The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Tenyo Magic Flash Dice

flash dice My nephew has been into magic tricks recently, so I got him a few tricks from Tenyo Magic for Christmas. Since the kid is only 8 years old, I was rather limited in what I could get him. Sleight-of-hand tricks are too difficult for that age. After a bit of checking around, one of the tricks I settled on was Flash Dice.

As you can see from the picture, the props consist of a box and six dice. The magician lines the dice up in order from one to six, closes the lid, gives the box a shake, and opens the lid to reveal that the dice have reversed their order. That’s the basic trick. A couple variations are possible, including having all the dice show up as the same number and having the dice add up to a predicted number.

Obviously, there’s no real “magic” involved, as all the tricks depend on setting the dice up in a certain way. But this was easy enough for an 8-year-old to handle, and my nephew has been enjoying the set so far. He understands the basics already. Now he just has to master the hand motions (to make everything look smooth during presentation) and memorize dice placement for each trick.

At $15, I feel this trick was worth the money. Not amazing by any means, but fun for kids or beginners and definitely higher-quality than what you can get at the dollar store.

Fitness Tracker

fitbit charge I really want a wearable fitness tracker for Christmas, but can’t decide which one to get. The features, prices, and reviews of current products are similar enough that choosing will pretty much just come down to a matter of taste.

So far, I’ve narrowed the field down to the FitBit Charge, Jawbone Up3, and the Garmin Vivosmart. I’m leaning more towards the Jawbone Up3 than the other two, but it’s not on sale yet, which means I would have to wait to get it. That’s okay, though — especially if it’s as good as it’s supposed to be!

Anyway, I should be making a final decision within the next couple of weeks.

Still Christmas shopping

I am still working my way through my Christmas shopping list. I have my immediate family taken care of already (they’re the most important, of course), but still have to buy for my younger cousins, my Secret Santa at work, and a few very close friends.

It’s been a slog so far, but at least I have a good idea of what to get everyone. For example, one of my cousins wants an iPad Mini and another one wants some Remo Drum Heads. I’m getting my Secret Santa person a bottle of booze (sooo unoriginal, I know — but he really is a drinker), and my best friend is getting some natural soaps from Etsy.

That leaves just a few people to think of gifts for, which is certainly doable within two weeks. Wish me luck!

Yahoo’s “Top holiday searches”

For the whole month of December, Yahoo has had a “Top holiday searches” box on their homepage. It has taken the place of the usual “Trending Now” box, which is now further down the page.

I have to say I kind of like the idea. I am usually so far out of the loop in terms of what’s popular that I have no clue what 90% of the best gifts of the season are. So being able to see what others are searching for helps put me on the right track for some cool gifts. Sure, I’ll probably end up buying things that I would otherwise have never heard of, but I’ve been relatively good this year, so I deserve it!

Holiday toy drives

Do any of you participate in holiday toy drives for underprivileged children? My family usually does, but this year we’re looking for an alternative to the usual “Toys for Tots” kind of program. There’s nothing wrong with that type of thing; we just want to contribute something more substantial than toys.

I’ve heard of a few programs that offer school supplies for children or even flutes for student use at school. I think these sound great, so I’m going to see if there’s anything available for kids in my area.

Cuisinart Personal Blender

So I’ve had my Cuisinart personal blender for a few weeks now — and I have to say that I absolutely love it! I’m not an advanced user or anything (I am ONLY using it to make smoothies), but that’s what makes the product so great for me. It does what I need it to do and doesn’t come with a bunch of bells and whistles that would only serve to confuse me.

Okay, so beyond the machine’s ability to crush ice, frozen fruit, and nuts, what exactly do I like about it? I love that the blending cup is also the drinking cup! That makes cleanup SOOOO much quicker and easier than traditional blenders, and is the number one thing that will probably get me to continue using the Cuisinart even after the novelty wears off.

Bottom line: I love this thing and can’t believe I waited so long to buy it!