Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Grocery Delivery Service Instacart Reviewed

Easy App For Grocery Delivery

I would like to review an App today that assists you in grocery delivery to your door that is easy to use and affordable. In this trying time, many of you reading this are under orders to stay at home except for essential trips that you need to make. Well, getting groceries is essential but when you fall into the age group that is vulnerable it might be that it isn't the safest trip to make. 

grocery delivery
Grocery Delivery Made Easy
First, I would like to be transparent and let you know that my recommendation for this service is not something that I will earn any money on. It isn't paid for by the company nor am I given any kind of credit for it's recommendation. I am doing it as a public service to offer an option to our readers for not having to leave the safety of their homes to get food. I am also hoping that if just one person decides to use it that I have given someone the opportunity for employment. With millions of people unemployed at the moment, a job like this might be just what they need.


Not All Delivery Services Are The Same


To your door delivery service for groceries isn't new, many areas have had one or another available for a while. Some are easier to use than others. Some are more costly than others. Currently with the demand as it is, some are almost impossible to order from. My daughter has used Shipt for over 18 months. She loved it until recently. With more people using the app, she found that every time she tried to order a delivery that all of the shopping slots were filled for days ahead. I tried to sign-up for it to use in the area that my 87 year old father lives in but it wasn't available there yet. 

I tried to use the Walmart App to order groceries to be delivered to my Dad but finally gave up. It was easy to place things in the virtual cart but after that it became very frustrating. You have the option of home delivery or pick-up with their service. The rub comes in when you are ready to place the order. They only got 48 hours out...in other words if they are booked up for the next 48 hours you can't order the things you need for delivery OR pick-up. I think it is wonderful that so many people are using the service so that they can comply with social distancing and staying at home but when you need groceries delivered or are willing to pick them up at the curb, well, this wasn't much help. 

So, I looked for other options. I mentioned my father is 87. He really shouldn't be out risking exposure but the thing is, neither should I. My age falls into that vulnerable area, too. I did find a solution that was good for both of us. The app is called Instacart. You will need to download it to your phone in order for it to work the best. The app is free so no problem there. There is a small fee for using the app but it is less than $4. Another fee is added on that amounts to 5% of your grocery total and you have the option to leave a tip for your shopper. 

Depending on your area, there will be different places that your shopper can shop for your groceries. For my Dad's area there were two well known grocery stores, a bulk type retailer and a pharmacy. I chose one of the grocery stores and began to add items to the virtual cart. Once I had all of the items that Dad needed, I proceeded to the next step. It gave me possible delivery times for that day and several days into the future. I liked that! So, I opted for a time and day for his items to be delivered, filled in the payment options and closed the app. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey!

OK, so delivery day arrives. Dad's order was supposed to be delivered between 10 AM and Noon on that day. At 9:23 AM, I got a message telling me that my shopper was at the store and working on the order. Cool beans! It showed me his avatar which I thought was neat. Anyway, as he worked his way through the aisles, I would get a message through the app that they were out of something and he gave me an option for a substitute. I had the option to approve or decline. I must say, his choices were spot on as a substitute. There were only 3 things that needed to be changed. When he was finished, the app let me know that he was done and that the groceries would be delivered at Dad's door at 11:05 AM. I called Dad to let him know they were on the way. At exactly 11:05, the app let me know that the shopper was there. Bingo! That was so easy! The frozen and refrigerated items were brought in a thermal container to keep them at the proper temperature, too. The shopper was so sweet to my Dad. He let Dad take the thermal container in, remove the items and place it back out the door. He waited patiently because Dad moves kind of slow. 

Was I pleased? You bet! Will I use it again? You bet! I loved that everything went through the app. The shopper could contact me and I could answer through the app. At the end of the transaction, I was given the total that would be charged to Dad's card with a breakdown of what was charged. A virtual receipt. It was so easy and very pleasant to use. 

I highly recommend this particular app for grocery delivery if it is available in your area. It might even be an opportunity for employment for full or part-time work if you are looking for something like that. It is turning out to be a blessing for me and my sweet father.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Puracy Natural Dish Soap: Eco-Friendly, Effective, Made in the USA

Puracy Natural Dish Soap is an effective, safe and eco-friendly alternative to traditional dishwashing liquids whose cleaning power comes from caustic chemicals. In today's review, I'll explain why it quickly became one of my favorite cleaning products.

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2020/03/puracy-natural-dish-soap-review.html

Looking For a Safer, More Environmentally Friendly, Yet Effective Plant-Based Dish Soap

Several years ago, my husband and I started hand-washing our dishes, pots and pans more often and using our dishwasher less frequently, as part of our effort to be more environmentally responsible and less wasteful. I also wanted to find a safer, “greener” dish soap, a plant-based cleaner that could cut through grease effectively on our dishes, pots and pans without the harsh chemicals used in most popular dishwashing liquid brands, such as Palmolive, Dawn and Ajax. Many of those chemicals may be not only harmful to humans, animals and plants, but also cause chronic aquatic toxicity, poisoning our rivers, seas, oceans and water supply.

Not So Green "Green Cleaners"

The two best-known brands of plant-based cleaners at the time were Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation. I tried Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap, which was a Whole Foods Market Eco-Scale certified green cleaning product, but stopped using it after only a week or two. In addition to the overpowering scent, which gave me a headache every time I washed the dishes, I found out that the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, had given it an “D” rating, which EWG defines as “HIGH CONCERN - Likely hazards to health or the environment.”

Next, I looked into Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, Free & Clear, since I was familiar with the brand name and had seen numerous ads for the company's plant-powered cleaning products. The marketing was excellent and I was optimistic. Having learned my lesson, however, I decided to check out their EWG rating before trying out their product myself. The good news was that my caution paid off. The bad news was that EWG gave it a "C" rating, defined as "MODERATE CONCERN - Some potential for hazards to health or the environment. At least some ingredient disclosure."

Back to the Drawing Board

Unfortunately, neither Amazon nor any of our local stores sold the only dishwashing liquid with an  earned the EWG Verified rating, the organization's highest endorsement. So, I switched my focus to dish soaps EWG-rated “A," defined as “LOWEST CONCERN - Few/no known or suspected hazards to health or the environment. Good ingredient disclosure." Once I eliminated any product that wasn't carried by our favorite stores and or on Amazon, only a handful of potential candidates remained in the running.

After trying to learn as much as I could about the products and the companies that made them, I felt confident about my final choice.

Puracy Natural Dish Soap Checked All the Boxes

Image of Puracy Natural Dish Soap 16-oz. squirt bottle
Puracy Natural Dish Soap is safe and gentle enough
to use as an alternative to liquid hand soap, if needed.
(Don't use traditional dishwashing liquid to wash your hands!)

Highly Recommended by EWG, Business Insider and Consumers

  • Rated "A” for safety and environmental impact by EWG
  • Chosen as the best dish soap overall by Business Insider: "Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap is our top pick because it's effective on grease, safe for the environment, and gentle on your hands."
  • Thousands of 4- and 5-star customer reviews on their website and on Amazon

Safe for Families, Pets, and The Environment

  • No harsh chemicals, sulfates (SLS, SLES, SCS), triclosan, formaldehyde, parabens, phosphates, MEA, DEA, TEA, chlorine, bleach, petrochemicals, animal by-products, allergens, perfumes, dyes, or caustics
  • Hypoallergenic, non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan
  • BPA-free, recyclable packaging
  • Concentrated formula that requires less soap to clean more dishes
  • Cleans effectively even in areas with hard water
  • 99.5% natural ingredients, only 0.5% synthetic ingredients
  • Naturally-derived scents that, to me, smell better and are much subtler compared to other plant-based cleaners I have used
    • The Green Tea & Lime scent is my favorite, and I also love smell of the Citrus & Sea Salt. I’m looking forward to trying the Organic Lemongrass as well.
    • There is also an unscented version, Puracy Natural Dish Soap, Free & Clear, although as I write this, it is currently out-of-stock.

Made in the USA

  • All Puracy products are American made by a family-owned small business based in Austin, Texas

Trustworthy, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Company

  • Transparent marketing and product labeling
  • Gives back to the local community
    • Puracy donates a portion of the proceeds from every purchased to local families in need
    • Puracy’s packaging features original hand-drawn artwork that helps support local artists
  • Cruelty-free
    • No animal testing, certified cruelty-free by PETA and Leaping Bunny
  • 100% biodegradable formula, easy to recycle packaging
    • Bottles, pumps, sprayers, and caps made from PET(E), an inert, BPA-free plastic and the most widely recycled plastic worldwide (recycling logo #1)
    • Liquid dish soap refills packaged in eco-friendly pouches

Superb Customer Service

  • 100% money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with a Puracy product for any reason—no hassle, no return required, no questions asked
  • Superb, responsive, friendly customer service
    • Questions answered promptly, helpfully and courteously
    • One of the co-founders, Sean, often responds personally to customer questions on Amazon

I feel good that my purchases of Puracy's natural and safe cleaning products support a family-owned, American small business whose values are aligned with mine, and whose owners are proud and confident enough in the quality of their products to stand behind them with a no-hassle, 100% money-back guarantee if a customer isn’t a fan of one of their products, for whatever reason.

Puracy's Safe, Eco-Friendly Dish Soap Worked BETTER Than My Old Dishwashing Liquid - Without the Harsh, Toxic Chemicals! 

A Safer, Gentler, Greener Cleaner 

Puracy Natural Dish Soap’s formula is concentrated, so you need less of it compared to traditional dishwashing liquid. In my experience, it cuts through grease as well as, and maybe better than, the products with harsh, chemical-laden formulas I used years ago. And, while the lack of those harsh chemicals means it isn’t as effective at removing stubborn, burnt-on food from pots and pans, I find that adding a small squirt of Puracy liquid dish soap to the pans, filling them with very hot water and leaving them for 30-60 minutes usually is enough to loosen the food without needing to use a lot of elbow grease.

For decades, manufacturers of soaps and other cleaning products have been successfully brainwashing us that the more lather a soap produces, the more effectively it cleans. But the notion that more lather means more cleaning power simply isn’t true! If it were, how could dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent clean our dishes and clothes effectively, since both are specifically formulated not to produce lather or suds?

Yet, over many decades of misleading ad campaigns, manufacturers have psychologically manipulated consumers into believing that they can only get their dishes, pots, pans and even their hands and hair really clean by using soaps or shampoos that produce lots of lather. Of course, they fail to mention that the chemicals used to make these products lather abundantly are harsh, irritating and potentially harmful to people and animals, and potentially toxic to aquatic life.

It pains me when a reviewer occasionally complains about needing to use more Puracy Natural Dish Soap, compared to conventional brands, to produce the same amount of lather. My hope is that more consumers can become more knowledgeable about the effectiveness and safety of the ingredients in their cleaning products, as well as their effects on the environment and global ecosystem for current and future generations.

Save Money and Help Protect the Environment With Convenient 64-Ounce Refill Pouches

Image of Puracy Natural Dish Soap Refill Pouch
Puracy Dish Soap Refills:
Easy on the wallet,
easy on the environment

I bought the Puracy dishwashing liquid in a squirt bottle only once. Since then, I’ve been buying only the 64 oz. Puracy Natural Dish Soap Refills, which contain four times as much product as the 16 oz. bottles.

I really appreciate Puracy's decision to offer these large, money-saving, eco-friendly refill pouches for most of the products they make. By purchasing them and refilling my own, recycled bottle and the built-in soap dispenser at the back of the kitchen sink, my husband and I save more than 20% per ounce. Each refill pouch also saves 90% more plastic, water, and energy, compared to the equivalent amount of bottled soap (four 16-oz. bottles)!

And at a time when we're being urged to stay home as much as possible, avoid unnecessary trips to the store, and consolidate purchases as much as possible, being able to order these large refill pouches online, with free shipping for Amazon Prime members, is a great option. You can save even more with Amazon's Subscribe & Save option!

*Note: At the time of writing, the price of the 16-ounce bottles on Amazon was temporarily reduced, making the price per ounce the same for the individual bottles and the refills.


Refill Your Favorite Liquid Dish Soap Bottle or Dispenser

Like nearly all dishwashing liquids, Puracy Natural Dish Soap bottles have a squirt-type cap that must be pulled up before it will dispense the contents. Although the cap gets easier to pull up over time, both my husband and I prefer product containers that require less effort, like the pump bottles for liquid hand soap. So, after using up the squirt bottle of dish soap I bought initially, we now use the refill pouches for the built-in soap dispenser next to the kitchen sink faucet as well as a repurposed liquid soap pump bottle, since it's nice to be able to do dishes side-by-side without having to take turns accessing the dish soap.

If you're not a fan of squirt bottles, either, and don't happen to have kept an empty pump bottle you can reuse for this purpose, I suggest picking out an attractive glass soap dispenser bottle, preferably with a rust-proof or rust-resistant pump top, that you can fill with Puracy Natural Dish Soap from the 64-ounce refill pouches. I like this reasonably priced, textured glass liquid soap dispenser with a brushed nickel pump and a generous 16-ounce capacity, whose elegant but unpretentious design could complement nearly any style of kitchen decor, from contemporary to traditional, casual to formal.

Another option is a hands-free, automatic liquid soap dispenser. Most brands and models get mixed reviews and need to be used regularly and unclogged periodically, but if you're looking to take extra precautions to avoid spreading germs to other family members, you may want to consider something like the simplehuman 9 oz Liquid Soap Pump, Brushed Stainless Steel Touch-Free Sensor Dispenser, one of the better rated and more reasonably priced models from this well known, innovative product brand.

It's important to use Puracy Natural Dish Soap only in a dispenser designed for regular liquid soap, rather than in one made for foaming liquid soap formulas, which contain more water and are more dilute.





Looking for more product reviews? You'll find many more on a wide range of topics from our Review This Reviews contributors at ReviewThisProducts.com.


Puracy Natural Dish Soap: A Safe, Effective and Green Dishwashing Liquid Made in the USA reviewed by:
Margaret Schindel



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, March 23, 2020

How to Open Fire TV Remote Reviewed

Cutting the cord from cable can be a challenge. I never thought one of the biggest challenges would be the remote control and batteries! The Amazon Fire TV stick is my main tool to stream television - but one must first insert the batteries into the remote. I was surprised, frustrated and a wee bit befuddled as to why a task so easy can be so hard.



The version of the Fire Stick I was installing on multiple televisions had a remote control case that I absolutely could not open. No open = no batteries= no fire stick! Frustrating. When it became evident I was close to using a tool to pry the case open, not recommended and not wise, I headed to the internet and a quick search revealed that I was not the only one with issues.

The problem with sliding the remote open to insert the batteries is smoothness of the remote. The directions give a nice tutorial on how to open the two piece remote by sliding the remote apart. Except I and judging from the amount of results on the internet search and many others had issues.

I found this DIY tutorial and problem solved. Using gloves or tape works in a flash to provide the grip needed to open the remote so it easily slides apart to insert the batteries. Sometimes nothing is easy in the quest to cut the cable!


My Favorite Free Services To Cut The Cord


One of the main reasons to cut the cord is cost. My cable-internet bill decreased by over 100 percent by eliminating the cable tv charges. So much of the monthly bill was fees, franchise fees and more fees combined with what seemed a zillion channels I do not watch (and that was the basic cable package!)

I found a wealth of free services to stream entertainment through membership at my local library. The online offerings from your library should be your first stop for free entertainment with the caveat your library must first belong to the services to pass along the membership to you.

Most of the free services do have a monthly limit of downloads; but I have found the limit to be very reasonable. The limit does differ per library.


Kanopy For Indie Films


Hoopla For TV Shows & Movies



Freegal For Music




Freegal


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival Kit Reviewed

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival KitProtect Yourself in Public Restrooms! 


My husband and I enjoy making day trips as well as traveling. What I hate most about traveling whether for a day, or even a week, is the necessity to use public restrooms.  

By now, we have all heard that you should use a paper towel to open the bathroom doors since so many people do not wash their hands before touching the door knobs.  As if that is not enough to make you cringe, I was recently told that drug addicts will clean their needles by poking them in the toilet paper in the restroom stall.  This takes things to a whole new level of contamination concern.  

To be fair, I did check Snopes to determine if needle cleaning in public restrooms is a valid concern and found that none of the health services questioned had ever heard of that happening.  Still, it made me hesitate to trust the provided toilet paper in public restrooms.

For me and my family, I have decided better safe than sorry.  After all, we know there are germs in any restroom.  With the flu, a multitude of viruses, and the concern for cleanliness, why take the risk if not absolutely necessary? 

Some might consider this an extreme and unnecessary precaution.  Perhaps it is.  But, like any other precautionary measure, if it gives you peace of mind, why not.  You are certainly not hurting anyone else by carrying your own public restroom survival kit.


Items Needed for Your Public Restroom Survival Kit

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival Kit
I assemble my own public restroom survival kit.  I include individually wrapped toilet seat covers, my own toilet paper in a sandwich bag, flushable single pack wet wipes, camp soap sheets, and a few of my own paper towels. 

I carry two different types of toilet seat covers.  One is the typical paper cover that you see in many public restrooms.  The other is a plastic toilet seat cover.  The plastic seat cover is not flushable, but I find it required in some public rest stops.  Even though it is made to encase the seat cover, I simply lay it on the seat.  If I won't sit on it, I certainly will not lift that seat to "gift wrap" it.

You all can stop laughing now!  No, I am not a germaphobe, but over the years I have truly seen some pretty nasty things in public restrooms.  I won't go into the graphic details and descriptions.  Suffice it to say, I've seen enough to know I believe in the proverbial "ounce of prevention".  In this case, I would alter that saying slightly to state an ounce of protection.

If you think I am alone in this concern, allow me to point out that Amazon.com even offers a pre-assembled public toilet kit.


In a pinch, I would totally invest in that "go bag"!  Because I have time to prepare my own survival kits packed with my preferred supplies, I don't mind putting them together myself.  

If you plan on traveling by plane, you may prefer a clear bag for supplies in your carry-on.  There are no liquids in my public restroom survival kit, but a clear bag might keep baggage inspectors from opening it and touching everything.  Hand sanitizer would need to go in your clear liquid carry-on bag.  If you are traveling by car, you can choose any tote bag.

I prefer a tote bag that will clip to my jeans belt loops or my camera backpack loops.   This is a nice inexpensive trio that I found.  I only need the medium sized bag in this set for my restroom survival kit, but I can always find different uses for the other two.
 

 

How Do I Know I Am Not a Complete Germaphobe?


A real germaphobe would recommend two more items!  After all, the dirtiest places in a public restroom are the floors, the toilet handle, and the faucet.

Eek!  Perhaps I should rethink this!   After all, I do wear my shoes in the car and in my home!  And, those gloves and shoe covers are disposable.



And if you really want to do things right, be sure to include your Poo-Pourri! It was previously reviewed by Dawn Rae and would make a fabulous addition to your public restroom survival kit. 
 

When you are out and about, be sure to be prepared, stay safe, and "rest" protected in those public restrooms!

 




Read More Health Related Reviews
Here On Review This Reviews!

 


House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

DIY Hand Sanitizer Reviewed

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Chances are you can't find hand sanitizer on your local shelves. Let me review how to make your own to use when soap and water aren't available to you. It is much easier than you might think!

hand sanitizer
DIY Hand Sanitizer
image courtesy of pixabay.com

We are all in the same boat with the flu & various viruses that terrorize the world. The importance of keeping our hands clean and the surfaces around us goes without saying. When it comes to being able to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with us on those occasions that we have to go out for supplies is pretty much impossible. The hoarders and the opportunists have cleared the shelves across the nation. Not to worry, you can actually make your own.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 empty hand soap or sanitizer dispenser
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) 99% alcohol volume
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Essential Oil or lemon juice to make it smell nice (optional)
  • Large measuring cup with spout to mix and pour from

Hand Sanitizer Recipe:

3/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl or a measuring cup with a spout. Mix together with a spoon first and then whisk the solution to form a gel. Pour the mixture into an empty bottle for easy use and transport and then label it with the words "Hand Sanitizer".

That's it, it is that easy. Just a reminder that it is still better to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the sanitizer when you are out and can't wash your hands. I like to place a dab on a tissue to wipe off the handle of the grocery cart before I place my own hands on it. 

Not sure how long the 20 seconds is? Sing the Birthday song through two times while washing your hands. Remember to pay attention to the tips of your fingers and between your fingers. 

Stay safe, follow the guidelines and we will all get through this together as a nation. 






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, March 13, 2020

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed

Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Review
Exercise is not my favorite pastime!  However, like everyone else, I need to exercise regardless of the weather.  Few exercise machines work for me because I have a severely curved spine (scoliosis), therefore strain on my spine causes a great deal of pain.  

Over the years, I have tried several exercise regiments and different low impact machines.  Until I discovered the recumbent exercise bike, all exercise ended in pain.  

While I would be the first to say there is no substitute for walking, I am grateful to have found an indoor exercise machine that actually works for me.  By the way, I have tried other types of exercise bikes, but the backless style puts too much pressure on my spine.


The Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Information & Features


 ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent BikeCheck PriceOriginally, I planned to purchase a exercise bike made by a company that is renowned for quality bicycles.  My husband suggested  I go to a local store that has them set up and allows you to test them.  I am so glad I took his advice!  The one I thought I wanted was uncomfortable, which means I would end up not using it.  

When I sat on the Pro-Form Recumbent Bike, I was shocked at the difference.  The seat is supportive and quite comfortable.  Because the seat will move forward, I was able to set it for my leg length with my back pressed against the seat back for support.   
  
It is recommended that you exercise 5 days a week, for 30 minutes. I am easily able to peddle for 30 minutes without experiencing any pain, during or after.  That is amazing!  

There are 18 difference workout settings which emulate riding on various terrains, or you can simply peddle at your own pace and preferred resistance level. 

For example, I can take it slow and easy, with no resistance, for 30 minutes and burn 150 calories.  A real workout would obviously yield greater results. 


Additional Features

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Requires 4 D Batteries for Monitor (a power adapter is sold separately)
  • Monitor shows time, speed, watts, & calories burned
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • Built-in Audio for Ipod
  • Adjustable Cushioned Seat
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Quiet (almost silent)
  • Approximately 5' long & 2' wide
  • 275 lb. Weight Limit


Other Considerations Before You Begin

It takes a few hours to assemble the exercise bike and having a second person to help is preferred.  You don't want to rush the assembly time!  

You will also need a carpet piece or mat underneath the bike to avoid damaging floors when exercising.  

Plus, be sure to buy your batteries or the AC adapter in advance.  You will want to be able to test everything immediately after it is assembled. 


Entertainment While Exercising


ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed
Most often, I feel like I should be doing something instead of dedicating time to exercise.  After all, real bicycling allows you to enjoy your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, and the beauty of the great outdoors.  It is a totally different experience than just plain exercising.  

Frankly, I need a distraction when I exercise.  The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike has a slot in front of the monitor for an iPad or Kindle.  Instead of watching the monitor, I watch a movie, read, listen to an audio book or to music.  Before I know it, the 30 minutes have passed.

Of course, you would set your own workout length of time and preferred resistance.  Just be sure to bring your water bottle and entertainment along for the ride. 

   





Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com

 


House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sauerkraut Crock Reviewed

Fermented Cabbage: A Healthy Choice

Let's review the benefits of sauerkraut or fermented cabbage today. We will also talk about what to look for if you buy sauerkraut in the grocery and how to make your own kraut. It is easier than you might think and oh so much better for you when you do. 

sauerkraut crock
Make your own with a Sauerkraut Crock
image courtesy of pixabay.com
You probably think of sauerkraut as a German food and they are responsible for that specific name for fermented cabbage but historians are relatively sure that the fermentation of cabbage dates back some 2,000 years and began in China. Fermenting foods was about the only way to store foods for extended periods of time.

Benefits of Sauerkraut


One cup of kraut is very nutritious. It is low in calories for one thing and has zero fat. That cup will also provide about 7 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. It is a little high in salt content coming in at about 39% of the suggested daily intake. Eating a cup of kraut will provide you with a good source of Vitamin C, K, and B6 along with iron, manganese, folate, copper, and potassium. 

The fermenting of cabbage causes the creation of probiotics that keep your gut healthy and working properly. That is way more important than you might think. When the good bacteria is working in your intestines your body can better absorb the minerals and vitamins found in the foods or supplements that you take in. Basically, when your digestive tract is working properly, the rest of your body works better, too. 

When your gut flora is healthy so is your immune system. A strong immune system helps us not so susceptible to colds, flu, infections and all of those nasty things that we try so hard to avoid being exposed to. The vitamin C, iron, and probiotics in sauerkraut help build up our immune system.

It might be a good aid in weight loss, too. The low calorie content and non-existence of fat are advantages along with the higher fiber content and the probiotics can help with loss of unwanted body fats. 

The healthy population of gut flora has been linked to better brain health along with lowering stress levels. The enzymes created from the probiotics allow your body to better absorb the important nutrients in your diet that help your brain and your moods. 

More studies need to be made but researchers are looking at the benefits of plant compounds found in sauerkraut to be a tool in fighting certain cancers. Some believe that the kraut might prevent cancer cells from developing or growing. 

A healthier heart is another benefit from eating sauerkraut. Yep, it can help with lowering cholesterol! It is also helpful in helping lower your blood pressure. That one little cup of kraut can help lower your risk of heart disease. 

The Vitamin K that I mentioned earlier, is actually K2 and that is beneficial in maintaining healthier and stronger bones. This vitamin helps to activate two particular proteins that bind calcium making for stronger and healthier bone growth. 

Buying Sauerkraut or Making your own


You can find sauerkraut in the grocery store. Read the labels before you purchase a can or jar off of the shelf, though. You should avoid sauerkraut that has been pasteurized and ones that have preservatives in them. The kraut found in the refrigerated section probably hasn't been put through the pasteurization method. Those preservatives and the pasteurizing will remove all of the benefits from the sauerkraut! Basically, the only two ingredients in the container should be cabbage and salt or brine. There should be no sugars! Sometimes there will be additional vegetables like carrots and those are fine but avoid the other stuff. 


Making your own is better! It is pretty darn easy to do to! Get a head of cabbage from your produce section or from your own garden. You don't have to wash it, it is better if you don't. Remove the loose leaves and cut the cabbage into small ribbons. Place the shredded cabbage into a large bowl and add non-iodized salt. Work the salt into the cabbage with your hands. The salt pulls the water out of the cabbage creating its own brine. Place the cabbage and brine into a fermentation crock, weight it down and let it ferment for about 2 weeks or longer. Once it comes to your desired taste, place in jars in the refrigerator. That's it! You made sauerkraut! For actual measurements look for a recipe online. There are many of them to be found. 

For a good sauerkraut crock, you might like the one that I have and use. I love mine! It is easy to use and comes with the weights you need to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, March 9, 2020

West Paw Toppl Reviewed: Favorite New Dog Puzzle

The West Paw Toppl is my and if I may speak for The Fluff as he is affectionately known, new favorite treat dispensing puzzle!

Oh dog toys, dog puzzles, dog thingamyabobs, I have known and bought a few. Some are winners, some are losers and some fall in between. I know the loser toy look from the Fluff, the disdain, the side eye, the this is not acceptable. I will humor you and flip it around, but do not expect any further consideration.


And you know when a dog puzzle or toy is a winner! It is the same toy they go back to time after time, squeak after squeak and slobber after slobber. Now design wise all the dog toys and puzzles may be a winner, but the key is to find one your furball considers worthy.

West Paw Toppl


A diet change and chew bone change precipitated my search for a combo food dispensing toy for the Fluff. The Fluff likes to chew and it has been very difficult to find softer and natural bones that last more than 2 minutes.

I have a team of Kongs stuffed with dog food, peanut butter and yogurt in the freezer, but the Fluff can conquer those quite quickly. And experience has shown when the Fluff has not satisfied his need to chew, the Fluff can turn back to his puppy ways which is just not fun!

The local pet store recommended the Toppl and it has been a success so far. A combination puzzle and food dispenser that provides a good diversion for energetic pups.

Design Of The Toppl


I believe the difference and probably why the Toppl lasts so much longer than the frozen Kong is the grid inside and on the bottom of the Toppl. It definitely takes the Fluff longer to empty the Toppl than a Kong. Which for my purposes is the point!

 
I stuff the Toppl with his canned dog food and then freeze. I use this in place of the chew bone he used to get after dinner. So far the Fluff is happy (okay, not quite as happy when he had a bone), but the combination soft dental chew plus the Toppl is making the diet and routine change a little easier.

The Toppl can also be stuffed with a combination of dry food, treats, vegetables and soft food or yogurt and then frozen.

Recommendation


Adding the Toppl to the team of Kongs to keep the Fluff safe and happy.
Bonus the Toppl is also made in the United States. It also floats on water, is dishwasher safe and BPA and Phthalate Free.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Spring Forward, Renewal, Rebirth, Revival and Joy!

March 8th is Spring Forward Time! A Garden Review!

 

spring, bird feeding, bees
Image from Pixabay

Yeah, for all our Naturalists/Gardeners/Backyard Enthusiasts and those who are patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for Spring's arrival.  From my own personal experience I know how most of us are feeling right about now.  We can't wait for longer days and warmer temperatures and getting our hands back into the soil.  We want to poke around to see what's about to spring up out of the ground.  We also look up to see where the birds are too.  That first robin or yellow finches just make us so happy.  Our time is coming quickly!


Things Outside are Changing Quickly!

 
Now that it's March, we can look forward to longer daylight hours (it's already light at 6:00 in the morning)!  The bugs and the bees are waking up from their long winter slumber and looking desperately for a food source.  Even the birds are making a comeback.  

Those of us who love hummingbirds will be watching the Hummingbird Migration Maps for 2020!  They are already in parts of Florida and coming to your neighborhood soon!  Be the first one in your neighborhood to mark the map with the first sighting in your area. 


Spring, so much to do and so much pleasure in doing it too!


If you hang out bird feeders, now is the time to get them ready.  Clean and disinfect them all carefully.  We want to feed the birds and not harm them.  Clean feeders are a must!  Pathogens that can harm them can and might live over in the winter months.  There is need to be extra vigilant in making the birds source of food a safe source.  

Wash down all bird feeders, clean out birds nests from last year and give this years birds a really good chance of thriving and surviving.  Clean them out with a mild bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to a sink full of hot soapy water).  Make sure you rinse them well and let them air dry before setting them out again.  

 

Special Care for Hummingbird Feeders!


Many people give up on putting out hummingbird feeders because they do require extra care.  It may seem wasteful, but their nectar needs to be changed every week.  Spoiled nectar in feeders can cause their death.  No one wants to be responsible for that!  So in the early spring, before you even see them, you need to change that nectar every week.  

Make only a cup of nectar at a time, so as not to waste all that sugar water.  And remember, red dyes are NOT NECESSARY  to attract those little flying gems.  Your hummingbird syrup should be roughly 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water.  The measurement does not have to be exact, but close is good.  Use only 1/2 to 1 cup of syrup in your feeders (keep the rest in the refrigerator) until you are sure the hummingbirds have found you!  Once you know they are coming to your feeders, go to town and fill it right up.


Maybe this is the year you decide to help the birds and the bees.

 
You can easily do this with bird feeders, bird houses and even bee houses.  The birds and bees give us so much enjoyment, it's the least we can do to make them welcome in our yards.  Our own Renaissance Woman will even teach you how to make your own bird feeders if you feel so inclined.  It would be a great spring time activity for your children or grandchildren.  Check it out right here: DIY Mason Jar Bird Feeder!

Building bird houses is also a lot of fun and an easy craft to share with your family as well.  The most important thing to remember is that certain birds require different housing.  Some are solitary breeders, while others love to be in community.  You might have to do some research to find out what kinds of birds come to your neighborhood, before you start building.  This review might help you get started! What you need to know about  Basic Bird House Construction!


The Bees are Getting a Lot of Press Lately!  The Key to Success

 
Science has let it be known that the bee population is in trouble.  If we don't have them as pollinators our whole food sources are at risk.  So let's help those pollinators by growing gardens that feed them all spring, summer and fall.  It's not hard to do and I'm sure you will enjoy the efforts that you put into making a beautiful "bee" friendly garden. 

There are a few guidelines that will help you to help the bees!  
  • Plant a garden that will give lots of blooms all season long.
  • Plant single flowered species rather than the big double and triple flowers.  The singles produce more nectar and the bees can easily get to it.
  • Plant lots of different annuals as well as perennials.
  • Build a bee house.
  • Have a water source available too!

Do you need more information?  I like this website for all inclusive information about bees and keeping them happy!  The  Honey Bee Conservancy  I like to keep my family happy, so, with my son-in-law being a beekeeper, this is for him!  I try to do my part in helping him help the bees and I get to enjoy some of the honey too.

Spring is a time of Renewal, Revival, Rebirth and Joy!  Let's make an effort to help Mother Nature in all of this,  by doing something to help all her little creatures.

feeding the bees, helping Mother Nature, hummingbird feeders
Image by jggrz from Pixabay








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Easy Loaded Potato Soup Recipe Reviewed

A Quick Way To Make Potato Soup

I would like to share an easy loaded potato soup recipe with you today. My review of this recipe will show you how to make a great tasting soup in a very short time span. Interested? Follow me down the page for the ingredients and instructions. 

potato soup
Russet Potatoes for a great soup
image courtesy of pixabay.com

In order to prepare this soup recipe you will need an Insta-pot or any other popular brand of pressure style cooker on the market. Depending on the make you use my directions might be different on your cooker but I think you can figure out how to do it with the features available on your model.

Recipe for Loaded Potato Soup


Ingredients:
1 Tbs butter
1 Shallot minced
3 cloves garlic
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 Russet potatoes peeled and diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon bits and cheese for garnish

Preparation:
Add butter to your pot and melt on the saute setting. Add shallot to melted butter cooking for 4 minutes. Now, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. 

Add the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper and the diced potatoes. Stir the contents well. Place your lid securely on your pot and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Do a Quick Release after the 10 minutes are up.

Remove the lid. In a separate container stir the milk and flour together. Add this mixture to the soup in the pot. Cook on the saute setting for 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until it is melted. 

Your soup is ready to serve! Garnish with bacon bits and shredded cheese and enjoy!


Make this recipe and many others with an Insta-pot


I can't believe how much I use my pressure cooker for meals. One of our favorites is this Loaded Potato Soup recipe but I make all sorts of things in it. It is amazing how little time most recipes take. If you don't have one, you should consider getting one for yourself. I'm pretty sure you will not regret adding it to your kitchen as a handy tool for preparing really good food. Below is the model that I own.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review of Boy's Wolf Union Suit Pajamas by Cat & Jack

My 10-year-old grandson David has recently developed a big interest in wolves. When I visited him last Fall, he was showing me the book about wolves he'd recently acquired and told me how much he liked wolves.  The family had just moved into a new house and David has a new bed.  His parents got him wolf design sheets and a beautiful Wolf comforter.  His whole bedroom is in wolf design.


Crocheted Wolf from Grandma
David asked me if I would make him a plush wolf to go along with the other stuffed toy animals I had crocheted for him in the past. I told him I would and he was to look for it at Christmastime. This, of course, gave me the idea to add another wolf-related gift to the stuffed toy. 


Boy's Wolf Union Suit



I went shopping for pajamas in a wolf-theme to go along with David's wolf-themed bedroom.  The pajamas I found were a one-piece union suit style with, not only a wolf-design for the pattern on the material, but also an attached hood he can put over his head and eyes, giving him a Wolf appearance!  He absolutely loves these pajamas.



Wolf  Union Suit Pajamas

This Wolf Union Suit is a product of the Cat & Jack line of sleepwear carried by Target.  It is made of 100% polyester of flame-resistant fabric, meeting the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sleepwear requirements.  It has a cozy hoodie and banded cuffs and a half-length zipper at the front.   It comes in gray & white and the design is of sporting wolf silhouettes in white and gray shades against a dark gray backdrop.  The hoodie displays a wolf face for a ferocious look for fun. 


Cat & Jack Children's Clothing


Cat & Jack is a children’s and babies clothes line rolled out by Target in 2016.  It replaces it's Cherokee and Circo kids label.  Cat & Jack was begun after getting feedback and opinions from a range of children. 

Target carries a number of animal print and design sleepwear for kids. While looking for the wolf pajamas, I saw a Shark Union Suit and also pajamas in movie themes such as Jurassic and Star Wars, as well as superheros and favorite  sports teams. 

There are also Unicorns and Llamas sets for girls, as well as many other cute & cozy PJs girls will love. 


David's Gift from Grandma


David wears his wolf pajamas as many nights as he can, but I think another Cat & Jack pajama set is in his future as a gift from grandma.  His birthday is coming up in April.  :-) 


David posing in his Wolf-design pajamas
by Cat & Jack. 


Quick Links:







(c) Product Review by Wednesday Elf -  2/29/2020






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, February 28, 2020

Refrigerator Onion Storage Keeper Reviewed

Refrigerator Onion Storage Keeper Reviewed
Onions in the refrigerator are not always welcome! 

We all know it is not necessary to refrigerate onions before they are cut, unless you wish to extend their shelf life.  However, once they are peeled, sliced or diced, they should be refrigerated. 

Whether refrigerated or not, the great temptation is to store them in a plastic bag due to their strong odor.  However, according to the National Onion Association, you should never store a whole onion in a plastic bag.  They actually recommend wrapping them in paper towels or newspaper and placing them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.  That allows for air ventilation.  

But wait!  Air ventilation for the onion is exactly what the rest of my food does not want.  Not only does the other food not like it, I'm not real keen on onion smell permeating my refrigerator, kitchen, or my pantry.  Therefore, it became necessary for me to seek out a different method for onion storage.   

I've tried keeping onions in a Tupperware containers, refrigerator sandwich bags when diced, Saran wrapped plates, tucked away in the refrigerator drawer, and even sitting next to an open box of baking soda.  I still smelled those onions!  Plus, I really hated that residual smell in my Tupperware, which I use for many other things.

I finally found a solution that works for me!


Refrigerator Onion Keeper


 Hutzler Onion Saver, YellowCheck PriceI will be the first to admit that I was really surprised when this inexpensive onion keeper actually worked.  Now before I go too far, the keeper itself always reeks of onion smell, even after being washed.  But, once it is closed, sweet nothing!  No more onion odor!!!  Made me want to buy 5 of them.  I have no idea what I would do with 5 onion keepers, but I was so pleased with the results, I somehow wanted to show my great appreciation to the little "onion".

I also love the looks of my onion keeper.  I know exactly where my onion is now.  It is no longer hiding in plain sight disguised as a Tupperware bowl. 

The Hutzler Onion Saver is dishwasher safe, but the inside still smells like onion after it is washed.  That is fine with me as long as it blocks the odor in my refrigerator, which it does!  I have washed it several times on the top rack of my dishwasher.  My onion keeper still seals properly and works perfectly.  You can safely store an onion, whole or cut, in the refrigerator for 7 - 10 days.  The Onion Saver has a circular grid in the bottom that keeps the onion elevated for better air circulation within the keeper.  Obviously, that is not as well ventilated as open air, or a paper towel, but it beats the odor!
  

I doubt seriously that the Hutzler Onion Saver will last for years, but sometimes we are pleasantly surprised.  Regardless, it cost less than a box of refrigerator sandwich bags and doesn't have to be thrown away after each use.




Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com

 


House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret Schindel Sam MonacoSam Monaco - Coming Soon BuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X