Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Will the Stain Stay or will it Go?

I was asked to test out a Spot and Pet Stain Remover that is reported to be the #BestStainRemoverEver. I am not sure if I would go that far, but it did work pretty well.

I have light colored carpet (when clean) but very dirty carpets and I have an indoor only cat. I craft and build small objects inside and there is always a mess to clean up afterwards. Anyway, what I liked is that I did not need to completely saturate the area which also meant it did not take 3 days to dry. It also did not take very much in the way of "elbow grease" to get up the hairball stain I tested with the remover.

I have not had a chance to test the pet stains after using the stain remover using a UV light. I plan to do so soon and will update this review if necessary. Also I want to see how my cat treats the location where the stain remover was used to see if the scent irritates her or causes her to want to mark it again in some way.

My biggest tip, which might be considered more common sense, is to make sure you remove any hair or fur from the carpets before spraying this spot and stain remover.

Bottom line is that I like what I have been able to do with this remover so far.

I am having issues uploading photos of using this remover. I wanted to get the post out there, so I will try again tomorrow to add in the photos.

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Polish that Style

Grell sent me this Wearable Nail Polish Holder that I plan to send to my oldest niece. She is really into nails and changes hers on an almost daily basis. When I was last visiting I noticed that she likes to do her nails on her bed while watching movies or tv. My hope is that this will be something she likes and uses in order to keep from spilling the polish on her bedding.

The #SiliconeHolder fits comfortably with no polish in it. As you can see on the right it does not wrap all the way around my slightly chubby fingers. I think my hand would be more relaxed if it did fit more securely or wrapped further around. However if the ring portion were much longer it would be too much extra for those with thin fingers. The manufacturer might want to make a small version and a large version for this issue to be resolved.

I also was not sure what the tab coming off the ring portion right under the holder was meant to be used for or what the reason was it was there. I can't figure it out so maybe someone will enlighten me? It seems like it is too far up the ring to be of any use in placing a finger or thumb to secure it there. Regardless, the more open design of the ring at the bottom (palm side) does make it simple to remove from a hand that just had its nails painted.

I tried this ring with several sizes and shapes of nail polish bottles. Each bottle fit nicely and was quite secure. I had no problem with small bottles falling out or larger bottles feeling as if they may not fit. I would not suggest putting two small bottles in at the same time. For example I have a two part crackle finish set of nail polish bottles. I would not place both in at the same time because the silicone would not be surrounding each bottle.

Bottom line is I like it and I think my niece will, too.

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pressure Pushing Down on Me, Pressing Down on You

Living with a chronic illness can be expensive. Even more so when you don't have access to health insurance. So when I saw this Blood Pressure Wrist Cuff by #WristBPM_EBP017 I knew it would be something I would like to test and review. The hope was that it would work well enough for us to be able to check general blood pressure and potentially track results find patterns. If we come to a doctor appointment with data that shows a trend, the doctor is more open to different possibilities or medications or further testing. And when you can't afford the doctor visits in the frequency that is needed, this data is invaluable.

As you can see pictured above, the cuff comes in a nice box shaped case with a sturdy zipper around about 85% of the top. The top right of the photos shows a bit of the screen as I was unpacking the unit. They do include batteries which is always a nice bonus. In the bottom photo you can see the battery lid has been slid off and placed on top of the zippered case.
Once the batteries are installed all you do is place it on your wrist with the screen on the inside of your arm. Then fasten the velcro cuff in both places. When ready just press the power button (on the bottom right side of the face of the unit) and the machine starts the test.
I did not get the most accurate reading because I was moving around a lot before I turned on the blood pressure cuff. I didn't realize it would start the test as soon as the power button was pressed, so I had to hurry to get the photograph of it at the beginning. I'm blaming the moving and the slight anxiety over the surprise of starting the blood pressure test as soon as I turned it on, as to why my blood pressure and heart rate are slightly elevated above my normal. Well, that and the fact that this is not a high-tech calibrated piece of machinery.

I deny the allegations of user error.

The downside of this cuff is the way the cuff velcro is on both sides. It is difficult to explain, but when you put the cuff on the velcro attaches like you would expect it to. But then you have to fold the end of the cuff back over nothing and there is another velcro attachment. It makes no sense.

All in all, this is good for gathering data. It is not as accurate as the ones in a doctor office or the ones using an arm cuff. I do plan to continue to use this to check for any potential patterns that might indicate there is an issue that needs to be looked at by my doctor.

1. I am not a doctor.
2. I do not have any medical training.
3. I am not an expert in anything medical.
4. Do not use this as the sole diagnostics equipment for blood pressure readings.
5. Talk to your doctor,
6. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911.

Also, I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Not for the Greatest Dad

The BBQ Brush from #PureDome that I received for a #ProductReview is really not something I would endorse or suggest. There are some good parts to it, and I will outline them below, but the good do not outweigh the bad.

The brush comes nicely packaged in a cardboard box with a handle. There are several full-color photos of the brush being used as well as the individual parts. 

Once you open the box there is one foam piece that easily slides out and holds all of the parts included. It comes with a nice instruction booklet which was simple to follow. 

There are seven pieces included in the box, three of which are brush attachments. The battery is 3.6V and the charger for the battery has two slots allowing a second battery to be charged. I'm not sure if the seller offers an extra battery.

I charged the battery in just a few hours. I had no problems opening the case for the battery and the battery slid right in. However I had a bit of difficulty getting the battery lid back on. What I finally figured out was the battery had to be pushed in for about two notches on the base of the battery. Once that was in I was able to replace the lid. Husband mentioned that it was a water resistant lid so it is made to be left out by the grill if desired.

The heads for the brush are metal bristled and the bristles are very sharp. They easily were bent and a few arrived broken off. Those broken bristles found my skin when I went to attach or detach a head from the body. The other problem with the metal bristles is they will scratch off any nonstick coating that you have on your grill. If that is not an issue, then the metal bristles could work just fine.

There is only and on/off button, no speed settings are available and no power boost button for short bursts. I would have liked to have a forward and backward button to make it easier to lock or unlock the brush attachments. Without that I ended up turning the mechanism manually when just trying to get the attachment off. I have a feeling that could become an issue with the mechanics of the brush.

The final nail in the coffin was the battery which really does not have enough power to create the torque needed to really clean off the grill. If you turn the heat on the grill really high and burn off the bits and pieces then you'll need to let the grill cool down before using the brush. Because of the way it is designed the brush cannot be used from a safe distance and there is no heat shield to keep your skin safe if you don't let the grill cool down enough. The entire unit is quite heavy and not well balanced, in my opinion

Ultimately I would not suggest this brush for BBQ grills. I have been racking my mind to figure out what else it could be used for and have yet to think of anything.

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Gifs made for free at gifmaker.me

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Multi Pack for Mini Crafts

This adhesive vinyl pack by #angelcraft is a great way to try out the different colors and some finishes offered by this company. I did get duplicate colors, but they were in different finishes. For example I received two of the same color red but one was matte and the other glossy.

I do have to say I was disappointed with the way the company cut the vinyl pieces, for the most part. I measured each piece and they were all  able to cover a rectangle of at least 6"x12" but very few were cut square.

As you can see in the left photo the cuts of vinyl I received were mostly jagged edged. Even though I got the right amount of vinyl there is a chance the jagged edge could snag on something in my craft cutter machine and I would end up losing part or even all of the vinyl pretty fast.

The other issue I ran into was the edges not being square, which can be seen in the photo on the right.. I know it seems like such a small issue, but I can see potential problems on the horizon. When I used the vinyl I had two colors that I wanted to run through on a 12:x12" mat. With two pieces of 6"x12" vinyl there should have been no problem. However when they met in the middle they overlapped. Again, another potential issue for snagging and losing the vinyl.

Now this vinyl pack is awesome if you are only looking to cut small projects, accent pieces or need many colors. I do wish there was a way to get all one finish. There might be, but I have yet to find it on the seller's amazon store.

I decided to take a plain black cellphone case and jazz it up with a scroll design. I actually got the design from a ding font (it was just one letter) and then sized it until I got the look I wanted. Then I duplicated the design and stretched it to create the accent. I placed both colors on the mat and cut it all at once.
For those who have cut adhesive backed vinyl before on their craft cutter beware that the paper backing on this vinyl is thicker than some. I didn't realize this until I tried to remove the excess vinyl from my mat. I didn't know the blade needed to be set for a slightly deeper cut and it didn't cut all the way through the backing. Luckily I was able to pull the two vinyl designs from the excess vinyl and place them by hand. There are a few tiny flaws with the match up of some of the bottom points, but not enough to drive me crazy. And since the design was all one piece, I didn't need to worry about lining anything up to the sides. I do like that the paper backing is thicker because it gives the vinyl more stability when it is being cut. Just make sure you lower the blade a bit more than on other vinyls.

Even with the issues discussed above this is a vinyl I would purchase again. And because I received the Multi Pack, I will now have the ability to know which color/texture combo (from the ones I was sent) that I would like to order in a larger size for a larger project.

I received this product at a discount of free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

On the Fence with a Travel Wallet

I was recently sent a #travelwallet by Accoe to test and review. Altogether I'm not too wowed by it, but most of that is based on conjecture as I have not had the means to test it in a situation for which it is designed. If the wallet were to hold up under such circumstances, I would happily use it, suggest it and even purchase it for family members.

The wallet has a cute stitching and airplane design at the top. I ordered the one that was labeled "stone" color and received the red. I'm not sure what the stone was in reference to, the stitching or the wallet color, but either way I did not get what I ordered.

The interior is well designed with room on the right for 9 cards that are credit card sized or a bit larger. As you can see there is an angled pocket area behind the cards that would be good for documents like boarding passes and itineraries. Behind that is a full pocket with access from the center of the wallet where the pen is located. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and weight of the pen that was included.

You can see on the left side of the wallet there is another angled pocket, this time it is a good size to fit a passport. Then again you have the full pocket that is accessible from the center of the wallet.

The zipper is sturdy and I have had no issues with snagging or zipping it open and closed repeatedly. The wallet itself looks to be stitched well and designed with a traveler in mind.

So, what is my problem with the quality of the wallet? The material it is lined and covered with is supposedly a PU Leather, but I'm not so sure about the truthfulness of that. It does not look or feel at all like any of the PU Leather items I do have. It feels like the compressed fabric that is made in a similar fashion to how plywood is made. You know the reusable shopping bags you get at functions that have the sponsor names printed all over them? And that the bag usually works well for about 5 uses until it tears? That is the fabric this wallet feels like.

If you look closely at the photo below you'll see the bottom hole that is punched in the fabric to create a place for the pen to be kept. With the quality of the fabric in question and the holes not being reinforced, I wonder how long it will take before it tears. Once that tear happens I fear the wallet will lose a lot of its internal integrity and end up being useless to a traveler long term.

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The Light of Dad's Life

Another great Father's Day gift idea is the headlamp by #SABSBA that I recently received for a #ProductReview. The lamp comes with its own set of rechargable batteries which are charged and ready right out of the package. Here's what I love about the rechargeable batteries - the battery pack comes with a charger cable with a wall plug so you don't even have to remove them from the casing to charge them. Essentially you just plug in the DC cable to the battery pack on the back of the headlamp elastic when you're not using it.

This headlamp is very well made and quite comfortable. The adjustable elastic straps wrap around the head and over the top making the extension of the lamp itself a non-issue for balance. I have long hair which I usually have tied up or back when I'm working on projects. I also have another headlamp that just has the band around my head and the lamp does not stick out as much or have as much power. That headlamp slips on my hair and isn't nearly as comfortable and securely as the one from Sabsba due to that top piece of elastic. As an added bonus, the top elastic keeps my hair down, too.

The headlamp has three light options. The first click brings you to the brightest one, a second click of the button dims the light a bit and the third is a flashing light. I have used this headlamp in some up close work and the bright setting was so bright that it literally washed out the colors and some of the details on the item I was working on. I can only imagine how well it would work for long distances. The dimmer setting really isn't dim, just less bright relative to the bright setting. It works well for close up work and for moderate lighting of far areas.

Honestly I hate the flashing light that walkers and bikers wear at night. With my ADHD the light is constantly distracting to me and I have to work really hard to focus on where I am driving. I understand the concept that it shows it is a person, not a vehicle, but I think it is more trouble than it is worth. And when wearing it while walking or biking, isn't it hard to see clearly? I don't mind when the flashing light is red because it isn't as bright, does not pull my full attention away from driving and wearing one would not impede my ability to see where I am going. That being said, I could see where it could come in handy if someone lost, and staying where they were in order to be found, was wearing one...like in the forest. Regardless, it is the custom and the flashing function on this headlamp works quite well.

This would be great for night time grillers, night time walkers and bikers, campers, do it yourselfers, etc. Basically anyone who would need a close up or far reaching light that allows both of your hands to be free.

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Precise Measurements

I really do try not to test and review products that are in any way competitors of the Pampered Chef products that I sell as an Independent Consultant. However when I saw this Digital Thermometer by #EatSmartThermometer, I though there were enough differences that I could be impartial in my review. Once I opened the package I was pleased to find how different this thermometer is from the one you can find in the Pampered Chef catalog.

For starters, it is a digital thermometer and ours is not. As you can see in the photo below it has a nice light-up display that makes it very useful for those who like to cook outside on a grill or while camping. This allows for the cook to test the temp of the meat without having to bring it inside and lose a good amount of heat, juices and textures if the meat has to go back on the grill.
The cover which comes on the thermometer probe is very tight and a bit difficult to get off at first. I don't mind that so much because it means it will stay on the thermometer when in a drawer. If you look closely at the photo you will see they have printed the suggested safe meat temperatures on the case in an easily read format.

The thermometer has 5 buttons: power, degrees F/C, set, max (also up) and hold (also down). The power button pressed once turns on the thermometer. You have to press again for the led to light up. Press and hold to turn off. I kept trying to test how long it would stay on before auto powering off, but then I would press a button to do something else and forget. The instructions that come with this product are well written, easy to follow and explain all of the different functions.

Once you get the cover off you get a clear view of the probe which, if you look at the photo below, actually tapers to a smaller probe about a half inch before the tip. This is a very nice design element because it allows for a smaller hole to be made in smaller, shallower items which ends up leaving less room for juices to come out. It also makes the thermometer more sensitive due to less material between the actual measuring hardware and the food.
Now, for the technology geeks like me, this thermometer can be manually calibrated. The instructions give a good overview of how to do it.

This is not a thermometer you would want to leave in a pan for making candies! Even though there is a clip on the back of the thermometer, that is for clipping onto a pocket so the thermometer is accessible to the cook. You would also not want to leave this in the meat when closing the grill lid or the oven door.

So if you cook outside, this is a fabulous tool to add to your arsenal. If you don't already have an instant read thermometer, this would be a good one, too.

I received this product at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Always be Prepared

I have a slight obsession with being prepared. Part of that is because I never know where my mind will go and what I will need to appease it. Another reason is I need to deal with facts when faced with uncertainty or with emergencies. If I can focus on the facts and have some sort of action, I can make it through. Therefore I have always loved first aid and the gadgets that come in a good kit.

I was pleased to test out the 4" Trauma Bandage by #Ari_ale_Tools and review in exchange for two of the bandages being given to me at a discount or free. I just have to say kudos to the seller for offering two so I could open one to test and still have a sterile one to keep in my kit. I would still use the opened one for something like creating a splint, but the sterile one will be opened and used only for a wound that needs a pressure bandage.

I do have a 1" wide pressure bandage which acts more like a tourniquet. It works as it is supposed to, but I would caution against using it for an extended amount of time as the pressure applied to the limb could end up cutting the blood supply too much and, in certain circumstances, the limb would end up damaged or needing to be amputated. I don't ever see myself in a situation where that could occur, but who knows when the zombies will attack?

Anyway, back to the review. The one problem I had with this bandage is the inner wrapper. It comes packaged in a green outerwrap that has an easy "Tear Here" cut at one end.
The interior clear package does not. As I think through the possible need for this type of bandage I'm pretty sure that it would be for something that is bleeding badly. I would hate to lose precious time to find scissors or something sharp to open the inner wrap because I am sure I won't just put it in my teeth to open when I probably have someone else's blood on my hands.
The bandage comes with really nice instructions on the back of the packaging, which you see above. They were simple and straight forward. I kind of meshed them together into 4 photographs to make things easier on me. 

The first photo shows placing the bandage on the "wound" which I decided would be on the top of my left wrist. The thing that creates the pressure is on top of the wound. Next I wrapped the bandage around and over the pressure thingie and started to pull it through the white plastic. The third step of mine was to fold the bandage back over the top of the plastic pressure thing and tighten until comfortable. (I was pleased at how well the pressure was dispersed over the entire area). Once you have the pressure how you want it, continue to wrap the bandage around the limb until you get to the end. In the last photo you see where I started to use the clip at the end of the bandage to secure it.
There you have it!

I did give this bandage a 5 star review because it was simple to use on myself. I do suggest you get two if you have never used a pressure bandage before so you can practice and teach anyone who would have access to your first aid kit.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Do the Twist!

First #ProductReview of the month!

I am always in need of more pressure from my garden hose, especially when I'm trying to clean something like our interior garbage can or a kitty litter box. It seems like the higher the pressure the easier it is to knock off the bits and pieces that tend to get in the way of the cleaning.
Then I have the times when I need wider coverage than I can get with the normal pressure from the hose. That's why I really like the brass twisty nozzle I received from #AlphaHomeProducts. 
The only problem I ran into was what to do with the 2 extra rubber washers that came with the nozzle. It is a nice touch and I appreciate having the washers around. However the plastic bag that the nozzle and washers came in had a big tear in it, which precluded me from just using the bag to keep them together.

I received the Heavy Duty High Quality Solid Brass 4″ Twist Nozz at a discount or free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Images taken from the amazon.com listing.