I love being an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer! I get to review products that I might not have otherwise purchased. And then I discover how much I love them and wonder why I didn't think of purchasing it before. These are my top favorites from 2011 that I reviewed for Amazon.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I've always wanted to find a pair of headphones that fit my smaller ears that wasn't sound canceling. I hoped these might be the ones, but I'm sad to say, they hurt my ears. I just couldn't find a comfortable way to fit them in. Although, every so often I could get them just right and wear them for a little while. I tried the alternate way of wearing them mentioned in the directions where they hook over and around the top of the ear but that didn't help.
However, Admittedly, my ears are smaller than most people's. If you have larger ears and you can wear the earphones that come with an iPod, you'll find these similar in fit. Having the switch on the line is nice for stopping and starting your music while you are listening.
I wasn't really able to try out the microphone feature on the headphones. My iPod has a built in external mic, so that picked up the sound by default when I tried these for facetime chat. And my computer has a built-in mic too, so when I tried using them on Skype with my laptop, the computer picked up the sound externally, not on the mic. I don't have a phone that fits this size headphones to try them out on to see how they work for connecting and disconnecting phone calls with the line switch. When wearing the headphones in the over-ear position, the mic is up near the ear lobe, so I don't know how well it would pick up anyway.
There are some big pluses about these headphones. The sound quality is very good and they have a very full sound. I could hear guitar fret noise on one song that was extremely clear and precise. The cord looks sturdy and well made (feels like rubber, but they call it a cloth cord). The info says they are tangle free, but mine still get tangled up, although, they untangle pretty easy. And like I said, he switch in the line is nice. You can turn your music on and off with one click right on the headphones if someone comes by and asks a question while you're listening. A double click on the switch advances to the next song. A cool feature.
Because of the poor fit, I can't see wearing these while biking. They just don't stay in my ears well enough. I did discover one trick though. To get them to fit, I had to treat my ears like a notch and slide the ear bud from the top of my ear down into place. I guess wearing them is a little like putting a puzzle together.
I received these headphones from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest review.
I received these headphones from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest review.
I had a small electric sharpener on my desk; the kind you can get at most office supply stores for around 10 or 15 dollars. But that older sharpener took forever to sharpen a pencil and it often overheated and stopped for a while. Problem solved with the Bostitch Super Pro 6. All I can say is "wow". This is a very sturdy machine and I'm impressed with the performance.
I zipped through a new box of pencils in less than a minute with this sharpener when I was getting my son's school supplies ready for him. It sharpens a pencil to a nice fine point in under 3 seconds.
I love that it has a dial to adjust for 6 different sizes and that it has a nice big clear reservoir for shavings. It's easy to see when it's full.
If there is any drawback, it's the size. I have this in my home office and it takes up a small chunk of space on my desk. However, it's totally worth it since it outperforms anything I've ever owned.
I received this product free of charge from Amazon Vine in exchange for my honest review.
We tried out this game with 4 people (2 guys, 2 girls). The object of the game is to answer questions and move tokens from one side of the board to the other. The guys have their own questions and the girls have theirs. There are also wild card slots where teams could potentially get a big leap ahead, and teams can kidnap the other team's token if they land on the same spot. There are 3 questions on each card. A team moves one space for each correctly answered question. The questions are very much like a trivia game, with pop culture and celebrity questions scattered in as well. Many of them really weren't all that gender specific.
The strongest positive of this game is that it works well for groups and can be played in teams. That makes it a fun game for parties and family gatherings.
It was a lot of fun, but we thought it was plenty long and it took us a long time to get one token moved across the board. With 4 people, we were supposed to use 2 of them, but we did a speed round and decided just getting the one across the board was long enough. We also decided not to worry about taking hostages from the other team by kidnapping a token. We were having enough fun and enough of a challenge just getting our tokens moved.
I think if we had more people playing, it would be easier to answer some of the questions. We liked the ones that had multiple choice because we could at least guess at an answer.
We had to keep reminding ourselves of whether the girls should grab a question from the girls pile or the guys pile when it came time to read one to the guys team. Finally, we just took the stack off the middle of the board and set it by our team so we didn't grab the wrong ones.
We found the Wild cards to be a little on the wild side. The game says it is for 12 years and older, but I didn't think the questions were appropriate for a 12 year old. I'd suggest it for at least 16 and up, if not older. Call me a prude, but questions about how whether you have ever called your spouse and told him about a sexy dream just doesn't fit with the age group of this game. Definitely a couples game. We decided just to skip the wild card spots since we were playing with my teen in the group.
All in all, it's a fun game to have on the shelf, but it's only appropriate for certain crowds.
I received this game from the Amazon Vine reviewer program in exchange for my honest review. Get your own game here: Battle of the Sexes- Battle Continues Board Game
Matt Redman is an extraordinary song writer and his passion for worship is clear. Mirror Ball: Living Boldly and Shining Brightly for the Glory of God takes the concepts he puts into a song and translates them into words for everyday living. He encourages readers to reflect the glory of God in all they do, not just in words of a song.
I had a hard time getting into the first part of the book, but about a third of the way into the book, Redman's real passion began to show. Using examples from everyday life and stories from scripture, Redman illustrates what it means to live boldly and shine brightly for God's glory. Midway through the book, Redman talks about how big God is. He says, " If I wake up one day and cannot think of a reason to bring praise to God, then something is wrong with my spiritual outlook." He goes on to say, "Every direction we look, we find another reason to exalt Him." p. 80-81
When he talks about songwriting, that's when Redman's real passion shows. He says every time he writes a worship song, his ambition is to "continue framing the many glories of God in song, the very best way I can." p. 84
Redman's goal is the help people see beyond the everyday to the eternal. However, he doesn't ignore the everyday. This book is about helping readers see that there is a bigger picture to our lives.
I enjoyed the book and it isn't terribly long. This would be a great resource for worship leaders and ministry leaders to use for a short study. It's also good for small group studies. The back has a section of questions that coordinate with every chapter. The questions are appropriate for both group and individual study. The discussion section also includes lyrics from many of Redman's songs as a launching pad for thought and discussion too.
I think part of the reason that I had trouble getting into the beginning is that I was distracted and this book gives the reader a lot to think about. I suggest reading it as part of a quiet time when the reader has time to process his or her thoughts. It isn't a book I suggest reading in a crowded restaurant or a place where distractions abound.
I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
When I first used this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to admit that the first swipe across my legs was painful and I wondered what I got myself into. I had never used an epilator before. After a while, I got used to the sensation, but you must remember that this does pull the hair out, and that is painful. However, subsequent uses are not near as painful because the amount of hair that grows back is much less than the first use. After use, my legs were red and bumpy (little red spots) for a few hours. It's important to follow the directions that recommend doing the removal at night so you have until morning for the redness to go away. This matters if you intend to wear shorts.
I found that some almond body oil soothed any irritation that I had immediately after hair removal. The instructions recommend any soothing lotion that doesn't have alcohol in it. I have very sensitive skin and I didn't find the temporary discomfort a big deal. As the directions say might happen, I did have a few ingrown hairs on the thigh area.
The great thing about this epilator is that it has a light, so it makes it really easy to see the hairs. Also, the hairs grow back very slowly. After a week, I only had a few finer hairs back and I did a touch-up. The following week, I did another touch-up. The amount that grew back was light in color and not at all noticeable like it would be with regular shaving. The hair that grows back is soft and not prickly.
The charge lasts for a long time! The epilator can be locked for travel so that the thing doesn't turn on on the suitcase and run down the battery. The charging cord is nice and long. It's easy to clean after use.
I haven't yet tried this for underarm hair removal. I wanted to see how my legs responded first.
I noticed that the description of the product talks about facial hair removal but the directions that came with it clearly state that it's for hair removal below the neck only.
I highly recommend this product. But you have to give it a chance. You'll get used to it after you use it for a little while. I love that I don't need to shave every other day.
I received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I am not obligated to post a favorable review.
If you blog or ever wanted to blog, The Digital Mom Handbook by Audrey Mcclelland and Colleen Padilla is a fantastic resource. I'm a blogger and I've begun to grow a stronger reader base but this book gives great tips and tools for solidifying my presence on the web. The book is written by experts who know the ins and outs of working from home, building a money-making blog, and much more.
The book is packed full of testimonials from other women who have successfully built a blog empire that actually earns them money. The authors take their time in making sure the reader understands terminology and they include a section in the back that explains social media. There are also links throughout the book to websites that are both resources for the blogger as well as examples of successful bloggers.
I've read books on blogging before, but this one is uniquely targeted to the woman who blogs and it has the same warm feel as the blogs I'm drawn to. It gives advice on how to get started, how to find readers, and how to make money with your blog. It also addresses how to keep your family first and how to set boundaries that keep your home business from overtaking your family life.
I can't say enough about how great I think this is as a resource. I'm very techie and I still learned a bunch from the book.
I had an advance reader copy, so I can't wait to see what the final layout looks like.
This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.