Don't miss Prime Day: July 10 (9pm) though July 11

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Product review: Yadebao Tie Belt Rack Organizer Hanger

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The hanger is made out of thick plastic, you slide the belt from the side and the belt buckle is too thick to fall through the slot.  The hanger can pivot side to side if one side is heavier than the other so you have to distribute the belts evenly.  When I remove the belt I want to wear I make sure that I leave the empty slot closer to the center by moving another belt if the one I want was on the end.

The belt hanger holds 14 belts. 

Before this hanger I used a round ring belt hanger, and it took a little more re-arranging to get each belt out of the opening.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Product review: Vander Portable Jewelry Organizer Mini Jewelry Box

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This is a compact jewelry box with quite a bit of room.  It has two compartments and can store earrings, rings, necklaces. I mostly use it for earrings.  They are well displayed and held in securely.  I can take a nice selection of earrings with me when I travel. The box closes with a zipper closure.

It looks nice and my earrings are more organized.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Product review: Comfee 1.7 Liter Premium 304 Food Grade Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle

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This is a nice electric kettle. This kettle hold 57 oz.  The only downside of the kettle that is not aimed at American market and the measurements are in liters. It shows no ounces or cups.  I use my mug to fill the kettle so I would boil just enough water.

Some electric kettles have multiple temperature settings, this one has just one - boil.  This makes the kettle very easy to use, just press the button and in a few minutes it is boiling. Half a kettle took 4 minutes to boil.   The kettle is pretty loud as you can hear in the video.

The kettle is made out of stainless steel and heavy duty plastic.  The parts that are plastic are the window that shows the water, the cover, the handle, and the hot plate.

I have been using this kettle on daily basis no problems so far.  If I could change one thing I would have liked it to have a longer cord, the cord is 30 inches. I have to use the kettle with a power strip.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Friday, July 14, 2017

Product review: Sable 32 oz Food Containers x 20 Pack




Sable containers are large separated into three compartments. They can be used for reheating food in the microwave or storing in the refrigerator. 

The containers are best for dry foods as the container is not water tight.  To see if the containers are water tight I poured some water into them closed and then shook.  I saw that the container dribbled a little bit.  If you take them somewhere where the container will not be horizontal use a plastic bag just in case it dribbles.

The containers are 7.5" wide and 10" long. In attached photos  I show a container with a measuring tape on top so you can see how the space is divided with the container. The large compartment is 4.5 inches wide.


Overall, pretty nice containers for dry foods.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Food review: Turkish Baklava







I was an early tester for Turkish baklava.  The seller was testing a unique approach to selling it, where the purchases finishes making it himself to improve freshness.  The baklava arrives baked but not infused with sugar syrup. I as asked to try two methods of completing the preparation and provide feedback on which one worked best.

The first method:
-  Warm up the 2/3 baklava tray for 8 - 10 minutes at 460F before pouring the hot sugar syrup on the it. Syrup preparation is included below.

The second method:
Pour the hot sugar syrup of the 1/3 tray baklava pieces left without warming.


For both methods I needed to wait 45 minutes for the syrup to fully absorb


Sugar syrup preparation:

250ml of water (250 ml = 8.5 fl oz or 0.25 liter)
400gr sugar  (400 gram = 14 Oz
1 table spoon of fresh Lemon Juice

Turkish baklava is different from Greek baklava because it  uses sugar syrup instead of honey.  The benefit of doing the syrup yourself is that you decide how sweet and how lemon the syrup should have.


Results:


Method 1: After 45 minute wait the baklava was still warm and moist. The negative was that the top layer of filo dough curled and did not look attractive.  It was not as crispy as a typical Greek baklava.


Method 2:  The baklava was moist and looked better than the baklava in method 1, but the tast was not as good as using method 1.   The filo was not crispy in this preparation either.


I took baklava tray with me to visit friends and the overall feedback was that the baklava was not bad, but not great.   They would have liked it to be more crisp and several said they liked the flavor of baklava with honey more.


Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Product review: Garden Hose Splitter,ZETOLL metal body 2-way hose splitter with long handles


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This hose splitter has all metal connections which give me a tight seal and no leaks. The outer shell of the hose splitter is made of rubber. Each shut off valve has a relatively long handle and because it is covered with rubber it feel softer. I like these handles better than the short metal handles on the brass hose splitters I have used in the past. I find these longer handles give me a better leverage and because they are softer I can put more pressure with my bare hands.

The package includes 10 additional washers (and one is already in the hose splitter).


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★





Monday, July 10, 2017

Product review: Burt's Bees Natural Skin Care for Men Shave Cream

Burt's Bees is an excellent shave cream.  Yes, it is a bit expensive but it gives a very smooth shave, the skin feels very smooth after it. My husband said that he seems to get less irritation and ingrown hairs since he started using it.  It smells nice without smelling like a cologne or aftershave. 

The only flaw the product has is that the tube design makes it hard to get all of it when it is almost all gone.  Given the price that felt unfortunate, so when the tube became almost empty my husband cut the bottom end open with scissors and then used a tube squeezer to keep it closed so it would not dry out.  This gave him several extra days of shave cream.  This was after nothing would come out from the tube top!

This has become a regular item for us.  Good stuff!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Product review: Micro USB To USB Cable, 4 Feet / 1.2 Meters Premium Lighted Micro USB Charger With LED Connector






This is a flat micro-USB cable with a tip that lights up when it is plugged in.  The light is blue as long as the cable is plugged in.  It does not change color (some cables are one color when the device is charging and another color when the device has been fully charged).  I measured the functioning of the cable with a USB meter and it is performed at optimal level for my Android phone. I really like cables that light up, I can always find them even if I am trying to plug in the device in a pretty dark room.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Product review: W&S 2.3 Gallon Kitchen Drawstring Strong Trash Bags, Heavy Duty, Clear/White, 120 Counts/ 2 Rolls



The thing about unknown brands of trash bags is that their volume does not always match my expectation. A few times I got trash bags that were much smaller than expected.  This 2.3 gallon W&S trash bags turned out to be larger than I expected. In attached photo you can see the white W&S bag  with the white Glad bag on top of it for size comparison.  You can see that W&S bag is larger than the 4 gallon Glad bag.  It is actually bigger than the 4 gallon W&S bag which I also got (it is also white and blue draw string).

W&S bags are feel slightly thinner than Glad bags, they are good for soft light trash.  I am using them in the bathroom trash bin, they work very well there because all the bathroom trash is soft and small. In one of the photos I show my hand inside the bag, I think it gives a good idea of the bag thickness.  The white bag is semi transparent.

Each bag length is 20" and the width is 18" when folded in half (36" total). Note that my measurements are slightly different from the size in Amazon description. The bag has the same width at the top and at the bottom.  The bag has a draw string, which works well to close the bag when it is ready to be thrown out.
The roll has 120 bags in two rolls.



You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Friday, July 7, 2017

Product review: Powerextra Smart LCD Display Dual Channel Charger for Sony NP-FW50 Battery

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I am using NP-FW50 with Sony Nex-5N camera.  It is a power hungry camera and I always carry a lot of battries.  There are two things I like about Powerextra charger:

1) it can charge two batteries at the same time

2) it is not a wall charger like my SONY charger, but it use a USB cord.  My SONY charger takes up two slots on the power strip, where as Powerextra battery needs just one USB slot and my power strip has several built-in USB slots, so I gained four outlets as I normally used two SONY chargers side by side.

I appears to charge the batteries in the same amount of time as my OEM charger.  However its design fits into  my set up much better than the SONY charger.  Note: batteries are not included in the package, only the battery charger itself.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Product review: CSHope Audio Cable CSHope 3.5mm 2Pack Male to Male Nylon Braided Auxiliary Aux Stereo Cable


This pack includes two cables - 10 foot and 3.3 foot.  These are braided cables and have 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 nylon braided jackets because they seem to tangle less and when they do they are easier to untangle because they are easy to tell part from the other cables.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ptoduct review: W&S 4 Gallon Kitchen Drawstring Strong Trash Bags, 90 Counts/ 5 Rolls (black)




The thing about unknown brands of trash bags is that their volume does not always match my expectation. A few times I got trash bags that were much smaller than expected. The W&S trash bags are similar in size to the 4 gallon Glad bags. In attached photo you can see the black W&S W&S bag with the white Glad bag on top of it for size comparison. W&S is slightly larger.

W&S bags are feel slightly thinner than Glad bags, they are good for soft light trash. In one of the photos I show my hand inside the bag, I think it gives a good idea of the bag thickness. The black bag hides the content of the bag well.

Each bag length is 20 3/4" and the width is 17 3/4" when folded in half (35.5" total). Note that my measurements are slightly different from the size in Amazon description. The bag has the same width at the top and at the bottom. The bag has a draw string, which works well to close the bag when it is ready to be thrown out. The package includes 5 rolls for a total of 90 bags.

Ali Julia review

Slightly larger then 4 gallon Glad bag


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Product review: ECOXGEAR - ECOROX Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

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I am very impressed with ECOROX Bluetooth Speaker. In my video I included two small snippets of music to illustrate my review of this speaker. I used several pieces of music to test this speaker, including Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor which is a stress test for the bass. Some speakers crackle and can't handle the bass, but Grace Digital GDI-EGRX601 ECOXGEAR Speaker handles it extremely well.

In the video I start with the music playing through the built-in speakers of the tablet, then turn on blue tooth and then the sound switches to the speakers. You can see how much richer, fuller, and louder the sound is when the speakers are used. There is no cracking and sound distortion even in the most challenging parts of the Bach Toccata.

The speaker is 5.5"L x 3.5"W x 2.5"H. Its weight is 10.6 oz.

The bottom of the speaker has a screw type mounting hardware (purchased separately) Grace Digital GDI-EGSCM Suction Cup Mount. I used the Suction Cup Mount to mount this speaker in my shower and it holds it very well giving me fantastic acoustics in the shower. The speaker can also be mounted on a bike using Grace Digital GDI-EGCBM Handle Bar Mount purchased separately.

I am very impressed with this speaker, especially how it handled the bass! I hope the video gives you a good idea of what to expect.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Friday, June 30, 2017

Product review: W&S 1.6 Gallon Kitchen Flat Type Strong Trash Bags, 180 Counts/2 Rolls (green)


The thing about unknown brands of trash bags is that their volume does not always match my expectation. A few times I got trash bags that were much smaller than expected.  This 1.3 gallon W&S trash bags turned out to be larger than I expected it 3/4 of the size of 4 gallon Glad bag, not less than 1/2 size as the label would indicate. In attached photo you can see the white W&S bag on top of the 4 gallon white Glad bag for size comparison. 

W&S bags are feel slightly thinner than Glad bags, they are good for soft light trash.  I am using them in the bathroom trash bin, they work very well there because all the bathroom trash is soft and small. In one of the photos I show my hand inside the bag, I think it gives a good idea of the bag thickness.  The green back is pretty transparent.

Each bag length is 20" and the width is 18" when folded in half (36" total). Note that my measurements are slightly different from the size in Amazon description. The bag has the same width at the top and at the bottom.  The bag has a draw string, which works well to close the bag when it is ready to be thrown out.
The roll has 180 bags.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Product review: SiFREE Silicone Stretch Lids Food Huggers for Platters, Dishes, Dishwasher, Jars, Oven, Microwave, Freezer Safe

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This is a set of 6 silicone covers. If you find the right match for the right lid they provide a spill proof lid. They are flexible, so they fit round and oval containers equally well.

I especially like them on Corelle bowls as I misplaced one of the covers. I use the on coffee containers, because the plastic covers on them are fragile and I like re-using those containers for the coffee that comes in bags. The covers also work well with yougurt containers that don't have a cover, this way I can eat half of the cup and save the rest for another time.

I am attaching some sample photos to give you a better idea of the fit.  One of the small lids fit the coffee container - it was great to replace the plastic cover that got damaged.

The package included a bonus - a silicon pot holder  which can also work as a trivet.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Product review: Veliis Angle Template, Adjustable Square Tool

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When I use this measuring tool it feels like having an extra hand!  I can use it as a square or as a triangle or a trapezoid and I need just one to hold it while I mark, position or cut with the other hand.

The tools is made out of light weight plastic. Each corner has an adjustable nob which you loosen and tighten to change the shape and then lock it in. The measures are in inches and centimeters. Simple, easy, clever!  I like it!


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Monday, June 26, 2017

Product review: W&S 4 Gallon Kitchen Drawstring Strong Trash Bags, 100 Counts/ 2 Rolls / White



The thing about unknown brands of trash bags is that their volume does not always match my expectation. A few times I got trash bags that were much smaller than expected.  The W&S trash bags appear to be true size, they are the same size as 4 gallon Glad bags. In attached photo you can see the blue W&S bag on top of the white Glad bag for size comparison.  W&S is is the same size as a 4 gallon Glad trash bag.

W&S bags is thinner than Glad bags, they are good for soft light trash. In one of the photos I show my hand inside the bag, I think it gives a good idea of the bag thickness.  The blue bag is transparent and you can see the trash inside the bag.

Each bag length is 17 3/4" and the width is 15.5" when folded in half (31" total). Note that my measurements are slightly different from the size in Amazon description. The bag has the same width at the top and at the bottom.  The bag has a draw string, which works well to close the bag when it is ready to be thrown out.  The roll has 100 bags in two rolls.


You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Food review: This Bar Saves Lives, All-Natural Whole Food Snack Bar, 3 Flavor Variety Pack







I really like this variety pack includes Dark Chocolate Cherry & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter & Sea Salt, and Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey.  My favorite is Vanilla Almond and Honey, the flavor is subtle not too sweet.  I generally do not like Salt in bar, but again all flavors are subtle and the fact that it had salt did not make it salty.
 

These bars are similar to Kind bars but I like their flavor better.  They slightly less sweet and more intense in flavor.  The fact that they are gluten free (so everyone can enjoy them) is nice bonus.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★




Saturday, June 24, 2017

Product review: ELEFT Anti Blister Pad, Medium Size, 4 Pieces

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This package contains four blister pads.  They are very thin and made out of gel backed with adhesive paper that you remove to place it over the blister.   They stick well, I was able to wear one for several days.  They come in a small plastic container so you can carry them in a purse or backpack without worrying that you would damage the pads.   The only con is that they are fairly expensive.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆


Friday, June 23, 2017

Product review: W&S 5 Gallons DrawString Strong Trash Bag Garbage Bag (100 Bags)



The thing about unknown brands of trash bags is that their volume does not always match my expectation. A few times I got trash bags that were much smaller than expected.  The W&S trash bags appear to be true size, they larger than 4 gallon Glad bags. In attached photo you can see the blue W&S bag on top of the white Glad bag for size comparison.  W&S is larger by a few inches.

W&S bags is thinner than Glad bags, they are good for soft light trash. In one of the photos I show my hand inside the bag, I think it gives a good idea of the bag thickness.  The blue bag is transparent and you can see the trash inside the bag.

Each bag length is 24" and the width is 19 3/4" when folded in half (37.5" total). Note that my measurements are slightly different from the size in Amazon description. The bag has the same width at the top and at the bottom.  The bag has a draw string, which works well to close the bag when it is ready to be thrown out. The package includes a total of 100 bags.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Product review: Drillpro Multi Ratcheting Screwdriver 6 in 1 With LED Light Portable Kit Tool Set

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This screwdriver has a light as both ends .  Having a light as part of the screwdriver is often very handy when I am working in a dark corner.  The screwdriver is a bit hard because of the batteries, but you don't need to hold a flash light in another hand. 

It rungs on two AAA batteries.  You need to provide your own, it comes without batteries.  I thought the screwdriver bits were a bit hard to remove, but other than that it works very well.   To remove the screwdrivers bits you to slide the silicone ring up and then lift a plastic strip which releases the bit.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Product review: EarthlanderPro 2017 Design 50 Ft Expandable Hose + Metal Nozzle + Hose Hanger Gift

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I have been using flexible hoses for several summers: I use one to wash the car, another for watering the garden. They are great to work with - they are light and when empty become very short.  However they are more fragile than regular hoses, so you cannot treat them the same as a regular garden hose.

Here are a few things I learned: you cannot leave them in the sun when not in use, you can not drag and pull them like you would a regular hose, you cannot step on them when they are full with water. It is best not to hang them to store (this puts pressure on the internal hose).  I store them curled up in a bucket and bring it into the cool basement when they are not in use.  When I use a hose I lay it out in the direction of where I want to use it, fill the water and then streatch it out as needed. I have strong water pressure, so when I use the flex hose I do not put the water pressure all the way up.  I use it at a half force setting.

This hose has brass connectors which give me good no leak connections. Also included in the package is a sprayer.  The sprayer has all plastic construction. The sprayer has 8 different settings.  All settings work well. Some sprays do not have a good "mist" setting (on some of them mist is a weak spray) but this hose has a fine mist settings. It is truly a fine mist.  The nozzle has flow control and a loop that keeps the nozzle spraying without having to hold down the handle. Flow control makes a shower a very gentle shower which I like to use when I water flowers.  The loops that holds the sprayer open works reliably.

Also is included a sturdy plastic hose hanger.  I use it for short term storage while I am working the garden, I store it in the bucket when not in use.

Yes, this hose requires extra care but I really like that it is so light which makes it easier on my bad back.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Product review: MHU 1875W Folding Hair Dryer Dual Voltage Blow dryer

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Nice hair dryer! The handle can be bent so the while bundle becomes pretty compact to travel.  It has how and low temperature, cold and hot air flow, and an air constrictor.   The air constricter did not stay firmly on, the connection was quite loose and it came off a few times while I used it.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.


Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, June 19, 2017

Product review: JIEGU PowerLine+ USB-C to USB 3.0 cable Data Sync and Charge , for USB Type-C


I got a set of Jiegu cables of different length for my Nexus 6p Android phone.  These cables are thick braided cables, they have a neat apperance and perform well.

The maximum rate 3.1 type-C cables can get is 1500 mA. I tested the phone with battery between 43% and 59%.  In this level of battery the phone uses rapid charging if possible.

In addition to use the braided type-C cable, I also tested converter from mini USB cable to type-C cable.  Below is a table representing the results of my tests.

36" black cable phone was charged at max of 890 mA
36" black cable phone was charged at max of 960 mA
36" black cable phone was charged at max of 960 mA
10 feet silver cable (3.1) phone was charged at max of 810 mA
pink mini cable with converter charged at max of 850 mA
pink mini cable with converter charged at max of 940 mA
6 feet silver cable (3.1) phone was charged at max of 600 mA
10 feet feet black cable (3.1) phone was charged at max of 1310 mA
36" silver cable (3.1) phone was charged at max of 1060 mA
36" silver cable (3.1) phone was charged at max of 1150 mA
36" silver cable (3.1) phone was charged at max of 1020 mA


Silver cable 10 feetType C to USB A 2.0 LRTCA02S_3
Black cable 6 feetType C to USB A 2.0 LRTCA02B_2
Silver cable 6 feetType C to USB A 2.0 LRTCA02S_2
Silver cable 3.3 feetType C to USB A 2.0 LRTCA02S_1
Black cable 3.3feet Type C to USB A 2.0 LRTCA02B_1
Black cable 10 feet USB-C to USB 3.0 LRTC03B_3
Grey cable 10 feet USB-C to USB 3.0 LRTCA03G_3
Black cable 6 feet USB-C to USB 3.0 LRTC03B_2
Grey cable (6+3.3) feet USB-C to USB 3.0 LRTCA03G_2
Black cable 3.3 feet USB-C to USB 3.0 LRTC03B_1
Grey cable 3.3 feet USB-C to USB 3.0 LRTCA03G_1

Ali Julia review ★★★★★