Friday, March 31, 2017

Product review: Hatori 3 Speeds Mini LED USB Fan

This small fan has an impressive performance for its size. It has three speeds and on the high speed it really blows. The fan is not totally quiet, but the white noise it generates it not annoying. After two weeks of daily use it has not developed a vine or a clang, so far so good!

I really like that it is rechargeable. I don't have to feed it new batteries and it is wireless so I can use any place where I don't have an outlet, even outside on a hot day. The fan comes with a rechargeable cable, the cable is 36" long. The fan operate while plugged in and charging.

The interface is simple is intuitive and well marked. It also has a dim flashlight on the side as one of the modes. I don't find the this flashlight useful but it does not get in the way either.

This fan does not have a way to adjust the angle of the air flow it only can blow the air straight out.

The documentation is entire in Chinese, but I really did not need it to figure out how to use the fan. Mentioning this only for completeness of the review.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Product review: VonHaus Compact Portable Air Dehumidifier

VonHaus Dehumidifier is 13" tall and 8.5" wide. Its best feature is that it very quiet because it does not have a compressor, the worst feature is that it is not as effective in removing humidity as a humidifier with a compressor. Both are not surprising and stem from the technology used in this unit.

To see how effective VonHaus dehumidifier is I tested in our basement, where we use a standard 50 Pint dehumidifier which fills its entire bucket in several days. I turned off the large dehumidifier and left VonHaus Dehumidifier there for 60 hours. After 60 hours the reservoir of the unit had a couple of inches of water (see video). I can fill the 67 oz reservoir in 1 week. So it works but removes modest amount of humidity. However it is wisper quiet compared to our large dehumidifier.

VonHaus dehumidifier is quiet and light because it uses thermoelectric method called Peltier. In 1834 Jean Peltier noticed that when electrical current is applied to the junction of two different metals the heat is removed from one of the metals and transferred to the other. This is the main principal of thermoelectric cooling (and known as Peltier effect). The dehumidifier has cooling unit which is constructed from tiny metal cubes made from different metals. As electricity passes through the junctions between the cubes the heat is transferred and a fan vents the heat outside, a small amount of moisture is removed from the air in this process and condensed and this is the water we see in the reservoir of the unit.

For this unit to work, it has to be turn on continuously and it removes a fairly small amount of moisture from the air. It is very quiet, and if you need to remove only a small amount of humidity in a small space it will do the job. If don't expect the same performance as from a humidifier with a compressor you will not have an unpleasant surprise. For a Peltier humidifier to become effective it needs to work for a while, so you might be disappointed if you are looking to use it for short periods of time (like using in a bathroom during showers).

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Monday, March 27, 2017

Product review: JULIUS Women's White Dial Mesh Stainless Ultra Thin Stylish Quartz Watch

The band on this watch is beautiful. It is made out of stainless steel and it looks very nice. The face of the watch is simple and classy which contributes to the watch's expensive look.

This is a fairly small watch. Its face is 1" wide and 0.3" wide. The band is 8" long and has an adjustable buckle. To adjust the band size it takes a small screw driver to open the clasp (a screw driver is used for leverage, not to unscrew).

My video shows how to adjust the clasp, and how to open/close it. To adjust the clasp you need to open the lock. The lock lifts up by putting small screw driver in the opening and pressing down. Once the clasp is open I put it on my hand to get the new position. The hooks of the closing clasp go over a bar in the clasp. Before closing the clasp, you need to flip the watch over and make sure a small groove on the clasp aligns with the grooves on the band. This what holds the clasp in place, if the grove on the clasp is between groves on the band you will not be able to close the clasp. Once the clasp is in its proper position you need to close the clasp, which is again easier to do with a small screwdriver. Insert the tip of the screwdriver in the slot on the clasp and push down. Listen for the click. If this is done correctly the clasp no longer slides on the band.

To close the clasp on your hand or open it is easy to do with one hand and it does not take a lot of force. The small hooks on the safety plate go over the bar on the clasp and then the safety plate clicks in to close if you press down.

The time on the watch is pretty simple to set as it shows only time, the knob has only two positions - "in" position is regular operation, "out" position sets the time. The watch has Japanese quartz movement.

I really like the watch, I think it looks really elegant.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Product review: Swiffer PAG40509EA Duster Cleaner Starter Kit

I have been using Swiffer duster for many years. I have tried many different duster prior to Swiffer but when I found Swiffer it was better:

1. No matter how much dust I have, it never falls off.
2. When you are done, you don't have to figure out where to shake off the dust. You just take it off and toss it in the garbage. Very handy especially in the winter since I used to shake it off outside. However, when I shake it off in the yard I would see pieces of dust on the bushes. Not any more!
3. It is light and easy to maneuver. I use it for dusting everything from TV screens to blinds.
4. It is unscented.
5. If the house is not too dusty, I can get a couple of uses from each duster.

One of the duster is fluffy side and the other of the side which has sleeves to slide onto the duster handle. The fluff does not go all the way around but that is not a problem as I dust with one side only.

A note on price: The best price for the duster I found at Costco especially when they have a coupon for this item. Amazon price is pretty good but fluctuates. There is a nice online tool that I use to help catch a good price on Amazon, this tool is called "Online Price Alert". This tool will send you an email when the Amazon item price reaches the target price range that you specify. If you search on "online price alert" in Google it will be come up at the top my favorite has the word "camel" repeated three times in the name.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Product review: Sabrent Power Lock Suction Hook

I am very pleased with these style hooks, they generates a strong suction. I got this double hook and single hook version.

The single hook is extends forward 1".
The double hooks extend 3/4" forward.

One of the hooks has been holding my bath rope (several pounds) for a week and has not fallen off so far, the other one works great for cord management because I can attach to the side of my computer case.

This hook works well on non-porus surface. I tried on glass, metal, tiles, and plastic and it worked well. Documentation also says it works on wood, but it did not work well on my teak desk. It has a natural finish which is not totally smooth.

To attach the hook I needed to position the base where I want the hook to be located starting with the hook turned to 3 o'clock position, then turning the hook 90 degrees twisting down (to 6 o'clock position). The part that rotates is the hook (not the base). It forms a rather secure hold.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Product review: Bagail Double Layer Inverted Umbrellas Reverse Folding Umbrella

I've never seen an umbrella like this before and it is such a clever idea.  When you close it the wet canopy is on the inside so the wetness does not touch you!  It just drips down on the inside and I  keep the umbrella next to me without getting wet. In the movies or in a restaurant it is so convenient that I don't have to worry where to put it to keep it away from me yet someplace I don't forget about it and leave it behind.  I also like the "C" shaped handle. This shape is comfortable to hold when I use the umbrella and easy to hang when I  am not using it.  The canopy opens and closes smoothly.  I love this umbrella!

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Product review: Unifun 20000mAh Power Bank Backup External Battery

♦ size: 6 1/8" x 3 1/8" x 7/8"
♦ weight: 1 lb 1 oz
♦ number of ports: 2
♦ flashlight: no
♦ pass through charging: no (i.e. the battery can charge while being charged itself)
♦ cable: 21.5" charging cable

This external battery as not as large as one might expect for its large capacity of 20000 mAh. It has two ports and came with a charging cable (charging cables charge at a faster AC rate rather than USB rate). It has a bright blue charge level indicator.

This charger performed very well with both my Android phone and iPadMini. I am including the details of the tests at the end of the review for those who are interested in the nitty gritty numbers.

To see how well different external batteries charge my mobile devices I use a Nexus phone and an iPadMini to test each of them. The current drawn on each port depends on each device using the charger. The port rated with a maximum capacity of 2A does not always deliver 2A, what is actually delivered is controlled by the device based on many factors such running apps, level of charge, and so forth. I always use the same devices and I do my tests with the devices charged to the same level, running the same applications and using the same cables to keep everything the same. This allows me to do a relative comparison of various external batteries and identify the ones that do not perform well. Note that these tests are not testing for the maximum current each device can draw on each port because I do not own devices that can max out the current draw.

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 support charger through charging. It can not charge while being charged.

In addition to testing with my own cable, I test the cable included in the package to see if it is a charging cable or a data cable. This package includes a charging cable. For Android devices it matters if a cable used to charge the device is a charging cable or a data cable. Most of the time external batteries come with a charging cable, but every now I run across a manufacturer that encloses data cables with external batteries. It is not easy to tell what cable you got unless you have a current monitor. I always include this test in my reviews so people can improve the performance of the battery by switching to a charging cable.

Samsung Nexus phone:
1A port: 1.00/5.00V (excellent)
2A port: 0.91/5.01V (excellent)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this phone is 1.00A/5V)

iPad Mini tablet:
1A port: 0.92A/5.01V (average for 1A port)
2A port: 1.45A/5.02V (excellent)
(for comparison the best charging monitor result for this tablet is 1.70A/5V)

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, March 20, 2017

Product review: Bagail 2-Pack Pop-up Mesh Laundry Hamper

I use pop-up laundry hampers inside a large wooden hamper.  When it is time for laundry I pull out the pop-hamper and take it to the laundry room.  This method lets me use a beautiful wood hamper which hides a practical pop-up hamper which is not so beautiful.

This hamper is just the right size large to keep all the laundry while it still fits within the wooden hamper. It size is 14" x 14" width and 24" height.

The hamper is collapsible and when it is totally collapsed it is small.  Making it tiny again is quite difficult because the metal wire is stiff (which is good for its rigidity).  However making it flat is easy, so when one of the hampers is not in use I store it flat. Then when laundry time comes I swap them inside the wooden hamper.  When laundry is done I store the empty one flat. 

Overall, perfect size for my needs, rigid wire, works perfectly for my needs.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Product review: Color City Women's Cotton Socks

This listing is for two cotton blend socks that I fit me well and feel comfortable. I wear size 7.5 shoe. They have a gentle cuff which tends to slouch down if I don't fold it over. I typically fold over the sock of this length so the sliding down is not an issue for me. If I don't fold them over they reach about 5.5 inches above my ankle. The socks are described as a cotton blend, but the specific break down of fibers is not shown either in Amazon description or on the sock label. This is disappointing, I always prefer to know the content.

In my photos I show the socks inside out so you can see the construction. Looking at any garment inside out really tells you about the quality of the constructions. These sock's seams are not totally flat, but I do not feel them.

I like how comfortable these socks are and they are true to size.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Product review: BAGAIL Set of 5 Mesh Laundry Bags

I am a heavy user of mesh laundry bags. I use them not just for finaries but for making sorting of the laundry easier. I have purchased Whitmore, Honey-can-do, and HomeFlav mesh bags in the past. However my favorite mesh bags are LoopsLiving which have the same design as these mesh bags with one exception. LoopsLiving bags have a loop that allows the bags to be hung so I can sort items into them all through the week. I modified Kakalu bags by adding loops to them, this took less than 10 minutes.

I like this type of bags best because they have an elastic loop that keeps the zipper from opening during the wash and dry cycle. You need to pulls he zipper past the elastic bag after you close the zipper to make it work. It is rather annoying to find the mesh bag open after the wash is done. It never happens if the mesh bags have these elastic loops.

I also like the tight mesh on these bags better than bag with large mesh. The tight mesh keeps hooks and buttons inside the bag, the holes are too small for pesky hooks to stick out their fangs out of the bag.

The package contains 5 bags: large, medium and small as well as a small round bag meant for bras.

Bag sizes:
* Super Large mesh bag: 24" x 24"
* Large mesh bag: 20" x 16" (two of them)
* Medium mesh bag : 15" x 12" (two of them)

My favorite is the super large bag - when things are loose in the bag they dry better so the super large and large bags get the most use.

In terms of longevity,  the oldest mesh bags I own are 3 years.  They have been used on weekly basis, despite their thinness they held up well - no holes, the zippers still work, the elastic still holds the zipper closed during laundry. Out of all the bags I had I had through the years only one had a problem: I yanked on the zipper too hard and pulled the lock off the zipper so it came off at the end - lesson learned don't yank, be gentle!
You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, March 17, 2017

Product review: Purell 1450-D1 Everywhere System Starter Kit (Base and Refill)

Purell is my favorite sanitizer - it does the job, dries quickly, and does not leave my hands sticky. For the flu season I was looking for a small dispenser for my office and this unit is just the right size. It is not an industrial size unit, yet large enough to be used not only by me but people who visit me.

Total height is 8.25"
Purell refill height 4"
Width of the dispenser 3"
Its weight is 21.60 oz

It comes with three mounting strips.

The unit dispenses well, even and smooth.
You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Product review: JKitty 8 Outlets 6 USB 8A Total Smart Charge 3000W Surge Protector - Tower Power Strip

My review is for the 2 level 8 outlet JKitty power strip.

This  strip has a 67" power cord (non-retractable) and a regular size grounded plug. In addition to 8 AC outlets this tower also has 6 USB outlets. I tested them with my Android phone using a current monitor, and the current monitor showed that they all charged my phone at the optimal rate (AC rate of 1A).

This tower power strips work very well in tight spaces. It has a very small foot print yet accepts large plugs next to each other. The AC outlets are well spaced out. I can power several battery chargers next to each other without problems. This is a very clever design.

I love the shape of this power strip, it gave me more than enough outlets in the area which barely has any space.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, March 13, 2017

Product review: JOHAKU Card Reader, 4 in 1 Micro SD Card Reader (mini USB, Type C, Lightening)

This adapter is designed to work with both Android and Apple devices.  It has a mini USB  connector, type C connector, and lightening connector.

Nexus 5 and Nexus 6p Android phones immediately recognized the card reader, brought up ES File Explore, and I was able to look at external storage and video images and video. iPadMini gave me more problems and did not work right out of the box. I had to find an app that would work.  I mostly an Android user so the Android behavior is the most important to me.  I tried both SD cards from SONY NEX 5 camera and my a trail cam.  I am able to view JPG and MP3 file. Note that AVI files are visible but my phone cannot play them back.  This is not a problem with cards reader (it showed the files) but rather the limitation of the phone.  

The card reader is compact (2"  wide), I show it on the 1/2" grid for size reference.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Product review: Rii Multifunction Portable 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Fly Mouse Keyboard and Infrared Remote Control

I use an air mouse with my Android TV every week.  I have tried several designs of air mice and the older version of this Rii mouse has been my favorite for several yeas.  My only complaint about the old version was the click button was not the large ok button but a smaller button below it.  This minor annoyance has been corrected in this version and the most common function is now controlled by the big OK button (easy to find even in a dark room).

This air mouse is shaped like a TV remote control: it is 6.75" long and 1.875" wide and 0.375" thick.  One side of remote has all the mousing functionality and the TV remote functions, the other side has a QWERTY keyboard.

My normal use for this keyboard is Android TV, but I also checked my computers and it worked with Linux Fedora 25 and Windows 10.

Air mouse comes with a wireless USB 2.0 receiver dongle (nano style) that plugs into a USB port. Then all I have to is aim the remote at the screen of  my TV (while it is in HDMI mode set to my Android TV) and I can move the mouse my just moving the remote.  The control is very good, it did not take me any time to get used to it. The remote also has other functions such as home, next previous screen, back, volume up and down and so forth.  I was able to operate it from as far as I could go in the room (it is rated for 10 meters which is 30 feet).  It uses 2.4Ghz radio frequency.

My only remaining small complaint is that the dongle has a plain black back. It has no name printed so it looks just like any dongle and I have quite a few of them. To fix this problem I attached a handwritten label of my own to back of the receiver.  It is not pretty but functional.  I learned from experience that these labels really help down the road.

The keyboard keys have a nice feel (hard rubber) and good feedback (mechanical type click). It is a full QWERTY keyboard with letters and numbers.

IR remote can be trained to know some of the functions of your TV remote.  To get into learning mode you need to press a "SET" button on the IR remote for 4 seconds.  When if flash light once, aim it at the your TV remote and press the button you want to assign a function on your IR remote, it will flash two short blinks followed by a long one to indicate it is in learning mode.  The press the button on the original TV remote. IR remote will flash three short blinks followed by a long one to indicate that the function was assigned.  You can repeat this operate for all the keys you want to use on the IR remote to control your TV. The two remote controls need to close to each other (2.5" or less). To end the training session you need to press SET key (or do not press nay keys for 10 seconds or more)

Insert USB receiver into a USB port on the device.  No other action is needed. The air mouse was immediately recognized.

Air mouse has a built-in Lithium-ion battery. It is charged by a standard micro USB to USB cable. The device can be used while the battery is charging. When the battery is low, the low-voltage light blinks to give a warning.  My old Rii air mouse needed to be charged once a month.  So far this remote still runs on the original charge (15 days and counting.)

Overall it works well, however be aware that it cannot be used to turn on and turn off the device you are controlling, so you still need a remote control.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Product review: Bath Bombs Gift Set by Herbs & Bees

These bath bombs come in six scents : Lavender, Cherry Blossom, Eucalyptus, Green Tea, Lemon Grass, and Orange Peel.  They all smell nice, my favorite is Green Tea,

I store the bath bombs in a linen closet to take advantage of their nice scent.  Each bomb is about the size of a golf ball.  Each is a one time use product, the entire bomb fizzes away in about a few minutes leaving the scented water infused with a moisturizer. I now tried a couple of different bath bombs, some generate bubbles like a bubble bath but these bombs do not. There is a bit of foaming as the bomb fizzes and then the foam quickly disappears. These  balls are a little smaller than some others I have tried, but I do not think the size matters, it infuses enough moisturizer. 

The ball description states that they are designed to dissolve slowly. I personally like them to dissolve quickly and wait until the entire bath bomb is dissolved until I get into the tub. When I want it to dissolve faster I aim the stream from the shower head at it, that speeds up the dissolving process. Overall a very pleasant and relaxing experience.

The balls colorful rather than white. I was concerned that this bright color will leave stains or will color the shower liner but it did not.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Product review: Rainbow Reusable Flexible Gel Ice Pack & Wrap with Elastic Velcro Strap (Hot and Cold)

I use cold packs for headaches and back pain. This pack comes with a sleeve with a strap that holds the pack in place.  The strap is 23" long (end to end), which is just enough to wrap around my head. It also works for me around my arms and legs if I ever would need that. It is not long enough to strap around my waste for back pain, I have to use other methods for holding it up there (press against the back of the seat, use the pant's belt and so forth).

Before using Rainbow packs my most commonly used cold pack was "Ace Reusable Cold Compress".  I like it for two reasons - it remains flexible when cold so I can shape it as needed. Ace cold pack does not sweat as it warms up.

Rainbow pack also remains flexible after it is frozen, it does not sweatas it cools.  The sleeve and strap works exceptionally well.  This is now my preferred ice pack for headaches.

The pack stays cold for about 20 minutes, and then needs to be kept in the freezer for 2 hours to provide the next 20 minute treatment.  This is by design and also true of for ACE packs.  My refrigerator has a large assortment of ice pack, so I can swap out the new ones while the recently used ones chill.

This pack also works as hot pack by heating it in the microwave between 60 and 40 seconds depending on the power of your microwave.

I keep the pack in the sleeve when it is the freezer.  I have two reasons for this.  First, it is easier to manipulate into the sleeve when it is not cold.  Second, the plastic material feels a little less durable than the material used in Ace Cold pack and I keep it in the sleeve in the refrigerator to minimize the stress of taking it our and putting into the sleeve.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Product review: EasyAcc 6 Inch USB Mini Desktop Metal Blades Cooling Fan

I like the air flow that this fan creates.  It can be rotated up and down easily (full range of motion). To move the airflow side to side you need to move the fan itself. It has two settings on/off (there is no low and high air flow).
My favorite feature of this fan is that it runs from USB power and  I can run it from an external battery which makes it totally portable. It also can work when the power is out. I live an area with a lot of trees and during storms we lose power at least a few times each year. When power is out the fans that can run on external batteries provide some much needed ventilation. The USB cord is 42" long.

The fan is small but generate a pretty good air flow for its size. The fan is quiet but not totally silent I can hear a slight hum of the motor. The sound it generate is white noise and is easy to ignore, so far it makes no no creaking or clanking sounds.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Monday, March 6, 2017

Product: iMate TP-06 Indoor Digital Thermometer and Humidity Meter

This thermometer is 2 3/8" wide in size. It has back light for when it is dark.  I compared it with my other calibrated thermometer and the temperature and humidity matches.  It runs on one CR2032 3V cell battery (which is included in the package) 

Initially I had trouble changing the temperature display from Celsius to Fahrenheit.  The thermometer comes without documentation, but the package states that it shows temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit so I knew there was a way.  The back of the thermometer has one button, however pressing it did not change the temperature display.  Eventually, I decided not to just press, but press and hold counting to 10 and then then the temperature display changed to Fahrenheit!

I like the mounting system of this thermometer.  The back of the unit is magnetic and so you can mount it directly to something metal.  If you need to mount it on something that is not metal, then you can use the disk that is included in the package.  The disk has sticky tape on one side and metal plate on the other.  So you can create a match of metal anywhere you want to post this thermometer.

Overall, I am quite pleased with it. It is small, it has a nice clear display, and it is accurate.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Product review: Outdoor Solar Powered Motion Sensor Lights MOKOQI

Garden light with this style in two flavors: one flavor is a two mode light and the second flavor is a three mode light. In the two mode flavor the lights are "on" when motion is detected (in the dark) and "off" otherwise. In the three mode flavor the lights are dimly "on" all the time when it is dark, and get brighter when motion is detected and "off"  during day light.

I have a strong preference for on/off two mode flavor because they last longer. When the light is dimly on all the time it totally exhausts the battery before the night is over.  Mokoqi is this type of light - it has two modes which means it uses the battery very efficiently.

I live in New England where not every day is sunny, and even sunny days often not sunny continuously, so the light does not get fully recharged every day. The two mode garden lights work better.

A pet peeve I have about these solar lights that they have a logo on the front rather than on the back.  I like combinig the lights along our long fence, and when each one has a different logo they look mis-matched. I hope the manufacture will consider moving the logo to the back as the logo detracts from the overall appearance of the light.

So how bright is this light? To give a numeric measurement of brightness I use a lux meter which measures light intensity. For comparison I take a measurement of 60 watt bulb (since we all have a good feel for how bright those bulbs are) and measurement of this light from the same distance.

~~ At 19" a 60 watt fluorescent bulb registers 613 lux
~~ This light in bright mode registers 277 lux

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. It gives enough light to light the area a few feet away.

The light has a hole at the top and comes with mounting hardware. I mounting it on the fence using the hole and this is the second reason why I like this design, it allows a mounting without having to use a screw, I can use tie wraps.

To activate the light for the very first time you need to push a button on the front. The package include a pin that makes this activation very easy.  The light detected me approaching from any direction (135 degrees) from about 6 feet away. After the movement stopped it turns off.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Product review: Aicok 8-Inch Chef Kitchen Knife

Don't let the low price scare you away (it was under $10 when I got it). This is a nice knife!  The handle has a nice shape I am finding it very comfortable to hold.  It is sharp, cuts well and is easy to handle. It has a nice feel overall, and it is light weight (7.15 oz), relatively light for its size.
 This knife had been used for every day cooking for almost two weeks. It remained sharp, I do not see any imperfections or dents.  I am quite pleased with it.  In attached video you can see the knife in action.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, March 3, 2017

Product review: EugeneGreen Brand LED Plant Grow Light 12W

I have tested a number of grow lights in a controlled experiment - planting the cucumber seeds to grow in a pot placed in a sunny window vs under the same size pot placed under a grow lamp.

To test the effectiveness of this grow light we planted several identical pots with cucumber sprouts. The first set of pots was left to to grow near a sunny window inside and another pot was left in an area which does not get direct sunlight and was left under a grow light. The grow light was on a timer for 14 hours a day (off at night).

The attached video is a video diary of the two plants with photos taken every day for 11 days. As you see at the end of 11 days the plants under the grow light is shorter and and has more leaves, the plant in the window is taller (stretching towards the light) and has a couple less leaves. Shorter leafier plants are generally better then the taller skinnier ones.

EugeneGreen 12W Grow light fits into a regular bulb fixture. It has 3 blue and 9 red LED lights to simulate sunlight. The light weight 9.15 oz and is 5.5" long, and 4.75" wide. The light feels well made. The finish of the bulb looks neat, and when I shake it nothing rattles.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Product review: Halovie Bathtub Pillow with Strong Large Suction Cups

I have a bad back and hot baths are really helpful for my condition. Prior to this pillow I used inflatable pillows. Unlike my other pillows this is not an inflatable pillow, this is foam pillow.  The foam is pretty firm and it is not a memory foam.  It is generously sized 11.5" x 15" x 2". The back of the pillow has 7 suctions cups, they hold well. I find it quite comfortable. 

The only down side of the foam pillow compared to inflatable pillow that foam pillow cannot be folded away for storage.  However, for me this is not an issue. I always keep inflatable pillow inflated so I don't have to re-inflate them every time I need them.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Product review: OsoCozyUnbleached Prefold Cloth Diapers

I originally purchased these diapers for their original intention, but found them to be too thin for that purpose.  I also did not like that they ball up after washing rather than lay flat like microfiber diaper inserts.  To make they lay flat I need to iron them. When flat they are sized 2" x 6" x 2".

I was about to write a negative review when I read a review by another reviewer who re-purposed them to work as a re-usable wet cleaning pads for a Swiffer mop.  Indeed, they fits well.  The width of each diaper is just right to be tucked into the back of the mop, the thin sides fit as well as the disposable pads, and the middle section which is slightly thicker hold water or cleaning solution without making the floors too wet.  I re-wet it with a spray bottle when it dries out so I don't have to remove it after it is already dirty. 

Well, so it least I did not waste my money on it.  Thanks to those who shared these cleaning tip  - this is reviews at their best! Sharing "work arounds" as well as problems and kudos.

You can find these diapers on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆