Stop your dog’s barking with a safe alternative – Bark Genie



I love our dog Espn. I love him dearly. I cannot imagine a home without a dog.

Dogs provide unconditional love. They also provide entertainment.

There is a downside to dog ownership from vet and grooming bills, to having to clean up your dog’s waste. To be honest these things don’t bother me or my family. These things are to be expected, even if they can be pricey or gross.

There is one thing about our dog we really don’t care for, but it’s never been THAT much of a problem, until now – his barking.

For some reason our dog Espn will bark NON-STOP when he sees FedEx or UPS outside. He doesn’t bark at the mailman, the flower delivery man, the plumber or others. He seems to pick and choose who to bark at. It’s ALWAYS the FedEx and UPS drivers, and the pizza delivery guy (not the Chinese food delivery guy – go figure).

Sure, it’s annoying. Especially when you are trying to hold a conversation with the delivery person and the dog’s bark is literally echoing and amplifying in the hallway. But we deal with it.

We’ve lived in our condo complex for nearly 20 years (my husband has lived here closer to 25 years). Barking dogs has never been an issue. Suddenly the board posted a notice in all the building that they will now fine dog owners if their dog barks and “disturbs the peace.” Ugh!

Try telling your dog he can no longer bark at the people he’s barked at for the past 7 years, or else we will be fined. He doesn’t understand.

We thought briefly about a bark collar, but I don’t like the idea of shocking our dog every time he barks. It sounds painful and unnecessary.

We also considered a can full of pennies that we would shake every time he barked so that it could condition him not to bark (he wouldn’t like the sound). That would work, but it would also scare our cats and we didn’t want to do that to them.

What other options do we have?

Bark Genie

Thankfully I was sent the solution to our dilemma to review – Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent.

The Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent is small black box that runs on a 9 volt battery (not included). Simply place the device in an area where you dog would bark (or be heard barking). Once it’s turned on and it senses your dog’s barking it will emit a high pitch, ultrasonic sound that only your dog would hear. The sound is not pleasant to hear, so your dog will stop barking. Eventually they will figure it out that whenever they bark they hear this high pitched sound and ideally they will stop barking.

Bark Genie allows you to set the frequency too so that it senses barking from close to the box, or several feet away. There are high, medium and low settings.

We set this up right away for our dog. Whenever he barked we’d notice a red light appear on the device and he would hesitate to bark. He was hearing the ultrasonic sound it sent out. We did not hear a thing.

Thankfully the sound didn’t seem to affect our cats. That was a concern of mine because I didn’t want to scare the cats.

The device worked a little too well. Whatever Espn heard sounded (to him) a lot like the squeaky sounds our television makes just before a storm rolls in. We have satellite service and sometimes when storms roll in the television will squeak and make high pitched noises (from the satellite service being affected by the storm). Usually it stops or the whole television service will shut down temporarily.

Why does this information matter you might be asking? Well you see Espn is TERRIFIED of thunder and lightening. When he hears the television make those sounds he knows a storm is coming and he tries to hide. We’ve had to yank him out from behind my desk (tangled up in cables and wires!), under shelves and other places. Storms scare him REALLY bad. He pants like crazy and shakes really bad.

Bark Genie First Alert for Pets


It took us a while to make the connection, but I believe the Bark Genie is omitting the same kinds of sounds (even though we don’t hear them) making Espn believe a storm is coming. He’s not associating it with barking but rather a bad storm.

In any event he DOES stop barking – except he’s terrified.

Yes! The Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent DOES work to stop our dog from barking in a humane way. The unfortunate thing is that for our dog, the sound triggers his fear of storms. So for that reason we don’t keep the Bark Genie on 24/7. Instead we’ll turn it on when we know something (or someone) will cause him to bark.

The only thing I noticed about the Bark Genie is that sometimes it was triggered by other sounds, not just our dog barking. I’ve noticed the light change (red to green and vice versa) when talking close to the unit. I think it might be sensitive to loud sounds, not just barking. For that reason I kept playing with the settings and moved Bark Genie out of the way of where people would having conversations.

Aside from Espn’s irrational fears of storms, I think the Bark Genie works great and does what it’s supposed to do.

It’s also weatherproof so it can be used outside.

If your dog tends to bark too much, or you are trying to teach a puppy not to bark at inappropriate times, Bark Genie is a great alternative to painful bark collars or scary cans of pennies.

The Bark Genie™ Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent is made by First Alert.  For more information visit First Alert for Pets at www.FirstAlertforPets.com.



*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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Protect your child’s hearing with Puro Kids Headphones


Child with headphones

When I was a teenager and young adult I went to MANY concerts – very loud ones too. Some friends of mine had a heavy metal band and I would go to as many of their concerts as possible. I also had a bad habit of blasting music in my car.

Back then I didn’t give my hearing much of a thought. In hindsight I realize now how foolish I was not to care about my hearing. As a result my hearing is not as good as it should be for a person my age. I joke with my family that I have “selective hearing” when I don’t hear the things that they say to me, or miss something on TV. But it’s no joking matter. Years of abuse has taken it’s toll on my hearing. I regret that I didn’t take better care of my hearing.

I have teenagers who love to listen to music on their iPhones. They wear earplugs so we don’t have to hear the music. Several times I have had to ask my daughter to turn it down. If I can hear her music with no problem while she’s wearing earphones, then the music must be REALLY loud in her ears. I don’t want her, or my son, to damage their hearing.

These days it’s not only teens who love to listen to music. Younger children are also enjoying music on their phones (or parents) and tablets.

Have you given much thought to how loudly your kids and teens listen to music? If not, you should.

One option would be the headphones your kids use to listen to their music. They should have a volume control feature that ensures that your children can not “crank up the volume” too loud.

One brand of headphones is taking children’s hearing issues to heart. The brand is called Puro and they specialize in high end headphones. Their headphones provide superior sound and are reasonably priced, which is nice because some headphone available on the market are outrageously expensive.

What makes Puro different than other brands that sell headphones is that Puro takes hearing health very seriously.

Puro Sound Labs - Hearing-Healthy Headphones

The brand recently released their first product called Puro Kids®. What makes their children’s headphones different than others on the market is that their headphones that has a volume limiter that prevents the volume from exceeding 85 dB. The volume simply stops at this point. They can’t make it any louder.

Here is some additional important information from Puro.

As NIHL (Noised-Induced Hearing Loss) is on the rise in our youth, we have taken it upon ourselves to not only provide a product that is safer on ears but also in bringing awareness to the issue. By connecting with fellow parents, audiologists and hearing specials we believe we can create unique opportunities through the lens of our Healthy Ears® program to get involved, strengthening the voice of NIHL and making a real difference in the way parents and children look at the risk of generic earbuds. Healthy Ears® represents our commitment to hearing health and prevention of NIHL.

Puro sent me a set to try out.

The Puro Kids headphones are very nice looking. They look like super expensive headphones. Even the most tech savvy kid will be impressed by how cool these headphones look. They look like ones adults would use. They don’t look “kiddie” like at all.  You won’t see dinosaurs or ABC’s on them.

I have used these headphones myself before turning them over to my kids (teens). The sound quality is wonderful. I also like that they are comfortable to wear. They are the over the head type (not ear buds – I find ear buds to be uncomfortable). The padding for the ears is comfy too.

My teens think they look cool (even if they are most so meant for children). My son thinks the ear area (padding) is too small. He prefers it to be bigger.

I found the padding did cover my ears. In fact they did a great job drowning out background noise.

My daughter thinks they could be louder. I was not surprised she’d say that since she listens to her music way too loud.

As a mom I really like the idea of Puro, and I find the headphones to be very satisfactory. If these were around when my kids were younger I would consider getting both of them a pair (they also didn’t listen to music that much when they were younger).

If you would like to learn more about Puro Kids Headphones and the importance of caring for children’s hearing, please visit www.PuroSound.com/Healthy-Ears.

What do you think about the idea of special headphones for children that protect their ear health?

Does your child or grandchild listen to music too loud? Is their hearing a concern of yourself?

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Puro Sound Labs - Logo


*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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LuguLake Speaker Review & Giveaway (ends 4/22/15)



It’s hard to believe that summer time is just around the corner. That means lazy days lounging pool side, trips to the beach and plenty of barbecues and picnics. What goes perfect with these situations is music.

Gone are the days of huge “boom boxes” and having to move your entire stereo system outside just to listen to some tunes. These days most people enjoy their music from the smartphone or tablet. While these options are certainly more portable, the sound quality is not the best. Even on maximum volume, music streamed from your phone or tablet is not going to be loud enough to be heard over loud guests. What you need is an external speaker.

There are many external speakers on the market. Some are amazing where as others are not worth the cost to purchase them.

I recently had the opportunity to test drive an external speaker from a company called LuguLake . They have a portable speaker that comes with a built in dock to rest your phone or tablet on.

The LuguLake  speaker comes with a charging cable and a cable to connect to your device in the event the device you are using is not Bluetooth compatible.


Before you use the device you will need to charge it. It’s portable so you can take it with you where ever you go – including the beach where you’ll have no power source. You just have to make sure you charge up the speaker first.

Pairing the speaker with my smartphone was super easy to do. I can be “technologically challenged” at times and I had no problem connecting the speaker to my iPhone.

That’s it. There is nothing else to it. It’s that easy.

I like the dock feature on the speaker. I like that I can rest my phone some place safe while still being able to access my music.

I haven’t tried the speaker with my iPad yet. I would be a little concerned about the iPad toppling over the speaker, but I think it would be OK.

The sounds quality for the LuguLake  speaker is really good. The music is crystal clear and the volume can get pretty loud – ideal for noisy backyard gatherings or tailgating parties.


I’m surprised that the speakers come fro the side only. But they work really good. I guess it gives you more of a “surround sound” experience because the music is coming from the site and not from the front.

The battery life is really good. I’ve used the speaker many times at my desk and I’ve only had to recharge it once so far. I would have to guess that it gets about 10+ hours of use before it needs to be recharged.

The speaker is not that big making it very portable. You can easily slip it into your bag, tote bag, picnic basket or backpack.

For more information about the LuguLake  speaker visit LuguLake.US (notice it’s US and not .com). LuguLake  carries a lot of interesting consumer products.

The brand can also be found on social media. All of the links are found at the bottom of their website.

LuguLake speaker

Lugulake would like to give a lucky reader their own LuguLake portable speaker. Thank you LuguLake !

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on April 22, 2015 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 would like to win the LuguLake portable speaker?

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


*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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Get a wireless “wake up” with Amplifyze TCL Pulse


Alarm Clock

I am not a morning person. Personally I feel mornings should start after 11:00 AM.

I’ve never been able to wake up to alarm clocks. As a teen (and young adult), my mom always had to wake me up. At one point I had five – yes FIVE – alarm clocks that were set five minutes apart. The idea was that I would hear and wake up to at least one of then, then knowing they were all going to go off would force me to get out of bed to turn them off before I had five alarms buzzing away at the same time.

Sometimes it worked – other times it didn’t. Some how I managed to sleep through all five, but they did wake up the rest of my family.

These days I rely on my husband to wake me up in the morning. Even though our bed is in the living room (sofa bed) – one of the busiest rooms in our home – I still sleep through most of the noise can commotion.

I will wake up when my cat has an asthma attack. Go figure. I guess it’s the “mom” in me that hears her and wakes up to give her the inhaler.

I was sent to review a unique alarm called the Amplifyze TCL Pulse.

The Amplifyze TCL Pulse is a dream come true solution for those who consistently sleep through traditional alarms  (teenagers, college students, heavy sleepers, those with hearing loss.)  This sleek, chic Bluetooth enabled combination alarm/timer can be programmed with your iPhone once you’ve downloaded the free accompanying intuitive app from the App Store.    It offers a choice of vibration (keep it under your pillow), loud sound, or both, and can be programmed for multiple users.


The TCL Pulse is a small device – about the size of the average hand. It’s not very flat but flat enough to slip under your pillow without causing discomfort.

In order to use the TCL Pulse you’ll need to download the free app. You can set your TCL Pulse from the application. It transmits the information to your TCL Pulse device wirelessly using Bluetooth technology.

I’m not too keen on having devices such as cellphones near my bed when I sleep. The TCL Pulse is supposed to be “OK” to be by your head. It doesn’t transmit the harmful “rays” (for lack of a better description) that cellphones do. As per the company the TCL Pulse is completely safe to use.

You can set your alarm to go off with a vibration, sound or both. You can adjust the volume too so that it’s not too loud and jolting when it goes off.

Knowing that tradition alarm clocks don’t work for me I was curious to see how this device worked.

I’ve tried the alarm with sound and without sound, as well as the vibration. For me, personally, the vibration works better. The sound doesn’t really wake me up. Occasionally it does, but not always. The vibration seems to do the trick for me.

TCL Plus Colors

I use several pillows when I sleep. Sometimes they fall on the floor or some how end up on my husband’s side of the bed. When that happens I can’t feel the vibrations. If you are a restless sleeper like me  you might want to take that into consideration.

The TCL Pulse it not only for waking you up in the morning. You can use it as a regular alarm too. Use it to time your showers (I’d suggest putting it in a closet on the volume’s highest setting so you an hear it – I wouldn’t leave it out because the moisture from the shower could ruin it), cooking, “time outs” for your kids and more.

The Amplifyze TCL Pulse is available in different colors (pink, white and black) and retail for $39.95.

The TCL Pulse is small in size so you can tuck it inside your luggage when you travel or in your purse or backpack to take it with you to use throughout the day to remind you of an important meeting or when class is about to begin. You can also use it to wake you up from a “power nap,” which is something I like to use it for.

I think this would make a great gift, especially for college students.

If you would like to learn more visit TCLPulse.com. The brand is also on all the social media sites. You can find all of their links on the bottom of their website.

What do you think about the TCL Pulse? Does it seem like a product that you could really use in your life?



*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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Laptops and desktops at affordable prices – plus a $100 gift code giveaway (ends 4/12/15)



It never ceases to amazed me just how much we rely on technology these days. Growing up the idea of a handheld device you could watch movies on, or make phone calls wirelessly from on top of a mountain were not even a thought. The big thing when I was a teen was cable and Sony Walkman portable players.

I also cannot believe how far computers have come. When I was young I had a massive IBM computer that was so heavy it took two people to move it. Back then we only had a black screen and a little square that appeared on the screen (curser). These days computers are small and lightweight and you can take them everywhere with you.

Many of us “need” our computers whether it’s for work or for keeping up with family and friends. Sadly computers “die” and we find ourselves in need of a new one.

Computers have come down in price considerably, but for many their prices are out of reach.

When my previous computer was dying I needed a new one ASAP but I didn’t have the money for it. Thankfully I had a gift card and a little money set aside so I was able to get one that was on sale. It wasn’t the laptop I wanted, but I was desperate for a new one so I purchased it (I like my laptop now. It’s a nice little laptop).

Recently my husband’s laptop started to have a  lot of problems. It’s about 8+ years old – a “dinosaur” by today’s standards. He does so much for me and our family that I wanted to find a way to get him a new laptop to surprise him with. Unfortunately I don’t have the money for a brand new laptop, but can afford a refurbished one.

A refurbished computer is usually a computer that has been previously leased to corporate customer, used as a display/sample unit or returned by customers for a variety of reasons. They are not old or damaged computers – although some might have a scratch or blemish that doesn’t affect it’s functionality in any way.

Refurbished electronics cost much less than their brand new counterparts and work just as well. They are not “rejects” or junk.

The key to buying refurbished electronics is to know the computer you are buying from and see if they offer any kind of a warranty on their products. Also look for companies that are certified to offer refurbished products.

I really wanted to get my husband a “new” computer, but I knew a brand new one was not feasible. I knew I had to go with a refurbished laptop.


I found a great buy on refurb.io (spellend with a lower case “r”). Refurb.io offers consumers refurbished desktops and laptops from such brands as HP, Dell, IBM and Lenovo. My husband previous had a Dell but has been borrowing an HP from his job. I know he likes the HP so I opted to get him an HP laptop.

I purchased an HP Elitebook 8440P laptop for my husband. It features a 14.1″ screen, Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. It sold for $249.00 on refurb.io. The same computer sells at Kmart for $399.99. That is almost a $150 savings!

Reburb.io is both Microsoft Certified and Microsoft Authorized to refurbish computers.

Purchasing refurbished computers is great for college students, families, parents and those who like a great deal.

I should note that my husband is a computer tech. That is his job. He’s been working with computers for almost 20 years and he’s familiar with popular brands like HP, Dell and IBM because he works with them all the time.

I placed my order for the laptop for my husband (shipping was affordable too). The laptop arrived at our door four days after I placed my order. Talk about speedy! I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly refurb.io shipped out the laptop.

My husband LOVED his gift. He’s been using it ever since he received it. So far, so good. He has not noticed anything wrong with the functionality of the computer. After he set everything up (putting the computer on our router, bookmarking his favorite sites, adding our virus protection…) he was all set to go.

I asked him if he noticed anything wrong or if he’s had any issues with the computer. He said “no.” I asked him, as a computer tech, what does he think about the computer. He told me that it’s a really nice computer, it’s in great working condition and it’s just as good as a computer I could have spent hundreds more on.


The only “flaw” he noticed was a very small dent on one corner. To be honest I didn’t even notice it until he pointed it out. It’s not noticeable unless you are looking for it. I had him purposely look over every inch of the computer – inside and out – that is why he found it. I think if you were not looking for it you wouldn’t even notice it. It does not effect the functionality of the computer in any way.

Another benefit to buying a refurbished laptop or desktop from refurb.io, aside from saving a lot of money, is that it helps to keep the devices out of landfills. Refurbishing the computers and laptops give them new life and they are able to be enjoyed again and it keeps them from ending up in the local dump. I’m all for recycling, repurposing and giving new life to things to keep them from sitting in landfills and destroying our planet.

Buying from refurb.io is a “win-win” situation – you get a great device at an affordable price and it keeps the devices from wasting away in a dump.

If you would to check out what refurb.io has to offer visit refurb.io (type it in you brower exactly or click on the link). The link will take you to the U.S. refurb.io site. You can also change to the Canadian site by clicking on the flag at the top right of the screen and then clicking on the Canadian flag.

Be sure to check the site often as their inventory is constantly changing.

You can also find refurb.io on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Reburb.io is currently offering 10% off of laptops using the discount code LAUNCH10.

Refurbio Gift Card

In addition, refurb.io would like to give a lucky reader a $100 gift code towards the purchase of a laptop or desktop on their site. Thank you refurb.io! 

This giveaway is open to U.S. AND Canadian residents only and will end on April 12, 2015 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 want to win the $100 gift code to refurb.io?

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


*I received a free product 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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Make sure your devices are protected with Corning® Gorilla® Glass by Corning®




We live in a high tech world. Just about everyone I know has some kind of a device to help keep them “connected” to the rest of the world whether it’s a cellphone, tablets, notebooks or other devices. Most people can’t leave home without one of these devices.

I am not as attached to these devices as other people I know, but I do rely on them on a daily basis so I can blog, reply to emails and keep in touch with my family.

I have been fortunate that I have not dropped and broken any of my devices, but our daughter has not been as lucky. She has accidentally dropped her cellphone several times, some of which resulted in a broken screen.  If you have ever broken a screen on a cellphone, tablet or notebook you know how expensive a repair or replacement can be.

Dropping any of my devices is a huge concern of mine. I think I am more fearful of dropping and breaking my devices more so than I am losing them.

Corning Incorporated has developed a special glass that can help reduce damage to your device’s screen. It’s called Gorilla® Glass 4.

Corning started to create Gorilla Glass once they learned that users biggest gripe about their devices is that they can be easily be broken when dropped and they can scratch easily. Their scientists worked hard to figure out why breaks happen, then they worked on a way to reduce breaks. And thus Gorilla® Glass 4 was created.

Gorilla Glass is not your typical glass. It’s actually a highly developed specialized glass product.

Gorilla Glass begins with raw materials that are blended to create a glass composition. This composition is then melted and conditioned. The material is then fed through something called an “isopipe” which turns the material into a continuous flat sheet of glass. This glass is untouched by human hands or anything that could introduce any flaws to the surface.

Gorilla Glass

After the glass is cut down into smaller pieces it goes through an ion-exchange process. The glass is then placed in a hot bath of molten salt at a temperature of approximately 400 degrees C. This process allows for smaller sodium ions to leave the glass and allows for the larger potassium ions from the salt bath replace them. These large ions take up more room and are pressed together when the glass cools, producing a layer of compressive stress on the surface of the glass.

It’s really high tech stuff.

This process allows for the glass to not only be stronger, but it also produces great clarity and allows for the glass to be made thinner which is great because many consumers are looking for thinner, lightweight devices that they can take with them on the go.

Corning put Gorilla Glass 4 through rigorous tests including dropping devices with Gorilla® Glass on everyday surfaces like concrete and asphalt. It was found that Gorilla Glass 4 performs up to 2x better than competitor’s glass when dropped from a height of three feet. Products with Gorilla Glass 4 survived this drop 80% of the time. It is also more scratch resistance.


Many devices are already available with Gorilla Glass. If you would like to check and see if your devices are made with Gorilla Glass please visit the Products with Gorilla Glass page.

I really like Gorilla Glass. I take my cellphone with me where ever I go whether it’s around the corner or across the country. The last thing I want is for my phone to slip out of my hands and come crashing down on the sidewalk and break. That is my worse fear. I’ve seen it happen to our daughter’s phone. I still remember seeing it drop on the concrete steps outside of our home. It was as if I was watching it in slow motion and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The second time her screen broke when the phone slipped out of her pocket and landed on the road. If her phone was made with Gorilla Glass she would have had more protection and possibly survive both drops. If you are interested in learning more about Gorilla Glass you can visit CorningGorillaGlass.com. You can also check it out on Facebook (CorningGorillaGlass) and Twitter (@CorningGorilla). You can also see what others have to say about Gorilla Glass by checking out the hashtags #GorillaGlass and #IsItOnYours.


Corning® Gorilla® Glass has been used on more than 3 billion devices from 40 major brands. Is it on yours? Click here to find out.


Corning Incorporated sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

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