Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Few New Goodies-Product Reviews for a Running Belt, Microfiber Towel, and a Fabric Steamer!

Running & Activity Belt

I love the fabric used for this running belt (neoprene)-it feels so much smoother than some running belts I've tried before. It's also a bonus to have a bit of reflective details sewn into the design-safety first! This has 4 pockets-one large one great for phones, and 2 smaller pockets to either side of it-1 with a hook to put your keys on. The 4th pocket is on the other side, facing your body. The main pocket is zippered, one of the front pockets has a velcro closure, and the other two are open-top pockets. The main pocket has a spot for your headphones to come out-perfect for listening to your tunes to keep you going! The elastic and buckle seem nice and heavy duty to last the long haul and there is ample room for adjustment-I'm a gal needing to lose a lot of weight and I have no trouble with this fitting me.

 To get yourself one of these belts, go HERE. #activitybelt

Fabric Steamer

I own a clothes iron.  And an ironing board.  And yet…..they get used a couple of times a year maybe?  I’m genuinely embarrassed that we have wrinkly clothes sometimes but neither of us take the time to iron.  So……I was hoping this would be a good quick option that we’d actually use.  I also have curtains that I bought and put up almost a year ago and I’m ashamed to say they had wrinkles almost a full year until I got this!  This way I didn’t have to take them off of the rods and I’m not as nervous about damaging fabrics because it’s not direct heat like an iron. 
This is really easy to use-put in water, plug it in, flip the switch, and there you go.  It heats up quick and works beautifully.  I steamed my curtain (well half of it at first) to see the comparison an I wanted to cry it looked so beautiful.  I’d definitely recommend this.

Priced reasonably, you can find a steamer of your own HERE.  

Microfiber Travel Towel

 (I forgot to nab a picture of my own before I put it in the wash)

When my husband and I took a 3 week trip backpacking in Europe, we planned and then planned some more.  We realized that not all accommodations provide towels over there and we new we'd need something to pack light and that would dry overnight to be re-packed depending on our itinerary.  A friend loaned us some microfiber towels like this to use and I knew I'd need to get us a set of some!  They're soft, super absorbent, quick drying, & thin.  I don't know what brand my friend's were, but this feels just as good.  Not only did we use them for showers, but we used them as beach blankets and blankets when we slept on overnight trains.  

These would also be fantastic for camping so we're looking forward to taking this with us this summer.

If you're looking to  get yourself a microfiber towel, head HERE. #TravelTowel

Disclaimer: I received all of the above items free or deeply discounted for the purpose of testing and reviewing.  I was not compensated in any way and I was asked to share my honest opinion.  Affiliate links may be in the post.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Couple of Goodies for the Kitchen ~Product Reviews~

Silicone Ice Cube Tray

This ice cube tray is actually rather genius. I've tried silicone molds and even another kind of silicone ice tray before and they're often very flimsy but they solved that problem with the reinforced lip around the top! I had no problems getting the cubes out-you just push up from the bottom and they come right out. I love the solid cube shape as well. I haven't tried it yet for other foods, but these could be fun for things like chocolates, jello and that sort of thing.

I contacted the seller about temperature threshold for things such as baking (I love when silicone molds can be more than a 1 trick pony) and they let me know that the silicone meets FDA guidelines for baking so it could be fun for something like brownie bites perhaps?

I'd recommend this in a heartbeat.

Go HERE to check it out. #superbcube

Square Candy Pops

These guys are flavored cubes on sticks.  I decided to pick the black cherry because it sounded tasty and I thought it would be fun for an "Over the Hill" gift.  At first, my husband and I weren't overwhelmed at the flavor, it could stand to be stronger.  It grew on me but my husband remained unimpressed.  I think the cube shape is a fun  novelty but it can be a little awkward in the mouth-feels kind of large.  If you're like me and just crunch up hard candies anyway, you make quick work making it not be a square ;)  Overall these are fun (comes with "How to make your own candy buffet" instructions as well.  I wish they offered a mixed pack with each of the flavors, that would be fun!  These would also be great for weddings an baby showers/gender reveals.

If you're looking to get your own tasty set of Square Pops, go HERE. #SquarePops

Disclaimer: I received these items free to test and share my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Product Reviews-PLA (3D Printing Filament), Solar Lantern, & Compost Bin

I've got 3 products that I got for free to test and review, check them out and see what you think!

#1 ProMolt PLA 3D Printer Filament (1.75mm Diameter, 1kg (2.2lb) Spool, +/- 0.05mm Tolerance, Professional Quality)

I got this to use with 3D printing pens. I have 2 models of printing pens and tried it in both.

The success:
My $70 3D printing pen model worked great. It's supposed to detect the difference between PLA & ABS and heat accordingly. I've noticed it doesn't do that great with ABS, but just fine with PLA. It works like a champ in this pen and I've already made some fun designs.

The failure:
My $78 3D printing pen model wouldn't work with this at all. I was actually surprised at that-the cheaper one is....well....cheaper. But it had no problem loading and writing. This model could barely load this stuff and only a tiny bit came out the tip but it just wouldn't draw. I went back and forth between this filament and some I already had and there were no problems with the other filament working right. I thought it's odd that the temperature for PLA is so high, this pen recommends only 175 for PLA. Assuming it wasn't hot enough, I even turned it up to 235 degrees and it still wasn't coming out well. Your clue is as good as mine as to why a more customizable and expensive pen wouldn't take this but a cheaper pen would.....

I'm disappointed I can only use this in one of my pens (the one I don't like quite as well) but I will still happily use it for future projects. It has a beautiful glossy look to it as it mentions in the description.  To check out the 3D filament go HERE.  #promolt3d 

#2 Bright Outdoors Solar Lantern / Flashlight with Emergency Powerbank (LED, USB Rechargeable and Collapsible.) 

 I love the idea of using solar energy-it’s such a great resource. I purchased another solar lantern similar in concept recently and I really like it. What I love about this particular product though is how compact it can get! It folds up really small and works to light your way as well as giving your cell phone some juice in an emergency. I also really love that when it’s folded up it can be used as a nice bright flashlight. Whether it’s being used as a flashlight or a lantern, 1 click turns it on, 2 makes it brighter, 3 gives you a blinking light, and 4 turns it off. It has a USB option with cable in case it’s cloudy outside. I do wish that it also had a battery option as an additional backup option, but I still think this is a great product. One thing that I’m unsure about is how long it will last. The lantern portion seems like frequent use might not be good for the plastic.  To check out the lantern, go HERE. #thebrightoutdoors

#3 LINKYO Kitchen Compost Bin (1 Gallon Stainless Steel Composter with 4 Odor-Neutralizing Filters) 
We've had a worm compost bin in our dining room/kitchen area for kitchen scraps (to turn into castings and use in our garden this year) for almost a year now.  I only open the worm bin to check on them and feed every 2 or 3 weeks.  So far I've used mostly plastic storage containers for the scraps that we're saving up but it's pretty gross looking and the smell isn't fantastic.  This bin is great because it holds a lot, is dishwasher safe, looks great, allows air circulation, and last, but not least, helps control the smell with charcoal filters.  It comes with 3 replacements as well, so it should last for a good long while.  I don't have any complaints, I'm genuinely glad we got it!  To check out the compost bin, go HERE.  #LINKYO

Disclaimer: I received these products free for my honest and unbiased review.  I was not compensated in any way.  The links are affiliate links.

Monday, February 8, 2016

How to Make Chocolate Teddy Bear Cookies!

These are actually a Christmas tradition in my husband's family-they make them as part of their treat plates they deliver to friends each year.  I decided to make them for a fun Valentine's treat and share them with you guys here :)  I've included directions and recipe in my video here:

Sunday, February 7, 2016

How to Make an Edible Pearl Necklace Gift (Brownies)

I had gotten these little "pearls" around Christmas for gingerbread decorating but we didn't get around to it this last year.  I was looking at them and this idea came to me.  I had fun making it and I'm sure you will too! 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Valentine's Jewelry Tutorial

I got a set of these cute skeleton keys and paired them some freshwater pearls. The ribbon and key decorating the gift box double as a necklace as well.  For a simple tutorial watch my video here:

Also a reminder, my handmade jewelry giveaway ends 2/7/16!!!!!  Make sure you enter HERE

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Testing 3D Doodle Pens!

I got the chance to buy 2 Top3D brand 3D Printing Pens at a discount to test and review.  I'm pretty sure that I've been having too much fun with these than a woman in her 30's really should lol.  Crafter at heart for sure!

The first model that I bought to test was the Generation 4 Model.  It can be found HERE for $65.99 right now.

I've hesitated to make the investment to buy a 3D pen before despite really wanting to because I've seen so many negative reviews about pens jamming, but I've had a good experience so far.

Features on this pen:
Forward & Reverse Buttons
3 speeds (buttons)
Lights indicate when plugged in, when heated up, with speed change
Comes with 2 colors of filament (listing says ABS but mine came with PLA)

Overall, I really didn't have complaints about this pen.  It's not too heavy or bulky and I haven't had any jamming.

Some projects made with the Model 4:

The 2nd pen, the Generation 5, is a bit more expensive, but worth it if you can manage it.  It can be found HERE for $77.99 right now.

(I got the yellow one)

While I have actually had some jamming with this pen, I still feel like I like it a bit better.

Features on this pen:
Forward & Reverse Buttons that can be set to stay on (possibly my favorite part so you don't have to  hold the button down the whole time)
Variable speed slider-change the speed by sliding it-easy to tell how fast it is set for, not limited to 3 settings.
Lights indicate when plugged in
Screen shows heat, target temperature & type of plastic (ABS or PLA)
Comes with 3 colors of filament (ABS)
Slimmer design-especially nice around the nozzle
Comes with a plastic mini screwdriver but no directions should you need to use it...

I thought I'd get annoyed by the fact that you have to select which kind of plastic you're using, that the pen wouldn't automatically adjust, but I see how nice it is to have that function now.  While the Model 5 jammed on me several times when using PLA, I turned the heat up just a bit and didn't have any more problems.  As for the ABS, the Model 4 is supposed to automatically adjust the heat for both plastics, but I don't think it gets hot enough to do nearly as good of a job or get as good of details with the ABS as the Model 5.  The Model 5 smokes a bit with the ABS...not sure if that's normal.  I turned the heat down a bit and I'll try even more next time I make something.

Some projects made with the Model 5:

All-in-all, I still rate these 5/5, I love doodling with them and would love to get them for the kiddos in my life for gifts!

To see my video review of the Model 4, check out my YouTube video here:
To see my video review of the Model 5, check it out here:

I purchased these at a discount for the purpose of testing and reviewing them honestly.  I am being compensated in no way.  Links to the product are affiliate links which means I get a teeny tiny bit of money if you choose to purchase through those links (at no added expense for yourself).  I only post links that I feel are helpful and relevant.