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Product Review: Eau Good Water Bottle by Black + Blum

I have purchased many a water bottle in my lifetime with the best of intentions.  It’s obvious that the waste produced by bottled water you can purchase in the store is overwhelming, and I’ve tried to do my part to cut down on it, but sometimes the water from my tap is not the best tasting.

eaugood1The good folks at Black + Blum sent me one of their Eau Good water bottles to try out, and now that they are readily available, I can tell you all about it!

First, the packaging it comes in is simple and recyclable, so they are minimizing waste already, but the bottle itself is really… cool!  Each bottle comes with a cork stopper and a charcoal stick.  Rinse the stick to remove loose charcoal dust and pop it in the bottle.  To secure it, simply squeeze the bottle and allow the stick to roll so it “wedges” into this little notch in the lower part of the bottle.  Fill it with water at night, leave it in the fridge overnight, and in the morning you will have clean, crisp, cold water ready to go!  A small metal loop swings over the cork top, so you can grab it and go without worrying about spills.

The charcoal is rechargable as well.  About every three months of everyday use, pop it out of the bottle and place it in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Allow it to dry, and it’s ready for use again.  I have not used it every day, but I have had it long enough to recharge it once.  After two recharges, they recommend replacing the charcoal with a new one, but feel free to recycle the old one rather than throwing it out – break it up and sprinkle in houseplants for extra nutrients, or in the cat box to help neutralize odors.

The taste is great, too.  I definitely taste the difference from tap water, and consider this…  Let’s say you purchase a pack of 24 bottled waters at the store for about $4.00 (I’ve seen them cheaper AND more expensive, but that’s about average).  That means each 20 ounce bottle is $.17.  That’s not too bad, but you are also left with 24 bottles to recycle as well as the carton and plastic they were wrapped in.  An Eau Good water bottle with the first carbon is about $20 and lasts at least 6 months with daily use, which means $.11 a bottle (which is 27 ounces).  After that, you will want to purchase a replacement charcoal.  Through the Black + Blum website, you can get the replacement charcoal for $13 (product plus shipping) – personally I hope they switch to USPS shipping for the states because they could ship it for less than $3 as opposed to $8 through UPS, which would make the price a LOT more attractive.  But even at $13, that means every bottle drops in cost to $.07.

So, not only are you cutting waste, you are saving money!  Over a full year, you are cutting your bottled water costs in half.  How could you not like it?

eaugood4Oh, and do you have multiple people in your household?  NO PROBLEM.  They have different colored tabs so you can assign each member their own color.  Drink more than 27 ounces of water in a day?  Get more Eau Goods and rotate through them, you are still saving money and cutting down on waste.  Really, there is no reason not to own these!

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Quick Check In

I’m far behind in my upkeep with the blog, so many things I want to do but I am finding less and less time to do it in.  When I write these posts, I do try to put in a lot of effort to make them entertaining AND informative (rather than just entertaining because I can’t form a coherent sentence), and will sometimes spend HOURS putting a post together.  I’m not finding those blocks readily available, and starting one and going back to it really breaks up my trains of thought.

I have a review of the Eau Good Water Bottle from Black + Blum (spoiler alert:  I freakin’ love this thing and am using it right now), movie reviews of Warm Bodies and Video Game High School, a review of the BodyRock/DailyHiit 30 day challenge (although I will need to complete it to give the best review of it, link goes to a fan’s site where they put everything in order better than on dailyhiit.com).

Oh dear, it’s already nearly noon, which means I am already behind schedule for the day.  Keep an eye out for the reviews, I will get them up as soon as I can!

Product review: Lunch Pot by Black + Blum

The Lunch Pot, assembled. Click for a detailed view.

About a month ago, I reviewed the Lunch Box by Black + Blum, and since then I have had the opportunity to test drive the Lunch Pot by the same company.

Although the shape is completely different, it is nonetheless very obviously of the same family.  The Lunch Pot is simplistic, but versatile and very functional.  Let’s break down the 6 pieces…

When the Lunch Pot is assembled, the first thing you encounter is the strap that holds the entire unit together.  The strap is attached to two rings: one centers the bottom pot into place, the other snaps gently onto the top pot, securing the two.  Simply pulling the strap on one side will loosen enough to allow you to pop off the top ring, and start taking it apart.

But wait!  There’s the one item you MUST have in order to eat your lunch (unless it’s all finger foods) – a utensil!  Black + Blum decided to go with a spork for this container set, and it slides neatly into a sleeve on the strap, making it easy transport.

Once you have the strap removed, you can take the two pots apart.  The larger pot has a clear lid, the smaller pot lid matches the color of the pot, and each are easily removed with a simple twist.  The lids also have a ring inside to ensure that the pots are leak-proof.  After lunch is done, the smaller pot can be put inside the larger one for even easier transportation.

In various stages of assembly.

So how does the Lunch Pot do in everyday situations?  Here’s the breakdown…

I absolutely love that they went with a spork for the utensil as it fits the theme of the container.  The Lunch Pot works great for noodles, soups, stews, oatmeal, fruit salads, rice dishes, and so much more, and the spork works for all of them all.  And having such a convenient and simple way to keep it with the pots is great!  The only downsides to the spork is that the tines of the fork are on the shorter side, so you won’t get many noodles on it, and the spoon is actually quite deep.  I love spoons with depth, but it does sometimes feel strange when it’s so deep that your upper lip can’t naturally help clean the spoon.  It was definitely noticeable by my daughter, who obviously has an even smaller mouth than me.

Like the Lunch Box, you should make sure not to microwave for more than 2 minutes to help avoid warping, but the pots are not so large that whatever you pack should require more than that anyway.  And the same care you take with the Lunch Box should be applied here.  Not having a dishwasher, I can’t say how they would hold up (though I know top-rack is advised for those that do), but I have yet to find a food that causes me trouble with these.  They clean effortlessly with the soft side of a sponge.

Daughter's first lunch with the Lunch Pot.

My daughter still loves it, despite the deep spoon, and uses it just as much as the Lunch Box I previously reviewed.  In fact, here’s a picture of her first lunch with it: sushi rice and sauce (her favorite), and a fruit salad (more variety at the bottom, they just got covered).

My ONLY suggestion to improve this would be to include a pair of chopsticks that could be held in a pocket on the strap opposite the spork.  That way you have utensils that will help with noodles the spork can’t handle.  Overall I definitely give the Lunch Pot a big thumbs up!  It’s cute, stylish and can easily transport in a messenger bag or tote, and again, perfect for people who are watching portion sizes.

ENJOY!

Product Review: Bento Lunch Box by Black + Blum

Small Bento Lunch Box by Black + Blum

As I said, I LOVE bento, which means I also love bento boxes!  I have a fondness for containers in general, but bento boxes are in a class all their own.  I have seen everything from the cartoon-y Hello Kitty bento boxes marketed for very small children (and college girls who want to be adorable), to some very sleek, modern styles marketed for professional businessmen.

I had a wonderful friend even send me a couple of bento boxes and accessories right from Singapore – I cannot tell you how freakin’ excited I was to get THAT package in the mail!

So in my grand search to find the perfect bento box, I discovered a set from Black + Blum.  Researching their other products, they have a style reminiscent of IKEA – clean, simple and functional.  Since I am a fan of ReUseIt, a website dedicated to reusable, recycle-able or otherwise environmentally conscious products, I chose to purchase the small and large lunch boxes from them (hint: they do run sales).

While waiting for my new bento boxes to arrive, I decided to read reviews about them.  I was very glad I did, because there were some complaints.  Some people were upset that the clear top of the box got scratched and became opaque, others found that even putting the items on the top rack of a dishwasher caused some warping, and others greatly disliked how the side tabs broke off and rendered the product useless.

I’ll admit, I was a little worried.  Had I fallen for the pretty packaging and would I be left with a worthless product and less money in my pocket?

Then they arrived.  For a couple of weeks I just left them on my shelf, admiring the design and cleanliness of them, and afraid to use them for fear of wrecking them.

Yeah, I was afraid to use them.  I’m a moron like that sometimes.

But when I started really getting into learning how to make sushi rice properly, there came the realization that I could do something similar with my 11 year old daughter’s lunches.  I wasn’t feeling confident enough to try packing her sushi for lunch (well, onigiri really since sushi obviously has to be made fresh and and consumed quickly), so I made wraps and sliced them like sushi…

her first bento lunch

Bologna in a wrap, a few carrot sticks and broccoli, and the little sauce pot had veggie dip.  Yeah, it’s wasn’t spectacular by any artistic means, but she LOVED IT.  The container made her feel so sophisticated, and for about 2 weeks straight she didn’t use anything else but this container.

Each afternoon I made sure to get it back from her, hand-washed it (I have no dishwasher anyway) with the soft side of the sponge, and let it air dry in the dish drain.  Easy!

There was one time that my daughter neglected to remember where she put it.  She swore she had it in her hand when she left school, but it was nowhere to be found.  After two days she finally pulled everything out of her backpack and discovered it at the bottom, with one of the side clips popped off.

I was devastated!  I read reviews where that had happened to other people and it was useless afterward.

Except, apparently the company read the same reviews I did and did a little REDESIGN, and I was one of the people with the new design!  Once I cleaned all the pieces (I remember the soy sauce… everywhere), it was a simple matter of popping the clip back on.  Simple, easy, and no problems.

REVIEW SUMMARY:  I freakin’ LOVE this bento box!  It looks small, but once you pack it with food, it really is just the right amount.

I also have the large version (below), but have not used it extensively yet.  The smaller one is perfect for tightly packed food (noodles, sushi, etc), the larger would work great for lighter, more airy foods like salads so people who are into portion control can put them to the best use.  Enjoy!

Large Bento Lunch Box by Black + Blum

 

 

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