Random Delightful Gift: the Toddy Wedge

Here’s a random product that I tried out this fall that I have been meaning to share with you: the Toddy Wedge.

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It’s just a little bean-bag filled triangle thingy that you can use to prop up your phone. There’s no charger or anything like that, and it’s soft and squishy. You can use it as a hacky sack, which my kids have done.

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All it does is prop up your phone. While that might seem simple, it is, but it makes a huge difference when I am using the phone to display a recipe as I cook, or to play music or podcasts while I am sitting at my desk.

The Toddy Wedge has these advertised features:

Support for your iPhone, E-Reader, GPS or gaming devices without removing the case
100% microfiber for wiping screens clear of smudges and fingerprints
Dual-sided: Plush side to clean and silky side to polish screens

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No need for messy liquids or sprays that can harm your screen
Antimicrobial coating, preventing the build up of mold and mildew
Washable, air dry
Proudly Made in the USA

It’s only $14.99 plus about $4 shipping (for First Class mail) and the website takes PayPal. I unexpectedly love mine – anyone who receives a Wedge as a gift will likely do the same.

I received a free Wedge to facilitate this feature.

Make Music With Zya – a Free App

zya mixing studio

There’s a great new game you can play with your kids (or alone, nobody has to know) on your iPhone or iPad. Zya is a music mixing game (available in the App Store) that allows you to choose avatars for every member of your band, the guitar riffs, the drum beat and hook, and even record your own lyrics. Here’s a song that Kyle made after a few minutes of playing around:

(He preferred pop over rock. Give him time.)

zya drummer

You pay to add on the option of recording your own vocal duet with a popular song, like “Blurred Lines” (for the grownups) and “Bye Bye Bye.” But even in the free app, you can score points to earn cool new options like additional vocal filters (like auto-tune, which many people can use) and new artist avatars to choose.

It’s fun to play around with it and it’s creative, too!

iPhone Cases For the Rest of Us

Yes, I know the new iPhone is coming out soon. I’ve received at least a dozen pitches wanting me to cover the brand new cases for the iPhone 5. But here’s the thing: I’m not getting an iPhone 5. Because I have an iPhone 4s that works just fine, thank you.

Lucky for me iPhone case makers are still selling cases for the iPhone 4 and 4s. I sampled a few and here are my thoughts:

MAPi Tion iPhone 4/4s Leather Wallet Case

MAPi Trion iPhone 4s case

What I love about it: It’s red, one of my favorite colors. It’s stylish, made of leather, and feels good. The two slots for cards or cash on the back make it easy for me to just bring my phone/wallet with me on a quick dash out of the house. On one recent night it was all I brought with me to meet the girls for drinks at Adobe Cantina. Some of the ladies ooh’ed and aah’ed at my cute new phone case.

What is meh about it: See how the leather curves up and around the home button on the front of the phone? It frames the screen nicely, but sometimes it gets in the way of my big thumbs when I am texting, so my autocorrect goes insane. I may or may not have texted the phrase “Nora my butt is good” to someone who is not named Nora.

Verdict: At $45, the Tion is a good value for the price for its attractive look and extra function.

Pursecase

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What I love about it: The whimsy! I mean, this is really cute. It’s a phone, it’s a purse! Under that little golden clasp is a stretchy slot for cards or cash. Also, the ladies who design and sell these cases are rocking their social media presence and they are very charming and helpful. I didn’t realize until I posted this photo on Instagram that this color case actually glows in the dark, because one of the founders added that in a reply.

What is meh about it: For me this is a “special occasion” phone case. I wouldn’t use it every day, and this color is a little too bright for my plain Jane sense of style. You also can’t stick it in your pocket when you’re going out for a run or a bike ride.

The verdict: At $42 (with free shipping during the month of September) the pursecase is a splurge but would make a great gift for that iPhone-addicted fashionista in your life.

I received both products for free to facilitate this review.