Oct 29

KOCASO 6”High Resolution IPS Screen, 2G/3G Phone ★★★★★

KOCASO 6”High Resolution IPS Screen, 2G/3G Phone 1GB DDR3 RAM Tablet PC

I’m beginning to wonder who needs brand when we can have generic? The KOCASO 6″ Smartphone impressed me from the moment I peered inside the box and realized I don’t need to worry about finding a case for it. It comes with everything I need:

* stylus
* case with stand
* pouch
* earphones
* micro USB cable
* USB wall adapter

CASE

I was happy to see a case included, because it’s very difficult to find cases for generic Android phones.

The case has to be installed, though. We must remove the back cover and then snap the phone into the case. The phone is stuck to the case until I take the back off. This is inconvenient, but I’ll take it.

If we don’t like the case, we can use the pouch. It’s velvet. Very nice.

PHONE CALLS

The phone is unlocked. The SIM card slots are full size and we can use one or two cards. I use an Airvoice Wireless card.

I let my son use the phone and the calls are clear between us. The problem was when I tried to call him in a noisy festival, he couldn’t hear the ring nor feel the vibration. Once I saw him, I asked him to hold the phone and we tested it. Yes the phone rang, but the ringtone is soft (we turned it all the way up), and the vibration was too weak.

BLUETOOTH

I use the Bluetooth to connect to my speaker while I shower, playing music through my Songza app. It paired easily and reconnects automatically. I never have any problems.

STREAMING

Because I don’t have a data plan, I mostly use Wi-Fi for internet access. It connects quickly, and surfing is very smooth. I can stream YouTube videos without a problem.

CAMERA

The photos and videos don’t beat my HTC One M8, but they are good enough to do what most of us do with them, which is post or email them.

PROS:

+ accessories and case included
+ large screen for watching videos
+ Bluetooth
+ unlocked phone
+ dual SIM card capable
+ clear calls
+ smooth streaming
+ front and rear cameras

CONS:

- soft ringtone, weak vibration
- install case by removing the back of the phone
- micro USB card slot is internal
- too large to fit in some pockets

OVERALL IMPRESSION

I love it! It’s a great little (ahem, large) smartphone. Color me happy.

This product was provided for review by Global Phoenix Computer T&S.

Oct 29

Discover with Dr. Cool Crystal Growing Kit, White Quartz ★★★★☆

Discover with Dr. Cool Crystal Growing Kit, White Quartz

My daughter’s teacher is a big science nut. She’s inspired my daughter, so when she saw the Discover with Dr. Cool Crystal Growing Kit, she had to have it.

Getting started requires adult help. We have to heat the water very hot. I heated it in the microwave and dissolved the packet – tried to dissolve, because it wouldn’t dissolve. I ended up placing the jar back in the microwave and zap-stir-zap-stir until it all went in.

Crystals start forming quickly after it cools. By the end of the day, they were all over the sides of the jar and on the seed we placed in the jar. After a few days, we had larger crystals. They were beautiful, like the photo on the box but much smaller. My daughter was so impressed, she kept the seed with the crystals on top.

This product was provided for review by Discover with Dr. Cool.

Oct 29

Envelop Massaging Shock Absorbtion Gel Insoles ★★★★★

Envelop Massaging Shock Absorbtion Gel Insoles (US Women’s (6 – 10))

For someone who can feel the pounding of the pavement in her knees, Envelop Gel Insoles are a great relief. I noticed a difference the moment I put them on.

The insoles are one size and we cut them down with scissors, following the guide imprinted on each insole. The guide runs large, so that I had to keep cutting until my size 8 ½ wide insoles were cut down to 7. Better too big than too small.

The insoles stay in place and provide good cushioning. Best of all, they don’t make my shoes too tight.

This product was provided for review by Health Source.

Oct 29

LED 12 Watt Dimmable A19 General Purpose Household Light Bulb ★★★★★

LED 12 Watt Dimmable A19 General Purpose Household Light Bulb, 3000K, 900 Lumens, E26 Medium Base (2 Pack)

What nice light bulbs. I placed them in my lamps (standard sockets) and they work just fine, even though they don’t have a dimmer switch.

These LED light bulbs give a soft, warm light, like the frosted bulbs of yesteryear. It’s even lighting all around, no shadows, and it’s bright enough for me to do my work in.

This product was provided for review by SleekLighting.

Oct 29

YogaAddict Men’s Yoga Short Pant ★★★★★

YogaAddict Men’s Yoga Short Pant, Light Grey

My husband wears a 34 in pants. He got large YogaAddict Yoga Shorts, and they fit him well. Mostly, he wears them for bedtime because they are comfortable.

The yoga shorts remind me of sweat shorts, but they fit long and close (not tight). I admit my husband looked a little funny wearing them, mostly because I’m not used to seeing him wear these types of shorts, but he likes them. I asked him what he thought, and he said they’re five stars.

This product was provided for review by YogaAddict.

Oct 29

Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit ★★★★★

Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit (American Girl Beforever Journey)

by Valerie Tripp

When my daughter saw the Beforever books, she had to have one. Other than American Girl, I didn’t quite know what it was about, but she did. It turns out she was right. These are wonderful books.

Full Speed Ahead is a choose your own adventure book. As a kid, I loved those types of books. I would read them over and over until I exhausted all the options. My daughter is doing the same with Full Speed Ahead.

I read through it once to get a good feel for it, and I’m impressed. No wonder she likes it. It’s not all about the gimmick. The book is well-written, not just slapped together. Reading one adventure straight through, it flows.

A girl has a camera that allows her to travel back in time to the Great Depression. Lots of tidbits about the era are woven in, as we meet a girl named Kit, whose parents are poor but do what they can to help the homeless. It’s educational, but don’t tell the kids! Even I learned a thing or two. Do you know what the kind lady symbol is?

Full Speed Ahead falls right in line with the American Girl brand – high quality, wholesome, educational fun.

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

Oct 29

Riegel Cam Washcloths ★★★★☆

Riegel Cam Washcloths, 12-Inch by 12-Inch, 24-Pack

My mother-in-law buys white washcloths to use as rags around the kitchen. They work very well that way — nice and absorbent. I did buy white rags before, but Riegel Cam Washcloths are much better. The rough texture helps scrub up sticky messes.

I thought I might use them for my daughter as her bloody nose rags, but she says they’re too rough for that. As dry rags, they are not soft to the touch.

As washcloths? I don’t know. I don’t use washcloths in the shower.

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

Oct 27

TempoScan Non-contact High Accuracy Infrared Thermometer ★★★★★

TempoScan Non-contact High Accuracy Infrared Thermometer for Body and Surface

BODY TEMPERATURE

I did a comparison between all my thermometers, starting with a digital thermometer, which I used both orally and axillary. Then, I used my Thermoscan ear thermometer, my Exergen temporal thermometer, and then my new TempoScan.

Oral: 97.6 °F
Axillary: 97.2 °F
Thermoscan ear thermometer: 98.3 °F
Exergen temporal thermometer: 98.9 °F
Temposcan infrared thermometer: 98.5 °F

SURFACE TEMPERATURE OF OBJECTS

Afterwards, I used the Orksun to do surface temperature readings. I tested a glass of water, where I placed a cooking thermometer inside. I then used both my Amprobe infrared thermometer and my Temposcan:

Cooking thermometer probe in water: 64.4 °F
Amprobe infrared thermometer: 66.2 °F
Temposcan: 64.8 °F

The Temposcan thermometer is right in the ballpark of the other thermometers. I like it because it’s quick, I don’t have to slide it across a forehead, and it also measures surface temperatures.

PROS:

+ can measure surface temperature of objects as well the body temperature
+ Fahrenheit and Celsius modes
+ smoking, talking, drinking do not affect temperature
+ no need touch the sick (let your child sleep)
+ comes with a pouch

CONS:

- must wait 1 minute between readings
- changing between Fahrenheit and Celsius is not intuitive

Be sure and clean the lens for the most accurate measurement.

This product was provided for review by Orksun.

Oct 27

Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy ★★★★★

Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy – Rainbow

The Flutterbye Fairy not only amazed the children, it impressed a room full of adults. It flies, while sensing the world around it. Put a hand under it and it rises. Reach the ceiling, and it will hover beneath it.

When it crashes (usually by hitting a wall), it immediately stops flying. Any pieces that fall off easily snap back on. This is one durable little fairy.

Very cute. Everyone from the young to the young at heart will enjoy it.

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

Oct 27

Sharpie Permanent Markers ★★★★★

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Assorted Ink, Fine Point, 8/Pack

Sharpie Permanent Markers are the best. They mark on anything — including hard, glossy, non-porous surfaces — and they don’t come off. Not all markers can make that claim to fame. Colors are bold, not faded or streaked. My son used this pack for his school assignment. Might I say, it turned out beautifully.

Are there drawbacks? Well, the fumes are strong. If you are sensitive, these are not for you.