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

Friday, June 18, 2021

Webcam Covers that Slide Open or Closed Reviewed

Webcam Covers
I am a huge fan of webcam covers!  

For years, we have been hearing about hackers who can use your webcam to spy on you or your home & office.  Webcam covers allow us to take control of when our webcams can actually see anything.  There is no reason to leave an unwanted "eye" watching everything you do or spying on the activity, or lack thereof, in your home.  

I have webcam covers an all of my devices including my Kindle Fire & Ipad.  When I give electronic devices as gifts, I always include a webcam cover.  

Those little cameras in all of the devices are awesome when I want to take a picture with my device, or see friends & family when I talk to them. But, I don't always want them looking into my life.  

I frequently check my emails, work online, or play my video games without wearing makeup or making sure my hair is photo perfect.  I have no desire to have my "just out of the shower" image captured either.  

With a webcam cover, I decide when I am ready to be viewed.  I simply slide open the little cover to be seen, or otherwise leave it closed.  Just because webcams are built into electronic devices, doesn't mean we have to let them have constant viewing access. We are in control!


Using Webcam Covers

Webcam covers are extremely thin and do not impede your ability to open, close, or cover your laptop or electronic device. 

Upon receipt, you simply pull off the backing and adhere the open webcam cover over the lens of your webcam. You can see the webcam lens if the webcam cover is open, therefore proper placement is easier with the slider open. 

To use the slider, open the webcam "window" into your life when you desire and keep it closed when preferred. 


 

Webcam covers may well be one of the best security investments you will ever make!  Plus, they are a very inexpensive accessory that offers tremendous peace of mind.



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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

This Easy $3 Hack Prolongs Your Charging Cables' Life

Apple Lightning cables, Thunderbolt cables, and several types of USB cables remain in widespread use, despite the prevalence of Bluetooth wireless technology. You probably own multiple chargers and other types of cables to power, recharge and connect your mobile phones, digital cameras, tablets, e-readers, laptop or desktop computers, wired printers and other electronic equipment and peripherals, whether or not they are Bluetooth-enabled.

If you are frustrated by how often even expensive, top-rated phone chargers and other charging cords and cables need to be repaired or replaced, you’ll appreciate this quick, easy and inexpensive DIY hack that will strengthen and significantly prolong the life of your charging cables and data transfer cables. I’ll show you how to reinforce and extend the manufacturer’s built-in strain relief for the connectors on the ends of these cords with a small, single-use pack of Sugru moldable rubber glue and a few minutes of your time.

There's no way to predict exactly how much longer yours will last with this hack, since there are quite a few possible variables at play. However, I can say that, as someone who tends to be pretty hard on iPhone charging cables, USB cables and other cords for my various electronics and digital devices, using Sugru to strengthen my new cables before I start using them has roughly doubled the useful life of several of mine.

Apple Lightning to USB iPhone charging cables before and after reinforcing the strain relief with Sugru moldable rubber glue
It took only a few minutes and less than $3 worth of Sugru moldable rubber "glue" to reinforce and extend the strain release on this new Anker Powerline+ III Apple Lightning to USB-A charging cable.

How Many Types of Charging Cables Do You Use?

USB cables are ubiquitous home, office and mobile device staples. In addition to charging most of our electronic devices, these cords are also used to transfer files and photos from a digital camera or mobile phone to a desktop, laptop or tablet, send documents, images and other data to a regular, multifunction or 3D printer, electronic cutting machine or other device with a USB port, and to sync files, photos and other data among digital devices, either instead or as an alternative to using Bluetooth or other wireless technology options.

Most households own multiple mobile phones, tablets, computers, printers and other digital devices that require different types of USB charging cables and cords for data transfer. For example, I use both USB-A to Apple Lightning cables and USB-C to Apple Lightening cables to charge my iPhone or transfer data from my iPhone to my Windows laptop and a USB-A to USB-C cable to charge my Fire HD 10 tablet, while my husband’s old Samsung Galaxy S5 Android phone uses a Micro USB Type B to USB-A charging cable. 

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

High-quality charging cables usually have more substantial, durable and usually molded integral strain relief than cheap ones. However, even on better quality USB charging cords from top brands such as Anker, if care isn’t taken to avoid undue tension or torsion at the connector ends, the strain relief may not be sufficient to prevent a wire in a shielded cable from breaking or stop the insulation, shield and jacket layers that surround those wires from splitting, fraying or separating from the connectors.

Using Sugru moldable glue to repair charging cords when the outer layers fray or split has long been a popular hack. While encasing the cable ends and connectors with this durable, air-cured rubber putty can sometimes extend the lifespan of a cable with relatively minor surface damage, such as a frayed cord or a small tear in the insulation, it can’t fix one that has stopped working because of a loose or broken wire. So, instead of waiting until one of these issues develops and having to attempt a DIY repair or pay a repair service more money to fix the broken cord or charger than it would cost to buy a new one, I highly recommend taking a more proactive approach by using Sugru to reinforce the strain relief the manufacturer has added to a new cable as soon as you remove it from the packaging. It's simple, inexpensive precaution that can significantly extend or even double a laptop, tablet or phone charger's useful life.

At the time of this post’s publication, you can order a 3-pack of Sugru moldable glue on Amazon for $7.99 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members. That equates to $2.66 for each single-use pack, which contains the perfect amount of Sugru for this quick and easy DIY project. So, for less than $3 each, you can beef up the strain relief to prolong the life of your new or lightly used charging cables. 

Since there are so many ingenious and useful Sugru hacks that use this strong, adhesive, self-hardening rubber putty, you may want to order the more economical Sugru moldable multi-use glue 8-pack, available on Amazon for $16.99 with free Prime shipping as write this, which brings down the cost of each pack to just $2.12 per (or even less with the current $3 off coupon).

Another consideration: One single-use pack of Sugru is enough to reinforce two cord ends. I prefer to reinforce both ends of my charging cables, so I use one pack for each cable. However, many people reinforce only one end of each cord, and if that's your preference, you can strengthen the strain relief on two chargers with each single-use pack, 

Note: If you aren’t a Prime member already, I highly recommend taking advantage of the Amazon Prime 30-day free trial. You can take a month to explore and enjoy the wide range of valuable benefits of being an Amazon Prime member—plenty of time to decide whether or not the annual membership fee would be worth it for you and your family.

Sugru: Use It or Lose It

Sugru begins to cure and morph from a soft putty to a hard rubber as soon as it is exposed to air. So, the minute you tear open one of the foil pouches, the clock starts ticking. According to the manufacturer's website, "Once you open your single-use pack, the moisture in the air will trigger the setting process giving you 30 minutes to fix, bond and create before Sugru begins to harden." So, it's important to work quickly so you will have enough time to complete and refine your project within that 30-minute window. [Source]

Since the company has not found yet found a way to extend Sugru's working time once it is exposed to air, make sure you have everything set out and ready to go before you open that airtight, sealed foil pouch. And, if you only need part of the packet's contents for your project—for example, if you only want to reinforce one end of a charging cable—try to plan another project (or two) to use up the remainder of the Sugru during that 30-minute "open time" so none of it goes to waste. 

Even unopened Sugru has a limited shelf life and an expiration date that is marked on the packaging. However, the good news is that Sugru was reformulated last fall and one of the new formula's improvements is that you can increase the product's shelf life as much as three times by storing the single-use pouches in the refrigerator from the time you bring them home until you're ready to use them.

How to Strengthen Your Charging Cables to Prolong Their Useful Life

Follow these simple, step-by-step instructions for reinforcing and extending the manufacturer's existing strain relief collar or band with this easy $3 charging cable Sugru hack.

What You'll Need

Note: Teflon is one of the few materials that Sugru won't stick to before it cures. Even if you prefer not to cook or bake with it, this nonstick sheet can be extremely useful for crafting and DIY projects. Unfortunately, I couldn't find mine recently when I was photographing this DIY tutorial, so I tried substituting a sheet of wax paper to protect the cutting board I used as my portable work surface. The Sugru glue did stick to the wax paper somewhat, so I don't recommend it. If you don't have (or don't want to buy) a piece of nonstick sheet for crafting and DIY, I suggest trying plastic wrap aka cling film, which might work better.

Materials and supplies needed: charging cable, Sugru moldable glue, optional container of soapy water

Step 1: Set Up Your Workspace With Everything You Will Need Before You Open the Pack of Sugru.

The second the Sugru inside a sealed foil pouch is exposed to air, the clock starts ticking on the 30-minute window of working time before the rubber putty starts to cure. So, it's a good idea to get as much set up as you can to maximize that limited window of opportunity, before the countdown begins.

  • Clear off a flat workspace and cover it with the nonstick sheet.
  • Remove the charging cord (or cords) from its packaging, loosen the hook-and-loop fastener cable tie just enough to pull out the connector end(s) you will be reinforcing for easy access, then re-tighten the cable tie.
  • Fill a small container with lukewarm soapy water, if using.
  • Set a countdown timer or app for 30 minutes, or put your watch. clock, or mobile phone clock where you can see them.
  • Pull out a single-use pack of Sugru moldable glue in the color of your choice, which can match, complement or contrast with the color of the charging cord.
    • For this tutorial, I chose a pack of black Sugru to make it easy to distinguish between the original strain relief collar band of the red Anker Powerline+ III Lightning to USB-A charging cable and the new, longer and thicker Sugru molded rubber reinforcement I added.

When everything is set up and ready to go, start the countdown timer (or make note of the time) and cut or tear open the sealed foil pouch of Sugru. It's show time!

Step 2: Remove the Sugru and Divide It in Half.

Lightly roll each half into a ball and then into a log or sausage shape long enough to cover and extend past the charging cable's strain relief collar or band, as shown. 

Step 3: Taper, Flatten, Wrap and Shape a Sugru Log Around One End of the Charging Cord.

Taper one of the Sugru logs slightly, then gently flatten it with your fingertips until it's just wide enough to wrap around one end of the cable. Align the wider end of the tapered, flattened Sugru log so it overlaps the bottom edge of the connector or plug cover slightly. Then, wrap the edges of the Sugru around the cord, lightly pressing and stroking the soft rubber putty so it conforms smoothly, evenly and snugly and tapers gradually as it extends past the strain relief band and onto the outer cord covering.

When you are happy with the shape of your molded rubber strain relief reinforcement, stroke the surface lightly with a fingertip to smooth out any bumps, seams or uneven edges. 

Red Anker Powerline+ III Lightning to USB A Charging/Sync Cable strengthened with black Sugru moldable rubber glue DIY strain relief reinforcements

If you want to further refine the appearance of your Sugru-enhanced cable strain relief, you can dip your finger into some soapy water for the final smoothing, which will allow your fingertip to glide over the surface of the soft, sticky Sugru rubber to smooth away any fingerprints, lumps, bumps, or unevenness. 

You can see how much smoother and more refined the black Sugru wraps are on this Anker Powerline+ III Lightning to USB-A iPhone charging cable compared to the slightly lumpier, less evenly shaped red Sugru wraps on the Amazon Basics Nylon USB-A to Lightning Cable Cord, MFi Certified Charger for Apple iPhone in the next photo, which I formed without the benefit of any soapy water lubricant. The red Sugru strain relief hack looks fine, too, just a bit less "finished." 

Red Amazon Basics USB-A to Lightning Cable Apple iPhone Charger, with ends and connectors reinforced with rubber Sugru moldable glue

Just make sure to keep and eye on the countdown clock, so you can leave enough time to reinforce, shape and smooth the other end of the charging cord (or a second charging cable) before the Sugru starts to cure and becomes harder to form and refine.

Step 4: Repeat With the Remaining Sugru.

Repeat step 3, using the second log of Sugru to reinforce the other end of the same cable or another charging cord.

Tip: If you are reinforcing both ends of the same cord, be careful not to let the first newly-reinforced cord end bump into anything accidentally while you are working on strengthening the strain relief on the other end, since the Sugru will still be soft and easily marred. One big advantage of working on a PTFE/Teflon sheet is that you can lay the first Sugru-covered end flat on the nonstick sheet, where it can remain undisturbed (if you're careful not to jostle it) as you form the remaining rubber putty around the other end of the cable.

Step 5: Allow the Sugru Rubber-Reinforced Charging Cable(s) to Cure, Undisturbed, For 12 to 24 Hours.

If you can arrange the cord(s) so that the reinforced ends lay flat against the nonstick sheet-covered work surface, that's probably the easiest option.

Alternatively, you may be able to hang the cable over a wall hook, shower curtain rod, towel rack, or even a doorknob, as I did, as long as the still-soft Sugru cord ends don't touch anything, including each other until the next day. 

By the following day, the moldable rubber will be fully cured, providing much more robust cord strain relief and helping to prolong the lifespan of the many types of phone chargers and other charging cables that power and connect the devices you rely on for information, education, communication, entertainment, work and play.


This Easy $3 Hack Prolongs Your Charging Cables' Life by Margaret Schindel


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Monday, June 14, 2021

Tourna Mini Pickleball Caddy Reviewed

New to pickleball? Thinking of learning the sport? Or have you taken a few lessons and now it is time to practice! The Tourna Mini Pickleball Caddy is here to make learning the sport of pickleball easier, quicker and just more enjoyable.


Learning a new sport can be frustrating and the old adage that practice makes perfect definitely applies. As my friends and I are learning pickleball this little caddy has become a very useful tool and worth the assembly effort (see below on assembly!) But wait, what is pickleball? 

The Popularity Of Pickleball

The sport is over 50 years old, but has taken off in growth in recent years. The Sports & Industry Fitness Association (SIFA) reports a 21.3% increase in participation for 2020.

A mix between tennis, badminton, ping pong is a general description on a court which resembles a tennis court but is much smaller. The paddle does not have strings like a tennis racquet and is closer to a ping pong paddle in size. Take a peek at the video below for a quick overview of the sport.


If pickleball has gained your attention as a sport you'd like to learn then a pickleball caddy will make your journey just a little quicker and a little easier! The Tourna pickleball caddy is a great purchase for a beginner, but does have its' assembly challenges.

Assembly Challenges

It was a challenge to assemble the Pickleball Caddy! The reviews for this product were correct so you are forewarned. I had read the customer reviews which stated:

1. The directions were very poor. Correct!

2. It was difficult and time consuming to assemble. Correct!

3. The directions stated a 10 minute assembly and the reviewers absolutely disagreed. Correct!

4. Once the caddy is assembled, the product works great. Correct!

5. Even though the product was very frustrating to assemble, no regrets on the purchase. Correct!

The caddy arrives in pieces in a flat box. Keep the box! the directions are very poor (even for the most handy), but the photos of the assembled caddy on the box are helpful to assist with visualizing your goal of a completed caddy.



Patience and perseverance are handy when attempting to assemble the caddy.

Practical Pickleball Caddy

The mini caddy holds about 20 outdoor balls or 24 indoor balls. Favorite outdoor ball is the Onyx for crisp and responsive pickleball play.

Once assembled this caddy is very easy to use and very useful for a beginner player. The caddy works like a traditional tennis hopper. The balls are collected by placing the hopper over the ball (or 2 balls) and pressing down on the hopper with a slight pressure so the balls will enter the caddy.

The caddy can then be flipped to stand upright on the court for a waist high basket of pickleballs for easy practicing. Beginner pickleball players can spend a significant time gathering the practice balls and this caddy speeds up the process and saves the back from constantly bending over to pick up practice balls.

The mini caddy is slim and a space saver. It is light weight and can be easily stored in the trunk or interior of the car. 

Recommendation

Despite the challenging assembly - once the caddy is assembled- the reviews are very positive for a practical caddy and an affordable price point. If you are learning the game or just like to practice with a basket of balls the caddy is a recommended purchase.






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Friday, June 11, 2021

Lasko Portable Electric 42" Oscillating Tower Fan Review

Lasko Fan Review
Several years ago, my husband brought home a Lasko portable electric fan. I didn't think much about it at the time since he purchased it for the garage so he could use it when working on our cars.  However, when I got my recumbent exercise bike, I found that I needed a fan during my workout time.  I saw no reason to chill down the whole house just so I could stay cool while exercising. I stealthily ventured to the garage and "borrowed" his tower fan.  Man, that fan is awesome!

Since then, we have purchased 2 more Lasko tower fans so he has one back in his garage, I have one sitting next to my recumbent exercise bike, and our son has one in his bedroom.

Because it is a 42" tower fan, I don't have to get off the exercise bike to turn it on halfway through my workout when I start to get hot. It sits right next to my bike so I simply reach over and hit the button. Since it oscillates, there isn't a constant flow of cold air on one spot either.  However, oscillation is optional if you don't want it to move.

It is also tall enough to really make a difference beside a bed.  The fan is cooling you, not under the bed or the bed sheets.  The same is true if you are sitting in a recliner.

The Lasko tower fans come with a remote control that the guys use when working in the garage, in bed, or sitting in their recliners. The remote control makes it very convenient to turn on without getting up.

If you know you only want it on for a limited amount of time, like until you go to sleep, there is a built in timer that can be used to shut it off in 30 minutes, or up to 7½ hours.

It is lightweight enough that it is easy to move using the built-in grip handle on the back, which is how I was able to sneak it from the garage without being heard.

My favorite feature of this fan is how quiet it is. Of course, I can hear it, but it is nowhere near as loud as the old round small fan in our attic.


Features of the Lasko Portable Electric 42" Oscillating Tower Fan

I already mentioned the height and how quiet the fan is, but I have yet to mention how slender it is.  The base of the unit is only 13"!  That allows the fan to easily fit in narrow space, even a hallway without taking up much room.  That is very important, especially in a small room, or if you don't want it to detract too much from your lovely decor.

 Lasko Portable Electric 42 inch Tower FanCheck PriceHere is a recap of all of the features:

  • Tall - 42 inches
  • Narrow - Base (the largest section) is only 13"
  • Multiple Speeds
  • Optional Oscillation
  • Timer Option
  • Quiet Fan
  • Lightweight - Easy to move
  • Inexpensive


A fan is a necessity in most homes from time to time.  I've even needed one in my kitchen when I am cooking for extended periods of time, especially if both ovens are on.  As I said earlier, I see no reason to chill down the whole house when only one room, or area, needs to be cooler.

If you need a fan, I highly recommend the Lasko tower fan!





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Friday, June 4, 2021

Durable Insulated Lunch Box Tote - Reusable Cooler Bag Reviewed

Several year ago, I purchased this insulated lunch tote for our son. Even after much use, it still looks new and keeps his water cold!

As we approach the hot days of summer, I am reminded of why I selected this particular lunch tote for our son.  He needed an insulated bag for his bottled water which sustains him throughout his work day.  

Because several bottles of water can be heavy, I wanted a durable tote with a sturdy zipper.  This lunch box tote certainly meets, and exceeds, those basic standards. 

Since it easy holds 3 large (24 oz) bottles of Propel water, I am certain it would hold almost any regular lunch someone wished to carry.  Most importantly, with the thin reusable ice packs I purchased separately, his water stays cold all day.

I selected the black lunch bag for him, but the lunch tote comes in several colors. I especially like the midnight blue, which looks a lot like denim.

 

Features of The Upper Order Durable Insulated Lunch Box 

As I mentioned above, the zipper is very sturdy and the tote is insulated, but there are several other features to love about this lunch tote bag.  

 Upper Order Durable Insulated Lunch Box Tote
Reusable Cooler Bag
Check Price
  • Insulated
  • Strong, Durable Fabric
  • Strong, Durable Zipper
  • Sturdy, but Fabric is Flexible to Accommodate Bulky Containers
  • Inside Wipes Clean 
  • Outside Wipes Clean of Dust & light dirt/debris
  • Inside Pocket
  • Outside Pocket
  • Carry Handle
  • Detachable Shoulder Strap 
  • Slim Design - 11" x 10" x 3.6"
  • Professional Appearance
  • Inexpensive  

This lunch box tote can easily slip behind his drivers seat (which is pushed back for longer legs) to sit on the floor board for easy access getting in or out of the car.   

 

Would I buy this insulated lunch box tote again? Absolutely!


Recommended Ice Packs

I purchased a pack of thin ice packs.  Only one is required at a time, therefore 3 are left in the freezer for future use.  We simply alternate them each day.




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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Reviewing Restoring A Metal Garden Swing Seat

 


We bought a metal garden swing seat recently for a good price as it needed some work and the shop needed the space. 

The swing is all metal and would have originally been painted black. It is very sturdy and quite heavy. It took two strong guys to carry it into our garden. 

My husband and I love this garden seat and like a bit of a challenge, so we embarked on revamping it. 

I always think if the bones are good then most things can be restored to look beautiful and useful again. 


Original State Of the Garden Swing Seat


From the minute it arrived in our garden albeit quite rusty and certainly neglected and in need of serious tender loving care,  we loved it and it felt like it had been there forever. I love the details of the leaves and flowers and the general shape of the seat.

It is super comfortable as well. The swing has a lovely action and it feels so relaxing to sit on it and gently rock back and forth. It belonged in our garden and we love it! 


Preparation Work For Restoring The Garden Swing. Using Wire Wool Brushes. 

They say that preparation is the most important part of any project and it is important to take your time doing this part. 

While I love to get to the exciting part of making it beautiful, I am happy to accept that this preparation element needs to be given care. 

First, we used wire wool brushes to get rid of any flaking rusty parts. Quite a lot of old rust and flaking damaged parts fell off at this stage! 

We chose quite slim brushes as there were many nooks and crannies to get into that a larger brush would not have been able to reach.

This part of the work was quite hard slow going as it is important to get rid of all the loose sections and make sure it was as clean as possible. 

I am very glad we chose to use brushes with long handles instead of steel wool bundles to hold by hand, as it would have been hard on our hands. Using the brushes our hands were protected and the brushes did a great job.  


 

Then we wiped down the whole seat with an antibacterial spray to clean it all up and remove any dust particles. We repeated this again before painting.

We initially thought we might have to get in a welder to mend some of the worst parts, especially on this armrest section, but wanted to try out epoxy resin first to see if that would work. 


Damage On The Garden Swing Seat


Repairing The Damaged Metal Sections

The next step was to use epoxy resin sticks to repair some of the damaged areas. Using this is quite easy. Do wear gloves as your skin may react to the epoxy resin. 

You simply cut the wrapping and the tube and I took a small piece and rolled it up in my gloved hands until the two parts were mixed evenly then simply applied it to the metal gap I needed covering.

It reminded me of using plasticine as a child. However, it is advisable to wear gloves when handling epoxy resin and of course, keep away from children and pets. 


Epoxy Resin Use On The Garden Swing Seat


I found you do need to work fairly quickly as it does dry in about 10 minutes. So best to only take what you need from the tube. I would keep any unused in a sealed container to help prevent it from drying out.  

I then smoothed it down and allowed it to dry. It took only about an hour before it was cured but we left it overnight before painting.

I thought I would need to sand it down but actually, on this type of item, it looked just fine as it was. I had taken care to smooth it out as much as possible when applying through. On some projects, you would need to sand down first. 

This type of epoxy resin can be drilled and sanded. It can even be used underwater and is waterproof rather than just water-resistant. We wanted this level of protection as this garden swing seat is too heavy to move around a lot so will be out in all weather. 

We were very pleased with the result. Even on the worst damaged sections of the armrest, the resin had set well and firm and the damaged sections were stable again.


Painting The Garden Swing Seat With Hammerite Paint. 

Once the epoxy resin was set hard we decided to paint the whole swing seat black with Hammerite Direct To Rust Paint.

This paint says it gives up to 8 years of rust protection and can be painted directly onto rust, though I still think sanding down and filling any damaged sections is advisable. I do think that with an outdoor seat like this we will repaint every couple of years to keep it looking good.

It is a great paint for a quick job as it is a primer, undercoat and topcoat all in one. This is very useful for outdoor painting when you are trying to paint when it is not raining for a while! 

You must keep it away from any aquatic life as it could be very harmful to them. Please wear gloves when handling and painting as it can provoke an allergic reaction and it is flammable so be careful where you leave it. 

It is important to keep Hammerite Paint away from children and pets. We even stayed out in the garden to make sure none of the local wildlife went near it until dry! 

Hammerite do many different colours, including gold, copper, white and green but as I eventually want to grow plants and climbers all around this seat we decided on a simple black so that the flowers and greenery will show up against it. I also think that this white would also have looked very stylish.



We have not used Hammerite paint before but we were very happy with the way it went on. It was about the right consistency. It did drip a little if we had too much paint on the brush so we learned to carefully wipe off the excess on the tin then paint.

We found it worked well on the larger sections of the A-frame and the broader metal lengths. It was also quite easy to use on the quite intricate leaves, stems and flowers as long as we did not load the brush up too much.


Beautiful Painted Leaves And Flowers


The Hammerite paint dried to a smooth sheen. It is a slightly glossy look which is what we wanted, rather than the rougher hammered finish of the original Hammerite paint. The finish is of course completely down to personal preference. 

Here is the garden swing seat when we had just painted the main A-frame but not yet painted the seat. 

You can see the difference once painted it looks significantly smarter, the rust is no longer visible and the metal is more protected from the elements. 


A-Frame Hammerite Painted Garden Swing Seat

 

I would advise using an old paintbrush that you are happy to throw away afterward as getting Hammerite out of a brush is a difficult task! 

Normally I am not an advocate of throwing things away but in this case, weighing it up, I feel that using the necessary non-environmentally friendly cleaner is probably worse than throwing away the brush. 

The brushes were certainly a mess after use and I think it would have taken a lot of work and product to get them clean enough to use on any other project. 

So we got off the worst of the paint then wrapped the brush in newspaper and took it to the skip for safe disposal. 


The Finished Restoration Of The Garden Swing Seat!

So was it worth all the work? Well, I would say yes absolutely!

We do not mind the work and got quite a lot of satisfaction from restoring a decaying piece of garden furniture into a once again beautiful and useful garden swing.

 After one coat of Hammerite paint we have achieved a good finish. We will do another coat of paint at some point but it has rained part of every day since so it can wait a while. 

Here is the finished product! 

 

Finished Renovation Of Garden Swing Seat 


It may well have been easier to simply buy a brand new garden swing seat. However, that would have cost us hundreds more. 

This way we have learned new skills, saved a lovely garden seat and now we have a beautiful piece we love sitting on with a nice cup of coffee and are very proud to have in our garden. 

The next stage is to choose suitable plants to position around the garden swing and to beautify it further with plants. 

Then I need to make some cushions for the seat. Now I am not all that handy with sewing. However, once we replace our mattress and memory foam topper, I feel I can cut the old one to size and use it as a garden seat cushion with a simple removable cushion cover. 


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Saturday, May 29, 2021

How Bed Socks Can Equal a Happy Marriage!

 Today I want to review bed socks because they really can help keep a marriage happy!  If your partner has cold feet, keep reading.


Reviewing bedsocks and how they can save your marriage
Original photo, Pixabay.com adapted by Lou16

May is my birthday month and after giving me a cow onesie last birthday, my husband went for something that would be a gift for both of us - bedsocks!

I imagine that there could be nothing worse than encountering a couple of blocks of ice when you're snuggled up in bed, but pushing your partner away probably isn't great for your marriage either, so - bedsocks!

I have always had cold feet, but as newlyweds, my husband acted as my human hot water bottle and would warm them up for me.   As he's gotten older he feels the cold more and if I rest my feet on the back of his calves to warm them up, I don't get a great reaction!

I will be honest, I didn't appreciate losing my little feet warmer which is why I recommend adding bedsocks to the marriage if you're in a similar situation.   No hurt feelings and no freezing feet to move away from, they really are a win/win item.

Socks are great and we've written a number of different reviews on this site about them - sock reviews - however, don't think that you can just wear a pair of socks to bed, that is not the same as bedsocks!   Bedsocks should be soft and, in my opinion, they should be fluffy.   All of the bedsocks I have owned have been very fluffy.

A bonus as you get older are the bedsocks with grips on the bottom - I really should be wearing these as I walk around the house in my bedsocks, but my husband always goes for the ones that feel nice and soft and did I say fluffy!

I think cold feet must be genetic because I can remember as a teenager my dad buying my mum a couple of pairs of bedsocks for Christmas one year.  I remember because he wrote a poem to go with them which I thought was really romantic (but I'd never have admitted that as I was a teenager!).   It was no prize-winning poem but a' roses are red' type of poem.   I think it went something like this:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Your feet are cold

So these are for you

Now I didn't get a poem from my husband, in fact I did tell someone 'hang on romance must be dead as I got flowers from my mum, jewelry from my daughter and socks from my husband!'  They knew I was joking as the socks were really appreciated, I just wish he could've found some that looked like hoofs to go with the cow onesie, but apparently, he couldn't find any like that.   On a side note, I HAVE discovered some (although they're not bedsocks) so if you would like hoof socks check these out!  I'm thinking about getting some - if I do I'll definitely review them for you and even photograph them with my cow onesie just so you can really appreciate them!

Now, who's going to admit to having cold feet?   You know they say cold feet mean a warm heart (or is that cold hands?).




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Friday, May 28, 2021

Kandio Non Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer Reviewed

No Touch Thermometer
At the beginning of the pandemic, I realized I didn't have a very good thermometer in my home.  All of our existing thermometers were decades old and took temperature in the ear or mouth.  Because we were warned about how easy it was for the virus to spread, I decided we needed a no touch thermometer.

I promptly went to Amazon and bought a no contact infrared thermometer.  After waiting weeks for it to be delivered, it didn't work at all upon arrival.  I returned that one and ordered another one that was available.  

Again, I had to wait weeks.  Upon arrival, the second thermometer would turn on, but it definitely did not show correct temperatures.  Not only were the readings way too low, but they were inconsistent.  I returned that thermometer too.  What seemed apparent to me was that there was a lot of trash being sold on the market and the sellers were price gouging.  

Both of those thermometers exceeded $100 price tag, but I really wanted, actually felt we needed, a no touch thermometer.  I was quite frustrated and had no idea how I could get a working non contact sensor thermometer.  Frankly, I was wary of ordering another one so I ordered from a different site.  Same results!

After 3 unsatisfactory orders, I gave up on buying the thermometer online.  I had expressed my frustration to my husband and clearly he was listening because one day he came home with the Kandio No Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer and it works!!!  

He purchased ours at our local independent pharmacy.  It was in the window when he drove by.  He spotted it and promptly bought one for our household.  Pretty awesome and greatly appreciated!

Before writing this review, I checked the major online sites and couldn't find anyone carrying the Kandio thermometer, but I do see there are sellers on Ebay carrying them.

My recommendation, don't waste your money and time on others!  Seek out the Kandio Non Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer.


The Kandio Non Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer

Below is the information on the thermometer that my husband bought for us. Along with the model number, I am sharing what we paid for ours so you know if you are getting a fair price or not.

No Touch Thermometer
Model: GDTWQ36 

Our Kandio thermometer cost: $59.99

Temperature is taken by aiming the thermometer at the forehead (1 - 2 inches away) and squeezing the trigger button on the handle.  Therefore, the thermometer never touches the "patient" and you can easily stand an arms length away.

  • Fast, accurate reading in 1 second
  • Large, easy to read display screen
  • Back-lit display (you don't have to disturb patients rest)
  • Beeps when temperate is taken
  • Auto Shut-off after 1 minute
  • 2 AAA batteries required
 
This has been the only reliable no contact thermometer that I have found available.  How about you?  Have you found a reliable no touch/non contact thermometer?  If so, please share the thermometer product information in the comments below.  We want everyone to be able to check and monitor their own temperature accurately.

Stay Safe & Healthy!
 

No Contact Thermometer on Ebay


 




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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Review of Shark VacMop

 

Shark A1 Robot  VACMOP
After a month with our new dog, Dixie, I knew I needed another solution for keeping our floors free of dog hair and paw prints.  We have had a robot vaccum for several years and I really liked how it worked, however it was getting older and even though we had replaced the battery, it just couldn't handle the whole house without several recharging sessions.  Also, after two very rainy days, I saw that paw prints were also going to be a problem and the vacuum just didn't solve that problem.  I had seen the new robots that had both vacuum and mop features and I was intrigued.

Checking out the Features of the new Vacuum/Mops

There are many new vacuum and mop robots on the market and I found I had to read everything carefully to find one with the features that would work best for our house.  I didn't know much about them when I started out , but I did know I wanted one that both mopped and vacuumed at the same time. That feature alone eliminated several of the models who did one or the other, or that you had to change trays to switch from vacuuming to mopping.  I didn't want that.

I also found that several of the new models were wifi connected and would do a lot using my smart phone.  I even found a few that would work with Alexa or the Google Assistant.

I also wanted one that would really pick up the pet hair and one that would be easy to clean.

Features of the Shark AI Robot VACMOP(TM)

After my research and then checking out the sales, I decided on a Shark Robot. The ads said it was perfect for pet hair, had advanced navigation and a self cleaning brush roll.   Here are the features that helped me make my decision.
   1.  VacMop mode vacuums and mops at the
         same time.
   2.   Vac Mode has several speeds of suction, 
          allowing it to efficiently pick up  debris
         and pet hair.                  
   3.   Row by Row cleaning that has a laser vision 
         to detect and avoid objects.
   4.   It has WiFi and works with both Alexa and 
         Google Assistant.

 

How I Like my New Robot

I love my new Shark Robot.  When I first got it, I had it do a run to map out our house.  That was really cool how it navigated the house and then I was able to pull up a little map on my Smart Phone.  I then was able to mark carpets or any other area I did not want the robot to mop.  

I have found that it does an excellent job keeping my floors clean and free of pet hair.  I could choose to have it go at a scheduled time, but since we are always home I just tell Alexa when I want it to run.

I have found it easy to clean after using.  I just empty the dust pan and shake out the filter.  I will want to wash the filter once a month.

I am very pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend this brand and model.

                                                               



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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Wonderful Tools to Help You Age Gracefully-A Product Review

Aging is not for the Faint of Heart, but it's better than the alternative! 



This is a quote that many older folks often say and as I'm getting older I would have to agree with them.  There are so many things to be thankful for when we reach that "Golden Age"!   But (and now comes the truth), there are also many things that start to go wrong! Things that we never noticed in our youth.  Like the effects of arthritis on our joints especially hips and knees, fingers and such.

My other half and I look after two more elderly than us, relatives.  My uncle turns 91 today and my mother turns 90 in August!  While we "look after" them, they are still both in good health (relatively speaking) and only require help with shopping, doctors appointments and such.  So we are blessed that they both still have their wits about them.

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One thing that they both complain about is getting up and down.  Stairs and getting up off of the couch or chair causes them both some measure of discomfort.  They are both showing signs of age related arthritis that can be very painful at times.  That seems to be their most difficult and constant complaint.  They can't get up as easily as they used to!

So we started to look for things that would raise their chairs and couches up a little bit more so that they didn't have to work so hard to get up.  What we found were several options that were affordable, easy to install and provided that extra lift!


Buying new furniture was not an option for either of them or we might have suggested that!

Now my uncle is tall (over 6 ft.) and my mother isn't a shorty either, so we decided to go with something that would give them enough of a lift so that when sitting their knees were at 90 degrees to their hips. Right now, without these risers, their "bottoms" are lower than their knees, making it hard to rise up out of the chair or couch. 

Medical equipment specialists, have chairs that will electronically almost stand a person out of the chair when activated, but that was over doing it where my family was concerned and they are very pricey ($400+).  

Furniture risers seemed to be a great answer and we decided to try it ourselves first because I have very bad arthritis in my knees and was having the same problems that they were having.  We ordered and installed the "iPrimio Furniture Risers" and it could not have been easier.  Simply lift each leg and slide the riser under the foot of the couch and place it back down again.  No holes to drill, no marking up the floors, no slipping either as they have a rubber foot that doesn't slide.  Within minutes our couch was 3 inches higher than it was before.  

reviewthisreviews.com These are the risers that we have installed on our couch.

Added bonus is that now it is even easier to vacuum under the couch.  With that extra bit of space underneath, the vacuum head easily reaches under the couch!  

You can see in the ad, that there are also risers for bed frames too.  No need to buy a whole new bed assembly, just lift and install the risers and I know you will hear words of thanks coming from your loved ones.  

Bathrooms are also problematic.  Just recently toilets are being  made to what is called a "comfort height".  If they live in their own homes you could hire a plumber to install one of these but again be prepared for a cost that is not average.  A regular standard height toilet will cost  about $150. dollars without installation.  You can get regular height toilets that can cost much more for "decorator styles".  Comfort height toilets will start at $270. plus!  Again that is just for the toilet, installation will cost extra. 

But, when getting up and down is a real effort or causes pain, then you have options that can help your loved ones live life easier with just a few modifications. Safety and comfort for our aging population are important as we try to keep them as independent as possible.

I hope that my experiences with these really easy additions might help you with whatever joint related issues you or one of your loved ones might be having.  

The risers are wonderful and you would never guess that they were added after the fact!  Everyone who comes to our house enjoys sitting on the chairs and couch, not realizing that the extra height makes it so much more comfortable.  Rising from them is no longer a pain in the knees or anywhere else.











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