Tuesday, July 31, 2018

**REVIEW** Garnier SkinActive 3-in-1 Moisturizer

There were some things in my recent beauty boxes that I liked and I did promise to come back and do reviews on those particular items.

The Garnier SkinActive Soothing Mask is from the Walmart Classic Summer (2018) Beauty Box I got.

Full size 6.75oz jar = $9.96

The sample was small (0.169 or 5ml)  but there was enough of it to use a few times (sparingly) and to let me know that I like it. I actually liked it so much that I actually picked some up when I went grocery shopping. Although that 10 dollar tag is a bit pricey (I subtracted it from my snack budget!), because of the thick consistency of this cream, it should last for months.

I was a little bit confused about how to use it because of the word "Mask" in the description. When I think of facial masks, I expect that they are to be applied and then washed/rinsed off after a certain amount of time. Even more confusing is information on the back of the sample packet.

Finally, I went online and saw that other people had the same confusion. When my brain woke up from one of the naps it often takes, it told me to just check Garnier's website. Duh.

"Leave on for 10 minutes and *if needed* tissue off excess"

On Amazon product page, some people commented that they experienced no problems after leaving the cream on without washing, rinsing, or tissuing any off. With that cleared up, I applied the mask to my face and throat area. It's very - and I mean extremely so. If it were any thicker, it would be the consistency of a softened cream cheese (as you can see from the photo I posted). And I'm not saying that that is a bad thing. I kind of like how thick it is because that is part of what makes the product so awesome.

A big Plus to this cream is that you only have to use it maybe once every other day. At least, that's been the case for me. The tiny sample lasted me for 3 uses. When I got the full-sized jar, I decided to keep using the cream in small amounts. If I don't wear makeup that I have to wash off at night, I don't have to reapply the mask at night. The moisture lasts through the night and - I tested this - would last probably several hours more if I didn't wash my face. Also, I tested how well this works if I don't use it every day. I think using this just a couple times a week this leaves my skin moisturized enough that my other oils and serums work better on alternate days. Again, I really want to stretch out this 10 dollar jar!

I want to point out that this contains my new favorite ingredient: Rosewater. When I checked the label of the mask, I noticed that "Rosa Damascena" is listed nearer the top than the bottom. Apparently, Garnier didn't skimp on this prime ingredient. Fragrance is listed last. The scent of this is very mild but is definitely that of roses.

When I last blogged about Rosewater, I mentioned that it can lighten/brighten skin. That's important since some people might not want that effect.

I'm glad that I got to try this so a big thanks to the folks who curate the Walmart boxes!


Friday, July 27, 2018

**REVIEW** Pure Rose Hydrosol (Rosewater) UPDATED with photos


After just a few weeks of using this, that psoriasis on my feet is almost all cleared up. I had had some awesome results in the past by using Manuka essential oil and a few other products. However, never before has anything just about cleared up the problem.

This is what my feet looked like before using the Rosewater:


This is what they look like right now.
About 13 days after starting Rosewater

 some healing after other

Now, I have to tell you that I did use a grater and a rasp on my feet last night and I applied more of the Rosewater for the AFTER photo. However, I have used graters before and they only took off the thickest scales but did nothing for the smaller scabs that lined the sides of my feet.

The Rosewater is healing the psoriasis instead of temporarily masking it.

People, I will be ordering more of this to use and don't want to be without it at this point.

As many essential oils and natural butters as I have used over the years, for some reason, I never picked up any Rose Hydrosol. Okay, I'll be honest. I never even heard the word "hydrosol" before.

When I went looking for a definition, the best one I found is this one from Rachel Marlowe:
Similar to a floral water but more potent, hydrosols contain the water-soluble constituents of a plant such as the volatile oils, and it can be used as a facial toner, the water component when mixing our clay masks, or in an aromatherapy diffuser. (source)
One of the things I learned is that the best flower waters are done with steam distillation. This Rose Hydrosol by Banyan Pure meets that criteria.

Most of us have heard of the benefits of rosewater. I used to make homemade rosewater to keep from letting gift flowers go to waste. I wasn't an expert or anything so I kept it simple and, actually, the process isn't too complicated. You can try it yourself. I've bought rosewater from the health food store I frequented in Anchorage. It was good stuff and, until now, I didn't know what a big difference the processing makes.

This one is done by steam distillation. Most common ones are created by mixing rose oil with water. Steam distillation is more meticulous and the end product retains the pure oil (in this case - organic) and all the benefits of that. By the way, this is a rosewater so the texture reflects that. You can apply to hair or skin without an oil residue.

Once you have a good rosewater, you can use it in different ways. Here are some of the benefits and uses that I have seen suggested over the years:

  • This link lists information and cites studies that show a benefit in affecting depression, use as an antimicrobial, and various skin treatments.
  • This is only one listing of the benefits of rosewater for damaged hair, aging skin, and more.
  • I've heard of mixing rosewater into lotions and creams for the face and neck. One interesting thing I will be trying is a mix of the rosewater with some glycerin to treat my hair. Rosewater is said to promote hair growth and retention.
  • Rosewater is a gift to natural hair chicks. The water is said to be cooling, hydrating, and moisturizing in addition to fighting dandruff. It's been said that rosewater promotes hair growth and - this one is big - reduces product buildup on the scalp.  (I will be doing a follow up once I've had a chance to use this on my own natural hair.)
  • My mother used to tell me about ladies spritzing their face, neck, bosom, and shoulders with rose water when the temps were high. In addition to helping them cool off, the fragrance was light and nice.
One of the other benefits I have heard of doesn't interest me. It's said that rosewater can be used to "lighten" or brighten the skin. Some people use a mixture of rosewater and lemon juice for the skin lightening. I'm just fine with all my protective melanin, thank you very much! I can see how some folks would want that benefit though and to each his or her own. If not for all over lightening, rosewater can be used (I've heard) for reducing under eye dark circles.

My main purpose for rosewater is as a fragrance (for me and the home) and for my hair. I have used rosewater as a toner when my skin was feeling a little dull. I tested this particular hydrosol this morning and can tell that a little goes a very long way. 

Before I do a sum up, let me mention something important. A lot of people have a habit of ingesting essential oils. I have never been okay with this unless an oil is clearly marked that it is a "food grade" product and safe to ingest. I have ingested homemade floral waters but only because I made them and knew every risk. Rosewater is a very popular one that people like to add to drink or add to foods. Please note that this particular rosewater is not marked for that use. There is even a warning on this one. Anything so heavily concentrated needs to used with at least a little common sense. This one is very concentrated. That's a good thing but needs to be used wisely.

To summarize, you should know that what I like most is how concentrated it is. I have some in an oil warmer and it's keeping a light fragrance in the air. Earlier, I tested a few drops in the humidifier and that was also very nice. By the way, the name of the rose used in this oil is Rosa Damascena.

Because this is so concentrated, a little goes so far that I have to watch myself. I have figured out that to use this as a toner, I need to put a drop in my palm and add a few drops of water before applying to my face. I can use it full strength (in small doses) on my neck and shoulders. I've used so many manufactured perfumes that I sometimes forget how lovely a simply floral water can be.

I have psoriasis and tonight I will be putting a little bit of the rosewater on my feet with some vitamin E. I usually use Manuka oil for that, but this smells so much nicer! This 2-ounce bottle should last me at least 2 months or more. Again, that's due to the high concentration.

I'll be back to update once I have used this for a few weeks more.


DISCLOSURE: In exchange for providing my fair and honest review, I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free or at a discount using. Regardless, I only review products that I have personally used and can give an opinion of.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

**REVIEW** Walmart's Classic Summer Beauty Box

Last week was a rollercoaster. I was a little bit sick but cheered up a bit when my Target beauty box arrived on Monday. Then, just as I needed another little pick-me-up, the Classic Summer Beauty Box arrived from Walmart on Thursday. The boxes are a nice little treat when you're often laid up in bed.

The Walmart boxes come out 4 times a year - one for each calendar season - and cost $5. The Target beauty boxes are $7 but you can't sign up for them in advance; you have to go to the site and order them (and they go fast).

 You might remember how much I enjoyed Walmart's Classic Spring box. Not a bad five dollars. Here is the Classic Summer box:

As before, the box is very pretty

And the inside was very pretty. I love that they use the tissue as if this really is a gift to yourself.

I have to admit that I liked the Classic Spring box better, but this one did not disappoint.

I really like the fact that Walmart and Target add in a lot of items that afro-natural folks can use. Comparing to the last box, the samples in this Walmart box really seemed smaller.

But there were some good one, starting with what I think is going to be my favorite.

1.Palmer's Natural Fusions set of   Micellar Rose Water Cleanser (it's a clarifying shampoo, folks) and Lavender Rosewater Conditioner ( a hydrating repair formula).

Full sizes (12oz)  are $6.77 each

2. Garnier is another favorite brand of mine and although I don't care much for facial masks, I kinda can't wait to try the SkinActive Soothing Mask.

Full size 6.75oz jar = $9.96

3. I'm not much for hair masks either, but this one will get a test. It's Garnier's Damage Repairing 1-Minute Hair Mask.

Full size 13.5oz $7.49

4. This is not something that I will use, but I sure will be telling a lot of my friends about the Nair Was Ready Strips. In my opinion, this would beat heating up all those wax beads in a special pot, but... I dunno. Oh, and there is a $1 coupon for the strips.

40-count box = $5.98

5. This is the second time I've gotten a Rembrandt Whitening Kit (and coupon) in a Walmart box. I'm kind of over it. I have a crown in the front and whitening treatments make the crown stand out. I will be giving the coupon away. This is a generous sample though. You get 3 treatments (6 strips) and in the full-size box, you get 14 treatments. For anyone wanting to try this out, this is a nice sample. Way to go, Walmart.

1-week kit = $22.27

6. I saved this last item because they will be the one thing I want to run out and get right now. These Kleenex Wet Wipes are going to be a huge fave of mine. The samples are just folded into the pouch, but I see that one of the full-size bags contains individually wrapped cloths. I LOVE that. I use wet wipes for everything from cleaning my face (especially for removing makeup) to refreshing my neck and shoulders on a hot day and cleaning my psoriasis plagued feet. I only like using the tissue style cloths - which are the gentlest on my skin and are flushable. For the last few years I have been using the Equate or Huggies brands but I find these Kleenex wipes to be thicker, stronger, and just as gentle. The individually wrapped ones are going to be perfect for on the go, but I will definitely be getting one of the doubles of the pop-up packs. They are just a smidge more expensive than my usual brands but I think I am in love.

25 wipes = $2.76

I started out comparing this less favorably to the last Walmart box, but I have to admit that there were some real gems in this one. The coupons are always a nice little Plus to any box.

If I remember to, I will do reviews on the Garnier masks and the Palmer's.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

**REVIEW** Target Summer Beauty Box

The Target "Hello Summer Beauty" Box just arrived and I am way more impressed than I expected to be. I think you remember me saying much the same about the Walmart Beauty box for Spring 2018. (By the way, the Walmart Summer box is on the way.) So let's just dive right in and see what the Target box had to offer this month. By the way, you are going to begin to see a theme as we run through the samples...

1. The presentation was very nice and I hate that I tossed the pretty interior tissue before I got a better photo. Please notice the generous sizes of the items.

shipping was SUPER fast

Expires in about 2 weeks though!

2. Much like with "fancier" boxes, the enclosed card details each product and even includes useful tips and bits of info for some items. That was a really nice touch. The $3 coupon is good for an in-store or online Target purchase of $15 or more of cosmetics, skincare or haircare. My only issue with this is that the coupon expires in a couple of weeks.

1.75oz sample
full size = 7.69

3. This Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel is the only thing in the box that I didn't like. I kinda have an unpleasant history with Aunt Jackie and I'm glad I got to try this before I wasted money on it. This was a really generous sample though. I used it (as directed for best results) on washed and still-damp hair. It goes on a little glue-ey but it did help elongate the curl. Only problem is that it made my hair feel as if it had been shellacked. I literally ended up spraying on some water to unstick pieces of my hair because I would have ripped out chunks trying to comb it with my fingers. I just sprayed on some of the next product to see if that would help.

3.3oz sample
full size = $5.99

4. The Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Leave-In Treatment is a really nice treat. I've been kind of ambivalent about S.M. products. When they are good, they are awesome, but when they flop, they flop hard. This leave-in is amazing. It smells good without being overpowering and it cleared up that stiff mess left behind by the Aunt Jackie's. The scent is of a light coconut-water. This is on my list to pick up when I use the coupon. Good stuff and, I'll say again: it smells delicious. I can't wait to try this again after I've washed the Jackie's gunk out of my hair. If it softened my hair like it is, I can't imagine what it will do on clean hair.

2oz sample
full size = $5.99

5. The Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Cream is another new favorite. I don't buy a lot of Cantu products, but they scored with this cream. I love leave-in repairing treatments and I love one that moisturizes as well as this one. Like with product 4, this one has the light scent of coconut - very light. The cream is rich enough that it takes only a bit to treat my hair.

1.75oz each sample
full sizes = $4.59 each

6. I will go ahead and tell you that I love Palmer's products so, even though, I haven't tried these samples of the Coconut Oil Formula Shampoo and Coconut Oil Formula Repairing Conditioner, I have tried Palmer's shampoo and conditioner before (and it might have been these). Getting these samples just reminded me that I haven't used Palmer's in a while. I definitely will be replacing my products with these when I need more shampoo and conditioner again.

4 pcs sample
full pack 24pc = $3.49

7.  The Scunci No Damage Elastics for Thick Hair are perfect for this box. Since the theme is thick, curly, and dry and or damaged hair, a no-damage hair tie is genius. Of course, I cut my hair and still haven't grown it out enough to use these! 😁

0.5oz sample
full size = $7.99

8. Being down here in Iowa where the weather is so humid and changeable between hot and cold, you feel as if you're being sous vide, you need good odor and wetness protection. This Clinical Strength soft sold from Secret is good stuff. I've used Secret before and even though I try to use mostly natural odor protection, every now and then, a gal needs her Secret. This one is scented "light and fresh" and is nice.

Other than that gunky funky Aunt Jackie's, I loved this box. Did you pick up on the coconut theme? Usually, the Target boxes sell out so fast you can hardly grab one. I think that a lot of people were surprised by the afro-hair themed products in this one. If you are interested, there were still some of these boxes left on the website when I checked last night. There is also a Target box for men (which is only $5). Nice.

Now that I have gotten rid of Birchbox, Walmart is the only subscription I still have. Maybe I will be able to catch the Target box when it comes back around.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

**UPDATE** Intermittent Fasting Results

The intermittent fasting is still going well for me. Every time I do one of these updates, I seem to have found more resources that are helpful to me. I will include those links at the bottom of the post. First, though, it's time for the photos showing the most recent results against the March photos. And for today's pics, I will just cover up that hair since I was out of the shower and not groomed!

(I have to start paying attention to which way I'm standing when I take these pics...)

Maybe for some folks, this doesn't seem like a lot of progress for a 4 month period but keep in mind that, because of my fatigue, I haven't been exercising. I do try to go outside and walk around the apartment building a couple times a day. That's about half a block.

My weight loss has been fluctuating but, taking the advice of some of my nurses, I am looking more at visible and no-scale results. If I go by how my clothing fits, I am on the right track. Also, my feet have not been hurting as badly.

I have switched up on the way I do my fasts. Some of the changes I have incorporated are fluctuating between fasting between 16, 18, and 20 hours each day. I haven't done another 24-hour fast since March but I don't feel the need to do one for a while. Things are, as I said, going well enough. The biggest part of my weight loss is not coming just from fasting but also from what I eat during the feeding hours.

This is what I try to keep on hand in the fridge and pantry:
  • Lots of chicken breasts
  • A little bit of ground beef
  • Bacon
  • Fresh spinach, Kale, Collards (used to get frozen until I got the food sealer)
  • Sliced olives, chopped green chiles (mild), fresh tomato salsa\
  • Onions and garlic (of course!)
  • Coconut milk (mostly for Bulletproof coffees)
  • Coconut oil (unrefined or soft for medium heat)
  • Heavy whipping cream (mostly for Bulletproof - BPC - coffees)
  • Full-fat shelf-stable milk (cos I don't use that often)
  • Trail mix with nuts, and some dark chocolate (see note in next paragraph)
  • MCT oil (after reading tons of reviews, I am using this brand
  • EVOO
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Raw or (when I can afford it) Manuka honey
  • Melons - honeydew, yellow, water, etc. - (whatever is on sale)
  • Lots of unsalted butter, full-fat mayo
  • Lots of filtered water
  • Pellegrino Sparkling water when I can afford it
  • Dark roast coffee - McDonald's brand for drinking it black & Cafe Bustelo for making BPC
As far as the trail mix, it can be expensive even at Walmart so I get one of the big $7 buckets, then buy walnuts and pecans when they are on sale. I will toss the sale nuts into the trail mix bucket to add to the mix. I keep this bucket in the freezer so that the raisins and cranberries don't clump. This is a nice snack along with the dark chocolate. For the dark chocolate, again I get whatever is on the cheap, On my last grocery run, Walmart had the bags of Dove dark chocolate pieces on sale. There are about 30 pieces to a bag so I stuck to just one!

I've been watching the YouTube channel 2 Fit Docs because one of them is a nutritionist and they both practice IF. The husband also practices full Keto and lost 53 pounds in 22 weeks. I also like checking in on the channel Dot2Trot because she has awesome recipes. I like doing a variation of her pizza casserole.

By the way, I am not practicing full Keto; I do keep an eye on my carb intake. Now, as I mentioned, here are some links that might be useful to you all who are trying to do this kind of eating plan.

By the way, there are some good phone/tablet apps for anyone dieting, fasting, or just trying to be healthier. I personally use Fat Secret, iFast, and Time Until. Those are all in the Play store for Android and I'm sure you can find them on iTunes.


Monday, July 16, 2018

**REVIEW** Birchbox July 2018

This month's box isn't awful, but when I see what other people got, I have to admit to being kind of disgruntled. I have always, always, always wanted to try one of the LaVanilla perfumes - which was in some of the boxes - and yet, none for me. Perfume is one of the things I put on my profile.


Okay, so what did I get? Well, yet another freaking Eyeco product. A brow liner. What is with the eyebrow stuff and Birchbox?

Anyway, I won't actually talk much about each product. I will just do a reveal of my box and end with some comments.

The brown stuff you see in the other pics? It's this. Leaked. EVERYwhere... 

And, like the INXS song, the Vasanti cloths are the one thing. The only thing I was really okay with. And I chose it.


I just hopped over and canceled my Birchbox subscription. I gave them a try and, apparently, either my profile means nothing or - and I have really wondered about this - they give the very best stuff to top "influencers". I don't know. Doesn't matter. This is 10 bucks I can save for groceries or something else.


Saturday, July 14, 2018


I contacted the company again about the response they initially gave (a copy/paste type response) and they got in touch.

I also made a comment on  video and the comment got a response from a Next-Shine rep. They advised me to contact them again, which I did.

They were very courteous and apologized for sounding as if they hadn't cared the first time. They offered me both a refund and a replacement machine. I accepted and the replacement arrived yesterday. I still have not seen the credit for the refund on any card or site accounts. At least I do have a new unit. I only wish I had not bought a replacement so maybe I will send that one back for a refund.

At any rate, I wanted to share with you that, while it may take some patience and a second contact, Next-Shine does try to attend to customers' problems.

2nd Update *Critical*
On December 17, 2018 - just about up to 6 months into owning and using this item, it stopped. It didn't slow up and stop or wind down and stop. It just stopped cold. I was about to vac-seal a bag of snack sausage and when I hit the button, the light flickered on then off and nothing else happened. Oddly enough, I am still able to seal things but I can't vac-seal and I can't use the accessory function.

My Amazon return period has passed so I contacted the seller to ask if this was a common or known issue and if they could tell me how to fix it. Their response was prompt and courteous but basically unhelpful. And it's the same one I see given to other customers in comments on the Amazon page of reviews. This is a copy/paste of the response: We want to know it has problem when you use it first time? Or stopped working after using many times? And may i know you usually use it to vacuum and seal what kind of food? Would you mind take a video for this itme? You can tell us details by this video, that can help us to solve the problem asap.  How can I video anything when the machine simply does not turn on? Do I video that? 

In their favor, they did ask for my Order Number. Maybe they will be looking into replacing the unit for me. I have not heard back.

I let them know that I have already purchased a second unit - this time with a protection plan (there goes the Christmas money my family sent) and that I will be documenting the use and potential problems and posting it on this blog. I will keep you guys informed.

**UPDATE is at the bottom of this original posting**

July 16th is the date of the 2018 Prime Day. I'm not too excited because I really can't afford to go shopping crazy. However, I'm happy that I snagged one of the earlier "lightning deals". It was for this Food Sealer from Next Shine and I caught it in the last 3 minutes of the deal.

This is the machine straight out of the box:

And this is what it looks like once it's all plugged in and ready to go:

I feel like I hit a little jackpot. Don't get me wrong; it's not as if I saved a huge amount of money during the deal. Despite the "list price" of $65.00 that was shown, I really only saved about $14 off the usual Amazon posted price of about $37. Still, since I really have been needing (and looking for) a decent food sealer, I think I came out okay.

(Side note: last year I did get a handheld vac sealer from Moyeah. It worked for the short term, but I don't have the hand strength to use it much. Also, it is only for very small jobs.)

One of the reasons I have wanted a sealer is because of my solo lifestyle. Coming out of a big family and being around a lot of people all the time, it's been an adjustment for me to cook for one. It's can also be more costly in some ways. Gone are my days of buying certain things in bulk. Fruit and veggies spoil before I can eat them up. Until I started buying shelf-stable dairy, I threw out more half-containers of milk than I care to think about.

The Next Shine Sealer
in action

Another reason a sealer is so useful for me is that I fast between 18 and (usually) 20 hours a day. Yes, every day. Since on most days I only have a few hours to eat, I like having my meals mostly ready to go. Meaning, I want to be able to heat and eat. Fasting is no longer difficult for me but it's no fun to spend time preparing food that you have to wait so long to eat.

I realized that I will be able to make some complete meals in advance, seal and store them, then take out and heat in boiling water or the microwave. Of course, it all depends on what your heating, but you get the idea. The Healthy Maven has some good meal ideas.

I got started straight away taking care of some groceries.

On IF I can have lots of meats and cheeses. Without bread. 

I've learned to drink my coffee black. Most of the time.

So. Now I can buy larger quantities of food that is healthier for me. I love greens like kale and collards. I also enjoy snacking on grapes and melon and lunch meats. It's so much cheaper and easier to get at least a few bunches of these things in a single shopping trip than to trot back and forth to the stores. And keep in mind, I don't have a vehicle of my own.

Now, let me stop yakking about my life and tell you about this sealer.

PROS of the machine & capabilities:

  • Functions as a vacuum sealer as well as a plain sealer. I can even half-vac some items and stop to seal them without fully compressing the bag.
  • Works quickly and fairly quietly. Is it silent? No. It's not loud enough to be annoying or even for a neighbor to hear from outside the front door (which is very near the kitchen).
  • Has an Accessory function and came with a tube for that. I have ordered a jar sealer pump (about $9) to use this with so that I can seal mason/bell jars. There are YouTub videos that show how this can be done without the jar sealer pumps. I will leave that to you more adventurous types!
  • The size was perfect for storing the machine away on top of the fridge. It will also fit with pans under the cabinet. Some reviewers thought it was too big but I found it lightweight and easy to store.
  • Works to seal more than foods. You can seal phones, cameras, cosmetics, etc for safer travel packing.  I personally will definitely seal any lotions, oils and/or spillable cosmetics the next time I pack. 
  • Using the vac-seal function definitely shrinks things down in size. This is great, depending on the food or item type and can save storage room.
  • Works with just about any type of bag. Once again, there are YouTubers who show how to use even the cheapest "regular" bags with the sealer. By the way, I prefer using the rolls of sealing material over the pre-cut/pre-sized bags.
  • You can re-use bags after cutting them open. It will depend on how much room you leave to seal the lip of the bag. Also, you might have to wash and dry the used bags.
  • This particular model came with 10 (quart size) bags. 
  • The buttons for sealing, vac, etc. are marked black on black. This makes them hard to read, but I'm going to use some white out to re-label them.
  • Prices for sealing bags and accessories vary wildly. You will need to do a lot of comparing to find the best price. I found that Walmart had better prices than most other places. Again, I prefer the rolls over bags.
  • You have to be very careful working with liquids or foods that are very wet. It's suggested that you freeze such items first. YouTubers come to the rescue again and show various methods for vac-sealing liquids/wets without freezing. I think I will stick to jars for liquids or just freeze them first.
So, yeah. There aren't that many negatives to this so far. If this machine lasts me a year, I will have gotten an excellent bargain. I've already saved some return trips to the store. I got my greens, cheeses, and meats in larger quantities.

I thought the little storage guides included in the manual was nice.

For the freezer

For the fridge

Now, I don't know how this particular make of food sealer stacks up against others. I've watched several videos and read a ton of reviews for other ones that cost more. This one makes sense for me because of the price and functions. I don't need anything any heavier duty. In my opinion (and that's all I can give), this is a good buy for a typical household of one or two people. Even if this wipes out on me after four or five months, I'll have gotten my money's worth. That doesn't mean I won't be getting in touch with the seller, but... By the way, this only has 4 reviews as I type this, but they are all 4 and 5 stars. I gave it 5 stars. When I get the jar sealer, I will come back and update this. For now, I will leave you with some links to some info on different ways to put a food sealer to use.


The jar sealers came and I was able to better seal the melon rinds I have pickling. I also am able to store things that I tend to use a lot of on this IF diet: heavy creams, coconut milk, organic sauces and flavorings, and oils that I've been infusing with my fresh herbs. That last one is really nice because, for some reason, my herb plants are wearing out and withering away. I'm so happy that I got to fix some oils with them.

Okay, now here is the thing that you need to know if you do get these jars sealers: not every hose attachment seems to fit this brand of jar sealer. I guess the Food Saver is a very popular brand of sealer, but  The accessory hose tip from the Next  Shine did not fit the Food Saver jar sealers, which meant I couldn't get enough suction. This is where I had to get a little creative.

Remember, I had that little handheld Moyeah sealer? Well, that thing has a suction tip on it. I was able to easily remove the Moyeah suction tip and attach it to the hose from the Next Shine.

By putting the Moyeah suction cup over the holes on the Food Saver jar sealer, I was able to get vac seal my jars.

I would not have known to do that before I watched a video by North Carolina Prepper. Now, I wouldn't attempt to use his method for storing things in plastic bottles, but what he did to the hose at mark 1:13 was genius.

Thanks, dude.

At any rate, that is one thing I didn't expect to have to do and was lucky that I had that old handheld around to steal a part from. I'm going to mention this little detail in my review on Amazon.

As with sealing things in the bag, the jar system is going to be great for me. I have thrown out as lots of half-used sauces - spaghetti, tomato, pizza - and other canned goods.

If you are interested in knowing which items I personally purchased, they are the wide jar sealer (approx $8), regular jar sealer (approx $9), and food vac bags (approx $17 for 2 rolls of 8-inch wide x 50 ft long). The bags from Walmart were more expensive at approx $7 for 1 roll of 11-inch wide x 16 ft long. Also, Walmart online had rolls at the same price but there is a shipping charge unless your cart total is at least $35. I couldn't find the jar sealers at the brick and mortar store in my town.

It sounds as if I spent quite a bit of money to get started with this food storage system, but it not when you consider the amount of food I won't be throwing out. Then there's the cost of gas for repeat trips to the store. Most important of all is my health. I am down 15 pounds since I started the IF diet. That is 15 pounds solid - not the up-and-down weight that I hate. If I count the seesaw weight, I am down 22 pounds.