Space Bags Really Work.. Kind Of

Date Fri, May 16 2008

If you’ve ever had a TV in your house, changes are you’ve seen the commercials for space bags. If you watch a lot of home improvement shows like I tend to, then you’ve probably seen the commercials more times than you can count. The adverts claim that this wonderful product can fit all your winter clothes or bed linens and after zipping shut the space bags and vacuuming out the extra air, you’ll have 3 times as much room.

I bought this because it seemed to be too good to be true. I found space bags available at a local kitchen supply store that had a section for “As Seen on TV” items. I picked up a 2 pack which I believe held 1 large and 1 jumbo bag; however, I am not positive because space bags come in every combination possible!

I wanted to repack my items in a safer package and space bags claim to be waterproof, insect and animal proof as well impervious to oxidation (which spreads stains and lightens colours) and mildew. I figured that even if the space saving aspect of the bags wasn’t effective, I’d have an everything-proof bag to protect my linens and clothing.

The good news is they work! You can fill the bags and vacuum all the air out and it will look like.. well, the air has been all vacuumed out and greatly reduced in size, a bit like freeze dried food.

The bad news is you have to be extremely careful with space bags or a seam will rip. I had been zealous in stuffing my first space bag (a large size?) and after zipping it up applied just a bit of pressure a burst a seam near the zipper without actually realizing it.

While space bags may be everything-else-proof, they are certainly not safe from human error. Reviews across the internet point out that this seems to be a common issue with space bags; in fact, many customers purchased space bags to find that the seams were already ripped.

All this aside, I now to be more careful next time and if that were my only issue, I’d still love space bags.

The worse news is the space saving feature really only works with certain types of linens and soft items: the light and fluffy type. So while jackets, pillows, and comforters will compress nicely, towels, jeans rugs and any type of thicker/heavier item will not because it isn’t full of ‘extra’ air. You’ll still be protecting these items from rats and mildew but it will take up as much room as it normally would.

The worst news is that the sizes are ridiculous. I was happy with my large bag, it worked well for me to tuck into a corner, place on a box or hide under a bed for storage but the jumbo sized bag was so ridiculously large that it just wasn’t practical.

Even if you could neatly organize your items (which you can’t!) in the bag, and vacuum so it took up 100% less room, you’d still be left with an airtight bag the size of a medium dog and with a very difficult shape to store as most space bags do not have a flat bottom. Couple that with the slippery package and you have one giant space bag that it now going to stay where you put it.

The bright side is that you don’t need to purchase such large bags and I might have been spared the mistake if I’d read the dimensions. There are also cube space bags which might work better for stacking and staying in place as well.

I think I had a fairly typical experience with space bags. The fragile seams rip for many customers and other customers also have issue with vacuum attachments not fitting snuggly (although I didn’t have any problems with that myself).

One last issue I am concerned about but didn’t have a chance to test was that of re-inflating. The space bags site warns customers to be careful when moving and handling airtight space bags because this could cause the bag to re-inflate, especially if it is handled near the zipper.

Several customers on Amazon have reported their space bags re-inflating after only a short time. Since the seam tore on the large bag and i re-inflated and the jumbo bag was much too big and bulky to even warrant vacuuming out the extra air, I have not been able to see if an undamaged space bag would hold with inflating again. It did seem that the large bag helf for a bit even with the tear, however.

Overall, I was surprised that space bags did seem to do what the commercials claimed and I think an undamaged space bag in small, medium or large or a cube would work well for anyone who needs very secure storage. However, customers should be wary that bags sized extra large and above are bulky and inconvenient. Also, the seams easily tear so one should take care to not overfill the bags or apply pressure before vacuuming.

Something a little different.,

Date Thu, May 15 2008

I recently finished The Color of Magic, the first Discworld book by Terry Pratchett. Although short, it was really a fast read. It’s satirical and irreverent without being wordy, poking fun at many fantasy cliches which have dominated the genre for years. Yet, Pratchett uses some of these himself as well as some creative techniques. I’ll admit that some things we simply cannot wrap our heads around because they are so fantastic! Often, his style reminds me of the late Douglas Adams whose series The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been a favourite of mine since I first discovered it in middle school.

the-colour-of-magicThe novel starts quickly with a great city afire (though Pratchett assures us it will rebuild as it always has) which as been accidentally started by one of the main characters, Twoflower who begins the novel by fleeing said city with his newfound companion Rincewind “the Wizard” who has actually flunked out of wizardry school and isn’t much of a magic handler at all.

The book flashes back to their acquaintanceship where Rincewind discovers Twoflower (and his mysterious sentient chest of Luggage), a visitor to Rincewind’s home city Ankh-Morpork (the first ever tourist on Discworld) and follows them on their coming journey which eventually leads them to the end of the world, literally.

Rincewind and Twoflower live on Discworld, literally a disc sitting on the backs of 4 elephants who themselves sit on the back of a giant turtle (gender unknown which is quite the curiosity to Discworld inhabitants). In such a world, direction is measured in relation to the rim of the disc (rimward) or hub (hubward).

Though they battle the original fire, common thieves, a soul eating monster, imagined dragons who reside in an upside down mountain with their quarreling family of royal imaginers, and eventually end up in Krull at the edge of the world, while avoiding saying the number 8 (which Pratchett also avoids saying by describing it any number of round-about ways) which is closely associated with magic, Octarine (the eighth color, that of magic) and all-things-generally-unpleasant as Rincewind repeatedly eludes the none-too-happy-about-it Death, they remain generally unscathed.

Or do they? I recommend you try this book out and see for yourself (as do countless editors, critics and journalists whose opinions of Pratchett and his works who preface this novel)!

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Swiffer Wet Jet All-In-One Power Mop

Date Tue, May 13 2008

I bought a Swiffer Wet Jet right around the time when they first came out. I was familiar with the original Swiffer Sweeper and figured this would be a good investment. Even, then I was disappointed to learn you have to sweep or vacuum first. It seemed to me that the Swiffer Wet Jet should do this as well as function as a mop.

Still, it was quicker and less messy than a mop. I don’t like to be on contact with surfaces that seem dirty and the Swiffer Wet Jet All-In-One Power Mop Starter Kit provides me with the “barrier” I need to clean yet stay clean myself.

However, when I purchased a newSwiffer Wet Jet after moving, I was quite disappointed. Version 2.0, or whatever it is, requires batteries and they are not included! I’m not sure why this version needs batteries, but it’s just another thing to replace. If the original could do without, why not this one?

Also, this one was much more complicated to put together. The battery area requires extra pieces. With the original, it was easy to put it together but I actually had to follow directions with all the new pieces.

The revamped Swiffer Wet Jet tries to look classy but instead looks cheap and plasticy. Indeed, when there are spots I need to scrub, I sometimes wonder if I won’t break the shaft of this machine because it bends and feels weak.

As others have mentioned, the pads, solution and sponge all need to be changed fairly frequently. Although it depends how often you use your Swiffer, how much dirt you mop up and how large of an area you have to mop, refilling these articles may cost you next to nothing or an arm and a leg.

However, compared to the wet mopping pads on a regular swiffer, the Swiffer Wet Jet seems to be a vast improvement, especially when it comes to scrubbing with the provided attachments (in the case of the Wet Jet, a small, rough sponge attached via welcro the the side of the mop).

Overall, the Swiffer Wet Jet is an improvement over traditional mopping systems, but it could be more efficient and if the company continues to utilize such inefficient “upgrades,” I see myself parting with the Swiffer Wet Jet All-In-One Power Mop if something better comes along.


Date Sat, May 10 2008
Savings Since 2008 Thanks to Ebates!

Savings Since 2008 Thanks to Ebates!

Ebates is a website that gives you cash back for purchases you make online. You can use it with hundreds of stores, including your favourite. Simply sign up at Ebates to earn your first $5 and you’re well on your way to the first check.

Stop off at Ebates before heading to sites like Newegg, Barnes and Noble, Hot Topic, Adidas, Joann Fabrics, Target and even Expedia!

Earn a percentage back from all your purchases and, if you’re like me, and shop online all the time, you’ll soon be cashing your very own check from Ebates. Those cash back rates aren’t always the same, either. They can change during the busiest shopping season of the year — Christmas — and many stores have higher rates on Black Friday and other special shopping days!

The best part of Ebates is, I’ve actually seen the checks. It’s legitimate!

Since 2008, I’ve earned over $125 as you can see from my screenshot (December 2014). About a third of that was earned in the last quarter of 2014 alone, which is pretty impressive. There was a lot of time when I forgot to use Ebates, and I obviously missed out on free money because of it!

The store profiles also give you updates on current sales and coupons, which is why Ebates is one of my favorite websites to use to save money.

If you’re at all thinking of joining, click my affiliate link. I’ll earn a small commission, but you can do the same by referring your friends to ebates, too!

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Suave Skin Therapy Moisturizer

Date Sat, May 10 2008

Suave has been in the market for advertising cheaper alternatives to salon and pharmacy grade products for years now and they do a great job! It’s no different with this lotion!

I’ve used many lotions, as most females have, and have found that while some may smell great, they tend not to do a good job. Conversely, if it does a great job, it probably smells medicinal and disgusting.

However, Suave skin therapy Advanced therapy moisturizer has a pleasant but serious smell and does a great job. I’ve always had extremely rough and dry feet so I originally purchased the Advanced Therapy lotion for there and I noticed a huge difference!

Suave’s lotion claims it isn’t greasy and they come true. It moisturizes your skin deep without leaving residue and don’t be fooled by that pleasant smell. It’s neither fruit nor flowers nor baby powder. It’s something else. Almost medicinal yet strangely pleasant and elegant. Your nose won’t be offended but your mind knows it does the trick!

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative for a powerful lotion, this is it!

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Victorias Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss

Date Fri, May 9 2008

Recently, I made an order through Victoria’s Secret and had a promo code for a free sample of the Beauty Rush Lip Gloss. I’m not a huge lip gloss fan but I figured it couldn’t hurt, especially since it was free.

When all my packages arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with the lip gloss. The 4 scents – Cherry Bomb, Sugar High, Grapefruit Blast and Toasty Almond – were cute .28 Oz tubes nestled snugly inside a very sleek looking box that remind me of a Christmas present! With the box – a shiny pink lid printed with LIP CANDY (in a very disco-esque fashion, might I add) over a shiny silver tray which lines with a glittery pink foil which can be seen through the clear plastic tray holding the glosses – so impressive, I couldn’t wait to try the glosses themselves!

I’m happy to say I absolutely adore 3 of these scents: Cherry Bomb, Sugar High and Grapefruit Blast. I was shocked by the last one; I’m usually not a fan of grapefruit.
What can I say? I love scents but not all scents.

Overall, the 4 glosses have strong scents to appeal to any discerning nose and a sweet flavour for those compulsive lip-lickers like myself. The glosses are thick and slightly sticky which might be a turn off for anyone you are kissing and will certainly attract any hair blowing in the wind.

To break it down, both Grapefruit Blast and Cherry Bomb – a pretty pink and deep red, respectively – had delicious scents that were sweeter than the natural counterparts are without losing the fruity origins. Sugar High, a glittery white like snow, is a tantalizing scent reminiscent of homemade sugar cookies. I found these glosses absolutely addicting!

However, something went wrong with Toasty Almond. I must not be the only one to think so as it’s no longer listed on the Victorias Secret site. I wasn’t sure about it from its golden brown colour to its a-little-too strong nutty/coffee scent but gave it a go anyway. I wish I hadn’t. Once on the lips, all I could smell was something not-quite-like-horribly-burned-almonds. This was definitely I didn’t want myself or anyone else tasting or smelling on my lips and I quickly removed it. A second try revealed it to be not quite as offensive but still far from pleasant.

All the glosses are sheer with just a tiny hint of colour and lots of glitter to make your lips sparkly! Because the glosses are sheer, I thin they’d be great for daytime wear. Yet, because they are sparkly, they would also turn your lips up a notch for a night on the town.

Like most glosses, they don’t seem to last very long and will rub off on food, glasses, other people et cetera. I would recommend reapplying rather frequently but the alluring scent will be enough to do that anyway!

I would recommend most of these scents to anyone looking for a fun, flirty lip gloss. I would try out most of the fruity glosses Victoria’s Secret has in its collection in the future; I was definitely impressed!

Welcome one and all!

Date Fri, May 9 2008

To Reviews by Cole a site which showcases reviews of products and services by me, Cole!

Stay tuned for more!