Thursday, September 19, 2013

Writing in True UGLee Fashion

Anyone who knows me (and now everyone who doesn't) understands my unique obsession and appreciation for office supplies, and more specifically, PENS! I am a hoarder when it comes to pens, and I have to admit that I have been embarrassed a time or two by the lengths that I have gone to try a new pen, and even the frequency of the office supply store visits. I literally have people who bring me pens from health fairs, expos and trips because they are aware of my deranged obsession. It is typically around the back-to-school time that my fascination kicks into high gear because everywhere I go, there they are. In my quest for the optimal writing instrument, I have only been able to find a couple of pens that are worthy enough for a subsequent purchase.

There is so much that goes into my "science" of buying a new pen. First and foremost, as with most things in life, is appearance. If the pen is too "plain" for me, I'm not interested. I don't need anything fancy, but I must admit that colors, designs and interesting features have drawn me to a pen (or several). Second, and this tends to be the most important feature, how does the pen write? The thing that makes this difficult is that not all pens are on display for you to try out before you buy (but they should be!). I love a smooth, continuous, boldly performing pen. I don't have time for inconsistent ink flow, time for ink to dry or special "care" that a writing utensil needs. I truly prefer ball point pens over gel pens of any kind because I have yet to experience a gel pen that delivers as smoothly as the traditional ball point without the mess.

Luckily, I was recently chosen through Tomoson to try the UGLee Pen for free for the purpose of review! This pen can be described as an ergonomic pen which comes in a unique design providing comfort and support for your everyday writing needs. Whether you are simply writing your grocery list, are a child learning to write, or experience difficulty with writing due to complications such as arthritis or carpal tunnel, the UGLee Pen is perfect for you!

My 3 UGLee pens

While they are called UGLee, they truly are not that hideous. As you can see, it has a nice "grip" that runs the majority of it's length. Aside from providing a hint of sparkle, this is probably the most unique part of this pen. My 8 year old son says it best when he says "I love using this pen because of the squishy part". It has a very cushion-esque feel, and most certainly makes writing that much more enjoyable. I found myself wishing that I had known about these pens during my high school and ESPECIALLY my college years. I'm pretty sure I will have a callus on the side of my middle finger for the rest of my life, and I'm even more certain that this pen could have prevented it. I'm very thankful that I received 3 of them because the other members of my household decided that they too would like their very own Uglee Pen. Each of us loves the "squishy" grip, and how that transforms the experience of writing. Paired with the smooth, bold writing, it is truly a pen lover's dream come true. Below is a writing comparison I did with the traditional stick pen, and then the UGLee Pen. As you can see, the UGLee Pen has a bolder delivery that is consistent throughout and has the added bonus of being cushion-y, and fun to use. These definitely pass my "pen test", and can be immediately added to my list of subsequently purchased pens; a new favorite throughout the entire household, for sure!

Stick pen vs. UGLee Pen

If you are interested in getting your hands on these pens (and you really should be!), you can choose from a variety of barrel colors (i.e. red, pink, white, yellow, green, blue, gray), and ink refills in black, blue or red. To get a better look, check them out here (I am really digging the blue ones-they are so sharp!). Plus, there is a satisfaction guarantee! What do you have to lose?

I give the UGLee pen 10 stars:

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Be sure to stay on-top of news and promotions by following the UGLee Pen on Facebook and Twitter!

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Geeked Out With EEME

Now that my son is 8 years old, I am convinced that he is ready to move out. He has such a strong, leading personality and can be very independent. He has always been the kind of kid that does things in his own time with no help from us. Potty training went like this: It was one week before he turned 3, he asked to go to the bathroom on the toilet, he has never looked back. Literally, since that time he has maybe had a handful of accidents, and it required nothing on my part. Learning to ride a bike without training wheels went like this: He had a bike in the backyard, walked it to the top of the little hill and rode it down. There was no holding the seat and letting go, nothing crazy and memorable to write down in the baby book - it just happened. It is hard to face the fact that at some point our babies won't need us anymore. Don't get me wrong, he isn't tall enough (or interested enough) to do his own laundry, so clearly he has to live with me forever, right? This being said, I do try to find things for him and I to do together to make an attempt at keeping our bond strong, and his fervor for learning fed. Enter in my latest review through Mosaic Reviews, and my son's new "toy": EEME's Project Genius Light!

Disassembled Project Genius Light
Assembled Project Genius Light 
Most of you are looking at this, and wondering what it is. It is best explained directly from the EEME site:

EEME's monthly hands-on project kits teach kids about electronics. Each project kit is paired with online curricula to not only guide the kids in assembling the project but also to teach the concepts applied.

EEME was born when the founder, Jack Pien, was dissatisfied with the availability of educational toys on the market for his own son. He wanted hands-on projects that promoted learning as well as critical thinking. Project Genius Light is the first "project" in the series. EEME offers a monthly subscription which starts at $18.95/month where your child (recommended for ages 7-12) will be sent a small box whose contents will complete a project to help them understand the fundamentals of electronics. On-line you can access the free curricula which contains step-by-step instructional videos to walk your child (and you too) through assembling their project while teaching them the vocabulary and concepts for which they will use.

Ready to roll!!!!
My son and I truly enjoyed our trial with EEME and the Project Genius Light. Throughout the entire experience, he kept saying "this is so awesome, this is so awesome". I am not at all very proficient in electricity, so it was a learning experience for me too! When our light finally lit up (that is a story in and of itself), I think we were both through the roof. Who knew a little LED lighting up could cause so much pleasure? I guess it really is the small things....

I know it is dark, but that is our light!!!!!
We have so many favorites when it comes to EEME, one, being the instructional videos. They provide step-by-step instructions (there are 22 mini videos for the Project Genius Light project, totaling about 45 minutes) which use the exact materials you are provided with. Your child can start and stop at their own pace, and it even mentions in the video if there is something important that parents should step in and help with. Additionally, the critical points of the video (i.e. where to connect the resistors and wires to the breadboard or diagrams) are all noted in the sidebar so you have a quick reference guide without needing to refer back to a specific section of the video. There are also mini quizzes scattered between the videos, providing a way to make sure your child is understanding what they are learning, while also giving them a sense of accomplishment and understanding. My son was definitely pleased with himself when he would get the questions right, and it showed me that he truly was picking up on the new concepts he was learning. On top of that, I witnessed the whole critical thinking process. As a parent, I believe this is one of the most rewarding feelings; you actually get to be a part of their learning. I listened as my son talked about different scenarios - moving wires and resistors around - and making hypotheses about what would happen if he did.    

Deep in thought...
Also worth mentioning is the customer service. As I mentioned before, getting our light to come on was not as simple as following the instructional videos. Luckily, there is a section on the sidebar for questions, comments or issues you experience while working on your project. I have to say that I received a quick response that remedied the issue immediately, and it needs to be said that it was on a weekend, and a holiday weekend at that! In this day and age you can't PAY for that kind of customer service. I was, and still am, so truly thankful for EEME's level of customer care.

We found out a week or so before school started that my son would be doing a unit on electricity this year. He is beyond thrilled to bring in his project and show his class what he got to do at home. I love having the sense that we are ahead of the game when it comes to the material they cover in school. My son loves to take that "teacher" role in the classroom and assist others. Having projects like the ones provided by EEME help him to feel comfortable enough with the topic to help the others in his class that may struggle with their understanding of the material.  

Overall, I give EEME and Project Genius Light 10 stars, and highly recommend them:

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Be sure to follow EEME on all of their social media outlets as well, where they host sweepstakes and contests (there are some going on right now!):
And lastly, when you subscribe right now, you too can get the Project Genius kit for free! Go here to subscribe by September 16th to get the special child(ren) in your life on their way to creating memories while also learning the ins and outs of electronics.