Articles by Judie Lipsett Stanford

Brewing Beer with the PicoBrew Pico: Set-Up and Fermentation

I’m married to a man who enjoys brewing his own beer; Kev has a shop with a section dedicated to the equipment needed for mixing, brewing, proofing, and serving homebrew, and he has invested plenty of dollars and copious amounts of time into his hobby. I fully expected snark when I started reviewing the PicoBrew Pico, because it’s cheating, right?



Cloudious9 Hydrology9 Vaporizer Review: Liquid Filtration Makes It Smoother

We’ve looked at several styles of loose-leaf vaporizers on Gear Diary, but this is the first one I’ve seen that uses water, reminiscent of your college roommate’s favorite water pipe. The Cloudious9 Hydrology9 Vaporizer is a sleek, futuristic-looking rechargeable vaporizer that promises “cleaner and smoother inhalation with no additional attachments or setup.” Okay then, let’s check it out!


Click & Grow Creates an Affordable DIY Indoor Garden

If you like the Click & Grow way of doing things, but you aren’t sure if you want to invest in their Herb Garden, then you might want to check out their new DIY Indoor Garden. At $29.99, it’s a great way to get started with indoor gardening! What do you get for $29.99? The kit includes “9 plant cups with…



Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus FM Portable Wireless Speaker Review

It would be easy to go into this review with a list of negatives, simply because the Hercules WAE Outdoor 04Plus doesn’t have the depth and power of some of the other portable Bluetooth speakers I’ve reviewed. But let’s back up for a sec and acknowledge that this is a multi-featured, water-resistant, and versatile portable speaker that only costs $79.99!


Ticwatch 2 Active Review: A Refreshingly Sleek and Streamlined Smartwatch

One of the complaints I’ve heard many times about smartwatches is that they’re too thick, too large, or they look too masculine. That’s understandable, especially when the one complaining isn’t a larger person. Options have been somewhat limited for those who’d prefer a less massive watch with smart features, but now there’s Ticwatch, and it’s surprisingly impressive.



Edge of Belgravia Precision Chef Knife Series and the Black Diamond Knife Block: Functional Art for the Kitchen

If the idea of putting a classic wooden knife block on your kitchen counter just doesn’t appeal to you, then you might have considered putting them in a drawer. That’s torture on your knives; they’ll rattle against each other, eventually becoming dull. Look for a knife block with a modern, architectural style, one like the Edge of Belgravia Black Diamond.




PITAKA Aramid Fiber iPhone 7 Case: Beautiful, Bulletproof Protection

It would be impossible for me to guess how many iPhone cases I’ve reviewed over the years, but I can count the number that have genuinely impressed me on one hand; the PITAKA Aramid Fiber iPhone 7 Case makes that list. It’s incredibly light and thin, and it provides minimalistic protection with no compromises.



2017 Kia Niro First Look: An Eye-Popping Hybrid Crossover

Last week, along with a group of other auto writers, I attended the National Press Introduction for the 2017 Kia Niro in San Antonio, Texas. The Niro is Kia’s new crossover hybrid, poised to take on Toyota Prius customers who are ready for more passenger room and utility space.


Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE Headphones: The Best Pair for the Money

I recently reviewed the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 headphones; now I’ve got their slightly more upscale brother, the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE, in hand. Everything I enjoyed about the BackBeat PRO 2 is present (do check out their review if you haven’t already), but with the PRO 2 SE headphones, there is even more to love.


Just Mobile Xtand Vent: Park Your Phone in a Cool Spot

I’ve tried plenty of phone holders in my vehicles, but the one thing that always stops me from wanting to keep using them is that they can be bulky, ugly, or they require special attachments to use. The Just Mobile Xtand Vent is a sleek, minimalistic vent holder for your phone. It works well, and it looks good.



We Stand with Journalists

Now, more than ever, we need serious investigative reporters to uncover the truth. We are proud to support the work the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post are doing in this increasingly toxic climate.



FeiyuTech SPG PLUS 3-Axis Gimbal: Steady As She Goes

Whether you’re filming home movies, video blogs, concerts, or sports events, the one thing those videos will have in common (if you’re doing it with your iPhone) is that your arm will get tired and they’ll be shaky. For the steadiest videos, you’ll need a gimbal; look to the FeiyuTech SPG PLUS 3-Axis Gimbal if you need stability with options.