Friday, June 20, 2014

Find Perfect Gifts for Grads at Best Buy

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

It's graduation season, and chances are there's a grad or two (or more) in your life. Maybe you've been trying to think of the perfect gift, but somehow it seems so much easier to slip a check or some cash in a card. While that is probably the simplest course, and always appreciated, why not give a thoughtful, memorable gift to your favorite grad? What a surprise to actually receive a real present! That is not a common sight on the "gift" table (usually housing just a box for cards), and no matter how old you are, it is always fun to have a package to open. Especially if the gift giver puts some thought into it and finds something that would really be used and enjoyed.

I understand - it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to buy. But don't worry, Best Buy is there to help! Many grads are preparing to step out on their own for the first time, whether in a dorm room, student housing, or just getting a place with a roommate. They need everything! The possibilities are basically endless. Some of my favorite picks:

Keurig Elite Single-Serve Brewer 
Help a new college student survive late night study sessions with a Keurig Elite Single-Serve Brewer. The academics of college life can take a toll, and a little caffeine goes a long way. Keurigs are great because you can brew one cup at a time, and the variety is impressive. Hosting a study group? Everyone can choose their own flavor. Perfect!

LG Microwave + Pizza Oven
Suddenly being responsible for providing one's own meals is a lot to handle. Make life easier for your grad with an LG Microwave + Pizza Oven. Don't make him rely on dorm food or carry out for every meal!

Hoover Wind Tunnel 2 Vacuum
College life can get messy. All that partying studying leaves little time for cleaning, especially if you throw a part-time job into the mix. But a little vacuuming can go a long way, so you might want to gift your grad a Hoover Wind Tunnel 2 Vacuum. It won't do laundry, but at least the crumbs will be taken care of.

Need other ideas from the Best Buy Gift Center? These would all work great for any grad moving out.

  • Stone Bake Pizza Oven
  • Amazon Fire TV (I have this and it's awesome!
  • Ninja Blender (I have this too! Encourage your grad to have a healthy diet!)
  • 4-Slice Toaster Oven (Can't live without mine!)
  • Beats by Dr. Dre Pill Portable Stereo Speaker
  • Samsung 32" Class LED 1080p Smart HDTV
  • Sony Smart Wi-Fi Built-In Blu-ray Player
  • Game of Thrones Season 3 Blu-ray and DVD
  • Frigidaire 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refridgerator
  • iTunes Gift Card
  • Xbox One Console 
  • Xbox One Titanfall
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 - 16GB Tablet
  • Zaggkeys Folio Keyboard Case
  • Asus Transformer T100 32 GB Tablet
  • Lenovo Idea Tab A1000 16GB Tablet
  • HP Slate 7 Plus 7 Tablet
  • HP Envy Wireless e-All-in-One-Printer
  • Tech 21 Shell Case for Samsung Galaxy S5 Cell Phones
  • Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Mini
  • Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Stay or Go Slow Cooker
  • Thule Crossover Backpack
Other ideas, all for under $50:
  • Roku Streaming HDMI Stick
  • Nose & Ear Trimmer
  • Oster Blender
  • Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker
  • My Blend Blender
  • Shark Lightweight Iron
  • BISSELL Cordless 2-in-1 Handheld/Stick Vacuum
  • SOL REPUBLIC JAX Earbud Headphones
  • Case-Mate Glam Case for iPhone
  • Insignia Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Otterbox Symmetry Case for iPhone 5/5s and Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung S-View Flip Cover for Galaxy S5
  • Speck Case for HTC One (M8)
  • Modal Case for iPhone 5/5s
  • Modal Bluetooth Speaker
  • Thule Gauntlet Laptop Sleeve
  • Incase City Laptop Sleeve
  • Incase Neoprene Laptop Sleeve

This graduation season, Best Buy has you covered! Hope these ideas help! If you have other great ideas for grad gifts, please share in the comments section!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Product Review: SmartShield Rehydrating Face Cream With SPF 45

It's my favorite time of year! I live for summertime and sunshine. Along with that comes the responsibility of taking care of my skin, which I am finally (at almost 40 years old) starting to take more seriously. So of course I was excited to try out SmartShield Rehydrating Face Cream with SPF 45.

I've been using SmartShield Rehydrating Face Cream for about two weeks. Here's the low down:

  • I love that this product comes in a convenient pump bottle, so just the right amount comes out. I hate when I accidentally pour or squeeze out too much moisturizer, so for me this is a great feature.
  • I like to put my moisturizer on in the morning before my make-up and forget about it, so an SPF over 30 is a must. This one fits the bill at SPF 45, offering broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
  • It's hypoallergenic, which is also very important to me. My skin is not terribly sensitive, but some sunscreens and facial creams do have a tendency to make my skin itchy and irritable. This one is safe for all skin types, paraben-free, and dermatologist approved. It did not irritate my skin at all.
  • According to the manufacturer, "Regular use of this product may help to prevent cancer, wrinkles, and premature skin aging." Obviously I can't speak to these claims when I've only been using SmartShield Rehydrating Face Cream for a couple weeks, but they sure do sound good!
  • The bottle says "lightweight" and the additional product information I received says that it absorbs instantly and has no "sunscreen feel." Personally, I felt that it did have a bit of a sunscreen feel to it. It definitely does not absorb as instantly as other facial moisturizers I have used, but I did not find this to be a problem. My skin did not feel greasy after I rubbed it in, but it is a bit thicker and takes a little more rubbing in than other products I have tried. I was willing to accept this, hoping it meant the product would stay in place and do its job all day. Which brings me to my next point.
  • As stated on the bottle, SmartShield Rehydrating Face Cream is water and sweat resistant. I swam and worked out with it, and while it did stay in place, kept my skin hydrated, and protected me from the sun, I would strongly suggest to not apply it too close to your eyes. The bottle advises to "keep out of eyes", but I found that after sweating and swimming, some got in my eyes and boy did it burn. This is typical of many sunscreens, and I suppose I was not as careful as I should have been since it is made for faces and billed as water and sweat resistant. It may be - but it still hurts if it runs into your eyes!
My verdict is that I like SmartShield Rehydrating Face Cream with SPF 45 and will continue to use it to protect my face this summer, while being extra careful to not apply it anywhere near my eyes. If you would like more information about this product, or other SmartShield sunscreen products, please visit their website at

I would like to thank the folks at SmartShield for providing me with a complimentary product to sample and review.