Friday, November 30, 2012

SGSG-Radio Shack Review and Giveaway!!



Gift shopping for some people can be difficult, but if there's anyone who enjoys everything techie on your list this year, then I suggest you visit your local Radio Shack-or shop online at www.radioshack.com-to find the perfect gift. I love browsing through Radio Shack, checking out all the neat new "toys", and adding items to my wish-list. So, I was excited when Radio Shack sent me 2 great items for review; the Auvio Expandable Bluetooth Speaker, and Auvio Elite Headphones!

The Auvio Expandable Bluetooth Speaker is, quite honestly, a must-have for someone like me. I enjoy listening to music no matter where I am, or what I am doing. If I'm exercising, I have a whole little setup to carry along my iPod and enjoy my favorite songs. If I'm washing dishes in the kitchen, or doing some deep-scrubbing in the bathroom, I always bring along my iPod! Now, carrying some extra speakers for added volume is what gets difficult, because while I do have a portable speaker system, it's a little too large to be comfortable moving around constantly. So, when I saw how small yet powerful the Auvio Bluetooth Speaker was, I knew I had found the perfect accessory! This speaker is literally tiny-less than 5 inches high, and weighing in at a whopping 0.2 pounds! However, don't let the size fool you-this little guy packs a nice punch, with the volume going quite high. In fact, at only half volume on my computer, it was still over my comfortable listening level, so don't think it won't be loud enough! 


The bluetooth aspect is great as well, as it means no more messing with cords. Simply turn on your device's bluetooth feature, select the Auvio speaker, and you'll be paired and ready to go in about 30 seconds. However, if you'd like to use this with a device that doesn't have bluetooth, you can plug it in via the USB-to-mini-USB cord that comes in the package. Works great for use with my old iPod Classic!



Additionally, adding to the portability and easy-to-use features, this handy little speaker runs on rechargeable battery, so you don't need a power outlet nearby, or worry about buying new batteries after every use. It only takes a couple hours to fully charge, and runs for about 6-7 hours on a single charge.


As you can probably tell, I am fully in love with my Auvio Bluetooth Speaker, so I was excited and ready to be impressed by the Auvio Elite Headphones.  These come with a carrying case, extra tips (in different sizes) and clips to hook around your ears-perfect for use while walking, jogging, etc. The earbuds also feature a mic, so you can use them with an iPod Touch, smartphone, or other voice-controlled device. One thing I really love is the flat cable, rather than the typical rounded cables. This means they lay flat and stay out of my way during use! This is the perfect set of earbuds for while I'm exercising, as the cables don't get tangled up and in my way. The audio comes through crisp and clear, and sounds great! 

Check out these and other wonderful gift ideas at www.radioshack.com or visit your local store! You can't go wrong with a gift like this!


One of my readers will receive a set of Auvio Elite Headphones!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SGSG-WondaWedge and BookWedge Review!!


Having trouble finding that last gift for somebody? Maybe a friend or family member that you just can't decide what they would enjoy receiving? Fret no more, because I had the opportunity to review a couple products that would make great gifts for just about anybody!


First up, the WondaWedge. And no, it is not over-named. This really is an amazing idea! Basically, the WondaWedge is an inflatable/deflatable lounger that works both indoors and out. Because you can deflate and re-inflate, it is super portable, and can be permanently set up on your back porch, or travel with you on vacations, business trips, etc. This is perfect for enjoying the sun while reading outdoors, or bringing to the park on your family picnic. You can change the reclining angle to suit your comfort, and it includes an attached mat so you can stretch out and enjoy yourself. I could honestly think of dozens of people who would use a WondaWedge, but due to space I won't :) You can check out WondaWedge for a list of uses though, and let that get you started imagining the possibilities!




Now, the next product is called the BookWedge, and is closely related to the WondaWedge-maybe a sister? :) It's a smaller version almost, but it is completely it's own product. The BooKWedge is also inflatable, and is the easiest way to support your book, tablet or iPad easily. Unlike a tablet or iPad stand, this BookWedge is fully compatible with any book, e-reader, tablet, etc. You can use it just as easily to support the Webster's Dictionary as you can a 7" Galaxy Tab! And again, because of the whole inflatable aspect, you can carry this along on trips without any fuss. 



So, if you have a few people yet on your shopping list, check out the BookWedge and the WondaWedge-problem solved!

Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this review; I did receive product for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are mine; all quotes taken from the WondaWedge or BookWedge website. I was not required to post favorably about the product or company.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SGSG-Ceramic Dessert Plate Set Review and Giveaway!!




Wow, when this item arrived at my front door recently, I was simply astounded. I had seen pictures of the product online at Wind and Weather, but I simply didn't realize just how beautiful it really was!



Wind and Weather is a company with many beautiful items for your home and outdoors, but when I saw the Ceramic Dessert Plates, I knew these would be the perfect inclusion in my gift guide. After all, everyone can use dessert plates :) and the horses pictured on this set make it the nicest ones I've ever seen. 
The set includes 4 plates, featuring 4 different horses; chestnut, palomino, pinto and a blue roan. They're a tad larger than average dessert plate (8x8) so you can fit more snacks on here when serving dessert! The plates feature art from a popular equine artist, Robert Dawson, and I can see why he's so popular after seeing these! In fact, the pictures are so breathtaking that I don't know if these would be better for a display in the kitchen, or for actual use! Just look at the lovely plates:




Absolutely stunning, aren't they? The plates also have a very sturdy feel to them, so while they look elegant, they don't appear to be the fragile type that will break easily. Which is great in our household! 

Check out Wind and Weather for other great gift ideas as well; they have an entire gift guide section! You can also follow Wind and Weather on Twitter, or "like" Wind and Weather on Facebook to stay up with any sales or news. And check out Wind and Weather on Pinterest as well!


One of my readers will receive a Ceramic Dessert Plate Set!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SGSG-Tune Belt Sport Belt for iPhone/iPod Review!!



Do you all remember the company I've featured on here a couple times recently that boasts one of the best collections of Smartphone, Tablet and other tech device accessories ever? That's right, MobileFun-who also, by the way, has some great iPhone 5 accessories as well, so if you're enjoying the new iPhone but need an extra case, charger, etc., be sure to check out MobileFun.
Anyways, I was able to choose a product to include in the Spectacular Gift Shopping Guide, and it didn't take long for me to find the perfect gift idea. MobileFun sent me the Tune Belt IP2 Sport Belt for my review, and it really is perfect!

The Tune Belt is, obviously, a way to carry your smartphone, iPod or other MP3 device while participating in sports or exercise. I love nothing more than listening to my favorite music while working out-whether it's an aerobic walk, or a kickboxing workout dvd. For a while I used a sport armband to carry my iPod, but it really didn't work the greates. The band would start to slide during a jog, or I'd raise my arms and end up yanking the earbuds out of my ear. So after using the Tune Belt, I am now a forever fan! The Tune Belt features a soft band that moves right along with you. The strap is also adjustable so it will fit waists up to 42". 


Tune Belt has a small pouch for your iPod, iPhone or MP3 device, with full access to the touchscreen via a clear protective window. And it will work with most devices, up to 5" in length. It works with my smartphone, my iPod classic, and my brother's iPod Touch! Very adaptable! And your device is held safe and secure during exercise, so you don't need to worry about it dropping out or getting scratched. 


Another nice feature of the Tune Belt is the extra little pocket on the back, which is great for carrying cash, a credit card, ID, or even your keys. This comes in very handy!

If I didn't already have a Tune Belt IP2 Sport Belt, I would definitely be adding it to my gift wish-list! However, I will be keeping it in mind for any friends and family who enjoy working out to some good music! If the Tune Belt isn't what you're looking for this holiday season, be sure to check out all the other tech accessories at MobileFun!

Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this review; I did receive product for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are mine; all quotes taken from the MobileFun website. I was not required to post favorably about the product or company.

Monday, November 26, 2012

SGSG-Viva Editions Book Review and Giveaway!




Books are always a good gift idea. No matter what someone's hobby, reading preference, or genre of interest, you can find books galore to fit their needs. I recently had the opportunity to read a couple new books from Viva Editions, and either of these would make great gifts!



I received The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy, and Lemons and Lavender: The Eco Guide To Better Housekeeping, for my review. The first book, Lazy Gourmet, is a great little book that's filled with over 125 recipes. All these recipes create delicious food, yet require little time (or effort :) in preparation, thus the name, Lazy Gourmet! I loved browsing through here and finding new recipe ideas to try out. The Lazy Chocolate Mousse is definitely on my to-make list!

Lemons and Lavender is a book that will appeal both to busy moms, and to anyone interested in eco-housekeeping. The topics range from fresh garden recipes to easy homemade gifts, and non-toxic house cleaners to organic sea salts and skin scrubs. Basically, whether you're just looking for an easier, lower cost solution to keeping up with the home, or want to change over to a healthier way of life, this book is exactly what you want!

Viva Editions has many other books that would make awesome holiday gifts and/or stocking stuffers, so check them out!


One of my readers will receive their own copy of 
Lemons and Lavender and Lazy Gourmet!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

SGSG-Oral-B ProfessionalCare Electric Toothbrush Review/Giveaway!



Here's a great gift idea for this holiday season-healthy teeth! My dad was a dental assistant when I was a young child, so oral care has always been impressed upon me as being of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, I didn't always follow instructions, and remember going in for my first filling as a young teenager. I was scared to death, but wouldn't have shown it for anything! Obviously I survived, and discovered that while it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought, it was still something I didn't want to repeat! Since then, oral care has been very important to me, and not something I take lightly. Yes, I still drink a lot of Diet Coke and coffee (probably too much) but now I make sure to brush and floss regularly, to avoid any problems. So, when Oral-B sent me their ProfessionalCare 1000 Electric Toothbrush for review, I was more than happy to try it out!

The ProfessionalCare 1000 features a cupped round brush head, reminiscent of the tools a dentist uses. This ensures that each tooth is individually brushed and deep-cleaned. My dad used to tell me to brush each tooth as if it was the only one in your mouth, and this actually does that! The brush also has a built-in pressure sensor, so if you're applying too much pressure it will automatically stop the pulsing. Speaking of the pulsations, this brush provides 40,000 pulsations and 8,800 oscillations per minute-that's a lot of power going into cleaning your teeth!


The toothbrush comes complete with a charging stand, which provides a great way to hold your toothbrush as well as charge. It takes about 17 hours for a complete charge, and this lasts for twice-a-day use for approximately 1-2 weeks. We recently took a 4-day trip, and I was able to leave the charger home, and just bring along the toothbrush. Obviously for longer trips I'll need to bring it, but it's nice to know that on shorter trips, the charger can stay back. 




I have to say, after using the Oral-B ProfessionalCare 1000 Toothbrush, I don't think I'll ever go back to using a "manual" toothbrush again! Not only do my teeth feel so much cleaner, but my whole mouth feels so much better!

Be sure to check out the Oral-B sweepstakes running right now-you could win a trip to New York City for a taping of the Dr. Oz Show! They're also running a daily giveaway of Oral-B brush heads, which would be an awesome prize to win as well! (I know, brush heads aren't quite as awesome as a trip to NYC, but still!).


One of my readers will receive a ProfessionalCare 1000 Electric Toothbrush!

SGSG-Samsung Galaxy Note II Review!!




Okay, here's a fabulous gift idea for just about anybody this holiday season! Whether it's a busy mom, a dad who needs to keep up with the family while on-the-go, or a teenager who enjoys social networking. A smartphone would be the perfect gift for any of these, but I recently discovered something even better-the Samsung Galaxy Note II



I received a Galaxy Note II in white for my trial. At first I thought the Note II was a smartphone, but when I opened the package, it looked more like a tablet. After charging it up and exploring all the features and possibilities, I realized that while this is technically a smartphone, it also offers some extra benefits! 

First of all, I did like the larger screen size. Yes, it means a little more trouble finding a case or holster, but I usually just slid the Note II into my pocket, and it stayed there comfortably. With a 5.5" screen, it's so easy to read emails, text message friends, and enjoy pictures, videos and games on the device. 


Speaking of enjoying pictures and video, I was absolutely stunned at the quality of the camera on the Note II! It features an 8 MP camera, and a 1.9 MP front-facing camera so you can enjoy video chats. I used the camera for everything from close-up shots of the kids to distant landscape pictures, and everything in between. During a recent visit to Medieval Times, I was able to capture video of the dancing horses and the jousting tournaments, as well as pictures of the event. Check these out:




I enjoyed shopping the Google Play store on the Note II, and found many useful apps as well as some games to keep the kids busy during road trips or long waits. Of course all the social networking apps such as Facebook and Twitter were quickly installed, but I discovered some new tools as well, such as Foursquare and a nifty alarm app that lets you set any song on your phone as the wake-up! 

Because the Note II is powered by Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), I had no difficulties during my use. Everything ran smooth and fast, with no glitches or errors. Videos loaded and played quickly, apps worked great, and the whole experience was very easy. Even the maps program loaded and kept up with the navigation without a glitch. (This actually came in very handy one evening on a trip when we forgot our GPS, and were traveling 2 hours away to a town we've never visited before!).

I also enjoyed the easy file transfers with the Galaxy Note II. I can actually transfer pictures, video or other files both to and from the phone without even plugging it into my computer! Simply downloading the Kies app on my Mac allowed me to wirelessly complete file transfers quick and easy. Speaking of files, the Note II is compatible with Microsoft Office, so opening, editing and sending these files was super-easy as well. 



One other thing I enjoyed about the Note II is the larger internal memory. Most smartphones I've seen come with 8GB, and usually they offer an external microSD card slot. The Note II comes with 16GB of internal storage though, and still has the card slot for expanding the capacity. Very awesome, because I like to load my phones, iPod, tablet, etc. with lots and lots of video and pictures!

Lastly, I noticed that the Galaxy Note II is available on just about any carrier. Unlike many smartphones that only work with AT&T, or are only available through Verizon, the Samsung Galaxy Note II appears to work with just about every major carrier. 

Honestly, in my 3 weeks of using the Galaxy Note II, I have been very pleased with everything about it-there's nothing I'd change or add whatsoever. It's pretty much perfect, just the way it is!

Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated in any way for this review; I did receive product for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are mine; all quotes taken from the Samsung website. I was not required to post favorably about the product or company.