Monday, February 29, 2016

PinJian Exercise Ball (29.5") Installation, Comparison, & Demonstration

- Exercise Ball
- 2 plugs (1 is a bonus)
- Hand Pump
- Plug Remover Tool
- 90-day "no hassle money back guarantee, life-time warranty"

The instructions above state that the ball takes 6-10 minutes to inflate. I was able to do it in 4:40 seconds. I'm not saying that to brag in any way. I just mention that, because that's a conservative time frame if you go slow in pumping it up. Inflating the ball is a bit of an exercise, ironically, but it's not too bad.

I've used this ball for a few days since inflating it. I've used it as a chair and as an exercise tool. It hasn't leaked at all. The wrinkles from packaging have worn off. My wife plans to use it during the birthing process (in 5-6 weeks), because a neighbor made the suggestion. Quite honestly, there are plenty of exercise balls available for sale. Most or all of them are sufficient for regular use (unless you plan to some sort of jousting or rolling on sharp objects in which none of them will last). I've had a good experience with this one or there are many other quality ones out there as well.

Part I - What's Included with the Pinjian Exercise Ball?
Part II - Blow up/Installation
Part III - Demonstration & Comparison to A 55 cm Exercise Ball
Part IV - Exercise Ball Uses (briefly)

I received this product at a discount. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome any and all feedback and/or product questions!

Available on Amazon - Click Here

Saturday, February 27, 2016

SterlingPro French Coffee Press, 35-ounce

The product arrives with all the parts you need including: 4 mesh screens (you use 2 at a time for screening out coffee grounds), 18/10 stainless steel (same material as most utensils), lid with plunger, instructions (brief and not complicated to understand).

+ Unlimited control of brew process
     + control how strong your brew is
     + control the duration of brew (3 minutes is given in instructions)
     + control the water temperature (195-205 degrees is recommended, with 205 being best...many drip makers don't reach that temperature)
+ Can be used as a pitcher for water or used to steep tea
+ Small footprint & Sleek looking
+ small enough to store in a cabinet or looks nice enough to keep on the counter top if desired
+ Easy to clean with very few parts and it can be cleaned it in the dishwasher

- Must be active to brew coffee (whereas with an auto drip maker you put coffee grounds in filter, add water, and it does the rest)
- Probably not as consistent of a brew as an auto drip maker (might vary based on temperature, coffee grounds used, etc.)
- Won't strain as much of the grounds as an auto drip maker (it's recommended to use a coarser grind)
- Coffee will get bitter from over roasting if you leave the grounds in (recommended to serve immediately or store in a thermos)

o French press will not remove the coffee oils
     o taste preference - your coffee may be more bitter in a french press, which is a natural attribute of most ground coffees
     o research has found that those oils contain cholesterol-boosting substances that are normally removed with paper filters

I have really enjoyed using this french press. I will admit I don't make coffee with it every single time (I cheat and use an auto drip maker at times), but I like using this french press most often. There is a slight difference in taste between this and an auto drip maker. It's strictly a personal preference whether you might like it better. Coffee in a french press is a little bolder, because it extracts the full substance of the coffee grounds.

The wire mesh does a good job at removing grinds, better than most french presses in fact. However, if you use a fine coffee grind, you might notice a small amount of very fine grinds at the bottom of your cup. It's a very small amount , so I hardly think it's something to be concerned about if that thought crossed your mind. I have noticed that I can remove some of the coffee oils and very fine coffee grinds by rigging up a medium-sized paper coffee filter to the plunger (easy to do). It's certainly not a requirement though. All-in-all, I have been very pleased with both the look and functionality of this french press by SterlingPro. I hope this review is helpful!

I received this product for free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. I welcome any and all feedback and/or product questions!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cosy House Collection Silky Soft Bed Sheets Set

I was looking for a soft set of sheets. I currently have 2 sets of sheets. 1 of those sets of sheets is very stiff and loud every time I move. I hate them. The other set is a cotton set. I like it, but I don't necessarily love them. I was looking for a premium set of sheets. I purchased these hoping to find a quality set of sheets.


When I received these sheets, I opened them up and was blown away at how soft they were. There are different types of soft. As an example, I have some crib sheets that a different type of soft. Those crib sheets (Ziggy Baby Crib Sheet Set) are similar in feel to a thin version of a microfiber blanket. These sheets from Cosy House Collection are soft as well, but in a different way. To me, they feel like a cross between cotton and silk sheets. These sheets remind me of sheets at a high-end hotel.

These sheets are on the thin side, so I think these are better suited to warm-weather sheets. I will use these in the winter as well, but it's because my wife likes the bed cold. She keeps the thermostat low and then she closes the vents in the room. I think she is cold-blooded or something. For most people, these sheets are best suited for warmer seasons or locations.

These sheets are said to be wrinkle free. I cringe when I hear that. I have shirts that are "wrinkle-free". I've never seen anything that is free from wrinkles. I will say that they are wrinkle resistant, however.

As you can see from my pictures, these sheets have deep pockets. My previous sheets would ride up the mattress every night (also pictured). I have an approximately 14.5" mattress. These sheets fit the mattress comfortably and stay put.

The pillows are very large. I have a really big pillow that I was worried would stick out of the pillow case. However, it covered the entire pillow and then some. If you have small or medium-sized pillows, you might have some excess pillow cover. I wouldn't think having extra would be a problem but it' worth noting.

These sheets don't shrink in the wash. I washed them in a hot cycle and dried them on high heat (I didn't read the tag). Even though I didn't follow the wash/dry directions, I had no problems with shrinking. I haven't tested the product claim that these sheets are stain resistant.

I don't have much to add to this, but it's nice that Cosy House Collections stands by their product!

I received this product at a discount. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. Please comment with any feedback and/or product questions below.

Available for purchasing on Amazon - Click Here

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ziggy Baby Pack N Play Playard Sheet Set

- Made of 100% high quality jersey cotton
- Universal fit for any standard playard mat or playard mattress up to 4 inches
- Gender neutral designs in grey & white
- Lightweight, soft and breathable
- Great baby shower gift for Boys or Girls!
- Deep 5" pockets for a secure fit

I chose these sheets, because they match the motif of our nursery precisely. We have a blush pink, white and gray theme. They are also gender neutral should we ever have another child. These sheets are white with either gray polka dots or chevron stripes (2 separate sheets). The two sheets arrived together in a package. I knew instantly upon pulling them out of the package that I liked the way the sheets looked and felt.

Note: These sheets are nearly identical to the crib sheets I reviewed here previously. However, they're for a playard rather than a crib. 

After taking them out of the package, I felt just how soft these sheets are! The softness I would compare to that of a microfiber blanket, but on a much thinner scale (it is a sheet after all). I wondered to myself if these sheets would be this soft after washing them. Before I was able to determine that, I wanted to make sure the sheets fit the playard. They fit well. There is a deep enough pocket that you don't have to worry about the sheets slipping up the side. Both sheets were the same size (as you would expect).

I washed these sheets in accordance with the directions on the tag (pictured). I put the sheets back on the playard pad, and there was no shrinking. The sheets were just as soft as they were when they arrived.

Overall, I am very pleased with these sheets. I'm sure there are other nice sheet sets out there, but I haven't found many this soft!

I received this product free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. Please comment with any feedback and/or product questions below.

Resistance Bands Review

I'm not a big gym membership kind of guy, but I enjoy working out at home. My wife is a gym rat, even as she nears the end of her pregnancy. She belongs to two gyms and she sometimes works out at home with me. I got her a different set of bands, because she wanted to use those for stretching and light work outs. I knew I wouldn't like those bands. I do have some free weights, but I only have one dumbell from 15-25 lbs and none any higher. That limits my exercises. I wanted something that I could add extend the weights, but without taking up a ton of room and taking a dent out of my wallet. That's when I found these bands.

These come with 7 straps from 5 to 35 lbs of resistance. It has 4 handles and straps (also includes ankle straps and door straps). Basically, this set has everything you need, plain and simple.

My wife didn't know I had ordered these until they arrived at home. She told me there were some fitness bands and they "actually look really nice". This coming from her got my attention, because she belongs to two gyms with all sorts of equipment, pools, etc. I took them out of the included bag, and she was right. These are very nicely made. I was expecting a set of bands that I could "get by" using, but I can do more than that with these. They have anything and everything you could need included. The bag is a nice touch too for keeping everything neat and organized.

I like that you can double up on the bands if you need more weight. There are hundreds of exercises that you can do with these bands. You can check YouTube for proof. I made a short video of some exercises that you might find helpful in getting you started (or at least give you an idea of how the bands work

As I mentioned earlier, I am very impressed with this set. I like the versatility of these bands, they pack up neatly and compactly, and they are a very reasonable retail price too. I intend to pick up a set of these for my dad who just quit the gym and is eyeing retirement in 2 short months. I think he will like these as well.


I received this product free. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. Please comment with any feedback and/or product questions below.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Solo Stick Tripod Mount

The Solo Stick Tripod Mount allows you to take pictures/movies or watch movies on your phone. You can set it on the table or you can put it in unconventional positions to suit almost any location. It's 10" tall (depending on how you have the legs situated) and can hold a phone up to about 3.25" wide. In essence, this product is designed to fit the budget niche for holding phones for videos or pictures

I have used this to take videos of several products I bought on Amazon as well as to record some YouTube videos. I like the flexibility it gives me. I can stand it or put it almost anywhere. I even did a video in my car using the headrest. It's a great value for most people using their phone. It's easy to pack away. It's light. It's a good price.

I was testing it to the extreme after about a week or so (after doing this video). I used too much force and broke a leg. Fortunately, I contacted Solo Stick and they were AWESOME. I got an email within an hour saying they would ship me another, no problem. I don't love when I have an problem, but it's really nice when a business stands behind their product!

For professional use, you likely want to upgrade out of this price point, but for the average user I think this fits the bill.

In the video, I discuss the product and hopefully give you a feel for how it operates. I also included some pictures using this tripod in various positions and poses.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I received this product at a discount or free. I welcome all feedback!

You can find this product on Amazon at Solo Stick Tripod Mount

Seal'In Nestable Food Storage Vacuum Containers (Microwavable, Freezer, Dishwasher Safe)

I wanted to get a vacuum container set to store food for a longer period of time. I like to BBQ, but it's not worth the hassle to do a small quantity at one time. I liked the idea of have a vacuum container that keeps the food fresh longer, so I don't have to freeze the leftovers.

The container set comes with a pump and 4 containers - 20 oz, 1.1 qt, 1.5 qt and a 5 qt container. The set is made from a hard, durable plastic ("highly durable Polycarbonate"). The seals are also a very sturdy silicone. The containers nestle inside of each other to save on storage space. They secure tightly using the 4 tabs on each side of the lid.

These containers do a great job of maintaining a seal. They don't leak air out little-by-little like some containers have a tendency to do. They do what they are intended to do, keep foods fresh longer. The first time I used it, I got a coffee grind in the silicone seal preventing it from sealing. I mention that, so you make sure you keep the seal free of debris. I quickly realized it (and it was obviously not holding a seal), so it wasn't a problem. Also, I recommend disinfecting before each use to help maintain that freshness longer. I suppose it's similar to the principles of canning food. Other than that, these are really straightforward.

I really like this set. I just wish they had a container for storing lunch meat. Having said that, I think this set will be good for keeping snacks, soups, BBQ, lunches, etc. fresher for a longer period of time. I also think this set will be very durable over the long run. Keep the pump in a safe place and I think you would be very happy with this set of containers.

I received this product at a discount. However, the opinions expressed herein were formulated based on my personal use of the product. Please comment with any feedback and/or product questions below.

This product is available for sale on Amazon - Click Here

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Detroit Tool & Supply Expandable Hose Review

I enjoy gardening and working in the yard. I water the flowers and grass frequently during the summer. I was looking for a hose that I didn't have to spend as much time unraveling and then winding up again...especially when it's 90 degrees outside. I also wanted a hose that I could hide, because the hose spigot is right next to the front door. It's unsightly to leave a hose laying there and it's a pain to take it around the back of the house every time I was finished.

I really like this hose for the convenience factor. It's a quick way to water the plants. It doesn't take up much room and it hides away in a container with a lid very easy. I'm not sure I would leave this hose out in the winter or even exposed to the sun on a daily basis. It may be able to handle it, but it's not something I would recommend. The following is a list of pros and cons I've noted during my use with this hose.

+ Lightweight
+ Space Saving
+ Doesn't Kink
+ Brass Fittings
+ Easily Hides
+ Convenience

- No shut-off valve on hose
- Slightly less water volume/minute
- The hose end goes wild if you set it down with the water turned on

- As durable as a traditional hose?

CONCLUSION: This hose is a great addition to my collection. It's not great at everything, but it definitely has a place in my yard. I hope my review was helpful in your decision!

DISCLAIMER: I received this hose free for purposes of testing. The opinions noted are based on my personal use of this product.

Friday, February 19, 2016

DBPOWER 6-in-1 Facial & Body Cleansing Brush

I've never used a facial & body scrubber before. I suppose that can be good or bad in terms of writing a review. I don't have many other competitors to compare it to. On the flip side, I'm not blinded by perceptual brand images or reputations. I can strictly look at the product offered and give my feedback.

1 Electric facial cleanser device
1 Detachable handle
1 Facial brush
1 Body brush
1 Make-up sponge
1 Rolling massager
1 Exfoliating head
1 User manual
1 Cosmetic bag

This cleanser is powered by 2 AA batteries. The cleanser device has 2 power speeds; I'd call them low and medium. I don't think I'd ever use a faster speed anyways. It comes with a handle that is useful if you want to use it as a body scrubber. It might be good to use if you want to wash or scrub your back or legs. The cosmetic bag is a nice touch. It's an easy way to keep track of all the different attachments. As a guy, I wish it weren't pink, but I understand these cleansers are typically purchased by and for women. A pink bag isn't a deal breaker to me.

All-in-all, this is a nice cleanser. Take a look at the video to see a more in-depth look.

I received this product at discount for purposes of reviewing. The opinions expressed are based on my personal use of the product.

Available on Amazon by clicking: DBPOWER 6 in 1 Waterproof Electric Facial & Body Cleansing Brush


Monday, February 15, 2016

Ziggy Baby Crib Sheet Set (2-pack)

- Made of 100% high quality jersey cotton
- Universal Fit for Standard Crib Mattress
- Adorable Pink Designs for Girls
- Lightweight, soft and breathable
- Great baby shower gift for Girls!
- Deep 9" pockets for a secure fit

Blue Key World Vacuum Storage Bags

- Comes with 4 large or "jumbo" bags (approx. 50.5" x 35") and 1 travel bag (approx. 23.5" x 15.5")
- 4 plastic closing clips are included (you can also use your fingers - similar to closing a ziploc bag)
- A pump (or vacuum) is not included. You must have a pump or vacuum with a hose to use these storage bags

Friday, February 12, 2016

Eleven Suuri Cycling Socks

- The socks are made of 56% cotton, 3% elastane, 16% polypropylene, 25% polyamide
- The socks are a somewhat stretchy material
- They are thinner up high and on the sides. They are a bit thicker on the bottom of the foot

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bru Joy Can Opener

I've always bought can openers from the dollar store. I haven't ever really thought there was a big difference in quality. Recently, my dollar store an opener was beginning to be a pain to use. It was difficult to operate, because the blade was dull. The can would spin and spin just tearing off pieces of the paper label. It was time for a new can opener.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Smooth Private Reserve Coffee

I enjoy trying new blends of coffee. I don't have an advanced palette that can taste 10 different flavors at a time, but I'm going to do my best to describe this coffee. First, let me describe my taste preferences; I tend to gravitate towards the medium to medium-dark roasts. I like to drink my coffee black. I do not like the west coast coffee roasts (like Starbucks) that are mild and/or acidic. I have tried in the neighborhood of 50 different brands and blends.

I use the Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker. I typically use a scoop of coffee grinds per cup of coffee (each scoop is about a half tablespoon). I first used 4 scoops of coffee grinds to make 4 cups. It ended up being a medium-roast, classic cup of coffee. The next morning, I tried 5 scoops to see if it was more of a bold taste. It was still a medium roast, not overpowering.

The best way I can describe this cup of coffee is to compare it to the coffee you get at a sit-down restaurant. There's no fancy flavors or unexpected tastes. As I described earlier, it's more of a classic or traditional American coffee. It's a medium roast. I don't taste any bitterness, nor do I taste any acidity. This is what I would call a "no-frills" coffee.

Personally, I would not buy this if I added milk, creamer, sugar, etc. to my coffee (unless I wanted it shipped to my door). The reason I say that is you probably won't be able to tell a difference between this and, let's say, a cup of Folgers if you add the extras. Additionally, if you are looking for something extravagant, you might want to try a different brand or blend.

However, If you are looking for something new to try or you like a traditional, well-balanced, medium roast coffee this might be a great coffee for you! I hope my review was helpful in your decision. If I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask below!

DISCLAIMER: I received this product at a promotional discount. However, all the opinions expressed in this review are my own based on my own experiences in using this product.

Click on the link to find it on Amazon: Smooth Private Reserve Coffee

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sport Stereo Sound Headphone with Earbuds

I've had a chance to use these to listen to a variety of different songs crossing country, bluegrass, rock, heavy metal, and classic rock. Below you will find a list of my Pros and Cons:

-Gets as loud as you can realistically handle
-The cord secures the ear phones very well (you won't have an issue with them falling out of your ears if you are running or moving around)
-The sound is clear - not at all distorted
-Microphone to answer calls is decent, or at least serviceable
-Moving the cord doesn't result in static noise like some headphones I've used

-The cord to secure around your ears is annoying. If you are putting them on and taking them off often, I suggest you find another set
-The bass is not very pronounced, particularly at low volume. It doesn't affect sound quality but I like a little bass.
-The earphones are left or right ear specific. You either guess the proper ear (50% chance right?) or you have to read the "L" or "R" on the headphones
-Microphone is average quality for this price point
-Directions are in Chinese, Japanese or Taiwanese (I don't know which)
-No volume rocker

Could Be Both a Pro or Con Based on Your Use:
-Not noise cancelling - Allows you to notice someone talking to you (at work, the gym, wherever) assuming you aren't on full blast
-Don't have to charge them like you would Bluetooth but that means you have a cord that could get in the way

I tested these directly against a pair of headphones I got with my HTC One phone. The sound is definitely a bit louder with the Sport Stereo and a a good bit clearer. However, the HTC One headphones are much more convenient to put on and take off. I asked my wife during a phone call which had the best quality sound 1) the headphone microphone, 2) the phone speaker, or 3) talking like on a landline (phone on your face). She obviously said the landline option was best. I asked her about what it sounded like with the microphone. She said it sounded "farther off". That being said, she was able to clearly communicate with me with no issues.

If you are looking for a basic pair of headphones (like the ones that come with an iPhone except these can loop around your ear if you choose), then these will likely fit the bill. If you are an audiophile, you will want to upgrade from these low-budget phones to something more expensive - though I'm sure you probably already knew that based on the price. If you want to use these as a microphone with your phone, they will work. However, you might want to upgrade if you plan to use frequently. Personally, I wasn't a fan of the over-the-ear cord and the "Left Ear" and "Right Ear" earbud shapes. If you read my review and are fine with those two features, then I think you'll be happy with these budget headphones.

Full Disclosure: I received this set of headphones at a discount in exchange for my honest review.. I hope it was helpful! I'd be willing to answer any questions you have. Just drop a comment or question below...

You can find these #headphone on Amazon at Sport Stereo Sound Headphone and Earbuds

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Luxe Grill Meat Injector

- Stainless Steel
- The injector comes with 2 needles (approximately 6 inches long) - one for chunky marinades and the other designed for liquid marinades.
- The reservoir/barrel holds 2 oz.
- Dishwasher safe
- Lifetime Warranty

I wanted an injector, because I love to smoke meats: turkey, brisket, chicken, whatever I can find at the store. This year, I had the family gatherings at my house: Thanksgiving (Turkey) and Christmas (2 hams). I used a baster I had received as a wedding gift on each. I prepared the marinade, and then found the baster would get clogged up with rosemary and other spices...then the rubber ball on the end would slide off. I knew I couldn't get by much longer without an injector. Fortunately, I was provided this injector at a discount. In return, I was asked to provide my personal, honest review. Here goes:

I was blown away when I opened this up. First, it's really big! The Injector is approximately one foot long with needle attached! Second, it felt really well-made when I put it in my hand. It is solid stainless steel. It's definitely commercial grade, no doubt. The inside has a silicon gasket to maintain that air pocket to keep the marinade inside.

I like how the needle with one opening is large enough to allow for spices, chopped onions and garlic, etc. to pass through. That was one of my problems. The other needle with many ports cuts down on the number of times you have to poke, or inject, the meat. I also like that it can be operated using one hand (unless you have tiny hands maybe). Overall, it's a quality made product and I am very happy with it. Check out my video to see how it operates. Feel free to leave a question or comment. If this review was helpful, please click the 'helpful' button below. Thanks!

I recommend putting some oil or non-stick spray on the gasket every so often (although not required to). It is dishwasher safe. However, I personally would not recommend putting that silicon seal in the dishwasher (again not a requirement). Take this example, a lot of non-stick pans say they are dishwasher safe. However, doing so cuts down the useful life of the non-stick coating if you read the fine print. I just think silicon is probably similar. If it does every break, you have the lifetime warranty.