Sep 23

Ipow Retractable Belt Pet Dog Leash ★☆☆☆☆

Ipow Retractable Belt Pet Dog Leash – 16.5 Feet Long (26 Pound)

Retractable dog leashes come in two flavors: corded and ribbon style. The most common is corded, but I like ribbon, because I think they are safer. Most ribbon style retractable leashes are for larger dogs. I have one for my 23 pound cocker spaniel. Since it’s for larger dogs, the clasp is heavier and the recoil is stronger.

Enter the Ipow Retractable Belt Pet Dog Leash. It’s a ribbon style retractable leash for medium dogs. My initial impression was very positive. It has a lighter clasp and a softer recoil; but after one use, something came loose and was rattling inside the case. Occasionally, whatever broke loose would jam and cause the leash to not recoil or not extend. I received a replacement.

My second leash did well for longer. One week later, I tugged the leash while locked and something broke inside. Again, I could hear it rattle inside the case. This time, it was a more severe break. I can no longer lock the leash at the desired length. It’s just one long leash that retracts.

That’s too bad. It’s a nice leash if only it was more durable.

This product was provided for review by Ipow.

Sep 23

Poweradd™ 903A Smart Battery Charger ★★★★★

Poweradd™ 903A Smart Battery Charger with LCD and Individual Compartment Design for AA AAA NI-MH/NI-CD Rechargeable Batteries (Batteries Not Included)

The very best thing about the Poweradd™ Smart Battery Charger is that I don’t have to charge in pairs. I can charge one AA battery and on AAA battery, or three AAA batteries, or just one AA battery — it doesn’t matter what combination I charge, up to four batteries at a time. Each one shows up on the digital display, so I know how much charge the battery has. There is a discharge icon, but the charger doesn’t seem to have a discharge feature. At least there is none mentioned in the instructions. Maybe that is for another model.

This battery charger mounts on a wall, as opposed to taking up valuable desktop space. I like it.

This product was provided for review by Poweradd.

Sep 23

Elbee Silicone Muffin Cups ★★★★☆

Elbee Silicone Muffin Cups Set of 12

The first time I ever encountered silicone muffin pans, I didn’t use liners nor did I oil the pan. My muffins stuck. A baker friend of mine told me I still need to use liners or oil. The silicone just makes it easier to pop them out. With these new silicone muffin cups, I vowed to do it right.

Standard liners are slightly too big for the Elbee Silicone Muffin Cups. Once I have them filled up and cooking, everything stretches out and there isn’t a problem with size at all. My muffins cooked up perfectly. They were easy to remove, just like my friend promised, and cleaning was as easy as sticking them in the dishwasher.

The best thing is I don’t have to worry about storage. They stack up and take very little space.

This product was provided for review by Elbee.

Sep 23

Shengshou® Plush Luminous Glow Cartoon Teddy Toy Bear ★★★★★

Shengshou® Plush Luminous Glow Cartoon Teddy Toy Bear,7 Color Changing, Smart Phone Speaker Function, 23.6 Inches

I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, especially not the commercials, but my children have seen the Shengshou® Plush Luminous Glow Cartoon Teddy (or something like it) and my daughter was very excited. She knew exactly how it was supposed to work, even if I didn’t.

I didn’t, because there are no instructions. Thanks to other reviewers, I knew the USB cable was not supposed to be plugged in while there are batteries in the battery compartment. Thanks to my daughter, I figured out the on/off switch was in the back of the neck.

Tap the neck to turn on. Tap it to turn off. The lights slowly change colors over time. It’s very pretty.

We have the option of playing music through the bear’s speaker, if we hook up the auxiliary cable to our phone or mp3 player. I tried my phone, which I tucked into the back and zippered up.

Let it be known that the audio plug needs clearance around the auxiliary port. I didn’t have that with my phone’s case on. I had to take that case off to attach the cable.

Honestly, I’d prefer not to play music through the bear.

The lights are soothing and pretty. The bear is big enough to hug and cuddle. It’s something that works exactly as advertised, with the caveat that it eats batteries (three AA). Instead of batteries, I recommend a small power bank connected to the USB cable. Using rechargeable batteries is also an option.

This product was provided for review by Weiheng.

Sep 23

Infused Water Bottle ★★★★★

Infused Water Bottle – 20 oz Travel Size

Fruit-infused water is the latest thing. Water bottles that do that rock my world. I’ve seen all sorts of designs. I like this type best, where the fruit stays in the bottle with the water, not in some separate compartment. There’s an insert that keeps the fruit from clogging the spout. For this Infused Water Bottle, it’s an open-mouth type spout, so I feel like I’m drinking from a cup.

It works great. The other day I had mango, kiwi, and strawberry inside. It was good. My daughter thought so.

The lid is the sort one finds on a thermos. It doesn’t plug up the mouth of the bottle, but I can leave the capped bottle tipped over for hours and it won’t spill. The only drawback to this design is we have to worry about misplacing the lid.

Hand washing is recommended. I’ve been doing that, but I’m lazy, so I might just start putting it in the dishwasher.

The bottle comes with a bag, but I don’t see a use for the bag. I’d rather have a handle on the bottle and a cap I can’t lose.

This product was provided for review by Oneteus.

Sep 23

White Label Drop Waterproof Speaker Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Portable Speaker ★★☆☆☆

White Label Drop Waterproof Speaker Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Portable Speaker Subwoofer Bass Sound Box With Suction Cup

Perhaps the Drop Bluetooth Speaker isn’t as waterproof as advertised. I put it in my shower and it worked great for a couple of weeks . . . and then it quit. I can’t turn it on and I can’t charge it anymore. It just doesn’t work.

This product was provided for review by Smart Mobility.

Sep 23

Turtleback Universal Tablet Pouch Shoulder Bag ★★★★★

Turtleback Universal Tablet Pouch Shoulder Bag – Fits Devices up to 10.5″ Inch with Cases – Made in the USA (Black/Blue)

The Turtleback Universal Tablet Pouch Shoulder Bag is a good size bag for hauling my Kindle Fire HD 8.9” tablet around with me. It’s got plenty of padding, making me feel confident it will protect my investment as well as it can be protected.

There are three pockets on the outside. Two of them are zippered, allowing me to store things like power banks and charging cables. There’s room enough little extras.

I’ve been hauling this shoulder bag around town with me and it wears well. I like it.

This product was provided for review by Turtleback Case.

Sep 23

Culina Strainer ★★★★★

Culina Strainer Over-the-sink (Oval), Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Expandable

I love this Culina Strainer. It fits perfectly in my half sink, but the ends pull out and I can use it in my full sink, as well. There’s a stand on the bottom, so it will sit on a counter. If I want to store it, well it does take up space. If the sink isn’t cluttered with dishes, just leave it there.

This is a great product for washing my veggies or draining my pasta. It’s well made and looks beautiful.

This product was provided for review by Culina.

Sep 23

Barbecue Grilling Fork by FireWolf Grills ★★★★☆

Barbecue Grilling Fork by FireWolf Grills — Stainless Steel BBQ Fork (35.5cm)

Though I haven’t needed to lift any big slabs of meat, the Barbecue Grilling Fork by FireWolf Grills has been useful to me for carving up meat and stabbing smaller cuts. I keep it in my kitchen, but it has a loop built on the end for hanging off a grill.

My last fork died because the end came off the handle. That doesn’t look like it would be a problem here. The metal does give a little. That’s why I’m a little hesitant about lifting heavier meats; but so far, I’m happy with this fork. It has served me well.

This product was provided for review by Fire Wolf Grills.

Sep 23

Epson Expression Premium XP-520 Wireless Color Photo Printer ★★★★★

Epson Expression Premium XP-520 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier


I am impressed with how far printers have come when it comes to installation. The Epson Expression Premium XP-520 is completely wireless, but setup was a breeze. It practically walked me through everything. I just had to insert a disc into my computer and all was painless.

The only thing I don’t care for is the insertion of the ink cartridges. We have to hold onto the caps for when we dispose of them later. These are the only caps I’ve ever had to hold onto for any printer. I’ve owned a lot of printers. Make that “own.” In my house right now, I have four different models of Epson printers plugged in and running. That’s after I gave one away.

The ink cartridges are messier to insert than other cartridges. We have to be more careful. It’s not impossible to do, but I got ink on my fingers. I never get ink on my fingers.


Printing is all done via Wi-Fi. You’ll need a router or gateway running in the house. No Ethernet connection here. USB connection is available, but no cable is provided. It’s clearly meant to be wireless.

The computer is in a separate room from my computer, so I don’t see how quickly print jobs translate to hard copies. By the time I get there, the printing is done.

Printing a high quality photo to highest quality photo paper from my phone is pretty darn slow. Printing from an SD card inserted into the printer is quick.

Yes, I can print from my phone. I already have Epson iPrint installed on the phone (four Epson printers, remember?). The XP-520 was recognized right away. No extra steps necessary.

Photo quality is beyond amazing. Even on plain paper it’s good. On highest quality satin photo paper, oh . . . my . . . gosh. Unbelievable.

That doesn’t mean it can’t print regular text and graphics. Yes, it can do that. It looks good. Maybe too good. Maybe I should make it look less good so I can use up less ink.


This little printer (it’s my smallest printer) can do it all. It faxes, though I haven’t tried that yet. It copies. It prints.

The little screen is tinier than it needs to be, but it’s big enough to do the job. I can view photos there before printing.

Scanning is one sheet at a time, but that’s only a problem if you have a big job. In that case, get a printer with a sheet feeding scanner.

Printing can be automatic double-sided, which I love, because it saves paper.

Oh, yes. The paper tray holds very little paper. Small printer, less paper. That’s expected.

It’s a great printer with a small footprint that’s terrific for personal use.

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