Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Five Toe Shoes for that Barefoot Feeling!

Vibram Five Finger Toe Shoes

Review of Vibram Five Toe Shoes

There are two popular makes of Toe Shoes: Vibram Toe Shoes and File Skele. My son requested these for his birthday and of course, that request resulted in this research!
The most preferred brand is Vibram Five Toe Shoes, however, if you're looking for a slightly less expensive Toe Shoe then Fila's are also a good choice.
The notable difference between the two shoes is that while Vibram Toe Shoes have 5 toe slots, Fila Skele comes with 4; The last two toes on Fila Skele-Toes are a shared slot.
You'll also notice that Vibram Toe Shoes are designed to shape the foot, where Fila Skele is less of a contoured fit and have more of a ridged bottom. Vibram's were specifically designed to emulate a barefoot feeling and thus are shaped like a foot.

Why Wear Five Toe Shoes?

There's a great deal of evidence that running barefoot allows a person to run faster and farther with less injury.
Vibram Toe Shoes are designed so that you land directly below your center of gravity...which would be on your forefoot. This type of shoe gives you less of an impact and provides better balance while giving you more propulsion.
Since you're in a simulated barefoot shoe, you'll be able to sense more of the impact on your feet and thus make adjustments to improve agility and balance. This is one of the reasons Runners love these type of shoes. These Toe Shoes are also structured to help strengthen the muscles in the lower legs and feet.
In the case of my son, he's not a runner, he just decided these would be comfy and wanted a pair!
So Here's what I found out about the different brands:

For Women, Men, Boys, and Girls

There are various designs of Vibram Toe Shoes. Below is a breakdown of which designs are available
for Men and Women:
Women's Vibram Toe Shoes: Komodosport, Classic, Sprint, Jaya, Jaya LR, Flow, KSO, Treksport, Kso Trek, Performa Jane, Bikila, Bikila LS
Men's Vibram Toe Shoes: Komodosport, Classic, Sprint, Flow, KSO, Treksport, KSO Trek, Bikila, Bikila LS
Kids Vibram Toe Shoes: Boys KSO, Girls KSO

For Running, Fitness, Water Sports, Yoga, Trekking, Traveling, & After Sports

Running: Bikila, Sprint, Flow, KSO, Trek Sport, KSO Trek, Bikila LS, Komodo Sport
Fitness: Bikila, Classic, Sprint, KSO, Trebk Sport, Performa Jane, Jaya LR, Komodo Sport, Bikila LS, Jaya
Water Sports: Sprint, Flow, KSO
Yoga: Classic, Sprint, KSO, Performa Jane
Trekking/Hiking: Flow, KSO, Trek Sport,
For Travelling: Classic, Sprint, KSO, Trek Sport, KSO Trek, Performa Jane, Jaya LR, Bikila LS, Jaya
Unwinding/Relaxation: Classic, Sprint, KSO, Trek Sport, Performa Jane, Jaya LR, Jaya
The most popular all around Toe Shoes are the Vibram KSO Toe Shoes, which are the ones I've decided to go with.

Here's a useful video review:



Review by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, February 15, 2015

How to Successfully Clean Grout

Colorfast Grout Colorant

How to Clean Grout - A Review of the Products & Methods We Used

The best way we found to clean grout was to paint and seal it. Forget trying to scrub the dirt out of the grout lines 'til your arms fall off. We used this Colorfast Grout Colorant. You'll see some before and after pictures of our kitchen floor.
We've tried a few different ways to clean the grout on our ceramic floors - We've used a steamer (maybe you've seen that method advertised on the shopping channel) and we've even gotten down on our hands and knees and tried to bleach out those ugly dark lines with a toothbrush!
Guess what, both the steamer method and the hard-labor scrubbing method worked as well, but not even close to what this product did for our floors. Make sure you look at the before and after picture so you can see the final result.
Our kitchen tile floor was white, but the grout that was originally used by the builder of our house (19 years ago), was a light greyish color. I've never really liked that look - you know, where you see square
Here is our kitchen floor - Before on the left,
 on the right, After
tiles defined by grout lines that essentially make the tiles appear to be checkered on the floor.
After researching numerous product options for cleaning our grout, my husband decided to give this tile grout paint/sealer a try. It was a wise choice!
He selected the white grout colorant and carefully followed the instructions that came with the product. He put the colorant directly on the light grey grout but prepped the tile grout first according to the instructions. He put two coats, and applied it until the color of the tile grout was nice and white and clean looking. Note: you may not need two coats, we just decided to do it.
Also, we had a couple of chips in the white tile squares, and we HATED the look of that! So instead of going the route of replacing tiles, he simply dabbed the chipped areas with this grout paint.
Heavy Duty Steamer
Our plan is to eventually do a full kitchen renovation, but in the meantime we wanted to do something that would give our kitchen a bit of a clean facelift....because we really didn't like those dark lines!
It also seals the grout at the same time, so that dirt and grime have a harder time penetrating the surface and thus dirtying it up again! We've had it on our floors now for four months and it still looks great.
I'm not naive enough to think that this grout paint and sealer will last forever, and I'm sure at some point my husband will have to do a reapplication...but...so far so good - and YES my house has a lot of traffic - 6 people! (four boys!)
So, if you decide to go this route to clean your tile floor grout, just be sure you select the color you want and follow the directions on the package.
A Heavy Duty Steamer
If you would rather use a steamer to clean your tile grout,here's the floor steamer we've actually used - This can be used for so many other things as well - We've steamed the mattresses, the floors, tile grout, draperies, and even used it to steam the carpets in our car. It works very well, but it won't change the color of your grout - it will simply get the dirt out.

ADDED BONUS TIP:

When you use a grout colorant that is close in color to the overall color of the actual tile, it aids in the tile appearing more like one-continuous-piece.
In a smaller space, having tiles appear as individual squares can contribute to the room seeming even smaller. So the more you're able to get the floor to look as though it flows as one piece, the better for size impression.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Review of The Best PC to PC Transfer Device

PC to Pc Transfer Device
I can't say enough good things about this PC to PC data transfer device! We've had this Tornado Data Transfer Tool for years and years: I'm trying to remember what year my husband bought it...maybe 2005 or 2006?

Of course since then we've had to transfer data numerous times from an old PC to a new PC and it's still as easy to use now as it was then!
I Was Really Mad that My Husband Bought Yet Another Gadget!
Well let's hope he never reads this page, 'cause he was right about this gadget...well worth the money and not expensive! To be fair, he knows he was right about this one already; I've admitted it to him! Big girls don't cry? lol.
The thing sat in it's package for a few years before I actually took it out to use it! My first thoughts on new devices are usually how they're going to suck hours out of my day trying to learn and configure them...you get the picture! Well, well, well, it turns out it's as simple as 1,2,3!
  1. Plug the USB in One Computer
  2. Plug the Other USB end in the Other Computer
  3. Open up the Tornado on both computers, read the screen and drag and drop to transfer
Seriously, it's that easy! On both computers, the screen says 'This Computer' and 'The Other Computer' so you can easily know which files are on which!
Again, at that point, just drag and drop the files you want to transfer.
My Most Recent Computer Crisis - and How I Used It
Yep, I was having computer troubles...pulling my hair out and thinking about wine! Anyway, I quickly pulled out this device to transfer all the data to another laptop - (I have too much info for Cloud Storage...maybe eventually I'll go down that road).In no time flat, all my data was protected. Today I transferred all my data back to a new laptop. Again, fast and painless!
Best Part, I've never had the pain-in-the-rear compatibility problem that can sometimes happen when you get a new laptop; The Tornado has worked on every version of windows that we've used, without a hitch - currently 8.1 - Not only that, I was able to transfer even if one computer had one version of windows and the other was different. So hubby was right to get this device years ago! shhh.
Other Ways to Transfer Data
Of course there are many other ways to back-up and transfer data: Windows Easy Transfer, Cloud Computing, Other Software Programs, Wireless Transfer between devices if you're set up for that, or Using an External Hard Drive. I've tried 'Windows Easy Transfer' and for me it wasn't that easy! I prefer this device.
Here you can watch The Tornado File Transfer Tool in action: 

Although this video goes back to 2007 (ish), you'll still get to see how easy this is to use! And Best of all, how to use it hasn't changed despite the constant changes in technology since then!



By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Turn An Ordinary Rock Into an Oil Lamp

Yes, you can make a rock into a lamp like the one seen here. My friend, Shelley, recently published a tutorial, Caveman Lamp for a Modern Table, on Hubpages and I would love to share it with you.

Shelley used to work for a "home and garden" magazine and learned a great deal about crafting home decor during her tenure there.

It might be hard to believe that my friend (who is a real lady) made this de-light-ful lamp from an ordinary rock. In her tutorial, Shelley shows you exactly what products she used to craft this cozy lamp. I will tell you that on a scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (difficult), this project will probably be a 5. Having the help of a resident "caveman" would come in handy, I am sure. Shelley also makes recommendations for products to use for making this oil lamp. Her step-by-step instructions make this craft project a do-able one.  I honestly think that even this "Wilma" could make a rock into an oil lamp without the help of a "Fred, but I am really quite handy. My husband might not realize this fact because I allow him to believe that he is the head caveman.

I can just picture a set of these rock oil lamps on the railing of my deck. Shelley says that one can use citronella oil in the reservoir to ward off bugs if you use these lamps for outdoor lighting. Ah, the bug free atmosphere is already calling me to find some rocks and get drilling!









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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On Belonging, Astonishment, and Becoming Spring


Each Petal a Heart... My Heart
“Every spring is the only spring—a perpetual astonishment.”  ~Ellis Peters

There are mornings, such as these, when I am baptized by astonishment.  And in these moments of breathtaking wonder, I belong—I belong to the land, to the first wildflowers of the season, to the mountain chickadee and bluebirds, the oriole, the purple martins, and the mighty hummingbirds.

What is the purpose of green living if not this—to belong to that which is a perpetual astonishment?  Without that sense of surprise and sheer delight, the days would merely be hours.

I’m supposed to be writing reviews, but my spirit wants to sing a different song as this glorious day unfolds.  To deny the song would render my writing moot.  One can only write what one feels deeply, madly, and truly. 

On what feels like the first day of spring I have ever truly known, the words that want to be written are tender, unfurling leaves.  To stand under a young elm tree, witnessing buds giving birth to green... how does one review that? 

Perhaps, if I get still, and quiet, and deeply absorb all this green, it will become embedded in my DNA and I can be a perpetual spring. Wouldn't that be something to write on my heart?



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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Writing for the Party Planning Niche

This week, I was asked the following question and I wanted to address it here on the Review This! blog. A visitor (lurker, really -- she reads a lot but is afraid to dive into the writing) asked me:

"How can you tell a story about party planning? You have a very hard task!"

Glad you asked! I'm gonna tell you.

The Basics of Storytelling

You can tell a story about almost anything. Stories are told day in and day out in print, online, videos, television and radio. Commercials are mini-stories -- or at least the good ones are. I apply the storytelling philosophy to everything write -- whether it's on Squidoo or on one of my websites.

People react well to stories. They look for parallels in our lives -- things they can relate to and then act or react accordingly.

So how does all this tie in with writing for a party planning niche? Easy. Tell the story.

Parties in Our Lives

Every single one of us has planned and/or hosted some sort of party(ies) in our lives. 1st birthday, a sweet 16, a weddding, a St. Patrick's Day party, an anniversary, a Super Bowl party...

Write about that particular party and your specific experiences.

For instance, last year, my niece turned 16. My sister asked me to help her plan the Sweet 16 party. I did, it was a blast and I wrote a lens about it -- Sweet 16 -- Let the Planning Begin.

It tells the story and gives examples (pictures) of ideas others can build on for their party planning needs. It also showcases some products I used during the planning. That's the key. Display products that you actually use(d) and tell people "How" you use them. Otherwise, your lens or article will sound like an ad copywriter spewing features of something they need to sell.

Yes, we sell. There is no shame in that. But, we sell what we use, have experience with and tell a story of what, where, why and how we used it. That's valuable to internet searchers. How do I know?

Because the Sweet 16 lens I just mentioned above --  on average, it stays in the high 2nd teir, makes sales and has been pinned 364 times from the Squidoo page (others repin the pin). I have had more than one person contact me (I do suggest you make sure your Squidoo contact button is turned on) asking specific questions and even sending me photos of their party my article inspired them to plan. That's a great feeling.

Start Writing About Your Parties

Think of the parties you have helped with or hosted. Did your neice just turn one? Did your sister have a baby shower? Are your parents celebrating a big anniversary? Did your brother have an engagement party? Did your son just graduate from high school? Are you hosting your annual St. Patrick's Day party?

All these life occasions usually involve celebrations of some sort. Let's hear about them, brag about what you did! It can help others that are looking for ideas and inspiration!

I came across a lens recently that does a great job of telling the story of planning her daughter's birthday party. It's titled Monster High Birthday Party Ideas written by BellaMommyDesigns. She wrote from her experience and shared photos, products and ideas to inspire others in their party planning.

So, as long as you attack the writing from the perspective of relaying personal experience or storytelling, anyone can write about planning parties! Come join me and let me help you promote your writing! Visit me at Party Planning Contributor at Hubpages. Can't wait to read what you write!


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Friday, February 7, 2014

A Little Romance with Elvis

 A Little Romance with Elvis
Most of us have great memories associated with Elvis and his music. We can remember the first time we heard Elvis sing. We remember his movies, his good looks and his charming smirks. To this day, I am tickled when I view videos and I see him do that little half smile while he is singing.

Many of his songs are important to us and are associated with someone we knew, dated, fell in love with or even married. Elvis touched our hearts in his own special way and we all know where we were and what we were doing when his death was announced. 


Elvis changed music, he influenced lives and he left us wanting more.


The writers featured here today share their memories, those magic moments that included Elvis and his songs.
 


Can't Help Falling in Love


These are both most excellent reviews of the same song, but from a totally different perspective.  I can easily identify with each one.  I have absolutely no problem believing Elvis sang this song to both a woman and to God.  The expression of not being able to help "falling in love" would easily be true for either and I do agree with TheCureforYouthMinistry, Elvis did love gospel music and I do truly believe he loved God.  I don't doubt for one second that he did smile over the use of this song in church.

https://amzn.to/2CCtlYz
Cherylfay shares her own personal memories of falling in love and her association with this song in Can't Help Falling in Love.  She recalls in vivid detail exactly how she felt when her own blue eyed babe winked at her.

This is truly a fun article to read.  Who knows.  She just might make you start remembering too!

TheCureforYouthMinistry shares a completely different perspective in this article, The First Time I Heard Elvis in Church.  I have personally never heard anyone sing "Can't Help Falling in Love" in church, but I think it is totally applicable and appropriate with just the portion of the lyrics that say "take my whole life too".  I also love the idea of using popular music to make a spiritual point.  I would have thought that was awesome as a youth or young adult.  Even now, I can truthfully say  I will never again hear the song exactly the same way now that TheCureforYouthMinistry has caused me to listen to the song in a totally different way.   



 

Love Songs with Elvis

https://amzn.to/2GCaJur
Grammieo  delights us all with Can Anyone Say SwoonJust the title of the article says it all and made me smile.  

I can understand why Grammieo decided to review the full album instead of just one song.  It really is difficult to choose just one favorite.

Join Us and Share Your Elvis Memories

It is not too late for you to join us! We would love for you to share your memories and tell us all about your favorite Elvis song.

Would you believe there are over 100 romantic songs by Elvis?  Feel free to review more than one song if you so desire. 

 

Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow, What You Can Review Today!



Forever Hopeless Romantics on Facebook





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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let's Party! I'm the Party Planner Contributor on Review This

Hi there. Welcome to Review This! My name is Mandee and I am the Party Planner Contributor on Review This. I am tasked with recruiting more writers for the Party niche as well as getting our helpful articles out there to be found on the internet.

I currently also have a couple of websites in the party planning niche where I also write about all aspects of hosting parties. Anything from food/menu, decorations, themes, buffet table set up, gifts and more can be found on Squidoo as well as my sites.

I want to formally invite you to start writing with me! If you have ever held or helped with planning a party or any sort, you qualify. That means 99.9% of us are qualified. Sharing your ideas, suggestions and experiences with others from all over the globe via the internet will help us all when it comes to hosting our next party or event.

It's not hard, I promise. In fact, I think you'll have fun! You don't have to be a journalist, English major or have any other requirements. All you do need is to love helping others and sharing your experiences.

DebW07 did that here in her review of a party planning book: Top Tips for Planning a Memorable Party.

Parties Fill Our Lives 

All of our lives are filled with occasions that can be, and often are, celebrated with parties and get-togethers. Occasions like:

  • Baby Showers
  • Bridal Showers
  • Graduations
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Promotions
  • Retirements
  • Engagements
  • Weddings
  • Reunions (family and school)
  • Proms & School Event
Choosing decorations, colors and themes as well as planning the menu, guest list and activities can be a daunting task. Some love it, some hate it but we all seem to do it at one point or another. That's how we can help each other -- by sharing.

Sharing what worked, what didn't -- menu ideas -- diy decorating ideas & projects -- best sources for invitations, decor, gifts -- and lots more -- will only help the next time we plan a party.

Start Writing and Helping Others

If you are interested in helping me out, join Squidoo. It's a FREE platform where you can write about your experiences and share your advice. You can even earn a little money by featuring products you used to make the party picture perfect! What are you waiting for?

If you are charged up and want to get started right away -- here are a couple of ideas for you. You can review a party planning book you own or have read from this list or, if you have a favorite 3 tiered serving stand you use at all parties, choose it from this list.

So, start going through those picture albums of cousin Cindy's wedding reception, your sorority sister's baby shower, and little Lucy's 1st birthday party. If you helped plan and execute those events, you can help others with your experiences.


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