Review: Ohuhu Battery Organizer with Removable Tester

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:  This review contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click on a product link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog and my family at no extra cost to you.  For this particular review, I bought this item at full price with my own household funds.  All opinions are my own.   

Have you ever had one of those nights?  The one where your smoke alarm–or your baby’s AngelCare monitor–starts beeping because it needs new batteries?  (Do you remember that “Friends” episode where Phoebe could not get her smoke alarm to stop beeping at night?)  And you fumble around in the dark and grab the first set of batteries you see, but they are not the right size?  And when you finally get your hands on the correct number of batteries of the correct size, they are drained, too?  I have had far too many of those nights in the last few years, particularly with our child’s AngelCare monitor (which I still use with my preschooler, by the way, just because I am “that mom”).

After a few months of contemplating various battery organizers, I bought an Ohuhu battery organizer and removable tester, mainly because it was the color I wanted, semi-attractive, and fairly well-reviewed. When it arrived and I first opened its box, I was a little disappointed because it seemed like an overpriced plastic item–and it was definitely made in China. But that afternoon, as I worked with the easy-to-use tester and stored our working batteries, I found the worth in the item. First, I recycled a lot of batteries that were no longer usable. Second, all of the working batteries are now corralled and organized by sizes into compartments. Third, we will likely save money in the future because I will avoid again buying multiple packages of 2025 and 2032 batteries for our key fobs and garage remotes, not realizing that we already had working batteries in those sizes. Fourth, my husband says the good batteries we have will quit discharging as quickly because of the way they were previously haphazardly stored.  (For the record, I know next to nothing about electricity and discharging batteries.)

Reviews by Shabby Mae: Ohuhu Battery Organizer with Removable Tester

In short, this item will save us time, hassle, and money, making this item well worth its $11, at least to me and my husband.

I intend to store this battery holder in a cabinet and would personally not recommend hanging this item on a wall with the included screws because at least some of the batteries are loose and would likely fall out.  That said, maybe if the battery compartments were fuller than mine, the batteries would not be so loose. (Note: For those of you store your batteries in the refrigerator or even in the freezer, I have not tested this organizer in either.)

Nonetheless, for people who are trying to get organized–maybe trying to organize their junk drawer?–I would recommend this item.  If you are interested in purchasing this Ohuhu battery organizer and removal tester for yourself from Amazon, click here.  You can also check out my condensed review of this and other items on Amazon by clicking here.  (I would appreciate your clicking on the “Helpful” button if you see my review and find it helpful.)

Are your batteries organized?  Do you use a tester to sort through your batteries periodically?

Review: Viva Naturals Organic Shea Butter

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:  This review contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click on a product link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog and my family at no extra cost to you.  For this particular review, I received the item for free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

I am a Florida girl, and I love going barefoot.  But the older I get, the more I find that my feet don’t love being barefoot. My feet tend to crack easily, and I have to keep them scrubbed and moisturized daily–in the summer, multiple times daily–to keep them looking their best.

When I was offered Viva Naturals organic shea butter for free for my honest review, I gladly accepted it. It arrived last week, and I have been using it since then.  I have found that while it is greasy upon application, it absorbs fairly well and does a good job at keeping my feet smooth.  Since we are currently in the middle of summer, I swim in the pool with my little one every day and use this lotion afterward before putting on a pair of thick socks. I try to put another coat of this shea butter on each evening and put socks back on for a while.  (Well, before I rip them off because I cannot stand wearing socks at night!)

Reviews by Shabby Mae: Viva Naturals Organic Shea Butter

I have ordered shea butter previously for lotions for my preschooler after she was born.  I prefer this shea butter to the butters I used in the past.  It is creamy and not gritty and has a nice scent.  In fact, I intend to buy more and to use it to make all those beauty recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  If you are interested in purchasing Viva Naturals organic shea butter for yourself from Amazon, click here.  You can also check out my condensed review of this and other items on Amazon by clicking here.  (I would appreciate your clicking on the “Helpful” button if you see my review and find it helpful.)

Have you ever used shea butter rather than a “typical” lotion?  Or do you use it to make your own lotions?

Review: Seasum Bluetooth Speaker

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:  This review contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click on a product link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog and my family at no extra cost to you.  For this particular review, I received the item at a discount in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

On the Black Friday before our daughter was born, my husband and I bought a Sony dock for my iPhone 4, intending to use it to play music for her. I was rather smitten with it, and I even kept that iPhone 4 after I upgraded to an iPhone 5 so that I could use it to play music over the dock. But recently I gave that old phone to my mom, rendering that old Sony dock useless. I love music–and so does our daughter–so my husband and I started researching Bluetooth speakers not long afterward. I was initially impressed with the Bose Soundlink, but then I would see Best Buy have a good daily deal on, say, a JBL, and I would change my mind. Then additional motivation arose for wanting a Bluetooth speaker: loud, cursing neighbors. Given that a new privacy fence then in the works would not solve the noise problem, we explored wind chimes and a water feature and then decided that we would also like to have a Bluetooth speaker, at least for holidays, when we found they were actually more likely to argue. We knew we should get a waterproof or at least splashproof speaker. And we wanted a good one for a reasonable price.

Not long afterward, I received a Seasum waterproof LED Bluetooth speaker at a discount in exchange for my honest review. I connected it to my computer via the USB cord to charge it, and before long, I was listening to music from my iPhone 5. Shortly thereafter, I connected it to the computer containing my music–and then I fell in love with this Bluetooth speaker. It has such a rich sound for such a small speaker (it fits in a cupholder!). Although I cannot attest to whether it is truly waterproof, I have found that it is splashproof, as it has continued to function after I splashed it while washing dishes in the kitchen and after I set it on the bathroom counter during a steamy shower. So far, I have used it for an hour period over several days and the unit has yet to be recharged. The one drawback I have found is that the speaker begins “cutting out” when my phone or computer are more than approximately 8-10 feet away from it, but other Bluetooth devices I own have similar limitations.

Reviews by Shabby Mae: Seasum Bluetooth Speaker

I typically turn off the light show when I listen to music, but my preschooler loves the lights. If I had a party outdoors at night, I would definitely turn it on.

Reviews by Shabby Mae: Seasum Bluetooth Speaker

The instruction manual could be better. However, you can generally understand the instructions. Also, if you have worked with other Bluetooth devices, this device’s set-up is intuitive anyway, as are the buttons. I would have liked to have known how long the battery would last. I would also have liked to have known from the beginning what the blue and orange light represented.

I really do love this speaker, and although I have had it only about a week, at this point I would highly recommend it. If you are interested in purchasing the speaker for yourself from Amazon, click here.  You can also check out my condensed review of this and other items on Amazon by clicking here.

Do you listen to music over a Bluetooth speaker?

Review: Chantel Ray Real Estate

Having had a few bad experiences with realtors in the past, my husband and I knew that choosing an attentive and helpful realtor was important to us.  A friend recommended a realtor, but for whatever reason, that realtor did not return my husband’s phone calls or e-mails.  (Maybe she was super busy?)  So when my husband called the realtor on the for sale sign of a home we were interested in and someone from Chantel Ray’s office immediately called back and offered her assistance on our house journey, we were thrilled.  Thus, we used Chantel Ray’s office–and specifically Kathleen Chilton–for our home journey.

Reviews by Shabby Mae:  Chantel Ray Real Estate

Kathleen was very helpful as my husband visited house after house after house–and sometimes visited houses a second and third time.  She did not express any frustration when my husband and I ultimately decided on a house we had previously visited multiple times.  And she gave us a lot of great information to work with as we put an offer in and negotiated the sale price of the house.  More importantly, at closing, she really went to bat for us, getting us money back we did not expect to receive and even battling the lender over paperwork that had not been handled properly or timely.

We would give Chantel Ray Real Estate and more specifically Kathleen Chilton five of five stars without hesitation.  When the time comes to list this house and buy another, we will seek out Kathleen again.

You can check out the condensed review of Chantel Ray Real Estate on my Yelp page.

Did you have a great experience with your realtor?  Do you wish you had used someone else?

Home Schooling/Home Education Resources: Independence Day/July 4th

Compiled by Shabby Mae: Home Education/Home Schooling Resources: Independence Day/July 4th

Happy Independence Day!  I intend to spend the rest of this week working on an Independence Day/July 4th unit with my preschooler.  You can find lots of free resources online to help you teach your young learner about Independence Day, and I have culled from the Internet some of the best of those resources here:

I have not tried the following resources yet, whether because I had similar resources already printed or because they were too advanced for my preschooler.  Nonetheless, they look promising:

Some more ideas:  I would suggest checking out the compilation of kids 4th of July crafts over at Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading for some fun and creative ideas of art projects and crafts to do with your little ones.  You can find some great sensory bin ideas and other similar activities at Counting Coconuts.  And you can wrap up your unit with a parade and/or a birthday party for the United States; check out those ideas and more at Beautiful in His Time.

As a final note, just in case you have a child with special needs–or any child, really, who may get a little anxious about the fireworks, check out six tips for dealing with sensitive kids and fireworks by Growing Hands-on Kids.

Note:  If you offer free July 4th/Independence Day resources on your blog and would like those to be included in this compilation, please contact me.  At this time, I do not include in my unit compilations premium resources or resources where numerous files must be downloaded individually unless the user has a premium account (sorry, but I don’t have time for that, and I suspect other parents do not either).  My intention is to update this compilation each year, so even if your resources were not listed when I first published it in 2016, I would be glad to add them for later years.

Create a Daily Learning Notebook

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER:  This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click on a product link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog and my family at no extra cost to you.  All of the items linked below have been purchased by me for my household and with household funds.  All opinions are my own.

My child is still a preschooler, but my goal has always been to ensure that she has the best education she can possibly have–and to get as early a start on that education as possible.  I am blessed that she loves learning; each day she happily asks me what she will learn that day, and if I ask her first thing in the morning what she wants to do that day, she says, “Wearning ‘tivities!”  I try to ensure that she works on her skills six days per week so that she will have little to no learning loss.

I had worked out a rough schedule before I found on Confessions of a Homeschooler the fantastic idea of a preschool daily learning notebook.  I have found that this idea keeps her working so that I can handle some of the tasks I do in the mornings to keep our household running smoothly.

Made by Shabby Mae:  Create a Daily Learning Notebook

I used these items to create our daily learning notebook:

  • A three-ring binder.  I bought several packages of the clear view binders years ago at Office Depot when they were packaged 12 to a box for a reduced price.  Check around, and you may find some inexpensively as well.
  • Page protectors.  I use these Avery page protectors.  Crayola dry erase markers wipe easily off these, and they are just the right price to hold two sheets of paper per protector.
  • Dry or wet erase markers.  For my preschooler, I use Crayola dry erase markers.  These wash off hands, clothing, and my table.

If you do not have the time to create your own daily learning notebook, you can print one online from several different web sites:

You can also create one, a la carte style, using whichever pages you choose from the resources above or from other resources you find online.  I myself have chosen pages from the above resources and from others I have found online, some of which I will post later.  I try to ensure that my preschooler practices at least letters, numbers, and shapes and documents the date and the weather each day.  I have also created some of my own resources, which are free.  Click here to access those.  Finally, I have my preschooler work on some color popsicle stick puzzles each day; Sara in Shanghai offers the ones I am currently using.

One other suggestion:  Download National First Font Dotted by Roger White or a similar dotted line font, and use it to type your child’s name in a word processing file.  Print the page, insert it into a page protector, and have your child practice writing his or her name daily.  You may also want to put your phone number, address, and other important information on the page at some point.

Do you use a daily learning notebook?  What do you have in your child’s notebook?  Have you found other printable notebooks online?  Let me know in the comments!

Do You Have a Set of Spare Keys?

Last year, I locked myself out of the house–with a dead battery in our keypad lock and my cell phone still inside the house.  My two-year-old daughter was inside the house, but because she had her Kindle, she was not at all interested in opening the door for me.  I had a small panic attack before asking the neighbor to call my husband to return home with his key.  More recently, another neighbor locked her two kids and herself out of their house, and she used our phone to call her own husband.  It happens to the best of us, right?  But I would like to be proactive and take steps to avoid being locked out again.


The solution is simple.  I use MinuteKey at Lowe’s, and for as much as $3.00 plus tax per key (less if you are making more than one key), you can easily and quickly make a spare set of keys and place them somewhere in your shed or garage or crawlspace so that you always have a way in if you lock yourself out.  (Alternatively, you can give a set to loved ones, but I would advise keeping track of who has a set of spare keys and also making sure you completely trust the persons you entrust with your keys.)

Clearly I am not going to post where our spare keys are.  But my husband and I both know, and I can nearly guarantee you a burglar would not find them.  Also, we have two spare keys, one for our storm door and one for our actual door, and each is in a different location.  As I have mentioned before, we are all about safety.  If we were to need to tell someone the location of our spare keys–for example, if we were on vacation and someone needed to enter the house for some reason–we would move them to an entirely different location.

One more thing:  When I locked myself out of the house, I started carrying my keys with me when I went outside.  But now I no longer carry my keys around with me since I know I have spare keys where I can reach them.

Do you have spare keys somewhere on your property or left with a loved one just in case you lock yourself out?  Post in the comments!