Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Smart Weigh- Black Digital Food Scale

I reviewed this product for free to review.

Hey everyone! So I have actually has this food scale for several months now because I was curious to see how long I would actually use it for and what I would use it for. The answer to both kind of surprised me.

First let me tell you about the scale I suppose.  It is 6.25 inches wide 8.5 inches long is almost an inch tall and weighs 1 pound 4.6oz assuming it is accurate since I weighed it on its face :) it is a nice shiny black and has a glass surface a blue digital screen and two touch screen buttons one being the mode button and the other being the on/off/tare button .  The numbers on the scale are pretty big and easy to read at about 0.5in x 0.25in the other writing on the screen is only about a quarter of a centimeter tall which is still bigger than the writing on here  closer to this size really.  It has 7 different options for measurement including:

  • Gram
  • Ounce
  • Pounds and ounces
  • Water by the milliliter 
  • Water by the cup
  • Milk by the milliliter 
  • Milk by the cup
I wasn't sure why anyone would need both so I looked it up and apparently they weigh differently.  I assume this goes for all liquids and I sort of wonder why a scale would even attempt to have volume based measurements like milliliters and cups anyway but it does work in a pinch for adding your milk and water to dry ingredients already in the bowl without using a separate measuring cup.  I think it would have been awesome if they would have included oil or butter in the measurements but you could always Google the gs weight of the liquid you are putting in and measure it by the gram on the scale.

So I thought I would use this for making those oddly specific,  measure by the weight baking recipes I see randomly but,  no.  What I have been using it for is to make things even.  Say I get a package of hamburger at the store.  I always get the big packs and break them up but sadly it seems they don't want you to be able to buy the better priced meat in nice even portions so it's usually sold in containers with about 2.5 or 3.5 pounds of meat.  Makes sense from a marketing stand point.  They sell you the meat at a discount as a bonus for buying it in bulk then trick you into using a larger amount  by not putting it into even pounds.  I used to split the packs into 4 quadrants  for the 3.5lb  packs and thirds for the 2.5lb packs but then for some dishes there just isn't enough meat and honestly eyeballing it can make for very inconsistent quantities.  Now I just buy enough packs that the .__ is equal to a full pound and divide it by weight on the scale when I get it home.

Furthermore when I make hamburger patties where I used to split the meat mixture up into 8 even looking portions. I now weigh the prepared meat (I add quite a bit of stuff to the patties.  Seasoning,  egg... )  divide that by the number of patties I actually want.  One for each kid and two per adult which is 7. Weigh them out patty by patty and put them in my burger maker. Then I have exactly how many I need and they are all the same size and cook the same.  No leftover patty for someone to overstuff themselves with or to wind up in the fridge for a month before getting tossed out.

Even better though is meatballs.  I figured out just the other night that 1oz meatballs were pretty much perfect for us and so I just weighed them out on the scale and balled them up.  The awesome part is I had just separated my hamburger from two 2.5lb containers so I just left the last pound in the store container.  Added all my ingredients,  egg, milk,  Italian bread crumbs,  fancy freeze dried Italian seasoning, garlic paste,  worchestershire sauce,  salt and pepper to the last pound of meat.  Mixed it all up wow I did not realize I added 8oz of stuff to my meatballs lol.  I put the second empty container on the scale,  hit the tare button,  put 1oz of meat on it,  rolled it into a ball,  hit tare and repeated it for a total of 24 meatballs.  Thanks to the scale,  I not only had very consistent meatballs, I was also able to make them without dirtying anything other than the pan I cooked them on.  Awesome! 

Even better though is the fact that I can use it on anything.  I use it all the time for the kids food.  It's hard to get the same amount of food on each plate,  and if I don't they argue over the plates so I just weigh out the ingredients as I put them on the plates lol. 

I'm glad this is so small since it lives on my kitchen counter. This has a lot of features that I haven't used at all but I can't say for sure that I won't.  I've even been able to spot which stores weight their meat in the container and which don't (it makes a difference if you are paying for those extra couple of ounces) which has to me points out that the scale is very accurate.  It also gives me consistent measurements every time.  

I love this scale and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for one.  I've yet to see a downside myself. 

If you would like to get one for yourself,  you can pick it up here. 

System Sharpener knife sharpener

I received this product for free to review.

Hey everyone.
OK so I have 2 nice sets of knives.  One I bought 8 years ago from a homeless man that was awesome and is a solid piece of metal though the handles are hollow.  One is a set than my uncle gave me after many years of use by him about 6 years ago with the metal all the way through with wooden handles.  Both super nice,  both super dull.  So I was excited to get to try this knife sharpener since if it worked it meant I wouldn't need to buy new knives.

When it came I was shocked at how little it was.  I guess it makes up for not being big and heavy by having a powerful suction cup to hold it securely on your countertop.

Some people said they had issues figuring it out cause it's the type of suction cup with the handle thing.  You know you pull the handle up,  put the device where it's going,  push down and lock the handle back down in place. To get it off again you pull the handle up,  reach down and break the suction.

Now I guess what makes it a system is the fact that it has two different sharpeners.  One metallic side that's rougher to wear down the sides of the blade more and one fine grain ceramic side to really hone the edge.  Apparently you are just suppose to pull the knife through a few times (they suggest 4)  from the hilt to the tip on the metallic side and then repeat on the ceramic side.

I pulled my knives through much more than that,  probably 10 times per side.  Again my knives were super dull,  the blades also had some pitting that I hadn't noticed that is probably going to take several sharpenings to correct if it ever does.

I noticed the knives had some dust on them after sharpening so I made sure to clean them after.  I was still super shocked at how well it cut after being sharpened.  I think it's safe to say that my knives had never been sharpened before since they now slide through things like potatoes and carrots like they aren't there and will even slice a tomato without squishing it.

The company says it will sharpen ceramic knives too but I don't have any and other reviews point to this being a no.  However maybe you are supposed to sharpen ceramic differently.  The directions only say to pull the knife through,  they don't even tell you which way which is odd since the sharpening wheels seem tilted.

About the only thing I didn't like was the noise that happens when you are sharpening,  I assume it's probably unavoidable though.

If you would like to pick one up for yourself,  you can do so here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

FSL Inertia Bluetooth Earphones

I received this product for free to review.

Hey everyone.  As I mentioned before there were quite a few product that I got when I was sick and this was another one of the awesome products from Future Sound Labs.

Honestly for the purpose of this review,  I have to ask you to read this one.  Mostly for the fact that it's like they directly fixed any issues I had with the first set and put all the improvements into the Inertia.

Still has a nice case and tons of accessories.  The cord is flat instead of round which I find does help to keep the headset in place and they have somehow improved the sound while using the practically universal micro USB port for charging.

Probably the best part though is I can use them while I'm on the phone and no one can  tell,  the sound is that clear.  I really don't know how someone will be able to improve on this set.

You can pick one up for yourself here.

FSL Prism Surround Sound Bluetooth Speaker

I received this product for free to review.

Hey everyone.  So this is one of a handful of reviews that are actually quite overdue.  Unfortunately I was incredibly sick a while back and completely missed reviewing quite a few things.  Probably the worst part of this oversight is the fact that most of these turned out to be daily users and I should have told you guys about them sooner.

Seriously  though everything I have gotten from Future Sound Labs has been better than  the last.

Ok so I know I've done several Bluetooth speakers in the past but this one has got to be one of my favorites.  What makes it different is it actually has good bass thanks to the "dual bass radiators"  which are some cool little speakers on either side that you can watch dance to the music.  It even has an actual on off switch instead of one of those soft button sensor things that can be accidentally switched on or off.

Like the other Bluetooth speakers I've reviewed it also has the ability to take phone calls as well and given that its Bluetooth 4.0 and set up to use as either an awesome portable speaker or speakerphone you could use it to land a big deal and celebrate it both.

Most of the things are pretty standard,  including the fact that it charges via micro USB but it does come with awesome paranoid wrapped accessories, specifically a charge cord and audio jack to connect things that might not be Bluetooth compatible  to it.

This is a really awesome speaker that I use all the time.  Though honestly it's mostly to drown out the kids while I clean but totally works!

If you would like to check it out for yourself you can do so here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Zeigels waist trimmer belt

I recieved this product for free to review.

Hey again. Yet another let's hope this makes me skinny again product. What it's really supposed to do is increase core temperature making exercise more efficient and making you sweat. Being made of neoprene makes it almost a guarantee that it will make you sweat without having the sucky side effect of me not being able to use it because it's made of latex (because it isn't). There are a lot of neoprene waist trimmers on the market though so lets go over the pros and cons as I see it.

Pro: It is adjustable. Being made of a strip of neoprene and Velcro makes it adjustable which means it will fit more people without having to worry about sizing or for that matter wasting money buying another smaller one if it works.

Con: Being that the Velcro strip is the same girth as the rest of the belt and that things that stretch tend to get thinner as it does means its almost impossible to get the thing on without the Velcro hanging over the edges and the scratchy side touching your skin. Of course wearing a shirt under remedies this but it could have been a non issue were it made slightly different.

Pro: It is really quite comfortable when it is on correctly. Even if you put it on tight like I like to.

Con: I really really wish it were wider. It is a lot more comfortable sitting lower and I really wish it were wide enough to cover my whole stomach.

Pro: it actually makes me look skinnier after wearing it. Possibly because it's squeezing my guts in or something but I don't think it's my imagination that the actual fat feels softer after using this. I wish I could use it on my rear or my legs to see if it helps with cellulite.

All and all given that this is the only waist trimmer I've used so far I can't completely discount it but giving consideration to the issues I've noticed I have to concede that this is not the perfect waist trimming solution. However I have been and will continue using it until something better comes along. I'm hoping the company takes my criticism to heart because they do make a lot of great products, and I don't dislike this one either, I just honestly think this would be perfect were it tweaked a bit. If you are thinner than I am you might not have the same issues, of course it's debatable that you would need the belt in the first place right? Anyway if you want to pick one up you can do so here. Sorry no pictures, I'm feeling... Fat. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

EZwipers.com Giveaway!

I received this product for free to review.

Hey everyone!

So awesome little site here makes it easier to get your windshield wipers. Delivered right to your house with installation directions right on the page. I think its awesome and will be going to get a set from them next time I need blades too. Not sure if it will be these blades or a better set but we will see! Anyway check out my little video if you want and enter the giveaway below. You can also check out their website here.

Artisan soap from soap.club

I received this product for free to review.

Hey everyone!
So this is a bit weird. So this company hand makes soap. They have so many scents I can't count them all.(72 currently I should have looked at the number on the page)
I actually got to try two. One I had delivered from Amazon the other was sent directly from them. Now I usually am all about Amazon, but with presentation and ease of use, I'd go with directly from the website. The packaging was much nicer. From amazon I received just the soap in the thin cardboard box, covered by bubble wrap and tape (that took me 45 minutes to get through with a knife.) And then put inside a plastic mailer. From soap.club it was still in a plastic mailer but had a nice thick cardboard box that was easy to get into. The first soap I got smelled amazing. Its called Vanilla Parisian Indulgence

This is the company's description copied and pasted from their website:

Indulge your senses with the sweet, nutty scent of French Vanilla as Soap.Club whisks you away to the chic sidewalk bistros of Paris. With its almond and hazelnut undertones, Parisian Indulgence is a mouth-watering treat you can enjoy every day.
Soap is our passion. We only offer premium quality bath & body soap aged up to 6 weeks. Each bar is made fresh with pure natural & organic ingredients that will stimulate your senses. Our secret…old-fashioned cold process soap making. Every product is made by hand, starting from stirring the recipe, cutting the bars and even packaging each individual bar. You will notice the soft gentle lather that feels like lotion instead of rough sharp edges that scratch and irritate your skin.
Cold process soap making helps enhance the the scent of our essential oils & fragrances. Many of our scents provide the same properties used in aromatherapy and wellness programs. Feel the guilt free, sensual indulgence of our soap.
Ingredients: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Soybean Oil, Hemp Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Water, and Essentials Oil/Fragrance
Size: 3″x 3″x 1″
Individually Boxed: Net Weight 5.3oz
Made in the USA

 I thought is smelled strongly of cherries with a hint of something creamy myself. I passed it around the living room of my grandmothers house (where I happened to be going after checking the mail) to the ooohs and ahhs of everyone around. Then I let them know the price that was listed on amazon for it. The one I ordered was listed at 9.95 with a 4.95 shipping charge so it came out at a whopping 15 bucks for just one bar of soap. You can grab a couple of scents now for 9.95 as an add on item if you have enough other prime stuff to go along with. So after getting over the shock of the price, I washed my hands with it. It really feels incredible my hands felt super nice and the water even started beading up on them. Once I was done and my hands were dry there was a nice sheen of oil that kept my hands feeling soft for about an hour or two. The downside was my hands after washing with it did not smell like cherries anymore but smelled more like sour milk. Of course scents are objective and perhaps the essential oils mixed poorly with my natural skin scent to have this effect. I contacted the company and they agreed to send me out another scent. I choose their Sweet Summer Honeysuckle since I had lately had a lot of honeysuckle scented products around my house and figured it would be a good baseline. As I mentioned earlier the packaging was completely different. Way better than my original experience and due to the colors, even the soap was prettier. I popped it out of the box, and snapped some photos of the process this time around. Shoved it under my nose excitedly and was met with just a light, clean scent. Definitely not the super strong scent from their first product or any of the ones around my house. I washed my hands with it and it was a totally different experience from the first scent. It did feel smoother than normal bar soap but it wasn't the bathed in oil experience I had the first go round. Afterwards my hands smelled just like the soap bar did for several hours. No bad smell here. I decided to scope their website because soap.club is an odd name for a soap company no?

Well the deal is you can buy the soaps individually for $9.95 each or they have 5 different monthly plans to choose from (some of which seem just a ridiculous amount of soap to me especially since the ones I've got so far have hardly been worn at all)
The membership prices are$
12.95 for one bar/month + 7.5% off 
19.95 for 2 bars/month + 10% off 
You have the option to choose which soap you get for each soap in those two tiers. The other tiers are a ratio of soap you pick vs a soap of the month type deal*
27.95 for 2/1 (3) bars/month + 12.5% off + free shipping
This is where it started getting confusing for me. The other 2 plans also have that 2\1 ratio but say you are getting 4 and 5 bars of soap per month respectively. Not sure if its a typo or if the other soaps are limited edition or just chosen randomly by them. I'm also not clear on if I can change my "favorite soaps" on a monthly basis or not and if so am I prompted to do so. Anyway the last 2 are listed as so.
35.95 for 2/1 (4) bars/month + 15% off + free shipping
42.95 for 2/1 (5) bars/month + 20% off + free shipping
All of them include a gift for the first month. The first second and third tier have an extra bar of soap while the forth their has a wodden soap holder (so your soap doesn't melt) and the highest tier has both.
All of them give you a few members only benefits like access to certain special soaps (likely seasonal or test batches) free samples and their members forum. 
The discounts are actually applied to anything else you buy in the store and with the third forth and fifth their you get free shipping on anything else you buy too. Seems like a good deal until you remember they basically just sell soap. Nice soap yes. Gift able soap? You better hope so cause with the amount of soap you'll have floating around it will probably end up being your go to Christmas and birthday gifts for as long as you have a subscription.
All in all if you have the money, the only thing that could potentially stop me from being able to recommended this to you is the fact that I placed an order (paid for) on their website on the 30th and it is still processing. Granted I ordered 10 bars of a soap that was listed as a test that was for .50 a bar but they did take my money so I expect them to hold up their end of the bargain. I'm not the only deal seeker in the world after all and I'm sure I'm not the only one to place an order for that one anyway. Besides I fully planned on passing them out as gifts so totally great marketing for them right?. OK I'm tired of writing now so check out their website here and enjoy all the photos and screenshots I took jumbled haphazardly below.

Oh I also thought it was pretty cool that they actually have soap recipes on their site so you could totally make your own (though its sooo much easier to just buy it right?)

Fine! I'll fix the darn pictures!
Oh and click here to see my full amazon review and continued experience. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Microfiber Cleaning Towels

I received this product for free to review.

Hey everyone! Well, you all know how I feel about microfiber. I can't get enough of the stuff! I didn't get super into its uses the last time I mentioned it so I'll go a bit more into it here.

I know sometimes I get a little storied and have a big background story about why I wanted to try a product in the first place. OK I sort of try to always do that but whatever it just doesn't seem like I'm telling you everything unless I have that. Now microfiber has been around for quite awhile now but I haven't always loved it. Back when those sham wow commercials were making them seem like the be all end all of microfiber, I honestly wasn't impressed. They felt weird and rubbery and on top of that you had to figure out the puzzle of how to get it to absorb anything if it was dry since it really only worked when wet. They did absorb a lot of water once they were suffently damp but I never found them to be particularly good at cleaning or drying myself.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I was looking for a mop to supplement my steam mop for the everyday cleanup routine and they included a few microfiber towels that's when I realized there is a whole new world of microfiber out there now.

That's why I was really excited to test these ones out. They look like terry cloth but are super soft. So soft in fact my first use for them was as tissues because I was super sick and they were near by. They were so soft and absorbant I didn't even get a sore nose, right there I would have re-bought these if only just for that. After I got better and they were washed (but not dried in the drier) I started testing their effectiveness. These in particular are marketed towards car care but I didn't use them for that. I've cleaned my mirrors and windows with them, used them to dry dishes, clean counter tops and tables, walls, dusting electronics. Honestly these type of microfiber cloths end up making me clean more just because it makes the job so much more efficient. I'm not going to say its gotten me off of paper towels or scrubby sponges either but I use both considerably less. In fact the only things I use my paper towels for any more are on greasy messes I don't want messing up my microfiber and as baby wipes. Everything else I used to use them for I just grab one of these. I can't go as far to say that this brand in particular has the best or cheapest, but they are one of my favorites and if I didn't strongly prefer a larger size I would easily get more. This set is light blue and comes with 5 towels.
If you would like to pick up a set for yourself, you can do so here.