Sunday, August 30, 2015

Joseph Chopping Board with Sharpener

I purchased this Joseph Chopping Board with Sharpener at Sur La Table a couple weeks ago.

It actually works pretty well. I made some guacamole with it last week.

The sharpening function is made of ceramic and I've used it on my paring knife. And now the paring knife is much sharper.

I've historically been too lazy to sharpen my knives, so while I have some good ones, like this one, they unfortunately become dull and are not efficient for cutting. Nor safe I suppose.

To use this, you just set the cutting board up vertically and then draw the blade towards you 3-4 times. Be careful not to do it while it's wet because it could be treacherous.

I also like the bright lime green color. The board also comes in black if you prefer something more somber.

  • Sharpen knives easily
  • Bright colors
  • Dishwasher safe

  • Plastic board. Supposedly BPA free but I've been trying to avoid plastic
  • Relatively soft so I already see cut marks in the board
I paid about $20 for the cutting board.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Removed Adsense for now

I decided to remove the Adsense ads which were on the sidebar and inbetween blog posts. They weren't generating much revenue and lately, they've been advertising online dating sites and opportunities to meet "Asian women". Not something I want on my blog!

Adsense is a great thing but as an author, you cannot control which ads are shown. I think the quality and brands on ads are also a reflection of the blog. So, I can't get comfortable with being unable to control the content. At least for now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mobile photo book challenges

I've been trying to create a photo book using my tablet and it's been bear.

I checked out Simple Prints, but the price is high and it still requires a lot of drag and drop. And the collage feature oddly doesn't remove photos that are already in the album. You have to manually delete the photos after making a collage.

I may just reinstall Instagram and use it with Chatbooks.

Monday, August 17, 2015


I'm on a mommy Facebook group and I've been wanting to try to create a photo book for my family.

Unfortunately, I lack both time and energy to create a beautiful book. I was considering paying $50 to Artisan State and joining their pro plan. Apparently if you do that, if you send all your photos to them, they will create a photo book for you. Including laying out the pages and photos, touching them up, etc! Sounds perfect to me!

 But.. the other day on my mommy Facebook group, someone mentioned Chatbooks. They have a mobile only and will suck down the photos from your Instagram feed to create a 60 page photo book for only $6!!! SIX DOLLARS!

That is a steal. Unfortunately, I do not use Instagram because of privacy concerns (they track your location, read all your contacts, etc.)

BUT, I do have many, many photos on my Google Photo account. Chatbooks also offers a "Custom Book" option which lets you create a photo book from photos on your phone. So that's the route that I'm trying to go down.. currently with limited success.

Basically, I created a photo album of "2014 Faves" on Google photos. I created collages of many of my photos to reduce the number of pages I would require. Then, I downloaded the photos into a Dropbox folder. Then from the Dropbox web page (not the mobile app), I downloaded the photos onto my Nexus tablet. From there, I used RAR, which is an app to unzip *.zip files, to get the photos on my tablet.

 Sadly, when I imported the photos into the Chatbooks app, they all came in random order. I'm trying to manually sort the photos into order so I can order my book, but it's so tedious and I am ready to give up. Sigh. I will keep you posted on whether I eventually succeed at this task.