Let’s face it, life can be frustrating. Luckily there are throngs of products on the market to help alleviate common annoyances and generally provide sound solutions for things you wish were better or just easier in some way, shape or form. I’ve assembled a few such items below—some tried and true gadget, beauty, style and health fixes and tricks that can enhance your lifestyle in one way or another.
Many of us are constantly looking for products that will keep our devices powered on-the-go while also being seamlessly integrated into our lifestyle…without requiring yet another thing to carry around. The Nomad Wallet with Charger ($99.95) is one such item. True to the size and shape of a standard wallet but with a built-in device charger, this item is great for guys who are always out and about and rely on their cell phone to get through the day. In addition to utilizing the lightest, thinnest, strongest materials to suit the wallet design, Nomad went to the absolute extreme of lithium-ion battery tech and ultra-compact circuit boards to craft the ultra-high density onboard system: a 2400 mAh battery and Apple Lightning charge mechanism built right into the spine of the wallet that’ll provide one full iPhone 6s charge—anyplace, anytime. The Nomad Wallet will let you put power in your pocket that’s ready to come to the rescue when your phone’s battery gets low.
If you’re like me and can be vastly more productive communicating on an iPad device via keyboard rather than finger strokes, then look no further than the BrydgeMini (for iPad Mini) and BrydgeAir (for iPad Air) to have you typing away in no time. These small Bluetooth-enabled attachable keyboards are ideal for an on-the-go business person, student or anyone else who does not want the bulk, extra weight and inconvenience of bringing a full-size laptop to travel or to class. Like all Brydge products, the BrydgeMini and BrydgeAir ($129.99 – $149.99) are premium aluminum keyboards with backlit keys and hinges for full 180-degree positioning. They quickly and easilu turn your iPad into a thin, sleek and ultra-portable laptop. The BrydgeAir also includes built-in speakers. Both are available in three colors (gold, silver, and space gray) to perfectly match your iPad and, amazingly, the rechargeable battery only needs to be charged once every three months. Lightweight, practical and stylish, these products offer the user functionality, productivity, portability and power intended to rival any entry-level laptop.
Don’t you hate it when you’re exercising and your earbuds keep slipping out, and even when they’re in the sound quality does little to keep you motivated? Me too! Well, Jabra Headphones ($79.99 – $199.99) are a great solution. The Jabra Sport Pace wireless sports earbuds provide premium stereo sound with an extraordinarily secure fit and, as an added bonus, they come complete with an integrated training app that gives you motivational training tips and lets you plan, monitor and evaluate your training. These heavy-duty earbuds are built to withstand the hardships of training—they’re sweat and rain resistant and tested to U.S. Military standards for weather and shock. A reflective cord also makes you more visible when running at night. Speaking of which, Jabra Sport Pulse is another outstanding option that’s particularly well-suited for runners. Aside from the fact that they’ll actually stay in your ears no matter what activity you are doing (including gymnastic tumbling), this all-in-one training solution with built-in heart rate monitor puts an end to chest straps or wrist watches. The headphones feature heart rate monitoring technology that measures your heart rate via your inner ear, and are the only earbuds proven to deliver clinical-grade accuracy. The headphones also interface with a specialized Jabra fitness app that ensures you’re always training in the right heart rate zone and allows you to plan, monitor and evaluate your performance. In-ear coaching gives you real-time feedback to help you enhance each session. Also extremely durable, these headphones are built towards U.S. military rain, shock, sand and dust standards. With immersive top-quality Dolby sound, the wearer can also control music playback, volume and take calls with just a quick tap on the earbuds.
Jabra also has great solutions for business, like their Eclipse wireless Bluetooth headset that will ensure you actually hear all of the conversation without losing words or entire dialogue blocks here and there. An immersive music-grade speaker facilitates unrivalled sound quality for calls, picking up messages, or enjoying an audiobook. With a sleek and elegant lightweight design, the Eclipse headset works with the Jabra Assist app that allows users to customize audio quality, select the desired language, read text messages and more. And, the carry case that holds the Jabra Eclipse is also a portable charger that provides an additional 7 hours of talk time for a total of 10 hours.
Did you know that pedestrian fatality rates are virtually three times higher at night? This includes people walking, running and biking. Most often, those fatalities are caused by collision with a car, while other injuries and fatalities are caused by tripping or falling on uneven roadways. It’s clear there’s a problem seeing, and being seen, at night and in low-light areas. While there’s a lot of personal protective equipment and safety clothing out there, many are obtrusive and only serve the pedestrian or the passersby—until now! RunLites Gloves ($34.99 – $39.99) are an innovative wearable technology solution that puts light where it’s needed most. RunLites are a wearable safety glove with a built in flashlight and padded palm pocket that can be used to store ID cards, money, or a music unit. They’re perfect for any type of nighttime or low-light activity, from running, walking and cycling to hunting, hiking or other everyday activities. The gloves provide a 135-degree radial arc of light up to 15 feet ahead to increase the wearer’s visibility, and lasts up to 12 hours. The reflective strip and adjustable power options offer additional safety. RunLites gloves are available in half-length (fingers exposed) or full-length, which are great for colder weather. Whether you’re an athlete working out after dusk, a hunter setting up the perfect spot before dawn, or simply walking the dog, RunLites are your life light to use however you need.
Smart interior design is all about form and function and the convenient Bink Mobile Media Table ($249) from BDI certainly fits the bill. It’s a great-looking companion to have handy anywhere you work or relax and would benefit from having a sturdy flat surface within reach. Whether lounging, snacking or working on your device from the sofa, while poolside or anywhere else indoors or out, this portable table goes anywhere you want. With a soft, contoured modernism shape and constructed of aluminum and steel, BINK creates a comfortable workspace for a laptop or tablet and is an attractive resting spot for your favorite libation and snack bowl. BDI is known for furniture pieces that are unique, functional and great looking. Designed by Matthew Weatherly, the BINK Mobile Media Table is a stylized approach to the traditional side table that boasts a creative and versatile design. The BINK, which is available in an array of colors to match nearly any décor, slides under most couches and chairs with non-marring glides, making it especially perfect for small spaces. However you use it, BINK’s inspired design is a useful and great-looking addition to any home or office.
Whether at home, at work or at play you surely want to stay warm in the cold winter months or when ensconced in a chilly environment—bonus if it’s in a way that’s fashionable to boot. Accomplishing both is Heat Holders, which offer a full range of world-class thermal clothing, accessories and home items that’ll keep you warm, comfortable, safe and stylish. If you hate having cold feet in particular, try the uber-cozy Heat Holders Thermal Socks ($9.99-$24.99) that are over seven times warmer than regular cotton socks and three times warmer than ordinary thermal socks! In fact, Heat Holders socks are 2.34 TOG rated. TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) is a recognized measure of a textile’s thermal ability. Simply put, the higher the tog rating, the better a product is able to keep you warm—as a point of comparison, a basic cotton sock which has a TOG rating of 0.33. Specially designed for long-lasting wellbeing, Heat Holders unique thermal technology works in in three parts: Advanced insulating yarn, long looper thermal pile and soft brushed inner to maximize the amount of warm air hugged against the skin. Many also like these better than heated, electric or battery operated socks because you can take them on and off without fussing with batteries. And, styles abound like camouflage, stripe and national flag designs. Warm, cozy and cute!
Here’s a sad truth Hollywood make-up artists have known for years: with age, the whites of eyes lose their bright white color. Luckily, there’s now a product to combat this issue: Bright Eyes Eye Enhancing Eyeliner ($18). This beauty product provides a workaround that makes eyes appear bigger and brighter with just a single use. Simply apply the eyeliner to the tear line or across the lash line of your upper lid to make your eyes instantly appear more alert! This super hydrating eye brightener uses the latest technology with special incandescent color pigments to expertly disguise heavy pigmentation around the eye. With a light, natural texture, it gives your eyes a bigger and brighter look even on the dullest of days. Erasing dark circles has never been easier. Bright Eyes Eye Enhancing Eyeliner is from Skinn Cosmetics, which offers a full range of premium skincare and color cosmetic formulas developed by professional makeup artist Dimitri James. No longer just for Hollywood A-Listers, with this eyeliner you can your eyes and see the star in you!
Access to health-promoting alkaline drinking water has finally been made easy with Phwatr (pronounced – FFWATER)—a specialized filter designed to fit in any BRITA Jug or water bottle. The Phwatr Alkaline Water Filter ($14.99 to $49.99) uses natural bio ceramic media to easily produce alkaline water to naturally help balance the body’s pH level. It also ionizes water for a powerful antioxidant effect, reduces water cluster size for super hydration and restores beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium potassium and sodium. Phwatr’s enhanced technology, monitored for quality on a regular basis, ensures the water you drink is as safe as possible and is the most efficient in the world at hydration and antioxidant capabilities. In fact, while some other products on the market render alkaline water, very few are antioxidant. The healthful water it produces is great for cooking, as it’ll improve the taste of food and make the food slightly more alkaline, which is only a good thing. Children and pets also love the taste of Phwatr. For example, adding it to healthy juice for a child will dramatically improve the flavor and pH level of the beverage. For pets, commercially produced dog food is highly acidic, so drinking Phwatr helps to counteract this—something that’s especially beneficial in older dogs.
With peanut allergies on the rise, Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter Spreads ($6.99) are perfect for families managing food allergies or anyone with a penchant for healthful and highly portable snacks and spreads. These tasty peanut-butter alternatives are made from naturally sweet and “nutty” tasting yellow peas, but without a trace of peanuts, tree nuts, seeds or soy. Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butters are produced in a completely nut-free facility and are all natural, soy free, gluten-free and do not contain high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or artificial colors or flavors. The product is available in two varieties—Sneaky Chef Smooth No-Nut Butter and Sneaky Chef Chocolate No-Nut Butter—and both are available in 18 ounce jars and in 6 ounce grab-and-go cups. They are a delicious indulgence straight out of the jar or spread onto just about anything. Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter is so delicious, one need not have a peanut allergy to enjoy it as a great peanut butter alternative.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***