Jul 12

Blue Bowl Concentrator Kit ★★★★★

Blue Bowl Concentrator Kit w/Pump & Leg Levelers

It’s impressive how well the Blue Bowl Concentrator works. Whereas we used to try to get every last fleck out of the pan, we now just pan out the nuggets, pickers, and flakes, and save the rest for the bowl. It’s a lot of gold we would have thrown out if not for this simple invention. Stuff so small we couldn’t see gets separated out.

You’ll need a bucket to use this set. What prospector doesn’t have a bucket?  Also, get yourself a battery that you can attach clamps to.

Jul 12

Viva Choose-A-Size Big Roll ★★★★★

Viva Choose-A-Size Big Roll (1.25X Regular)

I have always been partial to Viva because of the cloth-like properties. We had guests over for a weekend and our friend simply gushed over it. She couldn’t stop commenting, had to ask the brand and committed herself to buying some as soon as she got the chance.

They are luxurious, and I like the choose-a-size feature. This wasn’t a choice when I first started buying Viva. I like the half-size perforations, allowing me to use only what I need. No waste.

I do wish the rolls were bigger. It feels like they’ve shrunken over the years.

Jul 12

Pop-Tarts, Frosted Cookies & Cream ★★★★★

Pop-Tarts, Frosted Cookies & Cream

I don’t buy Pop Tarts, but my husband will for our camping trips and then we’ll have the excess at home afterwards. My children go crazy over them. They are much too sweet, but oh so delicious.

Cookies & Cream is my son’s favorite flavor. I must concur. It’s good straight out of the bag, or even better out of a toaster oven. For a change, I’ll even eat them cold. Yum. I’ll have only one (too many Calories), but my kids will eat them all if I let them. That’s why I don’t keep them in the house.

Jul 12

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream ★★★★☆

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream, Light and Medium

I normally use Olay CC Cream, but Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream was less expensive, so I thought I’d try it. My first impression was it’s much thicker than Olay, and there’s mild tingling as I’m applying it. It looks like I just put a thick layer of foundation on (I apply liberally, as instructed on the label). On the positive side, my skin tone is completely evened out. Splotches don’t show.

I’m happy for the SPF 15 protection, but I’m not feeling the moisturizing effects. It’s not a bad BB cream, but I don’t care for the thickness and tingling. It’s just not Olay CC. 3 1/2 stars.

Jul 12

Vehicle Blackbox with G-sensor ★★★★★

4 x Digital Zoom 1080P FULL HD G-sensor 2.7 Inch Seamless Loop-cycle Recording Camera Car DVR Vehicle Blackbox with G-sensor & HDMI & TF Slot

This Vehicle Blackbox is my third dash cam. By now, I think I know what I want and don’t want in a dash cam. This dash cam combines some of the features I like from the previous two dash cams. I took it on a two week trip, and it has performed very well.

MOUNTING

This dash cam is suction mounted, as opposed to my previous dash cam which mounted to the rear view mirror. I prefer suction mounted dash cams because the mirror mounted dash cam blocks my backup cam video.

Mounting on my windshield doesn’t block my vision at all, because I mount it behind my rear view mirror. I’ve had this mounted on my windshield for a couple of weeks in triple digit temperatures and the suction hasn’t failed me yet.

POWER

The dash cam does have a battery, but it doesn’t last long. I charged it up and it lasted me as I drove to my daughter’s school and turned off as I was coming home. I’d say it was about fifteen minutes.

Instead, I use a mini USB cable and plug it into a USB car charger. Having a cable hang down as I’m driving isn’t distracting at all. I thought it would be with my initial dash cam, but I let it hang and it’s just fine. I do that with all my dash cams. That way, I never have to worry about turning the dash cam on and off, because it will turn on and off automatically. It also means I don’t have to worry about charging the dash cam.

DISPLAY

Not all dash cams come with a display. My first dash cam did not, and it was a pain to have to remove the memory card and check what’s being recorded. This one has a display, which shows exactly what is being filmed. I can review the videos and program the dash cam without ever removing the dash cam from the car or taking out the memory card.

SETTINGS

My first dash cam required me to take out the memory card and use software installed on my computer to change the settings. My second dash cam could be customized via the display, but it difficult to learn. This dash cam is the easiest to use. Changing the settings can be done via the display and it is completely intuitive. I didn’t need to read the instructions, except to figure out how to choose a selection. FYI, once you make a pick, push the button above the camera as if taking a photo to finalize the setting.

WHAT IT’S MISSING

This dash cam has a wide angle lens. They all do, but it can view in one direction only. My second dash cam had two cameras that could be adjusted 360 degrees around the car.

My first dash cam not only recorded video, it also had GPS capability, showing the direction, speed, and location on a map that could play alongside the video. Not this dash cam.

WHAT THE OTHER TWO DON’T HAVE

This dash cam is supposed to be able to record video if the car gets hit while it’s parked and I’m away. Fortunately I haven’t had to see if that works. I hope if the time comes, it does work. This is the only one I’ve owned that makes that claim.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

The is the best of my three dash cams. It has a display, it doesn’t block my backup cam, it’s easy to program. I prefer a suction mount made with the gel pad, but this one is hanging tight so far. It’s a keeper.

This product was provided for review by Bravolink.

Jul 12

Promate Snorkeling Mask Dry Snorkel Fins Nylon Mesh Bag Set ★★★★★

Promate Snorkeling Mask Dry Snorkel Fins Nylon Mesh Bag Set (SCS0094)

I took this Promate Snorkeling Set on our family camping trip. My ten year-old daughter and I both used it in the river that ran next to our cabin. What a dream. I’ve used and owned snorkel gear before, but never a quality set like this. It pays not to be cheap. No more choking on water swimming blind. The Promate set even comes with a mesh bag that holds everything. I just hose everything down and stuff it all in to dry.

MASK

We used the mask separately and with the snorkel set. My daughter especially liked using the mask while swimming so she could see what was at the river bottom. Visibility is excellent. It didn’t fog up, but there was slight leakage. I noticed the leaking occurred when I made certain facial expressions. If I just relaxed my facial muscles, it was no problem. I paused every now and then to drain the mask and all was good.

FINS

Just like the mask, we used the fin separately and with the set. It fit both my daughter and me. My feet are shoe size 8 1/2, my daughter is size 7. The S/M fin size is adjustable, but we didn’t need to adjust them because the straps also stretch enough to accommodate us without doing a thing.

They work great. I wore them all the time in the water. They helped me go upstream in areas where the current was stronger. It was a real fight with them, but it was impossible without them.

SNORKEL

The snorkel is well made. It clips to the mask, but there’s a quick release feature. It also has a valve that prevents water from entering when it is at an angle or if it is submerged. The valve must work, because I didn’t inhale any water.

My daughter had a problem with the valve closing while she was snorkeling. I spent one day snorkeling and did not run into that, though I could force it by bending the snorkel a little. I think that’s what happened with her. She had it on the wrong side of her face so that the snorkel bent more than it should to reach her mouth and that caused the problem. Make sure to wear it with the snorkel on the left side of the face.

Also included is a whistle. Honestly, we all thought it was a pretty pathetic whistle. Not loud at all. I’d rather scream.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

With cheap sets I’ve used, I had problems with water getting into the snorkel and masks that leaked horribly. Fins were usually fine, but they never propelled me as well as these. The Promate set is lightyears ahead of anything I’ve ever used. I didn’t know what I was missing. Now, I’m not going back.

The only thing I wish for is absolutely zero leaking from the mask, but it’s still a great set.

This product was provided for review by GetWetStore.

Jul 12

Olay Quench Ultra Moisture Lotion with Shea Butter ★★★★★

Olay Quench Ultra Moisture Lotion with Shea Butter

I’ve been using Olay Quench Ultra Moisture Lotion during my vacation. It’s a wet lotion, as opposed to the dry sensation I get from some other lotions. I like feeling my skin getting hydrated, especially in this dry heat. It works well and has that pleasant shea butter scent, not greasy at all.

Jul 12

Gatorade Sports Drink, Lemon Lime ★★★★★

Gatorade Sports Drink, Lemon Lime, Wide MouthBottles

Sports drinks always have a salty flavor to them. I suppose that’s expected, since we are not only replacing fluid but also electrolytes. Lemon Lime Gatorade makes the best of it by pairing the salty with the sour. Yum. It’s like salt on lemons.

My husband brought several cases of Gatorade for our rustic cabin camping trip. With triple digit temps, we really needed it, especially since our days were spent outdoors and our nights did not cool much. This was my favorite Gatorade flavor by far.

Jul 12

eBoot 5000mAh Solar Panel Charger ★★★★☆

eBoot 5000mAh Solar Panel Charger Rain-resistant and Dirt/Shockproof Dual USB Port Portable Charger Backup External Battery Power Pack for iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPods(Apple Adapters not Included), Samsung Galaxy S5 S4, S3, S2, Note 3, Note 2

I took the eBoot 5000mAh Solar Panel Charger with me on a week long camping trip. Our cabin was devoid of electricity, so I relied on this power bank. Instructions note that the solar charging is just for emergencies, that it should not be left in the sun for prolonged periods of time. I had to wonder what a consumer would expect buying a solar charging power bank if it weren’t to be be left in the sun. How long is too long? So, I left it out to charge. Seeing that the battery level was not moving up above one bar, I did what any normal person who doesn’t read instructions would do and left it out all day, every day. After a full day of bathing in the sun (sometimes shaded by trees but I tried to move it to full sun when I saw that), the power bank has enough juice to give my HTC One a 10% charge.

I’ve had experience with larger solar chargers, so I didn’t expect much more, though I did hope for it. Even three and four panel fold-up chargers take a bit of time to fully charge a 5000 mAh power bank. This power bank is the size of a large cell phone. There just isn’t enough surface area to catch the solar energy. Instead, we can charge this power bank with a USB cable, which is what I do most of the time. When it’s fully charged, I can give my HTC One a 100% charge.

This is a rugged power bank. The ports are covered, and there’s a carabiner for hanging off a backpack. It’s good for camping, but don’t rely on the solar panel. If you have an emergency and wait all day, you can get enough power from the sun to charge your phone, search for a signal and call for help.

This product was provided for review by eBoot.

Jul 12

Shacke Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes ★★★★★

Shacke™ Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes – Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag

I am on vacation with my family of four and this Shacke™ Pak Set has been wonderful. Except for my husband, we all share the same suitcase. Underwear and socks have always been a jumble, but not anymore. Each kid gets his and her own Shacke Pak. I get one, also, and there was one to spare for my loose personal supplies. How wonderful not to have my luggage look all a clutter.

The set comes with a laundry bag, which I admit is a bit small for a family, or even a single person who’s packed for more than a weekend trip. Bags on trips will always find a purpose, though. I used it to haul my supplies from the cabin to the showers.

The Shack Pak bags are getting a good workout, as we are basically running them through three separate vacations this month. I’m still using them and my daughter will be using it next week.

I like the mesh that lets us see what’s inside without opening the bags. The zippers are solid and the nylon is durable. The bags are taking a beating and holding up well. When done, they will nest inside each other neatly, ready for our next trip.

This product was provided for review by Shacke.