Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Product review: Kocaso Waterproof Headlamp (1000 Lumen, Works Underwater for Diving, 30,000 Hr Bulb Lifespan

The best feature of this headlamp is its brightness. The worst is the strap because it seems to slowly work itself undone after a period of use. I stitched it together in the position that fits me, and put it on by stretching the silicone a bit.

The headlamp is waterproof so it can be used in the rain and even submerged under water. It runs on three AAA batteries (which are not included) and has 3 modes (high, low and flashing).

I cycle through all the modes in my video. You can see that the bright mode is fairly bright. The mode control is a little fussy. For example,I was able to change the speed of flashing from fast to slow by holding the button for a few seconds, but I have not been able to do it every time.

I am able to change the angle at which the lamp is shining by changing its position in the silicone loops, the angle is held down by pressure of the silicon band, nothing holds in place, so it is not as steady in that position as a mechanical ratchet.

The bottom line is that I really like the light's brightness and the silicone strap is okay in the rain, but I would not use it as is diving when my life might depend on having the light stay on my head.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Product review: Beach Umbrella Sand Anchor, Metal Beach Umbrella Holder-Stands-Sand Grass Auger with Beach Bag-Heavy Duty Black

The anchor is made out of single piece of metal (steel). The opening is 1 3/8" and can be adjusted by tightening a plate. The anchor is 14" deep. Because it has a corkscrew design it needs to be twisted to insert in place rather than be pounded it as a spike design. I using this stake not in the sand but in rocky New Englad soil in my garden. Twisting into soil is a harder than into sand so keep that in mind as you watch the video.

I installed this anchor 13 days ago and waiting to write this review until we had a day with a strong and gusty wind to see how it holds up. It did quite well, it is holding the strong.

The weakest point of the umbrella is the mechanism that tightens to hold the pole. This mechanism only closes part way and it did not close enough to hold my pole tightly, I had to use a couple of dowel to fill in the gaps so the hold would be stronger. If I could change anything I would change the screen mechanism to close all the way through 1 3/8" so it can hold any pole no matter how thin or thick.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Friday, May 26, 2017

Product review: 925 sterling Silver White Opal Hoop Earring

The opal inlays are colorful and the hoop shape is very pretty.  The earrings are a nice size.  They are not oversize so they look classy. They are 3/4" in size. In attached photos I show them in 1/2" grid as well as in my hand and ear for size reference.

The workmanship is nice: neat and without imperfections.  The metal is 925 sterling silver (there is a 925 stamp on the inside).  My ears starts itching within an hour if nickel is part of the alloy and I have no problems wearing them all day long without getting itchy ears.  Overall,  they exceeded my expectations.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Product review: ONEMIX Women's Air Cushion Running Shoes

I got the lady's version of these sneakers in blue and pink. The sneakers are very comfortable.  The sneakers are made in China for Chinese market so picking the right size could have been tricky, but the seller provides a helpful chart a the bottom of the listing (which I am also including below) which was accurate and worked out well for me. I normally wear US size shoe 7.5 and selected size 8 based on the chart.  The fit is good, I am able to wear them with both thick and thin socks.  The sneakers do not have a separate shoe tongue, instead it is a one piece shoe which makes it a little harder to put on.  Initially I needed to use a shoe horn but as I wear it it is getting easier and easier to slide my foot into the shoe.

The shoes provide good arch support and cushioning at the heel. The colors and the design are nice (dark blue and bright pink).  I liked that the package included an extra set of shoe laces (in blue color). In addition the package also include a pair of socks (grey with coordinated pink stripe). The package include another freebie - a small yellow mouse pad (8.25" x 7.5").

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Size Chart
MEN Size Chart
Size 3 D(M) US = Foot Length 220mm = Foot Length 8.66inch = 35EUR = Women 5(M)US
Size 4 D(M) US = Foot Length 225mm = Foot Length 8.85inch = 36EUR = Women 5.5(M)US
Size 5 D(M) US = Foot Length 235mm= Foot Length 9.25inch = 37EUR = Women 6.5(M)US
Size 5.5 D(M) US = Foot Length 240mm= Foot Length 9.45inch = 38EUR = Women 7(M)US
Size 6.5 D(M) US = Foot Length 245mm = Foot Length 9.64inch = 39EUR = Women 8(M)US
Size 7 D(M) US = Foot Length 250mm = Foot Length 9.84inch = 40EUR = Women 8.5(M)US
Size 8 D(M) US = Foot Length 260mm= Foot Length 10.23inch = 41EUR
Size 8.5 D(M) US = Foot Length 265mm= Foot Length 10.43inch = 42EUR
Size 9.5 D(M) US = Foot Length 270mm= Foot Length 10.62inch = 43EUR
Size 10 D(M) US = Foot Length 280mm= Foot Length 11.02inch = 44EUR
Size 11 D(M) US = Foot Length 285mm= Foot Length 11.22inch = 45EUR
Size 12 D(M) US = Foot Length 290mm= Foot Length 11.41inch = 46EUR

Monday, May 22, 2017

Product review: REIDEA Digital Kitchen Scale 11Ib/5kg, Tempered Glass - Black

This is a good looking kitchen scale - it has a polished black glass top and a large easy to read display.  The scale is accurate, its reading matched my calibrated postal scale.  It runs on four AAA batteries (which are included in the package).  It capacity is  11 pounds.

This kitchen scale is quite precise. Its graduation is 0.1 oz, 1 g, 0.1 fl.oz, 1 ml.

The scale has on/off button. It turns off automatically after 60 seconds of not being used.  Changing the units of measure is done by pressing "unit" to cycle between g, ml, and  oz.

The scale measurements are 6.5" wide x 9.5" long.  Because the scale platform is totally flat I was able to measure items much larger than the scale platform.  The read out has nice larger numbers and easy to read.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Product review: YouDuo 4 in 1 Wireless RF Item locator Key Finder

Why is it that when I misplaced my keys I am always in hurry and least effort a delay? Well, this is not a problem anymore. This key finder works very well saving me time and frustration.  The beep is reasonably loud, I can hear it if the keys are in my jacket pocket, for example.

The package includes four color coded receivers and a transmitter with buttons.  The package comes with CT2032 for the receivers, you need to provide two AAA batteries for the transmitter.
All buttons sound fairly similar. I show how they sound in my video.

What could be better? I would nice of the receivers were even smaller.  I show them in my video on 1/2" grid for size reference. 

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Product review: Strong Cable Ties. 36" Nylon Zip Cable Ties. Large 175 LB Tensile Strength Heavy Duty

I have been using these cable ties for two winters to secure an electric cord to the railing of the deck.  They work very well.  They stay strong and tight all winter longer.  Rain and snow is not a problem.  They are easy to tighten and when the winter season is over I can easy cut them off with utility scissors.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Product review: Tach-It 36" x 175 Lb Tensile Strength Natural Colored Cable Tie

I have been using these cable ties for two winters to secure an electric cord to the railing of the deck.  They work very well.  They stay strong and tight all winter longer.

These cable ties are LARGE! I was looking for something I can use to rig up an electric cord to our deck through the winter and stumbled upon these huge cable ties and they are perfect! They work just like their small cousins but easily go over very thick wood railings. They are strong and easy to work with and will be much easier to deal with in the winter than the nylon cords I was going to use before I found these ties.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Product review: HyLoft 00212 Add-On Storage Hook Accessory for HyLoft Model-540 Ceiling Rack, 4-Pack

I am using these hooks with HyLoft ceiling storage. The fit is perfect. I was wondering if they would make it harder to move boxes that are sitting on the grating but they do not. They are the same height as the rest of the grating.

In attached image the hooks are laying on 1 inch gridded mat so you can see all the size of every part of the hook better. I am also including images of the hooks mounted on the grating.

The part of the hook that attaces to the Hyloft system is 3.5" long (from outside to outside)
The wire thickness is 0.25", so the inside spacing of the hook is 3"
Each hook hang down 5.75"
The flat part of the hook (where you hang things) is 3.25"
The end that points up is 1.25"

The hooks feel sturdy, I am very pleased.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Friday, May 12, 2017

Product review: Bissell 1984 AirRam Cordless Vacuum

I purchased Bissell AirRam 6 months ago.  It has powerful suction (on par with my corded vacuums),  lightweight, and flexible handle that allows me to easily vacuum under the beds and coaches.  However, this weekend the clips holding the handle broke off.  I had to tape it together with tape. 

To clean it the plastic canister pops out and you can empty it without getting the dust all over the place.  The filter comes out of the back end, the filter is made out of foam rubber which I can wash. The filter takes a few days to dry so you need to plan ahead. Not sure how to replace the foam filter, when I search for a replacement filter on Amazon I could not find it.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Product review: Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunblock, SPF 45+, 2.5 Ounce

Neutrogena has a nice texture, spreads well, and does not leave my hands greasy. But it does have a light scent which dissipates fairly quickly. It does take about 30 seconds for the white film to be absorbed by the skin, which is typical for the higher SPF factor sunscreens in my experience.  It have not noticed any yellowing in the areas where the sunscreen touch my clothing (like the collar).

Overall, I like it and will be buying it again.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Product review: AZGIANT 7'' Inch Navigation and DVR for car /truck

The navigation device combines a car DVR and navigation system.  It has a 7" screen and comes with a windshield mount.  This device is an Android tablet which is running DVR and Navigation apps. It is running Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) version of the operating system. It comes with 16G ROM and accepts a micro SD card up to 32G.  I am using it with micro sd card. When I inserted a micro sd card the system prompted me if I wanted to switch to using the external sd as my storage.  That was nice, I did not have to hunt of where to change the settings.

The screen is not a high resolution screen compared to a typical Android tablet or phone but it is sufficient for navigation.

1) DVR video quality: video  quality is acceptable for a dash cam during the day and the night. You can see the video it took during the day in the sun and at night. The colors are a little bit washed in the sun and at night the oncoming lights are overexposed in order to capture video in the dark. I would not be happy if my camera recorded it but it is good enough for a dash cam.  The camera records full HD 1080p video.
2) The mount included with the DVR works well,  it stays firmly mounted even on rough roads.
3) The dash cam uses standard mini USB cable and the cable is included in the package.
4) The user interface is straightforward especially if you are familiar with Android OS. It has a touch screen and the touch screen is responsive.

1) A 7" screen is large and easy to see even for someone with imperfect vision.  However, the screen is hard to see in the sun.  This is typical for LCD screens, this one is not any worse than others but if you are drying in the sun it is hard to see. The screen looks good in the shade and is superb during the night. 
2) The maps are from 2014.  Updates are available from a Chinese web site which is problematic - the connection is unreliable. The maps do not have street view like Google navigation which allows you to see the actual street and buildings.
3) The strong point of this navigation system compared to Google maps is that it does not require cell coverage.  Our favorite navigation system current is Google Navigation but it requires cell coverage (you can download load maps but they expire and I have been caught without local maps that were current). The cell coverage requirement means that Navigation does not work in some rural areas where we like to travel on weekend.  There is no such restriction using Azgiant system.
4) The speaker is good. It has a good volume and a choice of voices. The voices sound natural and have a choice of American or British accents.
5) Destinations can be saved a "Favorites".  It is easy to do with just a few keystrokes.
6) The navigation screen does not rotate, you need to install horizontal orientation
7) There an option for traffic notification if you use WIFI.  However when we ran Google Navigation and Azgiant at the same time Google was generating traffic warnings and Azgiant did not.  The overall result was that Azgiant route took longer than Google route.  In general, Google Navigation calculations of our arrival time were more accurate over a number of different trips we did with both GPS doing the routing.
8) If you notice that the suggested route is a straight line rather than clinging to the road you are following you put the system is in "off road" mode.  This happened to me accidentally and it took a while to figure out why it no longer follows the road.  The touch screen is sensitive and accidentally brushed that setting while looking at the settings.
9) The default speed warnings are pretty annoying as they sound even if you drive at speed limit. However you can change them under "Settings" menu. You can select the warning to sound (or appear) between 101% and 130% of the speed limit to make them less annoying.

Overall, it is a decent option for when you need to operate without cell coverage. However, if you have a cell phone and cell coverage Google Navigation is superior.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★☆☆

Monday, May 8, 2017

Product review: Honeymomo Diaper Refill Bags

This listing contains plastic bags with a ring closure. They were similar to the original orange Munchkin bags. The Munchkin pail is not part of this listing.  The closes easily, it holds the smells well. To see how tightly it closes I conducted a water test. I emptied a container of water, closed the ring, and turns it upside down.  There were a were drops of water as I turned it (from the sides), but once I turned it upside down it did not leak.  So though it is not waterproof (nor does it claim to be) the closure is pretty tight, good for holding in the bad odor.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Product review: Matcha Green Tea Facial Mud Mask with Headband

This is rich and smooth facial mask. It has a strong but pleasant floral scent. It is green in color.  The product is made in China. The ingredients are not listed in either the Amazon description or on the bottle, but they are listed on the box.

INGREDIENTS: Deicnized water, volcanic mineral slurries, Iglycerol chitosan glycolate, magnesium palmitoyl glutamate, Jdlcohol dimyristyl phosphate, PPG-10 cetyl ether Phosphate system,     acrylic     copolymer,     triethanolamine,     within DMDMhydantoin / iodopropynyl butlcarbamate acetate / methyl-isothiazolin -ketone, green tea extract, fragrance.

Before I apply the mask I put a hot towel on my face for a few minutes, then spread the mask with my fingers. I usually leave on for about 10-15 minutes. I remove it with a hot paper towel.  I have a pretty sensitive skin but had I had no bad reaction to the mud the next day - no break outs or redness.

My skin looks better because when I remove the mud it clears the pores. All the marketing terminology about "anti-aging" and "rejuvenation" is marketing gobbledygook, but I thought the mask cleaned well and smelled good. From using this mask a few times, I estimate that one tub will last at least 20.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Product review: Velice 4 Pairs Soft Comfortable Novelty Cartoon Crew Pattern Cotton Socks

Amazon has several versions of these "cartoon" socks and I picked the "cat" socks. They are really cute. The socks are made out of cotton. My shoe size is 7.5 and these socks are a perfect fit, the heel is in the right place.

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 socks look very neat, they low flat seams and no bulges at the toes. I have worn them for a few weeks, so they have been through a couple of laundry cycles and they still look good.

I have a pet peeve when vendors stable the socks through the center with a staple gun, often this weakens the threads and can creates holes. These socks were not staples, but they were sewing through the sock with some thread. It is better than stapling, but I still would have preferred to see just the clips (which were also used in addition to the thread).

I like these socks, they are cute and they are true to size.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Product review: OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover

I purchased this powder a year ago, in March 2016. If I were to write this review right away it would have been more positive, Turns out this powder absorbs moisture from the air in the basement and becomes a rock. Now every time I have to use it I have to chip powder away from the rock sitting in the container. The basement does not smell musty and we do not have moisture problems.

I have used other white revive products and decided to try OxiClean based on stellar reviews. I think OxiClean works reasonably well, but I did not notice a big difference compared to other product (Dropps, for example). OxiClean comes in a big plastic tub with a scoop, Drops comes in small pacs. I have to say that I prefer pacs to scooping the powder.

Here are the reasons reasons:
(1) powder absorbs moisture and becomes a solid block I need to break up when I need to us it
(2) When the powder is in pacs I don't have to smell the bleach. OxiClean, especially since I have to break up a solid block, gives off a lot smell
(3) Pacs give me the same amount every time. Scooping is inconsistent even when it is in powder form, more inconsistent when I need to break off what I want to use

Given that I don't see the difference in result for the type of dirt I wash the pacs offer a more convenient packaging and once this tub is over I am going back to Dropps pacs.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★☆☆☆