AqtivAqua POLARIZED “Poseidon” Swim Goggles

Hubby’s been through more than a few swim goggles from various suppliers, and rarely have a pair been good for more than a couple of uses before they start to leak, or the anti-fog lenses fog, or some plastic piece breaks. These are the first, however, to claim to be polarized.

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Polarized lenses not only reduce glare, they increase contrast and reduce eye strain. Unlike a traditionally tinted lens, they don’t just darken the field of view with various tints or shading in the lens, but block the horizontally polarized beams of sunlight. Generally this makes anything with polarized lenses more expensive than non, but the benefits for some greatly outweigh the costs.  So putting a polarized lens on a set of swim goggles seems like a no-brainer, since there’s rarely more sunlight bouncing around than when you’re in the pool in the summer, right? So far, these AqtivAqua® POLARIZED “Poseidon” Swim Goggles are the sharpest, clearest goggles I’ve ever used. Whether the lenses are truly polarized or just tinted perfectly, I can’t tell. But the sharpness and clarity both in and out of the water was stunning. They fit well around even Hubby’s giant pumpkin head, and there’s no leaks or fogging. They’ve only been used twice in chlorinated water, but both times on both of us they were comfortable, there was no pinching or binding, and they were easily adjusted on the fly to fit either of us. They are a touch on the bulky side and there’s not as much peripheral vision as we’re used to with our swim goggles. But other than that, we have no complaints. The zippered, molded storage case is a nice touch too, a real “value added” bonus. 

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I will revisit this review after a few more uses, because testing and reviewing swim goggles has shown me that the first few uses are always perfect, and with exposure to chlorinated water over a season, the cheaper, poorly made ones tend to start fogging and leaking after about 5 or 6 uses. But as of now, these are Hubby’s go-to for lap swimming. Whether they stay that way, only time will tell, but AqtivAqua states on the Amazon listing: ” If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your AqtivAqua® Swimming Goggles, contact us and we will provide a no-hassle full refund”. Alrighty, then. I say give them a try!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from ActivAqua. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Mdeho Pet Toys Rubber Throw Toy

I’m a sucker for things for our little girl. She’s getting on in years and we spoil her every chance we get. Even at 12 years old, some days she acts like a crazy puppy and she wants to do is play, play, play. So when a Pet Supply company offers us a “durable” toy for our girl, we’re thrilled to take it for a spin.

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I’m happy to report that this one went over like gangbusters. Usually, a new toy is “the new hotness” for about two days until our dog decides it’s “old and busted” and won’t give it the time of day. Very few toys have what she considers “replayability”, but the Mdeho toy had it in spades. The only thing I’ll say that could be a negative is that our dog tends to like to grab the “human” end of the toy, which means when she runs away with it, the spike-ey ball sways to and fro, and usually ends up bopping her on the noggin, or worse, right in the face. And because they had to make the rubber a little hard to make sure it stands up to determined chewers, that also means it causes an ouchie when she gets bopped and fun time is officially over. What I would like is if Mdeho would make different “hardness” levels, ala Kong, so that there’s a super durable one for the chewers, and a softer one for the “throw-and-tug” crowd. The color is a bright blue, so it doesn’t end up blending with the grass and get missed by our dog, or by Hubby if it gets left outside. Because I suspect it would wreak havoc on his mower. The braided cord that attached handle to ball is strong and tough, but doesn’t separate to allow her teeth to get caught in it either. So far, there’s not been a single chunk, cut of gouge in the rubber, and no funk smell when it arrived either. I’m ecstatic that now, a few weeks later, our dog still plays with and enjoys this Mdeho Dog Toy, and that it’s still going strong with no sigh of it giving up the ghost any time soon.

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Dog toys are a tough nut to crack. Too strong and the dog will hurt itself. Too weak and it will be destroyed, and the dog might hurt itself. Mdeho seems to have found that happy middle ground where durability meets playability. At $12.99, it seems to me a decent value, especially now that I know it’s made to last. Mdeho claims it “make engaging play-with-me sounds”, but this toy has never made a peep. Maybe something got lost in translation there. I’d still recommend it, though.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Mdeho. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

TNT Interactive Twin Turbo Vertical Cooling Stand for Playstation 4

 

Hubby isn’t much of a “gamer”, unless you count a few hours of playing Battlefield 4 every week. But even then, from time to time, the Playstation 4 can get pretty heated up, and heat + CPU’s = No bueno. So a little extra help in the cooling department is always appreciated, and TNT Interactive’s Vertical Cooling Stand is just what the doctor ordered!

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It’s a simple thing most folks appreciate, a vertical stand for their shiny new PS4. Not only is it a space-saver, but the PS4’s internal fans cool more effectively that way as well. But, with heavy gaming, HD video streaming, or graphics-intense games, it can still tax the internals and they can overheat if not properly cooled, and TNT Interactive’s Twin Turbo Cooling Stand steps up to the plate and says “No worries, I got this”. Overheating is one of the leading causes of system failures in the Playstation 4, and no one wants their nearly $400 purchase fried when a simple, affordable $17.95 base can stave off so much unhappiness. And while mine was a tight fit for Hubby’s PS4, it did eventually settle in and stand comfortably. The TNTi fan base also acts as a USB hub, charging the controllers, or powering other USB peripherals. It’s a modest investment that pays huge dividends over the long run, and one I’m glad I got to try.

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It’s not all wine and roses. The fans can be slightly on the noisy side, and unlike other units I’ve seen, there’s no way to toggle the fans manually off and on. It’s plugged in and on, or it’s not. Hubby doesn’t have the sound up very loud so as not to scare the bejesus out of me and the dog, so we hear the drone of the fan the entire time. The other is the bright, blue LED light on the front of the base. While Hubby sits slightly off-center from the TV and PS4, I’m usually directly right in front of the light, and it’s terribly, terribly bright and annoying. Minor quibbles overall, but valid ones for us. Your mileage may vary. And while there’s some base units out there with a few more bells and whistles, and some might even be slightly cheaper, in the end you need to select the one that’s best for your tastes, and this one suits us just fine.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from TNT Interactive. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Velocity Toy’s V-Thunder 1:14 Scale Remote-controlled Truck

We’ve always love remote controlled gadgets in this house. Hubby’s had them since he was a little guy, and I’ve played with a few in my time. They’re always good for some fun whether you’re 6 or 60. The only caveat to that is when they don’t work. Then they’re frustrating, horrible headaches that are a waste of money. I was hoping for the former with Velocity Toys’ V-Thunder 1:14 Scale Remote Controlled 4X4 Truck, but unfortunately what I got was the latter.

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Right out of the box, the V-Thunder Truck didn’t work right. It went forwards and backwards, but that was it. It wouldn’t turn. We tried everything we could, but the unit was defective. That wasn’t even the only failure. The “Sounds” in the form of music never worked. When we got the thin plastic shell off, we saw why: the wires to the speaker were never soldered. The red and blue LED’s in the wheel wells worked, but the anemic 6v NiCad battery pack could scarcely handle the functions of the truck, I can only imagine the amount of unnecessary drain on the battery those would be. And as I mentioned, the plastic shell around the truck is almost paper thin, but thankfully the bumper is sturdy, otherwise your first impact would also be your last on the body. The controls are poor, in that there’s no gradual acceleration at all. It’s full-power forward or no power, and with no steering, that ended badly every time. There’s no adjusting them, because the analog adjustment levers are molded on the plastic frame of the controls, and non-functional. It was also, for reasons I’ll never understand, covered in dirt and filthy out of the box. Odd.

For the price, you could do a lot better. Cursory glances around Toys R Us, Walmart and Target showed multiple vehicles of similar size, that probably work, for much less, sometimes less than half the price. If this were a gift, it would have made for a very unhappy recipient. I tried to contact Velocity Toys about this, multiple times. They directed me to contact “Airsoft Joe” for a replacement. “Airsoft Joe” had their auto-response on, and let me know they’d get to me as soon as possible. Multiple emails have yet to be answered since from either company. If I had bought this from them, I’d have felt like a fool, but thankfully I got a unit at no charge to test and review. So combine the defective product with poor to non-existent customer service and a blatant disregard for aftersales support, and you’ve got a product I not only don’t recommend, I’d avoid doing any business with them for anything in the future.

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  • Normally, I’d put quite a few links, including where to buy. I don’t recommend anyone buy from this company, and their products and service are bad, so I’m really not going to “promote” them so much as warn my readers away.

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Velocity Toys. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Aegend Mirrored Anti-fog Swim Goggles

Summer has come and summer has gone, and despite the hotter than average fall, the cold nights have cooled the pool to the point that swimming for the season is but a memory. That didn’t stop a couple of companies from sending me swim goggles (that, in my defense, I had requested to review at the start of summer, but I digress…) to test out and review. So Hubby bit the bullet for me and wore them in the shower, dunked his head in the freezing pool, and bless his heart, had me turn the hose on his face. All in the name of my reviews.

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The results were middling. While these Aegend swim goggles look sleek and neat, and at first glance seem decent, they have a couple of design flaws that make wearing them a little uncomfortable. The first of which is the nose piece that is not adjustable and pinches a bit on me, a lot on Hubby. Prolonged use would, one could extrapolate, be annoying if not downright painful. Next is the anti-fog coating on the inside. When wet, it gets “gummy”, so be very careful not to wipe or touch the lenses at all. As it stands, the coating went on a little unevenly, which leads to a lens that is no longer optically correct and downright disorienting. The final straw was, after a few adjustments and resizing from me to him, the little plastic tension “snap” that holds the two sides together has a crack. Not fully broken yet, but it’s really only a matter of time. How this was supposed to be a good feature is completely beyond my grasp, because it’s going to break, probably on all of them, and that’s just the nature of this kind of plastic. So understand that these swim goggles are on borrowed time.

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I wish these performed as well as they look. They’re really snazzy looking and the tint provides good eye protection from the bright sun, without making everything too dark, The silicone bands are soft and pliable, and didn’t pull my very fine hair. The have a one year, money-back guarantee, and do come with a nifty travel/storage case. But there’s enough wrong with these that at $12.95, I have real trouble recommending them. The upside is, you can always try them and if you have the same problems I did, they can be returned for up to 12 months from purchase.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Aegend.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Wizzhome’s Creative Scents 3 Piece Storage Box Set

 

I love being able to store away seasonal things when not in use, be they summer’s bikinis, fall’s fuzzy sweaters, or winter’s slipper socks. It’s like refreshing your wardrobe every few months. But sometimes just putting them on a shelf in the closet, or shoved in the back of a drawer isn’t kosher. So when the opportunity arose to try out more of Wizzhome’s fabulous storage solutions, you bet I was all over them!

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And this Creative Scent’s 3 piece set is just the bee’s knees. Much larger than the last set I tried, sturdier, and this time, with lids! So now they don’t just look super, and function super, they’re stackable! No more tumbling piles of clothes from the top shelf of the closet, no more dusty, musty clothes that need to be “aired out” before wearing. Although I will advise airing out these boxes before use or storage, because as others have noted, there is a strong “chemical” smell when these boxes are new. Nothing a little time and a cedar block won’t correct though. Another issue I had is that my shipment was damaged by UPS (something they really seem to specialize in!). That makes 2 of 2 packages from Wizzhome that UPS damaged, this time rendering the largest box unuseable. Thankfully, Wizzhome sent out a replacement poste haste and I had it in a few days time. With three sizes, including a large box measuring 6″high x 16″ wide x 11″ deep, a medium one measuring 5.75″ high x 14.75″ wide x 9.75″ deep and small-sized box measuring 5″ high x 13.75″ wide x 8.5″ deep, this set has storage solutions for days! In fact, they’re so nice looking it’s almost a shame to hide them away in a closet!DSC_0210

My one nit to pick is the price. at nearly $60, one would expect something a little sturdier that fabric-covered cardboard. That makes a drawback of displaying them that incidental bumps by feet, knees or even a vacuum could do considerable damage. It also means that if you slightly overfill them, there’s very little tensile strength to the sides and they will bow out. But the faux-leather lids are a breeze to dust or wipe down, and the herringbone design of the fabric will go with any decor.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from WizzHome.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

AGPtek Lighting Waterproof Mood Ball by Foober US

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These cooler fall nights are just what the doctor ordered after a blistering finish to a hot SoCal summer, and that means dinner in outside int he waning light, night swims and lights, lights, and more lights. I never thought much about “decorating” the surface of the water of our pool, especially since so much money and effort is spent keeping it crystal clear! To say I was intrigued by this Foober “mood” ball would be an understatement.

 

It’s just what it says it is: A lightweight, color changing ball that floats along the surface of the water. It’s watertight and runs on just two little button-cell cr2032 batteries. It is a little difficult to open at first, because it’s sealed so tight, but that’s better than being loose and letting water in to fry the little circuit board inside. About the size of a softball, in the day time it doesn’t look like much, but once the sun sets it really comes to life. It will only work in water, so don’t think you can fudge it an have it in a planter or something. A single ball tend to get lost in a moderate to  large pool, so if you really want a cool effect, be sure to pick up a few! Though at $7.99 for one, I would like it to be around the $4.99 mark, because while it is neat to look at, it’s very small and is the very textbook definition of “novelty” light.

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There could be numerous applications for in the home, too, like filling a wide-mouth vase with a little water and letting this little guy float under some flowers. It’s an energy efficient LED that gives this little Mood Ball his light, and ensures that it will last a good, long while before needing to replace the batteries. A neat little bauble for those nights under the waning light.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from AGPTek.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Compressions Mirrored Swim Goggles

 

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Summer is in full swing in Southern California, and the pool is open for business. I recently got a chance to try out some pretty cool swim goggles from Compressions, and having bought more than a few of these in the past, I’m liking how they’re holding up so far!IMAG3178

 

Compressions Mirrored Swim Goggles are anti-fog and anti-leak. I guarantee anyone who has used swim goggles in the past has had a problem with one or both issues. Compressions coated the inside of the lenses with an anti-fog treatment that means no matter the time used, these goggles won’t fog. Nothing is worse than swimming around blindly and crashing into a wall. Or worse, someone else, because your goggles fogged up and you can’t see. Thankfully these goggles are also shatter proof as well!

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The only worse thing is them filling with water. We’ve had more than our fair share of leaky goggles, and it’s probably one of Hubby’s top pet peeves. There’s a lot of stuff in our water to keep it clear, fresh and clean, and trust me, you want none of it in your eyes. Chlorine, muriatic acid, floculant, tri-chlor tablets? No thanks, I’ll just use my Compressions Swim Goggles.

What’s nice is that these goggles also sport mirrored lenses. On a bright, sunny day, I want to wear my sunglasses. But none I had fit over or under some swim goggles. Compressions took care of that by making an all-in-one solution with these mirrored lenses. They even give you 100% UV protection! It’s like sunblock for your eyes! I can’t think of anything I didn’t like.

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Hubby has quite the large head, and they took a fair bit of adjusting to fit him properly. The infinitely adjustable silicone straps did finally fit his big ol’ pumpkin head. They did, however, dribble slightly under water, and jumping in meant the came right off his head too. That never happened with his Speedo branded goggles, and he did notice that the lenses were not 100% optically correct, which basically means they had some small distortion from lens to lens and that can lead to eye fatigue, but it’s not like he’s wearing them to drive or something else terribly important, so I doubt it’ll be of any major concern. The also came with a nifty little carry/storage case so that hopefully they last for years and years to come. And finally, Compressions backs their goggles with a 12 month “No Questions Asked” 100% refund and return guarantee, so if you’re needing some high quality swim goggles, I recommend giving Compressions Swim Goggles a try!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Compressions.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ander Blake Company’s Color Gallery Acrylic Paint Set

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If I’m being honest, I hadn’t picked up a paint brush since high school. I used to paint often, and enjoyed creating things. Then, life, work, and family started taking up nearly all of my time, and my creative side took a back seat to my other responsibilities. So when I got a chance from the Ander Blake Company to dip my toes back into that creative pool, I was more than a little excited.

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My experience had been heretofore been primarily oil paints, like the kind you had to buy for art class. And I tended to use mainly primary colors, so this set was not that hard to adapt to. It was smooth, spread easily, and mixed well. A big plus to these is that they thin with water, not the linseed oil I used to have to use for my old oils. Which also means that they can be sprayed through an airbrush. Painting on canvas or wood produced the same bright, vibrant colors, too.

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The tops seal well, so you don’t have to worry about them drying out, and the package they came in has dividers so storage is a breeze. All twelve tubes are .4 fl oz. each, which combined with their rich pigments and ability to thin so easily, means these paints should last you a good long while. Ander Blake says these paints are good for ceramics and fabrics as well, so the only limit to what you can create is your own imagination. If I had to pick one thing I didn’t truly love about these, it’s that the “forrest green” is not a very true, deep green, as you can see from my pictures. thankfully the blues and yellows were sufficient to make a very good, true green. At under $14 for the set of 12 paints, you could do much worse. A word of caution: These paints have a lot of pigment, which means that should you get it on something you didn’t intend (Like, say, a husband and his t-shirt), it will probably stain, most likely permanently. They do have also have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can buy with confidence.  Overall I liked them and would definitely recommend them to beginners or craftspeople alike.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ander Blake Company.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Sentey Brio LS-2100 Power Bank Portable Charger

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This is my second product from Sentey, and while the Flow Headphone didn’t exactly blow my skirt up, this Brio LS-2100 power bank portable charger is the bee’s knees. I’ll go over why right here, right now!

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To start, we have had some experience with these types of portable chargers before. While replaceable batteries are keen for cell phones, the whole power-down, open back, insert battery, power back up, and start your activities again thing just is clumsy and awkward and let’s be frank…it sucks. So we picked up a cheap, no-name version for the times we’d forget to fully charge the phone before leaving or heavy use or bad signal quality drained our battery. And while we got to almost 75-80% charges with the no-name, The Brio LS-2100 topped up the phone nicely, and fast. It has a 2800 mAh rating (milliampere-hour) battery so there’s juice to spare for all but the hugest mobile phone battery. So while it did top up our phone (our LG phone has a 2460 mAh battery), be sure you check the mAh rating on your phone’s battery before expecting a top-up on yours too. But the old no-name was only good for our phone, and not much else. Enter the new hotness.

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The Brio LS-2100 is about the size and weight of a tube of lipstick, so it fits comfortably in a pocket, purse or handbag. And like lipstick, the Brio 2800 comes in a plethora of colors too. It even has a cute little microfiber travel pouch to keep him looking snazzy! It also comes with it’s own short white micro-USB charging cord too, so it is ready to plug in to just about every phone on the market. It’s got flat sides so you don’t have to worry about it rolling away, either. The “grade A” lithium-ion battery is good for over 500 charging cycles, so it should last you a good long while too. And lithium-ion batteries hold their charge well, so you can power this little guy up and keep him handy until you need him. The 1A output is good to charge almost every phone or small device to boot…so remember that sucky little no-name power bank? This Brio LS-2100 left his sorry butt in the dust and charged my husband’s Asus Nexus 7 tablet too. Even his Liztek PSS-100 bluetooth speaker. I totally have a crush on this Brio LS-2100. So, sayonara little no-name power bank. There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Brio.

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At only $9.99 (with free Prime shipping) on Amazon.com, chances are the Brio LS-2100 is cheaper than a spare battery, or even a car charger. It has overcharge, over discharge (which lessens the life of your battery), short-circuit and over current protection, and LED indicators to tell you when it’s charging up or charging a device. This one is a no-brainer to me and I can’t believe I didn’t have one before. I’m so glad I got to try this little guy, and I think my readers would appreciate trying one as well.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sentey.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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