It’s so easy to get free stuff in exchange for reviews. Not just for bloggers, but for everyone. Not everyone knows where to start. That’s why I put together this comprehensive list of how to get free stuff in exchange for reviews.
Let’s be honest. I hate dealing with my cell phone when I’m driving. It never seems to be convenient, so I always have to dig for it. I never seem to be able to hear when it goes off. It’s hard to hold a phone and drive, and even with headphones, there are still so many things to deal with. Driving with headphones on also makes me nervous because I worry that I won’t be able to hear what is going on outside of the phone call. I typically avoid using the phone at all when I drive.
My old car had built in Bluetooth functionality. Wow, was that nice. I could use the GPS from my phone and have it play on my speakers, but could listen to music and the GPS lady would just cut in when necessary. It worked the same way with phone calls; I could listen to the radio and the music would automatically mute itself when a phone call came through. That was nice. My new car doesn’t have that functionality (I bought it used), and I’ve missed it.
I’ve been looking for a viable alternative, and this device is the closest thing I have been able to find. It holds the phone snugly, and expands well. The speaker on the device itself is quite good. I can hear the music or the phone call through it just fine. What is even better is that it can connect using the FM transmitter and play on the car’s speakers.
As for the Bluetooth connectivity, I found it quite easy to connect. I didn’t need to enter a passcode, and the phone and device remember each other. In theory, the remote control is great. In practice, however; I never could get it to work well except adjusting volume or to input the radio frequency.
It seems to be made quite well, and I am very happy to have this device. I also plan to use it for playing audiobooks on road trips. I can load several onto my tablet and connect to this device through Bluetooth, so everyone in the car can hear the audiobook playing. We are planning a family road trip across the country in a little over a month, and this will help everyone retain their sanity, for sure.
This is the only hands-free device I have tried, so I can’t say how it compares to others, but here is what I see as the benefits:
- Connects to phone easily and quickly
- Voice prompts make it user-friendly; know when you are connected
- Clear reception
- Clear voice calls
- Once you figure out the FM transmission functionality, it is super-cool
- Sits easily on the dash without sliding around
- Holds phone securely
- Large buttons to take and end a call make it easy to use even while driving
- Ability to truly have a hands-free experience
- Ability to charge the phone and the device at the same time
- Included Remote control for ease of use by passengers
Now, let’s talk about what I didn’t like so much:Instructions are sparse and not super-clear on how to operate all the functions
- Remote doesn’t seem to work all that well
- I would love for the device to be able to work along-side the radio; meaning that the radio could be used until a call comes in.
The instructions were easy enough to follow until it came to connecting the FM transmitter. I am a pretty smart person, and it took me forever to figure out how to do this. I finally went online and read up on other similar products and watched videos on how this was done with those products.
Basically, here is how it works:
Step One (I don’t know if this is absolutely necessary, but these are the steps I took to make it work):Plug the device in to the cigarette lighter
Step Two: Turn on the device
Step Three: Connect via Bluetooth to the phone (if it isn’t already)
Step Four: Turn the radio to an unused channel (this isn’t absolutely necessary, I don’t think, but some of the reviewers said this helped make the reception better); remember the channel.
Step Five: Press the dial on the left side of the device (labelled item 3 in the instructions; or the Multi-touch switch), until the display shows “BT”, then quickly use the remote to punch in the three number channel frequency (i.e. 88.1, press 8-8-1)
Then you should be connected! Once I figured all this out, it seemed so easy.
Overall, I like this product. Like I said, I haven’t tried others like this to compare, but for the money, I think this is great. I’ll be using this a lot on our road trip in July. If my opinion changes or if I have anything to add to this review after that, I’ll post back here.
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this product! I travel a lot, and love to take my tablet with me when I travel. The biggest issue with taking several different types of electronics with me when I travel is that I hate having to pack and unpack all the charging cables. The other issue that I have while traveling is wrapping the cords back up and storing them to keep them from getting tangled. This charging cable solves both of those issues.
It is so compact, and even comes with a tiny little carabiner clip. It is made of plastic, but it seems to be a heavy duty plastic that I anticipate will last for many years with no issues. Now all I need to do is find one JUST LIKE THIS for my iPhone and I will be all set!
Some people mentioned that it is difficult to get the ends tucked back in. The cord itself if actually shared between the two ends, one being the actual USB end and the other being the micro-USB. You can pull out the cord on one side to give yourself a bit of leeway to insert each end, and then repeat for the other side. Hopefully this will help someone with that particular issue. There is a little sticker on the device when you first open it that contains a quick guide showing the best way to open and close the device, as well as a full set of instructions, which are easy to follow along with and understand.
It is very small and lightweight, which I love. This makes it so easy to travel with. The whole thing is just about an inch and a half long and about an inch wide. It would be easy to tuck into a purse or bag, pocket or even a wallet to make sure you always have a charging cable with you, even if you aren’t carrying a key ring (which I rarely do when I travel)
The best part is… it works! I was able to charge my tablet quickly and with no problems. It actually seemed to charge faster than with the original cord. The device didn’t get too hot, either. When it was finished charging, I simply tucked the ends back into the device, and it is ready for the next time I need to charge!
Opternative is a company that offers an online eye exam using only your smartphone and computer. There has been a lot of discussion as to how this compares to actually going to an eye doctor to get an exam.
One argument is that there are many things that an eye doctor can test that simply can’t be tested using a computer. For the most part, I agree. However, there is a particular segment of the population for which an online eye exam is absolutely perfect. Does this sound like you? If so, I have good news! I will include a coupon code at the end of this post that you can use to get 10% off your online eye exam!
Picture this: You make an appointment with your optometrist. You’ll need to take time off work or go during your lunch hour because by the time you get off work, your eye doctor’s office is closed. You drive across town, fill out all the paperwork, and wait to see the doctor. You complete the exam, make your payment, and then begin the process of figuring out which glasses or contacts you want.
Now, picture this: You get off work, go home, have dinner, and then log onto Opternative’s website. The exam takes about 25 minutes, all done in your jammies. You get your prescription the next day, and you can choose to either take that to your favorite local optical store, or order your glasses or contacts online.
Which looks better? One? or Two? 🙂
If you are over 45, Opternative won’t complete your eye exam. This is because at around 45, many of the more serious eye ailments start to rear their ugly heads. You will need to remember the last eye exam you had, and the contact information for your previous eye doctor. If you cannot provide this information, it doesn’t seem like you can get your eye exam through Opternative, either. This is because they review the results of your last eye exam to figure out if you have any conditions that could be a cause for concern, and they use that information to verify your prescription. I will probably alternate between visiting my eye doctor and completing the online eye exam. That way, I can be sure my overall eye health is not deteriorating.
We did three eye exams on the same day: One for me, one for my 20 year old son, and one for his dad. The process was pretty straightforward, and felt a lot like the refractive exams my eye doc gives me. Which looks clearer? Which looks better? Are the lines touching? Are they fuzzy? First with your current prescription glasses and then again without. Move closer, back up. Close your left eye, now close your right. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. It was actually kind of fun. The process utilizes some pretty cool technology to link your smartphone with your computer. None of us experienced issues with the app or the website. All three of us were able to complete the exam with no issues.
As soon as you have completed the eye exam, you are given some preliminary results for free. If you want your full prescription, you enter your credit card information and are advised to expect the results within 24 hours. This is where the experience deviated drastically.
My prescription was delivered to me very quickly. I guess my eye doctor was very responsive, and my prescription actually hasn’t changed from my last exam, according to my performance. Easy enough! Prescription in hand, I started searching for a company that sells glasses online. I found a great one, but more on that in another post. 🙂
My son’s prescription took a little longer. His eyesight had changed a little, but not enough to worry. He did receive his later the next day, just outside of the 24 hour period, but they had remained in contact with him to let him know they were still working on it. Pretty nice.
Jimmy’s experience has been very different. They sent an email, and called him. Apparently, they are having trouble retrieving his current prescription. His eye doctor doesn’t seem to be able to locate his previous prescription. They aren’t giving up, though! I checked the status as I was typing this post, and they are still diligently trying to get his prescription done. I should add here that his vision is by far the WORST of the three of us, and his last eye exam was several years ago. We knew going in that this would be the biggest challenge yet to test Opternative and how well they handle even the toughest situations.
What I like about about this company is that they have a satisfaction guarantee. If you get your prescription and order glasses that you don’t like, or you can’t see well enough with, they will refund your money. It’s that simple. If they are unable to issue a prescription, they refund your money (which we might be “testing” if they can’t get Jimmy’s exam done… I’ll let you know how that works out). At any rate, you have almost nothing to lose, except a little bit of your time.
If you have younger children and aren’t sure how good their eyesight is, this would be a good way to test it, especially if doctors make the kiddos nervous. Opternative recommends that you see an eye care professional at least every two years to make sure everything still looks good, and I agree with that assessment.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I am happy with how it turned out. I would certainly recommend this service to anyone to try!
Here’s that code I promised: Go to Opternative’s website here, and start your no-risk, no obligation eye exam. When it gets to the payment part, enter the promo code: rere100046 and you will receive 10% off the cost of your prescription!
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I am so impressed with this case. First, as a case:
–The buttons line up well, are easy to press, and feel good.
–The overall feel of the case screams quality. It is flexible enough to not feel brittle while still being sturdy enough to over rugged protection for the expensive phone.
–The packaging is nice, and speaks to the quality of the contents.
–Gear Beast has included a wrist strap, which is great. I don’t mean a cheap, flimsy wrist strap, either.
–They have also included in the package a super nice cleaning cloth and a headphone extender.
–It fits the phone perfectly.
–The phone is perfectly protected inside the case, but the case isn’t bulky, which is very nice.
–It is perfectly water-tight as well.
As to the waterproofing:
–All of the vulnerable areas are protected. They truly thought of everything.
–The headphone jack? There is a twist off cover for that.
–But what if you want to listen to headphones? They thought of that too. That is what the extender is for. It screws in and has an o-ring to form a perfectly tight seal around the phone.
–The charging port? Protected. 🙂
–You can even hear the phone fine through the case because the areas covering the microphone and speakers are a thinner, rubber material that doesn’t affect sound quality.
–I submerged the thing in water for 45 minutes and there were absolutely NO leaks.
–I dropped the case and it did not break (I didn’t attempt either of these tasks with my phone inside, so don’t worry)
The company recommends that you remove your screen protector prior to installing the case, because it can make the touch screen less sensitive, but I did not have any problem with the case even with my screen protector still on the phone. I didn’t really notice a difference at all in the touch sensitivity, but since that is a recommended step, I’m sure it might affect some users’ experience.
For the price, this thing really is a BEAST! I watched videos where the thing was dropped from 6 feet up and then submerged in water and the phone worked fine through all that!
If you are around water regularly, or worry about spills (or dropping it in the sink or toilet); you could use this as your everyday case. This is because the case doesn’t affect the responsiveness of the phone. I didn’t even have a noticeable drop in call quality as far as the microphone or the speakers. I probably won’t personally, because the waterproofing makes access to the charging port, headphone jack, and silent switch a little less convenient. However, when I go to the beach, the pool, or plan to spend the day around water, this is the perfect case!
I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. You can purchase the case on Amazon here.
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HEY GIRL is a fairly new tea company that was started because the founder, Hilary, was unsatisfied with the artificial, overly processed products on the market. According to a company statement, “She started a 3 year endeavor to perfect her custom tea blends and offer something unique and effective to so many other women like herself: a motivated individual, a mother, professional, and health enthusiast.”
I love that message. I love that they make no claims that they cannot wholeheartedly stand behind. For example, the first question asked on their Amazon product page was about whether or not the tea is organic. The response was: “We will not label our product organic until we have verified all sources as: Sustainable and Responsible (Cruelty Free).” I don’t know about you, but for me, that kind of honesty is refreshing. So, I was excited to try this tea. I work nights, so sleeping is always kind of strange for me. It is difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
I received my package, which is adorable, and the tea itself smells amazing. I was excited to try it, and I let my son try some as well. It smelled good while it was steeping, and he said that it tasted good. I went back 10 minutes later to check on him, and he said that he felt relaxed but not necessarily sleepy. Ok, relaxed is pretty good, actually. I would have been satisfied with that. 10 minutes later, I went to check on him and he was fast asleep. I couldn’t help but laugh, and get excited about when I finished my work so I could have some and actually get to sleep quickly, for a change.
As for the ingredients:
Passionflower is a flower that is native to the southeastern parts of the Americas and is used for insomnia, anxiety, symptoms of menopause, ADHD, nervousness and excitability, palpitations, high blood pressure, and many other things. In other words, it calms you down.
Chamomile, which refers to a group of daisy-like plants, has been used for centuries in teas as a mild, relaxing sleep aid. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is great. Simply put, it relaxes you.
Lemon balm, a member of the mint family, helps reduce anxiety and promotes sleep.
Catnip herb is a member of the mint family. A mild tea made with catnip herb is said to help improve digestion and calm nerves. Its relaxing properties also make it beneficial to those who suffer from insomnia.
Stevia is one of a family of plants that are native to South America and has been used for centuries to sweeten drinks and foods.
Valerian is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and grows up to 2 feet tall. It has been used to safely ease insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness since the second century A.D.
So, all natural ingredients that relax you, calm you down, and help you fall asleep. Sounds good, right? Here is what I am going to do. It is 3:54 am now. I am going to relax in a nice warm bath with my cup of Hey Girl tea and then attempt to go to sleep. I am still wired from work, so this is an excellent test. I will record my results here.
Ok, so I performed my test. I did find that the tea was very relaxing, and about 20 minutes after I finished my cup, I was starting to feel quite sleepy. I don’t know if I slept better or longer than usual, but I did feel quite relaxed and drowsy shortly after drinking it.
I love the smell of the tea. It is a strong smell, but if you are familiar with the smell of chamomile tea, I found it similar to that smell. I could also smell the lavender. I’m not as familiar with the other ingredients, so I don’t know if the aroma of those came through or not. I expected the tea to taste as strong as it smelled, but it was a very light, pleasant taste.
My biggest issue with chamomile tea is that it is so weak that it hardly feels like you are drinking much more than flavored water. This tea isn’t like that. It has a strong enough taste that you can pick up on all the flavors, but not so strong that it is too much. Everyone that has tried this tea agrees with me, it tastes amazing! As for the sleep benefits, I can’t vouch for that. I can say with confidence though, that it did relax me, which is a good indication that for most people, it would help calm them down to allow them to fall asleep more quickly.
Overall, this is a great tasting tea to drink at night, all natural ingredients that have a ton of other benefits to the body. So it tastes great, is good for you, and produced by a company whose mission I can get behind. Sounds like a win-win!
I received this product to test in exchange for my review. This tea can be purchased on Amazon here
Have you tried this tea? What did you think about it?
What would you like for us to tout about?