Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Books I Read (Or Tried To Read) During Spring and Summer 2020: A List


Books I Read (Or Tried To Read) During Spring and Summer 2020: A List

The spring and summer of 2020 unfolded in ways none of us could have foreseen. The virus that plagued the world changed our daily life forcing many of us to stay home for all but the most essential errands. As a home-based eBay seller, I was able to work again after the initial lockdown was over. However, with family, friends and all of my other interests and activities unavailable there was definitely more time for reading.

This page is a look back at the books that I read. Hopefully, it will steer you toward or away from a new book.

WHAT DID I DO?


I met several generations of a powerful and influential family. I survived industrialized 19th century Britain. I settled on the harsh Canadian prairies. I visited but failed to enjoy St. John’s, Newfoundland. I raised sourdough bread. I solved a murder mystery and finally, I visited short stories.

WHAT DID I READ?


JEFFREY ARCHER'S CLIFTON CHRONICLES


JEFFREY ARCHER'S CLIFTON CHRONICLES     


The best book that I read was actually a seven-volume saga about the adventures and misadventures of a powerful and influential family by Jeffrey Archer known as the Clifton Chronicles. It was so good that I struggled to put each book aside in order to make time to read the latest book for my book club. This series is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by not only myself but also my husband and my sister-in-law and my friend Alanna and her husband. There is a lot of well-crafted reading here with threads that cross generations. You will find the seven-book boxed set here on Amazon.


CATHERINE COOKSON'S RILEY


CATHERINE COOKSON'S RILEY


I was reunited after a long absence with author Catherine Cookson via her book Riley. I wrote more about the book, which is set in industrialized 19th century Britain, and talked about the prolific writer here. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and if you have yet to 'meet' Catherine Cookson and you like historical fiction, you should give her a try. You will find it here on Amazon.


SHANDI MITCHELL'S UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY


SHANDI MITCHELL'S UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY


Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell is a Canadian novel set in Alberta in 1938. It was good book, a close look at the extremely tough job of settling the prairies. However, it was dark with tragedy upon tragedy heaped upon the Ukrainian settlers. It is RECOMMENDED by me for those interested in the history of the prairies and immigrants to Canada but NOT RECOMMENDED if you need something a bit more positive, which was something I felt that I needed during this difficult time. You will find it here on Amazon.


MEGAN GAIL COLES' SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB


MEGAN GAIL COLES' SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB


The next book that I read was Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles. It is a Scotiabank Giller Prize nominated book set in St. John’s, Newfoundland. A very dark, dreary modern-day story and I only read half of it. Six or so of the members of my book club made it through but not happily and four did not. One determined reader intends to keep trying.

A review on Google Books says that Small Game Hunting "is a difficult book to read because of its brutality -- people are mistreated and not valued because they are women, non-white, or gay. But it's worth it." Quill and Quire says, this book "forces the reader...to be made uncomfortable and prompted to think rather than be simply entertained." These might be reasons for you to consider reading this book. However, it is NOT RECOMMENDED by me unless you are looking to challenge yourself about difficult subjects. If you really want to, you can find it here on Amazon.


ROBIN SLOAN'S SOURDOUGH


ROBIN SLOAN'S SOURDOUGH


The next book was Sourdough, a brilliantly funny fictional story about sourdough bread, about the computer world and even about San Francisco. Very funny, it is truly a book you should read if you want a add a bit of levity to your reading and your life. Hopefully, my full review will ‘rise’ up soon so that you can read more about this book during this time when people ‘knead’ to stay home more and make bread. Sourdough the book and the bread is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. You will find it here on Amazon.


DONNA LEON'S QUIETLY IN THEIR SLEEP


DONNA LEON'S QUIETLY IN THEIR SLEEP


I have a few series that I am working my way through including Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries. This volume, Quietly in Their Sleep, delivers for an armchair traveler who wants to travel to Venice, Italy from the comfort of home, which of course is the kind of travel that we can do right now. It suits someone who would like to visit as well as someone who has been there who will recognize landmarks in and issues of the city as the story progresses. It is not the first in the series but I do HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book or any that came before it.  You will find it here on Amazon.


ROALD DAHL'S THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR AND OTHER STORIES



ROALD DAHL'S THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR AND OTHER STORIES


The latest book that I pulled from our collection of books that has been hanging around our house unread for too long was Roald Dahl's The Great Automatic Grammatizator and Other Stories or The Umbrella Man and Other Stories, as it is called in the United States. It's a book of short stories chosen from Dahl's adult stories picked with the intention of suitability for teenagers. I haven't read all of the stories yet because I prefer to enjoy short stories one by one and truth be told, I don't usually care for them at all. However, I am thoroughly enjoying these stories thus far and am comfortable HIGHLY RECOMMENDING this book of stories to you and you will find it here on Amazon

Well, once again, I hope to have given you inspiration for your book list. I apologize to any books that I forgot to include on this list.

See you
at the bookstore!
Brenda

Books I Read (Or Tried To Read) During Spring and Summer 2020: A List





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Monday, September 28, 2020

Garage Parking Sensor Aid Review

Loving this new garage gadget! This Adjustable Garage Parking Sensor Aid is just the gadget I needed to help park the car safely in the garage and avoid tangling with a wood shelving unit. This shelving unit came with the garage and while handy is a bit problematic to fit the car in the garage.


What one does not want to hear when driving the car into a tight sized garage is the sound of crackling wood. While this wood organizer unit can be very handy and it is very utilized, it appeared the prior owners of said organizer may have had a few run ins with the support posts. 

Just guessing, but a little bump of the support post produced .... a cracked post. 



Going Bump In The Night

On the advice of a handy neighbor he told me about automatic garage sensors to help with judging the distance between the wood shelves and the car bumper. I had been using the tried and true low tech tennis ball as a guide to stopping; however if juggling two differently sized cars, which may or may not park in the same spot, the tennis ball has its' limits.

Handy Gadget

The length between the shelving unit and the garage door is very tight with very little space to maneuver. Enter the Garage Parking Sensor Aid

I love gadgets that are practical, fulfill a need with the bonus of affordable and easy to install. The Garage Parking Sensor fulfills all of the above!

 

Easy To Install

The unit can be installed in less than five minutes! It is that easy. No need to be handy. The unit runs on AA batteries or can be charged with a mini USB connection. 

Decide where the bumper of the car should stop and align the bottom sensor with the bumper. 

The top part shaped like a stoplight can be adhered with the included double stick tape or as many reviewers suggested using a cable tie or velcro. There happen to be a wide ledge I could prop the top part of the unit so no tape was needed.

The top and bottom sensor are connected with a generous length of wire to adapt to all size vehicles.

The Approach

What is very nice is how the distance from entering the garage to the stopping point is measured. The stop sign indicator is large enough to easily view. 

As the car approaches the light of the unit progresses from green to yellow to red. The yellow to red progression is very helpful as a guide point to be prepared to stop.

This quick video shows in real time the Garage Parking Sensor at work.



This really is a 1-2-3 open the package and install in five minutes! I can now send the tennis ball back to the court where it belongs!









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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Furniture Pieces that Come with Built-in USB Charging Stations

Furniture with Built-In USB Charging Station
Furniture with Built-In USB Charging


Did you know there is a wide variety of furniture choices that come with built-in USB charging stations? It's not something we typically think of when we're shopping for recliners and end-tables; however, we should.

For Funkthishouse.com, I'm always on the hunt for creative finds for the home. Yah, I spend too much time scrolling through furniture, rugs, drapes, and bedding ... you name it. It's like hunting for little golden nuggets lol. I sure enjoy it.

Anyway, today's article features pieces of furniture, big and small, that come with built-in USB charging ports.

"Product Page is Here" - You can view all the furniture ideas discussed below on the product page - Be sure to check them out, some are pretty funky :)


Coffee Tables and End-Tables with Built-In USB Charging


Unless you want a full-blown Smart-Table, you can easily find coffee/end-tables that come with built-in USB charging stations. How convenient is that? When you need to charge your device, reach over and plug it into the outlet on your table. If you're wondering what a "Smart-Table" is, here's a brief article.

Couches and Chairs with Built-In USB Charging


Yes, that's right; if you're in the market for a new couch or chair, be sure to check if it comes with a built-in USB charging station. You'll notice you don't have to spend a fortune (you can if you want) for pieces with built-in charging stations. They come in a wide variety of designs and styles.

Lamps with Built-In USB Charging 


If end-tables, chairs, or couches are too much of an expense, the next time you need a lamp, choose one that has a built-in charging station. They're incredibly convenient for desks or work stations. I've included several styles for you to examine on the product page.

Desks with Built-In USB Charging 


This one is expected. Indeed, with working from home and home-schooling, desks that feature these built-ins add another level of convenience. Get a lamp with a charging station, and you're all set.

Headboards with Built-In USB Charging


Yes, you'll be able to find one of these as well. These headboards come in a broad range of prices, but you can get them in the lower price range as well ... and they're just as lovely. Check out the ones I've featured; they're pretty cool.

Again, here's the product page featuring the above furniture pieces. 

If you can think of any other furniture items with built-in USB ports, let me know. I'm always on the hunt for something different in home decor.






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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Rabbit Day Review


International Rabbit Day is held on the 4th Saturday of September every year.  It first began in 1998 as an awareness day to protect and care for both wild rabbits and pet rabbits. 

We call rabbits by various names ~ rabbit, bunny rabbit, bunnies, and hares.  The difference between a hare and a rabbit is size (hares are larger). Also hares live in nests on the ground and rabbits live in burrows.

The word Bunny originally was used as an endearment for a young girl. Over time, it began to mean a young or small animal. Today it usually means a rabbit.  Bunny has become popular as the Easter Bunny or used when referring to a small or baby rabbit. Thus, we have Bunny Rabbit! 

If you want to know all the ins and outs of the rabbit terms, the website Wide Open Pets goes into detail of the various differences. 

How to Observe International Rabbit Day



  • Read a book about rabbits.  My favorite is The Velveteen Rabbit, definitely a classic in children's books. Other sweet rabbit stories include The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Watership Down. 
  • Watch a movie about rabbits.  Popular ones, especially with children, are Roger Rabbit, Watership Down, Bambi, and Bugs Bunny .
  • Treat your pet rabbit to some extra carrots on its special day!


Pet Rabbits


Source: Pixabay

Rabbits make good pets.  They are quiet, they are easy to house train, they don't require a lot of space, and they bond well with their owner.

Did you know that rabbits are the third most popular animal to have as a pet, right behind dogs and cats. 

Crafty Rabbits (or Handmade Hares)


If it is not possible to have a real rabbit for a pet, get your child a toy rabbit. Some really cute ones are handmade by crafters.  I found dozens in all forms on Etsy.

Here are a few in handmade crochet.


Roly-Poly Pink Baby Bunny


Roly-Poly Pink Bunny @ Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy
This is a cute little plush bunny rabbit in a Roly-Poly Amigurumi Design.

Roly-Poly bunny measures a round 4 x 4 inches (including the bunny ears) and is about 9.5 inches around. She is filled with soft new fiberfill.

Plush bunny rabbit is handmade in pink acrylic yarn, and an ombre variegated acrylic yarn called 'Wedgewood' in pinks, blues and white. Her features include blue craft eyes* and a dark pink embroidered nose. Her ears and feet are pink.

Roly-Poly bunny rabbit is a cute and cuddly soft toy just the right size for little hands to hold. She can be found in the Coastal Crochet Crafts Etsy Store.

Bunny Girl Plush Dolls



These darling bunny rabbits, one in white and one in gold, are cute girl rabbits wearing a dress.  

Wonderland White Rabbit on Etsy
Wonderland White Rabbit is handmade in white acrylic yarn and filled with new polyester fiberfill.

She comes with a dress done in a sparkly pink metallic yarn. The dress is pinafore style and ties on the back around the neck. White rabbit easily puts on her dress by stepping into it and pulling up to tie. The dress is removable.

This Amigurumi white rabbit has safety eyes and nose. White bunny rabbit measures 11 inches tall, including her ears. She is 9 inches tall in a sitting position. 



Golden Bunny Girl Plush Doll on Etsy
Golden Bunny Girl is a soft plush doll.  She is hand-crocheted in a wheat-gold shade of acrylic yarn and comes complete with her own wardrobe for your favorite little girl to play 'dress-up' with her Bunny.

Golden Bunny Rabbit measures 9 inches tall (11 inches tall when you count her 'bunny ears') and 6 inches tall in a sitting position. She is about 5 inches across. Bunny Girl has craft eyes for features (eyes and nose) and she is softly stuffed with polyfil.

Golden Bunny Girl comes with her own wardrobe of 3 dresses which easily slip on by having her 'step into' the dress and pull up to tie around the neck in a bow. Each dress measures 4 inches long with 8 inch long crocheted 'ties'. Her dresses are crocheted in a pinafore style with a ruffle around the hem. The 3-piece crocheted wardrobe includes:


  1. Lavender dress trimmed with purple
  2. Pale green dress with two dark green buttons sewn on as trim
  3. Colorful dress created with an ombre variegated yarn called "Artist Print" with shades of purple, lavender, rose, burgundy, gold, blue and green.


Both bunny girl dolls, plus more bunny-related items, are available on Etsy at Coastal Crochet Crafts.

International Rabbit Day


So, celebrate this special day by hopping down the bunny trail your favorite way – reading, watching movies, or playing with your pet rabbit or toy rabbit.

Don't forget the carrots! 


Source: Pixabay


Related Reviews:

Rabbit-related reviews number more than one dozen here on ReviewThisReviews.  Check out this 'search' for 'rabbits' link for articles by our contributors which include books about rabbits, movies about rabbits, and stories of the Easter Bunny. A fun way to fill your Rabbit Day!


Rabbit Day Review written by:

Wednesday Elf 
(9/26/2020)






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Friday, September 25, 2020

CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves (Dusting Gloves) Reviewed

Microfiber Dusting Gloves
Recently, I discovered the CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves. I planned to wear them while I was dusting my home so I could easily pick up & dust picture frames, trinket boxes and knick-knacks. However, the first time I put them on, I discovered they can do so much more!

As I was dusting my dining room, I found it was a lot faster and easier to dust the dining room table legs and chair legs with the gloves.  Moving on to the buffet, I discovered just how easy it was to dust the doors, drawers & sides of the buffet.  In my den, I ended up using just the gloves to dust the book shelves. 

The gloves allow me to hold picture frames without getting finger prints on them while also dusting them completely.  Since the gloves are not thick, I can still feel the surfaces.  They are also very soft, similar to the way a plush animal feels.  I may never use a dusting cloth again!


Benefits of the CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves

 Master Manufacturing CleanGreen Microfiber Cleaning Gloves, One Size
OFFERED ON AMAZON PANTRY
Lowest Price When Available in Pantry
Check Price
There are several features about these gloves that I really like.  First and foremost, they do a great job of dusting anything your hands can touch or reach.  Here are a few more reasons to love them.

  • Attracts & Holds Dust, Dirt, or Pet Hair
  • Safe for Computers & Electronics
  • Safe for Dusting Leather
  • No Chemical Cleaning
  • Set of two gloves - one for each hand for dual action
  • Thin & soft - unlikely to scratch anything
  • Machine Wash & Dry

 

One note of caution:  Don't dry them with a fabric softener dryer sheet.

These dusting gloves made me wish I was a lot taller so I could dust the ceiling lights, fans, window casings and wall cornices.  Well, I guess I could do that with the help of a ladder, but I best stay on the ground with my long handled feather duster for those areas.

I was so impressed with these dandy dusting gloves that I immediately purchased 7 additional pairs.  I have already given my mom a pair and I plan to give them as Christmas gifts to the home "cleaners" in our family.   They are most definitely "gift worthy".




I am a firm believer in cleaning without harmful chemicals whenever there is an option! I have sought out cleaning products that do not have strong smells, yet actually work.

If you also avoid strong smells or harmful chemicals, you may also be interested in the reviews featured below.


Recommended Cleaning Tips & Products Reviewed by Several of Our Contributors


Clean Your Bathtub Without Harmful Chemicals or FumesClean Your Bathtub Without Harmful Chemicals or Fumes

Clean a porcelain bathtub without any fumes or harmful chemicals! The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does a better job of cleaning the tub too.



White Vinegar For Cleaning ReviewWhite Vinegar For Cleaning Review

White vinegar is an inexpensive and effective product to use for cleaning in your home. Many uses in the kitchen, bathroom and throughout the house.



How to Sweep Your Floors Without Lifting a FingerHow to Sweep Your Floors Without Lifting a Finger

How to sweep your floors without lifting a finger! Clean while you walk? What?



Baking Soda Hacks ReviewedBaking Soda Hacks Reviewed

Hack through cleaning projects with baking soda. It is economical, toxic free and eco-friendly. Great for the kitchen, as well as some unexpected places.









Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com

 


House of Sylvestermouse
 
 



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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review of Honeysuckle Season

Greenhouse

In this book we are introduced to Libby a young women who has many recent struggles and an unknown future.


Summary of Book


Libby is a young woman who has just gone through several miscarriages, a painful divorce and the death of her father.  Since she is at a true crossroads in her life she decides to return to her roots in Bluestone, Virginia.  Here she moves into her father's home and begins a career as a wedding photographer.

She is asked to photograph a wedding at the historic Woodmont estates.  This is a place she remembers going to as a child with her mother.  The place brings back memories and after the wedding the owner Elaine Grant asks her help in getting the place ready for special events.  Elaine has also asked a young widower, Colton Reese to help in the restoration of a greenhouse on the estate.

The greenhouse was once the scene of many community gatherings.  It was built as a wedding gift for Elaine's grandmother and was at one time a beautiful and magical place.  The years have not been kind to the place and it is overgrown with honeysuckle vines and lots of weeds.  The greenhouse is said to be haunted and it hides secrets from years gone by.

It has been months since her father's death and Libby is now ready to start going through some of his things.  When she does, a letter she finds in his desk will bring to light long buried secrets with ties to the Woodmont estate.  

The author, Mary Ellen Taylor, weaves a wonderful story of love and loss, secrets and forgiveness, and a wonderful hope for the future.  Along the way you meet interesting characters and become caught up in their lives.

My Thoughts on the Book


I liked this book from the very beginning and was delighted with the way the author introduced the characters.  There was a hint of the secret throughout the book but I really didn't catch on till near the end.  This made it a real page turner.  The characters were lifelike and I took a real interest in their lives.  This would be a great book for book club discussions.

Other Books by This Author


Mary Ellen Taylor is an award winning author of Winters Cottage and Spring House and several other women's literature books.  She also writes under the name Mary Burton as a New York Times best selling suspense novelist.




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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

RYOBI Laser Level Review

RYOBI Laser Level Review

There are always projects to do around the house. Some are big projects, and some are small projects.

Whatever the project is in my house I like to tackle it myself. I'm not the best handyman but I can hold my own when comes to work around the house.

I've learned some tricks over the years to help me get by with most of my own projects.

One day I was in our local hardware store and noticed this laser level. My first thought was why would I ever need one of these. 

Then I thought, wait a minute, one of my problems was hanging pictures or adding a shelf on the walls and keeping them straight.

I can tell you that I've patched up many holes in the walls fixing my mistakes while hanging pictures and shelves. Well, not anymore because this little laser level makes it so easy even I can do it.

 I now have pictures and shelves that are perfectly level. Although, I do miss those words from Fran, "that's not straight". This handy little tool helped me fix all of my mistakes.


This shelf is now perfectly level, but that wasn't always the case with this shelf. This shelf requires it to be hung from two points on the backside. There are two notches that screws fit into on the back of the shelf. Trying to get the second screw level with the first screw was a nightmare for me.

The laser level made this easy, just set the first screw, then mount the laser level on the wall. Line it up to the centerline of the first screw, using the level on the tool to make sure it's level. Now, measure and mark the wall on the laser line for the second screw. Wow!! Perfect every time.

Some other projects that my laser level made easy, hanging wallpaper, and borders, pictures, and curtain rods. I had to add some new posts for our deck, I used the laser level to determine the correct height of each post. I even lined up the photo eyes on my garage door with it. So, it turns out that I really did need one of these.

RYOBI Laser Level Features:

  • Vacuum suction will seal to smooth walls
  • The laser beam will shoot around corners which makes hanging shelves or wallpaper around the room easy.
  • Tacks will hold the level in place on textured walls.
  • The laser beam will shoot a distance of 30 feet.
  • Easily mounts to a tripod. (tripod is not included)

Ryobi ELL1002 Air Grip Compact Laser Level with Tripod Mounting and Corner Rounding Capability (AAA Batteries Included)Ryobi ELL1002 Air Grip Compact Laser Level with Tripod Mounting and Corner Rounding Capability (AAA Batteries Included)

 

See more Product Reviews Here: ReviewThisProductReviews.com



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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

If you have been following my ongoing series of posts here about my successful keto diet weight loss journey, you’ll know that I love baked goods and desserts. You’ll also know that finding ways to indulge in keto desserts has helped me maintain a fairly strict ketogenic diet approach to eating since May 2019, a very low carb, healthy lifestyle that I continue to follow now that I have achieved and surpassed my original weight loss goals. 

I also enjoy baking, but I don’t always have time to do low carb baking from scratch. That’s why I keep a selection of high quality keto baking mixes in my pantry, so, I can enjoy fresh-baked sweet treats in just minutes. In a recent post, I shared my favorite low carb baking mix brands and keto recipes for low carb keto muffins. In this post, I'll share the excellent Good Dee's Cookie Mix low carb baking mix line.

Introductory image photo collage of Good Dee's low carb keto cookie baking mix flavors
Bake fresh keto cookies in just minutes 
with Good Dee's low carb cookie baking mix

Good Dee's Low Carb Cookie Mix

Fresh Baked Keto Cookies in Minutes!

All Good Dee's Low Carb Cookie Baking Mix flavors are sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and wheat-free. Some (but not all) are also manufactured in a dedicated gluten free facility. Anyone who either has a food allergy or bakes cookies for someone who does will appreciate the allergy information on the packaging and the brand owner's efforts to accommodate multiple common food allergies.

A Changing Flavor Selection

Good Dee's continues to expand their low carb baking mix line for keto cookies and other products. Not every flavor is available year round, and some are considered seasonal. I recommend checking on both Amazon (free shipping for Amazon Prime members) and the Good Dee's website (free shipping for orders over $50) to see which flavors are currently in production and in stock. Occasionally, these products also go on sale, another reason to keep an eye out on both websites, and also to sign up for the Good Dee's mailing list for exclusive offers.

Last week, I used the three Good Dee's low carb baking mix flavors I had on hand to bake the three dozen cookies I photographed for this post. I've also tried a fourth flavor (double chocolate chip) that I didn't have in my pantry at the time. Today, I'll share my product reviews of the four low carb baking mix flavors that I've purchased and made into keto cookies.

Good Dee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Side by side photos of Good Dee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and baked cookies
These thick, soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies 
are also low carb and keto diet friendly treats

It's not surprising that the first keto cookie mix Good Dee's introduced was chocolate chip. After all, chocolate chip cookies are the most popular cookie in the United States, and the second most popular cookie in the world, after French macarons. 

I tried Good Dee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix for the first time shortly after I discovered it on Amazon and, truthfully, I was a bit underwhelmed. Fortunately, the "new & improved recipe" lived up to its promise, and the second batch I made, using the mix with the new recipe, was much better. Like all the Good Dee's cookie mixes I've tried to date, the improved chocolate chip version produced cookies that were large, thick, soft and chewy. That's how I prefer my "chippers," but if you like thin, crisp cookies, you probably won't be a fan of the Good Dee's mixes. 

As you can see, they certainly weren't the best-looking chocolate chip cookies I've ever baked. Both times I've made them, the batter underneath the chocolate chips seemed to pull away from them, resulting in small, chocolate-filled craters after baking. However, I don't care that much about how pretty they are, since they meet my much more important criteria for being tasty, satisfying, and keto-friendly.

The other thing to know about this mix is that the chips are very dark chocolate and not very sweet. I rather like the contrast of the barely sweet chocolate chips and somewhat sweeter cookie dough. 

Good Dee's Sugar Cookie Mix

Side by side photos of Good Dee's Sugar Free Cookie Baking Mix and plate of cookies
A different texture than traditional
sugar cookies, but a similar taste


Like all this brand's products, Good Dee's Sugar Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix is actually sugar free. Although the texture is coarser and chewier than conventional sugar cookies, the taste is surprisingly similar. 

These also make a great base for adding your own flavor mix-ins. I'm thinking of adding some tiny wild Maine blueberries and chopped walnuts or pecans to my next batch. Yum! 

Good Dee's Butter Pecan Cookie Mix

Side by side photos of Good Dee's Butter Pecan Low Carb Cookie Baking Mix and baked butter pecan cookies
If I had to pick my favorite, it would have to be this
awesome Good Dee's butter pecan cookie baking mix

Of the four keto cookie mix flavors I've tried so far, the Good Dee's Butter Pecan Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix has definitely turned out to be my favorite. To me, they have an awesome flavor and a less coarse texture than the other flavors, making these extremely similar to old-fashioned butter pecan cookies made with white flour and cane sugar. 

My husband, who eats conventional cookies or cake daily for dessert, likes these low carb butter pecan cookies a lot, too—the ultimate compliment for keto baked goods!

Good Dee's Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

If you're a chocolate lover, Good Dee's Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix would be a good flavor to try. These are rich, not-too-sweet, dark chocolate cookies studded with dark chocolate chips. Since there are no golden brown edges to tell you when these are done, I suggest keeping a close eye on them and pulling them out of the oven as soon as the edges appear set.

Other Good Dee's Low Carb Cookie Mix Flavors

I haven't had a chance to try the Good Dee's Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix or Peanut Butter Cookie Mix yet. But since I love both those types, I'm definitely looking forward to picking up a bag of each.

About Good Dee's Low Carb Baking Products

The Dee behind Good Dee's is owner and founder Deana Karim, who finally succeeded in losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle after embracing a LCHF (low carb, high fat) approach to eating. She knew that thinking of this way of eating as a diet (and, by implication, temporary), and feeling deprived because she could no longer enjoy cookies and other baked goods, would be a "recipe" for failure. At the time, there weren't any baked goods that met her requirements for being healthy, low carb, and delicious — so she started developing her own low carb keto recipes for brownies, cookies, muffins, and cakes. 

Understanding that there were many other people following a low carb diet who, like her, had an unmet need for easy-to-make, healthy, and delicious sugar free baked goods, Deana invested her $5,000 savings into launching her Good Dee's low carb baking mix business. A month later, her low carb, gluten free, sugar free chocolate brownie mix was the number one brownie mix (not just low carb) on Amazon! 

She continues to expand her line, and has listened to customer feedback to improve several of her baking mixes. She now offers Good Dee's allulose-sweetened sugar free chocolate chips (currently out of stock on Amazon, so check back to see whether it's available), sugar free just add water frosting mix in cream cheese, dark chocolate, and white chocolate flavors, and even sugar free rainbow sprinkles and naturally colored sugar free edible glitter for decorating cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and ice cream sundaes. 

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Tips for Baking With Good Dee's Keto Cookie Mixes

All low carb baking mixes behave differently than their traditional flour- and sugar-laden counterparts. Here are my tips for baking successful keto cookies from a Good Dee's low carb baking mix.

Line Your Cookie Sheets With Baking Parchment

Even if you have a Silpat or other nonstick baking pan liner underneath, I recommend lining your baking sheets with baking parchment, as directed when using these low carb baking mixes. The cookies are extremely fragile when they come out of the oven, and the parchment paper helps them release without breaking. I have switched to using unbleached baking parchment exclusively, and my high quality Fasmov Non-Stick Parchment Paper Baking Liner Sheets are shipped flat, so the edges of the paper don't curl (which I love!). 

Prepare and Measure the Wet Ingredients

Photo: Bag of Good Dee's chocolate chip cookie mix next to beaten egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract
Setting out and measuring all the ingredients, the mixing bowl,
and a mixing spoon keeps your work space organized

As with any type of baking, ingredients should be at room temperature unless otherwise specified (for example, using chilled fat in pastry dough or biscuits). 
  • To bring the egg to room temperature, you can either set it out on the counter or, if you want to start baking sooner, gently place the whole egg (still in its shell) into a bowl of warm (not hot) water and leave it for 5–10 minutes. 
  • Either butter (preferably unsalted) or coconut oil will work for any of the Good Dee's cookie mixes. I prefer the taste of unsalted butter for most keto baking. When I've been low on butter or baking dairy free cookies to accommodate another person's dietary requirements, however, I've substituted my favorite unrefined, cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil, which adds a very subtle hint of coconut flavor that I quite enjoy. If you prefer a more neutral flavor (or just don't like the taste of coconut), you can use refined coconut oil, but it doesn't offer the health benefits that unrefined, cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil does.
  • I find it easiest to melt the butter or coconut oil in a Pyrex measuring cup, covered with wax paper, microwaving it in 15-20 second bursts, and stopping when most, but not all, of the fat has melted. After removing it from the microwave, I gently swirl it in the glass measuring cup, letting the hot melted fat finish melting the remaining solids. If you prefer, you can melt it over simmering water in a double boiler. Set the melted butter or coconut oil aside to cool while you preheat the oven and prepare the cookie dough.
  • In any baking recipe, I always recommend using the best quality, pure vanilla you can find (and afford). Penzeys pure vanilla extract is my favorite.

Stir Dry Mix Before Adding Wet Ingredients

Photo of cookie baking mix in bowl, next to the wet ingredients on countertop
Getting ready to add the egg, butter, and vanilla extract
after stirring the dry cookie mix in a mixing bowl

The directions for all Good Dee's cookie mixes call for pouring the baking mix into a bowl and stirring with a spoon before adding the wet ingredients. I'm guessing the reason is that nut and seed flours are heavier than wheat flour, so they may tend to separate out and settle to the bottom during shipping. If that's the case, they might need to be stirred back into the rest of the mix to redistribute them evenly. 

After stirring the dry mix in the bowl, add the egg, melted butter or coconut oil, and vanilla extract, then mix thoroughly.

Use a Cookie Scoop to Portion the Dough Evenly

Image of 12 scoops of Good Dee's low carb chocolate chip cookie dough on baking parchment lined cookie sheets
I used a medium cookie scoop to divide the prepared
keto chocolate chip cookie mix into 12 equal portions

Dividing dough into 12 equal portions with any accuracy can be a pain. I could weigh the prepared dough in grams, divide the total weight by 12, and then weigh out each portion of the dough. But if I'm using a baking mix, I'm not interested in spending that amount of time and effort just to portion out the dough equally. 

Since I still track my daily keto macros and calories, ensuring that dough is divided as evenly as possible is important to me. Most of the mixes call for dropping 1½ to 2 tablespoon portions of dough onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet to make 12 cookies. However, the butter pecan cookie mix package says to use 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie to make "approximately" 12 cookies, yet when I did that, I had used up only slightly more than half the dough. By trial and error, I found that 1/12 of my prepared butter pecan cookie dough measured out to slightly less than 2 tablespoons per cookie.

So, if you track your daily keto macros and calories (for example, on the Carb Manager app), I recommend using a 1.5 to 2 tablespoon stainless steel scoop with a trigger mechanism to help release the sticky dough, such as the Solula Professional 18/8 Stainless Steel Medium Cookie Scoop #40 (with a 1.7 tablespoon capacity) to help you measure out 12 equal portions of cookie dough. You'll quickly find out, through trial and error, whether you need to use a level scoop, a scant scoop, or a slightly rounded scoop of dough for each cookie.

Don't Overbake

I've noticed that keto cookies I've made using a Good Dee's Low Carb Baking Mix tend to progress from underbaked to overbaked fairly quickly. Since every oven is different, I recommend setting your timer for one minute less than the package directions' shortest baking time and then keeping a close eye on the cookies so you can pull them out as soon as the edges turn golden (or, in the case of the double chocolate chip cookies, until the edges have just set). 

Let Baked Cookies Cool Completely Before Removing From the Baking Parchment

These keto cookies have a much softer, somewhat coarser, and chewier texture than conventional cookies made with flour and sugar, and they are also more fragile, even after they have cooled. If you try to lift them off the baking parchment before they have fully cooled, they are likely to fall apart. So, don't let the scent of freshly baked cookies tempt you to try to eat one, or even move them to a serving plate, while they're still warm.

In fact, I find that both the flavor and texture of these low carb baked goods are even better after a day or two!

Consider Freezing Some (or Most)

If you think it might be hard to resist eating more of these cookies than will fit within your daily calories and keto macros, or if you don't plan to eat one every day and want to enjoy them as a sweet treat from time to time, you may want to freeze some or most of them, after snugly wrapping them individually in plastic freezer wrap and then placing them inside an airtight freezer-safe food storage container (or, if necessary, inside a heavy, zippered freezer food storage bag). 

Wrapping each cookie securely in plastic freezer wrap not only provides another layer of protection against freezer burn, it also makes it easy to remove just one or two cookies, which will thaw fairly quickly after being unwrapped.

Keto Cookies vs. Conventional Cookies

Photo: small plate of three different types of low carb cookies
Gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free, butter pecan,
chocolate chip, and sugar cookie keto cookies,
made with Good Dee's low carb baking mix

Unless you're just starting a keto diet, you've probably discovered that ketogenic cookies, cakes, pies, etc., have a different texture and, often, a somewhat different taste than conventional baked goods made with high carbohydrate ingredients that can spike your blood sugar levels and cause inflammation. So, it's important to have realistic expectations of any keto baking recipes or low carb baking mixes. 

That said, I found that my taste buds gradually adapted after several months on a fairly strict ketogenic diet, and since I no longer eat conventional sweet treats, my palate no longer compares very low carb desserts to traditional baked goods. My experience is pretty typical of people who stick to a fairly strict keto diet for at least 8–12 weeks. 

So, while these cookies don't taste like my grandmother's cookies (or mine, prior to last May), they make yummy, satisfying keto desserts for those of us following a very low carb lifestyle.

Why Use a Keto Baking Mix Instead of a Low Carb Recipe? 

Ease of Use, Time Savings, and Convenience


Baking is based on chemical reactions between ingredients. And the chemistry that makes conventional baking recipes work involves interactions between ingredients that aren't keto friendly. Even for those of us who have decades of experience as excellent home bakers, there's a significant learning curve in converting old, beloved family recipes for low carb baking. That's a challenge I haven't had an interest in tackling (at least, not yet!), so I prefer to let low carb baking experts do the work of developing delicious, foolproof recipes for keto cookies and other baked goods. 

Sugar free, gluten free keto baking also requires stocking the pantry with different ingredients than the ones we're accustomed to using. For example, instead of white and whole wheat flour and cornstarch, we might need to buy almond flour, coconut flour, sunflower seed flour, watermelon seed flour, and xanthan gum. (And it's not as though any of these ingredients can be simply substituted 1:1 in a keto baking recipe!) 

So, although I keep those and other low carb baking ingredients in my freezer and pantry, and enjoy making a number of keto baking recipes for rolls, buns, muffins, etc., when I have time and inclination, I also appreciate the convenience of having keto baking mix varieties on hand. I try to buy ones that contain the same high-quality, low carb ingredients I use in my scratch low carb baking, and that produce keto baked goods that taste as good as the ones I bake from scratch (or close enough).





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