Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Amazon Kindle Oasis Ereader Review

Kindle Oasis
Best Take-Along E-Reader

 Amazon’s new e-reader, the Kindle Oasis, is the next descendant in a line of Kindles.
The creamy screen is more comfortable on the eyes than the bright white of past 
readers, and the glare resistance pairs with multiple lighting adjustments to allow 
you to read anywhere and anytime. It is even waterproof, offering things as relaxing 
as reading on a boat or while having a rejuvenating soak in the tub.

Features at a Glance: 

  • Large resolution
  • Lighter tablet

  • Glare resistant

  • Waterproof

  • Bluetooth

  • Audible - audiobook experience

  • Adaptive front light
  • 32G storage

  • Minimal glare
  • Long battery life, short charging period

  • Can read or listen to books
  • Excessive storage space
  • Easy access to translations and definitions
  • Library sharing
  • Free Wi-Fi at AT&T hotspots

  • No headphone jack, but you can use Bluetooth headphones to listen to audiobooks 

While the Kindle Oasis doesn’t come with a standard Amazon charger, one can be 
bought separately for about ten dollars. The USB charger charges it in about 3 hours, 
which is fine, but the standard charger would only take 2 hours. Depending on how 
avid you are about reading digital books, the charger may or may not be worth the purchase.

Our Opinion:
We're excited about the new Kindle Oasis! What's not to love? It's portable, travel-safe, 
durable, waterproof, lightweight, slim... I'll be soaking in the tub reading my favorite books. 
Plus, minimal glare for when I want to go outside and read. The extended battery life for 
day trips. Plus, I can fit my entire eBook library on the 32GB of space with this Kindle.
The easy access to Wi-Fi at any AT&T hotspot is impressive, and the convenience of 

getting translations and definitions creates a whole new reading experience 
(I love being able to check a definition!). And due to library back-up on the cloud, 
reading virtual books becomes a lot easier and more convenient.

Click Here To Buy

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Amazon Echo Show Review

Alexa, smarter and improved

The Echo Show was introduced as a useful extension of Alexa’s AI for your home and daily life. 
It is the descendant of a line of Amazon devices created for the same purpose.

Features at a Glance:

  • Weather, photos, shopping list
  • Calendar, alarms, timers, music
  • Front door camera viewing
  • Calling and “drop-ins.”
  • “Smart” lights, fans, thermostats, etc
  • Uber
  • Web surfing


  • Video calling, a.k.a. “Drop-ins,” seem to work very well
  • Calling phone numbers via your own phone number but on the Echo device
  • Adding to or viewing your shopping list is easier, more accessible
  • Simple alarms, reminders, and tasks like asking about the weather can be done by voice


  • YouTube not available due to a corporate disagreement between Google and Amazon, 
    which is considered frustrating and petty, and causing them both to lose a lot of 
    customer support and satisfaction (also means no free music)
  • Uses keywords to search for what you are asking, and often doesn’t pull up the right thing 
    (voice recognition is super buggy)

The Echo Show has been found highly useful among people who take care of elderly relatives, 
for the “drop-in” feature and the ability to access a front door camera. 
The Show doesn’t automatically access the camera when the doorbell rings, however. 
You must initiate the connection yourself, via a command, which limits its usefulness in elderly care. Also, specific features of this Amazon home device can prove creepy or annoying when Alexa mishears, listens in, or pops up frighteningly. Therefore, while the drop-in feature 
and camera connection is useful, the idea can be better carried out by other means, such as a 
microcontroller front door livestream and/or a tablet.

Our Opinion:

The Amazon Echo Show fulfills its main function as an extension of the Alexa AI, 
however not as well as previous versions of this device. Many functions are finicky or 
don’t work altogether. Using the device proves annoying as well, with many functions being 
difficult and far from optimal.

While this Amazon home product is a good idea, it is widely thought that the previous home 
Alexa devices were better than this “upgrade”. Though loyal and avid fans might have stayed 
along for the ride, Amazon topped off the cake when they caused YouTube to be unavailable 
as well - which was a promised feature of the app when it came out.


Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. 
There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through 
these links.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Father's Day Gadget Gift Guide

Happy Father's Day! Get your dad an awesome gadget gift this year.

Gadgets for Dad

JBL Under Armor Sport Wireless Flex In-Ear Headphones 
These sport, in-ear headphones move with you. Bluetooth for wireless capabilities. Dad can work out with great sound quality and a 11+ hour battery life!

Mohu Blade HDTV Antenna
Help dad cut the cord with the Mohu Blade, a 40-mile range HDTV indoor/outdoor antenna.

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
If your dad loves to cook, the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker is the perfect gift. Immersion cooking, WI-FI, Bluetooth, all with remote adjustment and control.

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 Wireless Mobile Scanner
Dad can use this portable, mobile scanner anywhere with any size documents. Works with Mac and PC.

FABRIQ Chorus: Wireless Speaker
Great gift for dad so he can jam out to his favorite tunes. Comes with Alexa. Bluetooth, WI-FI, smart speaker. Comes in four designs. Pair up to 10 Fabriq speakers for full house sound.

Homedics SoundSpa Ultra Portable Sound Machine
Give dad the gift of relaxation with the Homedics SoundSpa. It's portable and lightweight. Has 12 different relaxing sounds: fan, ocean, thunderstorm, energize, white noise, zen, brooke, campfire, dockside, gentle rain, and everglades. Perfect for meditation, relaxation or sleep. 

Which gadget will you get for Father's Day?

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Father's Day Food Gift Guide

Sometimes the best gift for Father's Day is something food-related. 


Food Gifts for Dad


Frantoio Franci Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gift Set

 Look how cute this gift set is! And the olive oil is absolutely delicious.

Fonte di Foiano Grand Cru 2017 Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fonte di Foiano Italian Olive Oil is handpicked and includes a blend of Frantoio, Moriaolo, and Leccino olives. It's impeccable. Put a bow on it for the perfect Father's Day gift!

Laughing Man Coffee

I am SO picky about my coffee. I am a huge fan of Dunkin's, and I drink it black. If coffee is too bitter or acid-y, you can really taste it when you drink it without cream, milk, sugar, flavors, etc. Laughing Man is SO good. It's a tiny bit darker than Dunkin's, and IT IS delicious.

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Father's Day Book Gift Guide

Looking for some book gifts for dad this Father's Day?

Books for Dad 

Ali on Ali: Why He Said What He Said When He Said It

Hana Ali wrote this biography about her father, the incredible boxer, Muhammed Ali. It's a collection of his quotes with explanations. The book's funny, inspirational and unique. 


Tots!: 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie

Mother-loving tater tots! If your dad is a fan of the potato treat, this recipe book will bring a smileto his face.  

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything

Quackery is a dark but funny look back at the absurd things we used to do in the name of health.  

50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful, Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper

This book is a wonderfully creative way to get drawing. Give this gift with a few drawing pencils and nice eraser.

Everything Is the Worst: A Book for People Who Just Can't

This hilarious book is a must-have. Sick of inspirational and motivational quotes? This book is the anti side!

Are you getting one of thes books for your dad this Father's Day?
Maybe another book not listed here?
Tell us about it in the comments! 

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mohu Blade HDTV Antenna Review

Best HDTV Antenna

Mohu makes the best HDTV antennas so you can get rid of cable, along with the ridiculous prices, and watch local channels for free. Mohu's latest antenna is the Blade. 

Mohu Blade Features at a Glance:

  • 40-mile range HDTV
  • Slim and sleek new design
  • Waterproof (use outdoors or indoors)
  • FirstStage Amplifier

Mohu Blade Pros:

  • Easy to Install
  • Pay for the Blade and get free TV for life
  • Modern design looks great



Bottom Line:

The new Mohe Blade is pretty amazing. The upgraded design works well. Place under the TV (not above it, like in my photo), or on a tabletop. The 1080 HDTV antenna creates a clear picture.

Cut the cord and be free from cable!

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Harman Kardon Allure Voice-Activated Home Speaker with Alexa Review

Harman Kardon Allure Voice-Activated Home Speaker with Alexa

Best Bluetooth Speaker

The Harmon Kardon Allure Home Speaker comes equipped with Alexa and voice-activation. It's a powerful, 360-degree home speaker. Place it in the middle of your room for the same, beautiful sound no matter where you go in the room. It's a nice-looking speaker that lights up blue so you will want to show it off. The Allure is the best speaker I've come across.

Features at a Glance: 

  • Wireless Bluetooth
  • Amazon Alexa Powered
  • 360-Degree Sound
  • 4 Microphones for Far Field Voice-Recognition
  • Pleasing Design
  • Dual-Band WI-FI


  • Easy to set up
  • Affordable
  • Sounds so Good


  • No bass/treble control - I know, I'm getting super technical here. It's the only downside I can think of! A lot of the songs I listen to have a lot of bass. I like that, but the neighbors probably don't. The only way to fix it is to turn it down lower than I'd like to. If I could adjust the bass, I wouldn't have to turn the volume down so low. So, yes, that's my one complaint. The sound is too good.

My Opinion:

I have been using this speaker every day. I keep it in my office and listen to my Spotify playlists on it. I ask Alexa questions when they arise, which is often when you're a freelance writer. I love that I can connect it to my phone to listen to Spotify. I can also have Alexa read my Kindle books to me, or play my Amazon music. The Allure is an all-around excellent Bluetooth speaker. I LOVE it.

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Neck Hammock Review

The Neck Hammock is a portable device that allows you to stretch the cervical part of your spine (in your neck). You can attach it to a doorway or railing and take it with you when traveling. The package comes with a travel bag, two medical grade straps, the neck hammock, a sleeping mask, and eBook on stretching. The Neck Hammock was created by a licensed physical therapist, Dr. Steve Sudell, Jr.


  • Works in just 10 minutes a day
  • Portable so you can take it anywhere
  • Relieves pain
  • Improves circulation

It takes a few minutes to learn how to set it up the first time, but once you understand how to do it you're all set. 

Our Opinion:

It's a little awkward hooking it up to a door and lying on the floor to use the device. I would like to see it come with something to hold it up so you didn't have to attach it to a doorway or railing.

As someone who works on a computer all day, I often get neck pain. The Neck Hammock relieves that pain, and it really does work in just 10 minutes. I don't need to use it every day, but it's great to have that relief. There isn't another way to stretch your neck like this. 

Click Here To Buy

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bourbon Caramel Dark Chocolate Truffles Recipe with David Nicholson Reserve

Bourbon Caramel Dark Truffles with David Nicholson Reserve make the perfect homemade gift!

  1. 9 oz. 60% dark chocolate chips
  2. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or coconut milk for dairy free)
  3. 2 tbsp bourbon
for optional caramel swirl
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/8 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  4. 1 tbsp butter
for optional coating
  1. cacao powder
  2. sprinkles
  1. combine sugar and water for caramel in small saucepan on med. heat for 10 min (1/4 cup sugar + 1/8 cup water)
  2. add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  3. simmer 2 min, then add butter and remove caramel from heat
  4. chop chocolate into small bits
  5. in a small saucepan heat 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream to simmer, remove from heat, pour over chopped chocolate in heat safe bowl
  6. stir until smooth
  7. you may use the microwave in 15 second increments for additional melting help if necessary
  8. let cool for 2 min and pour in bourbon, mix
  9. swirl in about 2/3 of the caramel, marble style. eat the rest by hand jk, use it for dipping or something
  10. cover and place in fridge to chill for 1 hr
  11. scoop out chocolate using a melon baller, roll gently between hands until round, be gentle and patient
  12. coat in cacao or sprinkles by rolling ball on plate
  1. I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips
  2. I did not mis-spell cocoa, I meant cacao. its more rich in flavor and adds a nice tartness. but you can use cocoa if you waaaaant 🙂

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How to Calm Crazy Waves and Unruly Curls International Curl Expert Shares Tips

For those with naturally wavy, curly hair of all coils and textures it may seem like an endless battle to find ways to tame the mane. Some may turn to relaxers, weekly blowouts or extensions. Others just want to master their natural hair in whatever mood it seems to be in. To help girls get a handle on their curls we connected with Maya Smith, founder of The Doux salon and product line of the same name both specializing in making the absolute most of the natural hair you’re born with. When it comes to healthy sculptured, cool looking curls of all types, Maya’s two decades of experience with curls worldwide makes her a true expert. Here she offers tips on how to calm crazy waves and unruly curls.

#1: My naturally wavy hair is flat at the top and then waves start in the middle with tighter curls at the back. HELP!

Genetics determine curl pattern and density. It’s totally normal, in fact, quite common for several different textures to exist on the same head of hair. These inconsistencies can cause the hair to look uneven, and are most apparent once the hair has dried. I created The Doux’s Mousse Def, to help define waves and curls in the less curly areas, and to combat frizz in the areas that are tightly coiled. To balance the look of curly and wavy hair, we recommend using a combo of a mousse on the straighter areas, and then a balm like The Doux’s Bonita Afro Balm Texture Cream for added stretch and control in the tighter areas. The goal here is to keep hair shiny, touchable, and soft. If shrinkage or frizzing remains an issue, don’t underestimate the power of a great haircut. Awesome products combined with a professionally-shaped set of layers is my signature Rx for accentuating curls that vary in texture.

#2: I have curly hair and let it dry naturally. The second it rains, I get frizzy at the roots. I find myself revolving my hairstyle around the weather report. HELP!

Thirsty hair will try to “drink up” moisture in the air if it’s not adequately hydrated.
The key to eliminating frizz due to humidity exposure is to make sure that the hair is thoroughly conditioned before styling products are applied. This exact problem is what inspired me to create a solution in the form of a Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner, followed by The Light Shine Mist helps to hydrate and stabilize the cuticle, making it less prone to reversion. For added control at the roots, we apply a small amount of Bonita Afro Balm, which is our secret weapon for keeping curly hair from swelling in harsh weather conditions. These products can be found at select Target stores nationwide and at TheDoux.com.

 #3: I often wear my curly hair slicked back into a tight low bun or ponytail. Will this damage my hair? 

Style in moderation. Traction alopecia is a major epidemic among women with textured hair. This is typically the result of too much tension being applied to scalp for an extended period of time, and usually occurs due to hair styling such as braids, extensions, and tight ponytails. To avoid irreversible thinning of the hair, it’s important to avoid hairstyles that place constant pressure on hair, particularly in the temple and nape areas. Ponytails and “slicked” styles should be taken down at night, and tight accessories, such as headbands or scrunchies should be worn less frequently. 

#4: I wear my naturally kinky hair twisted and braided. How long could I leave this style in and how best to shampoo my hair while in this style?

I recommend shampooing once per week for hair with fine-to-medium density. I urge clients with high-density or extremely long hair, not to exceed more than 10 days without cleansing the hair and scalp. This helps eliminate bacterial growth that causes itching, flaking, and dandruff on the scalp. We use The Doux’s Sucka Free Moisturizing Shampoo to remove product build-up and dead skill cells, and Fresh Rinse Moisturizing Conditioner to soften, hydrate, and balance the hair’s pH. We’ve incorporated Shea Butter and Sea Silk to smooth the hair shaft and aid in moisture retention.

#5: What are some ingredients to avoid that many products for curly hair contain? Why is this damaging? 

Petroleum-based “grease,” as well as products that contain mineral oil may be old-school favorites, but are often the cause of dry hair. Heavy products that aren’t water soluble can coat the hair shaft, disrupting the hair’s natural ability to retain moisture. This dryness may go nearly undetected, because the hair is covered in product, however, the underlying dehydration causes hair to be brittle and stubborn. We recommend cream-based products that shampoo out easily, and allow the hair to “breathe.”

About Maya Smith:

Maya Smith is an International Master Stylist and Founder of The Doux Salon and haircare line now available in Target. With over two decades of styling experience Maya dedicated two decades to cracking the code on curl care, maintenance and expert styling. When it comes to caring for one’s natural hair and styling it, according to NaturallyCurly, Maya is among the best there is.

While still in high school, Maya got her hair cutting license and graduated from beauty school. Soon after graduating high school, Maya began following her passion and worked as an assistant for celebrity stylist Tracy Johnson. She learned from Johnson and progressed as a hair stylist for celebrities and entertainers. Years later the military wife would relocate to Germany, where Maya opened up her first salon The HoneyComb, a mecca for textured hair care for women from all over Europe, The UK, and as far as Africa. Maya's unique system of textured hair styling sparked the development of The DOUX® haircare products, first launched overseas, and distributed throughout Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. 

Currently, Maya leads a carefully selected team of stylists at The DOUX® Salon in Macon, Georgia and celebrated the arrival of The DOUX® in select Target stores nationwide. Maya Smith, wife, mom of 5 and savvy business woman is an example not just for women of color but for all women who believe their gifts can impact the world, striving for entrepreneurial endeavors with grace, ease and hustle.