Sterline Rechargeable Toothbrush with UV Clean Technology

One of my goals for the new year is to smile more and with that I’d like to have a brighter smile. I think it will be easier to do with one of the latest products I had the opportunity to review, the Sterline Sonic Pulse Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush I found that my mouth and teeth had a more intense clean feeling after using this toothbrush, perhaps that was because of the sonic pulse of the toothbrush. Based on my experience, I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a rechargeable unit at an affordable price! And I am excited to share that Sterline is also offering a 15% discount today with the code THKSXMAS

After testing the unit, here is what I found: It is small enough to be portable. It comes with 3 different brush heads – professional, slimsonic, and interdental. I would say that the slimsonic is for your everyday clean, the professional for a little deeper clean and the interdental head is great for cleaning between teeth. The interdental head is also meant to help with cleaning around crowns and braces (though I don’t have either, I believe it would be effective and I like that the manufacturer was thoughtful in including this).

The toothbrush vibrates intensely in 3 modes. There is an on/off button and mode button to select whether you would like to use normal, soft, or pulse modes.

I love that there is a little uv sanitizing station within the unit. To me, this is really the best feature!! Just plug in the unit, put your brush head inside and close the door. The light will activate and sanitize brush heads inside the enclosure; the unit will glow a light blue and then shutoff automatically after 7 minutes. There is a magnet on the door to the sanitizer which keeps it sealed. I also like the idea that it keeps your toothbrush heads away from bathroom germs. Overall, I feel that this is a great little unit at an affordable price.

Disclaimer: I received this rechargeable toothbrush at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

SoundFit Plus Bluetooth Speaker: This Speaker Slays!


The AYL SoundFit Plus is on my Summer Checklist for sure! It is a solid bluetooth speaker great for listening to my favorite music! It came nicely and protectively packaged in a colorful, descriptive, and informative box. This speaker came with a micro-USB charging cable, and a user manual. The speaker is IP65 rated which means it is dust proof and can handle low pressure water jets (although I don’t intend to put mine in the bathtub). It features a 10 watt amp with two full range drivers on the front and a passive radiator on the rear for extra bass. The entire speaker is coated in silicone and has a thick, silicone carry handle.

There are four buttons on the top of the speaker which include power (also used for pairing), lower volume (also skip back), play/pause (also used for answer/end) and volume up/skip forward. I found I had to push down pretty hard and hold it to power on the speaker. It’s a little harder to push the buttons than I thought it would be perhaps because of the silicone. There is a threaded mount on the bottom of the speaker for putting the speaker on a tripod, or mounting it on handlebars, etc. On the right side of the speaker is the micro-USB charging port and 3.5mm audio in jack which are hidden under a large silicone flap. I wasn’t able to get the flap to seal again after I pulled it open so I wouldn’t want to drop this in the water now (for me that doesn’t change much because even if something is waterproof, it doesn’t mean I want to get it wet, especially when it comes to electronics. Just sayin’.) It is something to be aware of and hopefully something the company may address in the future if this speaker being waterproof is really important.

The speaker also has a light on the front which is helpful to show it’s on/off/pairing status. It also plays tones at power on and power off. Pairing with the speaker is quick and easy and the speaker can remember multiple devices.

This speaker is convenient to use. It has a 12 hour battery life and 3 hour charge rating. It has great sound quality and gets quite loud. My family and I have really enjoyed using it lately, especially sitting outside listening to music and enjoying the summer weather and campfires. It would also be great to bring to the beach. For the price (especially on sale and with Prime shipping), I think it’s a great deal!!

Overall I am very happy with this speaker and with the sound quality, output, battery life, and durability of this speaker. (It’s taken a couple of drops like nothing and still works fine). It also comes with a lifetime warranty! I would highly recommend this Bluetooth speaker for music lovers and beach-goers. It is highly portable and great for listening to music anywhere!!!

Disclaimer: I received this Bluetooth speaker for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

DreamZ for Dreams

I find that taking Melatonin can help me to relax and fall asleep more quickly and that it also helps me to stay asleep. Recently, I tried a natural, herbal sleep aid that also contains Melatonin (3mg) as well as other herbs DreamZ herbal sleep aid

I have tried a number of sleep aids including Melatonin, and other similar herbal remedies like DreamZ. I have found that not all are created equally.

DreamZ I found did get the job done, I was able to get to sleep and sleep through the night pretty well. I woke up in the morning feeling rested also. However, I found that when I opened these, they had a strong, sort of weird, herbal aroma (I tried another product which in comparing the labels have the exact same ingredients and identical amounts of each) but the scent was not as strong as DreamZ. I found the smell and after-taste that I experienced with these a bit off-putting which is why I am giving these a 3 out of 5 stars “it’s okay”. They get the job done but I’m not a fan of the smell and after-taste. I also typically take 5mg of Melatonin and these contain 3mg, so I took 2 of these each night; I wish they had options to select a different level of Melatonin for those that need a little more.

Disclaimer: I received DreamZ for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Cellphone Camera Lens Kit

I love technology and gadgets! I also love taking pictures! I may take too many pictures with my cellphone. Although I have a DLSR camera, I often use the camera on my iPhone. A lot of times, it is just more convenient than to lug around a camera bag. Also, when I take pics from my iPhone I can post directly to instagram and other social media sites, or I can share directly with family and friends.

I was very excited to learn that I was selected to review the Zeso Cellphone Camera Lens Kit.

Discliamer: I received the Zeso Cellphone Camera Lens kit for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

This lens kit comes with 3 different lenses – a macro, fisheye, and wide angle lens. They easily screw into the provided Zeso clip and the clip simply clips to your phone (like a clothespin). Easy peasy.

I gave this lens kit a test recently with my iPhone 6s after I bought a new car (well, I’m leasing but yeah…). It had also rained so the droplets of water collected on the car which made for some fun pics with the macro lens. The fisheye was also pretty fun!

I found that with the macro, I had to get extremely close and then do my best to be still while I took the picture which proved a bit challenging. I was able to get most of the pic in focus, but sometimes it was difficult to get all of it to be really crisp and clear.

The set comes with a nice travel case with padding and cutouts inside to securely store the lenses. The macro and wide-angle lens are screwed together so they together have one lens cap, and the fisheye has another lens cap. The set also comes with a small, black, drawstring pouch. Given the padded, zippered case with carabiner, I didn’t think that the drawstring was necessary and I don’t think I will use it. I wish that instead, it came with a cleaning cloth which I think would prove more useful for this set. My lenses came with some smudges or film of some sort. Luckily I had cleaning cloths on hand for my regular camera so I just used that to give these lenses a quick wipe-down.

I think this kit would be great for photography lovers, as well as travelers. As I said earlier, bringing a DSLR on the go is nice to be able to snap good quality pictures but babysitting and toting the camera around is not always so fun or convenient. Living in Maine, I also spend a lot of time thinking about if I should be bringing my camera with me certain times because I don’t want to leave it in my car for any length of time in the winter. I think that this kit would be great to bring on trips because it’s all contained in a small container. It would be too bad if it got lost with luggage or stolen on a trip persay, but because it is much more affordable than expensive camera equipment, I also think this would make it ideal for travel. It also helps to take some better and more interesting pictures with your cellphone which is really neat!

I would definitely recommend this kit to others interested in taking pictures with their cell phones (and because of its design, it can fit just about any phone!).

Shake Like a Boss

Sometimes you have to shake like a boss! Okay, okay… you don’t have to, but you won’t regret it when you do! Today is my last day of classes for the fall semester. It also happens to be my husband’s last day of finals as well. To bid the semester goodbye and welcome summer break, I think I’ll be doing a little more shaking with this sweet new Cocktail Shaker Set that I received from ShikShook!

Disclaimer: I received the ShikShook Cocktail Shaker Set for free in exchange for my honest, and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

When I was in college, I bought myself a nice shaker set which came with a stainless steel shaker with a rubber grip, a jigger, a strainer, and stirrer. Although this set does not have a separate strainer or stirrer, the shaker itself of course has a strainer, and instead, this set comes with 2 liquor bottle pourers which is a nice bonus. The set is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. It is also lifetime and 100% satisfaction guaranteed. It comes with an ebook of 100 drink recipes that pairs well with this set (great for beginners and more advanced mixologists and consumers).

ShikShook Cocktail Set

The ShikShook Shaker, jigger, and pourers come in stainless steel which will not rust. The shaker is nice and big (24 oz.) to hold plenty of ice and plenty of liquid. Each piece is monogrammed with the ShikShook logo which makes for a classy look.

ShikShook Strainer

The set also come with a black monogrammed fabric bag which is quite large and can be used to store the entire kit with plenty or room to spare for some nips, cards, or other small bar items. Alternatively, you could use the bag to gift a bottle along with the set.

ShikShook Bag

Personally, I don’t need the bag, or would prefer it to be smaller to just contain the jigger and the shaker. I also wish that it had a rubberized hand-grip on the shaker to help me maintain a good grip on the shaker without my hand getting cold.

Overall, I do really like this set and would recommend it for personal use or as a gift.

When Your Hearing is Important But You Want to Really Enjoy Your Music

Believe it or not, hearing health is something that I think about often. I cover sensation and perception in psychology, including hearing. And my husband suffers from hearing loss from his military experience as well. It can be really frustrating when I hear a noise at night or my car is making a “funny sound” but he can’t hear it. I know it’s also really frustrating to us both when he can’t hear me at times as well.

Now that hearing loss is closer to me, preventing hearing loss has become even more important to me. When I came across Snug Play+ Kids Volume Limiting Headphones, I knew that I needed to check them out.

Although these volume limiting headphones are designed for children, they would fit some adults. They are adjustable. With the headband fully extended, they fit me just fine. They are nice quality. The ear cushions are very comfortable. The headband also has a nice cushion at the top (inside the headband) which makes them really comfortable to wear. The volume still gets to be reasonably loud. I don’t like my music too loud through headphones. These made music loud enough to really enjoy listening without feeling like your harming your hearing.

Using these volume limiting headphones could help you to enjoy music or audio from movies, etc while preserving your hearing health. You can also listen at a good volume without bothering those around you as the earphones provide good insulation as well.

They come in a good selection of colors. I chose the gray so it would be gender neutral and my niece and nephews could all enjoy taking a turn using them. They fold up so they can be stored easily and travel with you without concern of breaking.

I would definitely recommend these to those with children or adults with up to a medium sized head.

Disclaimer: I received these SnugPlay + kids headphones for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

Be a Bear in the Kitchen


Once it warms up, I like to cook on the grill a lot. Recently, I was able to try some Culinary Claws which are kitchen and grill tools designed like bear claws. Not only do they make kitchen and grill jobs easier, but also more fun.

bear claws

Disclaimer: I received Culinary Claws in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

My family loves pulled pork, but I rarely make it because shredding pork is a bit difficult as it hurts my hands to shred it with forks. I found that they made shredding pork much easier by holding the chunk of meat still with one of the claws and dragging the other claw across the meat. These claws also make shredding meat and tossing salads more fun because, like me, you will probably want to pretend to be a bear (unless it is just me or if you prefer to be Wolverine). Either way these claws will probably make your kitchen and grill work easier and more fun. These claws are made of hard, durable plastic, and they are easy to clean as they can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher. For these reasons, I would recommend them for shredding meat, tossing salads, or flipping meat on the grill.

Staying Cool with Bamboo Sheets

Now that the snow is gone and there are no more threats of flurries in the near future, Spring has brought rain. April and May often bring rainy, gray, dreary days to Maine. I’m rather tired of the rain already, but I will appreciate the lush green grass it will give us. Soon enough, summer will be upon us and it will be time to roll out the air conditioner and spend evenings by the fire-pit.

When it heats up, I am sure that I will appreciate my new Cariloha Bamboo Sheets even more. Not only are they some of the softest sheets I’ve ever had, but they have a nice, luxurious texture and weight to them. AND they help you stay nice and cool! Speaking of cool, they come in a variety of colors including white, sage, ivory, sandy shore, and bahama blue. (I got Bahama Blue which is a dark, rich blue).

They are organic sheets made with 100% Viscose from Bamboo. We’ve tried other organic sheets made with Eucalyptus; they were very nice and soft but after a number of washes  began to shred and did not have the luxurious weight and cooling feel that these bamboo sheets have.

Not only are the Cariloha Bamboo Sheets great quality, but they also come with a  Lifetime Quality Guarantee. As stated on Cariloha’s Company Website: “If you’re not completely satisfied with the quality, we’ll exchange the item(s) for you. Visit Return.Cariloha.com or contact us at 1.800.884.5815.”

And in case you are a skeptic, you can try them virtually risk-free because “If you don’t fall in love with the softness of the bamboo fabric (made of viscose from bamboo), return it within 90 days for a full refund, less shipping charges.” (Really though, I think the biggest risk is going to be that you’re going to want to buy another set after you try them.)

The only downside I found was that one of the pillowcases had a little loose threading or a mis-stitch. (Since typing this, I thought I’d explore the Return link and it says I would have to return the whole set because a whole new set would be sent out.) At this point, it’s not really a big deal to me, because I’m really enjoying those sheets being ON my bed.

Overall, I love these sheets and would definitely recommend them to anyone!!!

Disclaimer: I received Cariloha’s Classic Bamboo Sheet Set at a deep discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

 

Take Small Steps to Make Your Life a Little More Stress-Free

There have been a few times when the battery has run low on my phone and I don’t have time or the ability to be tied to a wall outlet (and sometimes I don’t have a charging cable which is the worse). When this happens, I feel anxious because my line of communication with my family isn’t available to me and the other way around, my husband isn’t able to contact me and his anxiety goes up. Not to mention the shame that I feel because I should have remembered to charge my phone earlier and I’m disappointed that (sometimes) this leads to a state of hyperarousal for us both. Other times, I am afraid that if something happens with my car like a breakdown or accident that I won’t be able to contact anyone without relying on a stranger which is not a good feeling, especially when I am already feeling afraid and vulnerable in those types of situations. Lately, I have been able to avoid this stress (Thank you so much 1 by One!!!) with the help of this 10,000 mAh Portable Charger with Dual USB Ports from 1 by One

Disclaimer: I received this 1 by One 10,000 mAH Portable Charger with Dual USB Ports for free in exchange for my honest, and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I did not receive any other compensation.

I’ve been using this portable charger for nearly a week now and it is awesome! I love how it is helping me keep all of my devices charged when I’m on the go. It is also helping me and my husband to have peace of mind as well for those times when I’ve forgotten to charge my phone and I’m not able to have access (or convenient access) to a wall outlet. It is also really nice that it has 2 ports to charge 2 different devices simultaneously, not to mention a good amount of power to keep up!

This Compact External Battery Power Bank has an LCD Display which displays the power bank’s battery level. When you plug devices into the power bank, it also and tells you that power is going out so you’re aren’t left guessing on whether or not your device is charging (this can be helpful to know when you are charging a device such as a bluetooth headset that does not have an indicator light).

It is equipped with a power button. A quick press will turn the power bank on and light up the blue LCD screen. After a few seconds, the screen will dim. When you are ready to turn off the device just press and hold down the power button for a moment.

Here are some other great features and my experience with them:

Ultra-High Capacity – Charges an iPad Air almost once, an Galaxy S6 2.5 times, an iPhone 6 3.5 times and other smartphones multiple times.

–I was able to charge my iPad Mini, and my iPhone 6s twice and I still had some power left in this power bank!!

Dual USB Outputs – 2 USB ports support fast charging for 2 devices at the same time (5V / 2.1A and 5V / 1A), delivering the fastest possible charge up to 2.1 amps. Seriously fast! I charged my iPhone 6s from 1% to 100% in a little under 2 hours!

Compact & Portable – 5.71 x 2.83 x 0.57in, 0.51lb. Slim and sleek enough to hold in your hand and perfect for outdoors and on the go, keep your devices running whenever and wherever you are.

–It’s only slightly larger than my iPhone 6s. It could easily fit in your purse, or pocket. It would be great to bring to the beach, boat, bbq, and other outdoor events! I’m sure this one will get even more use this summer when we are spending more and more time enjoying the beautiful weather outside.

Stylish Design – Classic Pattern makes the power bank a personalized and perfect complement to your smartphones, and the LCD display ensures easy check and accurate battery capacity.

–I chose black, but this power bank is also available in white.

Ultra-Safe Protection – Sophisticated protection ICs effectively prevent overcharge, overcurrent and short circuits, ensuring complete reliability.

–Obviously, this is super important because we want to keep our devices running well for a long time to come! This feature is much appreciated!!

The only downside that I found was that it didn’t come in a twin pack; Steve is already asking he is going to get one. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who uses most any electronic device that needs to be charged. I think this would also be especially helpful for people who spend a lot of time on the road or outdoors for work or play. I also think this would make a great purchase or gift for people with anxiety, PTSD, or other medical concerns to provide peace of mind as many really rely on technology, especially smartphones to help stay connected for care and support.

Remembering to Laugh and Play

With the warmer weather, I am starting to see a drop in attendance in some of my classes. For some, I suspect that “senioritis” is kicking in. I also encountered an instance of copied assignments which was really disappointing. I spent thursday night addressing that during class which wasn’t fun. Nor was I thrilled with the unexpected and a bit tense visit by a frustrated parent who wanted to get more information on the story from me which I had to respectfully decline to disclose any information (those types of situations are never fun). I wonder if the copying issue bothers other instructors as much as it bothers me… Needless to say, I am thankful that I have vacation next week, before we enter the homestretch of the spring semester.

This weekend we will be celebrating my niece’s birthday, so yesterday my husband and I spent some time in the toy aisles at Walmart. After carefully reviewing all of the toys that we thought Samantha would like, we decided on FurReal Friends Jumpin’ J.J., a super cute, feisty, little, semi-realistic toy pug. Samantha is turning 5 and she loves to hold and sit with my in-laws’ pappillon much of the time when she visits. Autumn is very good and lays on the futon as Samantha piles her high with blankets and pillows. Samantha then proceeds to draw the dog, all the while insisting that Autumn doesn’t move. I think J.J. will give Samantha another option and give Autumn a break.

http://www.hasbro.com/common/productimages/en_US/0a88f56350569047f508c77726ed0730/0A8E392150569047F52AC5C2D3FF294C.jpg

I love being an Aunt and spending time with my nieces and nephews. And I really love buying them a new toy and seeing their reactions. Seeing such joy on a child’s face fills my happiness bucket. We got FurReal Friends Bouncy, my happy to see me puppy, for Renee one year. It was a big hit and has held up well over time. We usually get one of the favorite toys for my niece Renee, and that always feels good to know that she really loves what we thoughtfully chose for her. I hope that J.J. is just as loved.

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The other thing that I love about getting such cutesy toys is that my husband will usually carry them to the cash register. Steve is such a gentleman and takes pride in taking care of his wife and doing certain things like carrying the bags after checking out at the store (or cleaning my car off in the winter, doing all of the shoveling, carrying the groceries in when I get home from the store, etc.) The funny thing is Steve is a big guy, a Marine Corps Veteran with about 13 tattoos so his image doesn’t exactly project “cutesy toy-lover”. And here he is carrying this little pug (set off by motion) yipping, jumping, burping and farting the whole way across Walmart to the checkout. It makes me giggle lots!

After we got home, I decided to see what our pups would think about J.J. They were both very curious.

Gizmo and Gremlin were very intrigued by JJ #furrealfriends #toys #pugs #chowchowsofinstagram #pekingese

A photo posted by Desiree (@dthompson207) on

Gizmo sniffed very hard LoL She gently gripped his front paw with her little front teeth almost as if to question “what is this exactly?” Gizmo is such a peculiar dog sometimes.

I think it’s safe to say that Steve is really enjoying spending time with the kiddos too and picking up some toys to play with them too. After we spent some time looking at all of the different Nerf and similar options, we picked up several Nerf Guns and extra foam ammo to play with. Of course, after we got home, unpackaging commenced and we had to put them through a test run. Steve and I had a blast popping each other with Nerf darts. My Nerf gun was very accurate and put a little oomph behind the foam. It’s been awhile since I laughed that much! It was great!

Yesterday, Owen came over for his visit and the 3 of us played outside running around with some Nerf Guns for awhile. At 8, Owen has experienced more sadness and trauma than any young kid should have to, so it was nice to see him be able to just focus on being an 8 year old kid for those moments. There were only signs of joy on his face.

Today, My hubby, nephew and I had a blast with some #nerfgunfun #nerfzombiestrike #nerfornothing

A photo posted by Desiree (@dthompson207) on

In those moments, Steve really enjoyed playing with the Nerf Guns too and he was already talking about which kind we should get more of or if we should get another kind that we didn’t have yet. (I suppose, Nerf Guns are far cheaper than real ones, right?!) All of the fun and laughs that were had were definitely worth it!!!