Dad of Divas' Reviews: November 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Birkenstock - Walking With Support & Style

I was asked by Birkenstock recently to try out their new Boston line of clogs.

I have never been a huge sandle wearer due to the fact that my feet tend to need more support (flat arches) and thus, most sandles tend to leave my ankles and legs hurting. So to be honest I did not know what to expect in trying out the Birkenstocks.

I also did not know a lot about the company prior to getting these shipped to me. I had heard a lot of hype in the past about their products and knew people that had them and raved about them, but I had never owned a pair myself. Some of the things I learned while getting ready for this review was that:

  1. All their footware is crafted from cork (talk about green shoes!).
  2. Their production lines are exclusively powered by solar energy.
  3. 100% of the adhesives used within their shoes are earth friendly.
  4. Their shoe boxes are made of 90% post consumer waste.
  5. All of their shoes are completely repairable and renewable (which can increase the overall life of your footware)
When I received the clogs, I was impressed first by the exterior. The clogs were sleek and looked to be very comfortable. Yet, the proof is in the pudding as they say and thus as I tried them on I had to be cautious and as always give my honest opinion. As I put them on, the first thing in my mind was WOW, these have awesome support. The clogs themselves have built in arch supports that as as good as the hard inserts I use in my regular shoes. This is a nice plus for me, and I now think that I do have a pair of clogs that will not merely sit on a shelf, but instead will be ones that I can wear without fear of eventual pain.

I also checked out the rest of the Birkenstock product line and have to say that if given the chance, the next pair that I would love to try out would be a part of their shoe line, in particular the Devon, Dark Brown Leather Shoe. I like how this shoe (from the outside at least) looks like a shoe that I could even wear to work. So I would be given foot comfort as well as style, imagine that!

The clogs that received also came with information about the Movie stars that were wearing these as well. I am not the type of person who would be swayed to wear something just because someone else does (especially someone else that makes a ton more money than I do), but I can say that for the money that one would spend on a pair of Birkenstocks, the quality that you receive in return is worth every penny. I now can see why people talk highly of the Birkenstock brand and I will definitely consider other Birkenstock products in the future.

The featured product in this post was provided to me free of charge by Birkenstock. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Clever Kids Accessories That Double As Entertainment

I was recently given the opportunity to try out a fun new product with my eldest, Diva-J. The Wallaroo Hat Company’s Art Hat offers kids a practical wearable, washable, crushable hat that your child can design.
Every Art Hat kit contains an adjustable white microfiber bucket hat with contrasting color under the 2 ¼” brim, six nontoxic fabric paints and a paint brush.

The hat itself comes in a small unassuming package that makes you wonder what you have received, but once you unpack everything, you will soon notice that there is a lot of fun in store for your budding artist.

When I showed Diva-J what we were going to do, she was quite excited! One of the nice things about the Art Hat is that it comes with all of the supplies that you will need to complete your project, including hat, paint & brushes. The contrasting colors that the hat comes in allows a little diva to truly stand out and her artwork makes it even more the case. I also like the fact that the hat itself can be mashed up in a billion different ways and it still remains wearable. As any of you with kids know, this is a must!

The Art Hat gives children a way to express themselves in their own creativity and then share with the world their talents. While our hat is currently under construction, I know that when it is done that Diva-J will wear it with pride.

Outside of the Arthat, I spent some time looking at the other products that they offer, and was excited to see that they have some very cool men's hats. I particularly liked the Hobart Hat in Beige & Navy. Not only does this hat have protection to the extent of UPF 50+, but it also is sturdy and I can tell it would last a long time! So maybe some day I will be able to get myself a hat such as this to protect my ever thining hair!
There are many other hats such as this that are very diverse in nature. I am sure that you will be able to find something that interests you or someone in your family!

So if you are looking for a hat that stands out and pushes your child to practice their creativity, this is a great product for you and your family.

For more information about the Wallaroo art hat or other hats and accessories, visit

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Product Review - Dyson DC31


I recently was given the opportunity from Dyson to examine their newest invention on the market the DC31. As you can probably guess, as a father and a guy who loves technology I was extremely excited about the opportunity to try this out!

Some details about the product itself

  • The DC 31 houses the Dyson digital motor, DDM – the fastest, most power-efficient motor ever developed for a handheld vacuum. Spinning up to 104,000rpm.
  • DDM is five times faster than a Formula 1 race car engine.
  • Uses patented Root Cyclone™ technology to separate dirt, fine dust and debris from the air.
  • Dual power mode with 38 or 65 Air Watts
  • 22.2V lithium ion battery
The Motor
The motor assembly that Dyson uses for the DC31 is unique in that it is four times as fast and twice as powerful as the conventional motor. DDM uses digital pulse technology making over 3000 adjustments a second, and spinning at up to 104,000 times a minute. That’s five times faster than a Formula 1 car engine. And no carbon brushes mean it won’t wear out, for a longer working life.

About Dyson
Research, Design and Development is at the core of Dyson. One third of people at Dyson are engineers and scientists. Their expertise in fluid, mechanical, electrical, EMC, thermal, chemical, acoustic and software engineering allows them to design new products as well as challenge and improve existing technologies. Dyson has over 1,200 patents and patent applications for over 250 different inventions (May 2008). Dyson’s RDD investment has quadrupled over the last 5 years. The total number of Dyson vacuum cleaners sold worldwide since 1993 is over 24.5 million (2007) – and still counting. 10 million of these were sold in the last 3 years.

My Thoughts on the DC31
I have been in awe of the Dyson products (from afar) for many years. I have talked to people that have owned them and used them and all have had very good things to say, though I had never had the chance to try it out myself, that was until now.

In receiving the DC31, I was amazed at how compact the packaging was. I was expecting a larger bulky box, especially when I had thought of other hand vacuums that I have owned in the past. The DC31 is very small in size (about the size of a large drill without the additional tools added on). The construction of the product is sound and the instructions for easy start up were simple to follow.

One of the initial things that I was amazed at was the length of time that the instructions states that a charge lasts. On its highest most powerful setting it states that the DC31 will last about six minutes and ten minutes on the lowest (regular) setting. This surprised me and made me wonder whether it was in fact the case as it also stated that it would take 3.5 hours to bring the DC31 back up to full charge. The other thing that I noticed was how light weight it was and how much it truly reminded me of a drill.

So I charged up the DC31 so that I could prepare for its inaugural test drive.

After using the DC31 I can say that it lived up to my expectations. The suction power that the product had was amazing and while there were some pet hair issues at first, once I figured out how to best use the extensions, the hair seemed to get sucked up without a problem. I also liked the way that the vacuum is emptied. With a simple release lever, it was easy to get rid of all things that I had sucked up.

The charge itself did last about what the company said it would. Yet, in saying this, seeing that I did not have to use the vacuum for long periods of time it lasted multiple days without recharge.

I have had other hand vacuums like this in the past, but none have had the suction power (or RPM's) that the Dyson has. If you are looking for a hand vacuum with amazing power, look no further than Dyson.

Beginning September 2009, DC31 and DC31 Animal are available at most major retailers
and at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $219.99 and $269.99,
respectively. Both are covered under a 2 year warranty for parts and labor. For more
information, please visit