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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Product review: Aqueena Men's&Women's 100% Merino Wool Scarf

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This wool scarf has a perfect size - not too long and not too short just under 71" and just under 12" wide.  The length is enough to wrap around the neck and have the ends hanging down in the front  below the waist. This scarf is wool so it is not fluffy like cashmere scarves but it is pretty soft for a wool scarf, it is not itchy and quite warm.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Product review: Rinlong Artificial Peony Silk Flowers

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These artificial peonies look very real. The blossoms are perfection, the leaves looks a little less so but still quite good.  Each stem has a fully open flower and a slightly open bud.  I ordered 5 stems and I like that the flowers are not identical, this makes them look even more real.

The flowers were slightly squashed in shipping and as the instructions suggested I fluff them up by hand while blowing them with hair dryer. I found that low volume on the hair dryer worked best.

To fit the vase I wanted to display them I needed to shorter the stems.  I was able to cut the stems  by this method:  using regular scissors I cut the skin and then fatigued the metal wire inside of the stem by bending it back and forth as you see in my video.  The flowers are lovely and look very real.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, September 22, 2017

Product review: ZERRO Self Healing Cutting Mat 36 X 24 INCHES



I am a quilter so I have a number of rotary cutting mats in various sizes. The things that I like most about this mat are the markings.  The markings are on all four sides of the map and they well marked thick solid lines - yellow on one isde and white on the other side. The measurements are in inches and grid lines are every 1/2".  In addition on one side you also have centimeter markings, they are next to inches not instead on inches so this mat is trully aimed at US quilters and crafters.

Most of my mats are self-healing Olfa mats. This mat is thicker than a typical Olfa mat. Olfa mats have marking on four edges as well, but only on one side. Self-healing properties of any cutting mats do not last for ever, so when both sides have markings it increases the useful life span of the mat.

After using this mat on several projects I am pleased with how cutting feels on this mat. Overall, excellent mat, it covers practically my entire sewing table, I really like how well it marked.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★





Thursday, September 21, 2017

Product review: ScopeAround Wireless Dental Intraoral Camera Oral Camera

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My dentist has a similar camera and shows me various things as we discuss thing. I figured it would be useful to have one of these cameras of my own to see what is happening in my mouth when something hurts!

The camera paired with my phone easily, the app is called "ScopeAround" and is available from GooglePlay.  The only tricky thing was to figure out how to turn on the light on the camera as it was not mentioned in the documentation.  To turn on the camera you need to press the button for 2 seconds, to turn on the lights you need to touch the same button briefly after the small lights indicating the battery level are already turned on.  To turn off the camera you need to hold the same button for a few seconds.

I am including the video to show how it works - as you see the image is pretty sharp.  The camera met my expectations.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Product review: TSS Men's Automatic Skeleton Watch with Stainless Steel Band

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This is a beautiful mechanical watch. You can see the watch movement from the front and from the back.

In addition to the main dial it has two small dials and a date.  The date goes to 39 days every month, so you have manually advance it at the end of each month. The top button on the watch is the one that controls the date. This is typical of a cheaper watch movements as they have  have simple gears the first one 1,2,3 and the second one from 1 to 9.  The fancier movements have extra logic to know how to account for the end of the months dates, the simple gears do the same thing for 30s that they do for 20s.

The band is made out of heavy stainless steel. The clasp is easy to open one-handed. The band is 9.5" and was too wide for my husband's wrist. We were able to adjust it by removing links as you see in attached video.   The watch came with a link removal tool.  In attached video you can see my husband taking two links using this tool and a small hammer.  The pins are not spring pins which are common but a different design and are a little harder to take out.  It took more effort to pull them out of the watch and required the use of pliers.  But as you see in the video it was possible to do yourself without taking the watch to a watch repair shop.

The watch runs on a combination of manual winding and self winding from the arm swinging. On one full manual rewind (plus whatever little help the watch gets from self-winding) the watch ran for three days before it stopped.  This experiment was repeated several times and was pretty consistent.  My husband has a desk job, so he does not move his arm too much.  Someone who does a lot of activity during the day will get more benefit from self-winding.

This watch has a dark blue face (darker in person then in the stock photo). Some watches with dark faces are hard to read due to low contrast between the arms and the background, however this watch has silver arms that reflect art and the watch is easy to read.

The watch comes in attractive box with a pillow so this watch works well for gift giving.

Overall, this is a very attractive mechanical watch. 39 days per month require manual adjustment every month.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Product review: Scrub Daddy Sponge

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Each sponge is 3.75" across and 1.5" thick.  Their texture is firmer compared to common Scott Sponges used for dish washing. Scrub Daddy sponges are best for cleaning cups and pots, not dishes.  The holes are useful for inserting my fingers so I can hold the sponge, but the mouth opening that is designed for washing spoons I am not finding all that useful.

The sponges did not have a smell right out of the package and so far are holding up okay. I have been using two of the four sponges for the last month.

Scrub Daddy on Amazon

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Product review: ONEMIX Women's Air Cushion Running Shoes Lightweight Walking Jogging Gym Outdoor Exercise Drive Athletic Sneakers

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I got these sneakers in June 2016, and they have become my favorite sneakers.
They  are incredible comfortable and I like the colors that match many of my outfits. I normally wear size 7 to 7.5 shoe and ordered size 7 sneakers (as it was the maximum size available at the time). They turned out to be a good fit, there is still about 1/2" left at the toe. They seem to fit somewhat looser than a typical size 7 shoe both in length and width (more like a 7.5 size). They provide good arch support and cushioning at the heel. The colors and the design are very attractive. The package included two sets of color coordinated shoe laces (the shoe laces are in solid purple and solid teal color).


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Saturday, September 16, 2017

Product review: OfficeGoods Electric and Battery Operated Stapler

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This is a very easy to use stapler. It easily staple 20 lbs regular office paper, 25 sheets no problem.  I also used it in craft projects stapling heavy duty fabric together, also works very well.  I am using it plugged into the outlet (power cord is 6 feet long), but it can run on batteries as well.

The stapler comes loaded with staples.  To open the staple draw you need to push a button on the back of the stapler and the draw opens towards the front.  It works with regular standard staples, it accepts one full strip of staples at a time.

When I use my old manual stapler I often have to redo bent ot jammed staples.  This has not happened with OfficeGoods stapler so far!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Product review: Olight HS2 400 Lumens Cree XP-G2 LED Rechargeable Headlamp

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The most unique thing about this headlight is how light it is, it weighs only 4.2 oz.  This lightness is due to the headlamp constructions.  Despite the smallness and brightness of the light it provides good amount of light for almost any activity.

The headband adjust well, and I find it comfortable.

In attached video you can the amount of light it generates.   The battery pack is in the back and is rechargeable.  The headlight comes in a nice hard shell carrying case.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Product review: Rusee Acrylic Birdhouses with suction cups

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We have a large number of bird feeders including four different window bird feeders. This bird feeder has one key feature that our feathered friends like. The birds love the little perch. In my video you can see how they use it to crack the seeds. We have another window bird feeder of a different style which does not have a perch and it was less popular until we glued a perch made out of a twig. As soon as we added this twig the bird feeder became more popular.

This is a wide bird feeder (11.75") but pretty short (5" tall). It is 4" front to back. I was not sure if our larger birds (blue jays and morning dives) will find it a bit short, but turns it is not a problem as you can see in the video. Several birds can visit it at the same time. Many birds do not mind sharing. Some do, and it is fun to watch the bully birds that make other birds leave (you can see a cardinal at the beginning of the video shoo away a small bird).

These bird feeders are not squirrel proofed, but as most bird watchers know there is no bird feeder that can stop a determine squirrel. For example, they learned to shake the bird feeder which closes under the weight of a creature that is heavier than a bird. So we no longer fight with squirrels, we just add more seeds to feed all creatures big and small.

The bird feeder is held by three suction cups. They provide sufficient suction power to hold the feeder, the seeds, the birds, and the squirrels. This bird feeder has a removable tray which makes it easier to clean.

Does the rain get into it? Yes. But the birds do not seem to mind. They are used to wet seeds on the trees.

What fun to see the birds so up close! If this is your first bird feeder it will likely that the birds will take a week to find it. For the first window bird feeder nothing happened for entire week, and then after a week my husband spread some seeds under the bird feeder and that seemed to help the birds find it. Now that we have a couple of window bird feeders it did not take them long to find the new one. The bird's favorite seeds are sunflower seeds. We spoiled the local bird population with sunflower seeds and if we put out the mixed seeds it barely gets touched where as the sunflower seeds disappear very quickly.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Product review: Product review: Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh External Battery with Built-in Lightning & Micro USB Cables






I like carrying an external battery in my purse so I am never caught with the discharged phone.  The batteries with built-in cables are my preferences so I don't have to carry another cable around.  This battery has one micro USB and lightening connector.  I would have preferred two micro-USB cables, but I can see how a manufacture might want to satisfy both Android and Apple market with the same product.

The battery  is 4.3" 1.9" x 0.9" with a maximum output of 2.4A. The battery weighs 6 oz. It recharge three devices at the same time - 1 Apple device, 1 micro-USB and one USB outlet to use with your own cable to charge whatever else you might need to charge.

What is nice is that this battery allows charge through charging, i.e. it can charge devices while it is being charged itself.  I often piggy bag my phone and battery in the car, so both are fully charged when we arrive to our distination.

The battery has a tiny flashlight. It is not very bright but useful in an emergency where there is no other light source.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Product review: Olight X7R Marauder 12000 Lumens CREE XHP 70 LED USB Rechargeable Flashlight

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This is massive flashlight. It weights 1 poind and 7.3 oz. In one of the attached photos I show it on the 1/2" grid for size reference.  It similar in size to a can of soda. 

The light is extremely bright. It shipped locked (which means it does not turn on bright light until you unlock it).  To unlock it you need to hold down the on/off button for 3 minutes.

It has multiple modes, and on the brightest mode its light carries for over 1200 feet.  To change from mode to mode hold down the button and release when you are in the mode you want to use.

The package includes a holster and lanyard.

It runs on 3800 mAh battery and is rechargeable.  It is waterproof.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Product review: Funjewelryshop Kiwi Stud Earrings

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This earrings are handcrafted and unique. I love the Kiwi design! The Kiwi looking center appears to be hand drawn and covered with acrylic in a silver-tone setting.  I am not sure of the metal material but I nickle allergy did not react to the metal, I am able to wear them all day long.  The earrings are lightweight (both earrings to together weigh 0.1 oz).  They are 1/2" in diameter. Watch out - they are not waterproof - so be careful if you get caught in the rain.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Friday, September 8, 2017

Product review: MecArmy SGN3 160 Lumens CREE XP-G2 LED USB Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight

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This is a very bright key-chain flashlight. Its size is 2.32" x 0.91" x 0.39". It feels solid and fairly heavy for its size. It is 10.1 oz in weight. Note it is heavier that Amazon description states.

The key-chain light is rechargeable, no need to hunt for new batteries! It also has multiple light modes: bright, dim, red, UV.  It is waterproof.

Nice set of features for such a small unit and it is very bright.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Product review: NO SLIP CLIP by OfficeGoods – Paper Fasteners, Binder Clips & the Paper Clip - A New Way to Clasp Your Documents

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This clip looks similar to a regular paper clip, but it just gently hugs the papers to hold them together.  The slips hold the papers very well, yet they can be removed and the papers have not signs of being bound together. The papers look better after the clip is removed compared to when I use paper clips which crease the paper a little bit.

The package comes with 40 clips, 20 of each size.  The smaller ones hold between 2 and 30 pages, the larger ones hold  from 2 to 50 pages.

Additional clips can be purchased separately here .


you can locate no slip clip on Amazon .

Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Product review: Wireless Earbuds, Chin-Best Touch Control, Blouttooth earbuds






Chin best ear buds sound good and fit comfortably in my ear. The Bluetooth sounds nice and clear when I have the phone in my pocket, but at a longer distances then my pocket the bluetooth reception breaks up a bit. The ear bud fill my entire ear cavity but don't stick out.  I can wear these ear buds for several hours without any problems.

To charge them one must use a proprietary charging cradle.  The cradle works nicely, but it comes a very short charging cord which I found rather inconvenient. Fortunately, the cradle can be charged by any micro USB cable and I am using it with my own longer cable.  Play time of these ear buds is  2-3 hours one one charge.

Pairing with my phone was easy.  I needed to press my fingers on both ear buds at the same time for a few seconds and that started the pairing process.  The device appears as "i8s".

Overall, very comfortable fit, good sound. On the negative side one charge does not last all day.

YOu can locate these earbuds on Amazon


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Product review: ZELITE INFINITY Bread Knife 8 inch - Japanese VG10 Super Steel

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This is a very comfortable bread knife to work with. It has a slim handle that is ergonomically shaped. It feels great in my hand and makes the knife very easy to maneuver. The knife weighs 9.2 oz. The blade is very sharp! It works well on both soft bread and crusty breads.

It is ok for the dishwasher, but I always hand wash nice knives. They will last longer and there's no risk of them cutting the plastic coating on the appliance racks.

This knife has a beautiful finish, which looks like a marbled design. The higher quality of Japanese knives uses laminated steel which has this beautiful pattern. The use of laminated steel improves the strength and rust resistance of the blade (and it looks beautiful).

In attached video I use to cut two different breads, I've tried to show the clean cuts.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★





Monday, September 4, 2017

Product review: Funjewelryshop Colorful Violin Pendant Necklace Handmade

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This necklace are handcrafted. Violin has a special meaning for me I really like the design.  The violine center appears to be hand drawn and covered with acrylic. It is presented in a silver-tone setting and has a rope-style silver-toned chain.   The necklace is lightweight (both chain and the pendant together weigh 0.2 oz).  The pendant is 1" in diameter and the chain is 16" long. The chain has a lobster closure, and operates smoothly.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Product review: Swissvita Dark Spot Corrector with AC-11 - Anti Spot Serum - Dark Spot, Age Spot and Acne Spot Remover



I have been using Swissvita Spot Corrector for a little over a month.  I think is a thick white cream with no scent.  I like that it has no scent so I can apply it before I go to bed. Sun spots is a tough problem and this cream is not a magic solution that makes them invisible.  The spots do appear slightly light in color then they were before, but not what I would describe as a major improvement.  I rank it as "OK" - I had no irritation, there is a slight improvement, and I like that it is unscented.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Product review: aokway Heavy Duty Tire Inflator with auto cut off

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This is a very fast tire inflator.  It works much faster than my old air pump.  My favorite feature is that I can pre-set it to stop at the pressure I desire. I do not have to stop and measure the pressure until I get it right.  The valve has a lever closure, so very little air escapes when I open and close it. I prefer it to the valve that require screwing in.

I attached video you see how I set it to the goal of 32 PSI.   At each step I double checked the pressure Aokway tire inflator was showing with another gauge and Aokway measurements matched the other gauge.

This inflator has a long power cable that allows me to reach the front and the back tires easily.  In addition it has a fairly long air hose (23.6 inches) that reaches the nozzle even if it is at the top of the wheel.  The unit weighs 3 pounds and 2.9 oz.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, September 1, 2017

Product review: Eco Touch (LCC16) Leather Care - 16 oz

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This solution cleans and conditions leather. I was particularly interested in a removing a black mark on my driver's seat. As you see in the video Eco Touch leather cleaner did it! The leather felt softer to touch and had a slight shine. However the seat is not slippery despite the shinier look. The cleaner has a mild fruity scent which I found pleasant.

Eco touch leather care a white creamy solution. The new bottle came with a foil seal which needs to be removed before using the solution.

Ingredients:
filtered water
cetyl esters (coconut-based conditioning agent)
glycerin (vegetable based conditioning)
fragrance
preservative


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Product review: Amdemin 3.5mm Audio Cable – 3.5 feet Auxiliary Cable Aux Cord


I got one pack, it is 3.5 feet long.  It is heavy duty thick audio cable with a braided nylon jacket.  It has a nice look and feel. The cables fit firmly both into my Android phone and speakers.  The sound quality is good, on par with my favorite cables.  I like the read color as it stands out from my other cables, so it is easy to untangle when I need to do it.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Product review: SmartOmi Bluetooth Neckband Headphones V4.1

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The best thing about SmartOmi  headphones is the distance at which Bluetooth continues to play music without breaking up.  I am able to leave the phone on the second floor study and walk down to the first floor and still hear the music without any breaks.  Only when I go to the corner of the kitchen does the music begin to break up.  This is better than my other bluetooth headphones I own.

I also like the vibrating alerts - the headphone vibrates when I turn it on and off (so I am sure the batteries are not being wasted), I don't need to look at the light. It also vibrates when the phone rings.  Phone reception is good.

The ear pieces are comfortable, the short wires to the band don't tangle because they are short.

On the negative side I am not in love with having something touching my neck when the weather is warm. It makes me feel hotter. When I am wearing a shirt with color I put the band under the collar, but I don't wear them all that often especially in the summer. On the other hand I understand that neck band allows for a bulkier design that works better, so I am willing to deal with it because as far as quality of sound and real Bluetooth connection these headphones are excellent.

The headphones are comfortable and I am able to wear them all day long.  They are much better then having wired headphones as I can move between my two computers without having to worry about the cord.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★



Monday, August 28, 2017

Product review: Luke’s Gift Mousrs Japanese Culture Style Journals Notebook

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I am a big time note taker. I always have a big stack of notebooks with ideas, things I need to do, and so forth.  I always enjoy pretty covers so I can tell my journals apart.  This unlike journal has heavy stock paper, it similar to sketch notepad paper, only slightly thinner than my watercolor paper notebooks.  The drawing on the cover is both on the hard cover as well as on the paper wrap that goes around the cover.  I use the paper wrap is a book mark, using one of the ends to mark where I am in the notebook.

The pages themselves fall into three categories: in the front there is calendar pages, the center potion is unlined, and the last third has one side grid the other side blank.

The notebooks look classy with a one tone leather binding and a color coordinated ribbon bookmark.  Each journal has an elastic that keeps the notebook closed, especially nice when I travel or carry the notebook with me.   It has a ribbon which gets straight to where I left off.

 The notebook is 7.2" long and 5.2" wide.  Made in China. It is 160 pages.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Product review: IFUNEYS 110pcs Large Glow in the Dark Garden Pebbles




These pebbles glow gently in the dark, they are decorative and not meant to provide any lighting.  In attached photos you can see the effect when they are together and spaced out.  During the day they do not look like regular pebbles, they are white with greenish tones. They are made out of resin, and look like resin rather than stones.  I mixed them into regular gravel for an interesting effect.

The pebbles require exposure to the sun during the day in order to glow at night.  How much sun?  A couple of hours, but the more sun the brighter they look. After a full day of light they flow for about 5 hours.

The pebbles are made out resins (i.e. plastic) and photoluminescent pigments. The seller describes as non-toxic and non-radioactive.

I emailed the seller and asked him how long they are expected to last if I expose them to sun every day of the year.  He told me that I should expect life expectancy up to 10 years.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆