Monday, September 27, 2021

Luxtronic HDTV Antenna Reviewed

If you have cut the cord for cable than you have already discovered an antennae is a prime component of successful cable cutting. Old school rabbit ears is another name. The function is the same, but the styles and choices have greatly increased these past years.



My old antenna



Anyone else remember a rabbit ear antenna with foil! Ah the memories. Recently my hdtv antenna stopped working which really emphasized how necessary an antennae is for any viewing. When I scanned the over air channels without the antennae I had 5 channels. Five channels which looked to be all the same programming resembling informercials.

I quickly started surfing for a replacement and was happy to discover the design of antennae's have vastly improved. A few years ago when I cut the cable cord I had an antenna which was not only  large, but had to be hung in the air for maximum reception. Not pretty, not practical, but still better than a cable bill.

I chose the HDTV Digital Antenna with a very small footprint and am very pleased. So pleased I have purchased a few more to upgrade from the hang from the window antenna version!

The Antenna by Luxtronic is very small and unobtrusive. It can be used indoor or outdoor with a 50 mile range. 

A simple install by connecting to the TV antenna input and then auto scan the over the air signals and the antenna works wonderfully. If you are looking to aesthetically upgrade your set of rabbit ears, I highly recommend this antenna to access all your over the air channels without the cost of cable.



Free Streaming Options For Cable Cord Cutters

Kanopy Review

Use your library card to access a huge library for free streaming. Focus on Indie films. No contracts, no subsrciptions!

Hoopla  Review

Hoopla offers free books, movies and television shows through your local library.

Freegal Review

Giant Movie Library featuring Sony's catalog. Another free service offered in combination with your library card. Weekly limit of downloads.

Amazon Prime 

 Amazon Prime is not free, but if you'd like to give the service a spin a 30 day trial subscription can be accessed. More movies, music, tv shows and Amazon Prime content than one imagine!





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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Everything Will Be OK - A Personal Diary Entry

 

Everything Will Be OK

One of my favorite personal affirmations to pass along to friends and family in their hour of need is, "everything will be OK."

Let's Review the Phrase "Everything Will Be OK" or Just "OK"

The word "OK" can be magnificently soothing. If you haven't tested out that theory with text messages, give it a try.

Not long ago, I discovered that receiving the "OK" response to a text I've sent to family or friends, especially a lengthier text, is absolutely calming and instantly soothing. How about you?

Why the Words OK are Soothing

Here's my conclusion about this: We live in a world of constant information, turmoil, debates, disagreements, and multiple stresses - and when someone responds back to us with the simple words "OK," we're lifted away from the edge for that moment.

When my kids respond to my texts or verbal requests with "OK," I'm immediately disarmed and relieved. I am keenly aware of being "yessed," so I'm not speaking about that baloney. A sincere "OK," acknowledging that you've been heard, and there's actual consensus, is what I'm referencing - wow! Isn't that nice?

I Like to Hand Out OKs

Whenever possible, I respond with "OK" or the more detailed version, "everything will be OK." Since discovering what these responses do for me, I seek out as many honest moments as possible to say "OK" to others. It's such a gift.

I'll respond with OK to the most mundane things whenever I get the chance. Try it. Here's an example, "mom, I'll be late for dinner" - my response 'OK.' Just a simple 'OK' is what I'll use whenever possible. Here's another boring example, "hun, I'll be home shortly, can you be in the driveway to help me unload the groceries?" my hubby's response, "OK." I can't express how much I appreciate that short, agreeable text!

Our lives are filled with so much emotion that often, telephone conversations go off into unrelated tangents. A simple response and truthful acknowledgment of "OK" via text is the next best thing to therapy, in my personal opinion! Just kidding about the therapy part, but it does help! That's how much I appreciate it and love to hand out an OK as much as receive one.

Currently, my friend is going through a traumatic life event, and I've said "everything will be ok" to her multiple times. She needed to hear the sheer possibility of it all -  I could honestly say this phrase because it is legitimately what I believe. 

Is the Self-Fulfiling Prophecy at Work?

There's no doubt; what we believe is our truth. As that quote goes, whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.

Since my truth is that everything will be OK, I'm sure I'm subconsciously taking steps to ensure it happens. Whether the issue is something involving life and death, or personal strife, I absolutely believe that in the end, "everything will be OK." 

At the moment, I have mountains going on in my life. My mom is dangerously unwell, another friend's husband almost died in a vehicle accident, and I have other personal issues I'm sorting through. However, I still believe everything will be OK.

Will I cry? Is it stressful? Am I overwhelmed at times? Yes, to all. 

BUT in my soul, there's an untouchable place, a place that only belongs to me and my higher power. For respite, I retreat there. I know to my core that everything will be OK. This truth shapes my life.

I'm not sure where all this hope inside of me comes from, but it lives - it's a real thing.

Here's a poem I penned decades ago about holding onto inner peace, that place that belongs only to you and your higher power, no matter the storms.

Take Me To Your Beautiful
50 Years of Poems By Barbara Tremblay Cipak Available on Amazon



Additional Diary Entries:





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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Cakes and Cupcakes Special Days and Reviews

 


There are a multitude of special days (those wacky, weird, humorous and fun days) throughout the year devoted to various kinds of cakes and cupcakes.  The Contributors to this Review This Reviews site have also reviewed and shared a number of recipes of their favorites.


A compilation of these yummy dessert recipes and the days that are set aside to recognize them are featured in this article.


What is the Difference Between a Cake and Cupcakes?


There are only two differences ~ the type of pan you use to bake them, and the amount of time they spend in the oven.


*Some terms used for cupcakes – snack cake, mini-cake, Fairy Cake, Patty Cake.


Cake Holidays


Source: Pixabay


List of National Cake Holidays:


  • National Cake Month - February
  • National Chocolate Cake Day  - January 27
  • National Carrot Cake Day  - February 3
  • National Poundcake Day  - March 4
  • National  Blackforest Cake  Day - March 28
  • National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day - March 29
  • National  Coffee Cake Day  - April 7
  • National Hazelnut Cake Day - June 1
  • National Applesauce Cake Day - June 6
  • National German Chocolate Cake Day - June 12
  • National Strawberry Shortcake Day  - June 14     
  • National Spongecake Day  - August 23
  • National Angel Food Cake Day - October 10
  • National Cake Day - November 26
  • National Fruitcake Day  -December 27
  • National Sacher Torte Day  -December 5


Cupcake Holidays


List of National Cupcake Holidays:


  • Hostess Cupcake Day – May 10
  • Chocolate Cupcake Day – October 18
  • National Vanilla Cupcake Day - November 10
  • National Cupcake Day – December 15


Source: Pixabay

*NOTE:  One of the most famous and popular cupcakes is the Hostess Cupcake.  Check out this recipe for homemade Hostess Cupcakes.  It is found on the blog Love, Life & Sugar by Lindsay. 



Cake & Cupcake Recipes by the ReviewThisReviews Contributors


One of the RTR Contributors – the leader of the pack we all affectionately call “Mouse” -  SylvesterMouse Cynthia, is our 'go-to' expert on getting fancy and having fun with cakes and cupcakes. In addition to numerous recipes Mouse has shared here on Review This Reviews, she has also featured several on her own blog sites.  See a few below:


Snake Cake by Sylvestermouse

For an extra fun cake, see this (How to Decorate) Snake Cake by Sylvestermouse on her Cooking for the Holidays website.






Halloween Ghost Cake by Sylvestermouse

Plus, her Halloween Ghost Castle Cake on the Sylvestermouse Halloween Haven website.






Photo courtesy of Fun Food


Then there is her Spooky Spider Cupcakes 


And how about making a fancy cake design using cupcakes in the Sylvestermouse review of the Cupcake Cakes Cookbook?


More Delicious Cake & Cupcake Recipes & Reviews on Review This



Summary


So anytime you wish to indulge in a sweet treat in the cake & cupcake family, check out one of the above recipes or have a cake dessert day to celebrate one of the cake/cupcake holidays found all year long. 



Happy 'Cake' Eating!


*Cakes and Cupcakes - Special Days and Reviews compiled for your eating pleasure by Wednesday Elf.


For More Holiday Reviews, see 

ReviewThisReviews: Holidays


For More Recipe Reviews, see 

ReviewThisRecipes.com 







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Friday, September 24, 2021

The Captain's Confidant: A Regency Romance - Larkhall Letters Book 2 Review

I previously reviewed the first book in the Larkhall Letters series. Because it was such a delightful book to read, I immediately started the second book in the series, The Captain's Confidant

We originally met Bridget Northcott in book 1, The Ace of Hearts. I instantly liked her!  She was a gracious hostess, sweet friend, and clearly someone who could keep secrets.  In book 1, Bridget didn't even tell her brother, Matthew, Alice Rosemeyer's real reasons for visiting his estate, Larkhall.

When Bridget shared her own secret with Alice and told her why she wasn't interested in considering any would-be suitors, it is obvious why keeping confidences was so important to Bridget. She had a big secret of her own!  For years, she had been in love with her brother's friend, Captain Colin Foster.

Any romantic reading the book would hope that Bridget's captain returned her love. However, at the beginning of book 2, when we discover that Captain Foster is engaged to someone else, that hardly seems likely. 


The Captain's Confidant Synopsis

 The Captain's Confidant: A Regency Romance (Larkhall Letters Book 2)Check PriceWhen his older brother dies in an accident, Captain Foster is forced to return home and assume his place as heir and master of Thorncarrow.  Colin resents having to leave his career and his beloved sea. He has been living the life he wanted.  Now, he is choked by obligations, debt, and an unwanted estate. Captain Colin Foster is a very unhappy man.

When they find out that Colin is back at Thorncarrow, Matthew and Oliver Northcott make plans to visit him.  They hope they might be able to help him ease into his new role as owner of an estate. Plus, they are interested in how he had so quickly become engaged to their neighbor, Miss. Tabitha Terrell.  

Bridget is heartbroken to hear of Colin's engagement and questions how he could even consider marrying Tabitha. He knows firsthand of the spiteful things that Tabitha did to Bridget when they were kids. She is determined to find out how he could possibly love her and convinces her brother, Matthew, that he should allow her to accompany them to Thorncarrow.  However, upon arrival, is seems Colin is not thrilled to see Bridget. He sends her and her companion to stay in the dower's house with his mother.

In her own state of distress, Bridget decides to vent her anger through a letter that is never meant to be delivered.  However, a maid finds the letter and promptly takes it to the addressee, Captain Colin Foster.  After Colin reads the letter, he decides to write one of his own and that is how Bridget becomes the Captain's confidant. 


My Conclusion

Sharing secrets with someone you trust is something we all need to be able to do from time to time. Knowing they would never betray you is paramount.  

This is a sweet story of an old friendship that is reestablished after years of separation.  It is also the story of forgiveness and reconciliation of other broken relationships.  No doubt, there is a message of encouragement laced within the pages of this story for all of us if we take the time to reflect upon it.

 




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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Review of Flags of Valor

 

2021 Display on Art Hill, St. Louis Missouri

St. Louis Missouri has a wonderfully moving display on Art Hill that commemorates those who died on 9/11 and those who have died in the war on terror in the 20 years since 2001.  

This display first was put up on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and then again on the 15th anniversary and now on the 20th anniversary.  I have been privileged to view the display each of these times and find it to be a very  emotional experience.  Here is a photo I took this year.





History of Flags of Valor

Here is a quote from the website on the history of Flags of Valor. 

The first display of Flags of Valor in St. Louis was for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  In that display 2977 flags were placed on Art Hill.  These flags represented the individuals who lost their lives in the twin towers attack, the Pentagon attack, and on Flight 93, and the first responders who gave their lives to save others.

2016 Display

On the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks the display on Art Hill honored those 6869 service members who lost their lives in the following operations: Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom's Sentinel.

2021 Display

In 2021the Flags of Valor organization has refined their purpose beyond remembering to educating.  With a new generation that wasn't even born when 9/11 occured it is important to educate on what has happened and what we must always remember.  This years display is three fold.

1.   Remembering the Victims of the 9/11 Attacks



To remember the 9/11 victims, there are 6 oversized informational boards.  Three are on each side of the Grand Basin.  These boards visualize 2,564 victims of the 9/11 attacks.

There is also a flag with the names of all of the victims.


2.  Remember the First Responders who Died

There are 413 flags above the Grand Basin to remember the first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice.

3.  Remembering Service Members Who Died during the War on terror since 9/11/2001

There are more than 7000 3' by 5' American Flags on the hill below the St. Louis Art Museum.  Each flag represents of service member who has died since 9/11/2001 in the War on Terror.  Each flag is marked with an informational dog tag and a photo of the service member.





Information for this article was gathered from the Flags of Valor website at Flags of Valor STL  All photos were taken by Mary Beth Granger.




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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Best Loud, Easy to Read Multi-Event Digital Timers

The ThermoPro TM02 Digital Dual Kitchen Timer is the best, most intuitive, easiest to read and loudest multi-event digital kitchen timer I have owned in many years. In this product review, I will share the features my husband and I love most about this recent addition to our kitchen, as well as a few others considerations to help you decide whether the ThermoPro TM02 might also be the best multi-event digital timer for your needs. 

If you want to be able to time three dishes, activities or other events concurrently, the OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer is another excellent option, as long as you don't mind having more (and smaller) buttons and a more compressed display for the three countdown timers.

The Best Multi-Event Digital Kitchen Timers - Easy to Read Display, Loud Adjustable Volume Alarms

I often need to set timers for concurrent tasks and activities, especially during holiday cooking and baking marathons and when entertaining. A multi-event digital timer is less expensive, more convenient and more space-saving than two or three single-event models. I prefer ones with intuitive, easy-to-read controls that I can pause and restart with a touch, unlike mechanical dial units.

Digital Kitchen Timers Have Gone Down in Price, Quality, Longevity and Ease of Use 

The best timer I've ever owned was an OXO Good Grips triple digital kitchen timer that I bought roughly 20 years ago. Setting and switching between the three timers was simple and intuitive. The numbers on the backlit digital LCD screen display and the labels on the buttons were easy to read. The alarms had distinct beep patterns (single beeps, double beeps, and triple beeps for events one, two and three) that made it easy to identify which timer was going off, even when I was in a different room. This model was a workhorse that performed reliably in my kitchen for many years before the LCD display eventually started to fail (as these types of digital display screens inevitably do). 

When I went to order another one (about 10–12 years ago), I learned that the manufacturer had discontinued that model. The newer version had more bells and whistles, which I neither wanted nor needed. As a result, navigating, setting and clearing the multi-event digital timers (the unit's core functions) was less straightforward and intuitive on the redesigned OXO Good Grips triple kitchen timer versus its predecessor. Based on the many negative product reviews, I wasn't the only customer who was upset by the design and functionality changes in the newer model. 

Finding a worthy replacement has been a surprisingly challenging, time-consuming and lengthy undertaking. Unfortunately, like many other products, digital kitchen timers have declined substantially in quality. Over the past 10 years or so, every model I have purchased, regardless of price, has had to be replaced 12–18 months later, when one or two segments of the digital numbers no longer show on the LCD display. 

After the display on my second replacement multi-event timer developed a "dead spot," I decided to replace it with a pair of single-event digital kitchen timers. I had hoped that a simpler display screen might not fail as soon, which turned out to be wishful thinking. However, switching from a multi-event model to two bare-bones ones did have one benefit: Whenever the display started to fail on one of them, there was another that still worked and could tide me over until a replacement arrived.

Resuming the Search for a New Multi-Event Digital Timer, Using Updated Requirements

When the LCD display on one of our most recent basic timers developed a "dead spot" a few weeks ago, I decided to see whether any new multi-event kitchen timers had been introduced since the last time I had looked several years earlier and, if so, whether one of them might be a good fit for my husband's and my current needs, which had changed somewhat since my previous searches. 

My first step was to reevaluate, update, and reprioritize our multi-event digital timer requirements list. For example, we no longer entertain as frequently or elaborately as we used to do when we were in our thirties and forties, and our vision and hearing aren't as sharp as they were back then. These days, we would much rather have a dual event kitchen timer with larger, easy-to-read numbers than a three-event timer with a more cramped digital display and smaller numbers that are harder to read. A bright, backlit screen, loud alarms with adjustable volume, large, well spaced buttons with easy to read labels, and an intuitive interface that is simple enough to figure out (and remember) without referring back to the instruction guide or manual. 

My Favorite Easy to Read, Loud Alarm, Multi-Event Digital Timer (Two Event Countdown Timers)

ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Kitchen Timer

When I was evaluating and comparing products against our new "wish list," I was excited to find the ThermoPro TM02 Digital Kitchen Timer, which seemed to tick all our most important boxes. To my surprise, my husband became just as excited as I was when I took him through the photos, description, specifications and product reviews on Amazon. 

The ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Timer has a large, easy to read LCD display. The bright blue backlight comes on for 10 seconds when a countdown timer starts or stops and when the alarm goes off.

We have been using our new ThermoPro TM02 multi-event timer several times a day since it arrived a few weeks ago and we're both delighted with our purchase.  

Of course, only time will tell how long the LCD display will last, but we're really impressed with the thoughtfulness and attention to detail that went into this timer, so we're cautiously optimistic. 

Even when the backlight is off, the large numbers of both countdown timers are very easy to read. The front has five large buttons with high-contrast, intuitive labels. 

Why We Love It:

  • Accurate. Unfortunately, not all digital timers are!
  • Easy to read, tilted display with large digits. Unlike many of the smaller, cheaper kitchen timers we have used, the ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Timer's large, sturdy kickstand stays put and keeps the display at a good angle on the countertop for hands-free viewing. 
  • Large, bright, backlit display. The oversized* LCD display takes up most of the real estate on the front of this timer, which provides enough room for both countdown timers to have large, numbers that are easily legible even when viewed from an angle versus head-on, and even when the bright blue backlight is off.
    * The manufacturer describes it as a 2.6-inch LCD screen. Mine measures 2.375" tall by 2.125" wide and 2.875" on the diagonal. 
  • Simple, intuitive, clearly labeled controls. There are just five large, clearly labeled buttons on the front, plus one mode selector switch and the volume adjustment button on the back. 
  • Ten-second backlight conserves batteries. The blue backlight comes on any time a button is pressed, e.g., to set, start, pause, restart, or stop the timer. Since it's very bright (which is wonderful), it only stays on for 10 seconds each time, so it doesn't chew through batteries like some others we've owned.
    • Some customers have complained that the backlight doesn't stay on long enough. We haven't found that to be an issue, especially since pressing any button turns the light back on for another 10 seconds.
  • Loud alarms with adjustable volume and silent alarm/mute mode. Pressing the small volume button on the back allows you to cycle through four alarm volume settings. The low, medium and high volume levels range from 70-105 dB. We find the medium volume setting loud enough to hear from one or two rooms away. There is also a volume Off setting that mutes the alarm so you can see when the timer goes off without disturbing anyone else. 
  • Convenient memory function. After the countdown finishes, the timer automatically returns to the previous setting. For example, I make a large mug of herbal tea almost every day, and the kind I make most often steeps for seven minutes. After Timer 1 goes off and I press the Stop button, it automatically reverts to seven minutes unless I actively clear the memory, so that all I have to do is press the Start button the next day when I want to make tea. 
  • Set each countdown timer for up to 23 hours 59 minutes. Some digital timers have a maximum time limit of only 60 to 90 minutes! 
  • Choice of 12/24 hour clock format with date function. Although this feature isn't important to us, many people love it. 

A sturdy pull-out kickstand keeps the ThermoPro TM02 dual channel multi-event timer stable on your countertop, or use the two strong magnets to attach it to your refrigerator or another metal surface. A simple, three-position switch toggles between the timer, clock and clock set modes, while the small button underneath controls the adjustable volume alarm loudness settings.

Other Considerations:

  • You can't program seconds. We don't anticipate this being an issue for us. However, there are certain recipes (and other uses) for which the ability to time in 15- or 30-second increments is essential. So, if you work in a commercial or restaurant kitchen, this could be a deal-breaker. Otherwise, if you need this capability only infrequently, you can set the timer to the next full minute and monitor the digital display until there are 15 or 30 seconds remaining in the countdown (or use a countdown timer app on your mobile phone for those situations).
  • Some people find even the low volume (70dB) setting too loud. My husband and I have not found this to be the case. Your mileage may vary.
  • No dedicated "Clear" button. It's quite common for digital timers to be reset by pressing the hour and minute buttons simultaneously, rather than having a dedicated "Clear" button, and it's a practice the America's Test Kitchen reviewers said they didn't mind as long as the buttons were clearly labeled and intuitive. However, some customers still object to it. 
  • This model doesn't switch to clock mode automatically when the countdown timers are not in use. Since the clock on our microwave oven displays the time whenever we aren't microwaving something, we prefer having the display remain in countdown timer mode unless we actively switch it to clock (or clock set) mode. However, some customers have complained about having to switch from timer to clock mode manually.
  • The neodymium ("rare earth") magnets on the back are very strong, but the foam adhesive discs holding them in place are not. My husband and I prefer to keep our kitchen timers on the counter, so this isn't an issue for us. However, if you plan to keep your digital timer on your refrigerator door, one Amazon reviewer recommends prying out the magnets with a thin screwdriver or awl, completely removing the foam adhesive pads and any glue residue, and then using a strong epoxy adhesive to glue the magnets directly into the round, recessed areas in the housing. Be sure to follow the epoxy manufacturer's instructions for preparing the surfaces and applying and curing the glue.
    • Note: Customers who complain that the magnets are not strong enough are mistaken. The problem is not the neodymium magnets, which are extremely strong. It's the cheap foam adhesive discs that are too weak, and there's an easy fix for that. 

The Best Easy to Read, Loud Alarm, Multi-Event Digital Timer (Three Event Countdown Timers)

OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer

Although I still haven't found a three-event digital timer that I like as well as my old OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer, if I still needed one I would definitely go with the current version, which has gone through multiple revisions and iterations since the one I owned and loved. 

The current generation OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer was rated Highly Recommended as the best multi-event digital timer in the June 2021 Cook's Illustrated Kitchen Timers Equipment Review (subscription required). 
The OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer has a full numeric keypad and three dedicated event timer buttons.

Why You'll Love It:

  • Accurate. For us, that's a baseline requirement.
  • Upward angle and sturdy base. Designed for one-handed setting and countertop stability. 
  • Large screen with inverse backlit digital display. Easy to read at a glance, even in low light.
  • Adjustable volume. Three different loudness levels to suit your preference. 
  • Each event timer can be set for up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. I'm not sure why someone would need a 100-hour maximum time limit unless they were an NBC producer timing one of Al Roker's multi-day Rokerthons, but it's nice to have the option available.  
  • Easily identifiable event alarms. Just like my old OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer, the current model also has three distinct beeping patterns, so you can tell which event alarm is going off just by the sound, even if you are in a different room. 
  • Numeric keypad lets you set the clock and event timers faster. It also uses a numeric keypad instead of the more common -/+ buttons to set the countdown timers and clock. According to the June 2021 Cook's Illustrated Kitchen Timers Equipment Review, it took the America's Test Kitchen product testers, on average, less than half the time to set the timers on models that had full keypads than on models that did not.
  • Convenient memory function. All three event timer remember their last settings until you clear them from memory.

Other Considerations:

  • More buttons to press. The numeric keypad means you need to press more buttons to set the timers or clock (versus just two -/+ buttons to increase or decrease the time).
  • Smaller digits. Fitting three event timer displays on a smaller LCD screen than that of the ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Kitchen Timer means "the digits on the screen are slightly smaller than ideal," as the America's Test Kitchen reviewers wrote.
  • Backlit screen display goes blank (“standby mode”) after 60 seconds. A frustrated Amazon reviewer who loved nearly everything else about this OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer called this issue a deal-breaker.


The Best Loud, Easy to Read Multi-Event Digital Timers product review by Margaret Schindel


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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Holidays Reviewed on Review This Reviews!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This Reviews! 

We all enjoy special events, celebrations, and fun holidays. Seems mankind is always seeking something new to celebrate, or a reason to bring a bit of joy into our daily lives. After all, there needs to be a balance to work and responsibilities. 
 
Companies, special project groups, focus groups and campaigns have brought some fun to otherwise normal days by naming days, or even months, for fun things or activities. 

Did you know there is a National Lollipop Day, or a Hot Tea Month?  For those of us who love cookies, there is even a Bake Cookies Day appropriately set a week before Christmas.  

Of course, there are days to celebrate our favorite animals.  Who wouldn't love International Rabbit Day and National Dolphin Day!

We also celebrate relaxing!  So, hang your hammock on National Hammock Day , grab a Paczki or popcorn, a book or headphones, and take the day off.  If you prefer, spend your day off enjoying your hobby.  After all, there is a National Hobby Month, even though a month is not long enough to celebrate our favorite hobby.

Come to think of it, there should be a Review This Reviews Day!  Select the best day for celebrating Review This Reviews, share your ideas in the comments below, and we will take all of the recommendations, choose a specific date, and declare it Review This Reviews Day!  

Our contributors enjoy highlighting these days of celebration.  We hope to bring a little sunshine to your day and give you a reason to smile and have fun.  In addition to the major holidays, we review the fun holidays, explain their origins when known, and encourage our readers to focus on fun and happiness.

Let's find a reason to celebrate!




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Monday, September 20, 2021

Epson Wireless Printer Review

 

Epson Wireless Printer Review

We had our desktop computer for years with a printer that was linked via USB cable. When our desktop computer finally gave up on us it was time for a new computer. We decided it was time for a laptop. With a laptop we could use it anywhere in the house and take it with us when we traveled.

Now the problem became that every time we needed to print something we had to take the laptop to the printer and plug everything in. This got old very fast, so we thought that it was time for a new wireless printer. 

We were out shopping one day and while walking by the computer section of the store we noticed the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 wireless printer. We knew that we wanted a wireless printer, so we bought it.

We brought it home and I just couldn’t wait to get started, you see I’m one of those people who like to jump right in. On the other hand, Fran is a stickler for following step-by-step instructions. So, I sat back and let Fran set our new wireless printer up. In about 15 minutes she had it working. We were delighted because now we can print from anywhere in the house.


Epson WF-2850 All in One Printer:

The Epson WF-2850 is a 4-in-1 wireless printer, copier, scan, and fax. It features fast printing speeds, with 2-sided printing and a 30-page Auto Document Feeder.

The wireless capability makes it easy to print from your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, or any smartphone.

When we were all forced to work from home last year, Fran found it easy to download the printer drivers to her work computer. This gave her the capability of using the scan and fax function from her work computer.

The instructions tell you to only use Epson ink cartridges. I can tell you from personal experience this is true. I tried third-party ink cartridges and they don’t work.

This is a perfect home office printer choice that I would recommend to anybody. We have had many good years of quality use from this printer.

Epson WorkForce WF-2850 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet PrinterEpson WorkForce WF-2850 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet PrinterCheck the Price

 

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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Disposable Feeding Bowls for Dogs Reviewed

Disposable Dog Bowls
Disposable dog bowls are essential when traveling, on vacation, or using a pet sitter for times when you must be away.

We found out how practical these disposable feeding bowls for our dog were when we helped our daughter move across the country. Since we couldn't take our dog, Merlin, with us in the U-Haul, we left him at home with our adult son.  

Adding the care of a pet to a daily routine can initially be very stressful for anyone, but is especially challenging for someone with a full-time job.  While we were away, our son had to feed Merlin every morning before he went to work, come home during his lunch break to let him out and feed him a snack, then come home right after work.  Merlin's dinner was usually a few hours later.

I'm certain our son would have washed Merlin's food bowls several times a day like we do, but that seemed like an easy task to eliminate with the disposable bowls.  

We did start feeding Merlin from the Glad bowls a few days before we left to let him know they were okay for his meals.  I'm really glad we thought to start him on those bowls before we left because he did find them odd at first and was hesitant to just start eating from them. After a few feedings, he didn't even question the bowls. No doubt, that made feeding him easier for our son too.  Both "boys" had enough adjustments to make in their daily routines without adjusting to new food bowls.

Because these bowls are disposable, it was easy for our son to simply toss them in the trash once our pup finished his meal.

Since our return home, these disposable bowls have become handy to use when giving him water in the car or outdoors.  It is nice to have the convenience of being able to throw the bowls away instead of washing them, especially when we don't have access to a sink, running water, & dish soap.


Disposable Feeding Bowls for Dogs by Glad

 Glad for Pets Disposable Feeding Bowls | Large Dog Bowls in Gray Pattern | 3.5 Cup Feeding Size, 50 CountCheck PriceGlad is a name we all trust for kitchen products.  I was thrilled to see they made these disposable pet bowls.  The bowls are leak-proof which makes them suitable for food or water.

They are available in 2 sizes to accommodate a variety of dogs.  Since Merlin is a grown Labrador Retriever, we opted for the large size.  They are perfect for him! They hold 3.5 cups of food or water.

The smaller size holds 1.75 cups of food or water and would be great for smaller dogs.

I now consider these disposable bowls "essential" for dog owners. There will always be times that we need the convenience and cleanliness of a "one use" dog bowl. 


Now, Merlin keeps nudging me toward the door.  He wants "his boy" to come back to take care of him for another 2 weeks of grand adventures!





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Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed

If you're after a cozy, feel-good romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue then let me transport you to a little place called Starlight Cove.   Want to know more?

The Lighthouse Keeper by Cynthia Ellingsen Reviewed
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I read a lovely cozy book called A Bittersweet Surprise as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership and when I finished it I realized that the author (Cynthia Ellingsen) had created a few books based in Starlight Cove so I decided to read another one!

The Lighthouse Keeper was written before A Bittersweet Surprise so there were a couple of things that I already knew would happen, but that didn't deflect from the feel-good feeling this novel gave me.   This certainly isn't the novel for you if you want to have to think hard about things or get caught up in some psychological thriller.   This book is like a comforting blanket on a cold winter's evening when you just want to be left alone.

The main heroine of the book is the daughter of treasure hunters and when her life gets thrown a couple of curveballs she decides to bid on a lighthouse.   As you can probably tell from the title of the novel her bid wins and she moves to Starlight Cove to restore the town's lighthouse.

Her parents have settled down in Starlight Cove and are running an antique shop there, she also meets some of the town's residents along with some not-so-nice non-resident treasure hunters.   Did I mention that there was a long-lost treasure to be found too?

While she endeavours to try her hand at a little matchmaking between her first friend in Starlight Cove and one of the hunky Henderson brothers she also finds herself falling a little in love herself.  As with any romance, there's a little bump in the road which has her overthinking things (a trait I can totally relate to myself!).

With The Lighthouse Keeper, Cynthia Ellingsen has once again shown how well she can create her characters as I can totally relate to a few in this book, just as I did in the other book.    Now I need to grab the only other book I can see in the Starlight Cove series to see if it's as good.   An extra bonus is that all three of these are free to read with a Kindle Unlimited account!




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