100% New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls by i-Gruv

I ordered these dryer balls after doing extensive research and finding the reviews and the price on these were right up my alley. I was tired of buying chemical ridden dryer sheets that were making my husband break out in rashes if they accidentally got into “his” laundry. Meaning my sheets and towels which are also his sheets and towels! I needed a new solution.

I am VERY happy I made the switch. There are many different brands and types of dryer balls to buy online. As of yet, I haven’t seen any in the stores around me where I live. So I had to buy them online. I have never used any others to compare these to, but so far they are working great. I have been using them since January in every single load. Depending on the load size is how many you throw in. They come with a carrying bag and so I store the ones I am not using in there. And bonus, they can go with our sheets and towels now! There has been minimal static and only with larger loads where they might get tumbled up into something, like a fitted sheet or duvet cover. Most loads there is no static and my laundry still has a very nice fresh smell to it, almost like it has been line dried in the summer breeze.

These claim to be eco friendly and anti-static, organic, reusable and hand made. They also claim to last for years, which I will wait to see. And they do have exceptional reviews on Amazon!

Here’s the link to check them out! 

Fix: HTC One M8 Not Sending or Receiving Text Messages

Recently, two family members began complaining about their HTC One M8 not sending or receiving text messages. It usually involved the text messaging app giving a message stating that the message couldn’t be sent. Now, the fact that two of the exact same phones started experiencing the same issue made me suspicious.

The Saga of Dealing with AT&T Customer Support & Tech Support

After going into an AT&T store for help, with one of the phones, we were given a new SIM card as a first attempt to remedy the situation. AT&T reps must be force fed SIM card replacements as a solution. This always seems to be their first solution for every possible problem from your phone not receiving calls to being run over by a car. A new SIM card was obviously not the solution so we moved on to calling AT&T.

AT&T customer support said they’ve been getting a lot of calls about the HTC One M8 lately. The rep said that the problem is due to a recent update from AT&T. This would make sense since both phones started having the issue simultaneously. Since customer support was unable to assist us, we were forwarded, further down the rabbit hole, to technical support.

Technical support provided us with a whole new story. They informed us that the phones had a hardware malfunction and that they are no longer recommending HTC phones since they are malfunctioning so much the past year.

The End of a Saga

We were told that if we put insurance on the phones, then we could submit a claim and get replacement HTC One M8 phones for both individuals. Another option they provided was to renew our 2-year contract, get a new phone and give the HTC One M8 back to AT&T. Both of these options were absolute rubbish. If AT&T tries this with you do not do it. Instead, do what I did to fix the problem. It might seem hard at first, but it isn’t.

The Solution/Fix

Again, it sounds daunting at first but it isn’t. Before you move on, I want you to know what will happened below. First, we will download some files, then we will unlock the bootloader, flash a custom recovery, and flash a custom ROM and GApps to the device. Following these steps will erase all of the data on your phone and void the warranty. But at this point, your phone is probably no longer under warranty. If you’re worried about this, call your cell company and find out if the phone is under warranty.

Files

Download the following files.

  • ADB & Fastboot with Instructions (Windows | Mac
  • Debian based Linux Distros just run sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

  • CyanogenMod 12.1 (latest release) – This is one of the most stable and most trusted ROMs out there.
  • Gapps — Download the file here. The settings will be automatically set when the page loads.
  • TWRP 3.0.1 Recovery

The Steps

  1. Visit htcdev.com/bootloader and follow the instructions for unlocking the bootloader. If you’ve followed the instructions above, you’ll already have ADB and Fastboot installed, so you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click Proceed to Step 5… then finish following the instructions. (Linux users will need to run fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin to unlock the bootloader)
  2. … after following the instructions your phone will reboot …
  3. Enable Developer Mode on your phone by going to Settings > About Phone > Software Info … or wherever it shows you the Build Number. Then tap the build number a bunch of times very fast until it says “You’ve enabled developer mode”.
  4. Now go to Settings > Developer Options and look for the option Android debugging and enable it.
  5. You should see a message pop up asking if you would like to allow a computer to connect to your device. Check the box to remember/always allow. Then click Allow
  6. Open the command line (terminal on Mac and Linux) and enter the following commands (replace /path/to/ with where you saved the files).
    adb push /path/to/cm-12.1-20151117-SNAPSHOT-YOG7DAO1K1-m8.zip /sdcard/ (your filename may differ slightly)
    adb push /path/to/open_gapps-arm-5.1-mini-20160402.zip (your filename may differ slightly)
    adb reboot bootloader … your phone will now reboot into an odd screen.

  7. We will now install the custom recovery. Enter the following commands
    fastboot clear cache
    fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.0.1-0-m8.img
  8. Once the command is done running, restart your phone and run the command adb reboot recovery … your phone will restart into a screen that says TWRP. Swipe to the right to enter TWRP
  9. Tap the Install button and navigate to the cm-12.1 file which will be at the bottom of the list. Tap the file.
  10. Tap the Add More zips button and this time select the GApps file.
  11. Swipe the bar at the bottom to install the files
  12. Once it is completed after a minute or so, tap the button Clear cache/dalvik. Once that is done, reboot and you’re done!

Technical Stuff

For those of you who want more specific details about the phones, here you go.
Baseband: 4.0.U605611@50319A_40.45.C33065.00_F
Build Number: 4.28502.2 CL511189 release keys
Android Version: 5.0.2
Sense Version: 6.0
Software #: 4.28.502.2
Kernel: 3.4.0gb35faf0and@AABM #1 SMP PREEMPT

Nexus 7 (2013) Google Tablet

This tablet review is coming from a woman’s point of view and will have lots of frilly details. Mostly ruffles and pink shimmering details. Haha.

You see, I used to have the older version of this tablet and while it worked for me for a while, eventually it needed to be replaced. Badly. So the boy bought this newer version of the Nexus 7 for me. I’ve been using it now for about two months and what a huge difference!

This tablet is fabulous. It’s so fast and so easy to use, of course, I’m an android girl and have only used this OS. There is no more crashing or lagging behind. No more waiting and waiting for something to load only to have the screen go black.

Some of the main things I have noticed that are a huge upgrade are the speakers, which are much louder. Also, the touch screen is very responsive and I have no issues with this. There are two cameras on this tablet, front and back, which are very nice for the video apps that I use like Glide.

Everything I have found so far is an upgrade and works so much smoother. I am so happy that the boy knows what to buy me and I highly recommend this tablet.

To find out the specs on this version, see this link:

www.asus.com/us/Tablets/Nexus_7_2013