Jan 23

Soundpeats Qy7 Bluetooth Earbuds ★★★★☆

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for iPhone 5s 5c 4s 4, iPad 2 3 4 New iPad, iPod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (black/green)

I’ve been using Soundpeats Qy7 Bluetooth Earbuds to listen to music as I walk my dog. Sometimes, I’ll put the phone down and run around the house to do a few tasks while still streaming music into the earphones. Of all the earphones I’ve done this with, these earphones have the best range. Where other brands fail, this one continues stream. I’m impressed.

The earbuds stay in my ears, thanks to the little silicone loops that keep them in place. It also blocks out ambient noise very well. In fact, I turned on the vacuum with these on and I didn’t have to increase the volume on my earphones to compensate. The sound quality doesn’t blow me away, but it’s good enough to satisfy my tastes.

This product was provided for review by Soundpeats.

Jan 23

Culina Steamer Cookware ★★★★★

Culina Steamer Cookware with Insert 18/10 Heavy Gauge Stainless Steel 5 Qt Silver

Can a steamer be sexy? What luscious, smooth curves it has. I loved it at first sight. I love it even more now that I’ve used it. Not only can I use the Culina Steamer without the insert, there are markings inside the pot to tell me how much liquid I’ve put in. No more guessing games.

Tonight, I had steamed veggies. They came out delicious but on the soft side, because I neglected to watch the pot. Next time, I’ll be more careful.

Beautiful lines, solid weight. You know another nice thing about the pot? It has a completely flat magnetic bottom that makes it ideal for induction cooking.

This product was provided for review by Culina.

Jan 23

Culina 12″ Fry Pan ★★★★★

Culina 12″ Fry Pan Tri-ply Bonded 18/10 Stainless Steel Cookware with Lid, Silver, Dishwasher safe

The first time I cooked on the Culina Fry Pan, it cooked up so well. Then, I washed it. Having caramelized sugar, I was sure the pan would be difficult to make like new. Sure enough, after washing and drying, the whole bottom looked like it was tarnished by the food I was cooking. I couldn’t believe how things turned out after just one meal.

Then I remembered Cameo. I simply sprinkled some onto the pan and started wiping in circles, no elbow grease required. In just seconds, the marks came off and the pan looked like new once again.

This is a high quality pan with the weight to show for it. It’s a great addition to my kitchen cookware. Just know how to clean it and it will always look beautiful.

This product was provided for review by Culina.

Jan 23

Culina Pasta Pot ★★★★★

Culina Pasta Pot Cookware with Insert and Lid, 18/10 Heavy Gauge Stainless Steel 6-Quart, Silver, Dishwasher Safe

We eat a lot of pasta, but I’ve never owned a pasta pot. I boil the pasta, then drain it in a strainer in the sink. With the Culina Pasta Pot, I just have to lift the insert out and the pasta comes out with it, all drained. I just have to throw the pasta straight into a bowl, what I did the other night. This is so convenient, and I can use the pot to cook other things without the insert.

Anything with weight feels like quality, and this pot does that. The only problem is the size, but they don’t make collapsible pots yet. If you need a pot this size, you just have to deal with storing it. I happen to like large pots. It’s easier to cook for the family if I don’t have to cook more than one batch of whatever it is.

This product was provided for review by Culina.

Jan 23

Culina Steak Knife Collection ★★★★☆

Culina Steak Knife Collection 8 pcs in Wooden Box

My husband thought the Culina Steak Knives were butter knives. “No, not butter knives,” I said. “Steak knives.” But the serration isn’t deep enough, he thought. So, I washed them and used them every night for chicken, pork chops, meatloaf, and whatever else we were having for dinner.

My son said last night, “These knives are sharp.”

The question danced in my head, “Compared to butter knives?”

No, he meant they are sharp. They cut through every meat, though I admit they had a rough time with my nearly burned and toughened pork chops. A little more serration would have been appreciated, but I’m not sure if knives exist on this earth that could hack easily through that.

I store these knives in the wooden box that caught my eye from day one. It has a beautiful finish, and the hidden magnetic closure only adds to the look. Imagine opening this up to serve a party.

Overall, I these are nice knives. I agree the serration could be deeper, but they work well for most meats, and the presentation can’t be beat.

This product was provided for review by Culina.

Jan 23

PDP Afterglow Nur PS4/PS3 Headset ★★★★☆

PDP Afterglow Nur PS4/PS3 Headset – Black

Alright, folks. Calm down. Amidst the five star reviews and accusations they’re all fake, I just couldn’t resist. Is the PDP Afterglow Nur’s mic great or as bad as they say it is? I had to listen for myself.

Now, I know this says “PS4/PS3,” but I don’t own either. The manufacturer says it can work with PC’s. Check. Windows 7, it is.

I wondered if using the PC would make this wireless headset not-so-wireless, but my fears were unfounded. In fact, it’s simpler than even the instructions state. I was supposed to connect both a micro USB cable and the auxiliary cable. Instead, I connected a micro USB cable to the stand. Lo and behold, no auxiliary cable required.

Audio is great. I spent the evening immersed in music, my head cradled in comfort, my ears insulated from the world around it.

And the big question, what about the mic? I’d say better than some other headsets I’ve used, but not the best audio quality. I sound distant and muffled, but anyone listening would be able to understand me.

The headset gives off a slow color changing light show. If you don’t want to see that, turn the lights off. The light on the stand is always on. Wish I could turn that off, as well. It wouldn’t be a good idea in the bedroom.

I like everything about this headset, except for the mic, which works well enough but won’t impress anyone.

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

Jan 23

Amazon.com Birthday Cupcake Gift Card Tin ★★★★★

Amazon.com Birthday Cupcake Gift Card Tin

My mother-in-law has sent met Amazon gift cards with the birthday greeting cards. They usually come with the card separate from the gift card ready for assembly by the giver, not really the effect I think she intends. The Amazon.com Birthday Cupcake Gift Card Tin is another story. It made an impression from the moment I opened the package. I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was some sort of product I had ordered and forgotten about. Not until I opened the tin did I see it was a gift card. What a lovely presentation.

Jan 21

Avery Index Maker White Dividers ★★★★☆

Avery Index Maker White Dividers, 8-Tab, Laser/Ink Jet, 3-Hole, Letter Size (8.5 x 11), Clear, 8 per Set (11417)

Firstly, Avery Index Maker White Dividers ought to emphasize “Avery Index Tab Labels.” It comes with a mere eight dividers and a whopping 160 divider labels: 80 labels in strip format, the other 80 stacked in columns to be applied individually.

My issue with printing these labels was finding the template. If I go to the website listed on the instructions and enter the divider section of templates, then search using the product number (11417), I only get the template for the individual labels. To find the template for the strip labels, enter the product number in the search box of the first page. Don’t go to that divider section. Now how is anyone to know that we can only find the template by searching in one page but not the other?

Once my strip labels were printed, I merely lined up my index dividers and pressed the strip all on at once, then removed the excess. The dividers work just fine, but they are not as thick as the card stock I was using earlier. They do the job, but I want heavier paper.

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

Jan 21

DBPOWER 5MP 500x Portable Digital Mobile Microscope ★★★★☆

DBPOWER 3 inches TFT HD 5MP 500x Portable Digital Mobile Microscope Foldable Camera USB/AV Out Snapshot Record Video Support up to 32 GB Support Windows XP/Vista/Win7/8/Mac Rechargeable Battery Included

The DBPOWER Digital Mobile Microscope is no toy. It really works! I’ve been playing with it all afternoon. It even impressed my son.

WHAT’S INSIDE

1) microscope
2) removable stand
3) battery
4) microfiber cloth
5) pouch
6) A/V cable
7) mini USB cable
8) software for Windows XP/Vista/Win 7/Win8, Mac 10.6-10.8

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: micro SD card

CONNECTING TO MONITOR, PROJECTOR, OR PC

I wanted to connect to my projector, but I needed a female adapter to fit onto the A/V cable.

I tried my monitor, but my monitor doesn’t have RCA inputs. It uses HDMI.

A mini USB port is available to connect via PC. As a general rule, I prefer not to have to install the software onto my computer if I don’t have to. I did try to see if anything would happen without the software, but my computer did not recognize anything more than something was plugged in. I guess if I want it to work via USB cable on my computer, I will have to install the included software.

VIDEO AND PHOTO

We have the option of color or black and white. I’m not always able to focus perfectly, but the images I got wowed me. Watch the images live, snap photos, and record video. When we’re done, we can replay stored images on the microscope’s screen to make sure we’ve captured all that we wanted.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

This is a great teaching tool for the classroom, especially if you’re able to find a monitor or projector that will connect via A/V cable. Used without monitors or projectors, the microscope is highly portable, much like a camcorder.

I would recommend this microscope to a teacher or anyone with a budding scientist in the house.

This product was provided for review by DBPOWER.

Jan 21

Star Wars Costumes ★★★★★

Star Wars Costumes

by Brandon Alinger

My husband bought me Star Wars Costumes for Christmas. He couldn’t have bought me a nicer gift. It’s been a long time since I’ve read or browsed a behind-the-scenes book that captivated me so. The photos are gorgeous, filling page after page. The text explains the thought behind each costume, what care they took to think each through. Ever wonder where Leia got that dress in the Ewok village? Now, you’ll know. The details prove thorough enough to satisfy without overwhelming me.

For fans of the prequels, I’m sorry to say this does not deal at all with that. As my husband would say, what costumes? Aren’t they all CGI? My dear friends, it’s the classic original trilogy only, the one we all remember and love.