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Bring out your inner “Rock Star” with Yamaha

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Do you play an instrument? Have you ever played an instrument?

When I was in elementary school we were given the opportunity to play an instrument. We have many options to choose from. For me there was only one choice – the drums! I wanted to learn how to play the drums. I begged my parents to let me take up drums. Sadly, they didn’t share my enthusiasm for the drums and instead signed me up to learn how to play the Viola. Sigh…

I took lessons for about a year then I told my parents it was not for me and I quit. Thankfully they didn’t purchase a viola for me so they were not out hundreds of dollars.

Fast forward to when my kids were offered the opportunity to play an instrument in school.

Our daughter chose to play the clarinet. In fact, she was so adamant that she was in it for the long haul that we did purchase a clarinet for her. Sadly, two years later she lost interest in it. We ended up donating her clarinet to the school for a child who wanted to play but couldn’t afford to rent one.

When it came time for our son to choose he wanted to play the drums. Yeah!!! I could live vicariously through him. I was just as excited for him to play the drums as he was.

Unbeknownst to us, before the school lets you lose on REAL drums, you have to learn how to play on a drum pad. I guess there is a process you have to go through.

Drum pad and drum sticks. Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

I was equally as disappointed as our son when we had to purchase a drum pad and some drum sticks for him. It’s not what we had in mind. We were thinking he would learn to play on real drums.

A drum pad doesn’t really make much noise. All you hear is tap-tap-tap when you hit it with a drum stick.

Our son was able to play a real drum during a school concert, but it was just a lone drum and all he did was hit it with a stick a few times during one song. He was so disappointed. So much so that he told us he no longer wanted to play the drums. I didn’t blame him one bit. It wasn’t what we had in mind. We both thought he’d learn how to rock out on a real drum set.

Years have gone by and our son has often talked about how he wished he kept up with the drums at school in hopes he would learn to play on a real drum set.

A couple of months ago I was sent information from Yamaha about their electronic drum kits. I told them how our son really wanted to play, and how I wanted to play the drums too (something I have held on to since I was a kid). The company was kind enough to send us their Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum kit to review.

I don’t know who was more excited – me or my son.

Here are some features that really stood out to me.

Keeps the noise down: Hook up your child’s DTX kit to a set of headphones so you and your neighbors will be undisturbed while he/she practices quietly.

We live in a condo complex. We have neighbors next to us, across from us and below us (we’re on the top floor – thankfully). I am pretty sure our neighbor would NOT be too happy listening to the banging of drums throughout the day. Our neighbors are not necessarily quiet people – so they deserve a “taste of their own medicine” – but we wouldn’t do that. Not only that, we didn’t want to hear it from the condo board.

This drum set is SUPER quiet. In fact, you barely hear a thing. You can hear the tap-tap-tap of the drum sticks hitting the pads, but that is about it. The person playing the drums hears a totally different thing. When you are wearing the headphone while playing this drum set it sounds like REAL LIVE DRUMS!!!! It’s amazing! More on that later.

If you have concerns about disturbing your neighbors, or you simply do not want to listen to the drums day and night, this is the PERFECT option for your wannabe rock star.

Expand the kit with your iPhone: Use the DTX400K Touch app (free at the App Store) for iPhone to create new kit configurations, select preset kits, access tempo and metronome settings, and much more.

There are free apps (there are more than one) you can download for your phone that can help you to change up the drum set to make totally new sounds. There is also an app that can teach you how to play the drums. It’s like having your own personal music instructor right at your finger tips.

I love how you can change up the sound, tempo and other details of the drum set so you are not stuck with just one way of playing it. You can jam like a rock star or kick it with some jazzy beats. It’s like having multiple drums all in one set.

The apps not only teach you how to play the drums, but it also gives you more ways of enjoying the drum set and there is less of a chance your child (or you!) will get bored with it.

There is a built in “dashboard” (for lack of a better description) that allows you to change the sounds of the drums, change the tempo and more. There are 169 sounds to choose from so you can truly customize this set.

There is even a spot on top to house your smart phone when using the apps that you use when playing with these drums.

Built to last:The Yamaha DTX400K line offers quality and durability at an affordable price; your child’s kit can take a lot of punishment and still maintain a solid performance level for years.

Yes! I have to agree with this. The set is made very well.

The frame is made from a strong, plastic pipe. Maybe a PVC type pipe? All I know is that we have banged on these drums a lot over the past couple of months and they are still in perfect condition.

I LOVE that this drum set is very light weight. You can easily pick it up and move it to another location.

Originally the drum set was supposed to go in the corner of our son’s room, near the window. The problem with that was the cats looked at it as a “jungle gym” and something fun to climb on to look out the window at the birds and anything else happening outside. That was not what we wanted for the drum set. So we ended up putting it in the corner of the living room. It’s still by a window, but the cats don’t bother with it much there.

Whenever we want to play with the drum set we simply lift it up and carry it into the living room. When we are done we put it back in the dining room. It sounds inconvenient, but honestly, it’s not that big of a deal.

We need to rearrange a few things in my son’s room so that we can put them in a place where the cats are NOT going to look at them as a “jungle gym” to climb on.

*The foot pedals were not attached/plugged in when I took this photo.

The drum set is electronic, so you need a play to plug it in if you want to play with it.

Overall I think this drum set is THE BEST SET you can purchase for your child (or yourself) if you have an interest in learning to play drums.

This is NOT some cheap set you can pick up at the local toy store. This is NOT a toy! This is a legitimate drum set, with the only difference being you don’t hear the music you are making without headphones and the drums are pads, not real drums.

This set gives you the real drum experience, from the realistic clashing sound of the cymbals, to the beats you get when you step on the foot pads.

Yamaha thought of everything when it came to this drum set. They even went so far as to include Velcro straps so that you can have the wires hug the drum set frame so that they are not dangling and in your way.

I should mention that set up is a breeze. My husband had the drum set put together and ready to rock out in about a half hour (give or take). Yamaha even took great care in the packaging of this drum set.

Each piece was carefully packed.

Set up was a breeze!

My husband couldn’t wait to start playing the drums once they were set up.

I cannot rave enough about this drum set. I love it. My husband – who didn’t really have an interest in drums – plays with it often and our son (before he got his first girlfriend) played with it almost daily.

I honestly feel like I’m playing real drums when I play with this set. I can live out my rock star fantasies I had when I was a child. It’s awesome!!!

If you, or your child, has interest in learning to play the drums, this is the way to go. Forget about those silly drum pads that don’t make real drum sounds. Skip those and go right to the real deal (well, almost real) with the Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum kits.

*There is another cymbal where the arrow is pointing. I didn’t realize it at the time that one of our cats was on the coffee table next to the drums and stepped on the cymbal, making it tip to the side.

If you are interested in learning more, visit THIS PAGE on the Yamaha website. There you’ll find a great video that explains the kit a bit more (including how it really sounds!) as well as a video about the apps.

You can also go to www.USA.Yamaha.com to learn more about other products the company offers. The brand is also on social media. You can find the links on the bottom of their website.

What do you think about this drum kit? Does it look like something you, your child/grandchild would enjoy? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received a free sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Check out the AURABOX from DIVOOM – It’s both fun and practical

AuraBox Divoom

One of the best things about being a blogger is getting to know about products you might not otherwise know about. Sometimes products sent to me to review I enjoy so much that I use them on a daily basis, or I re-order them again and again when I run out. Some of my most favorite products were originally sent to me to review. Such is the case with the AURABOX from DIVOOM.

The AURABOX from DIVOOM is both fun to play with, as well as a practical item for your home.

The DIVOOM AURABOX is…

  • A Bluetooth Speaker
  • Lamp
  • Thermometer (indoor temperature)
  • Clock
  • Alarm Clock
  • Sound Machine
  • Notifier (it will let you know if you have a phone call, text or even Facebook messages and Twitter tweets).

One of it’s most fun features is that it’s a digital palette allowing you to display images (both animated and non-animated) that you can get from the accompanying FREE app. You can even create your own digital images and animations.

I love to listen to music sometimes when I am working. I also need to listen to music when I’m cleaning or I’ll slow down (the music helps me to keep going). The AURABOX works great as an Bluetooth wireless speaker. The sound quality is excellent. You can even pair up the lights to put on a show for you to the beat of the music. This is a fun feature for parties.

The AURABOX also works as a lamp.The light is not too bright (I wouldn’t read or do homework by it) but it’s great for when you need to light the way for a little while or in the event of a power outage. It could work as a nightlight too.

I like that it’s a thermometer. It displays the temperature INSIDE your home. I originally thought it was the outside temperature. It’s nice to know the temperature inside so you know if you should turn up the heat or turn on the air conditioner if it gets too hot or cold.

Captain America's sheild

Captain America’s sheild

Elmo

Elmo! This would be fun to have as a nightlight in a child’s room.

The AURABOX functions as a clock. I believe it only displays military time (example 1300 hours, 1700 hours…). I couldn’t find a way to change it to non-military time. That is fine with me. I am familiar with military time so I can tell the time just by looking at it. My kids are not familiar with military time so it takes them a bit longer to figure it out.

I haven’t tried out the alarm clock function yet, so I can’t provide you with my thoughts about that. I also don’t hear alarm clocks that well. I rely on my husband to wake me up in the morning.

I LOVE the sound machine option. You can set the alarm to play beautiful sounds rather than the annoying BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! or buzzing sound. You can also go to sleep by these sounds. In the alarm section of the product’s app you’ll find different “scenes” you can choose from – Sea Waves (ocean sounds, waves, birds, gentle music), Raining Night (heavy downpour of rain and thunder), Forest (nature sounds such as birds chirping and what sounds like a stream) and Default. Each scene delivers a different light color on the front of the box (Green for Forest, Purple for Raining Night and Blue for for Sea Waves).

Below are two brief videos that give you an idea of the lighting and sounds/music that you can get in the Alarm Scenes.

 

I have on the nature sound in the background when I am working on my computer. I find them to be very relaxing.

The digital palette is the most fun thing about the AURABOX from DIVOOM.

There are dozens of animated and non-animated light up images to choose from. My husband says its like a modern version of Light Bright (those of you around my age might remember that toy). There are so many fun options to choose from. You can display images to liven up a party, show off how you are feeling and more.

There are a few examples of the animations (in brief videos) found at the bottom of this post.

The AURABOX even allows you to create your one LED light up displays AND animations. It takes some getting used to because you have to draw with boxes in mind, but after some practice it’s not that hard to do. I have created several messages for my family as well as silly animations. It’s something fun the whole family can get in on.

Here are two that I made to give you an example. The top photo is a screen shot from the app and below it is the way it appears on the AURABOX.

1a

1b

2a

2b

It’s a lot like working with a Light Bright – but without the pegs. You just have to get used to “drawing” with square boxes.

I really enjoy having the AURABOX in our home. Its not only a device we can all use, but it’s also a fun thing to play with too.

I’m sure I am missing other features. The AURABOX has so much to offer.

The device is compatible with iOS 7 and Android devices. The app to control it is FREE to download and use. It also charges via a USB plug from your computer or you can plug the USB cord into an outlet plug and charge it from an outlet.

It's a clock! (Military time)

It’s a clock! (Military time)

It takes 3-4 hours for it to fully charge and will last approximately 6 hours of play time. It might last a bit longer if you only use it as a clock.

To learn more visit www.TheApolloBox.com. Be sure to check them out on Facebook too. The Apollo Box has a lot of really cool products.

What do you think about the AURABOX by DIVOOM? Does it look like something you would like for your home or office? What is your favorite feature?

 
 

Kimberly

Apollo Box is a platform of creative and fancy products. We help our customers discover the coolest stuff in the world. All products are available for purchase online, offered with exclusive member-only discounts.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Apollo Box. The opinions and text are all mine.



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New coffee maker from KRUPS just in time for the holidays (giveaway ends 11/14/15)

 

Coffee

I love coffee. I really do. I wouldn’t say that I am addicted to it because I can go days without any. It has nothing to do with the caffeine either because I can drink coffee late at night and still fall asleep with no problems.

For me, I find coffee soothing. Some people like to relax and unwind with a cup of tea. For me, it’s coffee. Whenever I drink coffee I feel more relaxed and at peace.

I make at least one cup of coffee every morning. There are days when multiple cups of coffee are needed. I also stop by my favorite coffee shop often, but I try and limit that since it’s less expensive to make your own coffee.

I have a single cup brewer, but sometimes I need more than one cup. For that reason I enjoy having a coffee maker that can make multiple cups of coffee. It’s also a lot cheaper to make coffee with a regular brewer then with the pre-made cups or packs.

The holiday season is upon us which means many of us will be having plenty of friends and family over for dinner, parties or just to hang out. For that reason a regular brewer is important. But why settle with “regular” when you can have a coffee maker with a lot of “bells and whistles.”

Introducing the new line of filtered coffee makers from KRUPS SAVOY Collection.  

Addressing the demands of true coffee-lovers, the KRUPS SAVOY Collection perfectly blends form and function. The line offers the latest technological advances and provides consumers a more unique brewing experience with a signature style.  The EC314 model ($79.99) is the hero product in the SAVOY line and offers all of the bells and whistles consumers are looking for, wrapped up in a sleek, modern design that they want to display in their kitchens. A customized coffee experience is key with the SAVOY EC314 and the machine features a variety of functions that allow users to enjoy their coffee just the way they like it.

KRUPS SAVOY

I was sent the EC314 model to review. This came at a perfect time because I only have a single cup brewer and I was looking for a coffee maker where I could make multiple cups at one time to serve to friends and family for the holidays.

I do love the design of this coffee maker. It’s nice to look at. It has a sleek, yet high tech look to it. I also like that the coffee pot it’s self sits inside the machine. In a way I think it protects it from being accidentally bumped. I also think it helps the machine to take up less room too because you don’t have the pot sticking out.

KRUPS SAVOY EC314

One of my complaints I had with previous coffee machines is that even though it kept the coffee warm for a few hours – it wasn’t hot. I like my coffee hot. With the KRUPS EC314 it keeps your coffee warmed to your desired temperature for up to four hours. I love that it does it for such a long period of time. That means I can enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee before I leave for work and have another when I get home (I work locally and only for two hours).

When it comes to having guests over people want coffee at different times. It’s nice to know that hot coffee will be available to them for up to four hours at a time.

One of the reasons why I purchased a single brewer is that mostly I am the only one who drinks coffee on a regular basis in my home. My teenagers drink it from time to time, but not that often.

Using my regular brewer I felt obligated to make a whole pot of coffee, even if I just wanted one cup. With the KRUPS EC314 you can make as much coffee as you want. You don’t have to worry about waste.

EC314

Speaking of waste, this brewer comes with a reusable coffee filter. There is no need to purchase those paper filters anymore. Simply add your coffee, brew and when you are done toss out the coffee grinds or use them in creative ways. Believe it or not there are plenty of uses for coffee grinds – just Google it.

I’ve had coffee makers with water filters before, but they require you to purchase new filters and replace them frequently. The EC314 has an integrated water filtration system so there is no need to worry about constantly having to purchase expensive filters. The filter makes sure that you have a great cup of coffee every time.

I love the dual settings so that you can program your machine to go on at different times for weekdays and weekends. On weekdays I’m usually up by 7:00 AM and I like to enjoy coffee right away. On the weekends I tend to sleep in a little longer, so setting the coffee maker at 9:00 AM works for me.

Included gold reusable filter and coffee scoop

Included gold reusable filter and coffee scoop

Here is some additional information about the KRUPS SAVOY EC314 Coffee Machine.

  • 12 Cup Glass Carafe.
  • Coffee in cup temperature at an optimal 180F.
  • Large, Easy to Read LCD screen.
  • Modern and intuitive rotating knob control.
  • Integrated water filtration system for the optimal taste.
  • Clean indicator illuminates when its time to descale.
  • Pause and serve feature allows removal of carafe at anytime.
  • Large front water tank level – allows for easy viewing.
  • Includes Gold Tone Filter.
  • Clean modern lines with brushed stainless steel finish.
  • Reg/Bold Setting: Provides the user control over the richness of their coffee.
  • 1-4 Cup Function: Ensures that whether you are brewing for just yourself, or a large group, you get the same quality cup of coffee every time.
  • Keep Warm Function: Keeps coffee warm for up to 4 hours at three different temperature options and has a thermo-sensor that ensures the coffee stays at the desired temp.
  • Auto-On: Dual program settings for weekday & weekend auto-on function so that your coffee is always ready when you need it.

The brewer is currently available at retailers nationwide including Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, BonTon, JCPenny, Bloomingdales and WilliamsSonoma.com. It retails for $79.99.

Not only would this be ideal for the holiday season (and year round) but it would also make a great gift especially for newlyweds, new home owners and collage students.

For more information about this and other KRUPS brewers visit www.KRUPSUSA.com. You can also check out the brand on social media (all the links are found at the top right of their website).

KRUPS SAVOY EC314 Coffee Machine

I have the same KRUPS SAVOY EC314 Coffee Machine to give away to a lucky reader. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on November 14, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

KRUPS LOGO

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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SchoolZone’s Little Scholar Tablet Review & Giveaway (ends 11/16/14)

 

Little-Scholar-Tablet-School-Zone

As a parent my children’s education is a priority to me. I want them to do well in school in hopes that they do well in college or wherever they go after they graduate. Education is important when it comes to having a successful life.

When my kids were little I always tried to sneak in a bit of education as often as possible. I always looked for educational toys and books that taught them things but without coming off as being strictly educational.

Let’s face it – educational things can often be boring for kids. However if it’s something fun to do kids don’t even realize that they are learning.

I like that there are a lot of fun educational toys on the market these days. It’s no wonder that so many little ones are so bright. I work with little kids and I’m often very impressed with how much they know.

Sadly many of the games the kids play on their tablets are not exactly educational. Some are even very violent and senseless. I understand that the kids think they are fun, but they are not exactly the types of thing we want the kids to play with.

I was sent to review a SchoolZone Little Scholar Tablet. I didn’t want to review it for my kids, since they are teens, but rather for the little ones I work with. Since it’s made by SchoolZone I knew it had to have an educational aspect to it.

Little-Scholar

If you are not familiar with the Little Scholar tablet here is some more information.

Little Scholar tablet from SchoolZone (leading educational kids publisher) is jam packed with 150 educational apps(including videos, songs and e-books), valued at nearly $400 worth of FREE content.  Little Scholar provides its users with lessons based on all of the “core curriculum” subjects for preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders, including math, reading, spelling, logic, creativity, and geography.  Parents can even use an App management tool to choose the apps, music, and e-books that are active on Little Scholar, so they can tailor the content to fit the learning needs of their children. Little Scholar was made for kids 3-7 and features an 8-inch screen and runs a Google Android™ 4.2.2 operating system.

The Little Scholar tablet was made especially for children. It has a touch screen display and is covered with a soft, rubber-like coating that protects it against bumps and falls.

Little Scholar is safe for our child (or grandchild) to use. You don’ have to worry about a child downloading anything or making additional app purchases. I’ve heard horror stories about kids racking up hundreds of dollars on smartphone apps because the make in app purchases (unbeknown to their parents). That can’t happen with Little Scholar. It’s perfectly safe to use.

You also don’t have to worry about annoying popup ads. There are no ads on Little Scholar.

The tablet is divided into different sections – Pre-K, K and 1st grade. Within each section are fun, educational games and other interactive things your child can choose from.

MM

One of the many games – Memory Match

Memory Match Game

Some of the games are a bit challenging – even for me! LOL!

 

I’m an adult and many times I find myself playing with the tablet at work during “down time”. One of my favorite things to play is puzzles. Little Scholar has a puzzle section where you move the puzzle pieces with your finger and place them on the correct location. There is a timer and I always try to out beat my previous time.

I also like the coloring app. I find coloring to be very relaxing. We do have coloring books and crayons at work, but sometimes playing around with the app is all I need.

Some games are a little harder then they seem, such as the matching games. I play those as well and sometimes it takes me several times to get the missing piece. 🙂

One of the pre-loaded things on this tablet are videos from Charlie & Company. It reminds me of the beloved children’s series Blues Clues in a way. There are plenty of fun songs, learning, animated critters and a dog name Charlie. Charlie is an adorable yellow Labrador retriever. The video series is colorful and the tunes are catchy.

By far one of my favorite features about the Little Scholar Tablet are the pre-loaded e-books. They are available at different reading levels on the tablet so your child can advance to higher level readers as their reading skills improve.

Each e-book is just like reading an actual book in print. Each one has adorable and colorful drawings to accompany each page of the story. Even beginning readers will have plenty of fun e-books to read. Off hand I don’t recall how many there are all together but it’s at least a few dozen.

There is even a camera on the Little Scholar.

If my kids were little I would get one of these for them in a heartbeat. I know they would have a good time just like the kids I work with. It’s the perfect tablet for children.

If you would like to learn more please visit www.SchoolZone.com/Little-Scholar-Tablet. You can also find the brand, School Zone, on social media. All links are found on their website.

You can purchase the table at Toys R Us.

Tablet

School Zone has generously offered to give a lucky reader their own Little Scholar Tablet. Thank you School Zone!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on November 16, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win this prize?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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Enjoyed grilled food year round with T-Fal OptiGrill (giveaway ends 9/6/14)

 

TFal OptiGrill Giveaway

Summer is coming to a close. It’s time to squeeze out as much summer fun as you possibly can.

My family and I never had a chance to get to the beach. We’d go this coming weekend but it’s Labor Day weekend and the beach is the last place you want to go – especially if you don’t like crowds and traffic.

Although I am not a fan of the heat and humidity there are a few things I am going to miss about the summer – sitting on our balcony and watching the Fireflies/Lightening Bugs fly by, doing fun things with my family, enjoying the beautiful flowers that are so plentiful this time of year, and barbecues. Oh how we’re going to miss all the yummy summer foods like barbecued burgers, steak and chicken.

We are  not allowed a barbecue where we live (as per the Fire Marshall), unless we keep our grills 200 feet from the building (we live in a condo). That is not possible. We had to give up having a grill many years ago. I missed my grill too- that is until now.

I received to review the T-Fal OptiGrill. I’ve had similar grills before but they failed to impress me. Don’t get me wrong, they did what they were supposed to do but I found things about them I didn’t like such as hard to clean and having to “guesstimate” when the meat was cooked just the way we like it.

The T-Fal OptiGrill blows all other indoor grills away!

Sensor Cooking

The T-Fal OptiGrill has “precision grilling technology” which helps to grill your favorite foods just the way you like it ever time.

My husband likes everything well done. If he so much sees any pink he won’t eat it. He’s afraid of eating food that was not cooked well enough and getting sick from it. Prior to getting married I used to enjoy my meats medium-rare. Now I eat my meats well done too for safety reasons.

With the other grills we had we had to try and guess when the meat was fully cooked, often removing it from the grill and cutting into it just to make sure. That is not necessary with the T-Fal OptiGrill. Simply place your meat on the grill and wait for the sensor light to tell you when your meat it cooked just the way you like it.

Settings

The T-Fal OptiGrill is super easy to use. There are dedicated buttons you can select to let the grill know what kind of food you are cooking (Burgers, Chicken, Sandwiches, Sausage, Chops, Fish).

You can even grill meats that are straight from your freezer (not defrosted) which is great for people like me who often forget to take something out for dinner.

Veggie Burger (Left) and Pork Burger (Right) frozen straight from the freezer.

Veggie Burger (Left) and Pork Burger (Right) frozen straight from the freezer.

I made a pork burger and a veggie burger for my kids for lunch one day that were frozen. In no time my kids were enjoying their burgers for lunch.

The T-Fal OptiGrill has sensors that let you know the cooked state the meat is in – rare, medium, well done. You can tell by looking at the color of the lighted button on the grill. There is a guide that explains the different colors too. It’s literally “fool proof” grilling.

The big center area lights up and changes colors to indicate how the meat is cooked.

The big center area lights up and changes colors to indicate how the meat is cooked.

The sensors in the T-Fal OptiGrill can sense the thickness of the meat which helps to regular the temperature and know what to cook the meat at to reach your optimum grilled results.

Here is the T-Fal OptiGrill with the light a bright yellow which indicates that the meat was still rare. When it’s well done the light is a deep, bright red.

Grill

The grill also has a drip pan so fat can drip away from the meat helping to make the meal healthier for you. After all, no one wants to eat something that has been sitting in it’s own fat and grease.

In the above photo you can see some of the fat and grease dripping down from the grill into the pan.

So far everything we have made has turned out great including pork burgers, veggie burgers and regular hamburgers. The grill also makes grilled cheese sandwiches in mere minutes. I was shocked at how quickly the sandwich was cooked. The cheese was melted all the way through and the bread even had some neat grill marks on it.

Burgers 2

Pork Burger (Left) and Veggie Burger (Right)

Pork Burger (Left) and Veggie Burger (Right)

One of the things I disliked about similar grills is the clean up. I hated to clean them! Cleaning the T-Fal OptiGrill is so easy. Simply remove the drip pan and both heating plates (when cooled) and hand wash or toss in the dishwasher. Because the grill plates are coated in T-Fal non-stick coating nothing sticks to it.

I also like how easy it is to remove the plates with just a press of a button. They pop back in easy too.

Clean Up

We love this grill and have used it several times. I have yet to try grilled veggies on it but that is something I am planning on doing.

Now my family and I can enjoy grilled foods year round thanks to the T-Fal OptiGrill.

If you would like more information visit www.optigrill.t-falusa.com. The T-Fal OptiGrill can be purchased at many retail stores across the country including Walmart, Target, Macys and JCPenney to name a few.

Be sure to check out T-Fal OptiGrill on Facebook too.

T-Fall OptiGrill Giveaway

One lucky reader is going to win their very own T-Fal OptiGrill! How awesome is that?

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on September 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what types of foods would you like to cook in the T-Fal OptiGrill if you were the lucky winner?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and no influenced in any way. 

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Zombies!!!

 

f439_zombie_garden_gnomes_inuse

I love zombies. Well… if I ever met one I doubt I’d love it. Chances are I’d be lunch meat for it. I don’t run very fast. What I mean to say is that I have been into zombies long before it was the “in” thing.

I first started to think zombies were really cool back in the late 1970’s (1978 to be exact) when I saw Dawn of the Dead (the original, not the remake). The movie scared the heebie jeebies out of me – but – I thought it was so cool. Gross… but cool.

Back in high school me and my girlfriends were known by friends of ours as the “Dawn of the Dead Girls”. It was a nickname given to us by a heavy metal band we were friends with. They came over to my house once to watch the movie with all of us and some how that became our nickname. Thirty plus years later and we’re still friends and the nickname has stuck.

These days everyone is into zombies thanks to the huge success of The Walking Dead. Suddenly everyone is into zombies – young and old alike. Zombies are not longer feared, per say, as they are fun to watch. Still gross – just not as scary.

I have The Walking Dead bobbleheads. In fact I just received Michonne today for Christmas. Now I have to get the Zombie bobblehead to add to my collection.

walking_dead_bobbleheads_l

I have started to collect some fun and whimsical zombie things. One of my favorite pieces if my Zombie Garden Gnome from ThinkGeek.com.

If you haven’t heard of Think Geek before, and you love fun and quirky things, you must check the site out. Think Geek is one of my favorite sites. I check it often to see what new goodies they add. I have also purchased several items from them over the past few years.

Think Geek as a few Zombie Garden Gnome styles to choose from. I was going to buy all of them and put them around our house when we were going to move. Some day if we ever win Lotto and can buy a house I’m still going to decorate my yard and garden with Zombie Garden Gnomes. I like to be different and unique. Although I think most garden gnomes are cute, I rather have ones that reflect my style and personality more.

Technically it’s really three Zombie Garden Gnomes and one who is more like Tony Montana from the film Scarface.

f439_zombie_garden_gnomes f439_zombie_garden_gnomes_rising_evilI have the Zombie Garden Gnome with the hand reaching out. I also want to get the one dressed in blue with a red hat. He’s the next one I want to get.

Here is my Zombie Garden Gnome along with Rick and Daryl from The Walking Dead. They are trying to protect me from him. 🙂

Zombie Garden Gnome

As you can see the gnome is fairly large. He’s heavy but not too heavy. He would be able to withstand a good amount of wind. He’s also very well made and should be able to lurk around your garden or yard for many years to come.

Think Geek has a lot of other fun zombie goodies to choose from.

1158_zombie_pets_plush_grid 1348_walking_dead_blind_box ae5e_zombie_protest bbae_zombie_snack_bib e5a1_zombie_hoodie_model efee_zombie_lunchbox zombie_survival_guide

Think Geek has plenty of other cool toys, gadgets and décor that is non-zombie related too.

There is a reason why the site is called Think “GEEK” – because the things they sell usually appeal to “geeky” people. I’m a big geek so I love the products they sell. They have Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, LEGO, Hunger Games and Big Bang Theory goodies, not name a few.

To check out the fun items they sell visit www.ThinkGeek.com. The company can also be found on the various social media sites (scroll to the bottom of their site for all the links).

Have you ever shopped at Think Geek before? What do you think about the Zombie Garden Gnomes? Would you decorate your yard with them?

Think Geek

Kimberly

*I received a free sample (gnome). There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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