Showing posts with label reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Check your vision at home with the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker

During the pandemic, we had the chance to test out a few at-home vision checkers from a company called EyeQue. They make products called the Personal Vision Tracker Plus ($45 at the time of this writing), Insight ($89) and VisionCheck ($69) which work together with your smartphone to help you check your eyesight over time. The Insight and VisionCheck are pretty neat - the Insight will test your visual acuity (20/20 vision), color and contrast sensitivity, while the VisionCheck tests for refraction errors automatically via Bluetooth and the Personal Vision Tracker checking for refraction errors manually.

It was very easy to try the different products using both my iPhone 12 as well as an older iPhone that we had kicking around and it was great for try it out. it was definitely easier to use the automatic VisionCheck since we didn't have to rotate the dial like the Personal Vision Tracker Plus, but it was very easy to use both products.

I took the tests using the different products and brought the results to my eye doctor to ask why they seemed so different than the prescription I had. The eye doctor had said that these systems are good for getting general numbers and trends but for eyeglass prescriptions they like to use their technology-aided instruments to get a ballpark idea, and then use their training and skill to get the numbers closer and perfected.

The VisionCheck and Vision Tracker Plus measures the lens power needed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. At the end of the test, you will receive a set of EyeGlass Numbers that can be used to order glasses online - single vision, bifocals and progressives. They use either a manual or powered automated lens rotation to capture each meridian of the eye. The benefit of the VisionCheck is that it provides improved optics for faster, simpler test taking and has powered, automatic lens rotation using Bluetooth technology.

Thankfully, the folks at EyeQue have given us a few of the Vision Tracker Plus products to give away to our readers! You can enter the giveaway by filling out the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: We were provided with samples of the product to facilitate this review and host the giveaway. No other compensation was provided, and as always, all opinions are our own.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Have any old sentimental t-shirts lying around? Make a blanket!

The great folks at Project Repat (a nice local Boston-based company)  will take your old t-shirts and turn them into a great blanket for a very reasonable price. It all started when co-founder, Ross Lohr, was working in Kenya and decided to start a company that would take old donated t-shirts and turn them into bags, scarves, etc and then repatriate them (i.e. return to the country of origin) back to the US to be sold and raise money for non profits in East Africa. They realized while selling items in and around Boston, that everyone liked the idea of a bag made out of an upcycled t-shirt but didn’t like it to purchase it, however everyone was asking for a t-shirt quilt.

They partnered with two companies to do the work and make t-shirt blankets, Precision Sportswear in Fall River, MA  and Opportunity Threads in Morganton, NC. This allows folks to take their sentimental t-shirts that were designed in the US, screened here and send them to have a blanket made rather than just throwing them out or donating them. You have to cut the t-shirts out (which for our 49-panel blanket, took me an hour) and then package them up and send them to the location specified in your order (ours was in Fall River - a short 40 minute drive from our house).

While some quilting friends of ours had asked why it won’t have batting (filler) or interfacing, the Project Repat folks are able to keep the costs down because they have found that by stitching all of the pieces of the shirts together and finishing the sides reduces the time it takes to make the blanket which makes it cheaper for you.  They use a PolarTec fleece backing which was founded in Massachusetts as well.

Our queen size quilt costs around $230 to make since we were using mens XL shirts the squares had to be 14x14. A few shirts were smaller so they added some fabric. One problem we found was that a piece of fabric ended up having a tiny hole in it. When I emailed their customer service, one of the founders(!) got back to me and offered to have us send it back in to get it fixed. Not only did they fix it in a prompt fashion, they also provided shipping both ways.

We are VERY happy with our t-shirt blanket and think it would make a wonderful family keepsake or gift for someone. If you are thinking of buying a gift for someone you can actually pay for a virtual “gift box” which provides for shipping in both directions for the recipient. The regular product (like ours) requires you to ship the shirts to them and then they will send it back to you.

The project repat folks often run some type of discount so keep tabs on their Facebook page or website to often get a code for 20% off…


NOTE: The Project Repat folks provided me with a complimentary blanket in exchange for this post. An affiliate link is being used in this article and I will receive a small comission. There was no promise of a positive review. No other compensation was provided. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lunch at Chopps in the Burlington Marriott

I had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious lunch from Chopps American Bar and Grill at the Burlington Marriott a few weekends ago.  It was great opportunity to try a location outside of Boston with a few fellow bloggers. It's a great option if you are looking for a night out. 

We had a lot of food and it just kept coming and coming with each dish better than the next… We also had the Consulting Chef, Daniel Bruce (from the Boston Harbor Hotel) as well as the Chef de Cuisine, David Verdo and the general manager, Davide Crusoe come out and speak about each dish we were eating as we were seated at the Chef’s table, which gave us a clear view of the open air kitchen.

Enjoy the following scrumptious photos - and be sure not to miss the end of my review all of the way at the bottom!!

The amazing house-made tater tots

Chef de Cuisine, David Verdo (left), Consulting Chef Daniel Bruce (right)

Dave with the dessert

Dave's plate of food - SO DELICIOUS

The lounge entrance to Chopps

Line-caught cod with fingerlings and corn puree

Long bone veal chop - one of my favorites!

The kitchen view

A closer look at the kitchen from our table

Lamb Lollichopps

Lobster Salad

Tomahawk Ribeye Chop for 2 - sourced locally from Pineland Farms in Maine!

Melon and Prosciutto salad with Arugula, Chili Oil, Hazelnuts and Balsamic glaze

Flash fried Scallops and Shrimp with a lime tartar sauce - it was hard to not devour the entire serving!

NY Strip Steak also from Pineland Farms

Another last photo of the tater tots as they were my absolute favorite!
All in all, this restaurant aims to please - the wait staff couldn't have been nicer or more attentive and the chefs prepared such an amazing assortment of dishes and desserts, this place would be an excellent option for parents looking for a nice night out!

Since you know we like a good deal, I found out that if you like their page on Facebook, you can receive a 15% off coupon for the next time you visit!

NOTE: My meal at Chopps was complimentary with no guarantee given for a positive review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Rockin’ New Menu at the Hard Rock Boston

As the Hard Rock Cafe celebrates their 25th year in Beantown, they have also coincidentally been working to redesign their menu. I had the chance to try a lot of items with a few fellow bloggers and let me tell you, they are pretty darn good! I think I’m still stuffed and it’s been a little while… It took the Hard Rock over 14 months to come up with these items after getting feedback from customers and testing out items. The wait is well worth it! Every item I had the pleasure of trying was delicious!

When I first arrived, I was taken to a private dining room (the Cavern Club) that had been set up for all of us. There was a main table which displayed all of the items on their new menu with custom printed compact discs to show the food item. It was a really nice touch!

The executive chef of the restaurant came out and described each course to us as we were eating it and what the Hard Rock did to come up with new items.

The Chef explaining the menu items

The first course was the arugula salad which was a great way to start of the meal - delicious, nutritious and light.

Then we had the barbecue sampler and oh-my-goodness it was mouth wateringly good. Everything had been either slow roasted or smoked overnight - the chicken, the smoked beef brisket slider and the ribs and everything was truly delicious.

This beef brisket slider was SO tender and SCRUMPTIOUS!

Alongside each of the meal samplings we had the chance to try some of their signature drinks… I found that the mini margaritas (so called “Air Mexico or Air flights” weren’t really my cup of tea, but other people said they were tasty.  They tasted too strong for my liking.

Don't worry... I didn't drink all of these ;)

I figure if I’m going to have a drink it should taste good and I shouldn’t be able to taste the alcohol… which brings me to drink #2, the pressed Red Berry Press drink. OH MY GOSH, this drink was simply delectable and smooth. Be careful since many of us who tried it said you just could not taste the alcohol at all. Kinda dangerous (but fun!) They explained that they make it with fresh strawberries, raspberries, lemonade, lemon-lime soda and Clementine Vodka, all served in what looks to be a coffee-press item that is pressed three times (we got to press it!) to mix up all of the fruits and juices and then poured. The beauty of this drink is that as it gets depleted the juices linger and get stronger so it tastes more fruity and delightful.

Then we had the burger sliders which were scrumptious. I didn’t particularly care for the fiesta burger (which had a little kick to it) but the tango burger and brand new Grilled Vegetable Sandwich were a huge hit! Yum!

By this time an hour had passed and as if we weren’t stuffed enough, they brought out the big guns… a huge, honkin’ Cowboy Rib Eye steak that was a 16-ounce, bone-in steak cooked perfectly along with a side of Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus. They even had us try their new Grilled Salmon as well… Can you guess how I thought it tasted? Let’s just say I wouldn’t be writing about it if it didn’t exceed my expectations.

Alongside this dish they brought out the Twist and Shout drink, something I had never seen before, a mixture of spiced rum, dark crème de cacao, Guinness, chocolate syrup, salted caramel and vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel and — BACON BITS. Holy moly, that drink had everything but the kitchen sink and was SO smooth.

Oh, I forgot to mention, if you didn’t get the steak, they brought out their famed Twisted Mac n Cheese with Chicken, which looked so good, I just had to take a picture of it!

Then came dessert. I didn’t know what to expect except if it was just like earlier dishes, it would certainly NOT disappoint and it certainly didn’t. We got to taste the trifecta of a hot fudge brownie sundae, the brand new Oreo Cheesecake and an apple cobbler with ice cream. The cheesecake was made in-house with oreos and baked in their cheesecake along with an oreo cookie crust. As someone who loves oreos, this was just amazing. The apple cobbler was perfect and crispy and just so great. The brownie was delicious too. Can you tell I have a little sweet tooth?

Lastly they served dessert along with the Salted Caramel Cafe, which had Tia Maria, Baileys, Salted Caramel Syrup, half and half, and hot coffee topped with chipped cream and pieces of caramel corn along with caramel sauce. Just so tasty.

I remember collecting Hard Rock cafe t-shirts when I was a kid, and unfortunately the one that I still have no longer fits me, otherwise I would have worn it. Thankfully at the end of our meal, we had the pleasure of picking out a new t-shirt. They really treated us like royalty. The staff was so friendly and the hosts were amazing. I would certainly recommend dropping by for a visit for a special date night or even if you’re just in the area with the kids!

 As a special note, if you're around on Wednesday, July 9th and are in the city in the evening, in honor of their 25th anniversary in Boston, the Hard Rock guys are throwing a big concert in City Hall Plaza with none other than the SPIN DOCTORS. So cool. More information can be found on facebook, here:

NOTE: There was no compensation for this meal provided other than they gave me all of this great stuff to try out at no charge. All opinions are my own and there was no promise made of a positive review.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our review of the MOPA Show 2014

It took a little while to write this post, but last month we went to the Modern Parenting show at the Hawthorne Country Club in Dartmouth, MA put on by Dennell Pepin, founder of MOPA (ModernParent).

This show was for new and expecting parents and even included brunch with your admission. When we arrived we were greeting and asked to fill out an entry form which entered us into the raffles they were holding for all of these great prizes (a deluxe crib, photography session, containers from The Container Store and others).

We were given a gift bag which contained a few advertisements along with some goodies. We had the chance to eat brunch from a buffet, walk around to the 10 or so exhibitors who had tables and we had the chance to shmooze and learn about items you should have on your baby registry (if you have one) and how to organize the nursery and decorate it easily.

We got to sample some great new products from Happy Family foods (we LOVE the yogurt minis as well as the cookies) and some great cupcakes from the Artisan Bake Shop. We also got some information from the Old Colony network of YMCA's about some membership specials they were running.

All in all this was a great way to spend a few hours of the day learning about some of the latest trends in the baby world. Dennell really has some great insight into what it means to be a parent in these modern times.

NOTE: We were given complimentary admission to the MOPA Show 2014. There was no guarantee of a positive review. However, we did enjoy ourselves (as you can see)!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Baby Comfy Nose

If you've ever used a bulb or battery-type aspirator to clear the mucus out of your little one's nose, you've probably said to yourself: "There has to be a better way!" Well, we just found a better way and it's called the BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator. Here's the secret: It works so much better because it uses your own suction. Think about it: your own lungs are a strong, natural vacuum cleaner - much more powerful than a tiny bulb or battery-powered motor. And the result is just a more effective method of clearing your baby's sinuses. 

But have no fear; you won't suck boogies into your mouth because of the design of the receptacle and the tissue filter that you insert into the body of the aspirator. This is why pediatricians are recommending BabyComfyNose to moms and dads. Recently, Dr. Sears of The Doctors TV Show recommended the BabyComfyNose as the best way to clear babies' noses. Take a look at the video 'How to Use the BabyComfyNose' here to see how well it works. Enter USFAMILY at checkout for a 20% discount. Or get the best retail pricing at Walgreens stores and save the shipping!

NOTE: This is a sponsored post. The only compensation we will receive is an aspirator that we will use to facilitate a review.

Coobie Seamless Bras

Coobie Seamless Bras are ultra comfortable and versatile without sacrificing style. These affordable, stylish bras are seamless, one-size (comfortably fits 32A through 36D), available in 7+ styles and 50+ fashion colors and patterns. There is also a full size version fitting up to a size 42D. They are perfect for every day wear, yoga, pilates, new and nursing moms, sleep wear, and more! Coobie Seamless Bras also has a large following of mastectomy patients that love the soft comfort and pad pocket to insert a form. This line is truly a fit for all women!

You can save 25% on any order of $40 or more at with the promotion code: USFG25

NOTE: This is a sponsored post... The only compensation received will be product for review. No money has been received.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Otterbox Defender Series Review

I had the chance to review the Otterbox Defender Series for iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s this past fall and am excited to say that this case lived up to all of my expectations! First off, the nice folks at Otterbox sent me a defender series case with a Red Sox logo (yes, they make them customized with the Major League Baseball logos). What was really nice was that I had the case as the Red Sox led up to their World Series win... Being from Boston, that was extra special and who knows if it helped a little ;)

 It provides the safety, ruggedness and security that Otterbox is known for. I was able to use it under various conditions here in New England, rain, snow, and sleet and found that while it isn't waterproof, it held up to the usual drops, tumbles and accidents one can expect. I even had the unfortunate experience of accidentally dropping it on a parking lot asphalt in the rain and it was fine (luckily it didn't get wet). Honestly, my heart skipped a few beats ;)

I think this phone case is great for parents since it provides added heft to the phone so that you can pass it to your kids in confidence without worrying if they drop it. Again, it isn't waterproof so if you're really concerned about liquid and spills, you may want to look elsewhere…


Rugged, durable, secure. Also, it comes with a belt clip as an accessory which has been a separate accessory with other cases so that's a nice touch.


Not waterproof… The only thing negative I could say about this case is that after you remove the rubber casing a few times, it may seem to get a little loose around the bottom. Other than that, it's a great case for every day use!