Crown Shades Pop Up Canopy

We recently took a trip to the beach and wanted to find a portable canopy or shade we could take with us. We initially considered either getting beach umbrellas, or possibly renting something. But we had about seven people in our group, so I figured it would be a more cost effective solution to purchase our own pop-up canopy. Since renting things at a beach can cost like $25-35 per day, it seemed like this would just about pay for itself over the course of the entire trip. The key…

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Lamicall Flexible Arm Gooseneck Phone Mount

As I’ve mentioned in a few other reviews, my primary hobby is drawing colored pencil portraits. For years, I shared still images looped together as .gif files to show drawing progressions. Eventually, I decided to get with the times and created a YouTube channel to share these progressions through video instead. Figuring out how to capture artwork video has been a learning process; at the start, I purchased a fairly basic smartphone tripod which I reviewed previously. It worked well, but wasn’t designed for any sort of overhead view. My…

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Nogent Super Kim Can Opener

If you spend some time browsing through Amazon reviews for the most popular can openers, you might be surprised to discover there is apparently an ongoing crisis in the world of can openers. With most product types, after enough digging, you can usually separate the high-quality products from the problematic ones. From reviews for can openers though, it sounds like within the last decade, the reputable manufacturers have been acquired by other companies or cut costs to a degree that has impacted quality. I hadn’t considered this until we purchased…

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Colored Pencil Extenders

In my other online life outside of writing reviews, I’m actually an amateur portrait artist. One of the best inexpensive purchases I’ve made in that art world has been these pencil extenders. The product itself is fairly simple; they are hard plastic tubes topped with metal caps. You can insert a pencil of any length, tighten the metal cap, and the tube holds the pencil in place. Even with a tiny little pencil stub, you can still grip it within the plastic/metal tube and maintain a more comfortable pencil-holding position.…

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Spigen Thin Fit Smartphone Case

This review is broadly about Spigen’s “Thin Fit” smartphone case series, but I will also discuss the Samsung Galaxy S20 Thin Fit specifically. From the top I’ll say this to help you see how much I like these cases; by default, I use a Spigen Thin Fit for every phone. I originally started using one with my Google Nexus 5 like six years ago. With every new phone, I try other cases and always end up coming back to these. I have a fairly counterproductive situation with my phone use…

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Axloie Portable Bluetooth Speaker

My kids and I have been spending a lot of time outside lately. A couple months ago, I decided it would be nice to have a portable bluetooth speaker for when we’re out there playing. After some research, I came across the extremely well-reviewed Axloie bluetooth speaker. For a roughly $25 speaker, this is a really impressive device. It has surprisingly good volume and I wasn’t expecting such respectable bass. The speaker’s sound quality is crisp and clear, definitely impressive for something at this price and size. It also seems…

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Apple Smart Keyboard Folio 12.9 Inch

When I decided to purchase a new iPad Pro, I had some pretty extensive internal debate as to which keyboard case to use. I watched quite a few YouTube videos on the subject, and ultimately it came down to a decision between the original Apple Smart Keyboard Folio and the newer Apple Magic Keyboard. I pretty quickly discarded the idea of a less expensive 3rd party keyboard due to less convenient bluetooth connection and possible battery/charging concerns. My prior experience with Samsung’s keyboard case was overwhelmingly positive, with a seamless…

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Samsung Duo Plus Flash Drive

Recently, I decided to start a YouTube channel to share some portrait art progressions and various other things. I have a few smaller flash drives laying around, but decided I needed something bigger to move files around between my PC (USB 3.1) for uploading, Samsung Galaxy (USB-C) for video, and iPad Pro (USB-C) for video editing. I came across this Samsung Duo Plus, which has both USB 3.1 and USB-C connections, so I decided to give it a try. I got the 256GB version, which seemed a lot cheaper than…

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Thermos Stainless King 40 Oz

During all of our time at home during the pandemic, I’ve taken to brewing coffee at home exactly how I like it. Previously, when I was physically at work, I viewed coffee as more utilitarian. My coworkers and I shared coffee responsibilities, and when I was first in, I went for a simple and quick brew. At home though, I experimented with the amount of water and coffee to my exact preference, and even started adding some cinnamon directly to the grounds. Now that everyone has been increasing their office…

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Fugetek Smartphone Tripod

I’m an artist by hobby and, during all the recent coronavirus home quarantine time, I decided to create a YouTube channel to share some artwork progression videos. I have no professional equipment or videography expertise, so I needed a tripod I could use with my smartphone. After a bit of research, I came across Fugetek’s various tripod offerings. I went with the 51 inch version, which was a good choice to capture an overhead view of paper on a desk. This tripod is very sturdy and well made; seems like…

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