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Colesma Smart Watch

Thank you Amazon Vine for sending us this product to review!



I have spent almost one month with the Colesma Smart Watch, and I’m elated to share my thoughts and observations. For a little over a year and a half, I used the Garmin Vivosmart 4. It was very useful and reliable until the battery began to expand and I had to stop using it, but even so, I will be making some comparisons here and there. For instance, that was a popular brand product, and now – though a few years old – sells for around $100-120 online from various sources, while the Colesma Smart Watch appears to be an imitation of the Apple watch. I have only managed to find it on Amazon, and it’s listed currently for $46.99 along with a 10% off coupon (woo-hoo!). Although there are hundreds of similar products of this nature, I will be exploring Colesma’s adaptation and the lovely features it provides the user.

As the page advertises, this is a fitness tracker intended to help the user live a more active lifestyle. But like any watch or piece of technology, upon receiving it it is ideal to fully charge before using. The package includes the watch face itself, two different wrist bands (one rubbery-plastic band, the other flexible stainless steel), a small instruction booklet written in a variety of languages, a shortened version on a piece of card stalk for those of a simple mindset like myself, and the unique magnetic charging cable. In order to utilize many of the watch’s functions, the user must download the Da Fit app and pair it to his or her phone through Bluetooth. I learned that it also had to be paired within the app as well.

The app allows lots of customizations. To start, I – though it took several tries – changed my watch face to a funny picture of my boyfriend. Colesma’s flexibility in personalization impressed me, as there are likely hundreds of different custom watch faces available within the app. If the user chooses to implement one, it downloads to the watch, and I recently discovered that I can change my watch background from the device itself by holding my finger on the home screen, which I thought was neat.

On the side of the device resides a small black button with a red circle (not sure why the red is there). Pressing this button wakes it up. Swiping up allows me to see any notifications from my phone that I allowed my watch to read. At the bottom is a “Clear All” button, removing them all off my screen. For some reason, notifications on my watch don’t clear on their own even if I viewed them already on my phone. Unlike my Vivosmart 4, I am unable to respond to text messages or anything of that nature, nor can I clear individual notifications. If there is nothing for me to see, it will say “No notice.”

Swiping to the right will lead to a scrolling menu of shortcuts to the daily data that can also be accessed individually by swiping to the left of the home screen until the user reaches the slide they want to view. These features allow the user to quickly view their step count, amount of sleep the previous night, heart rate (measured upon request), training sessions (timed workouts), phone features (make/accept calls), blood pressure (measured upon request), SPO2 (measured upon request), weather forecast, notifications, shutter (opens the camera app on the user’s phone), music controls (can pause or skip songs), breathing agent (stress relieving activity), and set a stopwatch, alarm, or countdown. Several of those mentioned, when accessing their dedicated page by scrolling down, record the daily averages in a graph that displays the weekly data for that particular widget. With the features that measure on command, the graph documents the seven different readings in order for comparison.

I have found the device’s fitness features to be rather accurate and reliable. Personally, I believe it has the potential to inspire the user to adopt a healthier lifestyle; I have come to appreciate its reminders to drink water every few hours and get up if I’m in one place for too long. However, it has its own flaws that I can’t wait to bring to light. First, I’d like to complain about the fact that 6 out of 10 times I open my watch to check the weather, I find that it won’t show it to me because “watch is not paired” while I can still give and receive phone calls (it is clearly connected). To fix this, I’ve discovered it is necessary to open the Da Fit app and reconnect the device through it. It is rather vexatious, and I had to repeat the process in order to get the watch to display the correct time after the daylight savings time setback. It seems to me that every time I charge it (needs to be every 2-3 days), it “disconnects” again.

Other than that, my pet peeves are rather trivial: when I rotate my wrist towards me, it turns on, but unlike my previous watch, it doesn’t turn off when I twist it away; it just stays on for another few seconds. Another thing – although I find it more amusing than bothersome – is the various evidence that this product was not designed in an English-speaking country. Again, it is humorous to me more than anything, as any native English speaker can understand what they were trying to say, but it is still rather unusual for bad use of the language to be found anywhere outside the instructions manual.

Overall I would say Colesma’s adaptation of the Apple Watch is fairly practical. While it isn’t perfect, I do like all the many features it offers and I find it quite convenient during everyday life when it does decide to cooperate. I can’t say how well it compares to the main brand products that it’s imitating, but I can safely recommend it as a budget alternative. Thanks again to Amazon Vine for this product; I would be delighted to receive more products similar and different!


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Mr. Lee’s Noodles

Thank you, Mr. Lee’s Noodles, for sending us these products to review!

As everyone in my family knows, I am a huge fan of ramen noodles of all types, especially the instant cups. So naturally, I was really excited to review the 8-pack of Mr. Lee’s Noodles sent to us. Four flavors of gluten-free instant rice noodle soups, some of which are vegan.

The flavors available include Tai Chi Chicken Rice Noodle Soup, Zen Garden Vegetable Rice Noodle Miso Soup, Coconut Chicken Curry Rice Noodle Soup, and Hong Kong Street-Style Beef Rice Noodle Soup. My favorite of these would probably have to be either the first one or the last one, but I enjoyed them all.

Even though these flavors are notably different from one another, they all seem to revolve around 200-260 calories. In addition, they are all and gluten free; and the Zen Garden Vegetable Rice Noodle Miso Soup flavor is apparently vegan. I noticed that there were chunks of what looked to be chicken, but the taste and the inside of the cup said it was vegetable meat.

The inside of the cup has lots of messages, actually. You will notice as you eat the soup that the walls of the cup will not only have a recommended fill line, but it has notes written on them as well. These messages mostly talk about how they make the soups as good as they are (freeze-drying everything), and about their original flavors and recipes. There is also a description of each flavor to help the consumer decide what flavor they might like the most.

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Your Move: What Board Games Teach Us About Life

Thank you, Sutherland House, for sending us this book to review!

Your Move: What Board Games Teach Us About Life by Joan Moriarity and Jonathan Kay and published by Sutherland House is a wonderfully written 166-page paperback book consisting of fifteen chapters. As stated in the first chapter, each is written as an individual essay and they do not have to be read in order. I will say, though, that later chapters did make some references to previous ones, but not significant enough to where one wouldn’t be able to comprehend the section they are reading. It is simply things like “As I mentioned in the previous chapter, this is where I reiterate my point.”

Chapter one is called “Welcome to the Magic Circle.” Joan Moriarity writes to explain the basic unwritten contract everyone silently agrees on before starting a tabletop game. If the participants are absolute perfectionists, there is no room for fun; likewise, if at least one of them is too bored or lazy to even bother trying, it spoils the game for the whole table. “In order to enjoy play, to be playful,” she writes, “players must realize that the freedom to fail is as essential as the will to succeed.” (Moriarity 6)

Chapter two is called “Peaceful Games from War-torn Europe.” It focuses on the many differences between American board games and European board games, or Eurogames, as they are called. “And so almost every Eurogame is designed so that final scoring comes only at the end of the game, after some defined milestone or turn limit so that every player can enjoy the experience of being a (nominal) contender until the final moments.” (Kay 18)

Chapter three is called “A Checkered Life.” It covers the history of the board game that we now know as Life, along with some issues with its concept and moral differences between it and what it originated from.

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My Prayer Journal

Thank you Quiet Fox Designs and Fox Chapel Publishing for sending us this book to review!

“My Prayer Journal” is a guided journal meant for recording your heartfelt prayers and keep track of important dates in the lives of people you are praying for. In this book you’ll find the beautiful illustrations and hand lettering of Joanne Fink ready to color next to perfect places to jot down your prayers. The first few pages consist of a huge list of empty spots where you’re supposed to write the date, specific person you’re praying for, and the reason they need God’s help.

Once you fill up that whole list, you’ll enter a new section of the book (happens to be the longest) that’s more like a journal. These pages feature prayer prompts, inspiring scriptures to color, and reminders to check your prayer calendar at the beginning of the book.

After you pass that section, near the end of the book is a little calendar meant for recording important dates in your life or the life of somebody you’re praying for. February has only twenty-eight days though, meaning that if an important event happens on a leap year, you can’t record it in this book.

I won’t be able to live long enough to know if the paper in this book lasts 200 years, but according to the information on the back of “My Prayer Journal” it is printed on archival quality, 200-year acid-free paper. The book itself is hardcover, and I used it for a little while to keep track of my prayers, and I found that it gives you a lot of space to write answers to the prayer prompts and keep track of special dates in the second and third sections.

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My Faith Journey

Thank you Fox Chapel Publishing and Quiet Fox Designs for sending us this product to review!

“My Faith Journal” is a paperback 128-page guided devotional with scripture meant for use for fifty-two weeks. There are scripture pages to color and thought-provoking questions to answer in the numerous lines below. The art of Robin Pickens is found in this book and it is beautiful along with the inspiring verses it resides by.

I didn’t find it easy to run out of space while answering the thought-provoking yet convicting questions in this book. Some of these questions not only are next to scripture, but ask about certain scriptures as well, such as “Psalm 23 is often read at funerals. How can it bring peace and comfort into your life right now?” which I thought was an interesting interrogation.

Each page has a specific theme in which both the question and the bible verse(s) associate with. When I answered a question relating to the fruit of the spirit, the verse Galatians 5:22-23 “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” was on the page beside it. The question asked me to describe a time when someone showed the fruit of the spirit. That question wasn't the easiest to answer, because it took some time to think of someone I have met who shows others the fruit of the spirit.

I have used this journal for a couple of weeks, and though it is paperback, it seems pretty sturdy. The cover bends a bit of course, as normal paperbacks do. It is made with archival-quality, acid- free 200-year paper. Not that I will be able to know for sure if it lasts 200 years, but maybe someone else after me will find this devotional book intact. It’s also perfect for pen or pencil, so there is no need to write in crayon or anything.

If you are in need of either an awesome devotional journal or a ready-to-color scripture coloring book, I recommend the book “My Faith Journal” for you. This book is the best way for you to connect your faith with your creativity.

 

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