Octopus Tripod Review

Octopus Tripod Review

I have been doing more Periscope broadcasts lately (come find me @dorydoyle), and if there is something I’ve learned, you need to have a steady camera/phone. I have a long-armed adjustable phone holder that clips onto my desk, but sometimes it’s just too bulky if I need to move my broadcasts to other rooms. I was really excited to try out the Octopus Tripod as a more light-weight option.

It is a series of plastic spheres with rubber grippers, so however you want to adjust the three legs, it is can move there. Be careful when you first get it and bend it around, because I pinched my fingers a little bit in between the spheres. Once you first move it around, you will find that you can easily adjust it. When you attach your phone to the top, you may have to readjust the legs so it doesn’t topple over. I love how easily the phone attaches and how secure it is… but you can only have your phone horizontally (it doesn’t stretch enough for a vertical placement, which is tough for Periscope broadcasts). To be honest, it’s not the most well-made of tripods, but it works fine for what is needed from it, especially for the price ($7.99 normally, but on sale for $2.44+$1.55 shipping).

Come check out my video review on YouTube:


Here are some stats from the company:

  • Include a camera lock for camera safely
  • Universal screw allows a variety of cameras to be mounted (make sure that your camera has the screw hole)
  • Retractable holder fits most cellphone (Max width 2.6 inch),for example Iphone 3GS 4 4S
  • Adjustable 360 degrees legs to form perfect shape Material: ABS Plastic + Rubber
  • Dealzip is a registered USPTO trademark No. 86610217


Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


#octopustripod #ad #review #tomoson

Little Squeeze Me Reusable Pouch Review and Giveaway

Little Squeeze Me Pouch Display

Although we are not exclusively feeding pureed food with Audrey and David (16 months), every now and then we just have to get extra calories in them (picky toddlers can equal little food eaten). Often the fastest way is through those organic pouches with the twist-off spouts.

When the twins were younger and just starting on solid food, we made our own baby food and put them in pouches. We found, however, that the twins couldn’t actually handle sucking and squeezing the pouches themselves (unless we wanted to regularly clean up a huge mess). It was easier for us just to make little frozen cubes of pureed food and defrost as needed. This was much less wasteful with the food itself and also with less plastic waste (since those pouches were one-use only). We happily found new homes for our Infantino Squeeze Station and Kiinde Foodii and just went with ice cube trays with a lid and stored them in sealable containers. So. Much. Easier.

Now that the twins are older, however, we have circled back to using those pouches as needed for extra nutrition. I love that David will often eat the contents of a pouch (or 2 or 3) when he doesn’t want ANYTHING else to eat. But after going through pouch after pouch, I felt really guilty over the amount of trash we were creating and also how expensive those pouches were. I wanted a way to go back and make my own pouches, but I needed something that was easier to put the liquid into the pouch.

Little Squeeze Me Pouch Info

So when I got the opportunity to try out the Little Squeeze Me pouches, I was thrilled! With a zip-tight top and reusable design, I was thrilled that I might have found the answer to the DIY baby food issue. Here is what they say about their pouches:

•The only self standing pouch when filled that features a clear fill line with measurement markings on the back

•Holds up to 6 fluid ounces

•Our Little Squeeze Me pouch is very durable and is made with the highest quality materials available. Leak free and easy to fill with extra strength Double Zippered pouches. No filling station needed! Just pour or spoon in through the wide top zipper opening

•DIY Homemade Snacks Using Fresh Organic Pureed Fruits, Applesauce and Yogurt. Great for an adults portioned meals, after work out protein shakes and work lunch

•Easy to clean with an easy to see clear bottom, dishwasher and freezer safe. Excellent for freezing meals and snacks in advance!

•Go Green and Save Money! Tired of throwing away so many baby food pouches? These big reusable pouches are earth friendly and is BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Lead Free. For every purchase, 2 foundations will each receive $1 to support MOMS and BABIES. Original price $35 and currently selling for $14.97 on Amazon

So what do I actually think? In order to try something new, I wanted to do a video review of this reusable pouch. I hope you enjoy it!

EDIT: I tried to clean the pouches from our pumpkin, and it was difficult to get it all the way cleaned. With a good brush, you can get to the corners, but just make sure you have cleaned it thoroughly (and dried it) before using it again.

If you would like to purchase the Little Squeeze Me pouches for 20%, you can order them through the www.jesentials.com with promo code ESM3CRW7. In addition, one lucky reader will get the chance to try out their own set of Little Squeeze Me pouches. You can use the Rafflecopter Widget to enter. We ask that the winner also writes a short, honest review on Amazon as well after you have tried it. 

Little Squeeze Me Pouch

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Cleopatra’s Choice Shea Butter


As a part of a way to live more naturally, we are trying to eat organic, cook more often, use essential oils (over other drugs). As a part of that, I was interested with trying out Shea butter. We received a tub of Shea butter from Cleopatra’s Choice for us to try and review. You can find the listing on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/b00kqascdg

In my posts, I always like to list some uses of the products I try. Here are some uses that I found:

  • improves many skin conditions: blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, dermatitis
  • treats skin allergies, insect bites, sunburns, frostbites
  • treatments for extreme dry and cracking skin
  • uses as a lip balm
  • put under lipstick to keep it in place
  • mix with a hair conditioner for a deep hair treatment
  • put on feet before you put on socks
  • apply to your belly to reduce stretch marks (before, during, and after pregnancy)
  • use on cuticles
  • rub on insect bites to help relieve itchiness
  • apply to paper cuts to reduce the risk of scar or pain
  • use as a hair sculpture gel
  • use as a carrier oil with your favorite essential oils

So what are my thoughts about this particular Shea butter from Cleopatra’s Choice? It comes in a 1 lb tub-  the same kind of container that you would get a small container of soup from a Chinese restaurant. In that way, I was totally underwhelmed by the packaging. Because of this, when I lifted the top off, I had to be careful not to get Shea butter everywhere. There was a sticker on the top to note that this was the ivory color (instead of the yellow color). It then lists that is is 100% pure and organic, deep absorbing, long lasting hydration, treats dry skin, minor burns, and eczema, does not clog pores or leave skin greasy, has rich amounts of vitamins A and E, helps treat “dreak spots, skin discolorations, stretch marks and blemishes” (spelling mistakes on the packaging?).

After using it, it works just like Shea butter has for me in the past. A little bit goes a LONG way. Will I use it for my go-to moisturizer? Absolutely not. I have never loved the overly-heavy feeling of Shea butter, and I do think that it feels greasy when applied. That being said, I am happy to have it on hand to use for really dry-skin days, as well as a carrier “oil” to mix with my new Young Living Essential Oils.

Although I did not have this brand, I will say that I loved using Shea butter on my stomach during my pregnancy, not that it necessarily helped with stretch marks (which is totally genetic, by the way), but that it reeeeeally helped me on my itchiest days (which were quite often during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters). 

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

River Magic Book Review

Along with the Twin Z Pillow that I received through Tomoson.com to review, I also received the eBook River Magic by JM Brown. I have to say that I can be a little picky about the books that I read. I like to read a book when I’m in the mood to read it, so having to read a book in a certain amount of time brought me back to the days of college and grad school, making sure I read my selection by the due date. That being said, I actually did enjoy this book, and it is worth looking at it, especially for the current low eBook price of $0.99.

River Magic

When I first received this book to read, I was a little hesitant. I typically love the historical fiction genre, but I was a little caught off guard with some changes to history. That being said, I kept reading the book, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed the story of Aimee and Brenda, two teenage orphans that got caught up in something much larger than they could have predicted. I enjoyed the quick-moving nature of the book as well as the changes in perspectives as the narrative changed from one character to the next. I did find that the two main characters were written very similarly at first, and it was hard to distinguish (and remember) which was which, but it got easier as I got to know their personalities a bit more in the book. This book is a part of a larger series, but it is not necessary to read all of them to understand what happens in this one book. Overall, it is a good and intriguing read, and I would recommend it to many readers.

If you are interested in buying River Magic, you can purchase it on Amazon or Smashwords by clicking on the links.

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

Twin Z Nursing Pillow Review

This post contains affiliate links.Twin Z Pillow Review - Doyle Dispatch


A few weeks ago, I discovered a wonderful website called Tomoson.com where bloggers can apply to review items. Based on your qualifications, you may receive the items that you applied for. Well, there are lots of cool gadgets, new products, books, and items to try and “win,” and I’ve been really fortunate to be selected to review the Twin Z Pillow!

Now, I will preface this post by saying that my twins haven’t been born yet, so my review will be based on what I know so far. I did not receive any compensation for my review, other than the free product.

When I first heard about the Twin Z pillow, I was a little hesitant. All of the MOM (Moms of Multiples) sites and groups recommended the My Brest Friend Twins nursing pillow, as that is the leader on the market. As these are our first babies, I suffer from “First Time Mom-itis,” which is defined as wanting only what is best for your child(ren), no matter the cost or hassle. Still, when the Twin Z pillow popped up on Tomoson’s site, I applied to review it (hey, free is free!), and then I scoured the internet for information about it. What I found surprised me. I saw review after review of it, comparing it to the My Brest Friend Twins pillow… and the Twin Z came out waaaaaaaaaay ahead. So, why was My Brest Friend’s nursing pillow the leader in the market? My thought is that it has to be tied to marketing, advertising, and product placement in stores.

Score Count: 1 (for previous reviews)

When I found out I won the Twin Z pillow in yellow, I was overjoyed! I was even more shocked when I received it less than a week later. I love a company that has such amazingly fast shipping, as I also suffer from I-Want-It-Now Syndrome.

Score Count: 2 (+1 for quick shipping)

Now came the actual product. I was so happy that when I opened up the box, the pillow was already inside its own travel bag. It looks like great water-resistance material with a nice drawstring top. I can imagine that this will be handy for traveling and storing, to protect the pillow itself.

Twin Z Review - Doyle Dispatch

Score Count: 3 (+1 for a travel bag)

We then had to put the cover on the white pillow. The cover was a super-soft yellow minky fabric, although there are lots of different colors that you can choose for the covers on their website. You can also order extra covers for $35.99, which we will be doing. Adding the cover was a two-person job. You had to start at one end of the pillow and stuff-and-pull, stuff-and-pull. It was a really tight fit, and I couldn’t have done it without Tim’s help as well. We then found the holes where the straps weaved through, got them out, and velcro-ed the pillow cover closed. It was a tight fit, but it was perfect. I can see why they made it so tight, as it made sure to keep the shape of the pillow.

Twin Z Pillow - Doyle Dispatch

Score Count: 5 (+1 for fabric, +0 for adding the cover, +1 for look when finished)

Next came trying it out! Again, I am still twincubating until the fall/winter, so I can’t actually try out breastfeeding the twins on the Twin Z, but I want to say how much I love it already. There are 4 uses for the Twin Z pillow: breastfeeding, bottle feeding, tummy time, and sitting up support. After actually seeing how sturdy the pillow is, I have no doubt that I will be using this pillow for every single one of those purposes.

Twin Z Pillow - Doyle Dispatch

The pillow is absolutely huge, and it is shaped like the letter M. Each of the “legs” is incredibly sturdy, yet it also can be manipulated and moved into different positions to accommodate the different uses. The clip helps keep it in its different positions. For breastfeeding or holding both babies, you would push the center “leg” up and use it as a back rest. I am actually sitting in it just like that as I write this, and it is heaven for my sore lower back! If you want to make sure the arms stay where you want them, you can clip the arms together. This is how I picture using the pillow the most, while I try to breastfeed both twins at once. With the “legs” clipped together, it brings your arms up to a good breastfeeding height, but with it unclipped, it puts the arms a little lower. I personally find it more comfortable to have my arms a little higher. I guess we will see what I like better with babies in my arms in a couple of months.

Twin Z Pillow - Doyle Dispatch

Score Count: 7 (+1 for breastfeeding options, +1 back support)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any babies to demonstrate the 3 other uses for the Twin Z, but I do want to show you some pictures from their website to illustrate how it can be used.

Twin Z Breastfeeding

The Twin Z used for bonding with the babies. Can’t you imagine a child using this as support to hold their new buddies?

Twin Z Bottle Feeding

Bottle feeding with the Twin-Z. This gives a great view of the backrest and the support that you would get.

Twin Z Bottles

This is how I imagine I would use the Twin Z to bottle feed the babies. This is shown without the “legs” clipped together. If the twins are smaller, you can clip the legs together to make sure there are smaller holes (so they don’t fall through).

Twin Z Tummy Time

Tummy time with the Twin Z!

Score Count: 11 (+1 tummy time, +1 bottle feeding option, +1 newborn/preemie size adjustment, +1 sitting up support- not pictured)

While the My Brest Friend Twin retails for $78, the Twin Z sells for $99.99 (which includes one cover). While the starting price is a little more, I just love love love the additional uses for the pillow after breastfeeding is over. I think that the additional $21 on the Twin Z is well-spent, given the additional purposes.

Score Count: 12 (+1 for affordability due to versatility)

So the final Score Count is 12/13, with the only negative being how you apply the cover to the pillow. Overall, I would highly recommend the Twin Z to a M.O.M. I absolutely LOVE the options available, and I feel like the different uses far outweigh the other options on the market.

It is also important to note the following about the Twin Z:

  • Made in the USA
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Foam Free
  • Lead Fee
  • No Chemicals Added
  • No Flame Retardants

If you want more information, please watch this video to showcase the Twin Z: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KP3uGMzD-8. You can purchase the Twin Z pillow on their website: http://www.twinznursingpillow.com/, as well as see other pictures of the pillow in action. Like the Twin Z and just want more? Like Twin Z on Facebook.

4 thumbs up, Twin Z!

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


UPDATE as of 1/31/14:

Thanks so much for your comments and questions about this pillow! Now that Audrey and David are 2 months old, we still love our Twin Z as much as when we first received it.

Let me tell you that this thing was not only a lifesaver in the hospital, but it was also the talk of our lactation consultants and nurses. They were so impressed with its size, construction, and capabilities (both while breastfeeding and after). Given that these women see it all, I loved that we could impress them with a new pillow.

First of all, if you nurse in a bed, couch, or low-arm chair, this pillow is IT. You are going to love how it supports your incredibly-sore back while giving you a little back stretch if you lean back. It is also so snug and secure, so your babies aren’t going anywhere with the football hold. We used this pillow exclusively during the hospital stay and when we were letting the babies sleep in our bedroom. During those first two weeks, I nursed either in bed or in one of the low-arm armchairs in our bedroom, and both proved to be amazing when paired with the Twin Z. This was a really hard transition to be “tied to the chair” and feeling stuck, but having this pillow really helped.

Once we moved to the nursery for feedings, we found that it was difficult for us to nurse using the Twin Z. When we were shopping for a nursery chair during my pregnancy, I knew that I would be nursing two babies at once, so we got a chair with really high arms. While this was a great idea at first, it caused problems once we started really needing to nurse both babies at once with the Twin Z. I was literally pushed out of the chair because of the size of the pillow and the height of the arms. So I sadly can’t use the Twin Z exclusively because of that. If I had to go back (knowing what I know now), I would have gotten a regular glider or rocker (regular/low arms are the norm for these chairs) so that I could use my Twin Z exclusively.

That being said, I would recommend the Twin Z IN A HEARTBEAT to anyone who is looking for a nursing pillow. Once we start bottle feeding, I know that the pillow is going to be used daily again! Because of the ages of Audrey and David, we are also going to be able to let them sit in it more to help with physical development as well. I love that this is a pillow that grows WITH our babies!