Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure African Shea Butter: Review


Cleopatra's Choice logo
 
 Cleopatra's Choice is a company that was founded in 2005; they seek out and sell effective, high-end beauty and skin care products. Cleopatra's Choice offers a wide variety of unique products and delivers top-notch customer service. Customer satisfaction is their number one goal, so all purchases are shipped out within 24 hours and a money-back guarantee is in place for 90 days if you are at all unhappy. Cleopatra's Choice offers personalized customer service by phone or email, and enjoys thousands of happy customers! Not only are their products reasonably priced and quality; you also get three free samples with every purchase! Cleopatra's Choice takes their name from, you guessed it, the once queen of Egypt.

Cleopatra's Choice started out with a line of products that contain ingredients from the Dead Sea, and they have expanded to carry almost everything you can imagine in terms of beauty products. Here are just a few of the things you will find at Cleopatra's Choice:
  • Facial serums and moisturizers
  • Body wash and lotion
  • Nail Care
  • Self-tanners
  • Sexual Wellness
  • Shampoo and Conditioners
  • Hair masks and oils
  • Fragrances
  • Makeup
  • Nutrition Products






Cleopatra's Choice was generous enough to send me one pound of their 100% Pure African Shea Butter for the purpose of this review. I was excited, because I had only recently learned all of the benefits of Shea butter, and many of them apply to me! My skin is combination skin and has been going through some rough patches, literally. At the same time, I am combating little patches of acne that have decided to magically invade my life now that I am already in my twenties (?). On top of that, my hair is coarse and dry to begin with, and heating it with a straightener to remove my unruly waves only increases the damage. I knew that Shea butter was useful for all of these things, and more!

The 100% Pure African Shea Butter from Cleopatra's Choice comes in a one pound, plastic container, and is mostly formed into a solid "brick". Shea butter comes in two different varieties: Ivory and Yellow. I received the Ivory Shea butter. The container is recyclable, and will come surrounded by bubble wrap in perfect packaging with a quick shipment! As I've described before, Shea butter is a product of the Shea Tree nut, which is native to certain parts of Africa. Tribal women in Africa have a special process for harvesting the raw Shea butter. Cleopatra's Choice participates in fair trade - women subsistence farmers in Ghana, Africa are compensated. The organic, raw, and unrefined Shea butter is the only type of Shea butter that retains the FULL nutrients and vitamins of the Shea Tree Nut. Therefore, raw Shea butter has the BEST healing qualities.

Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure African Shea Butter is full of Vitamins such as Vitamins A and E, which are wonderful for your skin. Vitamin A is known to help treat a whole host of skin conditions and has antioxidant and healing properties. Vitamin E is great for healing and moisturizing. Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure African Shea Butter is free of parabans, sulfates, and petroleum. It is cruelty free! This Shea butter absorbs deeply for maximum, long lasting hydration. It is for topical use, and can be applied anywhere throughout the body. It is easiest to apply the Shea butter if you grab a small amount and warm it up in your palms before lathering it on. You can put it on your face, your neck, your arms, your hair.. the options are endless! Shea butter is great for use on cracked or irritated skin because it is a natural healer. Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure African Shea Butter is also great for use in fading stretch marks.

What else can this product help with?
  • Dark spots and skin discoloration
  • Blemishes and acne
  • Preventing and fading fine lines and wrinkles
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
  • Minor burns
  • Rough skin and calluses
  • Mosquito bites
  • And more!
 


Cleopatra's Choice Shea butter is very high-quality. Many people complain about the smell, but you have to remember, this is a raw product -- how do you think all those nice shampoos and conditioners get their scents? By adding in additional ingredients, most of the time chemicals. If you want what is best and most nutritionally beneficial to your skin, unrefined and organic Shea butter is the way to go. I actually don't mind the smell.. it is, to me, very subtle and non-irritating. It doesn't smell like roses, but it isn't horrid, or anything. It is earthy and nutty. This Shea butter is easy to apply, and I ended up using it on my face (especially where I have acne spring up), on my dry hands, and on my damaged hair. A lot goes a little way, so you really don't have to apply a ton. It is only slightly greasy when you first apply it, but not enough to clog up your pores or irritate your skin. In fact, it does the very opposite -- it has a moisturizing, soothing feel that really sinks into your skin. It doesn't absorb as fast as oils and serums, but it does a wonderful job of hydrating. I applied the Shea butter to the tips of my hair, where I tend to get split ends. My hair looked shiny and new after a few days, because it was actually retaining moisture! I really think my dry skin has been improving as well. I can't wait to see what this does for my stretch marks. Many have already faded, but I would like to see if this could help dull the color of the more purple stretch marks. I think this is a wonderful and versatile product, because there are so many uses for it. Not only can you use if for skin and hair...you can also use it as an ingredient to make your own soaps and lotions. You can even use it as a lip balm! I could really see myself using this on my cracked/dry lips in the winter.

You can purchase Cleopatra's Choice Shea Butter on the Cleopatra's Choice website, here, for just $14.00 per pound. If you buy two or more containers, they are only $12.00 each, and if you buy six or more, they are reduced to $10.00 each. You can also purchase this Shea Butter on Amazon, for $16.00 per pound, with free shipping.

Interested in learning more about Cleopatra's Choice? Check out the links below:


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AKVIS OilPaint Software Review




AKVIS was founded in 2004 by a team of IT professionals with software development and programming expertise; its headquarters are in Perm, Russia. AKVIS is dedicated to creating and selling professional image processing software that can be stand-alone or can function as a Photoshop plugin. Their programs are made for Windows and Mac OS X. The name AKVIS comes from a Russian fairy-tale, and refers to a horse that can make owner's dreams come true, very much like AKVIS' software can do for you! AKVIS encourages creative self-expression in their customers and prides themselves upon user-friendly, reasonably-priced and high-quality image software.

What kinds of programs does AKVIS offer?

AirBrush, ArtSuite (frames and effects for photos), ArtWork (painting for photos), Chameleon (photo collage), Coloriage (add color to black and white photos), Decorator (resurface and recolor), Draw (make photos look hand-drawn in pencil), Enhancer (adds detail to photos), HDRFactory (high dynamic range), LightShop (add lighting and star effects), Magnifier (change the size of images without compromising quality), MakeUp (for retouching), MultiBrush (image editing and drawing tools), NatureArt, Noise Buster (removes noise in photos), Pastel (creates pastel paintings), Refocus (removes blur), Retoucher, Sketch (converts your photo to a pencil sketch), SmartMask

I was lucky enough to receive a license key to try out AKVIS' OilPaint V.3.0 Software, for the purpose of this review. AKVIS OilPaint is software that you can use to transform pictures taken from your digital camera or your computer into life-like oil paintings! The program uses an actual algorithim of brush strokes that creates a realistic looking technique and image.

Oil paintings are beautiful, but if you create one on your own, they can be very time-consuming, and, in my case, not so cute. If you buy an oil painting, you will end up paying a lot more than you would for this software. With AKVIS' OilPaint V.3.0 you can print out and hang up images that look as if they were meticulously created on a canvas. The unique features of oil paintings, such as the wide, prominent brush strokes (which give the painting a rough quality), the bright colors, and the blending, are all replicated to perfection. This software is great for people that want to unlock their creative expression, but don't find themselves to be expert painters. Virtually any image will look great when transformed by AKVIS' OilPaint - from landscapes, to portraits, to abstract art.

AKVIS' OilPaint is very user-friendly, and comes with a detailed manual if you run into any problems. This is a picture of the interface below. As you can see, the layout is easy to visualize and the icon buttons make understanding this program simple.


The first thing that you would do to create your oil painting masterpiece is to select an image that you have saved from your computer. There is a little icon, as shown below, that you click on to select and upload your image.


What to choose? Anything will work. I chose a picture of my dog, Lulu, because this is something I could see myself printing out and hanging on the wall. She looks adorable in this picture, and I wanted to see what her face looked like when turned into an oil painting, as I can't really paint to save my life! I have zoomed in on the main portion of the interface below. Your image will pop up in the center, under a tab named 'Before" -- on the right, you will see a tab labeled "After". This is an easy way to flip back and forth between your images to see if you have the final touch that you want, or if you lost too much detail, etc.


 Below, I have zoomed in on the upper right hand side of the OilPaint interface. If you want to leave all of the features at default to see what your final image looks like, you can just hit the arrow and it will transform your image into an oil painting. This is the most basic function, without changing any of the different levels.



If you decide that you do not like your image, you can play around with the right hand sidebar. Here, you will find a variety of different features, all of which have a labeled explanation underneath them when you hover over the name. The painting tools you can use are as follows:
  • Simplicity - The higher this number is, the more rough the brush strokes are on your image, and the less detail you will have. You are adjusting the simplification of your image. A higher number will look more like a painting and a lower number will appear more realistic.
  • Saturation - Change the tone of your image by adding saturation. The higher the number, the more saturated, and the less like the original picture.
  •  Relief - Adds volume to your brush strokes
  • Max Stroke Length, Stroke Intensity, Stroke Thickness, Stroke Curvature, Extra Strokes - All of these options change the features of the actual brush strokes
  •  Mix  - Blends the brush strokes with the original image to soften the effects


There are also text and canvas features on the right hand panel. The canvas option is really cool! You can change the scale of the canvas, how bright it appears, and how embossed it appears. This makes your oil painting look even more realistic!


Here is the final image that I created using HIGH simplicity, which means that I added more brush strokes and lost a little detail, to make it look more like a realistic oil painting. I really like the way it turned out.


On the left hand side, there are also a few options that you can play around with. The first, 3D Brush tool, allows you to further personalize your new image by adding in additional brush strokes, volume, and relief. Every time I added them it looked like I messed up my image, but you might be better at it than me! This would be a great tool for abstract pictures turned oil paintings.

Another tool, the Oil Brush tool, allows you to make high-quality strokes that look like and imitate the real thing! As you use this tool, you do change the colors, as if you were actually blending and moving the paint around yourself.


If you image is done, there are three quick ways to have it for life -- you can click the save button to save it to your computer, the print button to print, or the globe button to share it on your social media outlets! Another option that I forgot to mention is that little pair of gears on the image below. This is called "batch processing", and it allows you to process multiple images using the same settings as the first.


 There are three options for purchasing AKVIS' OilPaint V.3.0, all good for one year of the program: a home license, a home deluxe license, and a business license. The Home License is $49 for the standalone version or the plugin, and is for non-commercial, personal use. You can register this software on a maximum of two computers. The Home Deluxe License is $69 and includes the plugin and standalone version. This is also for non-commerical, personal use, and can be registered on a maximum of two computers. The Business License is $89 and includes the plugin and standalone version. It is for commercial, profitable use, and can be registered on a maximum of two computers.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed the AKVIS OilPaint software. It is easier enough for ANYONE to understand and work with -- even people who aren't too familiar with image editing. The final images are beautiful and really do look like authentic oil paintings...with the canvas, brush strokes, and all! I think this is a great investment, especially for people with businesses or for people that want to advertise in a unique way. It is also great for people like me, who just want to print out awesome images to decorate the walls of their apartment!


Interested in learning more about AKVIS? Check out the links below:

YouTube


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Kernel Season's 8 Seasoning Gift Basket: Review & Giveaway!

 


 In 1999, the founder of Kernel Season's, Brian Taylor, began trying to make his popcorn more flavorful and exciting by mixing seasonings together. Shortly after, Brian teamed up with experts to develop a seasoning line which would have international success during 2005. Today, Kernel Season's is the leader in popcorn-seasonings, and also sells popcorn, popcorn oil, and popcorn poppers! Kernel Season's believes in making high-quality products that are chemical free and made with real ingredients. All of their products are gluten, MSG, and fat free!

Besides the items which are featured in this review, Kernel Season's offers the following:

  • Butter Spritzer
  •  Premium Popping Corn
  • Topping Oil
  • Hot Air Popper and Microwave Bowl
  • Popcorn Buckets and Grocery Totes
  • Caddies and Hats
  • Snuggies and T-Shirts
  • Popcorn Salt Seasoning, Milk Chocolate Caramel Seasoning, Buffalo Wing Seasoning, Cheesy Jalapeno Seasoning




Kernel Season's was extremely generous and offered to send me an 8 Seasoning Gift Basket in exchange for this review. I was thrilled, because guess what my favorite snack food is? That's right...POPCORN! I'd go as far as to say it may even be one of my favorite types of foods. I've loved popcorn ever since I was little.. from the microwave kind, to the kind you get at the movies, to the kind that you can air pop at home! Here's what came in this phenomenal gift basket: White Cheddar Seasoning, Nacho Cheddar Seasoning, Kettle Corn Seasoning, Butter Seasoning, Garlic Parmesan Seasoning, Bacon Cheddar Seasoning, Ranch Seasoning, Caramel Seasoning, and two microwave popcorn packets - one in "light" flavor and the other in "butter" flavor.

Each of Kernel Season's seasonings should be shaken well before use and should be stored in a cool, dry place. They will have a shelf-life of 18 months. They are very easy to use! If you have microwave popcorn, all you have to do is sprinkle one cap-ful on it once it is freshly popped, then close the bag and shake well. For air-popped popcorn, you should spray with Kernel Season's Spritzer or use some kind of butter to help the cap-ful of seasoning stick. These seasonings, although made with popcorn in mind, make great additions to many other dishes - the options are endless!



The Ranch Seasoning comes in a 2.7 oz container. In each serving (95 per container), it has 2 calories, 0g of fat, 65mg of sodium, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Buttermilk flavor blend (coconut oil, and corn syrup solids, salt, sugar, hydrolyzed corn protein, butter and buttermilk solids), onion powder, garlic powder, citric acid, sodium caseinate (from milk), parsley flavor, tomato powder, disodium inosinate and guanylate, silicon dioxide




Kernel Season's Ranch Seasoning is great on potatoes, pasta, pizza, vegetables, salad, and more. I am not a huge fan of ranch dressing and I LOVED this. I put it on air-popped popcorn, as well as on my mom's homemade vegetable pizza. It is full of flavor, and definitely a unique taste on both popcorn and pizza.



The White Cheddar Seasoning comes in a 2.85 oz container. In each serving (100 per container), it has 2 calories, 0g of fat, 75mg of sodium, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Cheddar Cheese (Blend of Cheddar Cheese, [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Whey, Soybean Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Yeast Extract, Lecithin), Salt, Whey, Butter Milk Solids, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Onion and Garlic Powder, Silicon Dioxide


 







The White Cheddar seasoning, besides popcorn, is wonderful on potatoes, pasta, eggs, vegetables, salad, and more! It was really hard to pick favorites when it comes to Kernel Season's, but this one was definitely high up on the list. In fact, this container is nearly halfway gone, because we can't stop eating it! It is the perfect addition to microwave popcorn, giving it just that extra boost of yummy flavor. I also tried this seasoning on an assortment of vegetables one night and on my summer squash the other night -- both were amazing! It really accents the flavor.




The Butter seasoning comes in a 2.85 oz container. In each serving (100 per container), it has 2 calories, 0g of fat, 60mg of sodium, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Maltodextrin, Butter Blend (Whey, Butter, Buttermilk), Salt, Dextrose, Oleoresin Turmeric, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Annatto, Silicon Dioxide








The Butter Seasoning is great on potatoes, pasta, eggs, vegetables, rice, and more. This is another one of our favorite seasonings! It adds what I like to think of as that "movie theater" flair to your popcorn, without all the nasty chemicals! It has that awesome buttery taste that you just can't get enough of. We made this for movie night, and then many times after, because this bottle is also getting low. When we had tacos one night with rice on the side, I sprinkled a little on my rice and it was so good!



The Kettle Corn Seasoning comes in a 3.0 oz container. In each serving (70 per container), it has 5 calories, 0g of fat, 0mg of sodium, 1g of carbs, 1g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavor and not more than 2% Silicon Dioxide added to prevent caking.

The Kettle Corn Seasoning is great on fruit, waffles, oatmeal, toast, nuts, and more! My boyfriend and I are more into salty flavors on our popcorn rather than sweet (with the exception of caramel corn), so I let my mother be the taste tester for this seasoning. She said it was amazing, and added just the right amount of sweetness to air popped popcorn. I haven't tried it on anything else yet, but I think I might make pancakes and give it a try on those. :)



The Bacon Cheddar Seasoning comes in a 2.85 oz container. In each serving (100 per container), it has 5 calories, 0g of fat, 85mg of sodium, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Cheddar Cheese (Blend of Cheddar Cheese [Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes], Whey), Salt, Coconut Oil, Maltodextrin, Bacon Flavoring, Corn Protein, Sodium Caseinate, Citric Acid, Chives, Onion, Parsely, Silicon Dioxide 

The Bacon Cheddar Seasoning is great on potatoes, chicken, pizza, vegetables, salad, and more! The Bacon Cheddar Seasoning was my boyfriend's favorite seasoning! He is the kind of guy that puts mounds of cheese on everything and eats more than half the package of bacon in one sitting (but somehow doesn't gain weight..no fair), so this was right up his alley. He says this popcorn is addicting and has a nice, smokey and cheesy taste. I know he will be putting this on all of our grilled food for the remainder of the summer.



The Nacho Cheddar Seasoning comes in a 2.85 oz container. In each serving (100 per container), it has 2 calories, 0g of fat, 75mg of sodium, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Cheddar Cheese (Blend of Cheddar Cheese, [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Whey, Soybean Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid), Salt, Butter Milk Solids, Onion Powder, Paprika, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Parsley, Tumeric and Paprika Extractives, Tomato Powder, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Spice, Silicon Dioxide 

The Nacho Cheddar Seasoning is great on potatoes, fries, pasta, eggs, vegetables, and more. This was another seasoning in the competition of which was my favorite. One of my guilty pleasures used to be getting those nachos at the movie theater, which have the amazing but so-bad-for-you cheese sauce. Although the texture isn't the same, you can still enjoy that yummy taste on your popcorn or your chips with this seasoning!



The Caramel Seasoning comes in a 3.0 oz container. In each serving (85 per container), it has 5 calories, 0g of fat, 0mg of sodium, 1g of carbs, 1g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Sugar, Brown Sugar, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, and not more than 2% Silicon Dioxide, Tricalcium Phosphate and Soybean Oil added to prevent caking.

The Caramel Seasoning is great on oatmeal, toast, ice cream, fruit, coffee, and more! While I usually am a fan of the salty and not sweet popcorn flavors, this is definitely an exception. My mom has been making caramel corn a lot lately, and it is so good! This doesn't have that same hard texture as homemade caramel corn, but the flavor is definitely there -- which is good, because I don't get to visit home as often, lately! I tried this on top of frozen vanilla yogurt and it was so good! It is weird not to have the texture of liquid caramel, but when you mix it in it really tastes the same, with less mess.

 

The Garlic Parmesan seasoning comes in a 2.85 oz container. In each serving (102 per container), it has 2 calories, 0g of fat, 75mg of sodium, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of protein. It contains the following ingredients:

Cheddar Cheese (Blend of Cheddar Cheese, [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Whey, Soybean Oil, Whey Protein Concentrate, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Yeast Extract, Lecithin), Salt, Whey, Sugar, Garlic, Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Butter, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Onion, Silicon Dioxide

The Garlic Parmesan Seasoning is great on pasta, vegetables, fries, bread, and more! If I had to pick an absolute favorite seasoning (can you tell that I just love them all?), it would probably be this one. Why? Because my boyfriend and I are both extreme garlic lovers (we put it on everything), and we were fighting over the bowl of popcorn with garlic Parmesan on it. I had never tried garlic on popcorn before this, and it is like two worlds colliding - the best of both rolled into one. I love the flavor! It really packs a punch, and is great on french fries also. When I went to find the Garlic Parmesan Seasoning to take a picture of it, I couldn't find it! My boyfriend probably hid it somewhere.



Kernel Season's Microwave Popcorn Packets were amazing as well, and we loaded them with yummy seasoning. I actually liked the "light" as much as the "butter", which is great, because I have a hard time giving up the butter flavor usually!

The entire Kernel Season's 8 Seasoning Gift Basket is amazing. This gift basket is VERY reasonably priced for the amount of product that you are getting, and I think it is the perfect gift for any occasion! When it comes wrapped in cellophane, it looks like a very expensive and fun package. If you are feeling extra generous, you can even open up the cellophane and add movie tickets or a personal touch to even further increase the value of the basket. I am in love with Kernel Season's seasonings, and I am definitely going to be a customer in the future. I want to try their butter spritzer as well! I recommend using an air-popper to make popcorn, because it is super easy and makes a large bowl that is great for families to share. When you control what you are putting in, the popcorn is even healthier (and I think it tastes better). I use margarine, melt it on the top of the popper, and then pour it over the popcorn before added Kernel Season's seasonings.

I brought my air-popper and my new collection of seasoning on vacation, when I went to visit my boyfriend's family and went home for a few days. Nobody could get enough of the seasoning -- I saw fingers running along the sides of the container being licked off. I warn you...once you start eating it, you won't be able to stop. It is the perfect, addicting snack for a movie night, or even to bring to any social gathering! I know my friends and family really appreciate the fact that I got to review these seasonings. With so few calories, and no artificial ingredients, how can you say no? I can't believe that I can get such great flavor without having to worry about adding a ton of calories or fat. I'll stop here (I could go on and on), but it is safe to say that I give Kernel Season's two big thumbs up!

You can purchase Kernel Season's products online at their website, here. You can also purchase their seasonings, popcorn, and oil toppers in many major grocery stores internationally. Individual, smaller jars of seasoning retail for just $3.99, and larger, jumbo jars retail for $6.99. The 8 Seasoning Gift Basket is a great deal for any popcorn enthusiast at just $24.99. You can also purchase the other gift sets: the Complete Seasoning Kit for $29.99, the Popcorn Party Pack for $9.99, and the Seasonal Party Pack for $8.99. All orders over $29.99 qualify for free shipping!

Interested in learning more about Kernel Season's and their products? Check out the links below:


One lucky reader will win an 8 Seasoning Gift Basket, courtesy of Kernel Season's! All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers, 18 and over, unless you have permission from your parents. Please be honest when submitting Rafflecopter entries -- remember, I DO check all of your entries for verification, and I will throw them out if they are false. If the form has a spot for you to enter information, please provide me with the appropriate username, link, etc so that it is easier for me to verify your entries! I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize, that is the company's duty. I will contact the winner via email (so make sure to use one that you check) and you will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information. If you have any questions or if the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can always contact me via Facebook or email (links on the sidebar). Good luck!! 


Etekcity® High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale: Review

 
Etekcity is a company based out of Ankeny, IA, that specializes in manufacturing innovative and modern products for your home, your computer, and the outdoors. Etekcity makes quality products which make your life easier to live. They sell things such as: gaming mouses, headsets, and controllers, audio and video products, car accessories, webcam surveillance, hard drives, radios, cell phones and accessories, computer accessories, cleaners, meters, outlets, tools, TV mounts, lighting parts and accessories, etc. 

Etekcity sells a variety of digital scales for your bathroom and your kitchen. They were generous enough to send me a High Precision 180kg/400lb Digital Bathroom Scale for the purpose of this review. I was happy, because we plan on having two bathrooms in the future (we will be moving almost every year because of my curriculum), and I want a scale for each. The ones that I buy in the store usually aren't up to par, so I was glad to give this one a try!




The Etekcity High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale is designed to accommodate up to 400 lbs or 180kg. It has a sleek, modern design; it is thin with a black center and silver trimmings. It is made from 6mm of thick, tempered glass, which adds to its style and is also designed for maximum durability and safety. The entire platform of the scale measures 12" x 12"; the scale itself is only 0.87" high. The base of the Etekcity High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale rests evenly and securely on the floor. You do not need to worry about the scale moving or scratching the floor, because it has non-slip feet. The scale comes with a user's manual and two AAA batteries. 

The Etekcity High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale offers an LCD display that is backlit and is large enough for elderly people to focus on. It can display your weight in lbs, kg, or st, in increments of .2lbs/.1kg. This scale has an auto-off feature which will turn the scale off after a short period of lack of use -- this conserves energy. It will also automatically turn back on whenever any weight is placed on the scale. There are also low battery and overload indications. Another feature that the Etekcity High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale has "auto-zero", which really helps when you are weighing more than one item at once; the scale will automatically reset to zero in order to preserve accuracy.







To weigh yourself, you can just step right on the Etekcity High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale -- there is no need to tap it first. It will read your weight as soon as you step on. When weighing yourself, make sure that the scale is on a level surface, and that you are standing in the middle of the scale for even distribution of weight. The greatest feature of this scale is stated in its name -- high precision. It is designed with four of the latest, high-precision sensors, using a technology from Germany. It is made for accuracy, to that .2 lbs, whether an object is incredibly light or close to 400 lbs.

Right now, you can purchase the Etekcity High Precision Digital Bathroom Scale on Etekcity's website, here, for just $16.88 with free shipping. You can also purchase it here, on Amazon, for the same price; Amazon Prime members will qualify for free shipping.

First of all, I really like the modern design of this Etekcity Scale. The black and the glass surface together are very sleek, and look "classy" in any bathroom, adding a touch of style. The scale  does not slip or move when you stand on it, and the platform is relatively comfortable. The backlit LCD display is a pretty blue, and is great for being able to visualize your weight at night. My weight and my boyfriend's weight both appeared to be accurate within .2lbs, as far as we could tell (from the last time we've been on a high precision scale). I did notice that if you do not have the scale on a level surface, the reading will fluctuate within a few pounds -- so make sure that you keep it level and that you step square in the middle to keep getting an accurate read. I really like the auto-zero and auto-off functions that this scale has. All-in-all, I really like it! It looks great in my bathroom, and will be keeping me up-to-date on how my weight fluctuates as I try to eat healthier and start working out again. It is nice to have a scale that you do not have to calibrate and re-zero every time you step on it!

Interested in learning more about Etekcity and their products? Check out the links below:

YouTube

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

KIND Nuts & Spices: New Flavors! - Review

 

KIND is a company based out of New York, NY, that was founded in 2004. KIND specializes in manufacturing healthy, high-quality granola bars and grains clusters. KIND believes that only ingredients we can actually pronounce should be placed in our bodies; they use all-natural nuts, fruits and grains and nothing artificial! This company is not just about healthier, better-tasting snacks -- they also have a mission and a commitment to the world, which is to inspire acts of kindness. 

KIND offers a wide variety of products, many of which are loaded with antioxidants, omega-3, protein, and fiber. KIND's Strong line of granola bars have bold flavors such as Honey Smoked BBQ and Thai Sweet Chili and have a ton of protein for sustained energy and for those who work out. KIND's Healthy Grains and Grain bars are gluten-free and made from a combination of oats, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth. KIND has three varieties of "regular" granola bars: fruit and nut, "plus", and nuts and spices. 


I was lucky enough to receive the two newest flavors of KIND's Nuts & Spices line, for the purpose of writing this review. These flavors are Caramel Almond and Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond. The other bars already in KIND's Nuts & Spices line are: Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Chili Almond, Cashew and Ginger Spice, and Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt. I was excited because I frequently bring granola bars to class in the morning as a substitute for breakfast, and throw a bunch in my car or purse on days that aren't hot so I'll always have an extra snack on hand. This is just one of many brands that I hadn't tried before writing this review. 





The Caramel Almond and Sea Salt bar has, per bar, 200 calories, 16g of fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 125mg of sodium, 210mg of potassium, 15g of carbs, 7g of fiber, 5g of sugar, and 6g of protein. It contains the following ingredients: 

Almonds, chicory root fiber, honey, palm kernel oil, sugar, non GMO glucose, crisp rice, soy lecithin, sea salt, milk powder, carob powder, natural flavor, annatto.

I couldn't pick a favorite between the two bars that I received - they were literally both AMAZING! This bar reminded me of when my mom used to eat chocolate and potato chips together. I thought it was such a strange combination, but there is something wonderful about tasting salty and sweet flavors together. This tastes like a guilty pleasure, but it definitely doesn't have to feel like one! I love how the flavors of the sea salt and the caramel are balanced by the yummy, whole almonds. 



 
The Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond bar, has, per bar, 200 calories, 15g of fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 15mg of sodium, 210mg of potassium, 16g of carbs, 7g of fiber, 5g of sugar, and 6g of protein.  It contains the following ingredients:

Almonds, chicory root fiber, sugar, palm kernel oil, honey, non-GMO glucose, cocoa powder, crisp rice, chocolate liquor, coffee, soy lecithin, cocoa butter, vanilla extract, Madagascar vanilla, salt. 

I am a huge fan of dark chocolate (more-so than milk chocolate) an mocha, so I knew that this bar had my name written all over it. If you can't tell from the picture, the drizzled chocolate is drool-worthy. I love how the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate is balanced by the sweet mocha and the nutty flavor of the almonds. This bar also tastes like a dessert from an expensive little coffee shop, but with half the calories! This is a great energy booster for a midday snack.

You can order KIND's healthy snacks in bulk on their website, here. You can also purchase KIND snacks in many major stores throughout the country, from supermarkets to health food shops, so check out some of your local stores!

I loved both of KIND's new Nut & Spices bars -- I wish I could have tried more of the line, or more of their products, because I bet they are all just as tasty! I love knowing that these bars are all-natural, as I am moving away from chemical ridden food and towards a more natural and organic lifestyle. Generally, when I used to think of healthy food, I thought "boring"! These are anything but. From the second you open the package, you can tell how good they are going to be. The whole nuts look scrumptious, with perfectly drizzled chocolate and caramel. I really can't believe that these have so few calories and such a high nutritional value, with no added sugar. While I had them as breakfast, they could EASILY satisfy someone's sugar craving as a dessert, making them super versatile. I would definitely buy these bars again to have on hand throughout the school year. I don't eat many nuts on a regular basis, so this is a great way to incorporate something different and healthy into my diet!


Interested in learning more about KIND and their products? Check out the links below:

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.