Current Giveaways at Reviews by Cole

Date Fri, November 30 2012

enter-these-giveaways

Check back soon for new giveaways!

**Off-site

Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths

Date Thu, September 3 2015

There’s an episode of Seinfeld where George is excited about a woman he met. He explains to Jerry how he wooed her with a funny tale about toilet paper hasn’t changed in thousands of years. While George is impressed with himself, Jerry and the gang quickly point out how toilet paper has, indeed, changed. It’s thicker, quilted and comes in different textures.

And there are options besides toilet paper now: for example, Cottonelle’s flushable cleansing cloths. You might have seen them before at a store while you were in the paper goods aisle. You may wonder whether these moist cloths are any good or even better than TP. Commercials would certainly have you thinkin’ so!

Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths

Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths

Because they’re moist, the cloths are better at leaving a fresh — or no — scent than just dry toilet paper. This is good on hot days when you sweat, when you hit the pool, if you have your period and even before sex. No one will know, but the wipes might make you feel a little bit confident.

This isn’t to say I’d necessarily ditch undies, partially because it’s a wet wipe. It’s a bit like switching from stick to gel deodorant. The moisture feels a little odd, especially at first. It dries quickly, of course, but you’ll feel a little wet initially after using the wipes. Making sure you’re dry is important to stave off bacteria, which can usher in infections and foul odors.

Aside from the moisture, there’s a few things you need to know. Yes, they’re flushable and safe for septic tanks, which means these wipes aren’t as strong as, say, a baby wipe. I discovered this when I stabbed a hole straight through with my nail. So be careful! Learn more about flushability here.

They’re longer than they are wide. This seemed strange to me because it’s not quite large enough to fold, something that I always do. But it works well enough and you certainly can fold if you must.

The packs of 10 are small enough to carry in a bag, and they reseal. I’ve had similar wipes dry out and even become moldy when they weren’t sealed properly, so that’s something to take note of. I don’t find the packaging particularly difficult to use as long as you remember that the wipes can tear easily. However, there are plenty of options aside from the travel pack, including the pop-up tub and refills that you can use with a dispenser. You just pull one cloth out one at a time to use.

Check out the Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths Dispenser on Amazon, where you can also see a video of it in action!

Remember to head over to the Cottonelle site, where you can get free samples of the flushable wipes! You can also download a coupon to save $1 on flushable wipes.

5 Practical Ways to Use Solar Energy

Date Wed, September 2 2015

Solar energy is a growing industry covering everything from roof tops to small handheld devices. Although it may cost tens of thousands to use the former, the latter can save you a bundle on batteries and frustration. Whether you’re camping or out on a leisurely bike ride, most of your small electronic devices can benefit from solar chargers.

Phones

Keeping your phone charged while away from an outlet may be crucial depending on the situation. When camping, hiking or other outdoor activity, these devices could play a prominent role in your survival. In the event of an emergency, the last thing you need is for your smartphone to lose power. A charging unit for your phone should be one of those things that’s always on the top of the list when heading to the mountains.

Solar Flashlights

Flashlights that use solar energy to charge the batteries can be a useful addition to any home or camping equipment. These units can stay perpetually charged in the day while giving you a method of light in the darkness. Some devices are able to provide a light source for eight straight hours.

Emergency Car Kit

Solar panels that stretch across the dashboard can help regulate the power within a car battery. Perhaps you drain the battery while leaving the headlights on over night. These solar units can be beneficial in situations where you’re far from civilization and need a jump start.

Laptops

When in the field, you may rely on your laptop for a variety of tasks. The right charging unit can keep your small computer system powered and operational. Combined with the use of cell tower WiFi adapters, you can stay connected to the Internet as long as you have a cellular signal.

Toys

Many toys are developed with solar power in today’s market. These can be an incredible gift for children as you could save a great deal of money on batteries for their entertainment. Some units are built with the panel itself while others rely on lithium-ion batteries charged by solar units.

Solar energy can be used to keep small devices charged quite easily. With the right charging device, virtually any personal electronic device powered by rechargeable batteries can remain in operation longer. When you consider how often you have to replace batteries in things such as toys, remotes and flashlights, being able to keep a device in working order from photovoltaic technology could save you a bundle each year.

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts

Catit Bench Scratcher with Catnip

Date Thu, August 27 2015

My cats, like all cats with claws, loooove to scratch things. I have a cat tower with scratching posts built in. A smaller post in my bedroom, an S-shaped furniture thing, the Scratch N Shape from Imperial Cat, and, now, the Catit Bench Scratcher with Catnip. You can find this bench from Chewy.com for the affordable price of less than $8. Get it here!

This is scratcher made of corrugated cardboard, which my cats just love. The spaces give them places to place their claws and “grab.” And it’s better for them to scratch this than on my furniture, for example. The scratcher is wide and low, with two feet and sides that extend off, much like a chaise lounge.

At first, I was worried that the two “feet” on the bottom might cause it to tip over if the cats scratched from either side. For the most part, my cats are content with scratching in the center, however. This hasn’t been an issue. And the design means you can actually tip the Catit Bench Scratcher over fully, allowing your cat(s) to scratch on the underside after they’ve torn up the top. This makes it different from other scratchers that have a round top. Even though they’re still the same corrugated material on the bottom, they’re not stable to use upside down, which feels wasteful.

Cattie Bench Scratcher

Cattie Bench Scratcher

This also differs from some other scratchers in that it’s a bench. Not that Phantom or Goliath would let something’s intended use stop them for doing whatever they want with it, but it’s definitely got a design reminiscent of a chaise lounge. Goliath is sitting on it right now as I type. It’s big enough even for my big boy, and he looks soooo peaceful as he sleeps.

He might look angry in my photos, but it’s mostly because he hates the flash of my camera and because his brother kept running in and out of the shot (you can see it in one of the pics), so Goliath is actually keeping an eye on the boy who’s trying to steal his throne!

Although the Catit Bench Scratcher came with cat nip, I temporarily lost it. See, I have to hide packages of catnip, treats and even food; otherwise, Phantom will chew right through the bag. I did a really good job hiding it. However, even without the catnip, my boys both loved it.

As an owner, you should know these cardboard scratchers like these can be messy. Your cats will scratch pieces right off. I vacuum every other day or so and make sure to catch the loose pieces. As it becomes used up, it doesn’t look quite so “pretty,” but I definitely care more about my boys being happy rather than having a perfectly clean house. While this happens, the cardboard becomes softer, and the cats have less fun using it. That’s why being able to flip it over is so nice.

Unlike some of the flat scratchers, there are no replaceable parts. Because the Catit Bench Scratcher  is cardboard, you can simply recycle it. Awesome!

I would definitely recommend the Catit Bench Scratcher to anyone owned by a cat. It’s practical, recyclable and gets all paws up from my guys!

Exploding Kittens

Date Wed, August 26 2015

Now that Exploding Kittens has become available to purchase, there’s no better time to write a review, right?

Exploding Kittens Card Game

Exploding Kittens Card Game

First, let’s start with a little history. Exploding Kittens is a Kickstarter project, in fact, the only one I’ve ever backed. It’s an easy card game with art by Matthew Inman of the Oatmeal. Plus, it’s got cats. And we all know I love them. The Kickstarter page describes the game as:

…a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats…

Exploding Kittens is a highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. The deck is made up of cards that let you avoid exploding by peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards, or shuffling the deck.

For $35, I invested and received perks of both the first edition deck and the NSFW (not safe for work) deck. A deal if I do say so myself! A lot of other people must have agreed, because the crowdfunding campaign met its goal on the first day. It became the most-backed game via crowdfunding and then the most-back campaign ever (by nearly twice!).

So I was among friends; although, I wasn’t in a location where I could play test. Bummer. It meant I had to wait until July for my game to ship as a perk. I received it in the beginning of August, while I was in the beginning of GISHWHES. That was crazy and busy, but I took some time to play with my sister and her friends. It became obvious that it’s a kid-friendly game — without the NSFW deck. She has asked me to play almost daily since. The game is now on loan to her so she’ll stop.

So how do you play? It’s pretty simple. Draw until you get an exploding kitten. At which point you lose. Unless you have a defuse card. Everyone starts with a defuse card, so you’ll last at least one round. And a game has to last no more than 15 minutes.

By process of elimination, players will lose. This leaves the players left with a higher chance of picking an exploding kitten. As you use up your defuses and other cards, such as the card that let you skip drawing a card, you’ll be closer to losing — or winning, if your opponent kicks the bucket first.

There are a number of self-explanatory cards:

  • Skip drawing
  • Attack the next person
  • See the next three cards
  • Ask for a favor

There are also “Nope” cards, which allow you to cancel a person’s attack or action, and strange cat cards that are played in combinations. Aside from the cat, every card in the deck is different. All the themes by Matthew Inman are amusing. Many of them are new, but some are recycled from The Oatmeal, so you’ll recognize them if you’re a fan.

There’s more strategy required than Uno. It’s less luck-based than Cards Against Humanity, but it’s not tough by any means. You just have to pay attention.

But here’s the thing. This game is only fun with the right vibe and the right people. If someone, anyone, in your group isn’t into it, it’s going to make it less fun. If anyone isn’t paying attention or doesn’t catch on, they’re going to slow down the game. Played slowly, it’s a drag, okay? I also think playing with more than two decks makes it longer than neccesary.  And it’s just not fun with less than three people

When you’re into it, and you have fun causing your friends, family and the boss who’s going to fire you to lose.. when you guys build on that tension.. and when you’re easily amused by the cards, it can make for a good game. It’s quick, and you might play a few rounds in the vein of “best two out of three.”

I’ve played nine rounds in a row. I’ve played with people who have wanted to play it every single day since. I’ve played with people who won’t play it again. I personally enjoy it, and would play it again.

It’s quality production, including the meowing box it came in (with room for a second deck) and the NSFW box. It should withstand quite a bit of play.

But I think I’ll save it for people who are most likely to enjoy it!

Exploding Kittens has just become available from Amazon for $20.

 

Like Ishmael and Moby Dick!

Date Tue, August 25 2015

It may seem dramatic if I compare shopping to looking for my white whale, but I’m willing to bet that someone of you can sympathize. Especially if you’re curvy, short, proportioned other than society thinks you should be or otherwise not shaped like a mannequin or a hanger. I’ve mentioned trouble before. Shopping for jeans is especially difficult when you’re short. But this post isn’t about that

This is about the bra, something more women consider a necessary evil. Bras can do amazing things. They make breasts look more even and smooth, push them up and together, make clothes fit better and make us feel sexy, among other things.

I am not in the market for just any bra, however. I have several that I like, but I need one to replace my current low-cut bra. It’s the only one I own that can be worn with certain tops. I’m sure that being short exacerbates this because moderately low-cut tops become much more so on my frame. My current bra fits well and does an amazing job at lift. Because it’s a bit lower, my boobs look great, too!

But I’ve had it for some time, and the satin layers are actually coming apart from the rest of the cups. And the underwire has been poking out for over a year if I recall correctly. I fix it temporarily with sticky moleskin, but this can’t last forever.

Now, I would replace this awesome bra with the same one if VS still makes it. They don’t. It was a limited run last year. Other bras in my size aren’t nearly lowcut enough, and while I could opt for a smaller cup, they don’t make one in my band size. You see how this is becoming difficult?

I seriously considered buying a bra from Torrid, but I’ve never purchased a pushup bra from them before. Plus, I want to go down that cup size, and everything in that size is sold out online. So I could try the next size up, which would fit but would be too high for the tops I want to wear it with.

What makes it worse is that there’s no Torrid here, so I have to shop online. This means paying for shipping and possibly return shipping. That’s 1/3 the cost of the bra if it doesn’t work out. You can see why this is being so difficult.

So I decided to opt for some demi and low-cut bras from Lane Bryant. I ordered them to the store with free shipping so I can try them on right away and return them if need be, but I’ve never ordered any of their bras before, so I may not like either of them.

This wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem if all the bras I’m looking at cost less than $40-$50, but a girl’s gotta look amazing, am I right?

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts

Get Free #Coupons from U by Kotex to #BringComfyBack

Date Mon, August 24 2015

Do you happen to like saving money? I bet you do! Right now you can head to the U by Kotex site to get a $1 coupon for your next pantyliner purchaser. These ultra-thin liners can be worn on a daily basis, during your light days or as backup for your tampon or menstrual cup. There are multiple types you can choose from, including U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners and U by Kotex Curves® Liners. It might just make a liner lover out of you, yet!

And if saving money isn’t enough for you? There’s more to it! You can also enter to win Kotex pantyliners and cool prizes such as gift cards when you enter the #BringComfyBack social media contest. All you have to do is enter a selfie of you showing your “best” uncomfy face. Every month, one lucky winner will receive a $200 Urban Outfitters gift card, a Go Pro Hero 3 white camera, a $100 Sephora gift card and U by Kotex products.

Enter to Win U by Kotex's #BringComfyBack Contest!

Enter to Win U by Kotex’s #BringComfyBack Contest!

Plus, a grand prize winner with the most creative photo will win a trip for 2 to LA and $2000 cash! Sounds pretty good to me? Head to U by Kotex to get started!

Seche Vite

Date Sat, August 22 2015

If you enjoy doing your nails, you’ve probably head of Seche Vite, the quick dry top coat that everyone seems to swear by. If not, you’ve probably experienced some frustration when your polish doesn’t dry quickly enough, which results in smudges, or when it chips quickly after just a day. I’ve had to deal with both.

For a while, I solved the problem by using a quick dry top coat from Sally Hansen. They have two, and I wanted to try it out before moving on to the holy grail of top coats. I figured they were cheaper and might work as well. I was pretty happy. I could paint my nails before bed and the typical smudges were severely decreased, but it didn’t dry all the layers of polish beneath the top coat. It could still get pushed up my nail if my fingers pressed against something roughly. Chipping was still a problem, too.

Seche Vite

Seche Vite

So I finally decided to try Seche Vite after yet another friend recommended. I picked mine up for about $7, and was excited to use it. The first time around, I was impressed by how quickly and thoroughly it dried, but it was still chipping the second day. On the recommendation of a friend, I used a much thicker single layer the second time around.

That was three or four days ago, and it worked quite well. I’ve got only minor tip wear. Seche Vite has added a super glossy finished to my polish — even more so than usual. It’s not good for a matte polish, of course, but works fine most of the time.

While I worried about the thick coat not drying, it did dry quickly. It wasn’t an issue. I can’t believe how quickly it dries. Plus, the formula is super easy to work with! I would definitely recommend this product.

Seche Vite is available from a variety of retailers now. I got mine at Walmart, but I know Sally’s and CVS sells it. You can also buy it online from Amazon, perhaps for the best price — just over $5. This might seem pricy for some people, but it’s more than just a regular top coat and comparable to Sally Hansen’s quick dry top coat while doing a better job!