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How to buy a great, fast charging universal USB car charger

How To Buy A Fast Charging Universal USB Car Charger

How to buy a great, fast charging universal USB car charger

Between your iPhone, your Smartphones, the kids tablets and any other of your devices that need ON-THE-GO charging, a universal USB car charger is a must have. Especially for people like us who rely heavily on the battery draining GPS function of phones and tablets to help them navigate..

Over the last 4 years, I have gone through several car chargers and for the most part they were pretty much all the same. They did the job but they were nothing really special; they either broke apart at the plastic seams, they just stop charging all together for unknown reasons, took forever to charge a device or couldn’t keep our demanding devices charged faster than it was consuming battery life.

Broken car charger- a common problem

Then I came across the ZUS smart car charger which put an end to all of my charging on-the-go woes.  Plus it does something no other car charger can do. It has a special feature which allows it to double as a car finder. More on that in a bit.

Here is a list of everything I love about the ZUS car charger. Even if you don’t buy the ZUS car charger, use this list as a guide for everything you should look for in a great USB car charger and why.

1- Buy a car charger that can charge multiple devices at once

Why fight over who can charge their device in the car?  That little cigarette lighter in your car is more than capable of providing enough juice to charge multiple devices.  The Zus USB car charger comes with 2 ports so you can charge 2 devices at the same time. You could go for a charger with 4 ports but I think that 2 is perfect. Four port car chargers tend to be TOO big and seem to break more easily.

Even if you only have one device, you never know when you’ll need a second port for a friend sitting shotgun with 5 percent battery or your kids tablet that you forgot to charge the night before your long road trip.

2-Buy a charger with (slightly) illuminated  USB ports

buy a car charger with illuminated usb ports

I really like car chargers with ever so slightly illuminated USB ports. Not so much that the light from the car charger is obnoxious or distracting during night driving.

This might seem like a petty thing, but it’s really convenient to be able to find the USB port in the dark without having to turn on the lights in the car which can be disruptive to the driver or to other people who might be sleeping in the car.

The ZUS lights are great because they actually have the perfect amount of illumination. Not too much and not too little.

3-Buy a charger that can charge your devices fast(er)

Buy a car charger with atleast 2 amps of power PER USB port Never buy a car charger that outputs a measly 1 amp of power per port. 1 Amp might have cut it a few years ago but today, that weak output will barely keep your phone charged especially if your running GPS or music apps like Spotify.

Your cars cigarette lighter can put out about 10 amps of juice so take advantage of it’s full capability. (Amps are the current that’s supplied to your device. If Amps were a river, then amps would be how fast that river flows.)
Look for a charger that advertises at least 2 amps per port. To figure out the amps per port of any car charger is simple enough. Just take the total advertised amps and divide it by the number of ports. For example, the ZUS car charger has 4.8 amps output which means it puts out 2.4 amps per each of it’s two USB port.

How fast can ZUS’s 2.4 amps per port charge? 2.4 amps of power can charge two iPhones in about 2 hours vs.. 3 to 4 hours of a lower amp charger. This can mean life or death for your devices.

4- Get a USB car charger built to last

Buy a solid well built USB car charger that won't break unexpectantly

ZUS is the only car charger that meets US Military Standard. It’s all metal, titanium coated and can survive temperatures as high as 100ºC.  There is nothing worse than being in the car with dying devices and suddenly your car charger decides to just die too. Every single one of my car chargers have started to break after several months of use with no warning whatsoever, which I can only assume is because of their poor build quality.

The ZUS charger feels solid in the hands and was built to last. (I tried to pull it apart just to see if it would break and it didn’t).

5- Never lose or forget where you parked your car

Buy a car charger that helps you find your lost car

I live in an area where we don’t have dedicated parking. So everyday, we have to park the car in a new location which can be confusing day after day. I can’t tell you how many times we parked our car and walked away, totally forgetting where we left the car.

The ZUS USB car charger can actually help you find your car.

Whenever you park your car, ZUS will save your car’s location automatically. To find your car, just open the ZUS app (which you can download here)and be guided back to your car like magic.  No need to pin your location on a map before getting out of your car. The ZUS App automatically does it all for you.

It was really easy to pair with my phone. When I first got the ZUS car charger, I just plugged it into  my car cigarette lighter, installed and opened the ZUS App while in my car and it connected everything automatically.

I don’t know of any other USB car charger that has this functionality but it is really nice to have.

Go get one

Now that you know a thing or two about why one charger is better than another, you can shop with confidence.  Or pick up your very own ZUS car charger that doubles as an automatic car locator.

Fabulous French Gift Ideas for Francophiles

15 Fabulous French Gifts For Francophiles Obsessed With France

15 Fancy French Gifts For Your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France

Need to buy a gift for someone who happens to be a Francophile and loves all things French?  Forget cheesy souvenirs, I’ve put together a list of unique French gifts any self-respecting French wannabee would love to receive. All of which, you can easily find and order online or in some cases find locally.

1- An Authentic French Beret

An authentic French beret is a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France

A French beret………What could be more French? You could buy that French loving friend of  yours a run of the mill beret but…..If you want a truly classic French beret made in France the traditional way (mostly by hand) then check out Laulhère.  They’ve been making hats for over 175 years.  Prices vary but usually start at 35 USD.

2- Oyster Knife

A French made oyster knife is a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France A good quality oyster knife to shuck oysters is a great gift for any sophisticated shell-fish loving Francophile. Why?  Because the French love oysters on the half shell. Every year about 80 thousand tonnes of oysters (les huitres – “lay zueetr”) are consumed in France.  Mostly during Christmas and new years.  If you can’t find a store near you that sells an oyster knife, just order a Laguiole oyster knife online. It will set you back about 20 to 40 USD but it’s a gift they will cherish because Laguiole is a French brand well-known for quality knives and cutlery.

3- Real Champagne

Authentic French Champagne is a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with FranceTo put it simply, Champagne is sparkling (bubbly) wine from the Champagne region of France otherwise it is NOT REAL CHAMPAGNE and by law it cannot be called champagne. Instead sparkling wine made outside of the Champagne area must be called by another name. For example sparkling wine made in France but outside of the Champagne region is called Crémant. Other names and countries that produce Champagne like drinks include Prosecco in Italy, Cava in Spain, Sekt in Germany and of course sparkling wine in English speaking countries.

Beyond the world-famous and extemely expensive Dom Pérignon there are quite a few brands to choose from.  Veuve Clicquot, Tattinger, Moët et Chandon, Pommery, Ruinart, Roederer, Mumm, Canard-Duchêne, and Charles Heidsieck. Other French champagnes less known are Bollinger, Legras, Lanson, De Castellane, and Krug to name a few.

BTW, French Champagne and oysters on the half shell are two things that go well together in France. Especially during the Christmas and New Year Holidays.

See also: Can you stomach New Years Eve In True French Style? Weird Foods!

4- A Fancy Slate Cheese BoardA fancy slate cheese board is a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France

Why not offer your cheese loving Francophile friend a very chic slate cheese board with some chalk so they can serve and label cheese at their next diner party. If your local store does not have one, you can pick up a slate cheese board online for about 20 to 25 USD.

5- Cheese Baker For Camembert  and/or Brie

Baked Brie or Camembert Cheese baker is a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France

“A lovely gooey baked Camembert with loads of crusty bread for dipping is always a winner ” Jamie Oliver.

Let your friends re-create the classic French favourite, baked Camembert or baked Brie by giving them a stylish and beautiful cheese baker made to look like an actual cheese round. Make sure you get one big enough to take a standard 8 oz round of Camembert or Brie cheese.

6-Lego Eiffel Tower

A lego Eiffel tower kit is a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France

The Lego Eiffel Tower (~40$) is the perfect gift for all your French Francophile Friends (that’s a mouthful) who like to build things. Dare I say nerds?   Equally great for youngsters interested in France as well.

7-Wooden Crepe Making Tool set

Wooden Crepe tool-set spatuala and rake are a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France The secret to cooking great crepes is having the right tools. A normal spatula just won’t do. Instead, your crepe loving friends should use a wooden crepe making set (20$), which includes a spreader to help spread the batter in your pan to get your crepes super thin and a thin wooden spatula to make it easier to flip and serve without tearing those super thin crepes. Sure you can still make descent crepes without these tools but it’s so much easier with the right tools. I speak from experience.

8- Crepe Pan

Crepe pans are a fabulous French Gift to give your Francophile Friends Obsessed with France Don’t stop at the wooden crepe making tool set. Get your crepe lover a proper crepe pan or an electric one like this Eurolux electric crepe griddle. These truly make a difference in your crepe making production.

9-Fleur De Sel From Guérande

Fleur de Sell is an inexpensive but very classy thing to give to your Francophile Friends Obsessed with FranceWhenever people talk about the BEST salt in the world, Fleur de sel de Guérande usually comes up in the conversation. Collected by hand from the salt marshes of Bretagne in Guérande France. Fleur de sel de Guérande is normally used while cooking and at the table to enhance flavours. You should be able to find it in many well stocked grocery stores North America or online and should set you back 15 to 20 USD.

10- Le Coq Sportif

imageIf you really want to get on the good side of a sporty Francophile then get them  something from the French sports brand “Le Coq Sportif” (LUH- COK-Spor-TEEF) which means “The sporty Rooster”.  You’ll recognize the brand by the rooster logo.

Started back in 1882, Le coq sportif has been around for over 130 years and has become one of the world’s most prestigious brands, renowned for its clothing, footwear and sporting equipment. A little known fact- the founder, émile Camuset invented the sweat suit and sweat pants.




11-Humorous Books About France And French Life

If you know a Francophile who likes to read and has a good sense of humour than consider getting them one of the countless books written about French life such as “A year in the Merde” which means ” A year in the shit.

12- Crème brûlée torch and ramekins

Creme burlee making kit. perfect for your francophile friends

Give your Francophile foody friend the tools they need to re-create Crème brûlée, the classic French desert with a wonderfully crunchy sugar top. The secret to getting that crispy caramelized sugar topping is the blow torch while serving the desert in cute little ramekins just make it look oh so elegant. You would be surprised at just how easy it is to make Crème brûlée. 

13- Raclette Table Top Grill

raclette table top girill is a great gift to give your Francophile friend

When a friend invited our family to their house to “Manger la raclette”- Eat Raclette, I had no idea what to expect. What I learned was when someone in France says they will be serving raclette, they usually mean melted raclette cheese (which you melt yourself) served over various sliced cold meats, potatoes and cornichons. Raclette is a type of cheese, originally from Switzerland and typically used in this meal.

Think Fondue only each person melts their own cheese by placing a slice of raclette cheese on a mini pan which they place under the electric tabletop raclette grill, usually placed in the centre of the table so everyone can melt their own cheese. 

Raclette grills would make a wonderful gift for someone who loves to entertain or wants a fun way to serve family dinners. Having said that, raclette cheese is hard to find outside of France so feel free to substitute with your favourite cheese. I have used Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda and even Parmesan and serve over grilled veggies and potatoes. Watch the video below to see how it’s done.

14-French Inspired Shower Curtain

A shower curtain might seem like a strange gift to give to someone but think about it. Who doesn’t need a Fresh new shower curtain every so often? So the next time you need to buy a gift for someone’s house warming party, instead of getting them a potted plant that will eventually die, look for a French inspired shower curtain.

15-French Lessons

Every Francophile’s dream  is to be able to speak French so why not gift them online French lessons?  Personally, I think online French lessons have come a long way and you can actually learn a lot more than you can from a French text-book. With online French lessons, they’ll be able to watch videos, listen to audio, take self-directed tests. Plus, online French lessons are much more affordable than one on one lessons but almost just as good.

C’est Tout

In reality there are literally thousands of things you could buy for your French loving friends but I hope this list of 15 French gifts for your Francophile Friends inspires you to pick that perfect something that enchants their little French hearts.

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