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Dean!'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 275
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Helpful Votes: 2811

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Dean! RSS Feed (Dallas, TX)

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Disney Princess Aurora Hooded Bath/Beach Poncho Towel
Disney Princess Aurora Hooded Bath/Beach Poncho Towel
Price: $12.69
6 used & new from $12.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Not ideal as a bath towel, but great as a beach-ponch or beach-wrap or even a play costume that our 2.5 year old LOVES!, September 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What we received is more on the beach poncho towel side versus a real bath towel. The material is not super absorbent terry-cloth thick like a bath towel, rather, really thin like beach towels.

You wouldn't use this as a bath towel, but as a beach-robe (poncho) or beach-wrap for when you are done with the beach/pool and are walking back to the car, etc.

With those expectations set, this is a 4-star beach poncho towel for our daughter, she REALLY LOVES IT! She loves to wear this as a costume and play around in it. It is very cute and fits her great, even though she is on the smaller side for a 2.5 year old.

As a costume only, we would probably get more of these in other characters, but as long as you understand it doesn't serve as a "dry me off after a bath" type towel, but as a beach-poncho or play-costume, this is really great!

Supergate North States Industries Wide Portico Arch Gate 5-Bar Extension, Linen
Supergate North States Industries Wide Portico Arch Gate 5-Bar Extension, Linen
Price: $27.99
2 used & new from $18.23

5.0 out of 5 stars As described and as expected; great fit and finish, September 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Worked exactly as described and expected. We are using it in a very large arch entryway. Nicer quality than older models from the same company. Just make sure you also have the Wide Portico Arch Gate to go with this.

VTech Grow - Along Music Center
VTech Grow - Along Music Center
Price: $31.29
10 used & new from $26.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted it for the voice-changing feature, but it is not very audible; all other lights/sounds are very busy all at once, September 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am rating this as a 3-Star - "It's Okay" based on usage from a 12 month old and a 2.5 year old.

First, this was easy to assemble and does seem sturdy and I do like that it has a few height adjustment points, including a low setting for a toddler who might be sitting up. But our daughter is in the 10th percentile for height and this toy is rated for 12-36 month old kids and the tallest adjustment is low for her. She's roughly a head shorter than most peers her age at daycare. So the realistic age would be 12-24months for 90% of the kids out there.

In terms of usage, it is quite busy. She likes to belt out the "Let it Go!" song from the Frozen movie soundtrack, but if she wants to play along on the piano while singing, the VTech's built-in songs take over. If Daddy tries to help out and taps on the drums then a pre-recorded drum tune starts going at the same time the keys are going all while she is singing. :--)

I also took 1 star off because I thought she would absolutely love the voice-changer effect like other toys out there that change your voice. Unfortunately, you can't really hear a difference, no matter the selection, unless you cup the microphone and your mouth and direct your voice in the center of the microphone. (Ask Daddy how he knows that... ;--) ) And why can't she hear her voice change (much less my own)? Because the tallest height adjustment is low even for her in the 10th percentile for height.

Now for our 12-month old, whether this product is on the lowest setting or taken off and placed on the floor, it's still a bunch of lights and sounds for him. So I think 3-stars is pretty fair here, "It's Okay."

Safety 1st Lift, Lock And Swing Gate
Safety 1st Lift, Lock And Swing Gate
Price: $31.12
8 used & new from $31.12

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult and problematic to use; not designed for walls that have baseboards, which are all of my walls!, September 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was excited to receive this product because it doesn't have a horizontal brace along the floor that you can trip on, like other brands do.

Unfortunately, this particular design is quite flawed:
1. I read the instructions multiple times and myself and my wife could not consistently get this gate to lock in place.
2. Eventually, I figured out that you should not expand it to fit the area you want to secure by compressing the pressure-mount pins. You should expand it so that they barely touch the wall and then, you can more easily press the handle to lock the gate in place.
3. Though the instructions state "baseboard adjustment pins" are on the bottom, in reality, with every wall I tried this on with baseboards (like to the kitchen) there is not enough "buffer" so that the gate will lock in place.
4. I could ONLY securely/consistently lock the gate in place in a smooth doorway (but DUHH, you would just close that door!)
5. Fixating and removing this in daily use is a chore; we specifically wanted it for our kitchen, which has 2 arch entryways. The other entryway has a Northgate Supergate on it already which works great and has a swinging gate.
6. Yes, THIS model does have a swing mode - but you are still faced with issues #2 and 3 above. If you have baseboards, which we do, including at the top of the stairs, then you essentially cannot use this product and lock even a swinging gate in place.
7. You could install this product above the baseboards where the smooth wall surface is, but then you need two hands to do such since you need a lot of pressure to lock the handle in place which pushes the "pressure mount pins" out. (You still lock the handle in place in the Swing-Mode, just the non-swinging side is pressure-fit)
8. Unless a lot of homes don't have baseboards, I seriously have no idea how this product was released and how there could be any positive reviews. If the manufacturer would move the bottom pins a couple inches higher, most of the issues would be resolved, provided you figure out the trick on how to lock the handle in place that the provided instructions are not clear on.

Adcraft ALS-5 5 oz Capacity, 5" Length x 2-3/8" Width, Mirror Finish, Heavy Duty Cast Aluminum Scoop with Contoured Handle
Adcraft ALS-5 5 oz Capacity, 5" Length x 2-3/8" Width, Mirror Finish, Heavy Duty Cast Aluminum Scoop with Contoured Handle
Price: $4.14
8 used & new from $2.87

1.0 out of 5 stars Please read the 1-star reviews, NOT dishwasher safe and likely not reliable after a few hand-washings, September 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Just returned this to Amazon, glad they were the actual vendor, else another vendor may not take it back.

I wrote that it was DEFECTIVE since the description says it is Heavy Duty. Never got to use it; put it in the dishwasher to get the darn sticker residue off (had already hand-washed it twice), it came out all grey-black and left black residue on your hands. I DID save it so I could return it.

Why did I even get this given the 1-star reviews? Well...I was ordering a popcorn machine for a party and this scoop came up on the Amazon page as "Other customers ALSO bought this item, buy them together" so although I researched popcorn machines for an hour, I thought a simple metal scoop was a no-brainer and only bought the scoop because it was an Amazon suggestion. I should've clicked further and seen the 1-star reviews.

Regardless of reading the reviews, there should be a disclaimer or sticker stating it is not dishwasher safe. (Even still, I don't think it would survive too many hand-washings with your typical dish/scour sponge, even the no-scratch variety).

This is NOT heavy duty. I guess there's simply no replacement for stainless-steel or pure aluminum. This is CAST-aluminum.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4640 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer with Scanner and Copier
Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4640 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer with Scanner and Copier
Price: Click here to see our price
36 used & new from $249.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality printing even at high speed, amazing Copy speeds, 500+ sheet paper capacity!, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I can only compare this to an Epson Artisan 837 wireless printer thus far.

Some notable differences over the Epson Artisan 837:
1. This WorkForce Pro WF-4640 is considerably louder in operation. (Maybe 2-3x louder?)

2. The touch screen unfortunately does NOT pivot like in the Artisan. This is a feature you don't realize you need until you've used it. Depending on where you put the printer, having a touch screen window that pivots makes a big difference in ease of use and visibility.

3. The WorkForce Pro (WFP) is definitely more business-like and higher capacity, as it is more than twice as tall, and holds probably quadruple the paper that the Artisan holds.

4. The WFP is a matte black and doesn't show fingerprints whereas the Artisan is a glossy black that shows everything.

5. The WFP has 4 extra-large capacity color cartridges, whereas the Artisan has 6 "deck of cards sized" cartridges. I can only imagine that something that has 6 colors would produce more accurate color prints than something that has to mix 4 colors, BUT THE WFP WINS HANDS DOWN. I did have to run the Print Head Alignment tests on the WFP 3 times, but once I did, there were no more overlaps and the color out is superior to that of the Artisan 837. Without color correction, both print outs did look similar with a bluish hue, but with the built-in color correction, the WFP more closely matched what was seen on my monitor and was quite vibrant. The Artisan, even in non-high-speed, best-photo mode didn't look as crisp in detail as the WFP even when I used high-speed mode in the WFP. The WFP won all color print-out tests.

6. The WFP has a more commercial-like, full physical keypad, but I've never used the fax function of either printer. The Artisan has a touch-keypad. The WFP touchpad has a nice tone as you are pressing the buttons, but seems to require just a bit more effort than the touchpad on the Artisan.

7. The speed difference is pretty amazing however. The WFP is probably 10x faster in print speed than the Artisan, yet still produces more vibrant/crisp print outs even in high speed mode.

8. Setting up the WIFI on the WFP was a little easier on the WFP than the Artisan.

9. Color copying was incredible on the WFP. First, out of the box, and just pressing COPY, there's no comparison, the WFP was super high quality and incredibly fast and superior. The Artisan is a good bit slower and still retains a bluish/smudgey printout. I'm not aware of any other color settings than can be done on the Artisan for Copying to have improved the output.

10. Overall, the WFP is probably 2 feet high and 18" wide. The Artisan is probably 10" high and 18" wide. The WFP is considerably taller because it likely holds quadruple the paper. You could make the WFP about 4" shorter if you took the second paper tray out completely (it stacks on top of it).

Compared with the newest model of the "Artisan 800 series", THIS WFP model is about $100 more and in my opinion, worth it for the print quality and time saved from the print speeds alone. It's not really more bulky, rather, just taller on your desk.

I was prepared for the "4-color-cartridges" to be less crisp than "6-color-cartridges" but I was blown away by the quality and 10x faster print speeds. From print quality to scan/copy quality to incredible speeds that still maintain a higher print quality to more than quadruple paper capacity, this may be a WorkForce Pro for a small business, but still wonderful and relatively inexpensive for any household. I'd say it rivals even the color laser printers at work in quality and speed that I've seen!

BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Stroller, Black
BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Stroller, Black
Price: $552.00
11 used & new from $522.49

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for the hard-core joggers, but maybe not average double-stroller use., September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Thankfully this was a product that Amazon Vine provided for review purposes, versus something we purchased or a friend may have purchased for us, else I'd feel terribly bad with a 2-star product.

My main comparison is to a Baby Jogger City Mini GT with the never-flat all-terrain wheels.

We've used the BOB Duallie Stroller on a number of outdoor walks and outdoor festivals and fair events. In our last trip to SeaWorld, we purposely chose to leave this at home and instead, bring our single City Mini and City Mini GT and push around 2 strollers instead of this one.

Why would I give this 2-stars?
1. For the first outdoor festival, I never remembered to check the air in the tires and simply lugged it through the house and into the car. When the pneumatic tires are underinflated, it's a pain to push around. Our Baby Jogger City Mini GT has never-flat gel-filled all terrain tires that never need air, not sure why the BOB couldn't either.

2. Part of the reason in choosing to NOT bring the BOB duallie stroller on a distant road trip to SeaWorld is because we'd have to pack a bicycle pump to ensure we wouldn't be stranded with under-inflated tires all day. Sure there are travel sized pumps the size of a 6" Subway sandwich, but one less thing to pack and worry about is still one less thing to pack and worry about.

3. Back to point #1, I lugged it through the house folded because it doesn't fit through standard doorways from the bedroom to the laundry room to the door to the garage unfolded.

4. We wanted to compare this at the big box store (Buy Buy Baby in Dallas) with the City Mini Double Stroller, but the manager at Buy Buy Baby laughed and told us they don't carry the BOB doubles because they are too bulky and heavy.

5. For my wife, this is truly bulky and heavy and doesn't really fold flat unless you remove the front wheel. Lugging it into the back of her CR-V, it takes up a lot of space, leaving little room for anything else. I consider it bulky and heavy and awkward to carry, too.

6. At the next outdoor event that was on the grass, we had to pause numerous times since it was too bulky to get through the crowds. We made the mistake of going over a nature bridge and everyone on the other end had to stop so we could get all the way across (we couldn't turn around because a dozen people were behind us).

7. For various outdoor walks and jogging, yes, it really shines, but then little things like the canopy design frustrate you.

8. The canopy design (when folded back) grazes the top of our 2.5 year old's head. I've checked it multiple times and that's simply how it is designed. Our kids are also smaller than average according to the height chart, so not sure how it doesn't bother average or tall kids. We have to either use the canopy or keep pushing the excess material off their heads. The Velcro-pull straps don't really help clear the head-clearance.

9. The "clear-viewing-flap" doesn't Velcro out of the way as easily on the BOB like it does on the City Mini, which also has 2 different view flaps, whereas the BOB has one. The City Mini allows for different angles of the canopy so your kid can still see everything, yet still providing the "clear-viewing-flap" at the same time. The BOB canopy design is a bit annoying.

10. Furthermore, the canopy design on the BOB doesn't completely block the sun for a sleeping baby, there are large gaps where the quick-fold handles are. Both of our City Minis properly shield the sun with no poor design-gaps.

11. Reclining a sleeping child requires 2 hands on 2 adjustments for just one seat, hopefully synchronized at the same time. The City Mini is a simply one-handed recline and it will recline the seat evenly. (The large gap in the top of the seat back will frustrate you when the bright sun shines straight on baby and wakes them up!)

12. We spent ~$80 for a Peg Perego BOB car seat adapter and were never happy with how it "clicked" or didn't click in place. It's a poor design and the bulkiness of that darn canopy gets in the way. Also, it then forces the other second seat (our 2.5 year old's) to have a bar going across that functions as a cup holder/tray. It's all one piece, so you don't really get a choice if she's picky and wants to hold her stuffed animal; the bar will get in the way. Also, you can only have 1 car seat adapter on the BOB duallie.

I think if I put a hook in the garage so that we never have to take the BOB duallie indoors and won't bump our heads into it, I'll be much happier with it. If you are a hard-core jogger, you'll probably love it. If you don't take it to the mall (won't fit in aisles and you'll take up half the elevator) or crowded outdoor events, you will also love it. If you have an SUV and plenty of room for luggage (and a travel-sized bicycle pump) and the BOB duallie, then you'll like it.

If you want a practical double-stroller to take everywhere and also jog with it, then this one isn't ideal for our needs. We want a double stroller that will do it all, not just hard-core jogging. The City Mini GT double-stroller is the closest fit we've found. For our needs, this stroller is 2-stars.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2014 9:55 AM PST

ZAQ Mini II Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, White - (Battery or Micro Adapter Powered - not Included)
ZAQ Mini II Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, White - (Battery or Micro Adapter Powered - not Included)
Price: $25.40
3 used & new from $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost 5-stars, portable, cool color-changing LED effect, QUIET, powered by ubiquitous micro-usb, can last 4-6 hours on 1 fill, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wonderful design and usage overall, almost 5-stars!

Even though we really love this oil diffuser, it is not quite 5-stars:
1. We love the fact that it can "diffuse" every 10 seconds or continuously
2. Diffusing every 10 seconds it seems to last 4-6 hours
3. It glows different colors of the rainbow which is pretty cool
4. You can use batteries*, plug-in power*, or USB cable from your computer
5. I only tried once, but I'm pretty sure it drained the batteries in 2 days. Since then I used plug-in power by plugging it in with a micro-USB using an old phone charger. I'm 99.9% confident it would have still worked if I plug it into my laptop's USB cable.
6. I deduct the 1-star because of how fast it uses up batteries and I happened to not have any rechargeable batteries to use with it.
7. Also, I deduct that star because it doesn't include a power adapter, you have to fishing around for some extra micro-usb phone chargers you might have laying around.
8. I do appreciate the fact that any micro-usb adapter or plugged straight into a USB port in a computer would work.
9. Lastly, I do wish it had some sort of raised surface or handle to grab to remove the top. It is smooth plastic. When the oil/water condensate, it creates this suction and combined with, heh, the oils you are using, makes it difficult to take the top off. You can turn it upside down, but all of the liquid condensate will leak out, all of this would be fixed if the top were just easier to grab.
10. Overall, we really do love this and the size and portability, but a few small improvements and it would be an easy 5-stars.

MarBlue Slim Hybrid Standing Case for the Kindle Fire HD, Black (will only fit 3rd generation)
MarBlue Slim Hybrid Standing Case for the Kindle Fire HD, Black (will only fit 3rd generation)
Price: $29.99
10 used & new from $4.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Only has landscape-mode viewing angle adjustment, no portrait-mode adjustability!, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
2 stars is fair here because it states multiple viewing angles. Well, it would be more accurate to say, Multiple-LANDSCAPE viewing angles.

If you want to read your Kindle book in portrait mode (who reads in landscape mode?) well, there's no adjustment! You prop it up like you would a 2-page menu at a restaurant. (And who reads completely vertical like that?)

Does it fit a new Kindle Fire HD (year 2013-2014) yes it does fit well. But usability/design is lacking. We have a different cover that pivots in the holder that gives you true multiple landscape and portrait viewing angles.

This one is lacking any portrait-mode viewing angle adjustment.

Philips SHK1000BL/28 Kids on Ear Headphone
Philips SHK1000BL/28 Kids on Ear Headphone
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $9.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Noise-limiting for parents' peace of mind!, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Great quality all around and the noise-limiter really does work!

As parents of 2 little-ones, we didn't want our kids to hurt their hearing when they aren't old enough to truly comprehend why a loud volume would be bad. This is a blessing and quite a comforting device to own and let our kids use.

We have a no-named one for our daughter and this one for our son. (Actually both work just as well) Can't say this is any better or worse or less comfortable, I can only state it works as advertised. (We tested both headphones out ourselves and can fit both headphones on our ears and see that the noise limiters work)

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