Disclosure: I received this product for free in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

With a specific cell phone maker out there who recently decided to make their product without the standard headphone jack, more people will be looking under their Christmas tree this year for a set of earbuds they can use. For iPhone 7 users, that means you could get the Apple Airpods – They’re “wireless, effortless” and “magical”. They connect instantly aaaaaaannnnd they are coming soon. You could use a dongle or get a new set of earbuds but with a lightning connector. So, give all your earbuds with the 3.5 mm jack to Goodwill and spend $29.99 on a new set of wired earbuds. Or, you can get third-party Bluetooth earbuds that you can actually use right now with your new phone. Though Bluetooth headphones have been around a while, most of them have been wired to each other. There’s no jack to deal with, but the earbuds are wired to each other – leaving a cord that has to be adjusted, tucked or ignored.

Motorola Verveone+

The Verveone+ headphones are waterproof but cost less than many of the other brands of wireless Bluetooth earbuds

I got a pair of Motorola Verve One+ earbuds to try with my iPhone. Not a 7. No, I’m in no place to spend that much on a new phone. A 6 you say? Well. I tried it with my wife’s iPhone 6 and they work great. No, I use the height of 2011 technology – an iPhone 4s. The Verve Ones work great with it and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t work even better with a newer phone with better Bluetooth technology. But I really didn’t get them to use with my phone. I find myself near my computer with kids running around. I can’t plug a set of headphones in that may get caught by a kid and yank my laptop off a kitchen counter. Ok, I tried wearing a pair with a six-foot cord so I could listen to stuff while I was doing dishes. Yeah, a kid runs through and drags them off my head. The laptop didn’t fall off, but I decided Bluetooth was the way to go.

The Verve One+s aren’t cheap as headphones go. They’re running at $249.99 on Amazon right now. But compared to other Bluetooth earbuds like them, they’re very competitive.

An app is available for the earbuds. I used them for a week before getting the app, but it allows you to use some equalizer presets to fine tune your music. Here’s the thing. I can review the ease of use of these little guys – but I’m not the guy to go to for music quality questions. Most of what I listen to is audiobooks, podcasts and Itunes U classes. My ear for fine music is tin. Maybe even lead. But I’ve loved these little earbuds for their ease of use and distance they allow me to travel from my audio source. There’s nothing like listening to a photography tutorial on Youtube when, out of nowhere, the guy drops an F-bomb while your 3-year-old is standing right there. Speaking of Youtube and music on the Verve Ones, this guy does an excellent review of the music capabilities of the Verveones. The Verveones and Verveone+s are identical other than the plus model being IP57 waterproof and about $50 more. Although you could technically go swimming with the earbuds in, 1. They likely wouldn’t work both because Bluetooth doesn’t work in water. 2. Because your non-waterpoof phone is underwater and dying as you take your first few strokes. 3. Because who is going to wear a pair of $250 earbuds into the pool?

I’m not looking this up, because I don’t care that much, but I’ve heard from a movie (possibly starring Will Smith) that human ears are as individual as fingerprints. There are six included gel caps to try and get a perfect fit into your ear canal. Wow, saying that makes me think of this Star Trek scene. That is a good fit, but doesn’t sound comfortable. I hold on to these gels as they seem pretty universal and they come off and get lost. I’ve got a collection of a dozen or so. It would have been nice if – for $200 to $250, they’d included a couple more options.

Like I said, I use the Verveones a lot with video. It didn’t take long to discover the problem of latency with the Bluetooth earbuds. “Latency” is a fancy word for the lag in audio due to processing. It’s like watching a baseball game from the nosebleed seats. You see the ball hit and hear the “crack” a second later.

On video, it’s a distraction. Just watching an interview, the lips moving at a different rate aren’t so bad, but the body language doesn’t match the emphasis of the speaker – that is truly confusing.

Battery Life

Battery life is announced when you connect the Verveones. Completely charged earbuds will be about three hours with a warning when the life is low. Like most modern products, battery life seems dependent on use. Three hours was more like two hours and 50 minutes to two hours and 35 minutes.

Case

The cylinder that houses the Verveones is both a charging platform to plug a micro USB into, a battery that you can charge the earbuds into to charge, and it’s a link to the Hubble app that allows you to make changes to your Verveone performance. The shape makes it a bit of a pain to keep in your pocket or on a table with a slope. The supplied micro USB is too short and leaves the case hanging from the USB cord. I’ve had a lot of problems with broken micro USB ports — where you have to prop a device up against a book in order for the port to work. So, I swapped the cord out for a longer one right away.

Hubble App

While equalizer performance can be made with the single large button on the Verveones, the app is necessary to make other changes.

Phone calls

I found the Verveones are great for phone calls. The large button on the earbuds answer and hang up calls. Unfortunately, the sound is only delivered through the right earbud, but there are dual microphones and sound while making a call on my iPhone 4s with the Verveones was better than even wired earbuds I’ve used in the past.

Volume

The Verveones offer huge sound for earbuds. This was an awesome boon for me – I’m going deaf from loud music, long periods wearing earbuds and free thinking about hearing protection on the rifle range. I was very pleased with the level of volume offered by the Motorola earbuds.

Both the Verveones and Verveone+s are available with free shipping through Amazon Prime.

 

 

Cliff: An accomplished author, in that I drink a lot of coffee, look at obscure websites, own a copy of Microsoft Word and know what an Oxford comma is. Hobbies include mocking Ab Lounger ads on Craigslist and napping. Former Marine, mail carrier and dental chair technician, now I spend my days trying to live up to my wife and dog\'s expectations of me and show my kids how to live life well.

Disclosure: I received this item for free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

As hard as is it to believe, our oldest daughter is soon turning 13 (I quietly sob).  It is really emotional for me to see her growing up into such a beautiful young lady.  She is so smart!  Straight A’s!  She loves reading.  Historical fiction is her favorite.  She is an excellent pianist and she leads her youth group in worship as she plays keyboard.  She loves her siblings and is helpful around the house.  She is a great foster sister to our foster daughter.  She volunteers at our church and so much more.  We really love her!  For her 13th birthday, we really wanted to gift her an item that she could cherish forever.  Something like this cutie from the Precious Moments Birthday Train.

precious moments birthday train #ad

She loves collecting special items and she will happily display this on her shelf for years to come.  This little guy is just way too cute!  It is the perfect animal to represent that strange time frame of turning 13.  Not quite ready to give up ALL your toys, but not really wanting to play.  Not quite ready to be excited over getting lots of makeup and clothes, but also enjoying fashions and beauty products.  This figurine is called You Mean The Moose to Me and is available at your local Hallmark store or on their website.

I remember collecting Precious Moments figurines as I was growing up and I am excited for Kayla to be getting her first figurine on her 13th birthday.

Are you familiar with the Precious Moments Birthday Train and the Precious Moments Collection?  Do you have a favorite piece?  I would love to hear your story!

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

 

My kids LOVE LEGOS and I really like how creative they get with them.  However, stepping on those pointy little pieces is no fun.  I find them everywhere…their bedroom, my bedroom, the living room, even the bathroom.  If you struggle with this problem, join me for a fun Twitter party sponsored by Brick Loot on Monday, February 15th at 1 PM.  I’ve shared how much my kiddos have loved the boxes of goodies they have received from Brick Loot in the past.  They know their building sets!  They are going to be sharing some great storage and organization tips for all those LEGOS you have around the house.  PLUS prizes will be awarded every 10 minutes!

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The grand prize winner will receive THREE Brick Loot boxes!  Sounds great, huh??  So mark your calendars and make sure to join the party using #legoloot.  Let k=me know in the comments if you plan to attend!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

*Disclosure-I received no compensation for this post.  This is a cause I believe in and support and just wanted to share this great opportunity!

 

opchild1

Our family has participated in Operation Christmas Child for many years now.  If you are not familiar with it, the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. Individuals, families, churches and groups are asked to fill empty shoeboxes with a “wow” item—like a doll or soccer ball—and other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement.  These boxes can then be taken to one of many drop off points where they will be sent to facilities to be prepared for overseas shipment at eight major processing centers across the U.S.—Atlanta; Baltimore; Boone, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Denver; Minneapolis; and Orange County, Calif.

This is such a neat way to  impact the life of a child in need.  For many of them, this will be the only thing they receive for Christmas and these small tokens of love and fun can greatly affect a child.  Here is a link to Daniella’s story, a recipient of a shoebox:

Daniella’s Story

Today That Daily Deal is offering their annual Shoebox Drive where they will pack a shoebox and donate it for you for only $5!!  This is a fantastic way for you to participate if you aren’t able to shop for the items yourself.  Plus, for every shoebox ordered, That Daily Deal is donating an additional box as well!  The company that does this is a local one and I as well as my children have had the opportunity to help package and deliver the many boxes ordered to the drop off point so I can assure you that this is a legitimate offer.  In fact, if you take a look at the pictures on the site, you’ll see one of my boys helping out 🙂

My kids enjoy picking out items for a shoebox and packing it each year but this allows us to donate additional ones that we normally couldn’t afford to do since it costs us more than $5 to purchase the fillers ourselves.

I hope you’ll take a minute to head over and purchase a box or two.  It’s an easy, inexpensive way to give back to a child in need!  You can purchase a box at ThatDailyDeal.com .  But hurry, this is a one day offer!

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: No compensation of any type was received for this post, but I am entered to win a prize for sharing this information.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Love For Your Little One #ad

Our favorite children’s show company has partnered with 7AM Enfant and Lucy Darling to give away over $1,000 worth of prizes!  This is their Love For Your Little One sweepstakes and the prizes are AMAZING!  Of course we love Umi, but we also love 7AM Enfant…their gear is just amazing!  I had never heard of Lucy Darling, but their items look great as well.  You better believe I am entering!  I hope you will too.

Good luck!

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen