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Apr 04

Viva Vantage Paper Towels

A couple of weeks ago, Crowdtap sent me a few Viva Vantage paper napkins to test out. As always the units were free to test, but the opinions below are genuine.

I have forever been using Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand’s paper towels, the large quantity means I run out very few times and bi-weekly visits ensure I get more paper towels as soon as I am about to run out.

The Viva Vantage paper towels made a good first impression, the packaging certainly seems to suggest that they are a premium product, but do I care about the packaging on my paper towels, the proof of the pudding is in the eating or cleaning in this case.

I replaced the use of my normal paper towels for a week in the kitchen and also kept the Viva Vantage side by side with the Kirkland signature for a 1:1 comparison and to see if my brother too would use the Viva Vantage over the other brand.

Well here is the comparison :

1. Stretchiness – I found the claim of stretchiness a bit exaggerated. I found almost no difference in the Kirkland Signature model and Viva Vantage

2. Absorbing Power – Viva Vantage kicked some serious butt here, while the Kirkland Signature towels start dripping as soon as they encounter any non-trivial wetness, the Viva Vantages are much absorbier :)

3. Brittleness – Again the Viva Vantage here hold their own much more than the Kirkland Signatures.

4. Cleaning ability – This is again a place where the Viva Vantage wins hands down, the towels actually feel like they are scrubbing something, the other towel feels like its just wiping.

Viva Vantage

The verdict – No doubts Viva Vantage is a premium brand of paper towels and holds its own against the cheapo Kirkland Signature towels (I must confess, I dont have a price comparison ready here). Whether or not you want to go for Viva Vantage depends a lot whether you are really a frugal person or don’t mind a little extra payment for better products. Its the difference between a Dove and a Dial soap :)

I have given a few rolls out to friends and waiting for their feedback on the same.

So go ahead, give it a try and let us know if you are dumping your current brand for Viva Vantage.


Mar 02

Speed Stick Gear

First things first, we are a part of the Influenster network now wherein we get sent stuff to test out, review and give feedback on all the time. The stuff is usually free and we get to keep it, but our opinions are totally unbiased and objective (with a hint of the reviewer’s subjectivity put in).

Now that its clear, moving onto the good stuff. Last month Influenster sent us a Voxbox with Speed Stick gear. The Deo sticks from Speed Stick claim a dry period of 48 hours prominently on its packaging and we decided to give it a go. But first I needed to devise and experiment to really test out these bad boys.

8am Friday Morning, 0 hours in :

I was slacking on my Gym activities, and this was the perfect excuse to shed atleast a few extra calories I had been put on recently (few being an understatement there). So I called up my partner in crime and asked him if he would want to go and play badminton at the sports club and he agreed, so after the shower I applied the Speed Stick Gear Clean Peak and started the clock.

6 hours in : The plan was to play for 2 hours in the afternoon, singles for 2 hours is no joke by the way. At the end of the session I was all wet from the sweat. I decided to do a rain check on the deo, as advertised my underarms were almost dry and I could smell the deo and not my sweat there. After the session I went onto work from home, spent a few hours at the home-office.

12 hours in : At night, went to a restaurant for dinner, wore a white shirt mind you Smile , no sweaty ugly stains till night and still a fairly decent smell of the deo stick. This was going well.

25 hours in : Saturday morning 9am : I was contemplating whether to continue the test or take a shower. Did another quick raincheck, although there was no sweat smell, the deo smell was almost gone, so I decided to end the testing here and take a shower anyway.

For us the deo lasted 24 hours in extreme stress testing conditions, to me its better than the current old spice I use and I loved both the fragrances sent to me : Clean Peak and Fresh Force. I would recommend these to active folks looking to trying out a new deo which lasts more than a day.

I will do a complete 48 hour check for a normal active day at the office and report in those findings too.



Dec 21

Safeway Open Nature Ice Cream

Being a smart shopper does not always mean paying the least amount of money for what you are buying, often it makes sense to pay a little more to get something better. That’s my stand on High Fructose Corn Syrup. Once you enter America, its everywhere, from bread, to flavoured milk to ice cream to ketchup to God knows what.

Now a lot of people are of the opinion that HFCS is not bad for health and I respectfully disagree with them. I try to avoid HFCS almost completely in everything I eat. Thankfully my workplace buys premium foodstuffs with no HFCS in them and I can afford to pay a little extra for my health.

A couple of weeks ago, I felt a craving for ice cream. Now we have the Haagen Daz ice cream here, but lets admit it, it’s a bit too expensive for me too. Then I started looking at the other brands, Tilamook, Dreyers etc. To my utter dismay each one of them listed some form of corn syrup as an ingredient. Then my eyes fell upon Safeway’s Open Nature brand of ice creams. These are reasonably prices and have no artificial flavours including High Fructose Corn Syrup. The flavours are a little less though, I could find the following flavours :

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Mint Choco Chip
  • Strawberry

I have had Mint Choco Chip and Milk Chocolate and can vouch for the taste. So two thumbs up to Safeway’s Open Nature range of ice creams. Remember whenever you buy anything sweet, be on the lookout for unneeded corn syrup.