Category Archives: Product Reviews

Trying my hand at home water distillation

Just before Christmas I was given the opportunity to try my hand at a home water distillation unit from JD Harris. Water quality is important to me, and in a previous residence I’d even had a double cartridge, under-sink filtration system installed. Since those days, I’d become interested in the distillation process as an alternative. The main difference is that the water in the distiller is boiled first (kills off nasties) and then is cooled before passing through a charcoal filter. The under-sink cartridges were convenient, but also filtered everything that passed through, whether for drinking or dishwashing. The Deluxe Water Distiller is much more for drinking purposes, or other applications where pure water is needed. It’s not a fast system, but you can be far more selective with usage.

The unit itself is not small, but isn’t really any more intrusive on a kitchen work surface than a mixer or large juicer. Using the distiller is simple: Fill the main unit to the mark, pop on the top, plug the wires into the unit and mains, pop a charcoal sachet into a little plastic thing, and let it do its job. I was expecting it to be slow, but I admit wondering if it was doing anything at all. I listened closely to the wall of the stainless steel body and heard quiet bubbling begin. It’ll take about five hours to fill your jug with water, but I must say, it’s worth the wait. The taste was of nothing at all. It was almost disconcerting.

Fortunately, here on the North Cornish coast we live in an area where the water quality is pretty good and limescale is nonexistent, so the leftover gunk in the distiller was minimal. If I’d used this when I lived in Berkshire, I can imagine the scum I’d be cleaning out… Ugh. Makes me shiver.

I plan on using the next batch of water in my home winemaking. It’s great to think that my wine will have the best possible taste from the lack of impurities in the water I use. Another idea would be to use it in our coffee maker – not for limescale reasons, but to let the coffee taste be its best.

The Megahome Deluxe Water Distiller did what it was supposed to do and did it well. My only critique would be for the instructions provided and the unclear wording on the charcoal filters. Other than that, I like this machine a lot. It’s cheap to run (far cheaper than buying distilled water from the store), and if you’re in an area of the country where the water contains more impurities than is desirable, I’d recommend getting one of these.
Use code WATU to get free UK shipping on a Megahome Deluxe Water Distiller.

Deluxe Water Distiller kindly provided by JD Harris for the purpose of review. I have not been paid otherwise.

Reglazing from I Wear Glasses

My goodness, it’s been awhile since I did a product review. I tend to either choose or am chosen for fairly practical products, and this is no exception: replacement lenses for eyeglasses. Not exciting, I understand, but I’m going to give you an early spoiler: this service is really good.

I recently had my eyes tested and ordered new glasses from a chain optician. The service was OK, the glasses are nice, but I can’t help but to feel a bit like cattle in the whole process. And the wait. I remember going to places in the US where you get your glasses in about an hour, and I like the ability to tick something off my to-do list so rapidly. This may or may not be a service available in the UK, I’m not sure, but I haven’t found it near me. Before choosing my new frames at the chain optician, I asked about reglazing my existing frames. They could do it, sure, and I was told it would run me around £70. I decided to get new frames in the end, and thought I’d perhaps get my old frames reglazed in future.

Fast-forward to finding this review opportunity. Now, I did think about getting my old glasses updated, but to be honest, my prescription is so minor by most standards that I don’t wear glasses for most of the day. I see pretty well and save them for driving or if I want the HD TV to actually look high def. I decided to donate my reglaze lenses to my best friend, as he’s been wearing strong glasses since he was a child and is going through tough financial times due to an unreasonably complicated divorce. Quite frankly, he needs this more than me, but based on the service I’d still know if this is where I want my old frames to get refreshed.

I Wear Glasses provides a painless process for ordering your lenses. It was totally straightforward and one click got me started with the customisation of my product. Single vision glasses are the best value, but that’s not surprising. Going with the Gold level got me coated, thin lenses for far less than the chain optician: £45 compared to £70 (and I don’t think the £70 included the Anti-reflective or Scratch resistance, let alone UV filtering). You can start ramping up the price with tints or polarising, but that wasn’t important in my case. After another button click, the price totalled £54.99 all-in. Brilliant. Affordable.

I packaged up a pair of Ray-Ban new style Wayfarers and sent them on their way. I was updated regularly by email after I Wear Glasses received the frames. Before you know it, they were in transit back to me, reglazed and ready for Pete’s eyeballs. (You owe me lunch, Pete.)

Colour me impressed. Even the presentation of the glasses in the case was crafted. These details show they are far more than a quickie-slap-together-ship-em-out kind of place. The specs look great and Pete loves the way the lenses work. Will I use I Wear Glasses for myself? In a word: yes. As soon as I have the moolah, I’m definitely sending in my old frames for replacement lenses – probably to transform them into sunglasses.

Nicely done, I Wear Glasses. Very nicely done.
If you want to give them a go, I have a 10% Off voucher code for you. Go through the ordering process and paste FUEL10 into the box before paying. You’ll get 10% off everything on the site. Enjoy.

I Wear Glasses has kindly provided their lenses reglazing service for the purpose of review. I have not been paid otherwise.

Not your typical product review

I’ve had the pleasure (no pun intended) of receiving a very personal sort of product to review, and me being me, I’m not too shy to talk about it.

There’s a lovely group of people who make up a site called CleverBodies and when the opportunity to review a product from their love toys line presented itself, I thought, well, that could be fun…

I’ve reviewed a lot of products that cover most areas of practical life: shoes, jackets, tea, chocolate, etc., but never something so intimate – so personal. I had my choice of items, so I picked what intrigued me most, from a design and curiosity point of view.

Let me tell you about the OhMiBod Better Than Chocolate vibrating love toy.
First, the folks take great care in protecting your privacy when shipping; my product arrived in a plain box with no real way to tell what might be inside. Within the plain parcel was a tastefully gift-wrapped box containing the reddot design award winning toy.

Notice there’s an iPod pictured on the box. That’s right, this is a music controllable vibrator. You should experiment with very different songs and tempos– it’s really interesting. Death metal? Not really good for the mood, but hilarious to feel! Latin beats, ambient, rock… all different. Playing with the volume changes intensity and there’s also an iPhone app to touch control the vibes (or let someone else control them for you).

Don’t want to mess around with the tech side of things? That’s OK too, as the Better Than Chocolate has four preprogrammed vibration patterns built in with a touch slide control with pattern lock capability. Did I mention it’s also safe in water up to a metre? Hello, bubble bath…

The shape of the BTC takes some getting to know, as it does touch you in a unique way. It is easy to hold, and the whole thing quietly buzzes, so give yourself time to play and explore. After the initial ‘getting to know you’ period with the love toy, it did its job * cough * and really, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it.

Visit the CleverBodies site for more good stuff, and treat yourself to a toy. Last I looked, they were running a 15% off code for readers of The Sun as well, so you might want to jump on that deal while it lasts.

OhMiBod Better than Chocolate vibrating toy provided for review purposes and no other payment has been given for this post.