XtremeMac SportWrap Armband for iStuffs [GirlGuides Review]

QUICK LOOK

  • Made of neoprene – durable and washable
  • Adjustable strap – will fit some big guns as well as little ones
  • Textured window covers phone face – non-stick and non-sweaty finger-printy
  • Earphone cord management clip

If you’ve been to the gym lately, and with summer coming up I’m pretty sure many of you have, you may find, as I do, that the music they pump out of their speakers is not exactly to your taste. Perhaps it’s not fast enough for the speed you run to, not loud enough to psych you up on the bike, or just absolutely not your taste. Enter the iPod or any other MP3 player out there, and you have yourself a solution.

Unfortunately my last iPod – a first generation Nano that I was given for Christmas in 2005 (yes, I know – that’s ancient) has packed up on me, as did the armband I was using it in, and my iPhone is just a pain to carry around with me in the gym. The last thing you want when you’re battling it out with the treadmill is a bulky phone, attached to your ears by earphones with a cable that is inevitably not long enough, or too long.
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And this is why I love writing these reviews. I may never have found this armband, or at least not for a very long time, if one hadn’t been sent my way. The XtremeMac SportWrap armband fits all iPhones and iPod Touches. The armband is beautifully put together and it looks and feels like it’s going to be one to last. I haven’t chucked mine in the wash as yet but sometimes you really can just see the quality. The material used seems sturdy but with adequate stretch to ensure comfort, and the edges have all been overlocked (a type of sewing) which keeps anything from fraying or coming apart.
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The band itself is very lightweight so if you’re worried about carrying extra weight when you’re running, I’d be much more concerned about the phone itself. There are also 2 different holes to slip the strap through, which results in the band being more flexible when it comes to fitting the bigger guns of boys versus the generally smaller guns of the girls.
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The material on the back of the armband is nice and soft and there isn’t anything that catches or scratches. It also comes with a cord clip for those extra long earphone cables that need to folded up and tucked away neatly. The only thing I have found with the cord clip is that sometimes it pinches my skin if I makes the armband too tight, but otherwise it’s pretty handy. It’s also removable if you find you have no need for it, and just slides off the band. I haven’t had any problems with it slipping down or needing to be readjusted – it seems to stay put really well.
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The armband is designed that you have access to all your buttons, and there is a hole for your earphones to come out at the top if you are using an iPhone, and there is also a space for them at the bottom if you have an iPod Touch.All in all I was thoroughly impressed with the SportWrap. I would definitely buy one, and I think it alsomakes a really nice gift for that someone in your life who has just taken up running or ventured near the gym for the first time in a while.

Turn Ons

  • Beautifully made
  • Nice and comfortable
  • Firm and stable
  • Cord clip organiser
  • Fits iPhone and iPod Touch
  • I even like the orange accents that are the XtremeMac logo etc

Turn Offs

  • I haven’t found anything I dislike about it

Price: R299.95

Available from KNR Flatrock

For more awesome reviews of gadegety things, visit GirlGuides

HP Folio 13 Ultrabook – Review

QUICK LOOK

  • 4GB Ram
  • 120GB HDD
  • Intel Core i5
  • Windows 7
  • Weighs about 1.5kgs
  • 9.5 hours battery life

Having heard loads about the latest, slimmest generation of laptops that have started flooding the market all over the world in the last 6 months or so, I was itching to get my hands on one of them.

You can read the full review on GirlGuides here, but as you can see, even my pooch loved it.

mouse pad? pooch pad.

Latest Girl Guides Bits

Here are a couple of my reviews that have gone up on GirlGuides for the last couple of months.

The iHome iP4 Portable FM Stereo Boombox – Snapshot

What is Google Drive? 

Nokia Lumia 710 – Snapshot

MICRO-CHI Ceramic Hairstyling Iron 

HP Folio 13 Ultrabook – Snapshot 

Check ’em out!

MasterChef SA dinner at MondoVino Restaurant

Last Wednesday I headed down to MondoVino Restaurant at SunSquare, MonteCasino for their MasterChef-inspired Wednesday night dinner. The restaurant was buzzing when we got there, and we stood at the bar for a drink, taking in the vibe while we watched all the front of house staff walking around in their chef’s hats, and kept our eyes open for a sighting of Judge Benny Masekwameng, who we had heard would be hosting the dinner that evening.

Thabo in his chef's hat

It wasn’t long before he came over to say hello and have a chat. Never ones to miss a photo opp, we all whipped our cameras out and posed with the local celebrity.

Chef/MasterChef SA Judge Benny Masekwameng with Alison on the left, and myself on the right

Benny was rushing between MondoVino and The Piazza doing his hosting duties, so he left us to it and off we went to our table. Kenneth Ngubane, Executive Chef at the hotel restaurant, came over to the table to explain to us what his special themed main course of the evening was. With the challenge on the show the previous evening revolving around Harvest time, that was the theme for the evening’s menu, and Kenneth’s special dish was Kingklip with prawns, complemented by citrus and leeks. It certainly looked spectacular, however I’m not a huge fan of fish. Luckily we were allowed to order off the menu as well.

SunSquare Executive Chef Kenneth Ngubane with his personal creation for Harvest Time

I’m not usually one for a 3 course meal, and the sweet chili fried  haloumi was so tempting that I decided I would skip dessert. It was a fantastic choice as the haloumi really was out of this world – beautifully presented and absolutely delicious.

Sweet Chilli Haloumi (Image courtesy Alison Mills)

This was followed swiftly, for me, by the grilled calamari in Lemon Butter Sauce, with mashed potato (my favourite). Some of our table tested out the special Kingklip, which, as I mentioned, did look uite delicious.

Sweet Chili Haloumi (Image courtesy Alison Mills)

And in spite of deciding that I would skip dessert, when it magically appeared on the table in front of me I absolutely could not resist. This plum and berry creation, infused with Amaretto was just too tempting, and was absolutely delicious.

Berry and Plum Amaretto-infused Medley

Benny came back to chat to us during the course of the meal and had plenty to say to keep us entertained. He showed us pictures of his 3 week old treasure, and told us all about the show. In spite of a little bit of prying he kept mum on the topic of the winner, as well as where he might be heading after the show was complete.

Benny showing off his 3-week-old pride and joy

In spite of not gleaning much in the way of gossip, we had a lovely evening, and wow, what a nice guy Benny is! Thanks so much to Tsogo Sun for the dinner invite – the service was impeccable, and dinner was delish!

Find Tsogo Sun on Facebook.

Garmin ForeRunner FR70 In-Depth Review

My latest gadget review is up on GirlGuides – I got a first look at the Garmin ForeRunner FR70 – a newly released Heart Rate Monitor on the market. It’s gorgeous, easy to use, and has all the great functionality you could hope for.

Check out the full review here

Go Get Goosies at The Teatro

Programme Cover

Programme Cover

Last week saw me missioning across town in the pouring rain, at an average of about 34km/hr on the highway, to get across to The Teatro at Montecasino to watch The Phantom of The Opera. Having seen the London production in 2007, I was very keen to see how the local production would measure up.

The relatively young local talent were a big draw card, and the spectacular set, sparkling costumes and ever wonderful soundtrack were certainly not deterrents. I took my mum to see the show and found myself waiting with trepidation as we sat, waiting for it to begin, for fear that the performance may not measure up to the expectations I must have set with my years of raving about the show.

As the curtain rose on Act One, though, I couldn’t help but smile as the familiar scene unfolded right in front of my eyes. I couldn’t stop myself from humming along, very quietly, to the songs – who doesn’t get “The Phaaaaaantom of the operaaaaaaa is heeeeeeeere…” stuck in their heads after hearing it?

Christine is singing Beyond the Lake

The Phantom, performed by Jonathan Roxmouth, was powerful yet vulnerable, while Christine was performed by Robin Botha the night I saw the show had a spectacular voice, and a nice chemistry with Raoul (Anthony Downing). I think my favourite scene is the one between Raoul and Christine on the roof of the opera house where they perform “All I ask of You”. Perhaps because it’s the calm before the storm, or perhap simply because I love that song.

I thoroughly enjoyed Messieurs Firmin and Andre (James Borthwick and Jason Ralph), the new managers of the opera house who inherit, with their purchase, the drama of The Phantom, and Notes in The Managers’ Office, is another wonderful scene. The two men give a light-hearted touch to the otherwise serious message in the ‘notes’. They perform this role of comic relief throughout the show, and they do it exceptionally well. I also have to give a special mention to Cat Lane, who plays the role of Meg Giry, Christine’s closest (only?) friend. When she was on stage, her performance captivated me – she was fantastic!

The production did not disappoint one iota. My feet tapped throughout the performance and it was all I could do not to physically throw myself into the performance, wishing desperately that I could get up their and dance with them! As many people have mentioned to me, the people behind the scenes most certainly do not get enough credit. All those people who swoop in and remove parts of the set, organise the back drops correctly, change the costumes of the performers, apply and reapply make up, wigs, microphones and so on – props to you (pun intended) as the show was so smooth it was easy to forget about all that process going on behind the scenes – just as it should be.

For a bit of background, the PhantomSA website has pages of fascinating facts, including:

  • There are 130 cast, crew and orchestra members directly involved in each performance.
  • Each performance has 230 costumes, 14 dressers, 120 automated cues, 22 scene changes, 281 candles and uses 250 kg of dry ice and 10 fog and smoke machines.
They certainly know how to put that dry ice to great use!

If you haven’t ever seen the show – do it. Now! And even if you have, it is a classic, and so beautifully produced, that it is well worth another visit!

(You’re humming Phantom of the Opera now, aren’t you?)

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Quick disclaimer – we were hosted by Southern Sun, who is a client, but even if we hadn’t been I would’ve taken my mum to see it!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – In-depth Review for GirlGuides

“All in all I found the Samsung Galaxy to be user-friendly and comfortable to hold and browse, with easy access to the Android Market and loads of apps to choose from in order to totally personalise your tablet experience.”

To read the full review, check it out on GirlGuides