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.

Bouchard Chocolates 72% Cacao Fine Belgian Dark Chocolate

We are unabashed chocolate junkies in this house, and we usually don’t discriminate, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t discerning. There’s some really, really good craft chocolates out there, and some really, really bad stuff you can find at the supermarket checkout lane that shouldn’t (and sometimes even can’t) legally be called chocolate. But, in swoops Bouchard Chocolate to show you what’s good about good chocolate. And, sadly, what’s bad about a company looking to increase their presence in the U.S. but shot itself in the foot.

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To start, it’s a good chocolate, despite arriving during a now-customary California Fall heatwave. We’re talking 100+ temps in late September. I feared the worst, but most of the Napolitains arrived intact. More than a few were melted and toast, but I’ll use those for baking. The bag I received was simple cellophane, understated and all about the product within. It’s a dark chocolate (72% cacao content), but I can’t find a list of ingredients, nor did I get anything listing them, nor does the website list them…you kind of get where I’m going here. So, tastewise it’s pretty good. It’s comparable, favorably, to Green & Blacks, which is a pricey but good chocolate you can find almost anywhere. It’s smooth, not gritty, melts in your mouth without any lingering sugars after, and slightly bitter to the tongue, but in the way a good chocolate should be. The small morsels in the packet I got were good for a light snack when you’re needing that chocolate fix, but don’t want to gorge (yes, it’s happened here. Too often!).

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And that’s it for the good. The bad is that this company is doing a positively lousy job of getting to market. The company name and product has been around in some form or fashion since 1931. It’s roots trace back to the fine chocolatiers  in Ghent, Belgium with an award winning recipe for fine chocolate. But good luck finding a decent web presence, or price point, or e-commerce site for them. I couldn’t, and none was supplied for me to promote with. No ingredient list, no “Where to Buy”, just a lot of pretty pictures and florid prose, but no substance. In this country, we call that “All sizzle and no steak”. It’s a fine product, probably top 5 of all the chocolates I’ve had recently. And while they told me to mention that their product can be found in Costco Warehouses around the country, near weekly visits by Hubby has yet to locate any in the wild. Nothing on Amazon, Costco.com, no way to buy or even price. I can’t even tell you if it’s a value. And that’s a real shame. Since the company was acquired by Halloren Chocolate Group in 2014, they wanted to quickly get the name out there. That’s only a good strategy if you make your product readily available, and as of this writing, they have not. I’d love to recommend the chocolate, because it tastes divine. But I don’t know where to point you other than “Supposedly Costco”, and I can’t tell you how much it costs, what other types of products they have, what they’re made with… Ugh, so frustrating to see a good product doomed by terrible (or non-existent) marketing.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bouchard Chocolate. 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 Premium Aromatherapy Gift Kit

 

A little while ago, I told you about an awesome Essential Oil Diffuser from Island’s Miracle, and this time I’m here to share with you Island’s Miracle’s Essential Oil Aromatherapy Gift Collection. It’s the perfect companion for Island’s Miracle Diffuser. And together these are potent aromatherapy powerhouse that, with today’s streses and strains should be in everyone’s home, like, yesterday!

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There are 10 different essential oils in this fabulous gift set, Frankincense, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Tea tree (Melaleuca), Patchouli, Rosemary, and Silver Fir. These are pure, undiluted oils, not loaded with fillers, additives, or “carrier oils” (cheaper oils that dilute the essence of the scented essential oils but themselves provide no scent). And the testing Island’s Miracle uses is bananas! Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, FTIR Scan (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), Microbial Testing, and Organoleptic Testing… Holy moley! If only our food supply was tested that well in this country! All of them are therapeutic grade and ultra-premium. The gift box they come in even includes information on what effect you can expect to derive from the oil, country of origin, and scent family to expect. And lest you think you’re getting some sample-size collection here, all ten bottles are a generous 10ml size.

And all this for a very reasonable $35.95 with free Prime 2-day shipping. Coupled with their fantastic diffuser, and with the holidays right around the corner, you’ve got a gift that will keep on giving the entire year! This is a good set from a real company that puts a great deal of thought and care into their products and I’m happy to help them spread the word about their goods. I love my set and I know a few people who can expect an Island’s Miracle gift set under their tree soon!

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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.

Revel Home’s Monarch I 30” Swivel Bar Stool with Wood Accent

I’ve gotten to test and try a lot of things over the years, but a piece of furniture is a first, and it’s a pretty nifty first! Revel has a winner with their Monarch 30″ Swivel Bar Stool. With “Old Steel” and real wood accents, it’s got style and panache to spare.

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With a “knotted” steel back topped with real solid wood, a comfortable, plush “distressed” leather seat, a full 360 degree swivel and a footrest, it’s got all the features you could want. Revel Home even included a set of soft felt feet in case you have delicate flooring that requires a soft touch. The swivel is smooth and doesn’t bind at all. The steel construction is good, even if the brown, almost antique bronze-colored powder coating has nicks and damage that the factory thought covering with flat black paint was sufficient, and it looks awful. Thankfully it’s not too prevalent and mostly in places one wouldn’t think to look, but it’s there. Assembly was a breeze and took about 20 minutes, and Hubby did it by himself too.  I would recommend a thread locker like blue Loctite when assembling, because there were no lock washers and sometimes the bolts will work themselves loose over time. The style goes with almost any decor, and it’s rock-solid when fully assembled.

The one drawback I see here is the price. At $124.99, it’s markedly more expensive than similar items on places like Amazon, Target, Lowes and Home Depot, and that’s not even shopping the big furniture retailers like Wayfair and others. I still recommend it for the quality and ease of assembly, and the build quality is top notch, but be aware you’re paying a premium price for the product.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Revel. 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.

William & Douglas 4-Piece Ravioli Maker Set

Few things are as yummy as fresh, home-made ravioli. And while with much practice one can develop the skills to make them at home without specialized tools, many of us, myself included, just don’t have the time to develop that particular skillset. So along comes William & Douglas and their nifty 4-Piece Ravioli Maker Set, looking all cool and begging for me to use them!

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All the tools sport solid hardwood handles and zinc-alloy metal cutting edges. They’re not sharp so they should be safe for the entire family to use! I would have preferred stainless steel, but in the long run unless I use them way too vigorously than I should they should last a good long time. I would advise against dishwashers, because the zinc-alloy can start to oxidize, and the hardwoods can split if that’s where you decide to wash them, but it’s not advisable by me or the company. I love the little rolling pin tool, because a full sized-rolling pin can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth, and can be overkill for a small batch of ravioli and make a disaster on the counter.

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These tools are easy to use and are ergonomic enough that making large batches won’t cramp your hands or be to taxing on the arms. And William & Douglas offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase. I liked them well enough and would recommend them for both the experienced user or novice home chef.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from William & Douglas. 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.

LK Baby’s “Heavy Duty Collapsible Trunk Organizer

If you’re like me you need to make more than a few stops to get groceries. Like, sometime 5 or 6 stops. All in different cities. And the one thing that gets Hubby’s goat more than anything are the “nickle-and-dime tactics” of markets that want you to pay for a bag. So thankfully, LK Baby offered us another car trunk organizer that has made our shopping trips a lot less frustrating.

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See, we both get when a city has decided to ban plastic grocery bags. The reasoning is specious at best and the results are marginal, but hey, it’s pure profit for everyone involved (except the consumer). And charging for paper bags? When they’re made from the cardboard boxes they get their products delivered in? Give me a break! So I’m sure I’m not the only person who had things rolling around in the trunk or back seat because you’ve gotten tired of everyone having their hand in your pocket. And Starling’s is a lifesaver, because their organizer is big, spacious, sturdy and oh-so-helpful getting stuff from the truck to the house. It’s well-built and strong enough that we stuffed all our Costco purchases in it, and could easily carry everything in with no fear of dropping anything or the organizer being strained. It’s covered in water resistant nylon fabric, which means cold things sweating, or light spills, are not a problem. The bottom is unfortunately not rubberized, unlike the Starling’s version I previously tested, and the carry handles on the sides are strong and sturdy. You can customize the divider inside, or only open up half to minimize the space it takes up. I’m in love. And the dividers have done a fantastic job of keeping cold, warm, and non-food items all away from one another. There’s room in the pockets for more stuff, on all sides, and should one feel the need, you could store everything you’d need for any roadside emergency in Starling’s organizer, with room to spare. and when you’re done with it, it folds right back up, nice and flat and takes up practically no space at all.

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We’ve bought cheap-o organizers for the car and truck before. They always fell apart, broke down, or weren’t made to last and got tossed. But for only $19.99, you get a rock-solid trunk organizer that holds way more than you’d think, and does more than you can imagine.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from LK Baby. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Smarson WIFI HD Digital Action Sports Camera

You know a product is a hit when there are countless imitators and knock-offs of your innovation. Sometimes, it’s a product slapped together to cash in on a craze and it’s junk. Sometimes, it’s about making a quality product that comes in at a fraction of the price to open the market to buyers who’d never have thought about, say, an HD action camera before. Smarson isn’t the former, it’s definitely the latter.

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We got a cheap-o HD action cam this summer to play around in the pool with the dog and record the memories. Sadly, though “Bresser” claimed full HD, the picture quality was poor, with washed out color and grainy video. And that was where Smarson’s camera shined. The picture was crystal-clear in outdoor light and there was no judder with quick “action” scenes (As much action as a 12 year-old dog can muster!). And there was a host of accessories included to make mounting your camera on nearly any surface possible. At 12 mp, and full 1080p (1920 x 1080) recording (30fps), you get all the clarity of high definition recording, or you can downgrade your image to 720p and go up to 60fps for great slo-mo. you get mutiple shooting modes, (treble shot function, time lapse, continuous shooting, self-timer, and driving mode), a 170 degree wide angle lens, and a similar user interface to the industry leader, the GoPro series of cameras. And, at this price point, you also get WiFi capabilities via Smarson’s iSmartDV App (for iOS and Android 4.4 and up), which is a real bonus to me, even if the range for the wifi is pretty limited (around 10-15 feet, line of sight). It’s small but rugged, and the build seems solid, unlike the other bargain brand action cam I tried that felt flimsy and the battery cover would constantly fall off. The included lucite case is dust and dirt proof and water-resistant up to 30 meters. My pool is only 9 feet deep, so I can safely say from experience it’s solid up to 9 feet! The included 3.7v 900mAh battery is rated for as much as 90 minutes of continuous recording, Thought I’ve gotten up to three hours of off-and-on recording in one afternoon with juice left after. But never worry, the camera will run off the included micro-USB cable and wall adapter, so you’re never without juice. I also had good success with up to a 32gb micro-SD card, and on that card you could record and store a few hours of full HD videos.

And while there is plenty of bang for your buck here, a couple of things are not particularly great. At the $50 price point, you get a lot of value, and a cheap 4gb micro SD card should really be included like most action cams do at this price point, so you can go right out of the box. And while almost every GoPro accessory should work perfect with this awesome Smarson HD Action Cam, the battery is non-standard and getting a replacement or spare might prove troublesome. Also, the 1.5″ TFT LCD at the rear is soooo tiny, with the screen to bezel ratio being almost 50-50. But, again, the value here is undeniable and the quality for the price is top-notch. I feel the positives far outweigh the negatives enough that this Smarson camera earns a full 5 stars from me.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Samrson. 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.

CVLIFE Two Point Adjustable Rifle Sling


A rifle sling can be a very important, and often overlooked, accessory. Whether it’s a three-gun competition, or a home defense situation, a sling often can mean the difference between keeping your rifle at hand or taking the chance of fumbling it when called upon.

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CVLife’s Two-Point Adjustable Rifle Sling is adequate for all but the professional shooter or professional soldier who’s life or livelihood may depend on it. It is made from study enough braided nylon with “bungee” type ends that have enough give in them to be useful without being restricting or affecting aim. My Husband easily modified his to a single-point sling by clipping one end onto one of the open portions of the other, so that there’s no slide or binding. The clips are strong, if a little on the small-ish side to manipulate with gloves or large fingers, but they easily clip on to the standard sling points on my Husband’s rifle. The srping is strong with no wiggle or give either. There’s no way to simply modify this sling to accept a quick-detach option short of ripping the seams and re-sewing one in, so keep in mind that you’re limited to the clip-on style of attachment with this sling.

As I said, a perfectly adequate harness for the occasional user, or hobby shooter, and the price reflects that as well. At $9.99, it’s a perfect entry-level sling and should fit the needs of almost every casual user.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from CVLIFE. 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.

Vivant Skin Care’s Maxilip Lip Plumper

I’m always up for trying new beauty products, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some and greatly let down by others. This one falls somewhere in between, at least for me and my experience.

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I have used lip plumper glosses in the past, such as lipsticks that contain the ingredients that aid with such results.  What makes Vivant Skin Care’s Maxilip Lip Plumper different from the rest, this is not just made in balm form but also provides moisturizing ingredients.  Plumping agents from the past tended to dehydrate and stress the skin on your lips.  In other words, you paid a price for using them and especially on a regular basis.  Your lips would suffer and plumping lips that are chapped and peeling is not a good look, especially if they get red and inflamed.   I have had products even cause a negative reaction and not only do what I stated above, but caused cracks and bleeding.  That is one week of recovery at least with no lip anything but plain moisturizers.  Let’s say I got good at doing my eye make-up!  This balm from Vivant Skin Care allows me to suffer zero consequences and it minimally plumps my lips with no immediate adverse side effects.  I have even at times reached for the balm just to add moisture to my lips, so it’s more than just wanting fuller lips. The Maxilip Lip Plumper balm made my lips healthier plus gave them a little boost, sort of like a comfortable bra for lips with a little augmentation.  My only negative remarks is the petroleum by-products used are known carcinogens (petrolatum), I would love to see that replaced in the formula because Vivant Skin Care’s Maxilip Lip Plumper does have a good thing going here that needs in my opinion some tweaking.  There’s minimal tingling and discomfort, and no pain, but there may be a price to pay for ongoing and continued use. The price point I do feel is a bit high for how the product performs.  Yes, my lips were plumped but not what I feel $28 worth of plumping!  That was a little negative to see because it works but just not that well and the agent that causes the fuller lip look does not last as well as it does in other brands.  I see a $15.99 to $19.99 value, not a $28.00 (direct from the company).  Third party sellers on Amazon have lower price points, so that would be an avenue to consider if I was buying the product.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Vivant Skin Care. 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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