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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Product review: GRASEP Extremely Large Nylon Webbing Tactical Duty Belt

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I got this belt in size XXL with F buckle.  The belt is 1.5" wide and 56.5" in length (end to end).  The belt is heavy but not totally stiff so it is comfortable. The stitching is reinforced and the edges are well finished.  The buckle is easy to adjust but locks in well and does not move on its own. The tongue of the belt is held in place by Velcro.  This keeps it totally flat against the belt.



I also got a belt with an A buckle and I like this A buckle better. The main reason I like the A buckle better is that F style buckle has two metal pieces that make a bit of a clanking noise when the touch each other (this happens only when you adjust the belt).  It does not happen when you wear it but if you need to take a bathroom break...  My husband wears this belt when we are doing wild life photography so even a tiny noise could spook the animals.  If the noise is important to you the A buckle is one piece and makes no noise.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, December 30, 2016

Product review: Akila Anti Oxidant Eye Cream

I have been using this cream around my eyes.  I can't say it performed major miracles, but after two weeks of use I see slight improvement especially under my eyes.

This cream feels rich and smooth and it is absorbed quickly.  It is a good moisturizer that seem  feel the fine lines around on my skin.  To see how it works I treated the back of one hand and then compared the two hands. The skin on the treated hand looked smoother. It does not feel greasy.

This cream is not unscented.  The scent it has is very interesting, after I applied it smelled a bit like coffee and a little bit as lemon to me.  Since I like both of those scents I liked how it smelled.  I never had a cream with type of a smell before, I am enjoying it.

Recommendations for use from the label: apply twice  a day.

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Ingredients
Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Aloe Leaf Juice, Organic Sunflower Oil, botanical hyaluronic acid, Witch Hazel, Glycolic Acid, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Glyceryl Stearate, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Squalane, Lactic Acid, Palm Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Octyl Palmitate, Organic Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Stearate, Vitamin C, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Crithmum Maritimum Extract (Sea Fennel Wax), Matrixyl 3000, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Cucumber Hydrosol, Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Wildcrafted Green Tea, R Lipoic Acid, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract (Bearberry Extract), Blueberry Extract, Organic Cranberry, Raspberry Seed Oil, Wildcrafted Oregon Grape, Organic Licorice, Wildcrafted Eyebright, Helichrysum Essential Oil, Camellia Oil, Avocado Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Organic Flax Seed Oil, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Organic Rose Hip Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E Acetate, Phytic Acid, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl (Antioxidant), Lecithin, Pyrus Malus (Apple), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane), Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate (peptides), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate), Acetyl

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆





Thursday, December 29, 2016

Product review: Solar Light by Ledlight4u

I live in New England where the sun does not shine 100% of the day so I like the solar lights that have the efficient mode of totally turning off when there is no motion.   I can really tell a different when I use solar lights that waste their batteries on dim light when no one is around.  This light only turn on at dusk and has three modes: off when there is no motion/bright light when there is motion, dim light when there is no motion, bright light when there is motion and always on using dim light after sunset.  The mode is selected by pressing  button in the battery compartment.  The button is not labeled: one press is dim/bright, two presses dim all the time, and three presses bright/off.

This light has a panel with 50 LED lights.  It is reasonably bright.  When I say "bright" what do I mean? To give a numeric measurement of brightness I use a lux meter which measures light intensity. For comparison I took the same measurements with a 60 watt bulb (since we all have a good feel for how bright those bulbs are).  The measurement is made at 19".

1. at 19" a 60 watt fluorescent bulb registers 613 lux
2. the bright mode of Ledlight4u is registers 207 lux
3. the dim mode of Ledlights4u registers 50 lux

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The light generated by this light is not as bright as a 60 watt bulb, but it is within the range of other similar sized solar lights.

The battery compartment has room for two battery which are included (18650 batteries).

One thing to be aware of is that the battery compartment of this light is not water proof. In attached video you can see that the battery compartment opens with  snap closure rather than screws and there is no silicon gasket around the battery door. Plan to use this light under an overhang or some other protection from the elements.  This is not a problem for me as I have a roof over the light with an angle that lets the sun hit the solar panel. However, this does make placing this light a bit trickier.  Note that if the light does not get enough sun to get recharged the batteries can be recharged in  18650 battery charger.

The light comes with mounting hardware include hollow wall anchors.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Product review: SoundPEATS Bluetooth Speaker Portable

In the Bluetooth mode this speaker will not blast you out your seat but it produces good sound at a normal listening volume. The sound is clean and clear, each instrument is distinguishable, the sound is not muddy, and handles base reasonably well for a speaker of this size. 

The speaker works both a Bluetooth speaker as well as connected with an audio cable. I thought it was somewhat louder when it was in a Bluetooth mode using the maximum volume setting on both the speaker and the phone.

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To test various speakers I use Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor. I like using because it has several passages in the beginning of the fugue which many speakers cannot handle - some speakers crackles others generate distortions, but this speaker handled it very well. In my video I included a short snippet of music so you can get a better idea of how it sounds.

The speaker is 6.5" tall and 2.5" wide. Its weight is 1 pounds 0.5 oz.


Pretty nice speaker overall.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Product review: SCOTTeVEST Revolution Travel Clothing

Learning all the features of this jacket is like going on a treasure hunt! I kept finding little things I did not expect.  It does has one thing that I wish was different.  I will try to cover all the pluses and minuses below.

Major features:

1. I like the overall look and finish. It feels well made, the seams are fnished neatly, there are a lot of thoughtful touches.

2. Lots and lots of pockets. A total of 26 pockets.  This is the main reason I was interested in this jacket. My husband absolutely hates to carry a bag of any sort. If it does not fit into his pockets it either does not travel with us or *I* have to carry it. And that does not make me happy!

3. The jacket repels water and has a hood (which can be hidden in the collar).

4. It feels light, but the keeps the wind and cold out. However, this is not a winter jacket for real cold weather (at least not in New England weather) - it has no fleece or heavy lining.

5. It has zippers that work smoothly.  Now we come to the thing I wish was different. The front zipper is not a double zipper. I.e. you cannot unzip a little bit from the bottom and little bit from the top.  You can only  unzip the top, or totally unzip it. There is only one snap - at the very bottom of the jacket. What I prefer is a double zipper.  This is the only minus in the construction of the entire jacket.  It is not a deal breaker but I thought the jacket would be more versatile with a double zipper.

6. The jacket can be machine washed. However it should not be dried in the dryer.
Cleaning instructions: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle. Hang to Dry, do not dry clean, do not tumble dry. 

Minor features:

1. I really like the channels and loops that hold wires in place and keep them from getting caught on things. These channels are placed on both left and right side so you choose the most comfortable position whether you are righty or lefty.

2. I like that the pockets that are meant for the phone and other small electronic devices. They are transparent so you can quickly see what is happening on the phone without having to take it out.

3. The side pockets are HUGE. They easily fit a water bottle and more.  If you choose to carry a water bottle in the pocket, it has a a large elastic loop to keep the bottle upright.

4. In addition to large pockets, the jacket also has small pockets so small items do not get lost, like pens or ear buds.

5. The pockets have loops and holders for keys are other items that you might want to attach so they don't get lost or stolen.






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The packaging include a medical warning: the jacket uses magnets to keep pockets closed.  This means people who use medical devices such as pacemakers may have interference from magnets with their devices.

Overall, my husband is stoked about the jacket - it feels comfortable and having so many pockets is great.  The size of the jacket is true to size.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★









Sunday, December 25, 2016

Product review: GRASEP Nylon Webbing Tactical Duty Belt - A buckle style

I got the XXXL size of the nylon belt with the A buckle.  The belt is 1.5" wide and 56.5" in length (end to end).  The belt is heavy but not totally stiff so it is comfortable. The stitching is reinforced and the edges are well finished.  The buckle is easy to adjust but locks in well and does not move on its own. The tongue of the belt is held in place by a loop.  The loop is loose and one need to take care not to loose it as it can fall off the belt.

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I also got a belt with an F buckle and I like this A buckle better. The main reason I like this buckle better is that F style buckle has two metal pieces that make a bit of a clanking noise when the touch each other when you adjust the belt.  It does not happen when you wear it but if you need to take a bathroom break...  My husband wears this belt when we are doing wild life photography so even a tiny noise could spook the animals.  If the noise is important to you the A buckle is one piece and makes no noise.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Product review: Akila Anti Aging Cream for Face

This cream feels rich and smooth and it is absorbed quickly.  It is a good moisturizer that seem  feel the fine lines in  my skin.  To see how it works I treated the back of one hand and then compared the two hands. The skin on the treated hand looked smoother.

This cream is not unscented.  The scent it has is very interesting, after I applied it smelled a bit like coffee to me.  Since I like coffee I liked how it smelled.  I never had a cream with type of a smell before, I am enjoying it.

I have a dry patch of skin on my forehead and this cream really helps from making it look dry and flaky.

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Ingredients

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Barbadensis Aloe Leaf Juice Aloe, Organic Sunflower Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Octyl Palmitate, Glycolic Acid, Organic Coconut Oil, Squalane, Lactic Acid, Palm Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, MSM, Cocoa Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Stearate, Cucumber Distillate, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Coenzyme Q10, Phytic Acid, Phospholipids, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Grapeseed Oil, Wildcrafted Mahonia Aquifolium (Oregon Grape), Wildcrafted Green Tea, Camellia Oil, Avocado Oil, Wildcrafted Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright), Helichrysum Gymnocephalum (Helichrysum Essential Oil), Organic Glycyrrhiza Glabra, Lemongrass, Vitamin C Palmitate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Tamanu Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Organic Flax Seed Oil, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Organic Rose Hip Oil, Vitamin B5, Wildcrafted Arnica, Organic Lavender, Organic Calendula, Organic Chamomile, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sodium Carbomer, Sclerotium Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl (Antioxidant), Lecithin, Pyrus Malus (Apple), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane), Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆



Friday, December 23, 2016

Product review: 26" Rolling Snow Pusher With 6" Rubber Wheels


I bought this shovel last winter after seeing a similar roller pusher being used to clean snow in front of restaurant. I've never seen one these before and asked a guy to let me try it and I loved how easy it was on my back.  Our local stores did not carry it but Amazon had a few choices. I I selected this one because of the 6" wheel and 26" wide shovel (many are wider).  The large wheels let me handle 5" inches in one pass and the 26" width makes it easier to maneuver and store. 

Overall I am quite pleased! Over the last year I used it on wet and dry snow and both were easy on my back.  It is best on snow under 5". When we got more than 5 inches (or dealing with snow banks left by a snow plow) I am able to do push the top layer by pivoting the scoop up and then picking up the lower layer on the second sweep. After I push all the snow to form a hill on the edge of the lawn I am able to push the snow hill onto the lawn by pivoting the shovel up and rolling forward. This lets me drive the snow onto the lawn without damaging the grass thus making room for the next snow storm.





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This shovel is works well for doing straight lines on well paved paths without cracks.  We have a crack at the end of the walkway and it always gets a bit hung up on it, but a slight pivot up allows me to get by without losing the snow pile. The empty pusher weight 11 pounds, so I find it easier to use than Toro Power shovel.

A note on assembly - each type of a bolt and fastener were in a plastic bag with a label.  They were easy to match up to the assembly instructions.

This is  my second winter with the snow pusher and it is holding up well. I like how easy it is on my back.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★






Thursday, December 22, 2016

Product review: SCOTTeVEST Men’s Qzip - Travel Clothing

This shirt was a present to my husband.  Sizing could be tricky when shopping on line, but this shirt was true to size and fit as expected. The sleeves are slightly long but that is better than being slightly too short.  The shirt is made out of moisture-wicking fabric and I noticed that it does  not stink after sweating.  In my experience some polyester fabrics are worse than others in terms of handling sweat and this one seems to be the stink-less kind.

The pockets are well designed.  Each pocket has a backing fabric and the way pockets are sewn into the shirt prevents them from bunching up. The pockets have openings in the back through which one thread the wires for electronics, for example audio cable for the ear buds.  There are two pockets, both  have zipped closures: a chest pocket and a side pocket.  The side pocket is a double pocket. It is located on the left hand side seam.  The double pocket is quite large (8.5" by 7.5"), one side of the pocket extends to the front and the other side of the pocket extends to the back.  The way it is attached to the shirt keeps it from from flopping around or bunching up.

The shirt's seams are neat, flat and nicely finished.  The front zipper has a nice large overlap (not just a zipper connecting two sides of the fabric), so it absorbs sweat  and keep the zipper away from the body.  The collar has an interface lining so it has some shape and does not flop over.

Shell Material: 100% polyester
Cleaning instructions: Machine wash cold with like colors, delicate cycle. Dry flat, do not iron, do not machine dry.


Overall, I like the way it looks,  my hubby likes how comfortable it is.



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You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Food review: Dried Fruit with Nuts Tray Gift by Turkish Delight



This collection of dried fruits is perfect contribution to a holiday party.  The package comes with a black plastic tray which can be used to display the dried fruits.  They look beautiful and unique and the flavors are very nice.  The dried apricots and figs are wonderful and they are stuffed with nuts which adds an interesting twist to an old favorite.  Grape leather stuffed with pistachios looks like cookies.  Their flavor is subtle and only slight sweet.  I've never had anything similar to it, they are quite delightful.  The little dark tubes are thickened grape juice stuffed with walnuts, it is the sweetest of all the deserts on the tray.  The balls are fruit paste coated with pistachios, unlike the other treats they are quite soft and practically melt in my mouth.

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I like this collection - it has a nice variety, it tastes great, and visually it attractive to grace any desert table.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Product review: Akila Hyaluronic Acid Firming Serum


The eye serum is a milky preparation which is fairly thin (it is not a cream). It goes on slightly wet and is absorbed quickly. It does not feel greasy.

I have been using it for a few weeks and overall I see a slight improvement especially on a patchy skin on my forehead.

The serum is not unscented.  The scent is light smells like grass or some other vegetation to me. It is not unpleasant smell.

It is recommended to morning and evening application to eyes, eyelids, cheeks and forehead. I have a dry patch of skin on my forehead and this cream really helps from making it look dry and flaky.

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Ingredients

Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Aloe Leaf Juice, Organic Sunflower Oil, botanical hyaluronic acid, Witch Hazel, Glycolic Acid, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Glyceryl Stearate, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Squalane, Lactic Acid, Palm Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Octyl Palmitate, Organic Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Stearate, Vitamin C, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Crithmum Maritimum Extract (Sea Fennel Wax), Matrixyl 3000, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Cucumber Hydrosol, Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Wildcrafted Green Tea, R Lipoic Acid, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract (Bearberry Extract), Blueberry Extract, Organic Cranberry, Raspberry Seed Oil, Wildcrafted Oregon Grape, Organic Licorice, Wildcrafted Eyebright, Helichrysum Essential Oil, Camellia Oil, Avocado Oil, Geranium Essential Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Organic Flax Seed Oil, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Organic Rose Hip Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E Acetate, Phytic Acid, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl (Antioxidant), Lecithin, Pyrus Malus (Apple), Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon), Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane), Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate (peptides), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate), Acetyl


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Monday, December 19, 2016

Product review: HeatTrak HCM24-3 Carpeted Snow-Melting Door Mat, 24 Inch by 36 Inch, 120 Volt


I purchased HeatTrak in the fall of 2015 and used it all last winter. It did not work as fast as I expected but it did work. So I just pulled it out to get ready for this winter.

Here is what I learned based on my last year experience.  The mat works slowly, so it is best to turn it on before the storm prior to any snow fall.  I normally keep the mat unplugged and plug in only when the storm is predicted.  I am using it on a wood deck. The mat did not cause discoloration under the mat. I see no signs that the wood stain under the mat has aged faster compared to other parts of the deck. The mat never felt hot to touch, only somewhat warm.  Note that it only gets warm when the temperature is cold, keep that in mind if you are trying to test in the fall when it is not cold enough.  The mat is less than 1/2" thick but has a thicker bump where the cord is connected to the mat.

The size of the map is 24" x 36" and feels quite heavy.  It does not get lifted even by heavy winds.  The "carpeted" side should face up, the smooth side should face down.

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I also used the mat to melt icy patches on the deck. It took a long time to do the entire deck by moving the mat from spot to spot, but it was easier and caused less damage to the deck compared to trying to chip the ice off. I am using a 30 foot cord outdoor power cord and water-tight cord lock from Farm Innovators to protect the connection between the extension cord and the mat cord. Follow this link to find the cord lock I purchased. I like the green version because its size can be adjusted for different size plugs.

I wish it was a bit larger and a bit cheaper, but overall satisfied with how it worked last winter.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Product review: Ames Poly Snow Shovel with D-Grip Handle, 16", Blade



This is an all plastic shovel. Its blade is 16" wide by 12" top to bottom. Its clearance is 4" at the thickest point where the handle attaches to the blade. The clearance was the key for me as I need to be able to push the snow under the railings of the deck and 4" just fits under the bottom of the railing. I was not sure if Amazon description specifies the clearance accurately so I shopped for the shovel in person, but turns out that Amazon description 42 x 4 x 16 inches is accurate with the small number being the clearance not the depth of the scoop.

All plastic construction makes it lightweight and easy to work with. I was specifically looking for a plastic shovel to use on a wood deck to minimize damage to the deck finish. So far I see no damage to either the deck or the shovel after using it in several snowstorms including one with wet and heavy snow.

I got this shovel at my local Home Depot for 25 cents more but I could put it to use faster since there is no shipping. So far so good, just your basic shovel but meets my needs.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Saturday, December 17, 2016

Food review: Luxury Barberry Coated Turkish Delight w/ Pomegranate Flavor and Double Pistachio / Gourmet Gift Box


I loved the flavor of this desert.  It is sweet without being overly sweet, a little bit tart, and has a chewing texture without sticking to my teeth. Is made out of Turkish berries called Zerenshk which are similar to cranberries but a little sweeter and smaller than cranberries that we see in see in Northeast.

They come in an attractive box with 16 pieces in each box.  Originally I thought I might bring them as a contribution to a holiday party because they looked attractive and the size of the pieces is right not too large and not too small.  However, after trying one I decided I liked them too much and kept them for myself.

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You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, December 16, 2016

Product review: Gel Pens Set Caliart - 100 pens and 100 refills






I like gel pens and I using for many crafty things from writing holidays cards to coloring books. This is a review of 100 pen set from Caliart.  The large set include 100 gel pens and 100 refills.

With 100 pens there is a nice variations of color intensity in many colors and this is great for shading from light to dark.  The  tips are fine and work well for detailed work.  The mix includes different variations including glitter, metallic, and neon in addition to the regular colors.

Some gel pens are known for occasionally producing skips because the ball is not covered evenly with ink, this is not the case with Caliart pens - the ink flows well and evenly.  The ink has no smell.

Overall, I like the nice selection of colors, a nice variety of glitter and non glitter colors.  They come in a plastic pockets, however the plastic is  easy to tear and after some use one of them already has a tear.  So I need to be gentle with them and eventually will need to store them some other way.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Product review: Lumsing Grand Series A1 Mini Portable Battery Charger 6700mah External Power Bank






♦ size: 7/8" x 3 7/8" x 13/16"
♦ weight: 5.1 oz
♦ capacity 6700mah
♦ number of ports: 1
♦ flashlight: yes
♦ pass through charging: No (i.e. the battery can charge while being charged itself)
♦ cable included: Yes, 1 micro USB cable

This is a compact external battery with one port and small flash light.  I am using this battery with my Android phone.  It chargers the phone slightly below optimum, but I like that is fairly small for its capacity.  The flashlight is small and not very bright, it is bright enough for emergencies like to light the key hole or something that fell on the floor of my car.

I also tested to see if the battery supports pass-through charging (i.e. whether the battery can charge mobile devices while it is being charged). This battery does NOT supports charge through charging. It can not charge while being charged.

Overall, compact for its capacity and charges my Android phone at AC level.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Product review: ToJane LED Long Swing Arm Desk Lamp

Many LED lamps come with a large number of options for the level of brightness. Frankly, I find that annoying. I just want on and off, I don't want to keep clicking, missing the brightest setting and doing it again.  If you feel the same way this lamp does just that. It has a rocker switch on and off.  It looks like an old fashioned engineering desk lamp with a metal round bulb shade.  It has a regular bulb base and comes with a LED bulb. My lux meter shows that the brightness of his bulb is about the same as 60W bulb.

I measured its brightness with a lux meter at 19" (532 lux) and compared it with a reading I got from a 60 watt CFL bulb at the same distance (527 lux). The spotlight it generates is somewhat smaller than a CFL bulb. It is sufficient to light the entire large format book, but not enough to light my entire desk surface with the same amount of light - the edges of the desk are darker.  In the video you can see it lighting a large book, the book is fully in the light, but you can see the edges of the desk that are not well lighted.  This is a nature of LED lights and to be expected.

The free bulb is 7W LED bulb, the maximum power that his lamp can handle is a 40W LED bulb (which in brightness is similar to 200W incandescent bulb).

This desk lamp comes with a base and a clamp.  It has two joints, nad has a lot of flexibility, but not as tall as my other engineering lamps.  The highest I could raise the shade is 17" from the table.  The third joint that controls the shade can pivot 360 degrees. 


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I like the simplicity of this lamp - on/off and takes regular LED bulbs.  No bells and whistles, it just works!


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Product review: Bestoss 20000mAh Portable Charger Power Bank External Battery Pack Slim High Capactity






♦ size: 7 3/4" x 3 3/4" x 1/2"
♦ weight: 14.9 oz
♦ capacity 20000mah
♦ number of ports: 3 USB ports
♦ flashlight: no
♦ pass through charging: Yes (i.e. the battery can charge while being charged itself)
♦ cable included: Yes, 1 micro USB cable
♦ The battery can be charged using USB, micro USB, and C-type cables


This is a thin battery with a large capacity of 20000 mAh. It has three USB ports.  At first I thought it could only be charged with lightening or type-C cable, but then saw that on the side it also has a port for micro USB.  So this battery can be charged by three different cables depending on what cable you are carrying for you phone. Pretty nice!

I am using this battery with my Android phone as well as to charge stand alone speaker MP3 player placed away from the wall outlet.  I run the speaker off external battery and it gives me a good way to judge the capacity of the battery as I know exactly how many days I can get out of it before the speaker runs out of juice.  This battery compares well with my best battery giving three days of power. My phone is charged at the optimal rate (I am including screen shots of the power meter readings).  It chargers the phone slightly below optimum, but I like that is fairly small for its capacity. 

I also tested to see if the battery supports pass-through charging (i.e. whether the battery can charge mobile devices while it is being charged). This battery does supports charge through charging. It can charge devices while it is being charged itself.

Overall, compact for its capacity. Its capacity and rate of charing compares well with  my best external batteries.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, December 12, 2016

Product review: HIEGOO Two Layer TPE Yoga Mat

I do stretching exercises every day and wanted to have a spare mat at work so I don't have to carry one back and forth.  This mat is 0.2" thick and is made out of two layers of foam. One side has texture and one is smooth.  The stock photos show the ribbed surface point down to the floor, but I found that using it in reverse also creates also makes the mat totally non-slip. I keep the ribbed side up because it  prevents the edges from rolling better when I use it that way.

The mat is a good size (68" long and 24" wide) and has no unpleasant scent. I did not have to air it out before using.  The mat provides good cushioning and give good protection to my knees for poses that require me to stand on my knees.



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I use it on hardwood floor and it does not slide at all. In attached video you can see me trying to move it my moving my foot - I am not able to do it.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Product review: XINHOME Pill Organizer Box with Snap Lids - 7 Day Weekly Medicine Organizer




The trouble with purchasing pill boxes on line is that the size of each compartment is not clearly specified. 

The inside dimensions of each compartment are:
7/8" long x 15/16" wide x 3/4" depth

The outside dimensions of the entire pill box in its leatherette case (28 compartments):
7.5" long x 4.5" wide x 1" height


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I take two 600 mg Calcium pills, two Omega 3 capsules and vitamin D on daily basis. I was able to fit these five pills into one compartment. It was very tight but I was able to close it.

The compartments close well and does not open I shake the box. Each box is well marked. Each day is a separate box, which works pretty well especially when I travel.

Bottom line:  Good construction, closes well, labeled well.  Leatherette case keeps the box from opening while traveling even if the luggage it treated roughly by the handlers.

The package also includes a pill cutter.  It works quite well, in attached video you can see me cutting Calcium pills. Even those large pills were easy to cut and the cut is very clean.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Saturday, December 10, 2016

Food review: Turkish delights - figs and walnuts

If you  like dried figs you are guaranteed  to like these turkish candies.  They are made out of dried figs, pieces of walnuts and powdered sugar.  They spongy and chewy just like you would expect from a dried fruit desert.  I hope the video gives you a better idea of the texture.

The box has two layers of candies, 9 squares in each row.

They go well with tea or coffee instead of adding sugar into the cup.

You can locate Turkish Delights on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Product review: Sling Bag Backpack Freetoo Adjustable Single Shoulder Bag Strap





I use a large LowePro sling bag for my digital SLR camera and I like how I can keep it out of the way when I don't need and bring it to the front when I do.  I wanted to get a smaller sling back which I can use it with my phone and action camera.

I like wearing this sling bag best with strap let out all the way so it rests on my hip or on the small of my back if I swing it back. The stock photo on Amazon shows a guy wearing in the center of his chest.  That might work for a guy, but as a woman but I found the fit for me is at the hip level. It is comfortable, easy to reach and when I don't needed it I can swing out of the way to my back. It distributes the weight on my shoulder better than a purse.  Overall, it works quite well.

The bag is made from water resistance polyester fabric. It is 7.5" wide and 14" tall. It has two pen pockets on the front as well as an open pocket that is large enough to fit a phone.  It has two main compartments: one is 10" deep, the other one 14" deep.  The smaller compartment has one internal pocket and two places for a pen.  The larger compartment has one zipped pocket, and one open pocket.  I like having that many pockets to keep everything organized.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★