Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

My Favorite $15 Tech Investment - Belkin USB Swivel Surge Protector | Things iLove Thursday

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This is only iProduct related in a round about way, but I just love this little thing so much I wanted to share.

Belkin Surge Protector USB Charger

Not long before we went on our trip to Disney Social Media Moms, I opened an email from*, one of the gazillion daily deals emails I get, because the offer caught me eye. It was for something similar to an item I pinned to my tech Pinterest board and the price was definitely right.

I ordered the Belkin adapter on a Thursday and I believe it was here by the following Friday. So far, it's been one of my best tech investments. I Tweeted a picture of it in use the night before our trip. I think most bloggers can identify with it.

Belkin USB Surge Protector

Not including the batteries, I'm charging four different things at once. I worried I was bringing too many gadgets with me, but we used them all. The mini adapter was great in the hotel because we could keep everything on the desk rather than on the floor and risk something getting kicked under a bed.

I was a hero in the airports. People were huddled around the outlets not willing to give up the space no matter how uncomfortable they were forced to sit. Everyone was totally aware of others stalking the outlets and looking to move in and they were so protective of their space it was feral. When I asked someone if I could share and showed them I had enough space for both of us, they visibly relaxed. It was kind of amusing. Note to airports: give us more outlets!

The adapter has space for three, three-pronged items and two USB cords. There's a button on the back so you can twist the prongs depending on the way your outlet is aligned. This little guy is going with me on every future vacation and especially blogging conferences.

What's the best low dollar, high impact investment 
you've made on a gadget?

*Edited 7/10/14 - This was originally an affiliate post for daily deal site but that site has shut down. The retail price in the photo is from the Belkin site. 

*Yes, the product photo above contains an affiliate link. Affiliate sales keep me properly caffeinated. I would not have written about this if I didn't truly think it was the shiz.

Keeping my iPad Protected on the Go | Things iLove Thursday

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My friend Jill from The Diaper Diaries hosts a meme called Things I Love Thursday. I've been wanting to participate and thought now would be a good time to jump in. I'm pretty late to the iRevolution. Before my dad bought me my iPad I felt like everyone and their mother (grandmother!) had more technology than I did. Heck, my mom got a smartphone before me.

I know it's silly to feel that way because lots of people are in the same boat I was. Now that I'm on board I'm having a great time catching up on all the apps, gadgets, gear and other things everyone else already knew of; as well as keeping an eye out for new stuff. So, this series is for everyone who has either just bought a smartphone and/or tablet or is thinking of getting one. 

For my first post in the meme, I thought I'd start with the basics: the cases for my iPad. When I got it, I wasn't sure what kind of case I wanted. I knew I'd need something for everyday use but wanted a supplemental case for travel (OK, also because I'm super over protective). It took me awhile to find what I wanted and every night I'd put it back in the box it came in rather than leave it lying around. My requirements for an everyday case were protection without bulk, convertible into a stand and pretty color. A little bit of Googling led me to the Slim Line case from HandHeld Items and a 10" netbook case from Built.

The Slim Line is thin but doesn't feel flimsy. The inside cover is sueded so it doesn't slide when using it as a stand. It fits well in the outside pocket of the purse I'm using for summer. I don't really like having it in the outer pocket so I'm on the hunt for a fall bag I can carry it inside of.

I became more familiar with Built when I went to the International Housewares Show a few years ago. They had a great display. We've bought several things by them since (laptop sleeve, bottle carrier and a lunch tote). Their items are sturdy and great for travel. The Slim Line case slides in and out really easily and there's no gap around the zipper so the iPad isn't sliding around.

I feel good now about taking the iPad out and about with me. That was the whole point of getting it. Leaving it at home in its box wasn't doing me much good. It's been a great alternative to carrying my laptop around in my backpack.

Future posts in the series will be more about apps and things I use the iPad and iPhone for. I'd love to answer questions from those of you on the fence about getting one of your own. 

*If you want to see other things people are loving this Thursday or contribute your own post, Jill has a linky on her site. This is not a sponsored post.

Review: Sonicare for Kids Rechargeable Toothbrush

Friday, May 21, 2010

*Update 9/3/10 I've added a few more places to buy the brush and replacement heads along with coupon and deals info at the bottom of the post.

Sonicare has come out with a line of toothbrushes specifically for kids. We got it for Tyler to help with the morning and nighttime battles over getting him to brush his teeth at all, let alone thoroughly and for the required two minutes. Tyler was using our old Sonicare but he likes this better. He said the Sonicare for Kids is not as rough on his gums as the adult brush and the bristles are "less prickly."

Here are the things I like:

*The escalating tone the brush makes. When it's time to switch to another area of the mouth, the toothbrush beeps. The beeps get louder as the 2-minute countdown gets closer to the end. I can hear the beeps from upstairs so I know that Tyler is brushing and I know he's brushing the full two minutes because of the tones.

*The smaller brush head. I didn't think having an adult sized head would be a problem, but it makes sense since he doesn't have an adult sized mouth.

*The base is easy to clean. There are three pegs on the base, one for the toohbrush handle and two for the heads. The shape of the base is easy to wipe off, much easier than the adult Sonicare we have.

What I don't like:

*The cost of the replacement brush heads. They're not cheap at $22 for four. If you have a larger family the yearly costs will add up. But, I've used coupons from the Sunday paper for our adult brush, I've seen Sonicare coupons on Coupon Carryout ($5 off replacement heads is a great savings) and if you have any $10 off $30 from Bed, Bath and Beyond that would be a good place to check too. Still, the cost is better than dental treatments.

The Sonicare for Kids and the replacement brush heads are available online at: (Shop through and earn 6% cash back at either site! Go to Ebates and search for Sonicare)

You can purchase in store at Bed, Bath and Beyond, WalMart and Target. There's a $10 coupon on page 142 of the June issue of All You magazine. Check with your dentist's office for a possible $5 rebate. Our office had the rebate forms at post time.

This is a a sponsored post. I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Sonicare and received a free Sonicare For Kids toothbrush to facilitate my review. The opinions are all me. Some links are affiliate links. Photo credit.

Music Soothes: Living With the Decision Not to Have Another Baby

Monday, March 1, 2010

*Giveaway info at the bottom of the post. Read it carefully! 

I love music. I get it from my dad. He's a big music buff used to have the reel to reel or record player going all the time, mostly with Motown. I love how, in an instant, a song can hit you in the gut and take you somewhere, even if it's to a place you don't want to be. Sade's new CD, Soldier of Love, and the Babyfather single has been on repeat in my iTunes lately. The lyrics made me cry a few days ago, reminding me of a sacrifice we made that still hurts every now and then.

I’m stunned
In a daze
He had the whole street set ablaze
It’s only love they say
Makes you feel this way

Our decision not to have another baby was several years in the making. We didn't make it lightly (who does?) and it's one I'm still struggling with. Sometimes, like on our trip to Orlando, I'm fine with it. Smug even. Watching other parents struggle to fold up their strollers to get them on the shuttles, the giant diaper bags, dodging strollers in the parks or getting hit in the back of the heels by one all gave me a sense of relief that those days are behind me. Three cheers for having a kid who can wipe his own butt, tie his shoes, carry his own jacket and stand in lines until almost midnight so we can ride Space Mountain two times in a row.

But other times, knowing we're not going to have another takes the wind right out of my sails. All the babies at Blissdom, the pregnant moms in my feed reader, the man at the park embracing his pregnant wife from behind, both with their hands on her stomach. Woosh!

She liked his eyes she wanted more
The baby gonna have your smile for sure
He saw a lovely girl
Smelling sweet and soapy like fresh air
She saw him looking acted like she didn’t care

I know Tyler would be an awesome big brother. At the end of his daycare days, he was one of the oldest kids there. The woman running the program would tell  me stories of Tyler trying to cheer up the younger kids when they were crying and offering to help with snack time. When Bossy and I were walking Chicago after BlogHer, I told her about the time last summer when I watched Tyler sit on the curb outside our house. He had his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. He sat there for almost 10 minutes, scanning the street, hoping some other kid would walk by and they could play together. I cried telling Bossy that story. I told her I felt like I took something away from him and he had no say in it.

And Phil is such a great dad. I'm a typical Daddy's Little Girl. I have the type of relationship with my dad that often made my mom jealous. It was the blind adoration that did it. I feel the same way sometimes when Tyler will say, "I miss Dad" when I pick him up from school or the way he runs to greet Phil at the door when I can barely get a hello sometimes. I totally get where she was coming from. Even though there's no guarantee we'd have a girl, the thought of Phil and little girl together makes me all warm and gooshy on the inside. I know he'd love to have his own Daddy's Little Girl too.

Even to the angels it may sound like a lie
For you child
He was the troops and extra backup standing by
For you child
For you he’s the best he can be
For you child
For you he’s the best he can be
Oh child don’t you know
Your daddy love come with a lifetime guarantee

All of this has me so conflicted. Add the grief I get from my mom now and then and it's even harder. I'm not sure how much longer it will take for me to be at peace with the decision, or if I ever will. But, I can always listen to music. It really does soothe the soul.

What music is moving you lately?

The giveaway: I have another copy of Soldier of Love for you. I'm so glad Sade is back on the music scene. This is a great CD.

I'm hosting the giveaway on Twitter. DO NOT leave a comment here! Tweet this message or create your own but it has to have the hashtag for me to track.

RT to win a copy of Sade's CD Soldier of Love from @ADramaticMommy. #SadeCD

Winner chosen at random from all Tweets. You don't have to follow me, but I need to see the hashtag. Giveaway ends on Friday, March 5th at noon Pacific time. I'll announce the winner here and on Twitter. Good luck!

Thanks to Big Honcho Media for the review and giveaway copies. The affiliate link is to Amazon.

Mother's Day Gift Idea: Snaptotes *Update*

Monday, April 20, 2009

I got the Snaptotes backpack Friday and it's so cute! I used the photo Aaryn took of Tyler* at Cheri's pool last summer. It's one of my favorite pictures of him and one I knew would look great on the bag.

I love it! I'm glad I chose the black and white picture over the color. It looks good with the black bag. I like the extra pockets and the pen holders. I'm always digging for my pens and often give up and use lipliner. The attachment to hold keys is a nice touch.

It holds more than I thought it would. I normally use huge bags because I carry the world in my purse. This one fits enough for a developing country. I have room for all the essentials and a little to spare.

Now that I have it, I can't give it up. I was going to give it to my mom, but it's just too cute. I can't give one to her with out giving one to the other three Grandma's as well. In the interest of family harmony and to prevent them from not speaking to me, I'm going to consider it a Mother's Day gift to myself!

*Use code DRAMA15 for 15% off your Snaptotes order. Last day to order in time for Mother's Day is April 30th *

Thank you to Snaptotes for letting me show off my baby this way!

*Yep, that's his real name. We're going to be in a magazine, there's no use trying to hide it anymore!

Review: Live SpeakR for iPhone and iPod Touch

Friday, April 3, 2009

I've never considered myself much of a gadget freak. Now that I've been blogging for awhile, I realize how many cool things I've missed out on. Being able to review a product is a fun privilege and perk of blogging, and when the product is from a local company that makes it even better. The more involved I get in social media within my community I realize we've got a lot of great companies in San Diego with some amazing innovation and creativity.

Erik and Rob have definitely demonstrated those traits with Live SpeakR. The portability alone makes it far superior to any of the other docking speaker systems I researched. The sound is great as long as you use a good quality MP3. I have two songs in my library that I didn't know I need to replace until I heard the fluctuations on the Live SpeakR. Watch the video for a demo of how to use the system and to hear the sound quality (and a minor guest appearance at the end by my husband).

Right now, the system only comes in black but I know a white version is in the works. I'd like to see brushed stainless and the option to customize them with a skin. I definitely can see using the speakers later this year during the breast cancer walk. A lot of walkers strap small speakers to their backpacks and fanny packs and play really upbeat music.

I would buy a pink skin if some of the proceeds went to breast cancer research (or red for HIV/AIDS research, purple for March of Dimes, etc. etc). Erik and Rob also told me they are maybe, possibly, hopefully going to develop a version for those of you with that other type of phone (rhymes with Blackberry).

I want to say a huge thanks to Erik and Rob for waiting so patiently for me to get this up. Also, if you follow
and Peter Shankman on Twitter (@skydiver), he is having a massive 12-hour 1 Year Anniversary Twitter giveaway today. One prize every eight minutes until 6:30 tonight and the Live SpeakR system is one of the prizes.*

(They gave it away at 12:30pm CA time. The timing of my review was a total happy coincidence!)
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