Protect your home and family with HealthySole



I wouldn’t consider myself a “germophobe,” but I do worry about what germs are floating around my home and settling in on the places we touch most (door knob, light switches, toilet handle, faucet, fridge door…).

My kids are teenagers and they know the importance of washing their hands and know not to put their hands near their faces. Even so, germs find their way into your home. Even the cleanest homes can have germs.

I’m always wiping frequently used areas with disinfecting wipes to protect me and my family. However there is one part of my home I never gave much thought to when it comes to germs – the floor!

Here are some eye opening facts.

Germs live longer on the soles of your shoes than anywhere else in your home! Recent studies by The University of Arizona and ABC News have shown that the soles of shoes carry millions of units of bacteria, averaging 421,000 coliform forming units. Your average public toilet seat has less than 1000 units of bacteria. Up to 99% of these pathogens are transferred from the soles of your shoes to the floors of your home causing infections and disease. Pathogens can also become airborne and fall on other surfaces.

Even as an adult I sometimes sit on the floor. I play with our pets on the floor. I am wrapping holiday gifts while sitting on the floor. And when I have to look through my files under my desk I sit on the floor. Ewww… now I’m worried about sitting on the floor.

Think about your shoes and all that you step on during the course of the day. Take me for example. I walk our dog in the grass. I never really thought about all the animal waste that I step through. Obviously I don’t walk on animal poop (unless by accident). But other critters poop (birds, mice, skunks…) that you might not see, not to mention animal urine. People also spit on the ground (a very disgusting habit), cough, sneeze and other things. Your shoes are walking through all of this – and then you walk through your home with the same shoes. Then you and your family (especially little children) step on the floor or sit/play on the floor, which means you are coming in contact with who-knows-what you picked up from outside. It makes me not want to walk out of my home ever again or make people where those little shoe booties before coming into my home.


There is a device that has been tested for efficiency, that kills the germs on our shoes BEFORE we enter our homes. The product is called HealthySole.

HealthySole is a device that uses UVC – nature’s germ killer – to kill the germs on your shoes and significantly reduce infectious surface and airborne microbes that enter your home on the soles of shoes.

UVC light is found in sunlight and it has been used as a form of germicidal disinfection for over 100 years.

How does HeathlySole work? It’s simple.

First you need to charge up the unit. I like that it’s chargeable because I don’t have an outlet outside of our door, or near the door, to plug it in.

When you are ready to enter your home simply step on HealthySole. When you do the small “blade-like” pieces (the ones sticking up in the photo) get pushed down, indicating that someone is stepping on the unit which triggers it to turn on. Then just stand on the unit for 8 seconds (yes,  just 8 seconds) the device will indicate it’s done and you are welcome to enter your home. That’s it! That’s all you need to do.

HealthySole was designed for adult size shoes, however they have a small, fabric piece that easily fits on top to accommodate children’s shoes.

Child Shoe


You cannot leave HealthySole outside. The elements will ruin it. Instead keep it inside your door so that people can step on it as soon as they come inside.

I would also watch your pets. My cats think its a place to sit and lie down. I don’t know what affect, if any, the UV light would have on them but I am not willing to take chances. I shoo them away as soon as I see them on it.

I am not a scientist, nor do I have the necessary equipment to check HealthySole’s effectiveness. I just have to believe that it does what it’s supposed to do.

HealthySole would make a great addition to any home. It might also make a good addition to places such as daycare centers.

For more information about HealthySole visit www.HealthySole.com. You can also find them on Twitter (@Healthy_Sole), Facebook and YouTube.

They also have a blog (the link is found on their site) which some wonderful articles that I found very interesting and helpful.

What you think of HealthySole? Does it sound like a product you would want in your home?



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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A practical gift for computer users and “techies” from NetGear



Most people are finishing up their shopping list for the holiday (or at least attempting to). I’m sure there are still some gift that need to be purchased, especially for those hard to buy for people.

Many people stay away from “practical” gifts because they see them as “boring”. That is not always the case. Sometimes the practical gifts are the best gifts of all.

We live in a high tech world. Growing up I never dreamed of type of technology we have now. I still remember my GIANT IBM computer that had a black screen with a yellowish green text. We didn’t’ have smartphones, tablets and the wide variety of WiFi enabled products that we do today.

Many people have routers in their home which enables them to connect to the internet wirelessly – meaning your phone, tablet and laptop don’t have to be connected to the wall outlet where the internet service provider’s line is.

These days many homes have multiple devices, especially if you have a large family. In our family of four we have four iPads, three iPods, four smartphones, five laptops (mine is connected – the other three are wireless), two Kindles and two additional tablets. We also have a few other devices that run off the WiFi such as a recipe reader and a Cube that streams photos off our social networking sites (that review will come at another time).

Routers were not originally made to handle so many WiFi devices at one time, especially is multiple devices are being used at the same time. For this reason you need a router that can handle all the demands of your WiFi enable products.

What you need is a “powerhouse” of a router that can tackle all the demands. You need something like NetGear’s Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router.

I should stop right here and let you know I am not a “techie”. I don’t “get” some techie things. Thankfully my hubby is a computer tech and is able to explain things to me in “layman’s terms.”

NetGear’s Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router has a sci-fi look to it. It looks like some kind of robotic alien bug.


I’d take a photo of ours but it’s buried under the desk. I have a corner desk and it’s underneath towards the corner/wall to keep it way from the cats who love to chew on wires and sit on things.

My husband had no problem setting it up. He’s a computer tech so I asked him if he thought someone like me (a non-tech) could set it up easy enough and he is confident that I could. The only reason why I didn’t is because I wasn’t sure what wires/plugs to unplug and move around since there are a ton of things hooked up under the desk (laptop, desktop, printer, lamp, fan…).

I know he had to do something on the computer in regards to this (configure perhaps?), but whatever it was took just a few minutes. It seemed like the route was up and running in 1-2-3.

Here are more details about the NetGears Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router.

  • Get the fastest WiFi speed available – up to 3.2Gbps
  • Tri-Band WiFi delivers more WiFi for more devices
  • 6 High performance antennas for maximum range
  • Smart-Connect designates slower and faster devices to separate WiFi bands
  • 1GHz dual core processor with 3 offload processors
  • Beamforming+ improves wireless range and reliability
  • USB 3.0 port offers high-speed, USB storage-ready access
  • Easily manage your home network with the NETGEAR genie app

So far we have had no issue with the router. My laptop is connected, which is the device I use most of the time, so it wouldn’t be affected by this router.

When I use my little laptop (it’s more like a netbook), any of the tablets, Kindles or my smartphone I have not had an issue with the WiFi connection. Everything seems to work smoothly and with no lags or failure to connect, even if stormy weather.

NetGear Nighthawk

Our condo is very small so everywhere you go in our  home you get a great WiFi connection. The NetGears Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router works well in larger homes from what I can tell from reading about the device.

I’ve noticed that my little laptop (netbook) and iPads seem to work a bit better and faster then before. My smartphone, tablets and Kindles seem to work the same as they used to.

My kids have not complained of any issues with their laptops or smartphones.

My husband is impressed by the router. He said it’s much better than the “piece of garbage” (to quote him) that we had before.

We watch A LOT of Netflix too and we have had no streaming issues whatsoever which is nice. No one wants any lagging when watching a film.

Overall our experience has been positive. We really like the NetGears Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router.

If you are looking for a practical gift, or a gift for a techie, the NetGears Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router would make a great gift. It might be a bit pricey for a single holiday gift, but you’ll get much use out of it and it’s something that we all need in this high tech world we live in.

More more information about this and other NetGear products visit www.NetGear.com. They have other routers available too.

NetGear can also be found on social media. All links are found on their home page.

Do you ever have issues with your router? Do you find that you have too many WiFi gadgets on your router that is slowing things down or causing problems? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received a free product in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Shop for warehouse sizes and prices online with Boxed



I love shopping at warehouse clubs. I enjoy getting larger sizes of the products that we use often. Larger sizes mean that we don’t have to shop for them as much as we do with regular sizes. It’s more of a convenience than anything else, although I find that I also save money that way. The less trips to the store the less I spend. I tend to overspend. For example, if I go into the store for milk, eggs and bread I often leave with those items as well as fruit, veggies, cereal, dog food, house cleaning products and so on – even if I didn’t have a need for those items. I tend to “impulse buy” and when I see something that we use on sale, even if we don’t have an immediate need for it, I’ll pick it up.

Buying our day to day products in bulk tends to save me money in the long run because it means less trips to the store.

Going to those warehouse clubs presents another set of problems. Often I tend to buy more than what I went in for (the same as I do at the grocery store). Standing in those very long lines is frustrating and having to pile everything into the car and then lug it upstairs into our condo is no fun.

Imagine if you could purchase the goods you need whether it’s for day to day use or a holiday soirée with just a simple swipe on your mobile phone or the click of a button online. You can with a new service called Boxed. Boxed is a mobile service that delivers bulk-sized goods straight to your doorstep in 2 days or less and most importantly – no membership fees!

Boxed sent me a credit to their site to do a little shopping to try out the service. I was pleasantly surprised by the products they offered. They carried many products and brands that we use on a regular basis. Their prices are really good too. In fact some of the products I saw were priced better than the warehouse club that we have a membership to.


Here are a few examples.

Bounty Paper Towels – we all know it can get quite messy when preparing our holiday meals. Clean up your hands and spills with these super bounty rolls that Boxed offers in packs of 12 – your kitchen will be spotless within minutes.

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes – Pair your dinner with Idahoan’s Buttery Homestyle flavored mashed potatoes – super tasty and gluten free!  You can purchase a value pack filled with four 12oz. resealable pouches.

Snapware Plastic Food Keeper Set – Do you love to bake during the holidays. If so you’ll probably need plenty of containers to delivery goodies to. Store these leftovers and other baked and cooked goods in these durable and leak-proof containers. Available in a 38 piece set – perfect to fit every last piece of your delicious meal.

With Boxed you can find the products you need including personal hygene products, cleaning products, snacks, grocery and more. You can even find boxed deals like 32 oz. + 48 Chewable Tablets of Pepto-Bismol for $16.99 and 180 Bandages + 8 Neo-to-Go! Band-Aid Assorted Premium Items for only $14.99.

Boxed also offers you FREE shipping on your first order, so it’s a wonderful way to stock up on the products you need/want AND have them delivered right to your door, in most cases in only two days. In fact I was surprised my order was there the NEXT DAY! I believe the company is located in New York (as am I) which would explain the super quick delivery. But even two days is pretty impressive.

Boxed App

I believe order ship for FREE when you order $50 or more.

I enjoyed my shopping experience with Boxed. My only “issue” (which really isn’t one) is that it was hard to narrow down my choices. I found so many things that I wanted to purchase.  I ended up picking up a HUGE container of Danish cookies (perfect for the holidays and dipping in tea/coffee), some Milano cookies for my hubby (he loves them), chocolate, Cranberry-Almond THINaddictives (I love these!) and a few more items.

The site is set up by categories and sub-categories so that it’s easy to find what you are looking for. There is even an option on the site to suggest a product if there is something that you want/need and don’t see on the site.

You can also refer friends with a unique code. Your friends get a $20 credit for signing up and you get a $10 credit for everyone who signs up using your unique code. It’s a win-win situation.

Now that winter is here (I don’t drive in snow!) I like that I am able to order the stuff I need and get it delivered right to my door.

Check out Boxed for yourself. You’ll be surprised and the great products and prizes they offer. The site is www.Boxed.com (easy enough to remember). You an also find them on social media (all the links are found on their site).

If you would like to join for FREE use the invitation code UZ39W to get a $20 credit. I’ll also get a $10 credit which would help out a lot. I have my eye on the big box of Milano cookies for my husband (he loves Milanos) and the big box of Fruit Snacks for my boss (she eats fruit snacks every day).

What do you think of the idea of Boxed? Does it sound like a service you’ll use? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received a free gift code in order to pick up some products to try out the service. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Oriental Trading Company – Your one stop shop for holiday decor and more


PHOTO SOURCE: Oriental Trading Company's Facebook page

PHOTO SOURCE: Oriental Trading Company’s Facebook page

Are you familiar with the Oriental Trading Company?

I’ve been shopping with the Oriental Trading Company for many years. I used to buy goodies for my kid’s classrooms and classmates. You can always find some wonderful toys, trinkets, stickers and candies – in bulk – at Oriental Trading Company for amazing prices.

As a class parent I always wanted to have plenty of goodies to give out to the kids during class parties. Over the years I have picked up many fun things to give to the kids, from coloring books to super adorable Rubber Duckies and more.

I know a lot of teachers pick up supplies and “prizes” for kids at Oriental Trading Company. Even our Pediatric Dentist purchases stickers through Oriental Trading. You can even find craft kits for every holiday, season and even religious events on their site and in their printed catalog.

Here are just a few examples.


Prism Smile Face Roll of Stickers  – 100 stickers ($2.55)


DIY Wood Hinged Boxes – 1 dozen ($20.50)


Tootsie Roll® Miniature Pops® – 200 lollipops ($9.99)

It’s true that you can buy a lot of fun things in bulk at Oriental Trading Company, but did you know you can also buy gifts, holiday decor and supplies too?

I LOVE decorating for the holidays. It’s unfortunate we live in a tiny condo. If we have a house with a yard I would go crazy decorating.

One of my favorite things to do when I was little (and I still enjoy today) is making paper chains to decorate around the home and sometimes the tree.

Oriental Trading Company sells pre-cut paper strips that have an adhesive on one side that you can lick (or wet with a damp towel) to help you make paper chains quickly and easily. No more cutting up stripes, hoping they are the same size, and having to deal with rolls of tape. With the pre-cut/pre-glued paper strips from Oriental Trading Company you can decorate your home and tree in a fraction of the time.

We have the Candy Striped Paper Chains. You can 500 pieces for only $6.25! They have other Paper Chain designs available too for other occasions such as the 4th of July and Valentines Day.

chain 1

chain 2

chain 3

My family and I had fun putting together the paper chains to decorate our home.We had FUN doing it. It wasn’t laborious like traditional paper chains. There was no cutting, gluing or taping involved.

If paper chains are not your “thing”, Oriental Trading Company has this beautiful felt Christmas Shapes garland. The garland spans 6 feet!

For some reason I thought this garland was made of paper. It’s not. It’s mad with a thick, soft felt and the shaped pieces are beautifully put together and decorated. Had I know how lovely this was going to be I would have ordered several sets.


I am hoping to pick up more of this garland to hang up around our home. Currently it’s hanging near our Christmas tree and it looks so nice.

Oriental Trading Company has shaped garland and other type of garland for every occasions, season and events.

What I love about both of these products is that they can be re-used and enjoyed year after year. If the paper chain happens to get flattened or ripped I just have to replace those pieces with a new strip.

One of my family’s favorite holiday decorations from Oriental Trading Company is the Countdown Snowman Face. He’s super adorable and he helps us to keep track of how many days until Christmas. Each day you move his carrot nose to reflect then number of days left until Christmas Day.


He’s got a good weight to him too. He’s a lot heavier then he looks.

My kids are teenagers and both of them fight over who gets to move the Snowman’s nose every day. They are supposed to take turns but my son tends to do it every morning when he wakes up (he’s the first one up during the week).

Oriental Trading Company also have a kit where you can make your own Countdown Snowman Face craft (the kit makes 12 snowmen).


Oriental Trading Company also has holiday decor that makes wonderful gifts too. Take for example our chubby Softy the Snowman. This adorable plush snowman says “Families are forever because love never melts,” across his tummy.

Snowman and cat

He would make a wonderful gift, especially for a loved one far away.

He’s a nice size and has a weighted bottom so he doesn’t tip over.

You can display him year round or just for the winter/holiday season. I plan on keeping ours out year round, since he’ll never melt, not even in the heat of summer.

The cute little kitty cat seated on the floor next to Softy is also from Oriental Trading.

The Plush Cat with Cardinal stands 12″ tall. He’s more of a decoration than a toy. He’s also dressed for Winter, not Christmas, so he can be enjoyed all winter long. He’d make a great gift for a cat lover.

Not to leave dog lovers out there is also a Plush Dog with Bird. He’s the same size as the cat and is also a decoration (not a toy) and would be a cute gift for a dog lover.


We have a dog and five cats, so I love both of these adorable plush decorations.

As you can see, Oriental Trading Company is so much more than just inexpensive bulk toys and candy. You can find plenty of wonderful (and affordable) gifts, decorations for every holiday and season and so much more.

Don’t forget stocking stuffers! Oriental Trading Company has plenty of goodies to stuff your stockings – and more.

If you haven’t stopped by Oriental Trading Company lately you should. You are missing out on some wonderful finds – www.OrientalTrading.com.

Oriental Trading Company can also be found on all the social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+. Their YouTube channel is great. They have a lot of fantastic ideas there.

Have you ever shopped at the Oriental Trading Company? Feel free to share your thoughts. I love to hear from my readers.



*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Still looking for the perfect gift?


2015 is just around the corner. Have you selected your family and desk top calendars yet?

My family has a main calendar we keep in the kitchen where we make note of holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, days off and appointments. My husband has another calendar that he keeps on his desk at work to make note of projects and meetings.

Selecting the perfect calendar is no easy task. Well, as least for my husband anyway. He always looks for the “perfect” calendar. He says it’s because he has to look at it every day (almost) for an entire year, so he wants to make sure that he likes it. I can see what he means by that. I like our family’s calendar to look nice too.

I tend to go towards landscapes and cute animals. My husband likes calendars that are football related.

When it comes to shopping for calendars there is no place better to shop than Calendars.com. They have hundreds (if not more!) calendars to choose from in every shape and style imaginable. Whether you are looking for Grumpy Cat or Tractors, chances are Calendars.com has what you are looking for.

Grumpy Cat


They also have wall mounted calendars, desk top calendars, dry erase calendars and just about any other type of calendar available. The entire site is dedicated to calendars.

On the flip side there is MORE to Calendars.com than just calendars. They also carry some fun and unique products that would make great gifts for those on your holiday shopping list.

Calendars.com carries a lot of gift options including puzzles, games, books and even gifts for dog lovers.

My family and I LOVE The Walking Dead. We have never, ever missed an episode in all the years it’s been on. We are die hard fans. If Santa wanted to bring me a gift that was related to The Walking Dead I’d be thrilled.

Calendars.com has A LOT of great gift ideas for The Walking Dead fan in your life. Judging by how incredibly popular the show is I’m sure most people know of at least one fan of the show.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how many Walking Dead items Calendars.com offers.

The Walking Dead gifts

I have not one but TWO sets of The Walking Dead playing cards. They came together as a set from Calendars.com.

The cards came inside a collectible Walking Dead tin featuring fan favorite Daryl and his brother Merle on the cover. The cards currently available on Calendars.com are sold individually – not as a set. One set features Daryl and the other set features Merle on the cover.

Each deck of cards is a bit different. The deck with Merle has different zombies for each suite of cards. For the Daryl set some cards feature Daryl, other Merle and the rest are just a generic background (the words look like they were written in blood). Both sets are super creepy and would certainly thrill any Walking Dead fan.

The cards are only $3.99 per set. These would make great stocking stuffers.

Personally I think it’s great to keep a deck of cards on hand, especially if there is a chance of a power outage. You and your family can always play a game of cards or two to pass the time away (or build card houses).


A game of poker and “Go Fish” will never be the same again with these cards. LOL!

Calendars can also make a great gift. It might not be something on people’s wish lists, but they are practical and can be put to get use. Another words they won’t collect dust under the bed or in the closet.

For the football fan in your life I would recommend the Finger League Football 2015 Desk Calendar. Not only is it a calendar (a practical gift) it’s also a “toy”. It comes with a small goal post and finger football so your football fan can “kick” the winning field goal. The calendar also features fun football trivia.

My husband is going to love this! I only took it out of the box for a bit to check it out. Then I carefully put it back together so that I can wrap it and put it under the tree for my hubby. He’s going to have fun with this at work.


football calendar

If you are still looking for the ideal gift for someone on your holiday shopping list you should check out what Calendars.com has to offer. Best of all the products they sell on their site are all budget friendly.

Calendars.com can also be found on social media (all the links are found on the bottom of their website).

Have you visited Calendars.com before? Have you ever shopped there?



*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 




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A unique gift idea – “The Ex”


The Ex

Sometimes finding the perfect gift for someone on your holiday shopping list is easier said than done. Sure, you can go with traditional “stand by” gifts like perfume, jewelry, ties and cologne – but people usually have a closet full of these things that they’ll never use.

I love to get unique gifts whenever possible. I will buy traditional gifts too but only as a last resort or if the person has such a gift on their wish list.

Do you have anyone on your holiday shopping list who is a “Foodie”, loves to cook, enjoys things that are a bit macabre or recently divorced? If so I have the perfect gift for them – The Ex.

What is The Ex? The Ex is a beautifully crafted luxury-designer gift that makes a statement. It’s a person shaped knife holder that comes with a set of knifes that are placed on it to resemble someone getting stabbed. In a way it reminds me of a Voodoo doll.

According to the manufacturer;

The concept of celebrating divorce or a difficult breakup in order to ease the pain and move past one of the most difficult times in one’s life was started by RICSB, manufacturers of THE EX knife holder, a one of a kind kitchen display designed in Italy by Raffaele Iannello. It’s a conversation piece that can be placed in your kitchen, displayed in your living room or even on your coffee table.

The Ex has been featured on several news outlets including The Rachel Ray Show, The View, The Today Show, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox to name a few.

The Ex is desgned by Italian designer Raffaele Iannello.

Raffaele Iannello is a noted designer in Europe and his products are varied. He was born in 1974 and has established himself in Italy as one of the finest young designers in Europe. As most designers, Raffaele Iannello takes his designs quite seriously while adding both the elements of humor, and tongue in cheek qualities in each product as well as an innovative style.

His products are sold worldwide. They are both manufactured and distributed by a New York based company called RICSB.

The first time I laid eyes on The Ex I knew I had to have it for my kitchen. I like things that are unique and attention grabbing. This knife set certainly is both.

The Ex stands a lot taller than I thought it would. The body is a nice size and it’s made in a way so it doesn’t tip over.

The Ex Knife Set

I was hoping for the stainless steel set but I received the black one to review. The only reason why I don’t like black items is because they tend to show dust and dried water drops more so than other colors (not only that Stainless Steel is really nice looking). But the stainless steel one is super expensive, so I can understand why I received a colored one.

The knives appear to be made of stainless steel. There are several different types of knives in different sizes. Each knife has it’s own “slot” on the body.

My first thought (before I saw The Ex in person) is that people would cut themselves on the knives that stick out in the back of the body. It’s hard to see from the photo but each knife has a plastic “sleeve” that the knife goes into which prevents people from accidentally cutting themselves on them while on the stand. This is an ingenious idea. And because the sleeves are clear you don’t have to worry about them taking away from the overall look of The Ex.

The sleeves can also be removed for cleaning.


The knives are great. We’ve used them many times. They are very sharp. There is a nice assortment of knives too – 8″ Chef knife, an 8″ Slicer, an 8″ Bread knife, a 4 1/4″ Utility Knife and a 3 1/4″ Parer.

This is a fun knife set and it gets a lot of attention from those who have seen it thus far. Plus it’s a practical gift because you also get a great set of knives.

To learn more you can visit TheExKnife.com. The company has other “The Ex” products including a pen holder and another cool look knife set.

The Ex (like the one I have) sells for $159.00.

What do you think about this knife set? Do you think it would make a fun gift? Would you like a set for yourself? Feel free to share you thoughts.

The Ex


*I received a free sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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