Tag Archives: 2013 gift guide

Boken Every Day (Convertible) Diaper Bag

This diaper bag can be a backpack or shoulderbag - perfect for both parents!

 

The Boken Every Day Diaper Bag is one bag you won’t mind carrying around.  Many diaper bags are designed for the baby.  That’s great, because of course, it’s made for babies.  But the baby doesn’t often look at the bag, and definitely isn’t going to be the one carrying it around!  So why not design the bags for mommy and daddy?  In comes Boken, with the stylish, compact, convertible Every Day Diaper Bag.  The name says it all – this bag is made for every day use, and I’ve found that it works nicely even as a bag for day trips with toddlers!

The first thing you see about the bag, the packaging is very nicely done.  After removing the card stock wrapped around the bag, I found a small 8×10 or so satchel with a handle and zipper.  Open the zipper and the first thing that comes out is a matching and rather nice looking changing pad.  It’s a far cry from the black and white, sticky vinyl pads included with many diaper bags I’ve purchased.  Also, while still being waterproof, it is very thin and folds up nicely.  It is twice as large as most I’ve seen, being a square instead of a long pad with just enough space for baby.  This will cover an entire changing table or lay out on the floor with space to sit clothes and wipes on it too!

When I pulled out the diaper bag, I found that the satchel it was in was actually an inner storage pouch of the diaper bag itself!  That’s crafty packaging, and keeps down waste a lot.  There aren’t the filler papers many diaper bags use to keep their form, and minimal wrapping on the outside that’s all recyclable.  Once pulled out, the Every Day Diaper Bag is about the size of a small adult back pack.  On each side there are small handles for carrying, or you can use a longer shoulder strap like many diaper bags include.  It also has the added benefit of backpack straps, which are hidden in a compartment on the back of the bag when not being used.  That same compartment is extremely roomy, and would be ideal for the changing pad and diapers, or books or even pamphlets you might get while out traveling.

 

This diaper bag can be a backpack or shoulderbag - perfect for both parents!

 

One side of the bag has a very tall and spacious elastic mesh pocket for drinks, but will fit anything you want, unlike many bags that only go halfway up a bottle or sippy cup, allowing the risk of falling out while walking around.  The other side has a roomy pocket with surprisingly strong velcro closure.  Each of these pockets are about 10-12 inches tall.  The front has two large pockets, and the main enclosure is just huge.  The pouch that held the bag when packaged is at the top of the main compartment, and an elastic mesh separator gives extra organization at the bottom of the compartment.

The only aspect of the bag I didn’t like at first is simply a requirement of the design.  To make it foldable and resistant to water and dirt, so it’s able to be wiped clean, a material was used that is pretty noisy at first.  The almost crinkly noise reduces as you use the bag and the material starts to soften.  I would also love if there were additional pockets or dividers on the inside of the bag, since most of my use will be for day trips when I might need to grab something very specific out of a large and fully packed bag.  Otherwise, this bag is nearly perfect, especially with toddlers or on trips.  And if you just want an extra bag in case you come home with more stuff than you left with, the bag folds back up into the pouch to take up minimal space until needed!  This is definitely the bag we’ll be using when we visit family or take a day trip to St. Louis or Chicago – with or without the kids!

 

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Youcopia was chosen to be included in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!  Are you looking for that perfect gift?  Check out the gifts on our list and you might find just what you were looking for!

 

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.

Hammacher Schlemmer Steering Wheel Bluetooth Speakerphone

hammacherschlemmer

 

This year I decided to get a gift for the whole family.  Something that would be useful, make our lives easier, and that we could all use in one way or another.  Since riding in the car is one thing our entire family does, I thought, why not try to make it safer?  We all know we shouldn’t text or drive, and many believe we should not talk on the phone and drive either.  It just keeps the road safer.  But sometimes you still need to make that phone call, or answer one you’ve been waiting for all day.  Instead of giving up all phone calls in the car, I got the Hammacher Schlemmer Steering Wheel Bluetooth Speakerphone to allow hands-free calling, so both hands can be on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Beyond just the desire to keep my family safe, our state (Illinois) has passed legislation so that as of January 1st, we will no longer be allowed to use mobile devices unless they are hands-free and calls can be answered or ended in a maximum of two button presses.  I don’t want to just give up the ability to use the phone, or I’ll NEVER get those call backs from the kids’ doctor, for example.  After looking around for the perfect device, I came across the Hammacher Schlemmer speaker.  Instead of clipping to the visor, which makes you look away from the road, this speakerphone attaches to the inside of the steering wheel.  That puts it right where your hands are, so you have minimal distraction when needing to answer a call.  

Using the device is a breeze.  After turning the power on, follow the included instructions to pair it with your phone.  After that, any time you turn the speakerphone on and your phone is nearby, the two will connect automatically.  The Bluetooth speaker has buttons for volume, answer/end, and next/previous for music controls.  It has loud speakers that are easy to hear even with highway road noise, and noise cancellation to ensure you are heard clearly on the other end.  The battery is rechargeable and provides up to six hours of talk time and over five days of standby.  The screen allows you to change options in between trips, and shows caller ID so you know who’s calling without looking at your phone.  We both have iPhones, so did not test it on an Android device, but it was able to activate Siri and take commands, start, answer, and end phone calls, and dictate text message replies by voice.  Since we have one car, we just quickly turn bluetooth off on our phones when we are done.  Whoever gets in the car to drive simply turns on the device, then turns on bluetooth on the phone, and connects.  This prevents it from trying to connect to my phone if I’m in the passenger seat, for example.  This is true for most Bluetooth devices, save for some higher end models that connect multiple phones at once.

Testing the steering wheel speaker during actual use proved the call quality was as clear as advertised on both ends of the conversation, and was plenty loud enough to make sure I don’t miss a call when the music is turned up, like I sometimes do when my phone doesn’t ring loud enough.  I am very happy with the quality of the Hammacher Schlemmer Steering Wheel Bluetooth Speakerphone, and will be very happy to be following the law while still using my device in a safe manner.

 

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Hammacher Schlemmer was chosen to be included in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!  Are you looking for that perfect gift?  Check out the gifts on our list and you might find just what you were looking for! 

 

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.

Affordable Eco-Friendly Gifts from Green Apple Supply

GreenAppleSupplyEcoFriendlyGifts

 

My gift giving theme this year has been unique yet fun gifts for my friends and family.  When I was introduced to Green Apple Supply, I found so many products that were just that!  Green Apple Supply is committed to bringing you eco-friendly products at prices you can afford.  With everything from art supplies, tote bags, or even toys for infants, there is quite a variety to choose from.

The three products I received to facilitate our gift guide were a Faber-Castell Fingerpaint Pad, a set of Glob Paint Packets, and a Motherboard Tic-Tac-Toe Coaster Set.  

GreenAppleSupply.com

 

With my husband in mind, the Motherboard Tic-Tac-Toe Coaster Set seemed like a perfect gift!  The set is not only functional but fun.  The coasters come in a small tin that has a tic tac toe board on top…made of circuit boards!  Inside the tin are 4 coasters, each a different color of motherboard and coated in plastic.  You will also find a small bag of X and O game pieces for the tic tac toe game, also made of motherboard!  I was a bit disappointed that the tic tac toe board fell off the tin the first time I touched it but it was easy to put back on with superglue.  I imagine this was just due to the cold weather weakening the glue when I received my package and should not be an issue for all sets.  I gave this gift to my husband early for review purposes and he thought it was pretty neat!

 

GreenAppleSupplyArtSupplies

 

Green Apple Supply not only has cool sustainable desktop accessories, they also have a great selection of art supplies!  With my sons in mind this time, I was immediately interested in the Glob Paint Packets and Faber-Castell Finger Paint Pad.  Being 2 1/2 years old and 1 year old, my boys keep me busy from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep.  I love bringing art into our daily routines and they have so much fun with it!  I haven’t yet had a chance to try out the supplies since these are wrapped up under the tree but I can’t wait!  The paint packets come in 6 colors.  The amount of water you add to the packets determines the thickness of the paint.  You can even mix what you need in small containers and save the rest of the packet for later, eliminating dry paint that has to be thrown away.  The finger paint pad is a hefty pad with 60 sheets to last us quite a while.  Each sheet is 12″ x 18″ which is big enough for my toddlers yet not so big to overwhelm them.  At just $5.00, this paint pad seems like quite a deal!  

I will definitely keep Green Apple Supply in mind as birthdays and more holidays come around.  They are definitely a great source of eco-friendly gifts and I have been very happy with the products I had the opportunity to try so far.  I can’t wait to try more!  

 

Connect with Green Apple Supply

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

 

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Green Apple Supply was chosen to be included in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!  Are you looking for that perfect gift?  Check out the gifts on our list and you might find just what you were looking for! 

 

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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