Etekcity Portable Outdoor Camping LED Lantern Flashlights Review

There are so many things I liked about these lanterns.

1. They come in a pack of two – Very useful that is with multiple children, they each get one and everyone is happy.
2. They are very bright – much brighter than you might expect from a lantern this small. A small lantern with a lot of light is perfect!
3. They fold up small, and they’re light. So they’re super easy to just close up and toss in your bag for later use.
4. The handle is just right. The handle folds down as well so it’s not in the way when you’re storing the lantern and it’s big enough to easily carry the lantern when you need it.

The batteries are individually wrapped, so you need to unscrew the battery compartment on the bottom, unwrap them, and stick them back in for the lantern to work. This is good for shipping, but it took me a minute to figure it out when I first got the lanterns.

This is a great product and I’ll be using it a lot this summer.

I received this product free for purposes of my review, all opinions are my own.

My Halloween Porch Light

Me and my porch light just do not agree on how my front porch should be lit for Halloween. We’ve been in our house for 6 years now and I have yet to have my porch light ON for Halloween.

1st Halloween – I’m pretty sure the light worked, but I didn’t even think about it being Halloween. I grew up in a rural area and you really don’t trick or treat when the houses are miles apart. So, I really wasn’t paying attention. Plus I had a 2month old, so I really wasn’t up on things yet anyways. Currently, I live in a neighborhood that’s easy to walk and perfect for trick or treating, so there’s a lot of trick or treaters. Anyways, the first year in my house, I just didn’t think about it. Someone TP’d our pine trees in the front yard that year too. How was I to know this was a popular trick or treating street?

2nd Halloween – My porch light had burnt out the week before, but I hadn’t thought about it last year, and I didn’t think about it this year. However, my father-in-law had picked that night to come over to our house and work on his car in our garage (our garage is easier to see from the street than our front door). To complicate things, he was working with the garage door open and the lights on in the garage so people kept coming to him for candy. He sent them to the front door and luckily I had a basket of random candy on the counter that I grabbed and handed out to trick or treaters. As a side note, my father in law sat at that basket halfway through the evening so I was without a basket after that, and yes, I handed out the squashed candy, I didn’t have anything else!

3rd Halloween – So, I was prepared with candy this year, just in case, but I hadn’t planned to turn the porch light on so I didn’t have a large supply of candy. But, my father-in-law decided AGAIN that this was a good night to work on his car in my garage with the door open – you’d think he would know better by now. And since my porch light didn’t work again (it always goes out sometime in September and I don’t have a ladder tall enough to reach the bulb so I add it to my husband’s to-do list and hope for the best) people were driving him crazy. I offered to just set the basket of candy by the garage door entrance so he didn’t have to keep sending people to the front door, but he didn’t like that idea. So, I apologized to everyone for the porch light being out, and handed out candy at the front door.

4th Halloween – I finally got it figured out! I had my big basket of candy planned, even had fall decorations on the porch. My plan was to turn on the porch light and put the basket of candy on the porch so I didn’t have to keep answering the door. Well…a month before halloween my porch light went out again. And I STILL don’t have a ladder tall enough for me to reach the light, and my husband keeps forgetting, so I have to keep answering the door and pointing out the basket that’s on the outside of the door because no one can see it because there’s no porch light! You know, people come to the door, I say the candy’s on the porch (though, it’s now behind the open door) I have to point it out and they can’t see it because the porch is dark. I quickly gave up and just handed it out at the door.

5th Halloween – I still don’t have a tall enough ladder to reach the light, and it went out again in September. Though, it’s ok, we’re going to a halloween party, I’ll just leave candy on the porch and hope for the best. Well, my husband is home late that night so we end up at home with two disappointed little girls in their halloween costumes, handing out handfuls (instead of one at a time as instructed) of candy to people at the door. I almost ran out of candy! Actually, I did run out of candy, the last couple of people ended up with mini rice crispy treats. Sorry kids!

6th Halloween – This year, I have outwitted the light. I purchased a ladder. I replaced the bulb that burnt out in August this year with one of those bulbs that is supposed to last for years. I have my candy planned out, my bucket, we take the kids to a party the Friday before and they are all excited about handing out candy this year. A week before halloween my light goes out, you know, the bulb that is supposed to last for years. But, I have my ladder, so the day before Halloween (I’m not taking any chances this year, surely a light bulb can last 24 hours!) I climb up there and replace the bulb. Well…apparently, it’s not my bulb, there’s something wrong with the fixture and no light bulb is going to work. So, once again we have a dark porch, and this year the weather is bad so even though there are lots of trick or treaters, they aren’t taking a chance on a dark house so only about 5 people come by, the girls are sad because no one came, and we have LOTS of candy left over!

Next year, I’m going to have the fixture replaced, a new light bulb, and a couple of lanterns, some flashlights, maybe I’ll line the sidewalk with candles or something…

Lots of Theories

I commented to my husband the other day that first time parents (and those without children) have a lot of theories but experienced parents have no theories at all, just lots of practical advice. He thought it was funny.

But, really, it’s true. We share all our helpful tips for surviving life with 3 or more little kids and laugh at each other’s stories and no one feels compelled to tell anyone else how they could have done it better, we’ve all been there and we know how it is. We may give practical suggestions if we have them and if we don’t have any practical suggestions we just laugh and share our own funny story.

For example, I was complaining about how hard it is to get the straws clean on those Take N Toss cups with straws because the straws fall through the silverware basket in the dishwasher. She pointed out that she just leaves the straw in the cup lid and sticks them on the top rack in the dishwasher…brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? That just saved me 5 minutes washing dishes every day! Actually, my middle child likes to chew on straws so she ruined all my straws by chewing on them. I just threw them away and started buying the red striped disposable straws. I notice when I was at my friends house the other day that she has also switched to the disposable straws, she must have had the same problem I did. You’ll note though, not once did we discuss our theories for getting our child to stop chewing on all the straws, we just switched to disposable. Very practical.

And the question of how to keep your kids from waking you up at 5 am convinced that it’s morning. I tell my oldest 2 that they can’t get me up until it’s light outside. The’ll play barbies in their room for an hour waiting for it to get light and then come get me and ask for hot chocolate, and a host of snacks for breakfast. There’s no, “you just tell them to stay in their room and punish them when they don’t” talk, we discuss how we explain to our 3 yr old in a way that they can understand when it’s considered “morning” and they are allowed to wake us. One of my friends uses a timer on her kids lamps and when the lamp turns on they can get up. Another mom just sends them back to bed if they get up too early. And someone else just has them join her in her bed until it’s time to get up. But, not one of us is convinced that our way is better than the others, it’s just what works best for us and our kids.

And potty training, we all just smile and nod. So which candy did your child prefer? Did you use a sticker chart? You still using pullups at night? And then we launch into our most embarrassing/funny stories thus far. My kids love public restrooms. If they even think there might be one at a store they instantly have a need to go to the bathroom. The other day, I was shopping with the kids and headed into a dressing room. My girls were ecstatic, I had, without being asked decided to go into a public restroom. I had to leave my two sweaters with the nice ladies running the dressing room and take my kids to the bathroom and then come back to the dressing room and try on my sweaters. Now, I don’t try on a lot of clothing with all three kids along so up until this point the girls had not realized that there was such a thing as a dressing room at a store. According to my kids, next to public restrooms, dressing rooms are the greatest thing ever invented by stores. And our Sam’s has a child sized sink in their bathroom. Thanks a lot guys… I have to plan an extra 20 minutes in Sam’s just so the kids can go play in the sink. (they always have to urgently go to the bathroom the minute we step into Sam’s).

And the number of times our kids have removed their clothing at inappropriate times, and said things we just didn’t want them to say…don’t even get me started…we all just smile, laugh, and know that that’s just how life goes.