The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Yoyos are back!

I don’t actively try to keep up with the latest toy trends, but thanks to having a young son at home, I can’t help hearing about what kids find popular these days. And surprisingly enough, I learned that yoyos fit that bill!

A bunch of my son’s friends have purchased cool yoyos like the Velocity model pictured here, and they spend hours and hours trying to perfect various tricks. They even watch YouTube videos for pointers. I’ve seen some of the vids too, and know that adults are really into yoyos as well. Who knows, I might even have to get in on the action myself!

Memorial Day

I hope you’ve had as wonderful a Memorial Day holiday as I have! But don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on all the military personnel, past and present, who have selflessly risked, dedicated, or given their lives to protect our country and our freedom. The fact that we’re able to sit on the deck with friends enjoying beers and Acid cigars in the gorgeous weather is due to the bravery of our men and women in uniform who tirelessly fight on our behalf. Offering up a bit of a salute is the least we can do!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day will be here soon, so I have to start thinking of something to buy for my dad. I don’t have a heck of a lot of money to spend, though, which means I have to stick to relatively cheap gifts.

One of my friends mentioned getting custom printed golf balls for her husband’s birthday one year, and I’ve always thought that would make a great present for my dad. He loves golf, so the gift would be both useful and unique.

I haven’t decided for certain yet, but I’m definitely leaning this way!

McDavid Multi-Action Knee Strap

I have been trying to lose weight by jogging, but one major problem I have is that I can only go out 2-3 times per week because of knee pain. That wasn’t getting me anywhere as far as hitting my fitness goals, so I decided to try using some knee straps to see if extra support is all I need.

After doing a bit of research, I decided to buy two of the McDavid Mult-Action Knee Straps pictured here. The straps are fully adjustable with Velcro closures, and come with two removable “buttresses” that are designed to provide additional stability if desired.

I have been using my McDavid knee straps for about two weeks, and am trying to slowly add more distance to my jogging routine. Now instead of running just 3 days a week, I’m up to about 3.5 (I’ve added a short two-mile run on one of my usual rest days). So far the knee straps have really made a difference. I still occasionally feel a bit of pain while I’m running, but the pain does not linger at all like it used to and doesn’t bother me throughout the entire day like it used to.

The only thing I don’t like about these knee straps is the fact that if I don’t line the Velcro closures up perfectly (and I mean perfectly), the Velcro will rub on my skin while I’m jogging and leave a red, irritated spot. Maybe that means I got a size that’s too small? (I opted for “Small” because it seems that knee straps should fit rather snugly.)

Anyway, I’ll keep posting updates about these knee straps and let you know if I’m able to work my way up to jogging 5 miles 5 days per week!

Red and Blue Light Acne Lamp

If you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog, then you know I’ve tried tons of products in an attempt to get my adult acne under control. While I definitely suffer fewer breakouts these days, I’m still not satisfied with my skin, which is why I recently decided to try light therapy.

Acne light therapy is based on scientific findings that red and blue light wavelengths are effective at penetrating the skin and killing bacteria that causes acne. This is the same principle that holds that sunlight is good for the skin, only with an acne lamp, harmful UV rays are eliminated.

There are many acne lamps on the market, and to be honest, I didn’t really know what to look for. Each product I researched had both good and bad reviews, and none really stood out as being head and shoulders above the rest. I ultimately went with the Red & Blue Single Head Acne Lamp (pictured here) from a site called acnelamp.com. The lamp cost $249, which seems to be about average for these products, and arrived within days after placing my order.

I have just started using the lamp this week. The recommended exposure time is 15 minutes per day, and since the head isn’t big enough to cover my entire face, I’m spending a total of 30 minutes to focus on my forehead and my chin.

Most of the literature I’ve read says that acne light therapy takes about 12 weeks to show decent results. I plan to post monthly updates to let you know if I’ve noticed any improvement in my skin. Note: I do NOT have cysts, pustules, or typical pimples right now. I’ve got some flesh colored bumpies here and there, but my skin is otherwise in fairly good shape (for me). So my purpose in using this lamp isn’t to clear up existing problems but to PREVENT new pimples from forming.

Now…let’s see if this works!

Women’s UA Tech Shortsleeve V-Neck

With the arrival of warm weather, it’s time to stock up on HeatGear from Under Armour. I went with this UA Tech shortsleeve V-neck for a couple of reasons. First, I like the loose fit and feminine cut, which is sometimes hard to find in Under Armour products. Second, it is very soft and comfortable, which is a must for long runs in the summer heat and humidity. Third, it is made from UA’s patented moisture-wicking material to keep me as dry as possible during my workout. And fourth, it was just $22, which is a very reasonable price for the UA brand.

All in all, I’m happy with this purchase. The shirt works the way it is supposed to and looks and feels great while doing so. I couldn’t ask for anything more!

Alpinestars Detonator Tee

Alpinestars is one of my favorite sports brands, so I recently bought a couple shirts bearing their logo. One of the styles I purchased was the Detonator tee pictured here.

This is a standard 100% cotton tee with a screenprinted graphic depicting the astars logo down the right side. The logo fades towards the end, giving the shirt a worn look right off the rack. The left sleeve also has a small astar logo sewn to it, which is a nice touch.

Unlike the Alpinestars Stuck tee that I reviewed a while ago, the Detonator screenprinting has held up well so far. In other words, it’s not peeling off in the wash, so the shirt still looks pretty good after numerous cycles through the laundry.

Overall, not a bad buy at $21, especially if you like action sports brands.

Gardening

Now that I’m finally able to garden again, I’ve been thinking of how cool it would be if I could attach one of those big fire hose nozzles to my regular hose. It would then take me only about 10 seconds to water the garden, and I could be done without having to stand around and swelter in the sun!

Yes, I’m fully aware that my plants would get crushed by the extreme water pressure. But a girl can dream, can’t she?!