LG Watch W7 SmartWatch Powered by Google WearOS #Ad

Hubby is a “Watch Guy”. We all know them, some of us love them. They like and collect watches. Sometimes to an unhealthy degree. And I’ll be honest, while I’ve picked up some of the nomenclature and in’s and out’s of watches, I’ll never be a “Watch Gal”. So I’ll abdicate the bulk of this review to him, because he’ll be able to touch on things that I might miss. So, since we’re a team, here we go…

A watch is an important tool. Anyone with an affinity for them has heard the two stand-by gags of “I have a phone that tells time” and the ever hilarious “A $8 Timex would be the same”, especially if you can appreciate and own a fine Swiss timepiece. But today we’re going abruptly change gears and talk about neither an low-end digital quartz watch or an expensive automatic 23-jewel Swiss investment. This unit falls somewhere in the grey area between those worlds, neither fully digital, and certainly not fully mechanical, despite sporting a Swiss-made gearbox for the analog hands. The LG Watch W7, a Smartwatch powered by Google’s Wear OS, seeks to bridge the gap between a techie with bleeding edge gear and those of us with one foot firmly in a simpler time who still need to wind our watches. The LG W7 can help keep you on-task (with proactive help from the Google Assistant), and keep you a touch healthier with smarter health coaching from Google Fit. And look good doing it.
With that established, I’ve resisted the Smartwatch craze because I have a plethora of watches of all makes and models and, to turn the gag back on the techies, I had a phone and didn’t need another on my wrist. I can now safely say, I definitely see the appeal of something like the LG W7 because it’s pretty handy to not have to dig your phone out with every buzz and beep. And, to put a finer point on it, today’s phones with 6″ screens (and larger!) can not be checked too discretely anymore, whereas a watch can be as under the radar as it gets. I deliberately stayed away from the instruction manual to see if the watch controls were intuitive, and the are. I had the majority of features figured out in a matter of minutes. It’s on the larger side for a watch, but not quite like, say, a massive Invicta or the larger 50mm Casio G-Shock watches. It’s certainly not heavy, but it’s not light either, it feels significant on the wrist and you’ll not forget it’s there. With the right watch face (because they’re infinitely swappable!!) it can look sporty, dressy, or can mimic a classic chronograph with ease. The 1.2″ edge-to-edge screen sports 360X360 resolution (is easy to read at any angle, and the traditional analog hands are a bright silver that can tell the time at a glance without the need for the screens bright backlight. The pull-out crown serves as the main control button, but the capacitive touchscreen makes analog buttons almost an afterthought beyond initial setup and programming. Battery life for the 240 mAh lithium-polymer battery could be better, but unless you’re quite the social butterfly, with the right settings it’ll easily last you all day before needing a charge. A few hours tops it off and you’re set to seize the next day again. In fact, you could select the “Watch Only” mode and LG claims you can get 100 days wear out of this watch. Nice. The 44.5 mm (?) case is right in the sweet spot for a men’s watch, neither too small or too large before needing a recharge. Nice. The fixed matte-black bezel means the gloss silver indices are easily read as well. The 22mm rubber strap is soft and pliable, and a joy to wear. In fact, it has a feature that I would appreciate on some of my nicer Seikos, a simple nub for the push bar that negates the need for a lug tool to change your strap. Anyone who’d ever had to fumble with one of those tools knows it can be a real pain sometimes. The brushed stainless steel case means this watch looks as nice as any I own. It’s fully compatible with both Android and Apple OS’s, so no matter your preferred smartphone, LG has you covered. It has all the features of a full-fledged digital ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass), plus a stopwatch and timer like the finest chronometer. I have yet to master the touch-free gesture controls, but I do appreciate their necessity for some folks and like that the option is there. Full product specs can be found here and here.
It’s not all wine and roses. I have hit wrong keys on the unit a couple of times, hitting the wrong key. I have given up ever using it for all but the briefest of 1- or 2-word replies for a text. The keyboard is just too small for me to use. Being that it’s a touchscreen, I have to go against everything I’ve ever held true about my watches, as touching the crystal all the time is antithesis to what I’ve known. I’m fully aware that some people have made quite a bit of fuss over the analog hands blocking important notifications. While I can appreciate that some would want a clear, uncluttered face, I myself found no issues reading the notifications behind the hands. I would very much like to have had GPS and heartrate monitor functionality, and I’m unsure if it can be added later via an OTA firmware update, but I’m happy with the features included thus far and unless those are “deal-breaker” features for you you’ll not miss them, in my opinion. I wish the water resistance was a little better, because I do tend to treat my watches like tools and water…water sometimes happens. It’ll be fine with a light splash or a little dust, but don’t dunk it in the pool or wear it in the desert or heavy rain. NFC and fitness tracking would be nice as well, but since I don’t use either I’m not feeling the pain of their absence, but I could certainly understand folks being a little peeved at these fairly common features being excluded.
In the end, I have very little about this watch I don’t like, despite my initial resistance to this hybrid device. I like that it doesn’t scream “TECH!!” on my wrist, and could easily pass for a normal fine timepiece at a glance, but still sports most the high-tech features people have come to expect from a smartwatch. I like that it can be easily customized to fit any occasion or style of dress with a few touches or swipes. It feels substantial without being obnoxious. I would recommend it for a watch person who’s looking to dip their toes in this particular pool, and stay ahead of the curve. It’s got enough bells and whistles to satisfy just about anyone. Grab one right here: http://bby.me/8yqyj , if you’re so inclined.
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product.
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Google’s Chromecast Streaming Media Player. See it. Stream it.

It’s time we brought everything together, right? How many times have you seen something on your phone or tablet and wanted to share it with the room on the TV? There’s no reason to be locked to your own screen anymore with Google’s Chromecast. Now when you see it, you can stream it.

All you need is an HDMI port and an Android-capable device and boom. Life, shared. Or, to use Google’s parlance, “casted”. It’s as simple as tapping the “cast” button on any wireless device (the Google Chromecast connects wirelessly to your home network with it’s built-in high speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi) and the Chromecast throws it right on on the big screen. Easy Peasy. Want to share your playlist? Cast it to Chromecast. Want to stream Netflix or HBO Go (or over 2,000 other apps!!!) from your phone? Cast it to Chromecast and be the life of the party. Small, portable, simple to connect, east to use. It’s a simple way to connect your life to the people around you.

 

Hands full? That’s okay, Chromecast is listening and can stream or connect with a simple voice command, since it connects seamlessly to your existing Google Home devices, like: “Ok Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my living room TV.”. Aaaaand your done. Yes, it’s now that easy. Feeling a little buyer’s remorse at not having splurged a little for a “smart” TV? Now you can “smarten” up your TV’s for as little as $35. So carry it from TV to TV if you want, but it’s affordable enough to stick one on every TV in the house.

Google’s Chromecats has made sharing and streaming from my phone or Hubby’s tablet so simple there’s no need to carry devices back and forth, just tap, share and enjoy. You can continue using your device like normal, too, and you’ll never miss a thing. So you can start living All Together Now, again.

If you want to experience this for yourself, feel free to try it out for yourself here:

http://bby.me/8mht4

 

I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion about this product. I received compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Sony – WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones

Sometimes, you just want the music. Or the movie. Or the video. Nothing else, just tune the world out for a spell.

There’s a lot of headphones out there. In the ear. Over the ear. Tinny. To much bass. Too little clarity, too much noise. From a few dollars to over a thousand, there’s something out there fro every listener, for the casual listener to the most hardcore audiophile. I can tell you I’ve sampled more than a few with lofty promises and just about every one fails to deliver in the long run. There’s a name, though, that usually means “quality”. They’ve been around a while, you may have heard of them: Sony. And they’ve come out with a top-notch set of earphones that provide all the high-end sound you could hope for and more.

Gone are the days of paper cones and hair-thin wires with tinny sound that distorts and buzzes. These fantastic Sony headphones sport 40mm liquid crystal polymer diaphragms for drivers. That means fuller, richer sound reproduction, with no distortion, and tinny highs and drowned out lows, and they can handle the full range of frequencies up to 40 kHz. Made sturdy and strong, you don’t have to worry about them cracking over your head but not so heavy as to feel like a workout. Wired or wireless (with bluetooth or NFC) you’ll get your sound from your laptop, your phone, your tablet, or just about any pairable device. And with up to 30 hours of battery life, you can listen or groove all day and night on a single charge!

With advanced noise-cancelling technology (Sony’s “SENSE ENGINE” with their exclusive HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1), the headphones “sense” your activity and adjust your level of noise-cancelling accordingly. No more having your fingers camped out over the volume rocker! Nice. And with an included mic, you can take that call, and get back to your tunes a s soon as you hit “end”. And seeing as how these Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are compatible with Google Assistant, you might not take them off all day. And with up to 30 hours of battery life, you can listen or groove all day and night on a single charge! Not to worry, though, you can get a good amount of juice quickly with the quick-charging technology.

 

The controls are intuitive, and well placed. The build quality is top-notch. The sound quality and noise cancelling are fantastic. The padded cups cuddle up right against your ears and sit snugly. If I were forced to find one nitpick, it would be the USB-c connection. Micro USB still rules the day in my house, so I always have a handy supply. I know the future is USB-c, but I’m still holding tightly to my micro-USB’s. And that’s the only single negative I could possibly think of, and that’s a real stretch. Sony has a history of quality, and with the Sony WH-1000XM3, I feel they have another winner on their hands.

If you want to experience these for yourself, feel free to try them out for yourself here:

http://bby.me/3etee

 

I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion about this product. I received compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Troy-Bilt TB22 Gas String Trimmer, Not quite ready for “Prime Time”

I’ve had quite a bit of experience with string trimmers. Gas, corded & cordless, I’ve used them all, my current outdoor tools are cordless. We wanted to see if we’d been missing out not using gas. I can say with no hesitation I’m sticking with my Ego Power+ Cordless tools.

I learned the hard way the grass isn’t always greener, pardon the pun. What moved me into cordless tools was the ease of start-up, lack of fumes & noise. Gas tools sometimes need many yanks on the cord to get going. Same with this one. This one took more than a few. With each successive stop, more yanks were needed. Then it started to sputter and stall out when idling, then I couldn’t get it started again at all. I checked the fuel mixture provided, & emptied and refilled, thinking I’d fouled the line somehow. I adjusted the choke. No go. I let it cool & went back to cordless to finish the front. When I tried to start it up again for the side yard, it took a lot of effort to get it running. By the time I got to the back grass, I could not get it to start or stay running. It’s brand new, it should not have given me these kinds of problems.

Hubby tried to fix it, as he can usually fix anything. He disassembled, cleaned, & reassembled the user serviceable parts & tried again, following the start-up instructions to the letter. It started up after some effort. He handed it over back to me & when I tried to get it started, it wouldn’t. I gave it back to hubby to try again, he couldn’t either. We were forced to give up. I went back to my Ego Power+ String Trimmer, which started up and ran like a dream, as it always does.

We used the provided & recommended pre-mixed fuel. The unit was new, had barely been used when it started giving problems. A online search to troubleshoot showed we’re not the only ones. I liked that you could build around the engine base with attachments like a blower, hedge trimmer, etc, but if the motor unit is this unreliable, all you’re left with is a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work. It’s loud, and creates a lot of fumes. It has good power to trim grass and weeds, beats corded by a mile in that regard. But it’s unreliable, even when it worked was difficult to start & keep running. I’m sticking with Ego cordless tools. They’ve never failed me. Troy-Bilt has now twice.

I received the above product(s) free of charge for the purpose of evaluation and testing for a review. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

1THE Water Filter System Review


We all want cleaner water, and we’re all sick of the hassle of buying water bottled, or the expense of having it delivered. And despite what our “benevolent” leaders would have you believe, I don’t think for one second the water that comes straight from the tap is fit to drink. What’s a gal to do?img_20161030_153802

One thing that has gathered steam lately is under-sink filtration systems. None of the expense and installation issues involved with a whole home system, and none of the waste of buying bottled all the time. I thought when this system was offered it was in in-line system, and indeed there no mention of the one thing that stopped me from permanently installing this setup is that as offered, you must drill a hole in your sink or countertop for the dedicated spigot. If you have an undermount sink, or granite countertops, the absolute last thing you want to do is start drilling holes in either. And while I’m certain Hubby has a larger-than-average drill bit that could make a hole large enough to install the spigot, I don’t know that I’d want him to. So we did mickey-mouse the setup to run our household water through the filters temporarily. There was indeed a notable difference in flavor of the water, to our benefit. The multi-stage filtration looks pretty comprehensive, and there was no leaks from the system itself. But I waited for years to have my granite counters put in, there’s no way on this earth I’m going to start putting holes in it for this.

Another thing that gave me pause is that I don’t see where I can order replacement filters. Not on Amazon, and not from their website directly. Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, Osh…Nothing to be found anywhere. That’s troubling because one thing is the initial expense of the system (which at $144.50 is not insignificant), but to be beholden to a company to offer replacement filters at whatever cost they want because they can’t be found elsewhere? Uh-uh. Sorry, that’s not a system I’d want to buy in to and make permanent alterations to my kitchen’s (or any other rooms) stone countertops and then be left with either a hole or a superfluous spigot. The idea has merit, and I’m not opposed to it, but the application, for me, is a non-starter, and I would not have purchased this unit with that information.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from 1The. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

TCP Global’s 7″ Variable-Speed Polisher Kit with 6 Polishing Pads


It is so easy sometimes to forget to take care of our vehicles properly, what with our hectic lives and lack of free time for anything substantial, like waxing and polishing our vehicle to properly maintain the paint and overall looks of something we paid 10’s of thousands of dollars for. And yet, we do, so TCP Global has something to make a tedious, mundane chore like waxing your vehicle so much quicker, easier, and simpler.

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And yet the TCP Global 7″ Speed Polisher with 6 Polishing Pads kit can be as simple or complex as you need it to be, with multiple pads for different levels of waxing depending on the needs of your paint. Personally, I’ve been chewed out in my younger years for washing my car with soft soap and my hands before a big date, but Hubby came along and immediately put the kibosh on that, and showed me the importance of keeping the exterior or my car clean and properly maintained. This kit will definitely help you accomplish that, with variable speeds and a digital RPM readout screen to help you keep things even and uniform. There’s plenty of power in the 10 Amp, 1200 watt motor here for tough “cleaning” waxes for neglected paint, even as far as cutting waxes for severely weather-worn paints. But it’s also gentle enough for a clear coat quick polish as well, with a setting as low as 600 rpm, or as high as 3000 rpm for a liquid-like shine. The seven inch polishing pad covers enough real estate to make even waxing our big honking 4Runner a quick 45-minute task instead of an “all afternoon” task. You can even vary the grips as needed, with a simple side handle (similar to an angle grinder) for vertical applications, and a removable top mounted handle for trunks, hoods and tops that are horizontal. The 8 different waffle-foam pads are textured for 8 different levels of polishing, depending on the needs of your paint, with standar hook-and-loop attachment. Add a convenient high-impact molded carry/storage case, and you’ve got a professional-quality tool for less than the cost of a professional detail job.

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And TCP Global stands firmly behind every product they sell. This 7″ Speed Polisher is comprehensive without feeling daunting for someone who’s just getting serious about automotive care, but not so over-the-top that a female like myself feels it’s “too much tool” for me. I’m glad I got to try it and can’t wait to see the results.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from TCP Global. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Tworld “Tactical” Red Laser Beam Dot Sight


Self and home defense are not things taken lightly in this house. From security gates, security cameras, to locks on every door and window, we try to leave nothing to chance. We also own a number of firearms. But they are only any good if you can hit what you are aiming at, and short of lots and lots (and lots and lots) of practice, there are a few add-on accessories that can remove as many variables from the equation as possible. Night sights, flashlights, and yes, even lasers.

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A pistol is a staple in home defense, for good or for ill. There are those that believe a rifle or shotgun is superior, but let’s be honest: whatever makes the bad guy go away will do. Shot placement means more than your choice of weapon or caliber, and even the fellow with the most range time will be shaky and full of adrenaline when things go south. So, in theory, a laser will help you keep your shots center mass on the bad guy, or the 10 ring on the range target, with a little more accuracy and not making your house (or the neighbor’s) Swiss cheese. It also won’t affect night vision as much as a bright tactical light either. This laser does all that in theory, but since neither Hubby nor I have had time to range test it since the arrival of our new puppy, we can only say it certainly looks the part. It easily mounts to a variety of weapons with Picatinny or Weaver rails, but is quite large and the adjustment screws don’t seem to have a way to lock them (Hubby says some blue Loctite might work), so you may be constantly having to re-tighten the mount and/or zero it back in,  and without a bench vise that last part will be very tricky. It’s also quite long, as you can see from the pictures, as the end of the laser extends even beyond the frame of a large semi-auto pistol, and quite a distance beyond the end of a compact-ish pistol. You turn it on from the little button on the back, which means mounting any closer tot he finger guard makes turning it off and on impossible. It’s not heavy, but with the size it is I’d have expected it to project better in full daylight. It’s nearly impossible to see in full sunlight, so it’s useless at an outdoor range. What you have here is essentially a compact, office laser pointer with a simple universal aluminum mount.

The major advantages here are the super low price and near universal mounting capability, as well as availability of LR-44 type button cell batteries (this unit takes 3, & yes they are included) as a high-quality weapon laser can run you upwards of $50-$100 or more. This one is just $11.99 (at the time of this review), but you can see all the shortcomings of a cheap laser here, and honestly, I would not trust my life, or my family’s, to this product. Fine for an indoor range to practice, or maybe for a tacti-cool look, but functionally it leaves a lot to be desired.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from TWorld. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Island’s Miracle Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

I was a huge fan of using oils and incense to add scented ambiance to a room for decades now, and it seems technology has caught up with me and I’ve learned that scented candles can be bad (fire hazards, soot and particulate matter), and the old method of oils on a tea light diffuser (oil and fire…what could go wrong?) has plenty of inherent risks, so what’s a gal to do?

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Go with something fabulous like Island’s Miracle Essential Oil diffuser. It’s flame free, portable, electric, lightweight and works amazing. It has seven rotating LED colors, which can also be turned off to not have a disco effect to ruin a room’s ambiance. It’s virtually silent for an ultrasonic unit, and the scents fill a room quickly and completely. It has a built in six-hour timer, and an auto shutoff so one doesn’t use up the liquids and burn out the unit. I would like to be able to have a timer to set for less hours or for regular times on and off. But those are minor quibbles over what I consider a solid diffuser. It’s made well, and can blend into the background of any decor easily with the lights off. The room it’s in get’s filled with the scents of whatever oil you’ve chosen to use, and last for the entire day.

There’s quite a few diffusers on Amazon right now from various makers, most a slight variation of a single design. This unit from Island’s Miracle is unique looking, quite large (170ml), should easily fill up to a 500 sq. ft. room with scent, and it’s easy to clean. It’s competitively priced at $35.95 too. And with a “Risk-Free Money-Back Guarantee” attached, wherein if you’re unsatisfied with the product you just need to e-mail Island’s Miracle for a full refund, I don;t see a reason why you wouldn’t want to see if this Essential Oil Diffuser is for you, t00!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Island’s Miracle. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Tworld’s Adjustable and Foldable Rifle Bipod

Another day, another disappointing weapon accessory from overseas. The Quality Control in China on these products is abysmal, and the Tworld Adjustable Rifle Bipod is on exception. Parts were bent, damaged, scraped and jagged, possible from shipping, but possibly from poor manufacturing. Let’s get to the good on this bipod, though.

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It can be easily mounted onto an existing swivel stud, or onto a Weaver or Picatinny style rail. It secures easily once you get the hang of it, and it takes some trial and error because there’s no instructions included. Plus everything is coated in that cheap machine oil, so a good wipe-down was in order immediately. The legs adjust from 6 to 9 inches, and can even be even set to different lengths should your blind or ground be uneven beneath you. The legs snap down hard and stay down, but do not lock, instead relying on tension from the springs that help actuate them. The non-slip rubber feet should hold the bipod in place long enough to get a sight picture as well.

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The bad is, as mentioned, the terrible QC, the fit and finish is equally as bad too. The lack of instructions, the poor packaging, and the sheer size and weight. This is a bipod that you don’t want to have to pick up and shoot on the move with, as it will unbalance the rifle something fierce.

In the end, it’s a cheap $20 disposable bipod from China that you can use as a beater, or for seeing if that kind of target shooting is for you, and then buy something better made that won’t be delivered looking as rough as this one.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from TWorld. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Home Furnishing’s Network Tool Kit

Nothing is worse than a spaghetti monster of wires all over the house. WiFi is awesome, probably one of the top 3 things that changed my life for the better. And yet, despite the level of convenience it provides, there are times you need to go wired. Except, unlike regular standard phone jacks all over our homes, RJ-45 type cables are not as ubiquitous. What’s a gal (or guy) to do?

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Home Furnishing has a simple all-in-one Network Tool Set that helps make running CAT-5 cables to your high-bandwidth devices so much easier. With a combo plier/crimper, wire stripper, cable tester, network connector, and 100 RJ-45 tips to customize CAT-5 (or 6 or 7) lengths to your specific needs. Now, I will admit the instructions were not written as clearly as I would like, and in some instances were downright confusing. SO, if you’re like me and running wiring isn’t you’re forte, you might have to break out your Google machine and get some pointers. The action on the crimpers/pliers was smooth enough, but the blade for the wire cutter in the handle is in a horrible place and might (probably will) cut the user eventually. Likewise the wire stripper could give problems because it requires you to bend a piece of plastic and as anyone who’s bent plastic over and over knows, that means it will eventually break. The major upside is you get the entire kit for under $15.00, which is what most charge for just the crimper.

It’s a decent value for the home DIY’er looking to crimp a few cables and clean up a mess of wound-up wires and only use it once or twice without breaking the bank. But this isn’t a tool built for longevity or for constant repeated use, so if that’s what you need, you might want to look elsewhere.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Home Furnishing. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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