Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Product Review: Enjoy Life Vanilla Honey Graham Gluten-Free Cookie


Enjoy Life Vanilla Honey Graham Gluten-Free Cookie

4 stars

Tastes Like Honey and Vanilla But No Graham Taste

This is a crunchy but not hard cookie that is mildly sweet. I taste vanilla and honey but it’s a bit bitter. Honestly I do not taste anything like a graham cracker (with gluten) cookie taste so I rate this 4 stars = I Like It.


Disclosure: I received two cookies as free samples as an attendee of the Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo on 11/15/14. I was under no obligation to review this item at all or to blog about it favorably.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Product Review: Pamela’s Simplebites Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies



Pamela’s Simplebites Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

My star rating: 4 stars

Buttery Taste, Only Bitter As Aftertaste

As I eat these they taste buttery and genuine and normal for a chocolate chip cookie. However there is a bit of a bitter aftertaste that stays in the mouth. While eating it, it does not taste like it’s gluten free. There is a crunchy texture but they are not hard.


I rate these 4 stars, I’m on the fence as to whether they deserve 5 stars. 

Disclosure: I received one cookie as a free sample at the Pamela's booth at the Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Expo on 11/15/14. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Product Review: Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Cookie Gluten-Free



Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Cookie Gluten-Free

4 stars = I Like It

Deep Chocolate Flavor - Very Crunchy - Tastes Normal

Deep chocolate taste without bitterness of some gluten-free baked goods. Very crunchy, almost to the point of being too hard. Not super sweet.

This satisfies a chocolate craving. I would not have known that these are gluten-free if I didn't know it beforehand.

I rate this 4 stars = I Like It. I almost broke a tooth on it so it's a bit too hard hence the 4 not a 5 star rating.


Disclosure: I received one cookie as a free sample from the Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo on 11/15/14. I was not paid to write this review or under obligation to review it favorably. 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Product Review: igloon(TM) 3x1 Port 1.4 Version HDMI Switch HDMI Splitter with IR Remote


Product: igloon(TM) 3x1 Port 1.4 Version HDMI Switch HDMI Splitter with IR Remote

My Star Rating: 1 star out of 5 = I  Hate It

My Summary Statement: Broken - Non-Functional & False Product Information Given - Does NOT Contain a Power Adapter

This is a really low quality looking item and it arrived without a power adapter which the product information clearly states is included in the package. I have requested that Amazon modify this product information today.

This requires a 120V in and 5v out and we happen to not own that exact type. If you use a too-high voltage out adapter you will break the unit.

We were in need of a 5 in 1 and a 3 in 1 to use in the same room so we needed two different brands so the remotes did not cross-confuse. The other we bought is miles better in quality: Kinivo.


So either pick a different unit than the igloon that comes with a power adapter or buy the additional necessary item at the same time so you can actually use it when it is delivered.

We located a power adapter and this unit is completely non-functional. 

Disclosure: I bought this for our family's use. For regular blog disclosures please read the link near the top of my sidebar. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Product Review: PCMD All-Metal Projector Ceiling Mount for Epson PowerLite Home Cinema


Product: PCMD All-Metal Projector Ceiling Mount for Epson PowerLite Home Cinema

My Star Rating: 3 stars out of 5 = It's Okay

Summary Statement: Would Not Buy This Again - Almost Returned It - Screws Not Tight Enough - Allows Movement

My electrician and I read Amazon product pages and customer reviews before purchasing this and we were a bit disappointed. While easy installation was promised by other reviewers we did not find it without flaws and challenges. I was also happy for the price seeing as it was half of the cost of some others on the market. It arrived without a bag or box so talk about minimalistic!

We did not want it to fall on people's heads or to the floor to break so we wanted a sturdy installation. Also, we wanted no jiggle so we installed a 2x6 board in the attic to act as a hanging support, attaching that to the studs. The studs were not in the right place to fasten into.

There is a problem with the screws. Everything we received was metal but the screws do not tighten well enough. We used a wrench and went as far as it would go but it still moves. This means it can jiggle. We want zero movement. We are going to buy a heavy duty caulk to put on the screws to try to make it a more solid attachment. Glue is going too far so we won't go down that road. It is the hanger piece that moves.



We also had quite a bit of adjustment of the ceiling mount in order to align it to have the home cinema's image touch all the way to the edges. It was not an issue for the projector itself, it was moving the ceiling mount around that was a struggle.


This is okay for the price, so I rate it 3 stars. We were very close to selecting another model and returning this but after fooling with it over the course of two days we gave up and will just keep this one.

Disclosure: I bought this for our family's use. For the regular disclosures per the FTC rules see the link near the top of my blog's sidebar.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Product Review: Elite Screens SPM100H-E12 Spectrum2 Electric Projection Screen



Product: Elite Screens SPM100H-E12 Spectrum2 Electric Projection Screen (100 inch Diagonal 16:9 Ratio 49"Hx87"W)(12" Drop)

Summary Statement: Fast Installation - Thick Screen - Low Price - We Chose To Hardwire It With Wall Switch Instead

My Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5 = I Love It

Installation was easy and fast with just two brackets. Our ceiling is slanted and the design of this allows for it to freely hang from whatever angle you placed it on.

This is the lowest price screen I could find at 100 inches diagonal. I was thrilled that it is powered by electricity to move the screen up and down. There is a hanging white cord that hands just to the left of the screen. There is a toggle switch on it to move it up and down. We elected to hire an electrician who ran electricity in the attic down to the unit and then ran wire to the wall where he installed a wall switch to activate it. This was important for us because the screen hangs in front of built-in bookcases and a smaller TV behind, which we are keeping there for use during exercising and as one son prefers the smaller sized TV for video gaming.

We are happy with the thick fabric screen which does not blow, drift, or wiggle during use. We needed a minimum 12 inch drop which this screen provides.

Our screen was perfect and not damaged in shipment, not flawed, not wrinkled or anything problematic like that.

Very happy with the low price and thick screen and powered movement so we rate this 5 stars = I Love It.

Disclosure: I purchased this item for our family's use. For regular disclosures per FTC rules see the link near the top of my blog's sidebar. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Product Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 1080 Widescreen, HDMI, 3LCD


Product: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 1080 Widescreen, HDMI, 3LCD

My Star Rating: 5 Stars out of 5 = I Love It

My Summary Statement: Great Picture Quality and 3D, Bright - Giving Some Installation Tips Here

Fantastic picture quality and brightness with 3D! This is our family's first home cinema system. We are using it in a game room with four walls and the ability to close all doors, with the windows with wooden blinds and drapes to darken the room. We are using it for watching movies in regular view, 3D, and for video gaming.

In setting the system up I had to phone Epson twice, first to learn that the CD enclosed to find information on distance to screen to help us determine what size screen to purchase. Epson staff was friendly and they were competent native English speakers. As of the date of this writing the Epson website does NOT yet contain this data, this is being added soon I was told. In the end we chose the screen size that we felt was the maximum for comfortable viewing in our room size since the viewing area can be quite small up to 30 feet wide! We selected a 100 inch diagonal size: Elite Screens SPM100H-E12 Spectrum2 Electric Projection Screen. (I will be writing reviews will be done on all the accessories we purchased.)

We hung our 3500 from the ceiling using this mount: PCMD All-Metal Projector Ceiling Mount for Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 which has its issues (see my review). When looking for a mount, check the weight. Some have tried giving Epson model numbers to help but the 3500 is new and so check weights, that is what matters.

One fault we found with the Epson 3500 was the quick installation guide, the CD, and the online guide do not tell how to flip the image so we can view it right side up. We had to phone Epson's projector technical help staff to inquire. The answer is to go into settings to make the change. We had not stumbled upon that on our own. Easy fix once we realized what had to be done.

The set up for the 3500 is easy and quick. No complaints!

Some other notes: when selecting your screen allow enough room for your remotes to access your devices (under the screen) and watch for the "drop", which is how much black space you want between the ceiling and where the picture begins (so you are not staring up too high toward the ceiling). We selected the largest we could find in our budget which was 12 inch drop (would have preferred 18 inches but we had a certain budget).

Before ordering your hanging device (although this could be used on a shelf we chose to hang it from the ceiling) be mindful if you have a ceiling fan and light (and pull chains). Our light as well as pull chains obstructed the view. We had to remove the ceiling fan and we will be replacing it with one that does not hang down as low because we do need both a light and fan in that room. It is alright to have the 3500 pointing downward a bit. Another challenge that is NOT a fault of the actual home cinema device is that the way you choose to hang it can cause jiggle of the device that will then jiggle your viewed image. We installed on the second floor and put a 2x6 board in the attic to serve as a mounting surface that was absolutely steady. We also did not want it falling on anyone's head due to poor installation! As to set up of the screen size we had challenges with the hanging device not with the Epson itself. I cannot fault Epson for issues with tightening the hanger and the angling of the hanger.

We hired an electrician to do the installation and per his advice the quality of the picture is only as good as your cables. For best quality you must use 3D cables, high end cables if you are running any distance. For example at first he installed 35 feet of HDMI cord ($44) which he thought would be good enough, but the picture quality was low due to poor signal strength so he changed it to "monster cord" ($109) and it's perfect.

The 3500 comes with two sets of 3D glasses, if you want to use more immediately I advise ordering more glasses at the same time you order your home cinema.

We also needed a 5 in 1 port and a 3 in 1 port so we could use various devices and toggle between the projector and screen to the regular TV that is behind the screen. I ordered those on  Amazon as well in two different brands so that the remotes would not cross-confuse.


We are thrilled with the 3500, our first home cinema and we rate it 5 stars = Love It. (Attached is an image showing video gaming in progress, I took the picture at an angle.)

Disclosure: I received this camera from the Amazon.com Vine program for the purpose of reviewing it on Amazon.com. I was not under obligation to rate it favorably or to blog it. I was not paid to write this review.