ROXI Electric Jukebox Review

Hey readers,

I was lucky enough to be asked to review a ROXI Electric Jukebox. If you haven’t heard of this product then think of a music streaming entertainment service enhanced with karaoke, a choice of live worldwide radio stations, a game of name that tune with many genres to choose from and more.  There are many streaming services out there but ROXI Electric jukebox is a music streaming service that is an alternative to those such as Spotify, Tidal, Napster, Amazon, Apple, etc. focusing on sharing the experience in a family/party friendly way and moving from the private, sheltered individualistic routes that the aforementioned streaming services take you.

WHATS IN THE BOX / HOW IT LOOKS

The packaging is a smart, well designed affair with an outer card sleeve protecting an inner box that contains the well protected kit. Sliding a new box from a thick outer sleeve always makes me tingle with anticipation as there is normally something of good quality waiting to be revealed and the ROXI Electric Jukebox hub with its accompanying remote/microphone certainly looks the part as you pop the lid of the inner box open.

The ROXI Electric Jukebox hub and remote/mic are nestled into their own snug compartments in a strong card tray. Under that is another tray that holds three cables:

  • Power Adapter – 240v, 3 pin transformer plug to 5v 5.5mm power jack.
  • HDMI cable – 1m long, male both ends for video/audio connection to your TV.
  • USB cable – short usb cable to charge the remote/microphone.

ROXI Electric Jukebox comes with a full year premium subscription membership to get you started (then £52 a year which I believe is about half the amount that some others charge). A nicely laid out paper guide is included to help get you into the fun as quickly and easily as possible.

The ROXI hub is 27mm high and about 130mm square but rounded more like a lozenge with a matt plastic concave top incorporating a shiny ‘eJ’ logo and a smart flush fitted, soft lit power button. The front face includes ‘E L E C T R I C   J U K E B O X’ in shiny block letters. The base of the Roxi hub is convexed down to a soft silicone ring that means wherever you place it, the ROXI hub shouldn’t leave any marks. A really neat feature is a ‘keyhole’ inset into the base to allow you to hang the ROXI hub off a screw on the wall behind your TV. All the sockets are located in the back of the Hub and include: Power; HDMI; Ethernet; USB; Audio.

All in all the ROXI hub is very smart and whether you choose Charcoal, Blue or Coral, it will look good anywhere but is well enough designed to hide behind the TV should you wish.

The Remote/Microphone is wireless and created in the same smart style as the ROXI hub with the matt finish and an ‘eJ’ logo near the base. It is made from a soft feel plastic, is about 175mm long, 30mm square with rounded edges and feels really pleasant to hold and use. The top section of the remote/mic is cloth as it is a microphone but is still as smart and good quality as the rest it Down the front of the remote/mic is: ‘OK’ button, fast forward, pause and ‘voice search’ button.

SETTING UP

Setting up ROXI takes less than two minutes using the supplied power lead to a 240v socket and then the supplied HDMI lead between the jukebox and your tv – easy as pie.

Internet connection is easy enough, you can either:

  • plug in an ethernet cable (not supplied) direct from your router into the jukebox and you have instant internet connection.
  • switch the jukebox on with just power and TV connected- the jukebox immediately asks for your WIFI password so type it in and off you go.

If like us you use a ‘Wireless Station Access List’ for extra WIFI security then you will no doubt be looking for the MAC address of the jukebox – I gave up looking and it doesn’t show in the list of available addresses on my router.  I turned the access list off, connected the jukebox using the WIFI password then refreshed the router page, hey presto, there was the MAC address for me to copy and paste into the Wireless Station Access List; switch the security feature back on the router and then sign the jukebox out and back into the WIFI network again. I can’t help but think it would be much easier if the jukebox’s MAC address was supplied printed on the machine.

NAVIGATION THROUGH MENUS / REMOTE CONTROL

The on screen menus of the ROXI Electric Jukebox are easy to navigate around and the icons used are easy to understand so you don’t get confused like I would normally. Whenever a text is needed, an onscreen keyboard pops up just like on a smart phone. To move your on screen cursor all you have to do is point the remote at the screen and wave it about, pressing ‘OK’ when your cursor is in the right place. It feels a bit strange at first but then you realise it is just like moving a computer mouse about but in the air. To make life quicker and much easier you can use the ‘mic’ button on your remote and voice recognition does the rest for you with no problems recognising different accents.

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I can not seem to get voice search to work in the ‘Party:Karaoke’ mode though which is a big shame – I shall email the ROXI team and update this when I find out more.

FEATURES

There are tens of million of tracks at your fingertips for you to listen to and these can be searched individually or you can jump into different genres to inspire your choice. There are global radio stations and even a section specifically for children’s stories (a perfect way for them to wind down before bed).

A good feature that we like is that once you start a song or playlist, you can still navigate through most of the menus with the music still playing in the background and the information of the current song a the bottom of the screen.

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In addition to this you can select the current song at the bottom of the screen and look at the track list or album/single detailed information which then provides a link to find more music from the same artist. As you are doing this there is always the option of a simple click to add a track, album or radio station to your favourite.

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The home screen gives you a small settings ‘cog’ icon for WIFI connection, Family Protection, Visualiser on/off, auto TV wake when ROXI is switched on, and general product information. The main options on the home screen are:

Party:

  • Sing With The Stars – karaoke to millions of songs with an individual song, artist or album search, classic karaoke suggestions, modern, top artists or browse by genre.
  • Name That Tune – One of the worlds top music quizzes with a choice of 16 genres to guess as many songs in 30 seconds or less with the ability to record high scores for the family. Really fun game against the timer and a bit of friendly competition for the family and friends.
  • Party Playlists – 10 genres of party mixes to keep you bouncing.

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Discover:

  • My Playlists – make your own.
  • Tastemakers – playlists by celebrity curators such as Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams, Alexander Armstrong (Danger Mouse! my children shout when they hear Alexander’s voice on the radio). In total, 6 celebrities with 33 playlists between them
  • Moods – many playlists categorised under 13 genres such as Romance, Workout, Zumba, Road Trippin’ – plenty of choice to just press play and let the music work its magic.
  • Genres – loads of playlists under classic genres such as Rock, Pop, Electronic.
  • Featured – unusual Genres that are great to explore: Children’s Stories, The Brits, Jacaranda, etc.

My Music: a place to find all your saved:

  • Playlists.
  • Albums.
  • Songs.
  • Radio Stations.

Search: find individual song title, album or artist:

  • Voice Search
  • Test Search
  • Recent Searches

Extras:

  • Radio – find your stored My Favourite radio station or search through Popular Radio, Radio by Genre or individual station search.
  • Sound Machine – Relax, Meditate or Sleep – set the timer for auto-off and chill out to relaxing sounds.
  • Photo Frame – turn your tv into a living photo album by linking to your Facebook photo albums.

OVERVIEW / ENJOYMENT

My kids love the karaoke with ROXI Electric Jukebox and find it ace, my eldest is learning to read so the karaoke helps encourage him to learn new words in a fun way. You do not have to fear about young children hearing foul language as there is a ‘Family Protect’ feature that you can enable prevent the little ones hearing the things you may not want them to.

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I find it easy to use and finding music is quick and fun. We can take it in turns with the microphone or share it. Independant research found that 66% of parents wish they could spend more family time together**. That is why this device is good as it offers opportunity to share some time together as a family and create happy memories. The amount of ready to run playlists are great as it introduces us to new music. I enjoy beating my hubby’s high score in ‘Name That Tune’.

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When it comes time to relax for bed the Sound Machine section under Extras is fantastic and also includes White Noise and the sound of Heart Beats which are great for soothing babies and getting them and the parents off to sleep. The company’s ethos of, “Music at home should be for sharing not headphone wearing” is true – we love sharing our old tunes, our parents old tunes and also exploring new tunes with our children.

ROXI is great but I have a few criticisms:

In the karaoke the ‘next lines to sing’ are very dark and so hard to see, it would be great if they could be a little brighter or use a light blue and yellow mix so we can be better prepared for when the new line comes comes up. What happened to the little bouncing ball that helps us with the timing?

The microphone can be very echoey  but that might be us getting used to how to hold it correctly.

The volume really needs more control, we have to have the TV turned up loud because the music is so quiet and even with the microphone turned to low our voices through the TV are still deafening. I think having 3 volume sliders would improve the sound: one for the music in general; one for the mic and one to control the volume of the music while the mic is being sang into.

As the jukebox is only running on 5 volts and draws no more than 2 amps maximum (according to rating on the transformer plug) I don’t understand why it doesn’t use a usb power socket. As most modern tv’s come with usb outlets for such things it would keep things tidier and would give us the opportunity to swap the lead to whatever length we need (the supplied power lead is only 1 metre long)

Overall, ROXI Electric Jukebox is a fantastic piece of kit, simple to set up, lots of choice and a slick design making it appealing to the modern person. It is a fantastic tool to add to family or group entertainment and will be great for christmases or birthdays.

I have also done a  video of going through the menus etc so you can get a better idea as exactly how the electric jukebox works

Cheers for reading X

**Research carried out July 2017 by censuswide for electric jukebox sample 2000 UK families with children under 14 years old. 

I was given a electric jukebox in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed are my own entirely. .

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4 Ways that the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine can help you

The need for mental health services is on the rise as there is more and more of the population that struggles to manage demons and issues that they cannot deal with on their own. The need for mental health services is critical and while there are government dollars going towards funding new programs and services for those affected by mental illness, many are still unclear as to how to go about getting help. This article will highlight some of the ways that the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine, also known as AddictionVA, can help you get the treatment you need to be the best you.

Treatment centers can often help with more than addiction and we will point out some of the most common areas in which people seek treatment.

  1. Bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder are typically misdiagnosed by family members and friends as being “crazy.” The truth is that those that struggle with bipolar disorder experience a vast range of mood swings from manic highs to a dark, deep, depressive state. A wide range of emotions plays out with this disorder as one can go from being energetic while in a manic high to suicidal when in a low period. As you can imagine, living like this can be exhausting and cause for an individual to suffer with identity development or feeling as if they belong. You can get assistance and find coping strategies that are effective for your disorder by getting help at a treatment center near you.

  2. Depression. This common problem is not something to ignore as those who experience it benefit a great deal from getting the resources and help that they need. Depression presents itself in many forms but they all negatively affect a person’s overall happiness and quality of life. Counseling and other services can help an individual break through their depressive state and find strategies to live a healthier life.

  3. Anxiety. It is normal to experience feelings of anxiety from time to time or in a new situation. Anxiety can appear as nervousness on the first day of school or when you try something new. It can also appear in more severe ways such as feeling overwhelmed and highly stressed on a daily basis. Anxiety can cause individuals to feel that they are out of control or overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks. There are several different types of anxiety disorders but the most common are social anxiety disorder or panic disorder. No matter what type of anxiety your loved one is managing on a daily basis, their quality of life could be vastly improved by the services offered at treatment or therapy centers.

  4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. People who experience a disorder such as OCD may seem to be controlling, compulsive, or overly obsessed. Some examples of this include obsessive thoughts that lead to anxiety, fear of things such as germs or bugs, or doing repetitive behaviors such as washing hands repeatedly. Treatment can help your family member or friend learn strategies to control their obsessions.

Resting 

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

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because we have been to London the week before for a holiday and I am exhausted. Taking kids there is solid, especially when you the parent has additional needs to add in the mix.

So, because we have been full on the week before I have been rested as I did not sleep very well because of sleeping with kids as you can imagine. there is nothing like getting into your own bed and have a foot or hand shoved in your face,  😂  I am physically and mentally exhausted and needed to rest my body. Holidays are really testing but there was a lot of fun as well.

It has been a bit of downtime and giving me change to catch up on all the watching and YouTube whilst living in a launderette 😉

Cheers for reading X

The Reading Residence

Top tips to keep children drinking water

Water makes up more of a child’s body than an adult’s so it is vital they have plenty to drink as they are more prone to dehydration.  

 How much they need depends on each child, but health experts suggest 6-8 glasses each day.  For younger children, the British Nutrition Foundation suggests servings of 120-150mls, and 250-300mls for older children. 

 But, of course, expert advice is one thing, getting your child to follow that advice is another. 

 

Top tips for keeping children hydrated

 Let them choose a water bottle 

 Younger children in particular will love having a new trinket. Let them help to fill up the bottle with filtered drinking water and the novelty should at least last a week or two and hopefully form into a habit. 

 Make ice lollies at home 

 Invest in lolly moulds then add flavourings or juice to filtered drinking water. At least you will know what is actually in the lollies – and that there is water in there! 

 Always have water on hand 

  

Save yourself a fortune on drinks by always carrying a refillable bottle of filtered drinking water. Pack well when heading out for the day with a bottle for everyone and frequently offer children a sip of water. 

 

Try to cut back on sugary drinks 

A glass of squash made up with filtered drinking water may help to keep fluid levels topped up but dentists advise keeping these to meal times to minimise sugar damage.  

 Encourage children to drink more when exercising  

 It can seem like young children are on the go all the time. Keep offering them water as they race around and remind older children to take a bottle of drinking water with them. 

 Should the sunshine make an appearance… 

 Provide plenty of fresh, cool filtered drinking water to stop children getting dehydrated in the heat. 

 Most of all make sure they have plenty of energy to enjoy playing by staying hydrated.

For more information on hydration and the benefits of drinking filtered water visit Doulton Water 

 

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Letter to the parents of children starting school 

To the parents of children starting in reception,

I know people get emotional when their child starts school in reception. My child will start year one in September so, I thought I would share with you what I have learnt over the year.

Firstly, I have read a lot about the emotional impact it has on a parent when their child starts school. Let’s be logical here they are not gone forever and this is an exciting new chapter on there life. Some parents sadly don’t ever get to see this opportunity so look on the bright side, at least they are growing healthy and growing into their own little personality.

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They will still love you but they are now that little more independent. I sure for one don’t want my child needing me so intensely.

Most of the time the child will enjoy the new experience. Sometimes, a child may have additional needs or struggle to settle in. but that is ok as the school is there to provide the support.

school 1

Not many people know this but reception is actually classed as nursery. They do not need to pay for time off if you go on holiday. I have spoken to a teacher who has told me this information. So, stand your ground if you want to take your child out for a holiday.
Reception year is more about settling in and adjusting to school life. They will learn to write phonetically (which  is honestly a load of shite but I won’t go into that, as that is a post in itself). They learn to read which is lovely as my son had book each week to practice at home and he loves reading now.

They go on trips which is so much fun as most children love to be like a grown up especially when it is away from the family.

They will explore and learn all about the world, it will help them understand others.

it is also a testing time for a child as they need to learn to get on and share with other children. Some children are more bossy whilst others can be shy. This is life and I believe something good for the child to learn about different types of personality. Using skills are adapting and working out what way would be best to get the result they are searching for.

It will change them but for the good. They will grown as we all do and develop that much further. But don’t worry because they not alone as others are going through the same experience.

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DS1 on his first day at school, happy as Larry!

Cheers for reading X

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Eco cleaning ideas for kids

 

Involving the kids in the daily household chores can be educational and fun, especially for the younger ones who love following around their parents and helping them. And while you may prefer using bleach to clean up everything, it’s not really a good idea to expose children to toxins such as chlorine. In order to keep your home tidy and your family safe, we have compiled a list of several eco cleaning ideas for kids.

Children not always love cleaning after themselves, but if you start teaching them from early age, it will become a daily habit for them. You should explain them the meaning of ecology and why it is so important to protect our environment. Most kids will instantly buy into the idea of saving the planet, so they will be excited about eco cleaning, as well.

Before giving your kids any chores to do, make sure to get rid of all the toxic cleaners you are probably used to. This includes all commercial cleaning products – unfortunately, they contain hazardous ingredients that can cause a wide variety of health problems such as skin irritation and skin burning, allergies, breathing difficulties, and many others. They pollute the air in your home and with regular use, can even be carcinogenic over time. You can either replace them with eco cleaners that are also available in most stores, or use easy home-made concoctions. They are safe not only for the environment, but for your family, as well.

Simple items from your pantry such as vinegar and baking soda are well-known that will clean almost everything in your home – bathtubs and sinks, ovens and upholstery. Moreover, they are easy to use by your children, too. Just mix the ingredients in advance and show the kids how to use their new, green cleaner. If you want to refresh and deodorize the carpets, tell the kids to sprinkle over them a little baking soda. Then, let it sit for half an hour and vacuum clean everything – or let the kids do it. One of the most exciting eco cleaning chores is not a chore at all – give the children baking soda and vinegar to mix for the toilet. The reaction between the two will create a little explosion that is really fun, yet completely safe. And don’t worry, the smell of vinegar will go away, when the toilet dries.

For a green washing of the windows you can use lemon juice or a mixture of 2 cups water and 3 tablespoons vinegar. Then arm the kids with a spray bottle and clean soft cloths and your windows are done. If you and your family don’t really like the smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil – it not only smells nice and fresh, but also disinfects and kills bacteria. In fact, several essential oils are very effective antibacterial and antiseptic agents, so you can use them in your cleaning routine – tea tree, rosemary, lemon grass, lavender and eucalyptus. Another green all-purpose cleaner is the natural soap. Look for Castile soap or any other organic vegetable-based soap that is safe and biodegradable. It’s even easier to use by the kids, if it’s in its liquid form and can be used as laundry detergent, hand or dish-washing soap, etc. Mix it with water and a few drops of essential oil and you will have the perfect cleaner for floors, tables, walls or cutting boards.

Another eco cleaning chore your children can easily do is decluttering and sorting out the garbage. Show them what should be thrown away and what could be reused and recycled. Have them divide the recyclable items into three piles – plastic, metal and glass. Then before putting them in the recycling bin, the kids should wash them well with water and soap – tell them to remove all labels, if it’s not too difficult for them. Old or broken toys can also go for recycling.

All these household chores can be done eco-friendly with a little imagination. Try to be as green as possible, if not for yourself or the environment, then for your kids. Their health and well-being are the most important, after all.

This is a guest post.

Observations from having two children 

Hey readers,

I am luckily enough to be blessed with two boys. I remember in the earlier days of having my second child how completely different my world turned, compared to just having one bundle of joy.

Firstly, when having two children you need to have skills in multi-tasking and making sure each child has their own needs meet. For example, when it comes to play having suitable aged toys available to them. An example of this would be a playmat for the baby but for the toddler more advanced toys such as stacking blocks.


Online shopping or having the opportunity to take one child out is a blessing. I found it so hard trying to navigate a child and a push chair. I am really lucky enough to get hubby to look after one child whilst I went shopping with the other child. This situation really good for me right now as my eldest  needs a lot of one to one attention when it comes to practicing writing. Therefore, I don’t feel as guilty. But I am slowly learning for everyones sanity is it is ok to ask for help.

Make sure if you have two children of close age to make sure that when ever you chose something for them make sure that the item is exactly the same. Even if it is the same colour beaker, trust me the arguments over silly minor things like having a different colour cup is shocking. It keeps things calm and it protects your hearing from all the squabbling, win-win!
If you have electronical devices make sure there are two. I will one day persuade hubby to get another tablet because really it gives us all peace. Currently I dread when one child asks can they have the tablet, it is a nightmare. Sod the art of learning when it comes to technology, I opt for peace if I could. Until that day I am very much miffed at hubby, 😉.


A good thing about having two children is that the second time round  you kinda know generally what to expect. I felt more relaxed and confident as a parent with things like potty training and wenaing.
Having a second child close in ages is fantastic as my boys have such a strong bond and have a play partner. Not saying that they always get on as pickering often happens but I know they care and love one another. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that as a parent of two children.

Cheers for reading X

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