The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Music to Promote Sleep

Because of my waking and sleeping schedules, I only get about 5-6 hours of sleep per night. That would probably be enough for most people, but I find that I cannot make it through the next day without taking a nap. The thing is, I am so busy these days that I don’t really want to give up two hours to napping — which is why I’m interested in taking “power naps”.

Now, in order for power naps to be effective, you have to be able to fall asleep immediately. I can’t really do that, so I’m going to buy a CD of soothing, relaxing music to help me along. This CD called Music to Promote Sleep looks like it might be good to put into my Samsung player during snooze time. I’ll check this out (and a few others) to see if I can cut my naps down to 30 minutes or so.

Nike Rejuven8 Mule

A few months ago, I’d been having some trouble with my feet. I didn’t visit a doctor or anything, so I can’t be 100 percent sure what the problem was, but it felt like arch pain from having lack of proper support in my shoes. To make things even worse, the summer was coming up, which meant I’d be wearing flip-flops, slides, and sandals — none of which are known for great arch support.

Instead of risking even more damage to my feet, I decided to buy a really good pair of sandals and stick to them for the whole summer. After much shopping around and research, I settled on these Nike Rejuven8 Mules. I read a ton of reviews saying how comfortable these mules were, how much support they provided, etc. and decided to try them out for myself.

I’ve had them for about 2 months, but waited to write this review because I wanted to make sure I would be exposed to everything about the shoes before rendering a final judgment. For now, I can say that they’re amazing!

The Nike Rejuven8 Mules are every bit as comfortable as I expected. They have feature the newish Torch technology, which is essentially a three-layer design that consists of a rubber diamond pattern to help the shoe hold its shape, and a couple of mesh-like inner layers that help wick moisture away to keep your foot cool and dry. Whatever the technology actually consists, of it’s great! One thing I’ve noticed is that my mules do not have any creases in the body like regular shoes get from where the shoe bends as you walk. They look really good still, even after two months of daily use.

The inner lining of the shoe has little bumps all over it (sorry, I don’t know the technical term), which serve to massage your feet as you walk. This takes a bit of time to get used to, though. At first I thought the inner was rather painful after using the shoe for a long period of time. But now I think it feels very good. The inner is also removable so you can clean it, which is definitely a plus when you’re talking about sandals.

If I had to single out one thing that I don’t like about the Rejuven8 Mules, it’s the white soles. They just get so dirty and nasty looking after a while!

Overall, I think the Nike Rejuven8 Mule is one of the best summer/casual shoes on the market. They’re a little too casual to wear even to dress-down days at your office administration job, but they’re great for weekends or errands. At a retail price of around $70, they’re quite expensive; however, the price is offset by how extremely comfortable and durable they are. I have a feeling they’ll last me two or three summers at least, making the price worth it. This shoe is highly recommended!

Roller shades

I make no secret of the fact that I have to nap every day in order to be able to function properly. I excuse it by pointing out that I go to bed very late and get up very early, so taking a nap just gets me to eight hours of sleep per day.

Anyway, I’m now thinking of adding a large roller shade to the large window in the master bedroom to help block out the sunlight. The curtains do a decent job, but I think a roller shade would help a lot and allow me to catch my afternoon snooze in almost complete darkness.

Plus, roller shades just look nice and will perfectly complement the decor I already have!

Spectrum Spelling Grade 2

Spectrum Spelling Grade 2 essentially begins where the Grade 1 book leaves off. The Grade 2 workbook gives children even more practice with difficult vowel sounds and other phonetic combinations, while also improving composition skills through various writing exercises.

What I particularly like about Grade 2 is the section called “Words Across the Curriculum”, which introduces kids to words from different school subjects. For instance, there are math words such as “cube”, “length”, and “circle”, social studies words such as “town”, “found”, and “crown”, and science words such as “shore”, “sea”, and “shadow”. Learning words from different curriculum areas is an important skill, so I’m glad that it’s emphasized here.

My son is slowly working his way through this book after finishing the first grade book rather quickly. Based on the results so far, I’m definitely going to buy Grade 3 in the series as well!

Most popular products

Ever wonder what the most popular products and features are among American consumers? Well, last week BusinessWeek published their “Popularity Index” for this year. It’s kind of interesting to see what other people are buying, and how my tastes differ from the prevailing trends.

Most Popular…

  • Dog: Labrador
  • Car color: White
  • Cigarette: Marlboro
  • Airport: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson
  • Cereal: Honey-Nut Cheerios
  • Chips: Lay’s
  • Peanut Butter: Jif
  • Deodorant: Secret
  • Lipstick: Revlon
  • Sports car: Camaro
  • Gum: Orbit
  • iPhone App: Type n Talk

Chicago Blackhawks Tomahawk Hat

I don’t have a huge collection of baseball-style hats. I usually just have two or three that I rotate when I’m going to be out in the sun or when I’m too lazy to do anything with my hair other than pull it into a ponytail. I recently had to retire one of my hats because it was just looking disgusting (sweat stains, etc.) and decided I would get a Blackhawks hat this time around. I’ve never had a Hawks hat, but found this cool-looking one with the Tomahawk logo. I love it!

The first thing I look for in a hat is whether or not it’s adjustable. I hate fitted caps because there’s no hole for me to fit my ponytail through, and I cannot wear hats without a ponytail. This particular hat, which is from ’47 Brand, by the way, is adjustable. I don’t especially like the buckle-style strap, but whatever. It works.

Next, I look at the shape of the crown. The one on this hat is perfect because it’s right in the middle of that totally slouched look and the opposite (not really sure what it’s called, but it’s when the hat looks stiff and pre-shaped). This middle ground provides a very nice, comfortable fit.

And finally, I consider the color and logo. You can’t go wrong with black, and I personally love the Blackhawks tomahawk logo. I think it’s great on hats and isn’t completely overused like the team’s main Indian head logo.

I bought this Tomahawk logo hat online for about $23, and am very happy with it. I can totally recommend it without reservation to any Blackhawks fan out there!

Here are the product specs if you’re interested:

  • 100% cotton twill
  • Relaxed, garment-washed cap
  • Raised Chicago Blackhawks ‘Tomahawk’ logo embroidered on the crown
  • Six sewn ventilation eyelets
  • Decorated in the team colors
  • Adjustable fabric strap
  • Officially licensed
  • Made in USA

Better car insurance

Usually I’m all about saving money whenever and wherever possible. I love a good bargain as much as the next person, and my rather limited funds makes it imperative that I take advantage of all the discounts I can find.

But I’ve learned the hard way that cutting corners on car insurance isn’t always the smart play. Doing so can lead to unanticipated complications if you ever get into an accident and actually have to make use of your policy. I’m saying this after spending the past two years with a cut-rate, no-frills outfit that was NEVER available to talk me through problems I was having with my policy.

So now I’m looking at going back to a well-known company that can provide customers with a truly comprehensive policy at reasonable rates, and that won’t give them the runaround when it comes time to submit car insurance claims. After all, insurers are supposed to be there in customers’ time of need in order to help, not hinder, the process.

I can’t wait until my current policy expires so I can change providers!

AcaiPure Scam

Central Coast Nutraceuticals, makers and purveyors of ACAI Pure, an acai berry supplement, have been told by the FTC to stop selling their products over the Internet. The injunction comes amid numerous complaints from consumers alleging deceptive billing practices. Apparently, the company allegedly offered a free trial in which consumers were asked to provide a credit or debit card number in order to pay a $1.99 shipping fee. But instead of just charging that amount, the company charged the price of a whole bottle of supplements, and also enrolled the unsuspecting consumer in an automatic renewal scheme. Moreover, when customers tried to get refunds, they were only given partial refunds most of the time.

All told, the company allegedly scammed some $30 million in this manner. Their assets are now frozen and have been handed over to a receiver.

Online shopping is a great convenience, and I love it, but scams like this are a good reminder to be very vigilant of the charges on your card.