I provide honest ratings and reviews on tech, toys, and consumer home goods that I've purchased and used. Reviews are based on hands-on testing and personal observations. All opinions and comments are my own.

Disclosure: ReviewedbyPhil is reader-supported. If you click on or buy something via an affiliate link on this site, I may earn a commission.

Monday, December 19, 2016

6-month UPDATE iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 6 (Week 22/Day 165)

Final UPDATE 6-month iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 6 (Week 22/Day 165)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: 5th and Last Update: Dec 19, 2016. By the end of my 6 month trial with the iRestore Laser Hair Restoration Helmet, my hair has improved!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

This is the final update I'll be doing in this series. It's been 6 months since I started using the laser therapy helmet (with a couple weeks off around month 4) The results of the trial are that my hair texture is definitely improved and the difference can both be felt and seen. The small hairs growing in where my hair was thinning most appear to be healthy and thick at the root. My hair in general feels denser, stronger, and more resilient, unlike before when the hair shafts were thin and brittle.

I can now run my hands or a comb through my hair without fear of breaking or pulling them out by the root. I've noticed less shedding on my clothes and bathroom floor versus prior to and just after starting the treatment. Even with my hair cut short, you can't see my scalp through my hair if I style it up, use a bit of product, or it blows in the wind. At certain angles and in strong light, it might not look as good, but those are fewer and far between now. While I'm disappointed that I didn't see a ton of improvement at my recession lines, the hair that I have seems to be improving in quality, and I haven't noticed any significant hair loss or thinning in the last few months. I am using the shampoo, leave in treatment, and oral supp in addition to the helmet and I think as a system it has made a difference.

I'm happy with the results and my improved sense of confidence and I'm glad that I started addressing the issue now before it got any worse than it did. I believe that while the treatment is helping me arrest or slow the progression of my hair loss, it remains to be seen if there will be any significant or noticeable regrowth over the long term. For now, I'll continue to use the product regularly and may even do an update after another 6 months has passed. But of course, if you subscribe to my channel you'll see me in other videos on a regular basis and can judge for yourself if my hair is improving or getting worse over time.

Thanks to everyone who has been supportive and asked questions. I hope I've helped you with your research and wish you well on your own journeys with your hair.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Exfoliate Your Face Professionally in Minutes with This Must Have Beauty Device

CosBeauty Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber Facial Spatula Review

Buy it on Amazon: CosBeauty Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber Facial Spatula [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Quick and easy facial peel tool you can use at home. Smooths, tightens, and improves product penetration.

The facial spatula is also known as an ultrasonic skin scrubber. It comes with a charging base stand, a power adapter with 4 ft cord, and an instruction manual. The scrubber charges wirelessly simply by placing it in the stand. This tool is designed to help you do at home exfoliation of your face, blackhead extractions, and assist product penetration for better absorption of creams and skin treatments. It’s really important that when you use this tool that your skin remains wet throughout use, otherwise the ultrasonic vibrations could cause friction burns and damage your skin. There are 5 modes on this unit and to cycle through them you press the power button: Sonic High, Sonic Low, Ion+, Ion-, and EMS. The sonic modes are used for facial peels. The ion+ mode is used for deep cleaning and pore extractions. Ion- is used for product penetration and EMS is used for firming and tightening the skin. After using this tool, I noticed a marked improvement in skin tone, clarity, softness, and a reduction of the appearance of pores and acne scars the following day. Continuous use of the tool helps the effects of the treatments have longer residual benefits. Treatments can be done as often as 1 week apart but no more frequently than that. With long term use, the effects of a single treatment reportedly can last up to a month. The spatula can be used with a wide variety of skin treatments to help keep your skin looking smooth, young, and refreshed.

Buy it on Amazon: CosBeauty Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber Facial Spatula [Affiliate Link]
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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Watch Movies on the Big Screen At Home for a Fraction of the Price

LW-20 Mini LED Projector Review

Buy it on Amazon: LW-20 Mini LED Projector (sold by Geeki) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent image quality and reproduction, good color and contrast, but needs pitch darkness.
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Cold or Hot, This Tumbler Will Keep Your Drinks at Near Constant Temperature for Hours

Sheriff Drink 30 oz Stainless Steel Insulated Tumbler Review

Buy it on Amazon: Sheriff Drink 30 oz Stainless Steel Insulated Tumbler [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good insulating performance, large capacity, handsome finish. Keeps drinks cold or hot.
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fluance RT81 Hi Fi Turntable Record Player Review

Fluance RT81 Hi Fi Turntable Record Player Review

Buy it on Amazon: Fluance RT81 Hi Fi Turntable Record Player [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Beautiful workmanship and amazing sound from an intro level and affordably priced turntable.

The turntable measures 16.5"W x 13.5”L x 5.5”H. It has a semi-transparent acrylic dust cover that sits atop a wooden plinth with a glossy walnut woodgrain finish. The platter is cast aluminum and belt-driven, and the unit comes with a thick rubber slip mat and AT95E phono cartridge. There is a little bit of setup like installing the platter, counterweight and balancing the tone arm, but the process is relatively straight forward if you follow the manual. The turntable can play both 33 1/3 records and 45s with the included adapter. The unit has a built-in pre-amp that can be by passed and Auto Stop setting that starts the spinning of the platter only when the tone arm is positioned over the record and stops it after the last track ends. You'll get everything you need to get started except for an amp, speakers, and records. I use the unit with Fluance’s Signature Series HiFi bookshelf speakers and love the sound that it puts out. The audio has excellent clarity across genres and little distortion with bright trebles and a full sounding bass. Results may vary depending on your pre-amp, amp, and speaker configuration, but overall the fidelity of sound was very respectable. This is my first turntable, and I think this is a great starter unit that will allow you to really appreciate vinyl as a medium worth having around.

Buy it on Amazon: Fluance RT81 Hi Fi Turntable Record Player [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, November 25, 2016

This Baking Twine Ensures Your Roasted Fowl is Not a Kitchen Foul

Tenn Well White Cotton Baking Twine Review w/Spiced Cornish Hen Recipe

Buy it on Amazon: Tenn Well White Cotton Baking Twine [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Great cotton twine for baking and roasting; strong with high break strength, doesn't burn and can be used in crafts.
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

No Table Cloth Clips? You Won't Need Them with This Fitted Table Cloth

Homeware Fitted Plastic Picnic Table Cloth Review

Buy it on Amazon: Homeware Fitted Plastic Picnic Table Cloth (sold by ATK Essentials) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: A perfect fit for standard sized 6 x 2.5 ft picnic tables. Waterproof, windproof, and durable; easy to clean.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Make and Store Ice, Baby Food, Treats, and More in This Versatile Silicone Tray

Multipurpose Silicone Storage Tray Review

Buy it on Amazon: Multipurpose Silicone Storage Tray Review [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Use in the freezer, fridge, and oven; perfect size for home made baby food, snacks, and desserts.
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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Stick Your Phone to Almost Any Surface with This Universal Mounting System

KiuKiu Universal Phone Mounting System Review (Velcro Sticker)

Buy it on Amazon: KiuKiu Universal Phone Mounting System [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to apply/remove, secure hold for basic mobile phoen mounting; versatile and can be used on many surfaces and locations.
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Forget Tea Bags, Steep Whole Leaf Tea in These Reusable Stainless Steel Baskets

VitaPura Naturals Stainless Steel Basket Tea Infuser Review

Buy it on Amazon: VitaPura Naturals Stainless Steel Basket Tea Infuser [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use and clean, doesn't rust; fine mesh basket keeps your tea clean and clear.
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Not Sure Your Fridge/Freezer is Cold Enough? Get This Easy Read Thermometer

Refrigerator Fridge/Freezer Thermometer

Buy it on Amazon: Refrigerator Fridge/Freezer Thermometer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Simple to use, accurate readings, easy-to-read large numbers; outputs both C/F with variety of placement options.
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Hotel Comfort Linens are More Affordable than You Think

Oxa Queen Bed Sheet Set Review

Buy it on Amazon: Oxa White Microfiber Bed Sheet Set [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft, comfortable, thin and lightweight sheets for tall mattresses.
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Easy DIY Organic Lip Balm Recipe

How to Make DIY Lip Balm with Stakich Organic Bees Wax, Review and Recipe

Buy it on Amazon: Stakich Organic Bees Wax [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Nice quality, fresh scented, smooth textured bees wax. Easy to work with.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Need a New Pillow? Lay Your Head on a Cloud of Fluffy Down Softness

Puredown Goose Down and Feather Pillow Review

Buy it on Amazon: Puredown Goose Down and Feather Pillow [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft and smooshy; puffs up a lot but has little fill. Feathers don't escape often.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Checkout Photive's Lightweight and Affordable Wireless Headphones

Photive HF1 On Ear Bluetooth Headphones Review

Buy it on Amazon: Photive HF1 On Ear Bluetooth Headphones [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Affordable, lightweight headphones that travel well; durable, and sound pretty good.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Capture Every Awesome Moment in 360 Degrees with This Action Camera

Homkm 360 Degree Action Camera for VR Review

Buy it on Amazon: Homkm 360 Degree Action Camera for VR [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Budget priced, w/low-med video resolution and avg sound, but fun intro to 360 video/photos. Half-hemispherical output.
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NaviskAuto Dual Screen Car Headrest DVD Player Review

NaviskAuto Dual Screen Car Headrest DVD Player Review

Buy it on Amazon: NaviskAuto Dual Screen Car Headrest DVD Player [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Clear video and audio, various input options, though some DVDs didn't play and no support for MP4/MKV.
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Underfit Microfiber Boxer Briefs Review

Underfit Microfiber Boxer Briefs Review

Buy it on Amazon: Underfit Microfiber Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Silky smooth, lightweight, comfy, quick drying and breathable; nice for workouts and sports.

The boxer briefs are made of 87.8% Tactel and 12.2% lycra, similar to athletic and activewear like yoga pants and biking shorts. It is a soft, silky, almost slippery material in feel and also super stretchy but sheer when stretched. Inside the crotch pouch is a second privacy layer made of soft, opaque cotton. The back of the boxers is flat with no contours and the waist band is a narrow 3/4” band that’s a bit stiff and rubbery like a big rubber band but it is thin. The same elastic is found at the cuff of each leg.

I ordered the S size and found that it fits fine on my 28” waist. They look very much like cycling shorts in style but are cut a bit shorter and the material is thinner. As such they are pretty form fitting. The legs cutoff an inch below the crotch and are snug against the thigh. The waist band is comfortable and feels barely there because it is so narrow. There are no rough edges or scratchy seams anywhere on the garment. The material is soft, lightweight, and smooth against the skin with very little friction and heat generated during physical activity like working out. They also stay cool and dry more quickly than cotton boxers. However, because it is nylon based, you can’t tumble dry, bleach or iron them. Overall, I like these briefs for their comfort, fit, and material properties.

Buy it on Amazon: Underfit Microfiber Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]
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Okany Cotton Striped Boxer Briefs Review

Okany Cotton Striped Boxer Briefs Review

Buy it on Amazon: Okany Cotton Striped Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft, comfortable, & breathable, nice style/colors, conservative fit, has pass-thru fly.

In the assorted stripe pack you’ll receive a red/black, black/yellow, blue/white, and a black/white pair. The material is a 95/5% cotton-spandex blend that is not only soft but also a bit stretchy. The 1” elastic band on top is firm but has a good amount of elasticity. Around each leg cuff is a band with a little bit of elastic as well. The boxers have a pass-through fly and the opening is accented with contrasting fabric. One the pairs with the thinner stripes, the contrast material is slightly thinner and more breathable. That same fabric is used between the back and front panels for better airflow for that area which tends to get sweaty. The back of the boxers is plain without any contouring. The pairs with the wider stripes don’t have the thin fabric at the fly, but do use it between the front and back panels. Instead the fly is accented and contrasted with the thinner stripe fabrics. One pair did have a small tear in the fabric it out of the packaging, but when I let the seller know they sent out an undamaged replacement immediately.

I ordered the size large and it fits my 28” waist fine. It’s not snug nor loose at all. While not as form fitting as other boxer briefs I’ve worn it is still comfortable. The look is conservative, revealing little and in terms of leg length reaches about halfway down my thighs. The front pouch is roomy and the fly opening was easy to use. The elastic is comfortable at the waist and the legs held well at the cuffs as well. The contrast patch in the fly adds a pop of color and visual interest as does the strip of fabric at the inner thighs, so while you're not showing a lot of skin, you can still show off your cool underwear. Overall these boxers briefs feel soft against the skin, are comfortable to wear, and nicely constructed.

Buy it on Amazon: Okany Cotton Striped Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]
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iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 5 (Week 15/Day 105)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 5 (Week 15/Day 105)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: 4th Update: Oct 13, 2016. Follow me on my 6 month journey to see if I can get my hair to grow in fuller, thicker, and stronger.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

It's been 6 weeks since my last update and I took a short 2 week break from the helmet when I went on vacation because I didn't feel comfortable packing the helmet in my luggage. However, I continued to use the supp, serum, and shampoo during my trip. I'm starting to see fine/short hairs growing in along my hairline which weren't there before I started using the helmet and other products. They're about 1/2" long now and I'll keep an eye on them to see if they fill in more over time. My hair texture is coarser and thicker than before and my hair feels stronger than when I started/not as brittle. There's a lot less shedding in general from grooming activities like combing my hair and washing it. I also don't feel as self conscious after my most recent hair cut because I don't see it revealing as much scalp as before. That's all for now, I'll see you in another 4-6 weeks!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Peace and Quiet Earplugs Review

Peace and Quiet Earplugs Review

Buy it on Amazon: Peace and Quiet Earplugs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft, attenuating, comfortable, allows comfortable level sound to pass through.
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2QIMU Mesh Boxer Briefs Review

2QIMU Mesh Boxer Briefs Review

Buy it on Amazon: 2QIMU Mesh Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft, comfortable, lightweight; athletic-like mesh fabric stays cool and silky smooth.

The set comes with a few different colors: black, navy blue, and light gray. The black and blue pair have the same pattern with the words 'Vogue' and the letter K on them. The gray pair has a different, more colorful pattern with different letters. The material is a soft, silky mesh material like a soccer jersey; it's composed of 95% Rayon and 5% Spandex, so it is super stretchy, thin, and lightweight. It’s also quite sheer when stretched. The front pouch has a second privacy layer though, so it’s not completely see-through. The waist band measures 1” wide and is pretty stretchy; however, there is no elastic at the cuff of the legs. The back of the boxers is flat with no contours. The pouch is roomy but does not have a fly.

I ordered the XL size and found that it fits fine on my 28” waist. The legs cutoff an inch below the crotch and hugged my thighs, even without any elastic. The waistband was snug and comfortable and because it is so narrow, doesn’t create a sharp line (and subsequent muffin top) around my waist the way wider bands do. The material is soft and smooth against the skin and lighter weight and more breathable than cotton keeping you cooler during physical activity and in warm weather. The stitching on the garments is even and neat without rough edges or scratchy seams. Overall, I like these briefs for their comfort, fit, style, and construction.

Buy it on Amazon: 2QIMU Mesh Boxer Briefs [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Durasmile Custom Night Guard Review

Durasmile Custom Night Guard Review

Buy it on Amazon: Durasmile Custom Night Guard [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy molding process, quick turn around, comfortable thin/flexible silicone night guard.
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Click & Grow Smart Garden Indoor Hydroponic Gardening Kit Review

Click & Grow Smart Garden Indoor Hydroponic Gardening Kit Review

Buy it on Amazon: Click & Grow Smart Garden Indoor Hydroponic Gardening Kit [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Basil cartridges grew but leggy, tasted fine, light has 3 heights up to 13.5", app not great.
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Homdox Wood Slat Queen Platform Metal Bed Frame Assembly and Review

Homdox Wood Slat Queen Platform Metal Bed Frame Assembly and Review

Buy it on Amazon: Homdox Wood Slat Queen Platform Metal Bed Frame Assembly and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Straight forward setup, instructions poor/contain mistake, sturdy/stable for lightweight mattress and occupants.
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Draw in the Air with This Amazing 3D Printing Pen That Anyone Can Use

TwoPages 3D Printing Pen Review and Demo

Buy it on Amazon: TwoPages 3D Printing Pen [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good starter kit, fun and easy to use, short power cord, slow load but fast eject when changing colors.
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Friday, September 9, 2016

Plugable USB-C to HDMI Adapter Review

Plugable USB-C to HDMI Adapter Review

Buy it on Amazon: Plugable USB-C to HDMI Adapter [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Works with my LG G5, but signal cuts in and out on some devices, not reversible.
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Friday, September 2, 2016

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 4 (Week 8/Day 62)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 4 (Week 8/Day 62)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: 3rd Update: Sept 2, 2016. Follow me on my 6 month journey to see if I can get my hair to grow back in thicker and stronger.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Not a lot of visual progress on the hair regrowth this update, but the excess shedding has stopped and the hair that remains feels coarser and thicker in texture overall. I'll also be adding iRestore's hair growth maximizer, shampoo, and thickener formula to my daily regimen for the next month. See you in 30 days for the 3 month update!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Purelux Gibbon Bathroom Sink Faucet Installation and Review

Purelux Gibbon Bathroom Sink Faucet Installation and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Purelux Gibbon Bathroom Sink Faucet Installation and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy installation, smooth gentle water flow, leak-free and comes with deck plate.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Silicone Number Lollipop Mold Review

Silicone Number Lollipop Mold Review

Buy it on Amazon: Silicone Number Lollipop Mold [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Great for candies and non-candle wax toppers.

This mold comes with 12 reusable plastic lollipop sticks. The mat measures 11.25” x 6.5” and each number is about 1.75” inch wide and 2” tall. You can use the mold to make candies with or without the lolly sticks, though when the sticks are not in place, some of the candy may run into the stick channel beneath each number (depending on viscosity). The tricky part is getting the sticks to stay in the mold because they tend to want to pop out. I found it necessary to put something under the ends of the sticks to keep them in the candies as they set. If you'll be transferring the mat into the freezer to speed up the setting process, fill your mold on top of a cookie sheet as moving the mat without something under it is difficult since it is so flexible.

I do not recommend the mold for baking as the batter would be so thin as to burn easily and the sticks are not oven safe. You can also use this to make wax number toppers for birthday and anniversary cakes, but because there is no space for a wick you’ll have to be creative to make them into candles. If you do use a wick, keep in mind that all the numbers aren’t solid so some won't melt linearly and can fall apart while melting (e.g. the number 5). The numbers are also only about 1/4” thick which is great for a small candy serving (~ 0.5 oz) but makes for a fast melting candle.

Overall the molds worked fine for making chocolates, hard caramels, and wax number toppers. Each material released easily from the mold without having to grease the mold before hand. The sticks were convenient for eating candies without getting your fingers sticky and also for holding the wax toppers on the cake. The only drawback is that there is only 1 of each number, so if for example you need a whole bunch of the number 3, you’ll have to make them one at a time. You only get 12 reusable plastic sticks but you can buy the paper disposables ones to use with this mold as well.

Buy it on Amazon: Silicone Number Lollipop Mold [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Apeman M4 Mini Wireless Pico Projector Review

Apeman M4 Mini Wireless Pico Projector Review

Buy it on Amazon: Apeman M4 Mini Wireless Pico Projector [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good clarity/color saturation, but limited uses, slow WiFi streaming, no audio out, low brightness.
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Forsining Mens Automatic Watch (Rose Gold) Review

Forsining Mens Automatic Watch (Rose Gold) Review

Buy it on Amazon: Forsining Mens Automatic Watch (Rose Gold) [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Handsome watch, easy to set, fairly accurate though gains a few minutes over time, cheap band.
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Ufriday White Fabric Shower Curtain Review

Ufriday White Fabric Shower Curtain Review

Buy it on Amazon: Ufriday White Fabric Shower Curtain [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Thick polyester fabric, water resistant, no bleed through, mildew resistant, dries fast.
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EZcap Cassette to MP3 Converter to USB Flash Drive Review

EZcap Cassette to MP3 Converter to USB Flash Drive Review

Buy it on Amazon: EZcap Cassette to MP3 Converter to USB Flash Drive [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use, clear audio, little digital distortion, not compatible w/all USB drives.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

4K XDV Action Camera Review

4K XDV Action Camera Review

Buy it on Amazon: 4K XDV Action Camera [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent audio and video but compression noticeable, spotty app performance, good on a budget.

The action camera comes with a waterproof housing, a microUSB charging cable and adapter, an extra battery, an extra housing door, and a variety of clamps, mounts, sticky pads, straps, and other accessories for mounting this camera to just about anything. This review will focus on the camera itself and not the accessories.

The camera is a GoPro-type action cam; it has a very similar look, style and function. On the front of the camera, you have the power/mode button and a 16 megapixel 170 degree wide angle lens. On the left hand side is where you’ll load a microSD card up to 64 GB, which is not included, and find the port for charging and a microHDMI output port. The LCD screen on the back has a 2 inch diagonal and is not a touchscreen, but the text is easy to read and the playback is fine (also has an external speaker). On top is the OK/shutter button with the menu selection keys on the right hand side, and on the bottom is the battery bay with removable door. The unit comes pre-installed with a battery which should last about 2 hours of use when fully charged though this will depend on whether or not you use the WiFi or LCD screen, so it’s nice that they include an extra battery. I didn't like that the WiFi mode didn't have its own key or at least dual use with another key because it's buried in one of the Settings menus and is a pain to get to for something you'll probably use often. There's also no external mic port.

I did try the app in the user manual XDV to view the camera’s feed on my phone’s screen remotely. However, I found that the camera didn’t always connect to the app and responded to the softkey shutter somewhat unreliably. Sometimes it would capture the photo or video, other times it would not which was frustrating when you missed a moment that you were sure you were recording and found that the file was not there afterwards. The camera worked much better using the physical shutter button on top and the buttons through the waterproof case worked well but you do have to press them fairly hard.

The video through the waterproof case is surprisingly clear; at 4K resolution the detail was good and the color saturation deep. The recorded sound actually isn’t that bad either, even through the case. There is a bit of a fisheye effect at the edges of the screen, though this is typically of wide angle lenses. When used underwater the housing was air and watertight and did not leak. I also believe there is some anti-shake applied to the video that stabilizes it. When set to slow motion mode at 720 and 60 frames per second, there was some noticeable video compression and sometimes the slow motion recordings had skips and frozen frames. Even at the supposed 4K resolution you can see some compression in the video which makes it appear grainy on large screens. Overall, the durability of this action camera when used in the case is very good, and the audio is decent though the video quality isn’t super sharp or crisp for 4K due to the compression of the video files. However, it’s a decent budget action camera that can do some cool stuff like go underwater and record in slow motion, somewhat reliably. Just don’t expect to get the same quality as you would get from a $400 GoPro. Hopefully the app gets improved or a third-party app may be able to work better with the camera.

Buy it on Amazon: 4K XDV Action Camera [Affiliate Link]
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Merry's Polarized Aviator Sunglasses Review

Buy it at Amazon: Merry's Polarized Aviator Sunglasses [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Dark lenses, crisp and clear vision, durable and heavy weight metal but comfortable.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 3 (Week 4/Day 32)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 3 (Week 4/Day 32)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: 2nd Update: Aug 2, 2016. Follow me on my 6 month journey to see if I can get my hair to grow back in thicker and stronger.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Day 32, Week 4, Episode 3:
This is my 1 month update on my progress with the iRestore Hair Growth Therapy Helmet. Not a lot has changed since my 2 week update and if you compare the condition of my hair today to the before pictures from the first episode.... there isn't much difference. Of course, this is to be expected as I've already covered, you won't see results in as little as 1 month. You won't see results in as little as 2 months either. The manufacturer of the system has said 3-6 months is the minimum amount of time you'll need doing the treatments regularly to see good results, so it's just a waiting game and dedication to the use of the product till we get there.

My hair is a little longer, of course, and I'm experiencing a good amount of shedding as it seems weaker hairs will be lost naturally over the course of the treatment, especially in the first couple of months. It doesn't mean these hairs won't grow back though, and hopefully when they do, we'll see some improvement in the thickness and quality of the hair growth.

I also will be adding a few other products from iRestore to my treatment plan/regimen to help support the hair growth. I don't yet have the products in my hands but they'll include a special shampoo, serum, and supplement made from all-natural ingredients, so I'm excited to get those and show them to you in future updates. Keep your eye out for more videos on my progress over the next few weeks!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 2 (Week 2/Day 14)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 2 (Week 2/Day 14)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: 1st Update: July 14, 2016. Follow me on my 6 month journey to see if I can get my hair to grow back in thicker and stronger.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Day 14, week 2, Episode 2:
I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a weekly thing or if progress is slow it might be a monthly update but I’ll definitely let you know at the end of each video when I’ll be posting my updates. Ever since my late 20s I've been self-conscious about my thinning hair and I try really hard to hide my thinning hair on camera. The truth is, my hairline has been receding especially at the temples and my forehead seems to be gaining ground in the war against the hair on my head. When my hair is parted, or teased out and fluffy, you can generally see straight to my scalp and the sparseness in hair density at the root.

The product is basically like a glorified bike helmet. It’s made of a lightweight plastic and inside are 30 LEDs and 21 lasers that’ll be beamed at your scalp to help stimulate blood flow to the scalp and follicles of your hair which in turn supposedly helps your hair growth thicker. The helmet is designed to be one size fits all and has foam filled cushions for the top of your head and the band that will sit around your head, keeping the lasers a uniform distance from your scalp. Nothing is really adjustable, though the back of the band portion expands somewhat to fit your head shape. The helmet can be used by both men and women that have certain hair loss patterns.

The helmet is attached to a wired remote on a 3 ft cord with an LCD screen, a power button and a start/stop button. The remote has a port of the AC power adapter which is just about 8 ft long so you don’t have to be sitting right next to an outlet, though, still fairly close to one. Each session lasts 25 minutes but you can pause and take a break if you need to. It’ll also pause automatically if you take the helmet off. The normal course of treatment is every other day for 16 weeks, so check back in a week or two and I'll update you on the progress!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

eBake Silicone Pyramid Baking Mat Review

eBake Silicone Pyramid Baking Mat Review

Buy it on Amazon: eBake Silicone Pyramid Baking Mat [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Good for frozen friend foods, fatty cuts of meat, bacon, cleans up easily, stores compactly.
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Homall Racing Chair Blue Full Assembly and Review

Homall Racing Chair Blue Full Assembly and Review

Buy it on Amazon: Homall Racing Chair Blue [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Comfortable, large seat, decent construction, cool look. I'll show you how to assemble it.
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Thursday, June 30, 2016

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 1 (Week 0/Day 1)

iRestore Laser Hair Growth System Review, Ep. 1 (Week 0/Day 1)

Buy it on iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!

Takeaway: My first laser session: June 30th, 2016. Follow me on my 6 month journey to see if I can get my hair to grow back in thicker and stronger.

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Day 1, week 0, Episode 1:
I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a weekly thing or if progress is slow it might be a monthly update but I’ll definitely let you know at the end of each video when I’ll be posting my updates. Ever since my late 20s I've been self-conscious about my thinning hair and I try really hard to hide my thinning hair on camera. The truth is, my hairline has been receding especially at the temples and my forehead seems to be gaining ground in the war against the hair on my head. When my hair is parted, or teased out and fluffy, you can generally see straight to my scalp and the sparseness in hair density at the root.

The product is basically like a glorified bike helmet. It’s made of a lightweight plastic and inside are 30 LEDs and 21 lasers that’ll be beamed at your scalp to help stimulate blood flow to the scalp and follicles of your hair which in turn supposedly helps your hair growth thicker. The helmet is designed to be one size fits all and has foam filled cushions for the top of your head and the band that will sit around your head, keeping the lasers a uniform distance from your scalp. Nothing is really adjustable, though the back of the band portion expands somewhat to fit your head shape. The helmet can be used by both men and women that have certain hair loss patterns.

The helmet is attached to a wired remote on a 3 ft cord with an LCD screen, a power button and a start/stop button. The remote has a port of the AC power adapter which is just about 8 ft long so you don’t have to be sitting right next to an outlet, though, still fairly close to one. Each session lasts 25 minutes but you can pause and take a break if you need to. It’ll also pause automatically if you take the helmet off. The normal course of treatment is every other day for 16 weeks, so check back in a week or two and I'll update you on the progress!

Affiliate Product Links:
Laser Helmet: http://bit.ly/2uaNMdB
Shampoo: http://geni.us/ssZmMc
Hair Thickener: http://geni.us/JY3mXn
Hair Growth Sup: http://geni.us/kVB5C

Buy it from iRestore: iRestore Laser Hair Growth System [Affiliate Link] Buy directly from iRestore and receive exclusive discounts when you sign up for their mailing list. Save up to $200 on your order!
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Peralng Automatic Timer Scheduler Remote Outlet Switch Review

Peralng Automatic Timer Scheduler Remote Outlet Switch Review

Buy it on Amazon: Peralng Automatic Timer Scheduler Remote Outlet Switch [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Works remotely w/internet connection, timers are off by 1 hr, schedules cannot be updated, only deleted.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tangkula Costway Cash Box Drawer Review

Tangkula Costway Cash Box Drawer Review

Buy it on Amazon: Tangkula Costway Cash Box Drawer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Smooth sliding drawer, Easy to use, No locking feature, Occasionally jams if you move it around.
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Handheld Bidet Sprayer Installation and Review

Handheld Bidet Sprayer Installation and Review

Buy it on Amazon: Handheld Bidet Sprayer Installation and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to install, gentle flow and spray, 3-way shutoff valve included, works well with no leaks.
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GGMM M4 Bluetooth/WiFi Portable Multi-Room Speaker Review

GGMM M4 Bluetooth/WiFi Portable Multi-Room Speaker Review

Buy it on Amazon: GGMM M4 Bluetooth/WiFi Portable Multi-Room Speaker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Great build & sound, loud, decent bass, semi-portable but bulky, easy connectivity, multi-speaker syncing.
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Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch Review

Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch Review

Buy it on Amazon: Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large LCD, easy to press buttons, straightforward schedule setting, works well.

The automatic timer outlet comes with a simple instruction sheet, however, a more detailed instruction manual is emailed to you by the seller after you place the order, so keep an eye out for it. The unit measures 5.25”H x 2.5”W and will stick out 1.75” from the wall.

Before use, you have to set the current day of the week and time, which is straight forward. Just hold the Clock key and use the Hour, Minute and Week buttons. Pressing the Timer button will switch from 12 to 24 hour clock format. If your region follows Daylight Savings time, while holding down the CLOCK button, press the ON/AUTO/OFF button and the word "SUMMER" will appear on the LCD when DST is activated; the time will spring forward one hour and can deactivated the same way. This timer can remember up to 10 schedules. Press Timer and it will display the schedule number in the bottom left. You have to set each On and Off time individually. To rapidly advance through the timers, hours, or minutes, press and hold the corresponding button for several seconds. The Week buttons lets you choose the day and/or repetition cycle for each schedule. You can also choose from pre-set selections of multiple days like: every day, weekdays, weekends, Mon-Sat, Mon/Wed/Fri, Tue/Thu/Sat, Mon thru Wed, Thu thru Sat, or Mon/Wed/Fr/Sun. You cannot choose combinations of days outside these.

After settings the On time, you should also set the Off time. You do not have to choose the same day of the week repeat as the On time. This allows you to do things like turn on lights Monday night and shut them off Tuesday Morning. One thing to keep in mind is that if you set a schedule and the current time falls after the On time, the unit will not switch the power on until the time triggers the next On setting. When you’re done, you can press Clock to return to the main screen. To clear a timer, press the RES/RCL button when the setting appears. The Random setting is useful for if you go on vacation and you want it to appear as if someone is home. After setting your timers, press the random button and Random will appear on the screen. This will trigger the on/off times within one hour before/after the scheduled times. Note that this feature only works for schedules between 6:00PM to 6:00AM and the time interval must be more than 30 minutes. You can manually switch the timer from the schedules to Always On or Always Off by pressing the ON/AUTO/OFF button. The current mode will be displayed on the screen.

In general I like the features of this timer and it’s very easy to program. The LCD has nice large, easy-to-read text and the buttons are also sizable, easy to press, and self-explanatory. The timer functions exactly as expected and works well. I use it for my window A/C unit to cool the bedroom right before returning home from work.

Buy it on Amazon: Kedsum Automatic Scheduling Timer Outlet Switch [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge Review

V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge Review

Buy it on Amazon: V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Cartridge works, but had to force printer to 'reset' the toner life.

The toner is like any standard TN-660 OEM toner for Brother printers. You'll need to remove the protective orange cover over on the front before using it. The cartridge is physically almost identical to the original Brother cartridge and has the same physical dimensions and characteristics. Follow the included instructions for distributing the ink powder inside the cartridge, which involves shaking it and cleaning the corona wire on the drum. Then seat the ink cartridge into the drum until the lever clicks.

I'm using this with my Brother HL-L2380DW printer. If after installing the ink, my printer did not recognize the cartridge as having being changed so I had to manually reset the toner life. To do that: Go into Settings on the touch panel, then All Settings, General Setup, scroll down to Replace Toner, and finally select Continue. After that I was able to print without any problems. The first test page is always a good indicator of how well the cartridge may perform. On my test page there were no streaks or light areas and the color was even and smooth. Subsequently, the prints from this cartridge were just fine. However, it will take some time to determine how many prints/pages I’ll be able to get out of it. Because I manually reset the toner life, the printer doesn't seem to be able to track the toner life for me, and I won't get a "low toner" warning. I'll just have to wait and see when the print quality degrades.

Buy it on Amazon: V4Ink TN660 Replacement Printer Ink Toner Cartridge [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Vibrant Canvas 5 pc Wall Art Ocean Wave Seascape Review

Vibrant Canvas 5 pc Wall Art Ocean Wave Seascape Review

Buy it on Amazon: Vibrant Canvas 5 pc Wall Art Ocean Wave Seascape [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Large, high resolution prints on canvas, easy to hang, cool beach-y feel.
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TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version Review

TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version Review

Buy it at Amazon: TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Not bad as an MP3 player/FM radio, but poor screen resolution for videos/photos.

The MP4 player includes a micro USB cable and a set of headphones. The player is made of a brushed aluminum shell and has a 1.75" diagonal LCD, but note that the screen is not a touch screen. On the right hand side of the player, there is a slot for loading a microSD card, but the unit also has 16 gb of built-in storage and a card is not required. Along the bottom is a microUSB charging port, the microphone, and the headphone port.

To turn the player on, press and hold the center play/pause button. The menu displays a list of options that you scroll left and right through. Note that the controls are a click wheel and not a touch sensitive scroll wheel. To select an option click the menu key in the top left corner of the control wheel. In Music mode press the up and down keys to adjust the volume and then the Menu key to accept the setting. The included headphones are not that great, so I recommend using your own set. Once you use a decent set of headphones the music quality is pretty good. Loading music to the player is easy using the included cable and you simply drop all the files into the root folder.

To exit out of a mode press and hold the menu key or use the back key in the top right corner of the controls. In video mode this player only supports AMV files, so you'll likely have to convert any files to get them to player on this player. The screen is awfully tiny, and the colors are somewhat washed out with fairly low resolution. There is a voice recorder on this unit and I recommend that if you do use it, to set the recording type to 256 kbps for better sounding quality. You'll have to go to a separate menu option to listen to the recordings. The radio mode functions and picks up a lot of stations in my area. The photo mode is as expected for such a tiny screen and the contrast will change depending on your viewing angle. In e-book mode you can read text files but not word documents, pdfs, or ebook formats. LAstly, there is a game mode with 1 game "Boxman."

Overall, for an inexpensive unit, it works as an MP3 player and portable radio. I wouldn't recommend it if you primarily want to view photos, videos and e-books. With 8 GB of storage and also the option to add an SD card up to 32 gb, you can also use it as a portable drive and card reader.

Buy it at Amazon: TomAmeri MP4 Player Black 16GB New 2016 Version [Affiliate Link]
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Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar Installation and Review

Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar Installation and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fits 16" or 24" studs, sturdy bar, multiple pull up grips, install can be done by one person.

This set includes a paper mounting template, installation instructions, 2 support brackets, the pull up bar, and a bag of hardware that contains: 6 lag bolts, 6 flat washers, an Allen wrench, 2 Allen bolts and 2 curved washers. The bar measures 41.5" from end to end with a curved section in the middle and downward sloping ends. The bar is wrapped in a firm neoprene foam that feels dense and has a soft non-slip texture. The support brackets also have two parallel bars for neutral grip pull ups.

For installation, you'll also need a pencil, a level, a tape measure, power drill, 5/16" drill bit, 17mm socket wrench, tape, and stud finder which are not included. First, you'll need to determine whether your studs are spaced every 16" or every 24". If your studs are spaced 16" apart, the brackets will curve inward towards each other, if they are 24" the brackets will curve outwards away from each other. Mark the center of each stud at the height you want to install the bar. Loosely attach the pull up bar to the two support brackets using the Allen wrench and curved washers. For this assembly, you want the curved side of the washers to face the brackets, away from the screw head. If you installed the bars in the wrong orientation (e.g. 16" vs 24"), rotate them both 180 degrees and they will be in the correct width. When assembled the parallel grip spacing should be 20" allowing you to targets lats, rhomboids, and traps.

The template lets you easily mark where to drill the holes for the lag bolts. I recommend pushing a sharp bit through the paper to mark the holes rather than drilling through the template itself, that way you can use the template again if you move the bar. Make sure to set the bar indicator line on the template to your desired height; the bar should be about 7' from the floor, more or less depending on what's comfortable for you and your ceiling height. You'll want 14-18" of clearance to the ceiling. Pre-drill the 6 holes to a depth of 3" using a 5/16" bit. Attach the support bars to the wall using the 6 lag bolts and washers. This was a bit tricky because it was awkward to hold the whole assembly up with one hand while trying to fit the bolt in the hole with the other. Having a second person hold the bar for you would be helpful here. Finally, tighten the Allen bolts on the pull up bar and check your level. Make sure the bar is secure before you attempt to use it.

The pull up bar was pretty easy to install (about 30 minutes) and comfortable to use. It feels strong and sturdy. The black paint will help the metal resist rust and corrosion, however, I don't recommend installing this bar for outdoor use. I think the grips would get moldy and if the paint chips the unit will likely rust. Overall, the construction is solid and the setup straightforward with well-written, easy to follow instructions. This bar is a great addition to my home gym and provides me with a variety of options for upper body strength training (standard grip, wide grip, neutral grip, chin ups).

Buy it at Amazon: Ultimate Body Press Reversible Pull Up Bar [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, May 16, 2016

UC46 Mini WiFi Projector Review

UC46 Mini WiFi Projector Review (by QOQOK) Review

Buy it at Amazon: UC46 Mini WiFi Projector [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Simple setup, low resolution/brightness, short cord, WiFi works ok, no tripod mounting.

The projector comes with a 5 ft power cable, RCA input cable, a remote control, and an instruction sheet. The projector is fairly compact measuring 8"W x 6"L x 3"H. It weighs just over 2 lbs. On the front of the projector is the 2.5" lens which comes with a rubber lens cap. There are two dials behind the lens, the large one controls the size/focus of the image and the smaller ring controls the pitch of the image; if the projector is on tilt it can correct for that. The remote requires 2 AAA batteries which are not included.

The lens cap for the projector is pretty flimsy and tends to fall out a lot on its own, so it's easy to lose. The cap can only be "attached" with the lens retracted all the way and there are no snaps which is why it always falls out. The power cable on this unit is a bit short and the projector doesn't have a thread mounting hole on the bottom for attaching to a tripod.

At 1200 lumens, the image isn't super bright, so you'll need pretty dark conditions to see the screen. During the day it is faded, so this unit won't be able to replace your big screen television. Also the resolution is only 800 x 480 px like a VGA computer monitor. It is not HD (Hi-Def). The WiFi connection is a bit tricky at first but once explained is straightforward. Once connected, any device on the network with DLNA can stream content tot he projector like music, video, and photos; the projector cannot browse those network locations.

The internal speaker on the unit is pretty weak so a separate external speaker hooked up to the headphone jack is recommended. The color depth produced by the projector is not deep and the color balance was way off (very orangey).

In general, the projector works alright with a bit of effort. There are a few design improvement that would make the unit more usable, like a tripod mounting option, longer power cord, a better lens cap, and more powerful internal speaker. The resolution isn't very high at 800x480 so expect pixelated picture quality similar to VHS on a tube television (low color depth and contrast). It could be okay for movie night with the kids or a slideshow at a party. Just make sure it's pretty dark wherever you use it.

Buy it at Amazon: UC46 Mini WiFi Projector [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Queen Sized Alternative Down Pillow Review

Queen Sized Alternative Down Pillow Review

Buy it at Amazon: Queen Sized Alternative Down Pillow [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Plush, dense, good support and heat retention/dissipation..

The Ba Li Chun pillow comes in a non-woven fabric carrying bag that zippers along the bottom. I ordered the queen sized pillow that is slightly larger than a standard pillow. It measures 30"W x 20"L and is approximately 10" thick. The pillow is very fluffy and densely packed with loose polyester fiber. The stuffing is smooth, silky, and soft. It compresses a lot while still being able to puff up again quickly. The filling does a nice job with warmth retention while still allowing plenty of air flow. Since it's polyester it's suitable for use by folks with allergies to duck/goose down. The outer case material is 100% cotton. The queen sized pillow should be used with a queen sized pillow case. The Ba Li Chun pillow is fuller and more uniform, even after a month of nightly use than my budget standard pillows which have collapsed pretty badly. This pillow is soft and comfortable, providing plenty of support for your head and neck. You'll sink into it pretty easily, and it conforms somewhat to your head for a comfortable and restful sleep. It also makes for a nice sized body pillow.

Buy it at Amazon: Queen Sized Alternative Down Pillow [Affiliate Link]
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Jeansian Patchwork Button Down Shirt Review

Jeansian Patchwork Button Down Shirt Review

Buy it at Amazon: Jeansian Patchwork Button Down Shirt [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Modern and fashionable, slim fit, comfortable.

I got the shirt in US size small, which is my usual size, though for some brands I choose XS. This shirt comes in a few color options but basically all of them look like there are two contrasting colored shirts sewn together. The material feels like a cotton/poly blend with a medium stiffness. Across the chest is a triangular crosshatch section. The shirt fits me really well and the overall cut is form fitting. For reference I am 5'4" and weigh 120 lbs. While there are seams on the patchwork pattern where the alternating fabric comes together, for the most part you can't really feel the stitches. The length is of the shirt is short so you can wear the shirt untucked, and if you do choose to tuck it in, keep in mind the shirt could become untucked if you raise your arms above your head. Overall the shirt is stylish and comfortable to wear with decent stitching.

Buy it at Amazon: Jeansian Patchwork Button Down Shirt [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, May 6, 2016

Kinsal Racing Bucketseat Gaming Chair Review

Kinsal Racing Bucketseat Gaming Chair Review

Buy it at Amazon: Kinsal Racing Bucketseat Gaming Chair [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Decent chair for smaller folks, poor assembly instructions, weak casters, noisy fabric.

The chair comes partially disassembled and it weighs a lot, almost 50 lbs. These are the parts you'll get: the chair back and seat (one piece), two arm rests, steel wheel spoke, 5 plastic wheel casters, the height adjustment assembly, piston cover, and hydraulic piston. You'll also get a set of instructions and two Allen wrenches. The chair is wrapped in a faux composite leather that has a very strong tar smell from the dyes and inks out of the box, but the smell dissipates after a few days. At the base of the seat back is a lumbar support pillow attached via clip on elastic straps (completely removable if you don't like it) and at the neck there is a smaller pillow also attached via clip on elastic (and removable as well). The seams on the chair are finely stitched, neat and straight. The seat is a racecar style bucket seat and looks pretty cool.

The instructions actually include some steps that are already completed, so they're a little bit misleading. To assemble the chair, first remove the four screws on the bottom of the seat for the height adjustment assembly, the part with the height lever. Then, attach the assembly using the screws you just removed making sure that the arrow with the word "front" points towards the front of the seat. If you install this piece backwards the chair will feel like it's tilting forward at an awkward angle when you sit in it; I found this out the hard way!

If you're installing the arms, remove the four outer screws on the sides. Then attach the arms making sure the longer section of the arm faces the front of the seat, the arms are specifically left and right but unmarked which is why this is important. The caster wheels are plastic and lightweight, but they're hard and feel pretty durable with metal stems. I was rolling these around on tile (without a person in it) and they seemed fine on their own, but they don't work as well when you're actually seated in the chair. The chair arms can be adjusted independently up and down, forward and back and angled inward a couple degrees. This is for supporting your arms and elbows when using the keyboard and mouse to prevent "mouse elbow." The seat back can be reclined to a fully horizontal position which is pretty neat. The chair itself is decently comfortable for someone my size (5'4", 120 lbs) and the lumbar support and neck pillow provide additional support, but can start to feel lumpy after a while, but at least you can remove them if you need to. The only difficulty I had was that I wasn't quite heavy enough to lower the seat with my body weight and had to bounce it down to get the seat lower. The seat also doesn't raise very high in general if you have a tall desk. Overall, the seat is pretty comfortable, but because the fabric doesn't breathe, you tend to get a little sweaty sitting in it a long time and the material squeaks a bit.

Buy it at Amazon: Kinsal Racing Bucketseat Gaming Chair [Affiliate Link]
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IlyEver Ice Cream Scoop Review

IlyEver Ice Cream Scoop Review

Buy it at Amazon: IlyEver Ice Cream Scoop [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Strong, durable, easy to use, nice sized scoops for cones and bowls.

The individually purchased medium ice cream scoop measures 8" long, has a 4.5" long handle with 2.5" spread, and 2" diameter scoop. It is made entirely of a durable 18/8 stainless steel and weighs 4.25 oz. The scoop ejector is a simple ratcheting squeeze mechanism and can be operated easily by either hand. The neck of the ice cream scoop is hollow, but firm and does not bend under pressure. I used these on our homemade ice cream which tends to be a bit harder than store bought ones because we only used 5 ingredients and no emulsifiers (sugar, milk, cream, salt, purple sweet potatoes). I usually soak the scoop in some warm water to help make scooping easier. Though hard, the ice cream scooper rolled nice round balls.

The other way you can use the scoop is like a melon baller by pressing the scoop straight down into the ice cream and twisting to make a ball; you'll typically have to let the ice cream sit 5-10 minutes out of the freezer to soften enough for the second method. The ejection mechanism works fairly well and gets most of the ice cream out of the scoop, though a thin layer is left behind (scrape it out with your eating spoon!). The scooper benefits from periodic soaking in warm water during use and works well overall.

Buy it at Amazon: IlyEver Ice Cream Scoop [Affiliate Link]
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Desmit Cotton Bikini Thong Briefs Review

Desmit Cotton Bikini Thong Briefs Review

Buy it at Amazon: Desmit Cotton Bikini Thong Briefs [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Soft, comfortable, and revealing; needs more room in the front pouch.

You'll receive 9 pairs of underwear in different colors: navy, white, grey, red, black, blue, yellow, purple, and maroon. The underwear is a bikini thong brief style and made of 100% cotton. The front pouch is pleated to allow for some stretch and expansion in the front, but there's barely enough fabric to keep you covered if you get excited; as with most Asian styled underwear, it could use more room in the pouch area. The waistband is 1.25" wide and pretty stretchy. I have a 28" waist and the medium size fit alright, though I probably could have even ordered the large. On the back, these briefs will leave your behind mostly exposed, with just a narrow thong for separation that's basically hidden when wearing it, so in the back you'll just have a tiny triangle of fabric showing above your rear. If you like the exposed look and free feeling of bikinis and thongs, these underwear are a comfy fit and have nice bold colors. They're super low profile and have decent quality.

Buy it at Amazon: Desmit Cotton Bikini Thong Briefs [Affiliate Link]
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Kust Honda CRV 2015 Seat Covers Installation and Review

Kust Honda CRV 2015 Seat Covers Installation and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Kust Honda CRV 2015 Seat Covers Installation and [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Looks good, nice material feel, easy to install, a few design flaws.

UPDATE: 6/20/2017 After about a year of use, the elastic on the front seat portion of the covers doesn't hold them onto the seats anymore. They're all stretched out and always fall out. This is more apparent on the driver's side because it gets used more, but the seat cover slides around and has to be realigned each time you get in the car. The backseat ones are a bit better but they don't get moved around a lot because the kids' car seats are always strapped on top of them. The color hasn't faded much, but I wish there were a better way to get them to stay on the seats long-term. The other factor that someone pointed out is that the front seat covers impede the functioning of the side impact airbags which makes the vehicle a little less safe overall. There are side impact airbag compatible seat covers out there but you have to do your research.

I received a 13 piece seat cover set for the front and back seats. There are 2 sets of three piece covers for the front seats (including headrest covers) and a 7 pieces for the back seats. The covers are made of a faux leather with a soft neoprene foam-like fabric inside. The seat is mildly cushioning and the front seat back covers have metal grommets for the headrest bars. Inside each section are Velcro straps, elastic loops and/or snap clasps for anchoring depending on which piece you're working with. The stitching on the covers is decent and the lines are neat with few flaws. You'll also receive a pack of plastic rings and metal hooks for installation, however, a set of instructions for how exactly to do this is not included.

A few notes on my experience with this product. I did notice on one of my seat cushions a bit of sticky adhesive/glue on the inside. While this didn't affect the performance of the cover, I did have to cover it up with tape, so that it wouldn't get on my original upholstery. Installation was straightforward and the seller directed me to an installation video which was helpful, but it was very long and the camera work was nauseating.

In the back, the middle section that covers the fold-down arm rest is a separate piece that zippers to the rest of the cover. When you want to open the armrest, you'll have to unzip the section. What's odd about this piece is that the Velcro on the left hand side wraps around the armrest section, preventing it from opening, so it seems odd that there would be a zipper since you have to undo the Velcro anyway. The hooks on the Velcro also cross the original upholstery and I was concerned they would cause damage to them, so I simply left this side unattached. After a few tests opening and closing the zipper mechanism, the zipper broke (the metal piece fell off the anchor). A larger or higher quality zipper here would have been good. The other thing that the seat covers don't account for are the anchor points for baby car seats. Since we use these, we have to fold over the corners of the seat covers to access them.There should really be cutouts for them.

Overall, the set looks nice and wasn't too difficult to install. The covers are easier to wipe down than the fabric and will help use keep the vehicle clean. There are a few design flaws with the center section for the back and how it allows for the armrest to open, and the seat covers in the back need to be able to accommodate the child seat anchors for folks with kids.

Buy it at Amazon: Kust Honda CRV 2015 Seat Covers Installation and [Affiliate Link]
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Desmit Mens Mesh Briefs Review

Desmit Mens Mesh Briefs Review

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Takeaway: Soft, stretchy, comfortable, breathable briefs.

You'll receive 7 pairs of underwear in different colors: green, white, blue, red, gray, clay, and black. The material these are made of is a spandex nylon blend with a mesh weave that is slightly textured. It's slightly rough but soft feeling as well and has a little bit of transparency to them. The front pouch stretches to accommodate the well-endowed and the waistband is about 1" wide with a bit of stretch. The thinness of the mesh makes these underwear smooth and breathable; they are comfortable in warm weather and for active wear. The underwear will provide full coverage for your rear like any standard brief. The seams are nicely finished and non-abrasive. The only thing I wasn't a fan of was the tag in the back which sometimes feels scratchy. Other than that, the medium size fit my 28" waist nicely, though I probably could have gone 1 size up.

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Silkworld Ice Silk Briefs Review

Silkworld Ice Silk Briefs Review

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Takeaway: Sheer, revealing, soft and comfortable, very low profile and lightweight with enhancement bands in front.

You'll receive 8 pairs of underwear in different colors: blue, orange, yellow, red, hot pink, black, white and cyan. The underwear is made from a sheer nylon spandex blend with a mesh weave. The front pouch is framed by elastic bands and stretches to accommodate larger endowments, but does require some adjustments and manual finagling; it could use some more room in general. However, the bands lift and accentuate your package for a fuller look. While there's a seam down the middle of the pouch, it's smooth and you can barely feel it. The waist band is 1" wide and stretches quite a bit. Note that the more the material stretches, the more transparent it becomes. In back, you'll get full coverage for your backside, and it will stretch to accommodate your curves. For me, the medium size was a good fit for my 28" waist and quite smooth, soft, and comfortable to wear. The silky feeling of the material tends to run a bit cool making these great for warm weather and active wear. Overall, these are cute and low profile but show off your curves in all the right places.

Buy it at Amazon: Silkworld Ice Silk Briefs [Affiliate Link]
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Xbass Bluetooth Headphones Beanie Review

Xbass Bluetooth Headphones Beanie Review

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Takeaway: Warm hat, great sounding headphones, low isolation keeps you aware of surroundings.
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Siggi Newsboy Cap Review

Siggi Newsboy Cap Review

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Takeaway: Nice material, soft and comfortable, classic look.

The cap has a soft velvitine feel and is actually a finely napped, thinly ribbed, corduroy fabric. While this material is classic and feels nice, it does tend to pick up dust, lint, and pet hairs easily. Inside the hat, there is a soft cotton layer and around the perimeter there is a sweat band layer for absorbing excess sweat on a warm day. At the back on the inside, there is a drawstring for tightening the sweatband if you need it. The brim is 2" inches deep and attaches to the upper fabric of the hat; they cannot be separated. Overall, this hat has a nice fit and is comfortable to wear. I usually wear a size 8 baseball cap. I like the classic retro-style and look of the cap and it feels well-made.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 Review

Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 Review

Buy it at Amazon: Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Rugged, versatile, compact and lightweight with smooth 3-axis motion.

The Z988 tripod comes in a heavy duty nylon canvas bag with Velcro strapped handles for easy carrying, removable and adjustable shoulder strap, and a chunky, durable double-zipper. You'll also receive a set of instructions and Allen wrenches. This tripod is constructed from a light yet very durable aluminum alloy, and it weighs in at a hefty 4.75 lbs. The tripod measures about 19.5" when retracted and has 4 separate telescoping sections on the legs with twist activated leg locks for adjusting the lengths. At the top of each leg is a 7" neoprene handle grip. The legs have convertible feet and the rubber caps can be pulled off to reveal stainless steel metal spikes that can grip into soil and softer terrains.

To open each leg, simple pull down until it locks into place. To change the angle of the legs, press on the switch at the top of the leg. Each leg can be adjusted independently from the others for uneven terrains. At its fully opened height without the center column extended, the tripod sits around 58" tall. If you extend the center column with the twist lock below the hand strap, you can increase the final height to about 70", or just under 6'. The bubble level for the tripod is hidden under the footplate of the mounting bracket.

The most impressive piece on the tripod is undeniably the ballhead. Its functionality is very similar and comparable to a Markins Q-ball. The camera attaches to the mount via a flat plate with a screw-style quick release versus a lever lock release. The foot plate is 2.75"L x 1.5"W with 1/4" mounting screw. The footplate is also adjustable on the plate deck and can shift offset from center by about an inch to each side; locking pins at the ends of the plate prevent you from sliding the camera off the mounting plate completely.

Oversized locking knobs on the ballhead ensure secure positioning and adjustable friction control for smooth and fluid cinematic motion. There's a coarse pan at the base of the ballhead and a fine pan at the mounting plate with marked degrees of rotation for 5 and 2 degrees respectively. Since there's no L-bracket on the footplate, the ballhead has a notch for vertical portrait-orientation photography. Inset in the ballhead lock is a smaller screw which is the torque limiting screw. This setting allows you to let go of the camera without the position changing, but when you apply a bit of force you can still move around and reset the shot. Once setup properly with your camera rig, you'll basically have two positions for the ballhead lock: fully tightened for no movement or "fully" loosened to move the camera around but still let go with no change in position.

What this ballhead lacks is a panhandle, which would be really useful for cinematic movie shots. As it is, the ballhead can be used for shooting video but because you don't get as even control working directly on the ballhead, it's better suited for still photography. Panning by hand often results in some jerkiness as your muscles twitch and cause unintentional speed ups and slow downs in the pan. If you don't need the ballhead or want to use it with a different tripod, it can be removed/unscrewed and the 3/8" mounting screw below can be flipped over to convert to a standard 1/4" threaded screw for mounting accessories like flashes, mic, and speakers

Lastly, there's a spring retractable counterweight hook in the center of the tripod to help keep your tripod stable while in use, so that is doesn't move around or worse, fall over with your camera on it. Always use a counterweight when using a camera even if your setup is light because you just never know. Overall, this tripod is a great value for everything that you get, and I found that it works great for stabilizing your shoots for photos or videos.


Buy it at Amazon: Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 [Affiliate Link]
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