my friend’s 18 month old. The kids pick a card and match the letter, color, shape with one of the doors. When they find a match, they use a key to open the door to see if they can find a ball. If they find the ball, they put it in a special hole. When enough balls fill that hole, a treasure chest opens. It looks made to have a non-competitive feel, with all kids working together to open the chest. However, competitive kids will find a way to compete, and my daughter decided the way to win was to be the first to open the chest. Younger kids like the 18 month old don’t pay attention to the cards, they just poke around looking for the ball, but I could tell even she had the right idea.

Pros:
+ educational, teaches letters, numbers and colors
+ can be played by one player or multiple players
+ two difficulty levels to provide appropriate challenge

Cons:
- don’t lose the balls or you won’t be able to open the treasure chest
- cards on doors can fall off easily

SUMMARY

Excellent preschool game for toddlers through kindergarteners. Learn through play!

Sep 17

Noodleboro Fun Park ★★☆☆☆

This review was originally posted December 25, 2008.

Noodleboro Fun Park Sharing Game

I gave Noodleboro Fun Park to my 4 year-old niece who also has a twin brother she could share with. My 4 and 7 year old sat with them to try out this game and though they enjoyed the little carnival games, results were a little disappointing.

PLAYING THE GAME

There is a moon/star tracker dial with a marker and four carnival games. The player rolls the die and on only one face of the die is the instruction for moving the marker around the moon/star tracker. The game is over when the tracker moves all the way around the moon/star tracker and the park closes. I’m not sure if the marker should start at the moon or the star. Instructions don’t say, so we arbitrarily start on the stars. I think it should more logically be a sun tracker with the game ending at sundown. Oh well. Let me tell you, it takes a looooong time to get that marker around the tracker. In fact, we ended the game when the tracker had only moved three spaces. There were nine more spaces to go!

There are four carnival games which are relatively easy for the 4 year olds. They get it about 75% of the time. When they win a carnival game, they get a prize which they must share with someone who doesn’t have that prize. Then, they get a star which they throw into the middle of the moon/star tracker. The object of the game is to get as many stars in the pot as they can before the park closes. By the time we got to the third star, we ran out of stars to throw into the pot.

LEARNING TO SHARE

The big questions here are do the children enjoy the game and do they learn to share. To the first question, the answer is yes. All the children enjoyed the carnival games. When we ran out of stars, my son suggested taking the stars out and continue the game from there.

To the second question, my answer is no. The kids were supposed to share the prize they receive with someone who did not have that prize. With four kids, it was somewhat of a popularity contest. Then there were the kids who hid their prizes and declared they did not have that prize, “choose me!” The stars they received as a reward for sharing didn’t have much meaning as they had to toss it into the pot, and trying to get as many stars in the pot as possible didn’t really feel like much of a goal.

BOOK AND CD

There is a book and CD of sharing songs to go along with the game. The book tells a story of some kids going to the carnival and how they share. None of our kids wanted to read the book. I didn’t find the book that exciting, and it didn’t go all that well with the game. In the book, the kids all start out with star tokens to spend on the games and in the end, one child wins all the prizes and shares it with his friends. I think maybe the book should follow the game a little better or vice versa.

SUMMARY

The carnival games are fun for the preschooler crowd. The game itself is very long and drawn out and just doesn’t effectively teach sharing.

Sep 16

Lomui® 10000mAh Full Capacity Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB Portable Power Bank ★★★★☆

Lomui® 10000mAh Full Capacity Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB (2.1A / 1A Output) Portable Power Bank External Battery Charger for iPhone iPad Samsung Galaxy Android Phone Smartphone Tablets Pc Bluetooth Speaker (White)

The Lomui® Brilliant Ultra Slim Power Bank is a nice power bank in that it delivers its 10000 mAh capacity by fully charging my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ tablet.

It’s also attractive. People think it’s the back of a cell phone case. In fact, they ask me what type of cell phone I have.

The power bank sports two USB ports: 1 amp and 2.1 amp, but performance suffers when both ports are in use. I plugged in my HTC One M8 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ tablet. The phone charged but the tablet in the 2.1 amp port would either gain very slowly or sometimes even drained when I was using it.

I tried again. I plugged in my children’s 7″ Android tablet and my iPhone 4S. This time, the tablet charged more quickly and the iPhone charged 8% over the course of a few hours.

It works well for charging one device but struggles to charge two: minus one star.

This product was provided for review by Lomui.