Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Travelon ID and Boarding Pass Holder From Beltoutlet.com

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate review.



I love to travel!
What I don't love is worrying about my passport, cash and credit cards getting lost or stolen.
I also don't like digging for my passport when I am going through airport security or customs. The Travelon ID and Boarding Pass Holder from Beltoutlet.com helps ease some of my worries.

Sometimes it is the smaller travel accessories that make the biggest difference.

In my travels to countries with both low and higher crime rates, I've found I am less of a target for criminals if I don't have visible temptations like a purse or easy access to a wallet in my pocket. That is why the Travelon Boarding Pass Holder is perfect. The outside pockets give super easy access to my passport for passing through airport security gates while the zippered pockets add security for my cash and credit cards. With an adjustable neck strap, I can shorten the holder to a length that will slip inside my shirt to keep it hidden. I love how thin the holder is as well. The sturdy vinyl and fabric protect my valuables. No worries that a pickpocket will ruin my trip.

An extra pocket between the front and back holds my cell phone and the added pen makes it easy to take messages or write on receipts when I travel for business. 

Right now, the holder is on sale for less than $10. At that price, how could I afford not to buy one? All it takes is one careless mistake with money handling to take the fun out of a vacation.




Pros
Easily access to passport
Pocket  for driver's license
Secure zippered pocket for cash and credit cards
Adjustable neck strap
Extra slot for cell phone and/or receipts
Thin
Will tuck inside shirt and leave little trace
Price
Stiff, sturdy fabric

 Cons
Vinyl edge stitching appears too close to edge

Get on those travel clothes and check out Beltoutlet.com
for more many more great travel accessories.

Be sure to check out Beltoutlet.com on:

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Beltoutlet.com is giving away a $25 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers which begins 7/29/2014.

Enter the giveaway HERE


Product Rating ★★★★☆

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ozeri 4X3 Motion Pocket 3D Pedometer Review

FTC Disclosure: Product Received at no charge to facilitate my review.

I have used several different types of Pedometers in the past and most of them have been highly inaccurate. Therefore, I didn't expect much from the Ozeri Pedometer with Tri-Axis Technology. However, I was pleasantly surprised with my experience. Though not perfect, the Ozeri Pedometer definitely out performs the cheap pedometers I've used.

What I liked most about the Ozeri Pedometer is that it accurately counted my steps. I went up and down the street several times counting my steps and the pedometer was always within one step count of what I counted. The drawback is that the mileage wasn't exactly on but that could be attributed to the way I measured my steps. I reset it several times so that I could get it close to accurate.

I usually use a GPS or my phone with a GPS app while I hike. However, on many back country trails I lose my GPS signals. The Ozeri Pedometer kept counting steps and mileage when GPS signals failed. Even when they didn't fail, the pedometer was within .25 miles of what my GPS recorded. Even on trails with known mileage, the pedometer though not completely accurate on mileage was close enough that I was still happy and glad I had it.

The Ozeri Pedometer is a good device at a reasonable price point. I haven't had it long enough to comment on the durability or how long the battery lasts but I have used it on several day long hikes without having to replace the battery.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Small enough to fit in pocket
  • Counts steps accurately
  • Easy to set to personal specifications
  • Resets at midnight and ready for next day
  • Works in pocket or around neck
Cons
  • Had to reset several times to get the mileage close to accurate
  • Sometimes counts steps from car or other vibrations
  • Need reading glasses to read the small print instructions
Rating ★☆

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hiking Trails: Catherine Pass in Albion Basin Alta, Utah



A popular hiking trail in Alta, Utah at Albion Basin, Catherine Pass has it all. From a stunning array of wildflowers during the month of July to spectacular views of Lake Catherine below and even bull moose sightings on lucky days.
C

The trail starts at the first parking lot along the Albion Basin dirt road past the last of the paved area at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The trail is well marked and rated a class 2 which means you will run into some loose rocks and steep inclines. However, this popular family trail is suitable for older children.

The trail starts at the base of the dirt road, across from the Sunnyside parking lot. It starts with a steady climb in an exposed meadow but quickly moves into pine trees and shade. A variety of flowers dot the way.


As you reach the upper meadow, be sure to look for moose. The day I hiked the trail, another hiker pointed out a bull moose laying in the meadow. Once I saw him, he seemed obvious but if I would have kept walking, I would have missed him. Don't get too close. Moose have been known to charge at hikers. I used my telephoto on my camera and wasn't nearly as close as it appears.
Bull moose resting in the meadow
The trail levels off a bit at the meadow and then climbs a few steep switchbacks before reaching the ridge, which is 1.5 miles one way. At the ridge, enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Catherine. A trail cuts through the rocks in a steep descent for a relaxing break at the lake if you want to hike a little more. At this point, you can turn around for an out and back hike of just over 3 miles or you can hike to Brighton Ski Resort and see the other Brighton Lakes along the way. Twin Lakes and Lake Mary are worth the extra hike if you have more time. It is 3.9 miles one way to Brighton.

Catherine Lake


Put on your hiking shoes and don't worry, athletic shoes will work for this hike too.

Just don't forget your camera. This is one of those hikes you will be pinching yourself if you do.

Getting there: From I-15, take the 90th South exit in Sandy, Utah. Go east on 90th south. Follow 90th South East which will eventually become Little Cottonwood Road. Go up Little Cottonwood Road to the top at Alta Ski Resort. Continue east on the dirt road (Albion Basin Road) and park at the first parking lot on the south side of the dirt road.
**This post contains affiliate links.**


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Imágen® Hair Care Products


Products received at no charge to facilitate review


While I love spending time outdoors, the outdoor elements wreck havoc on my hair. Sun exposure leaves my hair feeling dry. The dust and dirt from hiking settle in my hair, making it almost impossible to comb through until I wash it.

I'm constantly looking for hair care products that will cut through the dirt and sweat while leaving my hair healthy and shiny. I have tried everything from cheap store brands to expensive salon brands. Imágen® salon products easily compare to some of the more expensive brands I have tried but with a better price. At $7.99 per product, the price is fair. Even better is that Imágen® can easily be found at Target, a store I frequent often.

Moisturizing Shampoo

The moisturizing shampoo works well for my hair type. I have thick, coarse hair with some waves. My hair is also color treated which leaves it dry. The moisturizing shampoo left my hair clean with a small amount. No need to wash my hair twice after a dirty outdoor adventure. I like the gel. It doesn't come out of the bottle too fast and I found that a small amount, just bigger than a quarter works well for my medium length hair. I am sensitive to strong smells but the Imágen®  products are mild and I didn't have any issues with them. With avocado oil and other botanicals, it gave my dry hair a lift.
Rating ★★★★★


Strengthening Conditioner

I like a conditioner that makes my coarse hair soft and easy to comb. The Imágen® conditioner definitely made my hair easy to comb but not as soft feeling as I would like. It is a great companion to the shampoo but it was really the leave in conditioner that I fell in love with.  Though I liked the conditioner, I didn't love it.

Rating ★★★☆☆

Leave-in Conditioner

I love this product! I stopped using leave in conditioners long ago because they always left my hair heavy which makes it feel dirty. I am a new fan of leave-in conditioner after trying Imágen®. Bravo Imágen® for getting this one right. My hair felt light and clean after applying the leave-in conditioner. The best part is it really helped soften my hair and made it easy to brush. My head is getting more tender as I get older. I have a hard time brushing through it when it gets wind blown. With the leave-in conditioner, I only had to apply a small amount and I could brush through my hair without the hurt. The protein-rich formula really did wonders for my hair and I will definitely purchase this product in the future. I did mention that I love this product, didn't I?
 
Rating ★★★★★
 
Temporary Straightener

I don't have curly hair so I don't use straighteners very often. However, when I sleep on my hair, I get a weird cow lick and I usually have to wash my hair to get it to go away. The Imágen® straightener worked well to smooth out my hair without having to wash it. A great time saver for me.

Rating ★★★★☆

Shine

I don't usually use shine products as I don't like the feel of extra products in my hair. However, the Imágen® shine really adds luster to my hair without adding weight. Though I may not use it in my regimen in the future, I do have to be fair and give it the rating it deserves as it works well for its intended use.
Rating ★★★★★


Before Shine

After Shine

Anti-Frizz Serum

I do suffer from some color treated hair damage. However, I don't have a huge problem this time of year with frizz. In the winter, I hate the static my hair gives off. I do have some split ends. The Imágen® Anti-Frizz Serum helps seal split ends with a lightweight, grease less formula. I'm saving my bottle for winter time. I'll need it then.

Rating ★★★★☆

I'm so happy I had the opportunity to try the Imágen® products. I love the price point, less than I am spending on salon products but with quality that compares.

Imágen® products can be purchased at Target or Target.com.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Albion Basin In July Alta, Utah



For approximately three short weeks during July, Albion Basin in Alta, Utah becomes one a popular destination for wildflower enthusiast. For anybody near the Wasatch Front, this is a must see. The fields of wildflowers are truly stunning and easy to get to.

Getting there: Go east on Little Cottonwood Road (SR 210) to Alta Ski Resort. At the end of the paved area there is a dirt road. Keep following the dirt road as it goes through Albion Basin. There are two parking lots. The first is at the Catherine Pass trail head and the second is at the Albion Basin Campground. The second parking lot fills up fast. The basin can be easily accessed from either parking lot. Do not park on the road. During the summer, a shuttle bus runs on weekends from the end of the paved area.

At first glance, the fields in and around Albion Basin look like green meadows. However, during July they become a dazzling array of color from white and yellow to red and purple.
For help identifying the vast array of wildflowers, there is an IPhone App called Flora of the Wasatch. A quick download will help enthusiasts learn all about the different flowers found in Albion Basin. or purchase the book version, Wasatch Wildflowers on Amazon.


Wavy Leaf Indian Paintbrush
Hikes in Albion Basin: Want to see Albion Basin on foot and not just from your car? The most popular trail, Cecret Lake, is located at the campground (second parking lot). This is an easy 1.6 mile out and back trail that takes ends at a small lake. It is well marked.

Catherine's Pass is located at the first parking lot and is 1.5 miles to the ridge that overlooks Lake Catherine. Though an easy, steady climb, it is more challenging than Cecret Lake.

Both hikes are family friendly. However, Cecret Lake is better for small children and Catherine's Pass great for older children.
 


**This post contains affiliate links.**


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent Review

            Product Rating:  ★★★★★

I've never done a multi day backpacking trip in which I carried my own gear until this summer. I have to admit, I was worried about my ability to carry a heavy backpack while hiking steep and difficult terrain. I had to purchase quite a few things, including a new tent for my adventure.

I spent a lot of time looking for a lightweight tent that would be easy to set up and take down. I finally settled on the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2.

The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is a two person tent, though I ended up sleeping in it by myself. My son teenage son loves hammock camping and wasn't about to share a tent with his mom. At his age, I wouldn't have wanted to either. We couldn't get anyone else to join us on our hike.

The tent was roomy for one person. I had enough room for myself, my sleeping bag and pad, as well as extra room for my non food gear. I liked the inside pockets for smaller items I didn't want to get lost or leave in my backpack. I could also sit up in the tent which was perfect for making notes about my adventure.

The tent is easy to set up. Super important for me since I ended up setting it up by myself a few times. Plastic clips hook to the poles instead of having to slide them through a fabric sleeve.

Size and tent weight was by far the most important thing for me and this is where the Big Agnes tent excelled. At one pound, ten ounces, the weight ended up being something I could handle. While the tent fit inside my backpack, I preferred to strap it to the outside, leaving the inside of my pack for the smaller, lighter things.

As far as durability, I haven't used the tent enough times yet to comment on it. However, I would be afraid of using it in a strong windstorm as the fabric is thin which keeps the weight down. I fell a few times and hit the outside cover of the bag without ripping it.

While the tent was a little more expensive than some of the others I looked at, the reduced weight made it worth the price. I stayed plenty warm for summer camping in Utah even at some of the higher elevations.

Features I liked:

  • Plenty of Room
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Warm
I paid over $50 more for the footprint but I found it offered free with purchase at Campsaver.com, the best deal I've seen. 

**This is not a sponsored post. I did not receive product or compensation of any kind. However, this post contains affiliate links.**