Tag Archives: 2012 gift guide

Review: LifeProof Weatherproof iPhone Case




If you are looking for a waterproof case for your iPhone, but don’t want bulky scuba gear attached to your phone, then you are looking for LifeProof.  LifeProof cases are designed for life.  We all have those times when we are around the pool, walking in the rain or needing to grab an important phone call while in the shower when we wish we had a waterproof case.  Waterproofing has traditionally involved a bulky, unattractive case that screamed security, but also shouted UGLY.  So ugly and bulky that it wasn’t going to be used unless you planned ahead, which doesn’t help much when your phone falls in the toilet!

With family in mind, let me start by saying this case is not very thick.  It is not the case you need if you plan to hand it over to a young toddler, as biting might ruin it.  If you have a toddler who is more interested in throwing things in the toilet or sink than chewing on them, keep reading.  I received a limited edition clear case for iPhone 4/4s to review, and have tested it in many situations you might encounter in daily life.



When you get the case, start by following the instructions provided by LifeProof precisely.  Not only will this save your phone, but it will save your warranty as well. 

The case is easy to install, and fits snugly without adding much weight or bulk to the phone.  The camera and flash are not affected due to a lens built in for them, and all speakers and microphones have specially designed membranes to pass sound out of the case.  You have to touch slightly harder to use the touch screen, but all touches and drags are registered as normal, even with water on the screen.

I used the case underwater in the sink, in the shower, outside in the sleet/snow, even held it in my wet hands while washing dishes.  The case did not leak in any of these situations.  I was surprised to find that not only did touches register even with water on the screen, but the sound was not affected by the case being in water either.  All buttons worked normally, though it is worth noting that the silence toggle is reversed when the case is on (push toward the back of the case to turn to loud, toward the front for silent).  



Two issues of inconvenience – the headphone port is not very wide, so only thin headphones will work without an adapter (the adapter also maintains the waterproof seal, so you can use waterproof headphones and go for a swim!), and the charging port cover only opens 90 degrees.  This means you have limited space to get the plug in the phone.  While I did not have an issue with this, I have family with LifeProof who only use the case when at the beach because of this.  A dock extender is available from LifeProof, but it will set you back $30.  While stores such as amazon have them much cheaper, most of the off brand do not extend far enough to fit the LifeProof.

This is definitely not the toughest case I have owned, in regard to impact resistance and feel, but what other case is both waterproof AND decent looking?  They even come in a wide array of colors!  Issues aside, the case is great and offers top of the line protection with a fraction of the bulk that most competitors add.  With all the construction, with saw dust, weather, plumbing and other hazards, my husband will be keeping this case on his phone from now on. 

I highly recommend LifeProof cases now that I have tried one out.  I expected the thin form to mean less protection, and I was wrong.  If you are on the fence, and you want something waterproof to use more than a couple of times, go get a LifeProof.  Make sure to follow all instructions exactly when you receive the case to ensure you do everything to keep your phone safe.  LifeProof is not responsible for damage to your phone, and saving a minute on case installation is not worth killing your device.

LifeProof is available for iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5, iPad Gen 2/3/4 and iPod Touch Gen 4.  The LifeProof case for Samsung Galaxy S III is on its way and will be available soon.  Currently there are limited edition cases  available for the iPhone 4/4s including the Clear Back cases and the Tactical Colors.   

Read more specifications and testing done by LifeProof here.



Connect with LifeProof

Website  |  Facebook |  Twitter  




Family Centsability was not monetarily compensated for this post. A product sample was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Holiday gifts for organization from Closetmaid


Looking to get rid of the clutter, but have too much stuff with no place to go?  What you need is an affordable, clean looking organization system to stylishly hold your items (or a place to throw everything when company comes over!).  Enter Closetmaid.  Closetmaid has a wide variety of organizational products – some that you will find in stores and some that you may only see on their website.  

My favorite Closetmaid organization system is definitely the Cubeicals.  You can use the Cubeicals with or without fabric drawers…it’s your choice!  Cubeicals are available in a variety of colors and sizes:  



The Cubeicals Fabric Drawers come in a variety of colors…there are even mini drawers for use with the mini organizers! 


I have been using the Black 8 Cube Organizer with 4 Green Fabric Drawers and I absolutely love it!  Right now we are using it to organize my toddler’s toys and art supplies.  I personally like to only fill half of the cube spaces with fabric drawers so that I have extra space for books and other toys.  I also love that it comes with a special bracket specifically for attaching the shelf to the wall, making it much safer with little ones around.  

I am a bit disappointed in one aspect of the Cubeical – the screws that hold it together do not sink into the wood, leaving the head of the screw above the surface.  There are matching plastic screw caps to hide the screws, but that does not solve the problem.  In fact, they make it protrude even more.  Because of this, the shelf is wobbly on hard surfaces if you have it laying horizontally.  This is particularly disappointing because not only does it detract from the clean look of the shelves, it also makes the top shelf wobble if you stack two Cubeicals into a larger system.

That said, I am happy with the Cubeical I have.  If not for the wobble issue, I would definitely buy another and stack them for a nice looking system.  We can never have too many places to put things!



So for those of you looking for that last perfect gift, check out Closetmaid’s selection.  Cubeicals are a great gift for anyone…young or old, male or female!  Whether it is for a child’s play room, your office, livingroom or even bedroom, cubeicals are a great way to organize your belongings.  Teens could organize video games or fashion accessories, toddlers can have a place to keep their toys….the uses are limitless!  



Connect with Closetmaid

Website  |  Facebook |  Twitter  




Family Centsability was not monetarily compensated for this post. A product sample was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.


Review: Hulu Kids


More and more, families are using online media subscriptions to watch shows and movies on their own schedules.  With Hulu Plus, families can stream videos from the computer, select mobile devices, gaming consoles and more.  Hulu Plus recently introduced the new Hulu Kids Video Hub with ad-free children favorites such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dinosaur Train, Barney and iCarly.  Hulu Kids is available for anyone with a Hulu Plus account so you do not have to pay any additional fees.  Hulu Kids is simply a section of Hulu Plus specifically geared towards children’s shows (and did I mention, commercial free!?).  

Using Hulu Kids is very easy.  If using an internet browser, just visit www.hulu.com/kids and start browsing the shows available.  Video game consoles and mobile devices may require an app to be downloaded first.  With 43 shows currently listed, Hulu Kids has a wide variety of shows geared towards children as young as 2 all the way up to 8-10 years of age.  In my house, we have a Vizio tv that supports Hulu Plus streaming and although my toddler is just 18 months old, he comes running as soon as he hears the theme songs of his favorite shows.  Hulu Kids categorizes the shows into sections based on age as well as theme, making it easy to choose which shows are appropriate for your little one. 



A lot of kids find one show or episode that they just absolutely love and could watch over and over and over.  At just $7.99, Hulu Plus gives you unlimited access to some of your child’s favorite shows for a low price instead spending $30-40 for a show on DVD/Bluray, only to have your child decide they like a new show a month later.  

If you already know you want to sign up for Hulu Plus, sign up with this link to get 2 weeks credited to your account, making your first month half price!  Disclosure: This will also give me an additional 2 weeks free as well.  Make sure you check out the referral program also, to earn up to 52 weeks of Hulu Plus for free!  If you have never experienced Hulu Plus and would like to take it for a trial run, make sure to sign up here to try Hulu Plus free for one week.  

For those of you looking to give a Hulu Plus subscription as a gift, you can purchase gift subscriptions from one month to one year long.  Hulu Plus is a great gift for friends and family to watch tv shows at their own convenience, and just about everyone has a supported device these days!   


Check it out… Hulu Plus on our TV!



Family Centsability was not monetarily compensated for this post. A product sample was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.



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