Product Review | Medical Grade Otoscopes

Recently I had a company who gave me the opportunity to test two of their medical grade otoscopes so that I could provide a review for, as well as for my followers. All two of you.

The company Gurin, gave me discounts on both of these products in exchange for my reviews.  However, these are my opinions based on my experience with these products.  They are not swayed, padded, or influenced in any way.

Part of what made me want to try out these otoscopes is the fact that our youngest, Beckett (who is almost a year old) has had more ear infections than he's had monthly birthdays (or whatever you call that day when I forget to put a sticker on his shirt and spend two hours trying to get the perfect picture to make my Facebook and Instagram friends think that I've successfully achieved Pinterest Mom status).

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The first otoscope that I received from Gurin was the SantaMedical Professional Otoscope with Hard Plastic Case.  Upon unboxing it, I was glad to see the replacement halogen bulb and additional reusable specula.  Before putting the batteries in the device I was worried about how 'professional' it would be as it felt extremely light.  After putting in the 2 C-cell batteries (not included), it felt like the otoscopes that I had handled before.

I used it to peer into the baby's ears and then into my 10 year old's ears and was pleased with how well you can see down the ear and into the canal even without using the magnification.  The case also makes it really convenient to store it in the closet or to toss it in the diaper bag.  One thing I would like to have seen (that other otoscopes in a similar price range came with) would be an image that shows the user what to look for.  Because I'm not a doctor I can only presume that my boys ears were healthy (albeit a bit dirty...)  A graphic similar to this would have been extremely helpful and beneficial for the Average Joe like me.


As an Average Joe that's basing her opinion on the use of this device and not with comparison to any prior actual use of other devices, I give it a 4 stars out of 5.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more metal (or perhaps a more substantial type of metal) on the head of the otoscope as the plastic doesn't feel as durable.  For what I'm using it for, this shouldn't be an issue though.

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The second otoscope that I received was the Professional Fiber Optic Otoscope with Zippered Leather Case.  I liked the looks of this device better than I did the other one and I really liked that it came with several specula to use with it.  Immediately out of the box I liked the way that it felt in my hand, but for me it wasn't as easy to turn on and off as the SantaMedical otoscope above.  The black ring around the body of the device twists just like the other one did, but it didn't seem to "click" on or off as cleanly.

I noticed that this device didn't light up as brightly as the other otoscope.  Perhaps it was a difference in the specula that I was using (the SantaMedical device came with different size specula, this one seemed to only have multiple of one perhaps 'universal' size.).  This difference made me feel like I couldn't see as far into the baby's ears as I hoped to and as I was able to with the other device.  Because he's the one that I would be using this for the most, I preferred the other device to this one.

The leather case is more compact than the hard plastic case of the earlier instrument and has pockets on the inside for storing both the instrument and the container of specula.  For this otoscope as well, I think it would have been beneficial to have received an ear chart as above.  If I could give half-stars for this device, I think I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars simply because even with the magnification I couldn't see as far into the ear as I wanted to.  Overall, though, I feel it's a good instrument and is well made for the price-range so I would round up on this one and give it a 4 stars out of 5.

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Product Review | Ivation GW18 Dash Cam

I was recently given the opportunity to do some more product testing!  A company called Ivation gave me the opportunity to test two of their dash cams!  Game on!  I'm what is described as a driver "with a sense of purpose", so a dash cam is right down my road (ba dum tiss).

Straight out of the box I liked the looks of the GW18 camera.  It's small and compact, which you want when you're mounting it on your windshield.  You can hide it behind your rear view mirror or you can position it so that it just peeks out from under the mirror.  Either way, it doesn't take up a lot of real estate.

The camera is easy to assemble and installation is relatively painless, depending on the vehicle.  Hiding wires is always a pain, but in some vehicles it's more-so.  If the wire were just slightly smaller it would have worked better for me around the windshield, but it seems to be an industry standard, most of my auto devices have the same size.

Right off of the bat I had troubles with the suction cup that secures the dash cam.  This seems to be a common problem with both this camera and the other one that I received as many reviews addressed the need for a larger suction cup.  If you can get yours to stick, never touch or move it again.  It might come loose and then you have to fight that fight all over again.  Believe me when I say it is NOT fighting the good fight!

As far as set up and installation of the actual device itself, this one was pretty easy.  Secure the device, insert the card, and off you go!  The device plugs in to your car's cigarette lighter port.  It would have been nice if the charger head had one or two USB hubs on it since it's occupying an often used part of the vehicle.  Instead of USB outlets, there's a large square blue light that shines at you continually.  And at night, depending on your vehicle, the blue light reflects onto your windshield and shows up in every single video the dash cam captures.  It's nothing a piece of electrical tape won't cover, but it's a bit annoying for those of us who are perfectionists.

All in all, this device gets a ⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating (out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).  The issues with the suction cup affects the use and operation of the device.  The device shouldn't have passed testing with this issue and there certainly shouldn't have been multiple models made with the same problem.

If this issue were fixed the camera would be a solid 4 out of 5 stars.  It's not perfect, but it is good.

*i received this product at a discounted price in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

Product Review | Kids Knit Beanie & Scarf Set

I've had quite a few opportunities to test some fantastic products over the past few years.  Some are incredible.  Some are complete duds.  And some are great products that are awesome on their own, but just didn't work for me.  This product is not a complete dud.  However, it just didn't quite work for us.  Not yet at least.

This product was the very cute Kids Knit Beanie & Scarf Set.

I applied for the privilege to product test this set as it was marketed as a unisex Children's set.  Had I paid better attention, I would have seen that all three of the colors shown and sold had this applique on it. There's nothing really wrong with the applique, but at Beckett's age it's not always easy to tell if a baby is a boy or a girl.  No one likes complimenting someone on their precious baby girl and then being told it's actually a boy.  (I know, I did this to a couple in church a few months ago.  The beautiful child's daddy was NOT impressed with my snafu.  But this is what happens when you dress your child in non-gender specific clothes.)

So when I got this set and saw the applique, I decided that for everyone's sake, it had to go.  But man, they really put that thing on there!  Which is good because that means that no teething tot is going to be able to chew or pull it off and choke on it.  There's VERY little chance of that happening with that set.  It was SECURE.

So after a lot of effort, I finally got the design off and started chasing Beckett around the house trying to get pictures of him in it.  For weeks I did this.  And for weeks I got the same response.

If he could talk, he would be saying "GET THIS THING OFF OF ME!"

So here are my thoughts on this set.

It's cute.  Really cute.  And it's really well made.  Quality, to me, is not an issue with this set.

I had no clue what style of a hat I was getting based on the pictures, though.  I'm not a trendsetter with the floppy knit hats so I have absolutely no idea how to put this hat on my kid, as you can tell by the pictures.  Fortunately, my kid is cute in everything.  (I'm a mom, my job is to gush.)

This scarf is really a bit big for a kiddo Beckett's size.  And he was really not interested in wearing the hat either (even though he tolerates other hats reasonably well).

I think that in time this set will work better for us.  And by then maybe I'll know better how to style it (fortunately for me, I have a sister who is a little more "with the times", I bet she can help me out).  When Beckett's toddling around in his first (or second) snow, this will be a great set to have.

Rating this set, I give it a four out of five stars—docking it one star mostly because (to me) it's not a unisex set and because the pictures don't clearly show the customer the style of the hat that they're buying.

*I received this product at a free or reduced price in exchange for a honest review.*

Product Review | AleHorn Tankard

I recently had the opportunity to test a truly one-of-a-kind product when I received a unique Tankard Drinking Horn courtesy for AleHorn.

This horn is such a neat and interesting piece and it looks incredible when you see it in person. It's formed of 100% natural horn.

Since this was right down his alley, I let The Husband test this product out. He loved it from the get-go. I'm pretty sure that he was transported in time each time he held it in his hand. The quality of the horn lends itself to making you feel it's from another time and another place.

I especially love the touch of the brand name on the bottom of the cup. This would have been an awesome and unique gift idea for The Husband for Christmas.  If you want to check out this product, click over to their website and you can learn more about this one-of-a-kind, beautiful product.

*I received this product for free to test and provide my fair, honest, and unbiased opinion.*

Merry Christmas from us Crazy Cats!

Starting off the Christmas Season with some merry wishes from those crazy cats: Jason, Ashley, Ty & Beckett.

A Trekkie Christmas | Make it So

We have a new favorite Christmas Carol at our house now. Even The Husband in all his Scrooge-ness had to smile in merriment as we watched this video below.

Wakey Wakey

I recently had the opportunity to test out a sample of Nature Cups, a 100% recyclable k-cup for our Keurig 2.0 Coffee Machine.  As a coffee lover and a mother to a teething 8-month old, this was the perfect product for me to test out, so I was excited to give it a try!

I received the Wakey Wakey Coffee Blend from Nature Cups at no charge in exchange for a honest review.  And a honest review I will give.  You know me, I'm not afraid to express opinions.  But I only have good opinions to give on this one.

The Wakey Wakey coffee blend is indeed the bold, flavorful brew that it is boasted to be.  The aroma and taste of the coffee reminded me very much of a nice, smooth French Roast; they were perfect for a crisp fall morning.

The cups are easy to recycle and they worked with my Keurig 2.0 without issue, which was a concern that I initially had.

If you like a bold blend, this is a great flavor to try and the product itself helps to reduce your footprint on the environment. Give it a try!

I received the Wakey Wakey Coffee Blend from Nature Cups at no charge in exchange for a honest review.