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Entries in review (43)


National Geographic Weird but True app

Did you know that honey does not spoil?

Me neither. That fact would have come in handy last year when my huge Costco-sized container of honey crystalized and I was trying to decide if I should toss all $14 of it.

It took National Geographic to design an app that my kid is hooked on to educate me about the shelf-life of honey.

The Weird but True app give you an interesting fact with every swipe or shake.

Inspired by the National Geographic book series of the same name, Weird but True has some of the strangest facts that can be ranked with your vote on the weird-o-meter.

 Here is what Ellie thought:



The Weird but True app is available for iPhone and iPad on iTunes.

Also, be sure to check out the Weird but True Collectionon Amazon.

Disclosure: I received the app for free but all experiences and opinions are my own. This post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published. Some links are affiliate links.



Back to School with Better Lighting

“Turn the light on or you’ll wreck your eyes!”

That’s what I remember hearing from my dad as he flicked on the light after finding me reading in a dark room. It stuck with me throughout college and now as I have two very active readers. Through the years I’ve noticed that the right kind of lighting is not only better for your eyes, it’s better for concentration.

SmartLight by Verilux is the perfect homework partner

Now that I think about it, I am drawn to work in a room with good natural lighting. The room in my house I chose for my office has 2 southern facing windows and gets the most daylight of any room in my house. When I choose a ‘virtual office’ for the day, I choose a coffee shop or library that has lots of windows and day light.

When Verilux asked me to review their SmartLight I was intrigued. Could a desk lamp really help someone read faster, work longer, and experience better concentration? I’ve been using the lamp for over an hour now writing two blog posts and I can tell you, I’m in a groove I haven’t experienced in a while.

SmartLight – what’s the difference?

Here’s the difference between the lamp we have on the Twofer’s homework desk and the SmartLight.

our regular desk lamp

You can see the yellowish light from the regular lamp, versus+ the “natural spectrum” light from the SmartLight. Which one do you think increases contract, reduces glare, and stimulates the body’s natural enhancers much like a sunny day would do?

Here’s what else I like about the SmartLight:

  • Lightweight and easy to move from room to room
  • Flexible gooseneck and 6 foot cord perfect for any desk
  • White, contemporary design fits into any décor
  • Bulb that lasts 10,000 hours
  • Retails for under $40

For more information about SmartLight
visit Verilux
Find them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter

Got questions about the SmartLight? Leave me a comment and I'll try to answer it as best as I can!

Want more back to school tips? May I suggest...

DIY Portable Study Carrel

I spent $130 on Backpacks for School

Disclosure: I received a SmartLight at no cost for the purpose of this review. All opinions and experiences are mine and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.


Since we aren't getting a REAL dog we'll try Cube Dog

Thank you to Cube Dog for sponsoring this review. For more information about Cube Dog please visit the Facebook page or download it on iTunes.

The Twins are trying to bully me into getting a dog

The Twofer have been asking, no BEGGING for a dog just about every single day. They bring books home from the school library every week. They started in the As and are now up to Rottweiler.

The book is shoved into my face while I cook dinner, "LOOK how cute the puppies are mom!"

The promises are recited while I make their lunches, "We will clean up the dog poop, and get up early to walk the dog, and you won't have to do a thing MOM!"

The accusations fly at the end of each day, "But you PROMISED we could get a dog when we turned 8...when we entered 3rd grade...when we started feeding the fish regularly..."

I'm over the whole dog discussion. So I got an app!

The Cube Dog iPhone App Is Our New Pet!

With Cube Dog the girls can DESIGN their pet dog. They can choose the body type, facial structure, eyes, and ears. Can't decide on a look? Give the phone a shake and Cube Dog will change before your eyes! You can even change the color of the dog. The girls can each name their own dog, and then they can pet it, tickle it, and treat it to fun things in the store. Swipe your figer across the screen and you get a full 360 degree view of your pet as it twirls. The 3-D graphics are excellent and you can zoom in for a closer look.

A quick note on compatibility: make sure you are using one of the following before you download Cube Dog:

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4

iPod Touch 3rd generation

iPod Touch 4th generation

and the all require iOS 4.0 or higher


See a demo of Cube Dog in this video

LIKE Cube Dog on Facebook and see what others are doing with their dogs

You'll want to LIKE Cube Dog on Facebook to take part in the special contest that will be running June 13-17! I saw a lot of really cute things people were doing with their dogs using the photo background editor, and more. People share photos of their Cube Dogs and share pet names.

I'm going to share that my girls have FINALLY stopped asking about getting a real dog!

What are you going to name your Cube Dog?


Disclosure: While Cube Dog provided me with the app to review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Cube Dog, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.


Gnomeo and Juliet Out on DVD May 24th!

Gnomeo and Juliet is not funny

When my two (now) 8-year olds saw the review copy come in the mail they both said,

"OMG Mom! That movie is hilarious!"

And that's all you really need to know about Gnomeo and Juliet before you head out an buy it on DVD or Blue Ray this week.

In the secret world of garden gnomes we meet two gnomes who come from very different backgrounds and have to put up a fight to be together.

Sure, the plot sounds familiar but the characters are anything but predictable.

Check out the trailer:

Gnomeo and Juliet comes out on DVD and Blue Ray this week!

Not only is this movie kid-approved (even from kids who find some kid-friendly movies scary), it comes with 2 alternate endings, 2 alternate openings, deleted scenes and more! Plus, with music from the great Sir Elton John, it can play in the background while I'm cooking an I may even steal a glance or two!

UPDATE: Click Here for a $5 coupon for Gnomeo & Juliet!


Disclosure: I received a review copy at no cost. All opinions are my own and this post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.


Shopping with Bing


Thank you to BING for sponsoring my writing today. To learn more about BING Shopping Rewards, click here. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Let's Go Shopping...just not at the MAWL

My shopping habits have changed dramatically as the Internet has grown. In the early 90s I spent countless hours browsing through racks and displays at the local mall. I spent so much time there in my 30s when everyone I knew (including me) got married, that I now get a twitch just driving by. I still wonder how many hours, days, and weeks were spent shopping for dresses, shoes, and accessories to wear to all those weddings. Not to mention the hours spent tracking down the "needs 2" items off the Crate & Barrel or Bloomingdale registries. Needless to say, I now get a twitch whenever I drive by.

I. Hate. Malls.

Luckily for me, this aversion to malls came just as the Internet was starting to take off! Now, the first place I shop is online. Whether it's polling my friends on Twitter or reading product reviews on a blog, I gather preliminary information then head to the online retailers armed with an idea of what I want, AND the price I want to pay. An Honey, online, nobody pays retail!

And now - we don't even have to pay ourselves!

Searching for a New Search Site

I have been looking for a new search-for-reward site so I was excited to learn that Bing rewards users with credits that can help me shop! That will PAY for my shopping.

I. Love. The Internet.

You can earn credits two ways with Bing: 1) install the Bing toolbar and watch the counter go as you rack up points, 2) go to whenever you need to search. The first step for both is to register at Bing - but take it from me, I HATE to register for things and this was easy peasy and doesn't require a ton of information. Also, you automatically get 250 credits just for registering!

I'm already searching, earning, and eyeing up an Amazon gift card. What will you shop for with Bing?