Friday, June 14, 2019

Arm & Hammer Ultra Max 3 in 1 Body Wash Review Fresh Scent

I was at the local Dollar Tree dollar store the other day and decided to take at look at the different shampoos and body washes. One that caught my eye was the Arm & Hammer Ultra Max 3 in 1. It had a good scent and I have been pleased with Arm & Hammer products in the past so I decided to give it a try.

It's a 12 oz size for a dollar which is pretty good considering the cheap shampoos and washes at most stores usually start around $2 or $3. The scent is pretty good. I would describe it as a clean refreshing soap-like scent.

The consistency is a little on the watery side and the color is clear. It does not create too much of a lather so you may find it takes a little more to get the job done compared so some other washes. It rinses off easily and leaves the skin a bit dry feeling. It seems it does not have too much moisturizing properties.

It is a 3 in 1 so it can be used as a shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, but personally I would probably use it mostly as a body wash. Overall I am pleased with the product. It might not be quite as good as the expensive stuff, but for $1 it is a pretty good deal!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Get Ready for the Women's World Cup! Let's Go USWNT!

 
The 2019 Women's World Cup for soccer begins this Friday and the US Women's National Team will be playing their first game on Tuesday June 11th. They are currently ranked number 1 in the world so it should be a great tournament!

I have been following the US women's team since 2015 when they won the last World Cup and since then, they have become my favorite sports team. I'm not even sure how I got so into it, but I love this team! I didn't even play soccer growing up, but I just love watching these games.

The team consists of 23 players, some of which were on the last World Cup team, but there are also a lot of new players who will be making their first World Cup appearance. All the women are talented players and have great personalities which makes the team even more likable.

This year's roster includes: Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press, Jessica McDonald, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long, Samantha Mewis, Tierna Davidson, Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Emily Sonnett, Alyssa Naeher, Adrianna Franch, and Ashlyn Harris.

In case you are new to the team, here is a series called 23 Stories which features each of the players talking about something that is important to them.

The games will be airing on FOX so it should be easy for everyone to watch. Tune in this summer and show your support. Let's go USWNT!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Walmart Photo Puzzle Review – Ordering a custom jigsaw puzzle

Recently I was looking for a unique gift idea and remembered about custom photo puzzles. This is where you upload a photo to a site and they create a jigsaw puzzle for you with the picture provided. I had wanted to try this out for a while so I started researching different options. I found that Walmart offered this service and it was for a reasonable price so I decided to try it out.

They have different size options such as 8x10, 10x14, and 11x14, with 110 – 252 pieces depending on the size. Prices range from about $12-20. I decided to go with the 8x10 which comes with a box.

Uploading the picture to the site was pretty easy. They give you some simple editing options to adjust the photo and preview it to make sure it looks good. Next you can place your order for in store pickup or delivery. I scheduled it for a pickup which would be ready in about 1 week.

When the delivery time arrived, I was supposed to get an email notifying me that it was ready but they never contacted me. I checked the tracking which said it arrived at the store, but on the site for some reason it said it was delayed. I waited another week or so and decided to go to the store to see if it was ready.

At the store I checked with customer service, pickup, and the photo department but they were unable to find it. Somehow it must have gotten lost or misplaced after it arrived. Since it was not paid for yet, they recommended re-ordering the puzzle. This was kind of a bummer, but luckily I was not in a hurry so I decided to try it out once more.

This time I scheduled it to be delivered to a different Walmart and prepaid for it online. After about a week, they gave me a call to tell me it was ready for pickup. Technically they were supposed to notify by email, but they notified me by phone which is ok. I went to the store and went to the photo department. This time it was there so I was able to pick it up.

So how is the puzzle? It comes in a nice box with the picture on the front. The sticker label with the picture has Walmart branding and other text around it which doesn't look as nice as it would if it just had the picture alone.

Inside, the pieces are loose and the box was not sealed so I was a little worried about that. Usually puzzle boxes are at least taped closed to prevent pieces from getting lost.

The puzzle pieces themselves are good quality. They have a decent thickness to the cardboard and they have a glossy finish for the photo side. They fit together cleanly and the puzzle piece shapes are interesting as they have variation and are not all the same cutout style.

I was able to put the 8x10 puzzle together in about 30 minutes. Thankfully it had all the pieces. Overall I was very pleased with the puzzle. It was challenging enough for adults but easy enough that it can be completed in one sitting. If you are looking for a unique gift idea, I would recommend a custom photo puzzle like this.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Puzzlebug 500 Piece Puzzle Review – Are Dollar Store Puzzles Any Good?

In my last blog entry, I wrote about how I got inspired to look into activities that did not revolve around technology, and one of the activities that came to mind was puzzles. I had not done jigsaw puzzles in a long time, so I decided to do a little research to see what was available today.

There are a wide range of puzzles available but I just wanted to find something cheap, so first I checked the local Dollar Tree store. Surprisingly, they had a very good selection of puzzles to choose from. They had simple puzzles for kids, up through 1000 piece puzzles for adults. I decided to pick up one that had 500 pieces.

Dollar store items can be hit or miss as sometimes the item can be a great bargain while other times, the item may turn out to be junk. So the question is, are the puzzles from the dollar store any good? The quick answer is yes! 

The 500 piece puzzles come in a sealed box that must be cut open. I cut 3 edges of the box which allowed it to flip open and stay connected. Inside are the loose puzzle pieces. I dumped them out onto a flat surface. There was some “puzzle dust” as many new puzzle have so I moved the pieces around to try to separate them from the dust.

The pieces themselves are fairly thin and pretty small in size. The full puzzle comes out to dimensions of 11 x 18.25 inches. They fit together as expected, but they do not have a very secure interlock, so if you bump it while you are working, they can come apart. It is ok, you just have to be careful when working on it.

The puzzle took me about a week to complete, working on it a little bit each day. Overall it was fun and relaxing to do. It was challenging at time as sometimes you can put a piece in and it looks like it should fit, but then later you figure out it is actually in the wrong place. I was very satisfied with the finished product.

Overall I really enjoyed the puzzle and would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a cheap puzzle. I will probably pick up another one next time I am at the dollar store. These puzzle provide hours of entertainment for just $1, which is pretty much unbeatable. Not only that, once you are done with the puzzle you can take it apart and give it to other people to enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

What would life be like without internet, computer, tv, phone, and modern technology?

It's easy to take for granted all the modern conveniences and technology we have today such as computers, phones, and tv. I started thinking, what would it be like to live even one day without these things? I pictured what it would be like if my computer, tv, and phone disappeared and thought about what it would be like.

My first reaction was that it would be so boring and there would be nothing to do. It made me realize how dependent I am on things like the computer and internet as well phone and tv. These things open up the world to us and provide us with unlimited information, entertainment, and the ability to communicate with others. Without these things, our lives would be dramatically different.

I started to think, what would I actually do instead of these things? Some of the things I came up with include, reading books, doing artwork, writing, doing puzzles, going for a walk etc. One thing I noticed is that without all the information and entertainment being brought in by technology, it would force us to actually go out more and socialize with people.

I think that while technology is great for getting information, it has also caused us to be more distant from one another. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a trend over the past few decades with people being less social in real life and instead doing their socializing or lack there of through computers and phones. I also wouldn't be surprised if this affects people's ability to socialize and interact with people in the real world.

Most people still go out and interact with people each day for things like work or school so they should still have the opportunity to interact with others but even these things may be phasing more towards technology with people taking online classes and working remotely on the computer.

I think it is important to realize our dependency on technology and not get too sucked into it that we forget how to function without it. This exercise actually inspired me to do more activities that are not technology based. I got a book from the library, picked up a puzzle from the dollar store, and went for a walk outside. I enjoyed each activity and it reminded me that there is still plenty to do even in a world without modern technology.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Daily Questions – 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Each Day

Sometimes you may feel like you are in a rut or like you haven't done anything productive in a day, but if you think about it, usually more things happen than we realize. By asking yourself questions at the end of the day, it can help you review your day and reflect on what happened. There are many questions you can ask yourself depending on what is important to you or what you are working on, but I have narrowed it down to 3 questions which can apply to everyone.

1. What did you enjoy doing today?

Think about what you liked about the day. What is something good that happened? Maybe you watched a show or played a game. Maybe you ate some good food or visited a new place. Maybe you got to spend some time with family or friends. Maybe you got to do one of your hobbies in your free time. Thinking about this can remind you of the good things that happened today.

2. What did you learn today?

We learn things everyday even if we don't necessarily realize it. You don't have to be in school or actively studying something in order to learn. Just by living and experiencing life, we are learning new things all the time. It could be a new fact you heard. It could be how something works. It could be some information you learned by talking with someone, watching a video, or by reading something online. By thinking about this question, it makes us realize that we are learning new things everyday.

3. How did you contribute today?

Contribution is an important part of life. You might contribute through your work by providing a service or information. You might help someone out or care for someone that is in need. You might do something as little as holding a door open for someone, or writing a nice comment to someone online. Contributing to the world helps give our lives meaning. It is a reminder that we are making a difference and have the power to make a positive impact on those around us and the world in general.

There are many more questions you can ask yourself to help reflect but these 3 questions here are a good start. You can ask yourself these questions at the end of the day to help put the day in perspective in terms of what you enjoyed, what you learned, and how you contributed.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

X-Men the Animated Series Review


One of my favorite cartoons to watch on Saturday mornings as a kid was X-Men the Animated Series. It aired on TV from 1992-1997. At the time I was really into collecting Marvel superhero cards and the X-Men were some of the most popular so when they decided to make a show about them, I was pretty excited!

I remember seeing the first 2 seasons and then it seemed like they started showing re-runs. Somehow I must have missed the later seasons but just recently I get a chance to re-watch seasons 1-3 on DVD. So the question is, do they still hold up after all these years?

The animation itself is a little dated compared to what we are used to these days with computer generated graphics, but they are still pretty good. What stands out to me as one of the best parts of the series is the voice acting. For many people, this was the first time hearing what these characters actually sound like and for many, it provided the true voice of the character.

Some of my favorite characters from the series include Wolverine, Rogue, Beast, Gambit, and Jubilee. Wolverine has that grit and never give up attitude even when it seems like the odds are stacked against him. Rogue's southern belle charm and powerful abilities are a joy to watch. Beast and his intellect and quotes always give some balance when things are getting out of control. Gambit is just plain cool with his Cajun accent and charged playing cards, and Jubilee's youth and playfulness also add a nice contrast to the other members of the team.

My favorite episodes are the ones where the X-Men meet other mutants and other teams of mutants and they all get to show off their powers. For me, this is one of the best parts of the show and one of the things that takes still frame comics to the next level with animation. I also like the episodes where there is a lot of emotion involved, usually when it comes to relationships between the characters.

About half of the episodes are very good while the other half are just ok. I enjoyed the time travel episodes with Bishop and Cable. I also liked the ones featuring Sabretooth, Juggernaut, Nightcrawler, and Iceman. Some of the episodes I didn't like as much were the space related / Phoenix episodes, and the Savage Land episodes. After watching the first 3 seasons I would say overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who watched it back in the day or anyone who is interested in superheroes and hasn't seen it yet.