Gamer Gift Idea: Kontrol Freek Accessories and Giveaway

Video gaming can be an expensive pastime, and buying consoles and games as gifts is pricey! With consoles over $300 each and new games over $60, you might be looking for a more affordable gift idea.

Kontrol Freek controller
My controller with KF thumbgrips and hand grips.

I’ve been given some very handy Kontrol Freek gaming accessories, and I love them! The thumbstick grips are textured and provide a great grip for running/sprinting and aiming. They come in a variety of colors and themes. So far, I am not a huge fan of the tall FPS (first-person shooter) sticks, because my hands are quite small, and my thumbs don’t stretch far enough to take advantage of the extra leverage. I need more practice to make the most of that style of grips.

However, I really love the look and feel of the low-profile and medium-rise tops. They don’t stretch over the stick grips like some cheaper toppers do. Instead, they clip onto the top of the existing sticks, and once they’re in place, they don’t slide around – even if your hands get a little bit sweaty.

Kontrol Freek thumbgrips
Kontrol Freek thumbgrips

The textured surface is great for keeping your thumbs in place, and helps prevent accidental slippage when you’re in a tight situation in-game. Of course, they can only help so much, and if you’re prone to gripping too tightly when you get excited, you will probably hit L3/R3 when you mean to turn or aim. That can result in you bringing your melee knife to a gunfight, and you’ll probably lose that battle. Or maybe I’m the only one who does that… haha.

Kontrol Freeks are available at plenty of stores, and thumbsticks start around $11 per pair. They’re available in a variety of styles and colors. There are thumbstick grips, controller wraps, and other accessories.

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or affordable gift for a gamer, these are a great idea! And if you’d like a chance to try some Kontrol Freeks for free, leave a comment here and/or share this post. I’ll draw a winner who will receive a freebie from Kontrol Freek just in time for the holidays! (US addresses only.)

Thanks for reading, Happy Thanksgiving, and good gaming!

Wuvo Spot helps you keep track of stuff

I was recently given a chance to test the new Wuvo Spot, which is a Bluetooth device that allows you to track and find things. My hilarious husband suggested I put it on my phone, which wouldn’t work very well, since you need the phone app to find the Spot. Anyway…

I decided to put the Spot in my briefcase. The setup was quick and easy. I downloaded the app, connected it to the Spot, and headed out to work.

Wuvo Spot tracker
Wuvo Spot tracker

The Wuvo Spot’s main selling points are low price and ease of use.

One Spot is $29.95, and you can buy 10 Spots for $99.95. If you need to keep track of lots of things, the bundle is definitely the way to go. You could put them on bags, wallets, keys, cars, kids, cats, dogs… Pretty much anything.

The Spot is quite easy to use, as well. Pairing and setup were quick and simple. If you’ve used another Bluetooth phone accessory, you’re already familiar with the pairing process. The app is easy to use, and you can set up preferences as to how far away you can get from your Spot before receiving an alert that it’s out of range.

wuvo spot on bag
Wuvo on a bag

If your Spot/item does get lost, you can find its last known location in the app. If somebody finds it, they can notify you online by entering the unique Spot code on the Wuvo web site. Since I haven’t lost my Spot yet, I don’t know how well the lost-and-found system works.

The Review

The only problem I had with my Wuvo Spot was that it devoured my iPhone battery. After just a few hours of use, my battery was down to 20%. I suspect this was due to the constant Bluetooth communication between the Spot and the phone, and the need to have location services enabled. I looked for a place to change the location settings so the feature was only enabled during use of the app, but it looked like the only choices were always/never. Perhaps Wuvo will change this in the future.

Wuvo Spot app
Wuvo Spot app

If I were tracking something extremely valuable, like a child at a theme park, I’d say the battery drain was definitely worth the inconvenience of having to recharge frequently. But for everyday tracking of my bag, which is usually right beside me, it’s a little annoying having my phone die before the workday is done.

The Verdict

If you want to track something very valuable, the Wuvo Spot is affordable and easy to use. You will sacrifice some battery life, but depending on what you are tracking, that might be worth it.

For more information about the Wuvo Spot, check out www.wuvo.com.

Thank you to Wuvo for giving me a free Spot to try!

MacroBars are better than kale!

Earlier this summer, I was talked into buying and trying a raspberry-chocolate kale bar from the local grocery store’s “natural” section. It was NOT delicious. I’d sum up the flavor and texture as dirty grass. After that experience, I was somewhat less excited about trying a new nutrition bar, but I took a chance on MacroBars, and here is my report.

I received a box full of mini MacroBars, and at first, I thought there was no way I’d ever eat that many bars — I was expecting them to be yucky. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Like all of the MacroBars, the minis are USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, kosher, gluten free and vegan certified. AND, they taste delicious!

Macrobars
MacroBars

My favorite flavor was the peanut butter and chocolate (surprise, surprise), but I honestly thought all of the bars were tasty. They had a nice chewy texture, weren’t too grainy, and there wasn’t a grassy or dirt-flavored bite among them.

The minis were perfect mid-morning office snacks for me. They provided a nice bit of sweetness, and the nutty ones even gave me enough protein to help keep me from feeling hungry before lunch.

Macrobars
MacroBars

I had planned to take a few more photos of the bars, but I ate them. 🙂

GoMacro is available online, and if you use coupon code BLOGGER, you will get 40% off your first order. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack to take to work or to send to school with the kids this fall, take a look at MacroBars. I recommend them!

About GoMacro
About GoMacro

Check out the links below to learn more about the family-owned company and their full line of products.

Shop: https://gomacro.com/shop/ (remember to use code BLOGGER for a discount!)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gomacro/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gomacro/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/gomacro/

Many thanks to GoMacro for providing me the samples!

Tips to Help Teens Find Jobs

The book is “A Teen’s Guide to Career Success: How to Get and Keep a Job”

Book cover
Book cover
My oldest kid is a 16 year old boy, who has recently decided he needs to get a job. When I was offered a chance to review “A Teen’s Guide to Career Success: How to Get and Keep a Job,” by Jim Comiskey, I thought the timing was perfect!

What’s inside?

The book follows two teenage reporters on assignment for their school paper to find out how to get and keep a job. As they interview three past graduates who have successful careers and businesses, they learn about each step of the job search process.

Along the way, the book has several worksheets for the reader to complete, which are designed to provide a self-evaluation of job-hunting and work readiness. The sections of the book address several stages of work/career, from preparing a resume and interviewing, to starting and keeping a job. It also addresses good employee attributes, such as having a positive attitude, working hard, cooperation, and time management.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

The verdict

My son thought the information in the book was definitely valuable, but found the story of the interviews to be kind of cheesey and lame. He said, “I don’t want to offend anyone, but the dialogue seems kind of childish.”

Example of graphic from book
Example of graphic from book

I thought the information was useful — not only for first-time job seekers — but for anybody trying to improve a job situation, or for people changing fields or re-entering the job market. Although seasoned employees will probably not learn anything new from this book, it will be a valuable resource for teens! As a parent, I’m happy to provide my teenager another resource that reinforces the things I’ve been trying to tell him about having a positive attitude and being willing to work hard.

The bottom line

I recommend “A Teen’s Guide to Career Success: How to Get and Keep a Job” for any teens who are starting to look for work. It contains practical information that will help kids get started on the right foot, whether they are looking for summer jobs or considering long-term career possibilities.

PS

Thanks to Blue Point Books for providing me with a review copy of this book!

Free Phone Case Giveaway for Mother’s Day

Tech21 iPhone 6 case
My Tech21 iPhone 6 case

Geek Mom’s Review

Looking for an affordable accessory for Mother’s Day? I have three new Tech21 gadget cases to give away! I’ve just slipped a new Tech21 FlexShock™ case onto my iPhone 6, and here are my first impressions:

  1. It’s hard, but flexible. Easy to slip onto the phone, because it bends a little bit.
  2. Shiny and colorful. Reminds me a bit of those plastic “jelly shoes” from the 80s. Or a phone-shaped gummy candy. Very pretty!
  3. Interesting looking texture. I can see through the case to the Apple on the back, but there is a nice polka-dot texture overlay.
  4. Excellent fit on the phone. Fits like a plastic glove.
  5. Screen protector not included. The case covers the back, sides, and buttons, but leaves the screen and ports open.

So far, I’m enjoying my free phone case. I’m tempted to taste it, because it looks like candy! It’s shiny, but not slippery. It’s hard, but not rigid.

How to Win a Free Tech21 Case

Want one for yourself? Or to give to the woman who brought you into the world? Leave a comment to enter, and three people will win a free case (for any major mobile device), provided by Tech21.

Thanks to Tech21 for sponsoring this giveaway! Tech21 is the leader in impact protection for smartphones, tablets and laptops. Tech21 has a suite of protective cases featuring Tech21’s scientifically proven material, FlexShock, and are backed by a lifetime warranty. The new Tech21 EVO range featuring FlexShock delivers thinner (by nearly 30%), lighter and more stylish impact protection than ever before. Learn more at Tech21 or follow @Tech21_UK on Twitter.

Winners will be randomly selected, and will be contacted via e-mail, so be sure to use a functioning address when you submit your comment. Winner’s choice of case will be shipped directly from the sponsor.

Geeky Gift Ideas

You may be shopping for some special nerds this Christmas, and it can be hard to find a great gift that suits those geeky preferences. I have a couple of ideas that might be useful for you.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a couple of products from Uncommon Goods, and learn about the company and its philosophy. Uncommon Goods has an interesting selection of crafty products that appeal to a wide variety of interests. And if you like the idea of supporting US artisans, being good to the environment and animal-friendly, you’ll feel good about shopping Uncommon Goods. Half of their products are handmade and 30% include recycled or upcycled materials.

Periodic Table Building Blocks
Periodic Table Building Blocks
And besides all of that feel-good and politically-correct stuff, these gifts are just plain cool! See all kinds of Christmas gifts here.

For the mini-geek in your life, check out these lovely periodic table building blocks. My daughter is nine years old, and she broke these open and starting sorting them by color, and then built them into pyramids and towers. The blocks are well-made, and the faces are lovely and smooth. The 118 elements of the Periodic Table are represented on the blocks, and their names and atomic weights are printed in non-toxic inks.

For more geeky gifts, visit this page: http://www.uncommongoods.com/fun/by-interest/geek-gifts

Wooden Arithmetic Puzzle
Wooden Arithmetic Puzzle

For a more mathematically-advanced recipient, take a look at Aristotle’s Number Puzzle. It’s kind of like a sudoku puzzle, where you arrange the numbers so they add up to the same sum in every row. It’s a challenging brainteaser, and it looks pretty on a table. I love that kids and grandparents can work on this together without batteries or screens. Math is fun!

If you’re interested in more unique gifts, browse some more great ideas here: http://www.uncommongoods.com/occasions/christmas-gifts/stocking-stuffers

Have fun checking out these products, and if you have other suggestions for geeky gift ideas, please let me know! I’m always interested in new toys and games that make learning fun for everyone!

What if You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

As much as I wish I could say I’m strong and brave, the truth is I’m very cautious, and even fearful. I am an excellent worrier. I worry about the future, the present and the past. I worry about things that I cannot control. I worry about things that happened years ago. Even though I know this is counterproductive, I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.

So I was intrigued by this question that hit my inbox recently: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

My first thought was, “Everything I’m afraid to try!” Then I decided to narrow it down a bit. FLY! I’d totally jump off of something really high, and fly. Without a plane. Just fly like a bird. That’s what I’d do if I knew I couldn’t fail.

What about you? (Leave your ideas in the comments. I’m curious.)

In the meantime, I received this book to review, and I’m excited to read it. It’s called, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail? (How to transform fear into courage).” Written by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons, it is filled with inspiring stories of how real people have overcome fear, trials, and even failures, with courage and resilience.

Courage Is…
Courage Is… (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

The personal stories are augmented with quotes, expert advice, and suggested actions you can take to overcome fear and be more courageous in your own circumstances. For example:

  • Ten things to do when you are so scared that you question your ability to keep going.
  • Using a journal to deal with fears.
  • Leaving old wounds behind so you can move forward.

And I love the quotes in the book! They are inspiring and worth reading, remembering and sharing. Like this one:

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow. (Mary Anne Radmacher)

If you’d like to have a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post and I’ll choose a lucky winner. Thanks for reading. Have a courageous day!

“Courage” photo source (used under a Creative Commons license)

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