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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Treva Bug Repellent Fan

This bug repellent fan is one that actually surprised me a bit. I purchased it on a whim after my sister-in-law told us about a restaurant she went to that had these at every table on their patio. This was a purchase that I fully expected to be a waste of money. I figured I’d buy this, use it a couple of times, then stow it in a closet for years. I was very wrong! It actually seems to work as advertised. Apparently, flies are really not interested in this…

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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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Book Safe with Combination Lock

I had this combination lock book safe on my Amazon Wish List for a long time; it’s one of those things that I don’t really need, but still thought was sort of cool. Pretty standard “gadget” type interest for me. My wife bought me one last Christmas, so I finally had a chance to try it out. The verdict is: It’s fine. Not amazing, but it works and seems a good value for the money. My version of this book safe is by Kyodoled or Jssmst (not actually sure which),…

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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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Knockoff Foldable Smartphone Stand

I originally bought this on a whim based on an Instagram ad. I normally don’t click ads, so I’m not sure what came over me this time. It’s basically a credit card sized smartphone stand that unfolds from its card form. It’s like a little Transformer robot, but so much worse. The general idea seems sound to me, but the implementation is poor in this case. In defense of the concept, it seems I bought a cheap knock-off and there is an authentic version sold by pocket-tripod.com. I purchased my…

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Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR Collider

This is not a perfect smartwatch, but it fits my needs/wants better than any other on the market right now. Looking at the big picture, it’s got everything I want in a smartwatch – great battery life (about three weeks on a charge), basic notifications, and tracking (sleep, HR, steps, activities). It also looks really good. I’m very happy with it overall. But, I did have some issues early on. The battery life is pretty much as advertised, depending on how consistently I wear it, I’ll get somewhere around 20ish…

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