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

Monday, May 25, 2020

Favorite Hand Lotions Reviewed

How chapped are your hands after this barrage of hand washing with soap and water! Clearly frequent and substantial hand washing will remain part of the daily routine and the hands are taking a beating!


Rough, dry, cracked, chapped hands can be just darn painful at times. So the search was on for a new lotion which helped sooth the hands; I've tried a few lotions before with limited success and was happy to find two new lotions that worked.

Amlactin Lotion



This is my new favorite lotion to use after washing hands. I was referred AmLactin by the local pharmacist and it was a very good referral to sooth chapped hands especially after frequent hand washing.

AmLactin is an alpha-hydroxy therapy which uses 12% lactic acid to soothe dry skin. The lotion is fragrance free and paraben free and not greasy.

I appreciate a lotion which has substance and penetrates the skin without leaving a slick residue. With the amount of hand washing now required per day I noticed a quick and huge improvement on preventing chapped and dry hands but using a dab of AmLactin immediately after hand washing.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

I've been a fan of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line since discovering the line about 2 years ago. The range of products have increased and after battling the chapped hands scenario with such frequent hand washing I decided to try another Hydro Boost product.


Hyrdo Boost is a light and fluffy whipped balm and uses Hyaluronic Acid to sooth dry skin. The balm is paraben free and does absorb very quickly. The Neutrogena line is available online and at local drugstores.

Recommendation

Hand lotions are indeed a test and trial product. I've definitely used and purchased a few different hand lotions with mediocre results over the past years.
I've been very satisfied with AmLactin and Hydro Boost balm with the cavaet that these are pricer lotions. I have found the rewards of the lotions are worth the price.


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Friday, May 22, 2020

Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers for Jeep Wranglers Reviewed

We recently purchased an old Jeep Wrangler and my husband has spent a great deal of time restoring it.  I only had one request when he purchased the old jeep.  I asked him to buy new seat covers for it even though the original seat covers were still in good shape.

The jeep was very dirty inside and out when he got it. Apparently, the previous owner drove on muddy trails with the top off and the windows down, often.  The seat covers were filthy.  

My husband took the seats completely out of the jeep and spent three days vacuuming, cleaning, disinfecting, and cleaning them again.  He let me pick out the new seat covers which would slip over the original covers.  I spent about as many days looking at different options, but always returned to the Bartact seat covers.  They were more expensive, but there were excellent reasons for the price.  I felt the extra cost was well worth the added benefits.



Features of the Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers


Because I compared them to several other brands, I will tell you the features that stood out to me and influenced my final choice decision. 

  • Two Storage Packets (placement adjustable & attached to seat backs) 
  • Zippered rear pocket and zippered front pocket.  If you want to ride on jeep trails, having permanent zippered storage pockets is essential.
  • Easy Installation - It took us approximately 15 minutes to install both front seat covers. 
  • High grade waterproof-backed polyester fabric which is cool to the touch
  • Pre-cut slits for the seat belts and seat adjustment latch levers
  • Foam backing for added comfort
  • Mil-Spec - means made to US military standards 
  • Front Seat Covers are Sold in Pairs of 2
  • Made in USA

I listed the pouches and the zipper pockets first because I consider them essential.  In the jeep, there is very little storage.  Only a glove compartment is in our jeep.  There is no center console.  

My husband enjoys the jeep "feel" when exploring off-road jeep trails in our National Parks.  Me, I like to take pictures.  Therefore, I carry my camera supplies, like various size lenses and a spare battery.  The pouches on the seat backs are a better option for my camera than a separate camera bag bouncing around in the floor.

I also carry my "go bag" with us on our day trips.  Public restrooms are a necessity when we are out and about for 8 - 12 hours and I am a firm believer in carrying my own supplies.  (You can read about how I assemble my own public restroom survival kit here.)

Because the top and the windows on our jeep are removable, having waterproof backed seat covers is also essential.  You never know when a little black rain cloud will float overhead.



Installing Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers on Jeep Wrangler Seats


Installing the Bartact seat covers is super easy!  

You simply pull them over the existing seat covers, lining up the holes with the seat belts and the seat tilt levers.  Pull the velcroed panels between the cushions and press the large Velco pieces together.  

In minutes, you have beautiful new seat covers beckoning you to go for a ride.  

Watch this guy put on his seat covers.  
 


Limited Availability on Amazon - For a larger variety of colors, I recommend Quadratec.com




Jeep Owners, You May Also Enjoy: 


 

Floor Liners For Jeep ReviewedFloor Liners For Jeep Reviewed

Find the perfect fit for floor liner in your Jeep or any vehicle. What I like about this particular brand of floor liners is that they are digitally measured and molded to fit the interior of specific models of vehicles.



Reviewing the Smittybilt Tent for JeepsReviewing the Smittybilt Tent for Jeeps

The Smittybilt Tent - With a jeep roof rack, you can mount, carry, & sleep in a tent on the top of the jeep. Keep that tent off the ground, high and dry even in bad weather and sleep like two snuggle bunnies.



Backseat Barker Dog Bed for SUV or Jeep ReviewBackseat Barker Dog Bed for SUV or Jeep Review

The Backseat Barker is the best dog bed for a car, SUV or jeep available! 3" bottom foam with side pillows for comfort and protection.




Read More Product Reviews On
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House of Sylvestermouse




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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Copper Chef Black Diamond Nonstick Cookware Review

Copper Chef Black Diamond nonstick cookware has a diamond-reinforced, black ceramic coating and textured cooking surface that make these pans the most durable, scratch-resistant, best-performing nonstick cookware I've tried — and I've tried a lot!
Image - title and photo collage for Copper Chef Black Diamond Nonstick Cookware review by Margaret Schindel
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved
Several years ago, I began replacing our large collection of old nonstick cookware. All the pans had visible scratches in the coating after years of use, so they no longer had their nonstick qualities. I also didn't want to risk the possibility of accidentally ingesting a speck (or flake) of loosened Teflon, especially since the older Teflon coatings were manufactured with PFOA.

Since I had a lot of pans to replace (my husband and I both cook a lot!), I research the newest generation of nonstick coating options and cookware. I tried a T-Fal skillet and, later, an OXO Good Grips nonstick frying pan, both recommended by Cook's Illustrated at the time, as well as a highly-rated set of two skillets from Sur La Table, but I found they scratched too easily for my household's needs (my husband tends to be a bit hard on pans!).

Original Copper Chef Nonstick Cookware

A few years ago, my mother-in-law bought us a set of the original Copper Chef pans, after she had bought herself some and loved them. Admittedly, I was skeptical about the quality of "As Seen on TV" nonstick cookware purchased from an infomercial, and I didn't immediately understand the appeal of a square skillet or pot. But I soon discovered how much better and more durable the ceramic nonstick cooking surface was, compared to the others I had tried.

The set John's mother gifted us came with a square 9.5" fry pan, a square deep 9.5" pan, a square basket insert for deep frying or draining (e.g., pasta), a steamer insert, a slightly domed, square tempered glass lid that fits both pans, and a cookbook. Since the exact set she got us is no longer available, I've provided a link to a newer version, identical to ours except for the added set of 4 nonstick-safe cooking utensils. You can learn more about one of the original Copper Chef pans from my fellow Review This Reviews contributor Cynthia (Sylvestermouse), in her review of the original Copper Chef square fry pan.

After six or so months of heavy use, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised at how well the two pans my mother-in-law had given us were holding up, so we decided to start slowly investing in more Copper Chef cookware. We were using the shallow fry pan the most, so we bought the Copper Chef Square Fry Pan 5 Piece Set, which includes an 9.5-inch square griddle pan with a glass lid (that also fits the two pans we received as gifts), a larger 11" square griddle pan with a glass lid, and an 8" ridged grill pan.

Copper Chef Black Diamond Nonstick Cookware — Even Better Than the Original!

A year or so later, we had enough experience with the durability of the CeramiTech coating and the excellent heat conductivity of the built-in stainless steel induction plates on our glass stovetop to confidently expand our collection further. This time, when I looked on Amazon to see what other sizes and types were available, I discovered there was a new, improved line: Copper Chef Black Diamond nonstick cookware.

Boxed 5-piece set of stackable space-saving Copper Chef Black Diamond nonstick cookware
My first Copper Chef Black Diamond 5-piece stacking non-stick cookware set
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

We chose the Copper Chef Stackable Black Diamond 5-piece Non-Stick Fry Pan Set, which comes with a 9.5" square grill pan (with grilling ridges), a 9.5" square griddle pan with the raised diamond pattern interior bottom, a 4.5-quart, 9.5" deep square pan with the same raised texture on the inside bottom, two 9.5" tempered glass square lids (which fit all three pans, as well as most of our other Copper Chef pans), and a recipe book.

View of textured interior bottoms of Copper Chef Black Diamond nonstick pans in 5-piece set
Raised 3D interior texture on Black Diamond pans
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

Diamond Reinforced Ceramic Coating + 3D Textured Interior Bottom = Even Less Sticking

Not only are these pans extremely attractive, with their copper-colored exteriors and black interiors, they also are more durable, because the CeramiTech nonstick coating is reinforced with thousands of tiny diamond particles. In addition, the inside bottoms of the Copper Chef Black Diamond pans (except the ridged grill pans, which don't need it) have a raised, diamond pattern surface, rather than the original, totally flat surface, which enhances their nonstick performance.

Oven-Safe Coating

The deep square pan also works well as a casserole, since the pans are oven safe. The CeramiTech diamond-reinforced ceramic nonstick coating on the inside, and the regular CeramiTech coating (the same as on the original CC pans) is temperature-resistant up to 850° F. The tempered glass lids, however, are only temperature-resistant up to 350° F, so make sure not to exceed that temperature (or let the glass lids get too close to the heating elements), or just cover your casserole with aluminum foil.

Quick and Easy Cleanup After Cooking

After cooking, just let the pans cool to room temperature before washing. They clean up quickly and easily with just a sponge, mild liquid dish soap and hot water. Alternatively, you can fill them with hot, soapy water and let them sit until you're ready to do the dishes after you've finished your meal.

Space-Saving, Stackable Design For Convenient Storage, Even in Small Kitchens


All three pans can be stacked, a space-saving feature we love and took advantage of until my husband finally built us a wall-mounted bar of hanging hooks for storing our growing collection of nonstick pots, pans and lids in our very small galley kitchen.

Image of 3 Copper Chef Black Diamond square nonstick pans, stacked, with lids
The pans stack compactly in this space saving cookware design
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

When the two frying pans (flat bottom and grill pan) and the deep pan (more like a saucepan or pot) are stacked, the collective dimensions, including the long handles, are 19.5" X 10 X 7.75" — not a lot of space for two frying pans and a pot, each with 25% more cooking area than round equivalents!

Not All Brands of Copper Ceramic Coated Nonstick Cookware Perform Well!

As we expanded our collection, we tried pans with copper ceramic nonstick coating from a few other brands and discovered that, while they may all look similar (and, in some cases, nearly identical), the quality of some brands isn't on a par with that of Copper Chef. For example, we bought an 11" square griddle pan for my husband, who wanted it to make French toast, that looked like it matched our collection. However, it didn't have the built-in stainless steel induction plate, so it didn't heat up as quickly or evenly as our Copper Chef pans.

SHINEURI 5-piece set of nonstick saucepans and saute pan on Amazon
We love the SHINEURI 5 piece nonstick
copper cookware set we purchased
on Amazon
The good news is that we also discover some winners among the competitor brands. At the time, Copper Chef wasn't making any round pots or pans, and we wanted a set of small and medium covered nonstick saucepans to replace the ones we threw out, as well as a couple of small to medium size round skillets for making omelets and such.

I was delighted with both the quality and the appearance of the 5-piece set by SHINEURI that we purchased, which has the reverse color scheme of our Copper Chef Black Diamond pans and looks terrific with them. The 1.5 quart and 2.5 quart saucepans with glass lids and the open 8" sauté pan look as though they were designed and manufactured by the same designer and factory as the original Copper Chef pans. Even the slightly domed lids and hollow stainless steel handles look exactly like the original CC pans, and they also perform just as well as those, although not as well as the Black Diamond pans.

Fortunately, the Copper Chef Black Diamond line has since expanded and now includes round pots and pans.

Another high performer we purchased from a competing brand was the Home Hero 8" round nonstick skillet with glass lid, which also had the built-in stainless steel induction plate and has performed as well as our original Copper Chef pans, although it doesn't look quite as nice, in my opinion, and doesn't have the textured interior bottom or diamond-reinforced nonstick coating of the Black Diamond pans.

Copper Chef Black Diamond Nonstick Cookware Makes a Great Gift

We loved our 5-piece set of square Black Diamond pans so much that we bought two more sets as Christmas gifts, one for my in-laws and one for my brother. They agree with us that these are by far the best nonstick pans we've ever owned.

Set of copper cooking utensils with silicone tips for nonstick cookware on Amazon
You can buy this gorgeous set of
copper metal and black silicone
cooking utensils on Amazon

Anyone who cooks would likely be delighted to receive a set of these good-looking, durable, well-designed, nonstick pans. As a bonus, the company's packaging is attractive and perfect for gift-giving.

For an even more special gift, consider adding this set of beautiful set of copper cooking utensils with black silicone tips. I think they would look absolutely stunning with Copper Chef Black Diamond or original CC pans, or even similar pans from competing brands.

I admit that I'm really tempted to put these on my holiday wish list, even though I already own plenty of perfectly functional utensils suitable for nonstick pans. But they're so freakin' pretty. And they look as though they were custom designed to go with the Black Diamond pans, don't they?

If you prefer round pans to square ones, this Copper Chef Black Diamond 10-piece set is another excellent choice. It comes with 8-inch and 10-inch round skillets with curved sides (to make stirring foods and sliding or flipping omelets easier), a 2-quart sauce pan, a 4.5-quart casserole pan, three metal-rimmed tempered glass lids that can be mixed and matched to fit all four pans, plus a roasting rack and a nonstick-compatible serving spoon and slotted spatula. My husband and I both think we'd get a lot of use out of this set, which would complement our existing pieces nicely, and we hope to be able to add these pots and pans to our collection eventually.

Either set would be a wonderful gift for someone special — including yourself!

Care and Cleaning Tips

The manufacturer says these pans are dishwasher safe. However, I strongly recommend hand washing these (which is a breeze, using just a regular or silicone sponge and hot, soapy water as soon as the pan cools, or after soaking if you don't want to wash soon after using). Dishwasher detergent is abrasive, which is why glasses that are washed in the dishwasher frequently will become cloudy over time. The cloudiness is actually a result of the detergent gradually etching the surface of the glass!

When I noticed that my husband had repeatedly burned spilled Sloppy Joe mixture (and who knows what else) onto the underside of one of our original Copper Chef fry pans without cleaning off the burned-on food residue, I discovered the hard way that a Scotchbrite or similar scrubby sponge is too abrasive for cleaning the CeramiTech nonstick coating, which covers both the inside and outside of the Copper Chef pans (other than the stainless steel induction plate and handle). Also, if you use a steel wool pad to scour the induction plate on the bottom of the pan and don't take care to keep the steel wool away from the CeramiTech coating, the metal fibers in the pad will quickly remove the nonstick coating right down to the metal underneath.
Bottoms of original and Black Diamond Copper Chef nonstick fry pans after cleaning correctly and incorrectly
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

Pan on the left: Original Copper Chef fry pan
with repeatedly burned-on food, cleaned with
a scrubber sponge, plus overzealous scouring
of the built-in stainless steel induction plate
with steel wool scouring pan.

Pan on the right: Copper Chef Black Diamond pan,
cleaned with regular or silicone sponge, induction plate
scoured with steel wool pad. I scoured the perimeter of the
stainless steel induction plate to avoid accidentally
scouring off the nonstick coating on the surrounding areas.

Similarly, if you want the CeramiTech coating on your pans to retain its nonstick properties as long as possible, I recommend using only plastic or silicone cooking utensils designed for non-stick cookware with these pans, something Tristar, which manufactures Copper Chef and other cookware brands, also advises.

Closeup view of inside of Copper Chef Black Diamond nonstick grill pan
Close-up shot of the ridged interior bottom
 of the nonstick grill pan
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

As you can see from this close-up of our grill pan, our Copper Chef Black Diamond pans — which have been in heavy, daily use for a long time now — not only still perform beautifully but also hold up remarkably well, as long as you care for them properly!

The Inexpensive, DIY Pot and Lid Storage Rack My Husband Built for Our Copper Ceramic Nonstick Cookware

When our collection of copper ceramic nonstick coated pans continued to expand, my husband — my very own MacGyver — put together an inexpensive, space-saving pot rack next to our stove, using just leftover wood strips and some coat hooks. Sadly, the beautiful, half-round, French-looking wrought iron pot rack I had purchased long ago for my Manhattan apartment doesn't work in our ranch-style home now. (Not only do we have many more pots and pans to store, but we also have only a short, narrow "mini hallway" between the stove and the side entrance to our house, which opens into our kitchen. So, our pot rack needs to be fairly flush to the wall to allow the door to open.)

One of the things I really like about his design it that, because each coat hook has an upper and a lower hook, the lids to our collection of nonstick pots and pans now have a convenient "home" for storage when they're not in use, since the glass lids can't be stacked. As you can see, it even holds our two large stainless steel mesh spatter shields!

It was meant for functionality rather than looks, but you could easily stain and varnish the wood, and even use a router to shape a scalloped edge, if you like.
Homemade wall-mounted rack for storing pots, pans and lids
My clever husband's inexpensive DIY pot rack
for our nonstick pans, lids and spatter screens
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

Happy nonstick cooking!

Copper Chef Black Diamond Nonstick Cookware reviewed by
Margaret Schindel


You'll find a wide range of other reliable product reviews from our Review This Reviews contributors at ReviewThisProductReviews.com.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Reviewing the Moon Hare

Have You Seen The Moon Hare Or Moon Rabbit?

Have you noticed the Moon Hare or the Moon Rabbit instead of the "man in the moon"? I still remember being on a date many years ago and being introduced to the rabbit on the moon. The guy I was with at the time pointed it out and ever since then I no longer see a man's face but a rabbit or more specifically a hare. Little did I know back then, that there is a place in Asian mythology for that Moon Hare. 

moon hare
Hares and rabbits have been on my mind
image courtesy of pixabay.com
A few weeks back, I wrote about fear and how rabbits seemed to be hopping into my mind a lot, lately. Well, I'm still sort of consumed with the furry little creatures. Turns out there is a reason why. I'm currently working on a new book in a new genre (for me anyway) and the hare is playing a significant part in the story. (More about that later.)


Moon Hare In Asian Mythology


As I have researched the hare for my book, I have discovered a few things about the creature. First of all, a hare is different from a rabbit. The hare is larger, has longer ears, and tends to be more solitary than its cousin the rabbit. Hares live above ground instead of below. They do share a lot of the same characteristics.

Most of the time the mythical hare in the moon is said to be using a mortar and pestle. In Chinese folklore the Moon Hare is pounding the elixir of life for Chang'e the Moon Goddess. She brought the hare with her when she moved to the moon after having drank the elixir of life. She wanted to forever watch over her husband Houyi the archer. In Japanese and Korean folklore the Moon Hare is pounding the ingredients for rice cakes.

Having this information helped me to firm-up an idea in my head for the character of Jipsee who is sent to Khenlee to be her wisdom companion in her journey through life as a healer and Shaman. Khenlee is special and she is given a special spirit animal. The girl is of two races of her world. So, I wanted something that was special to at least two different cultures. The hare fit perfectly. I've mentioned the Asian mythology but the hare is also significant in Celtic mythology, too. It was seen as being supernatural and associated with the moon. They were looked upon as mysterious and magical by the Celts. Seemed like a good fit for an animal guide for young Khenlee. The hare was also special to the Northern European Saxon Goddess Eostre. (Easter was named after her).

Building a World and a Story


So, as I build a different world I'm having good and bad 'hare' days. The book will be in the YA Fantasy genre which is turning out to be a lot of fun to write. The working title right now is Khenlee of Alerassa, although, I might change that up a bit. The gods have spoken, they want Khenlee to be the next Shaman/healer for the village of Alerassa. She is 12, she doesn't want to be a healer, and she struggles with the same angst that girls of her age do here on Earth. She also faces the prejudice of people due to her dual heritage. When Jipsee comes to her, they don't exactly fall in love with each other. The hare is disgusted that she is meant to work with a child that appears to be less than bright. The girl doesn't even know the difference between a hare and a rabbit. How in Ethoria can she become a wise woman who heals the bodies and souls of mortal creatures? It is beyond Jipsee's understanding. Khenlee believes the gods are playing a practical joke on her. How can she depend on a creature who is afraid of its own shadow?

The two will travel and grow together throughout the story. They will help each other and they will argue with each other but in the end they will become what they were destined to be. 

So, anyway, I've shared a little about the Moon Hare from a few cultures. I've given you a short look into the world in my head. I think I might need to get myself a stuffed animal to sit on my desk as I type out the words. I thought this one was kind of cute....




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Monday, May 18, 2020

Reviewing the Dexter Russell 8-Inch Bread Knife

All knives are equal in the kitchen, right? Wrong! I immediately put my original bread knife in the trash after using the Dexter Russell scalloped bread knife for the first time. 



Over the past couple of years I have focused on learning to bake homemade bread and biscuits. I typically need very easy recipes. As I bake successful loaves of bread, I tend to share with friends and family. Recently, I baked a wonderful Artisan-like loaf of crusty bread. The bread itself was amazing. But as usual, I struggled cutting even slices.

My friend laughed at me, as he watched me saw and hack away at the bread. Sometimes squishing the softer loaves more than cutting them. He said I needed a bread knife. I told him that I had a bread knife.

It was only a few days later that a bread knife arrived in the mail. After my very first slice of bread I immediately realized why my friend laughed at me and my original bread knife. With the Dexter Russell knife I could cut even slices of bread, thick or thin, with great ease.  There was no "sawing" involved.

I am so incredibly thankful for this knife!


Dexter Russell 8" Scalloped Bread Knife with Polypropylene Handle



This knife is SHARP, cuts through bread like cutting through warm butter, and seems very durable. The handle is very comfortable and large enough that I can firmly grip it.

You may already know that Dexter Russell is advertised as the "largest manufacturer of professional cutlery in the United States." So although this is my first experience with a Dexter Russell knife, it is clearly a company that has a history and a good reputation.

Some facts about this bread knife:

  • made in the US
  • superior blade shape
  • 400 series stain-free, high carbon steel
  • formed handle with finger guard
  • slip-free polypropylene handle

My knife was ordered and shipped via Amazon. However, knives ordered on the Dexter Russell website can be engraved at extra cost. 



An engraved bread knife would make a special and memorable gift for a housewarming, wedding, or culinary arts graduation. I know this gift is a much appreciated addition in my kitchen.


My Favorite Bread Recipes



In 2016 I had my first bread baking success with this Peasant Bread recipe. The round loaves are incredibly easy to make and end with a buttery flavor and crunchy crust.



In 2017 I began having success with making delicious loaves using Patara's bread recipe and a Pullman Loaf pan. Making my sandwiches using my own bread is wonderful. And having a good knife to cut those bread slices will be even more wonderful!



Only recently I became successful at baking crusty, round loaves of bread. I think this bread's appearance is as wonderful as the taste. If you'd like to know more about this bread, you can read about it here





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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Conair Home Haircut Kit

Conair Home Haircut Kit
With salons and barbershops across the country mostly closed, it seems that long hair of the '70s may be coming back in style.

What a great time to review my Conair Home Haircut Kit. Conair is an easy to use clipper for all of your home grooming needs.

Most guys I know get their haircut on a regular basis like once every two weeks or once a month.

I'm one of those guys that always wait until my hair is so long that I can't stand it. I don't know why because the salon that cuts my hair is only two blocks from where I live.

I find, the older I get the less hair that I have. Although in my younger days I had sideburns that would have made Elvis jealous.

My hair grows faster on the sides than on top. So, for in-between hair appointments, I bought this Conair 10 piece haircutting system. I have had this for several years now and it still works like new.

This makes it so easy to trim the sides and around my ears to keep me looking neat and respectable until my next appointment.

Conair Home Haircut Kit Includes:

  • The Barber Clipper to Cut.
  • Four guide combs, 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" for detailing.
  • Cleaning brush and oil to keep it clean.
  • Barber Comb
  • Blade Guard
  • Styling Clip, this is something that I never need.
Here are some tips and tricks if you're new to cutting your own hair or someone in the family. It's one thing to hack up your hair, but, if you hack up one the kid's hair you may be in big trouble.

Always start with the largest comb. Start cutting from the bottom of the side around the ears and work your way to the top. Don't cut the top of your hair yet. Once you get a little confidence you can move to the shorter combs.

For the top, use the comb to lift the hair. Cutover the top of the comb, starting from the front to the back to blend the hair to the sides.

The kit also includes a full set of instructions for cutting hair. If you're new to this, don't worry with a little bit of practice you'll be cutting hair like a pro just like me.






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Monday, May 11, 2020

OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker Reviewed

If you remember the days of speakers which were as big as furniture with the names of tweeter and woofer ... you may also be missing the superior audio sound which filled the room or even the entire house with those monster speakers!


Listening to music on a smartphone is easy and convenient, but the quality cannot compare to music from an actual 'speaker.' I went on a search for a wireless speaker and found the highly rated Oontz Bluetooth speaker.

I have not been disappointed with this small, portable and easy to install speaker which transforms music from a smartphone into quality audio. The output of this little speaker is impressive and could literally fill a small backyard with no problem.

Quality Of Sound


I was shocked at the sound quality of the OontZ Angle 3 speaker when paired with my iPhone. Was that music really coming from my phone?! Indeed it was.

Positives

  • Portable 
  • Bluetooth easily paired with iPhone
  • 100 foot range
  • Water resistant
  • Sturdy
  • Price
  • Battery time 14 hours
  • USB battery recharge

Negatives


The only negative I have found is when attempting to use the Oontz bluetooth speaker as a speaker phone with my iPhone. The audio quality was medicore, However the issue may lie with my iPhone and this was not the main reason for purchasing the speaker. 


Over 52,000 Reviews

An online product with over 52,000 reviews and an average 4.5 out of 5 star rating tells the tale of this bluetooth speaker. The number of reviews and high rating peaked my interest when searching for a portable speaker and I have not been disappointed.

Price

An affordable price under $30.00 helps the budget and puts this purchase onto the 2020 favorite list for  value as well as a favorite for gift giving. The perfect little gift for any holiday and I suspect all recipients would be more than pleased to receive.


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Friday, May 8, 2020

Reviewing "MyPillow" Pillows

I have found several things that I really like about MyPillow. Wash & Dry, Soft yet Firm, Cool, 10yr warranty, made in USA
My Pooh on My Pillow
When my husband suggested we buy a pair of "My Pillow" pillows, I was hesitant to spend more money on pillows.  After all, we have tried several brands in the last few years and none have been worth the price.  As a matter of fact, I have always gone back to my 20+ year old pillow that I can fold in half and make work for me.  However, I do believe I can now retire that tired old pillow.  Much to my surprise, the MyPillow pillow is exactly what I need.

The MyPillow website has a "find your fill" chart (on this page).  I answered the 4 questions and then rebelled against the recommendation.  I didn't believe for one second that I needed a "more fill" firm pillow (their green product).  I have tried firm pillows in the past and hated them.  I need the support under my head, but I prefer a soft pillow.  After a great deal of speculation and reading the reviews in multiple places, I decided to try the site's pillow choice recommendation.


I am delighted with the results!



Benefits of the MyPillow Pillows


 My Pillow Classic Series [Std/Queen,Medium Fill] Now Available in 4 Loft LevelsI have found several things that I really like about MyPillow

  1. Multiple Loft Levels - Choose the one that is best for you
  2. Comfortable for Side or Back Sleeping
  3. Washable
  4. Dry in Dryer
  5. Soft Feel, Yet Firm Support 
  6. Cooler than a normal pillow
  7. King Size Available
    (I opted for the Standard/Queen size)
  8. 10 year warranty
  9. Made in USA

Upon receipt, I unwrapped our MyPillows pillows and washed them first.  I wanted to ensure they were really washable and able to be dried in my dryer.  I was thrilled with the excellent results.  Now, when either of us is sick, we can still use our preferred, comfortable pillow and simply wash & dry it to remove germs.  That is a huge benefit for a pillow.










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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Movie Poster

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Movie Poster

MOVIE HISTORY


Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a movie that never gets old. It was Walt Disney's first full length animated feature film. It was released in 1937 and featured the voices of Roy Atwell, Adriana Caselotti, Lucille Laverne and Pinto Colvig. It was one of the first Disney movies that I remember seeing as a little girl though I did not see it when it was new. If I had to guess, I would guess that I saw it a number of decades later at the movie theater when I was just old enough to go to a movie, perhaps in the late 1960s.

Most of us know the story line of this now classic movie that was based on a tale by the Brothers Grimm. It follows the adventures and misadventures of young woman named Snow White who is mistreated by her stepmother. She escapes and winds up living with the seven wonderful dwarfs that we know and love, namely Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy and Doc. Of course, in true Disney form, we all know that Snow White is eventually rescued by a handsome prince.

SPECIAL HONORARY ACADEMY AWARD


Even initially, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was considered a critical and a commercial success for Walt Disney Productions and the movie at one point held the record for highest grossing movie with sound when it earned eight million dollars at the box office. Quite fittingly, I think, child actor Shirley Temple presented Walt Disney with an honorary Oscar for the movie in 1938. I should perhaps say with a series of Oscars since the design of this particular Oscar was truly unique consisting of one normal-sized Oscar and seven smaller ones mounted on an attractive platform.

REPRODUCTION MOVIE POSTER


If you simply want a representation of the movie, I do like the idea of a reproduction movie poster. The poster shown on this page is a reproduction available on Amazon and measures approximately 11 inches by 17 inches or 28 cms by 44 cms. Because it is new, it has naturally never been hung so it has no tape marks and no pin marks. You can find it affordably prized on Amazon by following this link.

VINTAGE MOVIE POSTERS


You can occasionally find an interesting vintage Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie poster on eBay by following this link. If it is a true vintage poster you are after, you will have to shop carefully to avoid reproductions. However, the hunt might well be worth it. I think that some of those old pieces are very attractive.

I believe that a Snow White poster would be a great addition to any movie- or Disney-themed room and, of course, it would really suit any little girl’s bedroom or even a baby girl’s nursery.

Would it be a new or vintage movie poster for you and where would you display it?

See you
at the movies!
Brenda
Movie Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy your Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie poster on Amazon.
Read about Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Read my Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Movie Review.




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Monday, May 4, 2020

Reviewing the Lifetime Folding Utility 4' Table

I cannot believe I am this excited about a folding commercial utility table purchase. But I am! The Lifetime table is extremely durable, adjustable to three different heights, and is a convenient length. And it has just made my life easier.
Lifetime adjustable folding 4' table

Lifetime 80160 Commercial Height Adjustable Folding Utility Table


This table top is made of an extremely durable high-density polyethylene. These table tops last for years without breaking or cracking. I know because our conference tables at work are made of the same material (and I've knocked one over while trying to put it away but didn't cause any damage).

The legs are adjustable, easily moving between children's table height, adult table height, and countertop height. 

When set up, the legs are strong and lock into place. The feet of the table hold the table in place - even on carpet. 

This 4' long table is the perfect size for my current needs. I am using it as a temporary desk.

During this sudden and expected work-from-home situation, I was struggling with working comfortably on my laptop for 8+ hours each day. When I write blogs, or browse the internet, I sit in a chair, on my bed, or on the floor. I get up frequently and move around. But that wasn't at all comfortable for work. I needed a desk or some suitable work space. But I have neither the room for that or the desire to buy that furniture.  

This table is a very similar size to my desk at work. I can work on my laptop with everything I need nearby.  And when I'm finished working I merely fold the table up and move it out of the way. Perfect.

I spent only $55 on this solution - which is the same price as a decent folding card table but far more sturdy.


Lifetime 4' folding table


Other possible uses for this table include:

  • seating (adult or child) for family reunions
  • all-weather resistant so it is perfect for outdoor uses such as picnics and parties.
  • extra table, desk or countertop space for small living areas (such as dorms, small apartments, mother-in-law suites, etc)
  • the smooth top is perfecting for crafting, sewing, and large crochet projects - no rough edges for snagging things. 
  • desk or table work space for children and their school work
  • perfect table for jigsaw puzzles
  • extension of counter or kitchen space for canning or other large projects
  • small buffet table or dessert table
  • workshops and garages





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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bird Feeder Station Reviewed

Feeding Birds Efficiently

Let's review an option for a bird feeder station that would be nice for anyone who loves backyard birding. I simply love all of the options to attract different species of our feathered friends!

bird feeder station
Looking at bird feeder stations
image courtesy of pixabay.com

If you are like me, you love to encourage the different varieties of birds to land in your yard. I could sit and watch them for hours. Well, truth be told, I often do! So, I've been looking at some options to replace some of the older feeders that need to be replaced. While looking for new things to place the bird seed in, I came across this bird feeder station and I think I must have one.

Six Ways To Feed On One Pole


What I love about the station that I accidentally found is that I can put 6 different feeders in one place in my yard. There are 4 hanger hooks in two different styles and can be used for feeders or other things. I particularly like the ones that fit on the top of the pole because if I choose to I can hang a couple of potted plants on those instead of a feeder for some colorful interest. The options are limitless, really. Two metal trays also come with the pole with hangers that will hold the round trays in place. One has drainage holes in it to keep the bird seed from getting too damp. The other is solid and can hold water for the birds to drink or bathe in. 

I like the idea of having one place to take the food and water instead of having to carry my bags out and then move them around to several places. The pole has a sturdy four pronged base that will allow for some good stability when I drive it into the ground. There are wing nuts that allow me to move the hooks and trays in any pattern that I want to. I just love the versatility of this pole.

This pole with its accessories should last for years to come since it is constructed from metal. It should be fairly resistant to rust. If I find after a few years pass that the paint is wearing off, I can always sweet talk my sweet hubby into painting it for me. 

Of course, that still doesn't take care of replacing those worn out feeders that I first went looking for. I will still need to find those but with the bird feeder station it allows me to look for ones that will work best with this station for my lovely little winged visitors. My daughter has recently realized how much she loves watching the birds in her backyard, this might be something for me to get her for her birthday this year. 



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Sunday, April 26, 2020

How to Color and Seal Grout in One Step - Checkout the Before and After Photos

How to Color and Seal Grout in One Step

My husband likes to keep busy. Lucky me, and that's not meant to be sarcastic!

He's always finding a task to do around the house and is an avid watcher of YouTube how-to videos.

Next thing I know, he's painting/sealing the grout in the hallway. I'll quickly review the steps he followed to get the lovely finished result featured in the photos below.

1. He Used Polyblend Grout Renew

I'm always confident that hubby will select a quality product because he's very thorough when researching choices.

This product is an all-in-one colorant and sealer. You'll want to match the color of your own grout. The sealer protects the grout from traffic, dirt, and floor washings.

He purchased several bottles and color-matched them to the color of our floor. We prefer our grout to be as close to the same color as the tiles. I suspect most people prefer that.

By having the grout and tile similar in color, the floor looks more like one flowing piece. This is especially useful if your hallway isn't very large. Darker grout lines can leave an area feeling chopped up and smaller.

Here's an actual photo of the grout he
purchased - Yep, it's available
on Amazon
2. Tools Needed For The Job

All he used was a toothbrush (or 2) and some cloths for wiping. He trimmed the toothbrush to the width needed to fit the grout gap between the tiles. The gap between the tiles in our hallway is a bit wider than most, but he still had to trim the toothbrush.

Trimming the toothbrush makes applying Grout Renew easier because it fits nicely in the gap and has less chance to overlap onto the tile.

Here's a look at the toothbrush he trimmed for the job
3. How to Apply The Grout Colorant and Sealer

This job requires you to be on your hands and knees. Unfortunately, that's not easy for some of us. Thankfully hubby doesn't have any health issues in the knee department. It was hard on his back though, so be forewarned, it may take several days to complete. Take your time, don't overdo it.

He applied the grout paint sealer directly onto the grout line and painted it into the grout using the toothbrush. It was very time-consuming.

Don't worry if a bit of grout paint gets on the tiles, as you can wipe that off as you go along or do a few floor washings after it's had a chance to set for a day.

Here's the Before and After
Photo of the Grout Work
4. The Finished Look

Check out the finished look below. Hubby completed this in the fall of 2019 and it's currently spring 2020. This grout colorant/sealer has held up nicely. The floor still looks like he just finished the job. You'll notice that this grout colorant/sealer comes in many color choices, so go crazy and do the whole house.

Grout Colored/Sealed - Finished Look
Did I just add something to your honey-do-list? Sorry :)





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Friday, April 24, 2020

Backseat Barker Dog Bed for SUV or Jeep Review

The Backseat Barker SUV Dog Bed

Dog Car Bed for Jeep & SUV - Backseat Barker Review
If Merlin had a middle name, it would be "Go"!  He never wants to be left behind.  Therefore, we sought and found a wonderful dog bed for our old jeep.

As you can see in the photo, we laid the dog bed directly on the jeep floor.  That required us to find a dog bed that was thick enough to really cushion and separate him from the hard, unforgiving surface. 

Normally the pillows on each side would lay at an angle.  In our case, we wanted the larger size bed so the pillows would stand upright on the side and give him more protection from the hard side panels of our jeep.  Merlin likes to stand up and look around even when the car is moving.  Protecting our "big dog" is always our first priority.  

When we are traveling in our SUV instead of our little Jeep, we simply move the Big Barker to the larger vehicle.  Here is a picture of Merlin on his Big Barker bed in our SUV.  As you can see, the side pillows tilt to the sides and make a great head rest for our big dog.

Backseat Barker Dog Bed
Merlin loves his Big Barker



The Backseat Barker Dog Bed for Cars, SUV, & Jeeps


There are several features about the Backseat Barker that would prompt me to recommend it for dogs.  First and foremost, the thickness of the orthopedic cushion provides a more comfortable ride for our "big dog".  
Backseat Barker Dog Bed for Jeep & SUV
I left that one side up slightly after Merlin got out, so you could easily
see the thickness of the bottom pad

The size of the bottom bed cushion is perfect for our jeep floor.  As you can see, the large 3" thick cushion goes all the way up to the back of the front seats.  Therefore, Merlin can stretch out comfortably when he wishes to lay down and still be close to us.

As I said in the introduction, I also love the side pillows!  Normally, in a larger SUV, the pillows would be slightly tilted so a pup could use them for propping his head on them.

There are several sizes of the Backseat Barker Dog Bed available.  We purchased the Extra Large (61 x 45 x 3) dog car bed so it would fit snugly in the back of our jeep, which has a smaller area in the back than an SUV.  

The cover has zippers on the bottom pad and on the pillow sections.  That allows us to remove all 3 of the foam pieces and machine wash & dry the cover when needed.  According to the manufacturers, the foam can also be washed and air-dried, but that has not been necessary for us yet.

The Backseat Barker Dog Beds come with a 10 year warranty.  We all understand the importance of a trustworthy warranty.

One note, like most orthopedic foam, the foam in the beds have a strong odor.  We let Merlins' bed foams air out for about 3 days and I washed the cover immediately.  After a few days, all was well, no more smell!










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