Monday, December 23, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Powerocks Magicstick

I got my Powerocks Magicstick last week and tried it out this weekend.  We had a power outage Saturday morning for several hours, and I was thinking it would be the perfect time to try the Magicstick.  By the time I needed to charge my phone, we had power again, so I didn't actually have a need to use it, but I used the Magicstick anyway just to see how it worked.  And it worked great.

It charges as fast as a standard wall charger in an electrical outlet, and it holds enough power to charge my Samsung Galaxy S4 once.  But that's enough.  Many smartphones can get up to 2 full charges.  If the power's out or you're out somewhere with no outlets, one of these could make all the difference!  My son really could have used one of these last week when his car wouldn't start and his phone battery just happened to be dead at the same time.  Thankfully he was in a McDonald's parking lot and not out in the middle of nowhere.

The Magicstick is the perfect size for any pocket, purse, or backpack. Never get stuck with a dead phone or other mobile device again!  The Magicstick can be used to charge not only your smartphone but other digital devices as well, such as Bluetooth headsets, cameras, GPS, e-readers, and more. Pressing the button on the end of the Magicstick lets you know exactly how much charge is available - blue for a full charge, green for a partial charge, and red to let you know it needs charged back up again.  Simply plug it into your phone's charger or any powered USB port to charge.  It comes with a USB cable and drawstring carry case and features a smooth, brushed aluminum finish available in a variety of colors.  I got a black one, and have a silver one to give away, but there are some really fun colors, too such as red, purple, pink, and green.

I plan to carry this handy little thing with me from now on, so I'll never have to worry about getting stuck with a dead phone.  Or a dead Kindle.  I don't think it can completely charge the Kindle, but I bet it could let me at least finish my chapter - and we all know how important that is.

The Powerocks Magicstick sells for $49.99, but use promo code Powerblog20 and get 20% off.  Be sure to check out the rest of the Powerocks products for all your charging needs, too!  Shipping is always free.

Giveaway -  if you'd like to win your own Powerocks Magicstick, leave me a comment letting me a know a time when you really could have used one of these. Contest is open to U.S. Residents, and entries must be received by 11:59pm Eastern time on January 3, 2014.  Winner will be contacted by email, so make sure I have your email address.  Good luck!

Disclosure: I received two Powerocks Magicstick chargers, one for review and one to give away.  All opinions are mine.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Perfect Gift

What exactly is the perfect gift?  According to the commercials it has to be a Chia Pet.  Or the Ove Glove.  Or maybe it's the Clapper or the Pogo Whisk.  Seriously?  Are those really the perfect gifts for anybody?  My husband says that they're still selling them, so somebody must be buying them.

I'm guessing most people would rather get something like an iPad Air, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or a nice Samsung Galaxy S4.  U.S. Cellular customers can even get some of those phones for 5000 Belief points through the end of December, so now is definitely the time to think about getting a new phone if you or someone in your family is eligible for an upgrade.  Belief points can be used to accelerate that upgrade, too.

There are also plenty of accessories like phone cases, headphones, car chargers, Bluetooth speakers and headsets, etc. that would most likely be appreciated more than that Hello Kitty Chia Pet.  I'm thinking of getting some of those Bluetooth speakers myself.  Accessory  prices start under $25.

A tablet or smartphone has to be more useful for creating Better Moments and for keeping families in touch.  Sometimes it's as simple as using Instagram or Facebook to upload pictures of the food and desserts we'll share when we get together.  That's one I'm quite guilty of!  Then, of course, I have people asking for the recipes and wishing they could be joining us.  Speaking of recipes, Pinterest is a great app to have for storing all those amazing recipes from all over the web!  You can never have too many recipes, now can you?  That Chia herb garden might come in handy for recipes, but I'm still thinking smartphone.

What I like about having a mobile device like my smartphone, is that it's so easy to capture and share even the little things - pictures with Instagram, videos with Vine...  OK, so I haven't actually shared any videos with Vine, or Instagram, mostly because I usually forget that I have video on my phone.  Just being able to share the pictures (and video when I remember) is a good way to keep in touch with friends and family, even if we don't get to see each other all that often.

So, be honest - have you ever bought somebody one of those 'perfect gifts' from the commercials?  Or received one of them?  Is there some other crazy 'perfect gift' idea I haven't mentioned here?   Am I crazy to think anyone would rather get a smartphone full of useful apps and/or some accessories than The Clapper or one of the many Chia Pets?

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my participation in the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade as well as receiving a new phone.  My experiences with and opinions of U.S. Cellular are 100% mine.
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my participation in the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade as well as receiving a new phone.  My experiences with and opinions of

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Prime Gift Idea

Give the gift of Prime

It's that time of year - the time when everybody is scrambling to find that perfect gift for everyone on their list.  I'll be honest with you.  I am extremely thankful that I don't have to get all caught up in that!  Shopping is just not my thing, and to have someone tell me that I must buy something for everyone, and I must have it all done by a certain time would just make me crazy.  I'd probably curl up in a corner with no idea how to even get started, let alone get it all done.

That being said, here's a gift idea even I could get behind - a gift of Amazon Prime.  First of all, this is a gift you can buy, and send (Amazon will send your gift recipient an email on the day you choose, along with redemption instructions) without ever leaving the comfort of your own home or having to fight the crowds.  Second, it's a gift that would definitely be useful.

Prime includes:
  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items
  • No minimum order size
  • Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
  • A Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library

The gift of Prime is $79 for a one-year membership. If your recipient is already a Prime member, the gift can be exchanged for an Gift Card.  Either way, something everyone can appreciate.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Absolutely Brilliant

As you know, we moved this summer.  We had a crew of movers come in and pack all of our stuff, load it onto a big truck, and then deliver it all to our new house a few days later.

Part of the job was labeling all the boxes they packed - we we'd have at least an idea where each box needed to go in the house, and what was in it.  There's one particular box that makes me smile every time I see it.  (Yes, it's still packed up and stored in the attic now.)

This particular box holds Beth's Karaoke machine.  The label reads - "Singing Machine"

Which I think is absolutely brilliant, because who can really be expected to spell Karaoke anyway?  (I looked it up.)  But we definitely know what's in the box!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Make Your Own LEGO Minifigure Holiday Card

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LEGO for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of our favorite toys growing up was LEGO.  We spent hours building with that stuff!  So, of course, when I had kids of my own, they had to have LEGO, too.  Cory especially enjoyed it and really loved the Bionicle sets.  He collected a lot of those and used to make the most amazing things.

Here's something amazing we can all make with LEGO - our own family!  Well, our own virtual LEGO Minifigure Family, that is.  You get to create a customized holiday card featuring Minifigure representations of your own family and share it with anyone you want.  It's really quite fun.  And easy.

Here's one I made - the family Thanksgiving card we didn't send (because I didn't know about this then):

You can add up to 13 family members and customize each one with skin tone, facial expression, hair and hats, and outfits.  I just added the four of us - Jeffrey, me, Beth, and Cory - and made the kids be kids again, even if they are all grown up now.  I don't know that any of us really look like us, and none of the clothing choices really looked like something we would wear in real life, but it was fun choosing.  Now that I think about it, I should have had us all dress in matching outfits!  Or the guys could match and the girls could match.  Or you can just let the Minifigure Family creator choose random outfits for everybody.  I did that for a bit just to see the crazy things it came up with!  However you choose to do it, it will be fun.

Once you have all your family members added and dressed, there are several backgrounds to chooose from, and then you just click and drag each family member to position them in the scene wherever you want them.  Then simply choose your message, and you're ready to share It.  You can download your card, which is what I did, share the link, send it via email, or share with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  Yeah, I did that too - pinned it to my 'fun stuff' board on Pinterest.

So be sure to check it out and create your own LEGO Minifigure Family.

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Check Out the Powerocks Magicstick

I'm looking forward to trying the Magicstick 2800mAh rechargeable battery from Powerocks!  What is it?  A handy, portable charger that can charge your phone or other digital devices anywhere, even when there are no electrical outlets in sight.  Imagine never having to worry about being out of touch because of a dead battery again...
They're sending me one to try and one to give away, so look for a review and giveaway coming soon.  In the meantime, if you're as interested in these little things as I am, be sure to check out the Powerocks site.  Perhaps you know some people who could use one of these?