Itaki Pro Electric Lunch Box Steamer Review

You know how you get those adverts on Instagram for various gadgets that seem too good to be true? Well, I get them all the time. A little while before Christmas I started seeing adverts from Wowzone for something called the Itaki Pro, which is an electric lunch box. You might ask what an electric lunch box is. How is it electric? Why does it need to be electric? Well, read on to find out.

itaki pro lunch box steamer review

Disclaimer: I have NOT been paid or given any incentives to write this review. I’m writing it because there was a real lack of reviews online about this product, but I noticed on social media that there was a lot of interest in it. This is the review I wish someone had written.

I find lunchtime is difficult. I used to sit at my desk with flat sandwiches that had been squashed in my bag during the morning or, if I was feeling brave, I’d risk using the office microwave to heat a can of soup. That was risky business because I doubt that thing ever got cleaned unless I did it. There was one other option; the McDonalds across the street from where I worked. I’ve just never really been into that kind of junk food though. I never eat burgers or fizzy drinks and their salads are extortionately priced. Now that I’m a home worker, I just grab whatever is in the fridge – usually leftovers or some kind of weird concoction of what’s lying around or in the freezer. Lunch is NOT that exciting, so I needed to find some new ideas for the new year.

itaki pro lunch box steamer review

There’s also the fact that I’m going on my travels this year. I have some trips planned and as someone who suffers from food allergies, I am going to struggle with hotel visits. Not everywhere understands the need for total avoidance of one specific food, where even traces can cause a serious problem. The easiest solution for me in the past has been to visit a resort with self-catering accommodation and a good supermarket nearby. If I had an electric lunchbox and a few staple ingredients, could short breaks become easier? Only if it works, is the answer.

Step forward the Itaki Lunch Box. It’s what they call a bento box and if you don’t know what that is, you’re not alone because I didn’t know before a few weeks ago. It’s adequate for cooking a single portion of food. How it works is that it steams the food, so you only need to add a small amount of water. This is good for several reasons:

  • It’s one of the healthiest ways to cook your food as it holds in the nutrients
  • You’re not adding fat so again, that’s good for your health
  • You can add the food to the box, switch it on and leave it to cook while you work
  • It’s easy to clean as there isn’t greasy fats to wash off

itaki pro lunch box steamer review

I ordered the pink one but it comes in a range of colours, namely orange, blue, black and lilac. There are also two types of Itaki lunch box. There’s the Itaki Pro and the Itaki Classic. The difference isn’t obvious but the Pro has an updated design with graphics on the front (cute, but really not necessary), larger capacity and upgraded features. That’s all the information I can find on the differences. They do seem to be a slightly different shape but without seeing both, I can’t give you any more specific details.

itaki pro lunch box steamer review

One of the first things I liked was that when ordering I got to choose the voltage and plug pin type. I chose UK, although really I should have picked EU because that’s where I’ll be travelling most. However, I can use it at home and on my road trips for now and worry about the EU plugs later. Despite choosing UK, it doesn’t arrive with a UK 3-pin plug. It arrives with the Asian style of plug and a travel adaptor. Not a huge issue and not really a problem, but it’s worth noting that they don’t supply you with a different plug, just an adaptor.

So, I ordered this on Boxing Day (26th December) and chose the cheapest shipping option. It arrived on 4th January. That was much quicker than I had expected. It arrives with a navy blue/white bag for easy transportation. The bag is only big enough for the lunch box and not the cable and adaptor though, so clearly that hasn’t been thought through. I’d like to see that updated. Inside the plastic lunch box there’s a large metal bowl, a smaller metal bowl and an egg tray that holds four eggs. Since I’m not going to be cooking eggs in it, I haven’t tested this part but I’m sure there are reviews out there that review egg cooking. I can’t find them but they probably exist on YouTube or somewhere. There’s also a little plastic measuring cup. Do NOT lose this cup. It’s going to be vitally important to using this device.

salmon broccoli itaki steamer

How it works is that you put two cups of water in the bottom of the Itaki lunch box. The large bowl sits on top of that water, but not in it. It’s slightly raised from the bottom. Then the small bowl sits on top of the larger bowl. You close it all up, switch it on and leave it for half an hour or an hour – depending on how much you’re cooking and what you’re cooking. It switches itself off if the water boils dry, which I really like. It’s quite a handy safety feature and I have tested this out to make sure it works. It does.

On opening, I got really excited to see how the Itaki Pro worked and wanted to try it right away. So, I got cooking! The first thing I tried was some plain basmati rice and some broccoli. I made the rookie mistake of putting the rice in the top bowl. You’re going to want to put the rice or whatever grain you’re using in the bottom bowl with a cup of water to soak up. This is because the water from the steaming (remember that cup or two that you’ve put in the bottom?) will drop into the top bowl naturally when it condenses. You don’t need to put any water in that bowl. The food in the larger bottom bowl doesn’t get that water. It gets heat. The best way to cook is to have the rice down there and the meat and vegetables in the smaller top bowl.

itaki pro lunch box steamer review

On my first attempt, I left it cooking for half an hour. I found that it cooked everything well and it was all moist. That wasn’t a meal I was planning to eat though. One isolated try is different from using it in the real world. I decided to cook some lunches in it. It had to be food that I would really eat and most importantly, it had to be food that I wouldn’t have otherwise cooked because of the inconvenience of using multiple pots and ovens. That’s the true test of whether it’s worth buying, right?

On Monday I made myself some rice, chicken breast and carrots. It was switched on for around an hour and then it went dry. The chicken wasn’t 100% cooked. I don’t know if I had cut it into chunks that were too big or if I had piled it high and it needed to be separated. Not a problem though. I just put in another cup of water and left it for another 20 minutes. I’m really pleased with how the meal turned out. I enjoyed it and steaming is so much better than boiling. There’s a different flavour when you steam.

On Tuesday, I made myself some salmon, broccoli and more rice. This cooked quicker this time. Forty minutes was sufficient. That includes the time it takes for the water to heat up and start steaming, because obviously the water is cold when you pour it in. The salmon was perfect. The rice was a little sticky both days. I’ve been using a cup of rice and two cups of water, but I might try three tomorrow.

So, after using it for two days, I can say that I really like this steamer. Here are the pros and cons:

PROS

  • It cooks the food really well
  • It’s easy to clean
  • It looks cute
  • It’s lightweight and will be easy to transport
  • I think it’s reasonably priced at $49.95

CONS

  • It’s difficult to know, without opening it up, whether the food is cooked
  • There’s no insulation so it’s hot to touch
  • The portion sizes might be a little small for some (they’re fine for me though, I’m a light eater)
  • The recipe book that comes with the lunch box has very few recipes in it

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this electric lunch box. I give it a solid 9/10. This could be improved by the addition of a clear top so you can see if the food is cooked and some kind of insulation to ensure that if you touch it from the outside when it’s in use, it won’t burn. I’d also like a car adaptor so I can use it on the move.

itaki recipes

There’s also the fact that I might get a little sick of eating rice. I’m planning to try some soft straight-to-wok noodles or potatoes in it, as well as couscous. I don’t think pasta would work though. That might require a little more power. Time will tell and a lot of the cooking I do in it will be trial and error.

If you’re interested in trying the Itaki Pro, you can head to Wowzone to check it out. There are also lots of other brands available on Amazon if you search for electric lunch box.

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JML Handy Heater Personal Space Heater Review

It was Hogmanay 2019. Which is New Year’s Eve if you’re not in Scotland. We were getting ready to light some fireworks that night and start the new year off right. Then something scary happened. We went into our conservatory and switched on our old heater, which is twelve years old and has served us well. As soon as the electricity fired into it, a bright orange flame blasted out from the bottom of it onto our laminate flooring. It had caught fire, simply by being switched on. It was time to throw it out and get a new one. The problem was that it was just after Christmas and we were broke. We had already allocated all of the December wage for the next month. We had exactly twenty pounds of disposable income. What were we going to do? Well, we went to the local Original Factory Shop hoping to get something for that price or just a little more – we wouldn’t mind going a few pounds overdrawn. We spied the JML Handy Heater and decided to take a chance on it. After all, JML is a brand we know and have purchased from before. For the avoidance of doubt, before I go any further, I should point out that this is not a sponsored post. I have not been paid anything to write this and I have no affiliation with JML. My only incentive for writing this article is that JML reviews tend to get a ton of hits on the blog!

JML Handy Heater Review

So, it cost us £19.99 which seemed like a reasonable price, so long as it does what it’s supposed to do. It’s quite a small device and doesn’t come with any kind of cable. It has the three-pin plug attached to it, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over anything. It’s maybe about six inches high, so it is quite compact. The on/off switch is red and sits on the right hand side of the device. On the top is a digital temperature setting with plus and minus buttons for adjusting the temperature. When you first switch it on, it goes straight to 32C which seems quite hot. There’s also a speed button because this heater has two speed settings. And finally, there’s a timer button in case you want to set a timer to switch it off after a set amount of time.

JML Handy Heater Review

So, like I said, this plugs directly into the wall without cables, which isn’t a good feature. I had originally thought it was but it’s difficult to switch on or off at the mains because the device is so close to the socket. You have to use a mains power outlet. You can’t plug it in to a car or a USB port, so it’s no good for using on the move or camping. It is only for home use. They also advise that you don’t use an extension cord or a power strip. That’s good advice. You wouldn’t want to have this connected to an extension cord anyway because it’s supposed to heat a small room, right?

JML Handy Heater Review

Also, something interesting that has been recommended by the packaging is that you leave at least 20cm of space between the heater and the flooring or whatever surface is directly below. The heat seems to come out from the front of it from what I can tell, but if they are advising to leave space below the heater, there must be a reason for that. Perhaps it heats up sometimes from the underside.

JML Handy Heater Review

This is marketed as a personal space heater and I can see why. When I plugged it in, it didn’t do much to heat my conservatory. It was on for a whole hour and hardly made any difference at all, even at the highest power setting. That’s disappointing. After all, my conservatory is really small, approximately 8ft x 8ft. It has very little impact, so we ended up taking it out of the conservatory and taking the imitation stove heater from our kitchen and relocating it into the conservatory instead. So, the JML Handy Heater has gone into the kitchen instead.

JML Handy Heater Review

It definitely makes more impact in that room. Despite being bigger, it isn’t reaching extreme colds like the small conservatory did. The JML Handy Heater is our only heater in the kitchen and it does a good enough job. It takes the chill off the air. The thing about this device is that it heats the space three or four feet around where it is but not much further than that. So, if you’re in an office and your menopausal workmates keep having hot flushes and opening windows, a JML Handy Heater is a great solution because it heats you and only you, whereas most radiators would heat a wide space.

For under £20 this is a good enough buy. I’ve been using it for over a week now and I’m happy with the impact that it makes on my kitchen, taking the chill off the air. I was disappointed that it didn’t heat my small conservatory but that’s because I hadn’t properly understood what the heater does and what it’s meant for. Here’s a list of pros and cons.

PROS

  • Cheap at only £19.99
  • Compact
  • Has no cables
  • Has a timer
  • Switches itself off when it reaches the desired temperature

CONS

  • Only heats a limited area close to the device
  • Gets hot to the touch, so you must be careful when switching it off
  • Could be improved with a clock and a way of setting a timer for it to come on
  • Would benefit from a design change to allow easier access to the socket to switch it on and off

Overall, I would give this 6/10 and would say that it’s a good investment if you use it as intended. However, it isn’t as powerful as I would have liked and if a more powerful version is released, I would try that. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become a fire hazard like the one I had to throw out. Time will tell. You can buy it at Asda, The Original Factory Shop and all the other usual places were JML products are sold.

Have you tried the JML Handy Heater? Let me know in the comments below!

GHD Heat Protect Spray Review

Last week, I found myself blogging my soul inside out. This week, I’m back to writing beauty reviews. Such is the life of a writer! However, I always choose which products I want to write about and I never write about a product I don’t already have in my home. This is no different. I’ve been using GHD Heat Protect Spray for years and before that I used their iron oil. As someone who straightens every day, this is a product I can speak about with some authority.

I buy a 120ml bottle from Amazon, mostly because it’s not available in high street shops like Superdrug. However, if your local salon stocks GHD products they might be able to sell you a bottle. I know of at least three or four salons in my local area that sell this, but I choose Amazon because they allow me to subscribe and have it sent to me without me having to do anything. It basically encourages my laziness.

From a really superficial point of view, one of the things I like about this brand as opposed to cheaper, more readily available brands, is the way their products are packaged. The bottle is a really elegant black and gold and the design on the front of the bottle is embossed. It makes absolutely no difference and like I say, it is a superficial thing but I really like the way it looks on my bathroom shelf.

You might be one of many people who don’t use products on her hair when styling, but you should. These products offer protection from the super-high heat that GHD straighteners blast onto your hair. You may notice that I particularly mentioned that brand because that’s the one that I use and have always used. I just haven’t found any other straighteners on the market that do as good a job as them. I’ve been using them since 2005 and I don’t see myself ever changing. It’s also just occurred to me that in America they aren’t called straighteners. I’ve heard them called flat irons, but I don’t know if that is common or just something that particular person said. I think the name is self-explanatory though.

Anyway, back to the Heat Protect Spray. It can be used before or after blow-drying but I would say it should always be used immediately before straightening, even if you’ve used it before drying. That’s because whenever I’ve tried to straighten without the spray, like if I run out and haven’t had my delivery yet, my hair has some little frizzies sticking out. It helps you to tame those and keep your hair looking as smooth as possible.

This product has a really soapy smell. I find it quite pleasant and it fades quickly once it’s on my hair, but it won’t be for everyone, especially those who are sensitive to fragrance. It’s hardly surprising that it’s so pungent when you look at the ingredients. It’s fourth on the list and the list is long!

While we’re discussing ingredients, I thought it might be worth noting that the only oil I can see in this is castor oil. I always avoid nut-based oils, whether they’re from peanuts or tree nuts. In the last few years, there has been a huge amount of products coming to the market featuring argon oil, which is a tree nut. Even some of my favourite products, like Elnett hairspray has changed its formula to add argon oil. While I have no doubts that it is a cheap and healthy oil to use, I don’t want it. This has limited my choices significantly.

The one thing I do see on the ingredients list that some people may want to avoid is wheat protein. I don’t know if people with wheat allergies need to avoid it in beauty products the way that I have to avoid eggs in beauty products. Surprisingly, there are lots of shampoos with egg in them. However, I thought it was worth mentioning, just in case it is something that people might want to know.

This bottle is 120mls or 4.1fl oz and lasts me for around 9 months because I have very fine hair. Those with thicker hair might want to budget for purchasing it more often. I’ve tried a couple of other brands, like Tresemme, but I just don’t find that they give the same effects. I like this because my hair is glossy, stays straight and doesn’t frizz until the next wash and the nozzle distributes the product evenly on my hair. That’s really important to me. It costs around £10 for a bottle this size, which is more than I would like to pay ideally, but I’m willing to pay it because I know I’m getting a good quality product. If you’d like to try it, you can check it out on Amazon, where it’s around £10 in the UK but costs slightly more in the international store at $20.

What do you use on your hair for heat protection?

Seba Med Feminine Intimate Wash Review

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I will receive a small amount of commission.

Yes, you read that title right. I’m reviewing something a little different today. This Seba Med review is about my experiences with their Sensitive Feminine Intimate Wash is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cleanser for your vagina. And if you don’t have a vagina, this review isn’t meant for you, but please feel free to keep reading.

I received a sample of Seba Med Feminine Intimate Wash as part of a Pink Parcel delivery. It wasn’t gifted to me and this review is written as a consumer who simply wants to give her opinion on a new product. All opinions are my own. Plus, as I always say, nobody tells me what to write!

seba med feminine intimate wash review

So, what attracted me to this product in particular? Well, I like the fact that it is an intimate wash that is soap and alkaline-free. Plus, there just aren’t enough bloggers writing about products like this one. Oh yes, plenty of lipstick reviews and eyeliner tutorials out there in the beauty blogging world, but although poorly applied make-up is a bummer, it’s hardly likely to ruin your day in quite the same way that an itchy vagina will.

When we’re young, there are naturally occurring mucous linings around our vaginas that give us a natural protection against pathogenic micro-organisms. It’s vitally important to keep these at the right pH level and you might have guessed where I’m heading with this. Using the wrong products to wash your genital area can totally mess up your pH level and cause irritation. Seba Med Feminine Intimate Wash has a natural organic derivative surfactant complex which essentially means that there are no nasties in it that will dry you out but it will clean you. It is pH level 3.8 which is more acidic than human skin is naturally and I think the idea is that the acidic wash will kill off yeasts, bacteria and other things that might cause problems.

seba med feminine intimate wash review

The other thing that appeals to me is the ingredients. There’s aloe barbadensis which we all know is really moisturising and soothing. There’s also alpha bisabolol and I’ve got to be honest, despite having a background in manufacturing cosmetic products, I didn’t know exactly what that was. So, having investigated, I can tell you that it’s a naturally occurring ingredient from German chamomile. If you’d like to read more about it, I found this really awesome blog that gives lots of information about it which you can find by clicking here.

Ok, first impression of this intimate wash was that it smelled quite fresh, a bit like the way a garden might smell in the morning. So far, so good. I can totally live with smelling like that downstairs. It’s clear and slightly runnier than I expected, so I ended up with more on my hands than expected. The instructions say to use a couple of drops, so you don’t need a lot.

seba med feminine intimate wash review

I’m pleased to say (I mean, really pleased) that it did not cause any irritation. One of my big concerns was that it might give me thrush as I tried another intimate wash a couple of years ago by a mainstream competitor and my healthy skin suddenly became itchy. So, I’m always wary of any intimate wash products. My GP did advise me about twenty years ago to use only plain water when washing, but I have to say, I prefer the fresh feeling of using something cleansing. I think this Seba Med product might be the wash I’ve been looking for.

At the time of writing, it is priced on Amazon at £14.75 for a 200ml bottle. If you’re only using a couple of drops per wash, this should last you around a year, which incidentally is the time recommended for keeping the bottle on the back label!

Have you ever used a really great intimate wash product? I’d love to hear everyone else’s recommendations.

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Simple Age Resist Night Cream Review

Night cream was never on my radar in my younger years. I used to just slap on another layer of whatever I had used during the day and feel happy with that. As the years have passed, and I’m now approaching forty, I’ve sought out a more intense, hard-working moisture treatment to use before bed. That was until Clinique changed the formula on my favourite cream and I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find something to replace it. One of the creams I tried was Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Night Cream.

This cream is formulated with green tea to combat premature ageing. It was pretty cheap at £9 which is considerably less than the £50 I used to pay Clinique for a cream whose benefits were dubious.

I have to point out here and now that I have not been paid for this post at all. It’s based on my own experience with a cream I purchased from my local Boots branch with my own money, so my opinions are my own. I am glad about that because it means I don’t have to feel bad about being so honest.

simple age resisting night cream review

My first impression of the cream was that the packaging was plain and functional. It comes in a short, thick white tube. The lid is clear and there’s a plastic plug in the spout which can be re-used time and again to stop the air getting into the cream. I think it’s a really good idea but it is fiddly. It’s not the most attractive product you’ll have in your bathroom but it has a fresh, modern design that’s pleasant to look at.

simple age resisting night cream review

The cream is unperfumed. It is supposed to have no scent at all, but it has that smell that unperfumed cosmetics have. It’s a little bit like plastic. The most important thing is that there’s no artificial perfumes in it, so if you have fragrance allergies, this is good news. However, there is a massive list of ingredients which is overwhelming, so the potential for allergies is still there. None of the ingredients used are organic either, which is disappointing. Also, parabens feature in the ingredient list.

simple age resisting night cream review

There’s also no mention of animal testing or being vegan friendly, although it does say there are no animal derived ingredients. It clearly hasn’t been certified vegan friendly though as it doesn’t contain those words. The USP of this brand is the fact their products are fragrance free. Other than that, there’s nothing particularly natural or ethical about them, as far as I can see.

simple age resisting night cream review

I used this product for a week before I gave up on it. It has a nice texture and it applied quite well. However, it didn’t make my skin any softer or more youthful in the time I was using it. In fact, my skin didn’t seem to have been moisturised at all. What’s even more disappointing is that I have a nasty patch of eczema on my neck now since I used this cream. I’m not saying this cream is to blame, but I haven’t had eczema on my neck or face in my life. It was only ever on my hands and usually down to dietary issues, which have been resolved. If this cream had been moisturising well enough, the eczema would not have been an issue. I’ve had to use half a tube of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream on my neck to get the problem under control.

Overall, I didn’t like this cream at all. It might be suitable for some consumers, especially those who are looking for a fragrance-free, light-duty night cream, but it’s not for me.

What’s your night cream of choice?