1/30/19

Bali Secrets Deodorant Review

Bali Secrets is a a “natural” roll-on deodorant made in Bali, an island in Indonesia.  I have been using the Unscented version for about a year now and really like it.

Here are the Bali Secrets deodorant ingredients:

  • Seaweed Extract (Gracilaria verrucosa)
  • Natural Mineral Salt (Potassium alum)
  • Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) Leaf Juice
  • Aqua (Water)
  • Alcohol (Ethanol)
  • Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)

The scented varieties also contain various essential oils.

One of the ingredients, Potassium alum, does contain aluminum (Wikipedia: potassium alum), thus this is not aluminum-free deodorant.

This deodorant product has some good features:

  • It works!
  • Certified as cruelty-free.
  • Helpful customer service – I had to contact them once, and they were kind and responsive.

and it has a few negatives:

  • It is expensive, with an Amazon price (at the time of writing) of $13.99 for one bottle
  • It is not uncommon to find an “out-of-stock” notice at Amazon when trying to reorder a favorite scent.
  • The roller has improved, but is still not perfect.  It can dry out and stick if you don’t use it for a few days.

1/25/19

Ikea Knalla Backpack Review

I picked up a red and white Knalla Backpack at Ikea a year ago when it was on sale for $3.99 for Ikea Family members.  I thought “what a great price!”.  Since that time the Knalla backpack has become my most used backpack; it’s with me almost every day.

Here are Knalla’s stats:

  • Length: 13 3/4" (35 cm)
  • Depth: 7 7/8" (20 cm)
  • Height: 17 3/4" (45 cm)
  • Volume: 7 gallon (28 liter)
  • Weight: 6 oz
  • Colors: Red & white or Black & white grid pattern
  • Material: Polyester fabric; Polypropylene straps
  • Care: Machine washable
  • Price: $4.99

There are adjustable backpack straps and a small handle at the top, if you want to carry the Knalla by hand.  It folds up into itself, making it easy to store or carry along.

The best thing about the Knalla backpack is it’s weight to volume ratio.  At only 6 ounces, it can hold 28 liters of your stuff.  For comparison, a typical Jansport backpack weighs double that (12 ounces) and holds less (25 liters).  Oh yes, and this Ikea backpack costs at least 4x less.

The Knalla fabric is thin, but with a typical load (lunches, first aid kit, extra clothes, groceries) it has held up fine so far.  For heavy items, like books, you’d probably want that Jansport backpack instead.

The Swedish word Knalla means bang, crack, or boom in English.


11/26/18

Where to Order Thanksgiving Dinner 2018

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To save time this Thanksgiving, you can order fully-prepared Thanksgiving dinners for take-out.  Just place an order, schedule a pick-up time, then heat, and eat.  Most of these take-out dinners include a main dish and sides, some include rolls and dessert.

Here’s where to order Thanksgiving dinner in 2018 (click each for more info): 

Thanksgiving Dinners from Restaurants

  • Boston Market.  Take-out turkey or ham dinners. Offers Thanksgiving catering too. Restaurants open on Thanksgiving (in 28 states)
  • Buca di Beppo.  Turkey dinners to-go.  Open on Thanksgiving. (in 26 states)
  • Cracker Barrel.  Turkey and ham dinners to-go. Restaurants open on Thanksgiving (in 43 states) 
  • Denny’s.  Turkey dinners to-go.  (nationwide)
  • Luby’s. Turkey, ham, or prime rib take-out dinners. (TX, OK, AR)
  • Marie Callender’s.  Complete dinners, including dessert and coffee. Restaurants open Thanksgiving Day. (western US)
  • Mimi’s Cafe. Thanksgiving dinners to-go.  (western, southern, mid-west US)
  • Shari’s.  Turkey and ham dinners.  Many pie choices at extra cost. (CA, ID, NE, OR, WA WY)

 Thanksgiving Dinners from Grocery Stores

  • Bashas.  Take-out turkey or ham dinners.  (AZ)
  • Bi-Lo. Turkey dinners to-go.  (in GA, SC, NC, TN)
  • Costco.  Partnering with Schwan’s to ship Thanksgiving to your door.  (nationwide)
  • Food City.  Turkey and ham dinners including sides.  (GA, KY, TN, VA)
  • Fresh Market.  Turkey dinners.  Unique dessert options at additional cost. (eastern US)
  • Gelsons.  Many to-go dinner options. (Lost Angeles area)
  • Giant.  Turkey or ham dinners for 4-6 people. (in MD, VA, DC, DE)
  • Giant Eagle. Turkey dinners for up to 6 people.  (in IN, MD, OH, PA, WV)
  • Hannaford. Ham or Turkey Thanksgiving dinners. (in ME, NH, NY, MA, VT)
  • Harris Teeter. Turkey, ham, or prime rib dinners. (in in GA, SC, NC, TN, VA, FL, MD, DE, DC)
  • H-E-B. Turkey or ham dinners. (TX)
  • Hy-Vee.  Dinners for 4+ people. (in IL, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, SD, WI)
  • Ingles.  Thanksgiving take-out. (in AL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA) 
  • Kroger. Turkey dinners to-go. (in appx. 34 states)
  • Lucky’s Market.  Turkey dinners and a la carte items. (in CO, FL, IA, IN, KY, OH, MI, MO, MT, WY
  • Marley Spoon.  Turkey dinner ingredients – you do the cooking (mail-order) 
  • Meijer.  Turkey dinner with several side dishes. (IL, IN, KY, OH, Mi, WI)
  • Price Chopper. Turkey and ham dinners with pie.  (in CT, MA, NY, NY, PA, VT)
  • Publix. Turkey dinners. (in AL, FL, GA, SC, TN)
  • Raley’s. Turkey or ham prepared dinners. (CA; includes Bel Air and Nob Hills stores)  
  • Save Mart. Turkey or ham dinners with side dishes. (in CA, NV)
  • ShopRite. Turkey or ham options. (in CT, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
  • Sprouts.  Turkey and ham dinners for 2 to 8 people. (in AZ, CA, CO, GA, KS, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT)
  • Stop & Shop.  Ham or turkey dinners to-go. (CT, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI)
  • Wegmans. Turkey and ham dinners, including pre-carved options. (NY, PA, NJ, MD, MA, VA)
  • Weis. Whole turkey and turkey breast dinners to-go. (DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA, WV)
  • Winco. Turkey dinners with sides and pumpkin pie. (AZ, CA, ID, NV, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA)
  • Whole Foods.  Regular, organic, vegan, and gluten-free Thanksgiving choices.  (national)
  • Winn-Dixie. Thanksgiving turkey dinners (in FL, AL, LA, GA, MS)

If you can’t get to the store, you can cobble together Thanksgiving dinner from Amazon's offerings, delivered to your door.

Though they don’t offer complete pre-cooked dinners, Aldi and Trader Joe’s have Thanksgiving foods at decent prices.

Wherever you decide to order, hope everyone has a delicious Thanksgiving dinner in 2018.

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