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

Monday, December 5, 2022

Reviewing Popover Recipes - Easy and Delicious Baked Treats

Once I was served warm popovers at a brunch I was obsessed. I had to have more. I had to be able to bake my own. These small baked treats are great with soups, stews, quiches, roasts, and so much more. They are surprisingly easy to throw together and throw into the oven. And they only require 6 ingredients: flour, eggs, salt, butter, milk, and eggs. There is a good chance you've heard of popovers. But just in case you haven't I want to make sure to spread the word.

photo: Fox Run Popover Pan

Earlier this year I was invited to a neighbors home for brunch. She served quiche and popovers. I had no idea what popovers were and when she shared what was on the menu I had a brief thought of "did she say PopTarts?".  It turns out that she did not say PopTarts. She was serving the most delicious quiche with these funny-looking biscuits called popovers. 

It is easiest for me to say that popovers are biscuits. They can be served in place of biscuits with breakfasts, roasts, soups, and stews. But for some reason, I want to call them a pastry. I don't know if baking experts would call them a pastry. But they are crispy on the outside while light and flaky on the inside. In fact, if you bake them on the shorter end of the recommended time, they are a bit like custard on the inside. 

The 6 Popover Ingredients

Popover recipes are all over the internet. They are basically equal (or almost equal) amounts of flour and milk. Added to 3 - 4 eggs, 2-3 tablespoons of butter, and a pinch of salt. The recipe I use is:

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
Beat the ingredients until smooth. The batter is similar to pancake batter. You may think you've made a mistake and added too many wet ingredients. You haven't.

Martha Stewart uses 1 1/2 cup flour and 1 1/2 cup milk in her recipe. She also gives step-by-step instructions. Her recipe is here if you'd like to use that recipe. 

Popover Tips for Better Results


The same neighbor who served the popovers at the brunch also gave me a popovers pan. Popovers can be made in muffin tins but they do much better in a specific popover pan.

Spray just a small bit of cooking spray in the bottoms of the cups. 

Fill the popover pan cups only 1/2 full. They will rise and pop over the tops of the pans. If you are prone to overfill things, place the popover pan on a cookie sheet to catch any spillage. 

Hot oven. Popovers like 400 degrees or more. Some recipes call for a hotter over to begin with and lowering the temperature part way through. I don't mess with that. I do 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove the popovers from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven. 

The recipe I use makes almost 12 popovers. I tend to fill my popover cups slightly more than half. If I only filled them halfway the recipe would make 12 popovers. I also found that it makes it much easier to fill the cups using a glass measuring cup with a spout.

On the popover episode on America's Test Kitchen, they recommend bread flour and warming the milk and butter for better results.  I agree. When I remember to use bread flour and warm both the butter and milk (with the eggs at room temperature) I do have slightly better results. However, the recipe is forgiving. My neighbor sometimes uses almond milk and uses all purpose flour. I prefer whole milk and bread flour. 

Popovers are an excellent part of your daily menu and a wonderful item to serve to guests.






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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the day after is Black Friday, when many people will be taking the day off to enjoy an extra-long weekend. Despite the growing trend toward "pre-Black Friday sales," the Friday after Thanksgiving is widely considered the kickoff to the holiday gift shopping season and making plans for the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa winter holidays.

With retail stores (both online and brick-and-mortar) competing hard for your holiday shopping dollars, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the barrage of sales messages and holiday gift guides. But the best gifts, the ones that make both the giver and receiver feel warm and fuzzy, are presents that reflect your personal connection to each recipient through your knowledge of their individual likes and interests.

This holiday gift guide reviews a selection of gift ideas that are both affordable and thoughtful, tailored to the interests of special people on your list.

Thoughtful & Affordable Holiday Gifts

Holiday Gift Ideas by Interest

Whether your nearest and dearest friends and family members, teachers and other recipients on your list are fond of fashion, food, fancy fingertips or other interests, the affordable gifts in this holiday gift guide are sure to please!

For Women Who Love Luxury But Hate Cold Weather

One of the best presents I ever bought myself were a pair of VIKIDEER Long, Lined, Warm Leather Gloves for Women With Touchscreen Fingertips. They're made of soft, luxurious lambskin leather, have a warm, plush lining, are long enough to keep my arms as well as my hands toasty warm, and let me  use my mobile phone, tablet or Kindle to make a phone call, look up a bus or train schedule, call a cab, Uber or Lyft or listen to an audiobook, podcast or music without having to expose my fingers to the cold winter weather. Read my product review of these Long, Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves to learn more about why they make a much appreciated gift for women.

Long, lined, warm leather touchscreen gloves

Other cozy gift recommendations to keep her warm in the cold weather include the Warm, Oversized, Hooded Wearable Blankets recommended by Raintree Annie and the Affordable, Cozy Warm Micromink Sherpa Blanket reviewed by Barbara (a.k.a. Brite-Ideas) that keeps her family members toasty during the chilly Canadian winters. 

For Podcast, Audiobook and Music Lovers

Any audiobook or podcast lover will appreciate a Audible Premium Plus Gift Membership. A 1-month membership costs only $15 and allows the recipient to select an audiobook their choice for 1 credit and gives them access to additional listens through the Audible Plus catalog. It would make a great stocking stuffer! There are also 3-month, 6-month or 12-month gift memberships available.

Recipients with iPhones or other Apple devices can use an Apple Gift Card to buy AirPods (and other accessories) as well as subscriptions to Apple Music (as well as apps, games, movies and TV shows) in the Apple App Store.

If you want to splurge a little on someone special, a pair of comfortable, lightweight, high-quality, bone-conduction headphones makes a great gift idea. Check out my product review of The Best Bone-Conduction Bluetooth Headphones: Shokz OpenRun Pro to learn more about these awesome headphones.

Shokz Open Run Pro premium bone-conduction headphones

For Women Who Enjoy Pretty Nails

As a former nail biter with weak nails that constantly broke or split, I used to envy women who had long, strong, beautifully manicured and polished nails. It is only in recent years that I finally learned how to heal my weak, ridged nails and ragged cuticles. Now, I love showing off my new, long, healthy nails with pretty polish colors and nail art designs!

Manicure with Color Street nail polish strips

If someone on your list also enjoys having pretty, well-groomed nails (or wishes she did), check out my product reviews of The Best Manicure Tools for Strong, Healthy Nails and put together a selection in a gift basket, along with a printout of my article 14 Secrets to Growing Strong, Healthy, Beautiful Nails and a bottle or two of good quality nail polish or, better, yet, Color Street nail polish strips, which I use and recommend highly. You can order them from my fellow Review This Reviews contributor Olivia Morris and read her Color Street nail polish strips product review to learn more about them.

For Current or Aspiring Gardening Enthusiasts and Flower Lovers

My mother and my sister both got the "green thumb" genes in our family. So, while my sister grows a lot of her own vegetables and herbs (and even lemons and limes) year-around, despite our cold New England climate, the only crops I have been able to grow reliably all year long are Hamama microgreens seed quilts. Hamama Microgreens Starter Kits and Seed Quilt Refills are designed specifically for indoor growing. Just fill the grow trays with tap water up to the fill line, place the seed quilts and attached coir fiber mats on top and press to soak evenly, place them near a window or under a grow light, wait for them to sprout and grow, then harvest and eat, So easy, delicious and satisfying, especially for people like me who lack natural gardening talent or savvy! I have given them as gifts and the recipients have loved them. Learn more in my Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit and Seed Quilts Review.

HAMAMA microgreens seed quilts in grow trays

Outdoor gardening enthusiasts will definitely appreciate the gift of a high quality tool, such as bypass secateurs. Check out my savvy gardening expert Raintree Annie's review of her favorite Wolf-Garten ByPass Secateurs.

For someone with a deck, consider giving a City Pickers raised garden bed recommended by Tracey (a.k.a. The Savvy Age) along with some good quality potting soil.

Several of my fellow Review This Reviews contributors are talented nature photographers who have turned their photos into various products on Zazzle. You'll find beautiful flower-themed photo mugs, t-shirts, decorative pillows and other gifts on Mary Beth Granger's Beauty in Nature Zazzle shop and Raintree Annie's Raintree Earth Designs Zazzle shop.

For Cooking or Baking Enthusiasts

There are so many wonderful gift ideas for people who love cooking, baking or both! Two that I can recommend highly that are also very affordable include my pick for The Best Powerful, Lightweight Stick Blender With Versatile Attachments and an assortment of handy, easy-to-clean, nonstick pan friendly silicone kitchen tools

Mueller Multi-Purpose Ultra-Stick Hand Blender

If you want to give your favorite home cook a gift they would love to own but might not buy for themselves, also check out the equally versatile Ninja Foodi Grill reviewed by Sam Monaco.

And for your favorite baker, Treasures by Brenda recommends these pretty and practical pink cupcake-themed aprons and adorable, festive gingerbread man-themed aprons that would make perfect Christmas gifts.

For Coffee Lovers in a Small Household

One of the Christmas gifts my husband requested last year was a coffee maker that could make just one or two cups of really good coffee that would taste as delicious as a larger 6-, 8- or 12-cup batch (for when we had company) and could be programmed the night before to brew the next morning, so he (or we) could wake up to a freshly brewed cup of java. 

After a lot of research, I finally chose the Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12-cup Glass Carafe and it was a huge hit. Read my product review to learn why we think it's The Best Affordable Programmable Large- and Small-Batch Coffee Maker.

Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12-cup Glass Carafe

If your gift recipients are the only coffee drinkers in their household or if the want to enjoy delicious, freshly brewed coffee when they travel, check out Sylvestermouse's review of the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker.

For Regular and Herbal Tea Lovers

I and many of my friends are avid tea drinkers. While I enjoy a cuppa good Darjeeling or English Breakfast, I also love flavored teas, such as peach, apricot and blackberry. Although I never liked the grassy flavor of most green tea or chamomile, I have been exploring flavored herbal teas and discovered quite a few that I enjoy even more than traditional black teas. Flavored red rooibos teas, in particular, have become some of my new favorites. I love The Republic of Tea's Restore and Reset SuperAdapt Herbal Tea, which is organic, caffeine-free and infused with cocoa and reishi mushrooms, adaptogens (which the Cleveland Clinic describes as "plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing") that give it a delicious, slightly earthy chocolate flavor, and The Republic of Tea's Strawberry Chocolate Tea, which I have reviewed in detail (An Unusual, Delicious Strawberry Chocolate Tea With 0 Calories).

Republic of Tea Strawberry Chocolate Cuppa Chocolate Tea

To enhance your gift, consider adding the pretty and practical McIntosh Van Gogh Fine China Tea Mug with Lid & Infuser reviewed by Cynthia Sylvestermouse, a perfect gift pairing with the tea of your choice for your favorite tea lover.

For Healthy Chocolate Connoisseurs

As a chocolate connoisseur who has lost a significant amount of weight on a ketogenic diet and now follows a delicious, healthy low carb lifestyle, I have tried most of the no sugar added and sugar-free chocolate brands and products on the market. There are many great choices now, but my favorite chocolate candy bars are from The Good Chocolate and ChocZero. 

The Good Chocolate is expensive but has the best mouthfeel of any no sugar added dark chocolate I have tried (they also offer vegan milk chocolate treats). Check out my review of The Good Chocolate 100% Organic, No Sugar Dark Chocolate

The Good Chocolate organic no sugar added chocolate bars

I also love ChocZero's sugar-free keto bark, which contains no sugar alcohols. The ChocZero dark chocolate peppermint keto bark with bits of crunchy, sugar-free peppermint candy is my husband's favorite holiday candy. Both these chocolate bars are also high in fiber, which is a nice bonus.

No sugar added, low carb chocolate hazelnut spreads would also make a great stocking stuffer for a health-conscious Nutella lover. My side-by-side comparison of the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads with No Added Sugars will help you choose. 

For People Following a Keto Diet or Low Carb Lifestyle

In addition to the healthy sugar-free and no added sugar chocolate suggestions above, you'll find loads of other wonderful presents for health-conscious recipients in my Keto Gift Guide: The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas.

For Women Who Appreciate Handmade Gifts

A gift you make for someone is truly a gift from the heart. Even if you are new to making jewelry, you can quickly and successfully create a beautiful and memorable gift of handmade jewelry for a special woman on your list to cherish. Just follow my easy, step-by-step jewelry tutorial, How to Make a Stylish Beaded Coil Wrap Bracelet.

Handmade beaded coil wrap bracelet on wrist

If jewelry making isn't your thing, consider getting one of the crochet, knitting, sewing, felt, quilting or other craft kits recommended by Pat Austin (a.k.a. Wednesday Elf) that come complete with all the materials and tools you will need to complete your handmade gift projects.

If you prefer cooking to crafts, homemade baked goods are always a treat. For someone who prefers savory foods to sweets, you can buy some pretty lidded glass food storage jars and fill them with a batch of refrigerator pickled vegetables recipe using Tracey Boyer's quick and easy recipe that doesn't require canning.

If your gift recipient's household includes a beloved cat or small dog owner, you can follow this Upcycled Drawer Pet Bed Tutorial by Diana (a.k.a. Renaissance Woman) to turn an old dresser drawer into an elegant, luxurious bed for their precious pet.

For Scale Model, Jewelry Making or Hand Tool Enthusiasts

My husband is both a "tool guy" and a "car guy" who loves building scale models as a hobby and doing electonics and automotive repairs. One of the best gifts I've given him is a durable, compact tool roll that keeps his many files and other precision hand tools organized, protected and easy to find. I've been tempted to buy another for myself for my jewelry making tools. Check out my in-depth product review to find out why The Best Tool Roll Organizer To Store & Protect Your Tools makes a great gift.

DuraTech Tool Roll Organizer

Consider pairing it with a Grypmat, a handy silicone tool organizer that sticks to and protects work surfaces and comes in a variety of sizes. It's perfect for automotive repairs and other mechanical work, jewelry making and DIY projects. Learn more about it in Dawn Rae's product review of the Grypmat: the Ultimate Tool Mat.

For Women or Men With Long, Thick or Damaged Hair

Drying long or thick hair can be time-consuming unless you use a blow dryer, which can damage tresses if overused, which can lead to damage. Using blow dryers or heat styling tools, such as curling irons and hot brushes, for as short a time as possible is important to keep hair healthy and prevent additional damage to colored, processed or fragile strands.

For the person on your list who has long, thick or damaged hair, a high-quality, absorbent hair towel that glides over vulnerable, wet tresses without stretching or pulling them is a wonderful gift. I highly recommend the VOLO Hero or VOLO Hero Plus (for long, thick locks), which I've written about in my VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel Product Review.

VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel

A good "wet brush" designed to slide through tangles without pulling, stretching or breaking wet strands after a shampoo would make a great pairing or stocking stuffer. Check out my article on The Best Wet Brushes for Detangling Your Hair Without Damage in addition to the Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Hair Brush for Wet or Dry Hair, my new favorite daily brush for hair that's already damaged or fragile.

For People Who Love to Smile

I recently treated myself to a new sonic toothbrush that works as well as my previous Philips Sonicare and Oral-B brushes that cost much more. The bristles are gentle on the gums and clean very effectively, and the brush comes complete with a travel case and lots of extra brush heads, all for a remarkably low price. Unlike my previous ultrasonic toothbrushes from the big-name brands, the brush head refills are also delightfully affordable. 

Dnsly Electric Toothbrush Set

Read my product review of The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush to learn more about why this set makes a wonderful gift for yourself or a loved one with a beautiful smile.

Have You Made Your Holiday Gift List (and Checked It Twice)?

I hope this holiday gift guide helps you choose thoughtful, affordable presents that will continue to delight both you and the recipients long after the holidays are over.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love by Margaret Schindel

Read More Gift Ideas From Our Review This Reviews Contributors





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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Best Lego Gift Ideas That Aren't Necessarily Lego Building Sets

A gift guide with Lego ideas that are not necessarily Lego sets.
My children clamored for Lego sets when they were growing up and, somewhere along the line, they turned me into a Lego enthusiast. Each year at Christmas my sons picked a special set that they dreamed of owning and, of course, hoped that Santa Claus would leave under the Christmas tree. They generally picked reasonable sets and discovered them under the Christmas tree in the morning.

Now that my children are grown up, Lego still appeals to them and Santa still likes to leave them a small Lego set at Christmastime. However, Lego gifts can even make an appearance on Valentine's Day, at Easter time or on a birthday and sometimes those gifts are Lego themed but not necessarily Lego sets. The popularity of Lego has ensured that there is plenty of merchandise to choose from so that gift giving is not limited to building sets though of course no Lego fan would ever say no to another Lego kit.

I have gathered on this page some of the best Lego-themed gift ideas that I could find in 2022. It was while looking for just such a gift that I decided to create this page. The "best" is used very loosely and is based solely on what appealed to me, partly by my sense of what my Lego lovers would love to own and partly by what appeals the most to me. I hope you find this list useful.

A BOOK - FANTASTIC: A LEGO ADVENTURE IN THE REAL WORLD


Factastic A LEGO Adventure in the Real World by Penelope Arlon.

Within the pages of Penelope Arlon's Factastic: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World the reader will find real photographs with Lego figures and interesting facts and statistics about an eclectic variety of subjects including flying to Pluto, the invention of my favorite snack (the humble potato chip), the playing of the first video game and more. It is a fun, non-fiction Lego-themed book by Scholastic recommended for ages seven to eleven but, of course, of interest to anyone who loves the Lego brick. 

Find your copy of Factastic here on Amazon.

A CALENDAR - LEGO BRICK CALENDAR SET 40172


LEGO's Brick Calendar set 40172. Perfect for any adult or older child who loves building with Lego bricks.
I am not in the least surprised that there is such a thing as a Lego calendar. This Lego Brick Calendar seems like a natural choice for someone who loves to play with Lego or who remembers fondly playing with Lego in his or her youth. The calendar is set 40172 and comes with everything you need to build the four blocks as well as a mini-figure and the display rack. It is a perfect gift for the year 2022 that will be equally useful for years to come. Personally, I would trade out the mini-figure for one that suits my interests more but that is no problem if your gift recipient owns a collection of Lego.




A STORAGE UNIT - LEGO ICONIC RACK SYSTEM SET 5005875

Transparent Blue LEGO Rack System


This Transparent Blue LEGO Iconic Rack System (5005875) is not particularly big but it is perfectly designed for young builders having three drawers for him or her to sort and organize Lego bricks. The drawers are semi-transparent drawers and have baseplates to build on. The unit measures 14 inches tall by 12 inches wide by 13 inches deep.

I am not sure if this storage unit will save you from the pain of stepping on the Lego bricks of younger Lego fans but it will help them sort and organize their bricks and even the youngest will now have a home to put all of their Lego bricks away when they care to or when they are instructed to. Available in red as shown, in blue or in gray.

Click here to find this Transparent Lego Rack System on Amazon. 



The Lego Movie set includes both the first and the second movie.

A gift for any Lego fan, whether they travel or not. Affix them to your luggage, your backpack, your purse. Any bag will do!

Love Lego? Don't miss these wonderful head block t-shirts. Pick your color, face style and size!

A MOVIE - LEGO'S EXTRA AWESOME 2-FILM COLLECTION 


The Lego Movies were a huge hit with fans and the critics. This Extra Awesome set is one that your gift recipient should own. Whether or not he or she has already seen the movies, they'll likely watch them over and over again.  Click here to find The Lego Movie 2-Film Collection on Amazon. It is an extremely affordable gift idea.

A LUGGAGE TAG - BANANAS, HOT DOGS AND MORE, OH MY!


These Lego tags are fun, declaring, as they will, your recipient's love of Lego to one and all and I don't think you have to be a traveler to appreciate them. They could also be affixed to a backpack, purse or other bag, not just your suitcase. I have shared a couple of mini-figure food-themed tags but Lego has also produced tags in themes that include Star Wars, Batman, Ninjago and Batman. Find them all on Amazon by clicking right here

A T-SHIRT - CUSTOMIZABLE LEGO BRICK HEAD BY TEEZ 2 GO


I cannot think of a more practical or affordable gift idea for a Lego lover than a t-shirt like the ones shown above from Teez 2 Go on Etsy.  They are available in a host of colors, designs and sizes for men, women and children so that you can pick the one that you think is perfect for your Lego enthusiast.  You will find these t-shirts on Etsy by clicking right here. If the whole family loves Lego, why not dress them all in one of these? That would create a fabulous photo opportunity.

A LIMITED EDITION POSTER - TOM WHALEN'S THE LEGO MOVIE POSTER 


Tom Whalen's The Lego Movie art poster makes a unique gift idea for a Lego fan.

Tom Whalen's Lego Movie art poster makes a unique gift for your Lego fan that can take pride of place on his or her bedroom wall. Heck, don't limit it to the bedroom. It would be fabulous on a family room or play room wall or absolutely any wall at all. 

Whale is a deviant artist who has produced many movie-themed prints, including this limited edition The Lego Movie one, which was issued in a limited numbered run of 475. You can source it now on eBay from the original buyers who are now wanting to sell their copy of the fun print.  Find it on eBay by clicking right here.

A MINI-FIGURE - PERSONALIZED & BUILT IN YOUR LIKENESS


Personalized Lego mini-figures created by Brick Creative. Customizable with your choice of colors, figures, text, etc.

Finally, here is a truly unique Lego-themed gift idea. Brick Creative on Etsy creates personalized minifigures of you and/or your loved ones. They do them in many themes including but not limited to Christmas, Halloween, birthday, anniversary and thank you. You can select the number of figures, theme, etc. that suit you. See for yourself all of the choices in Brick Creative's store on Etsy by clicking right here

So there you have it, a page full of interesting and less usual Lego-themed gift ideas. Which items were your favorites?

See you 
at the Lego store!
Lego fans will enjoy checking out the retired sets in my eBay store.

True enthusiasts, young and old, will love perusing the pages of these great books.

Lego's Beatles' Yellow Submarine Set.
Know someone who loves Lego and the Beatles? This will be the set for them!

Another adult set, perfect for those who are expert builders and love a beautiful carousel.

A throw-back to another time, adult fans who remember typewriters will enjoy this set.

Perfect for fans of the iconic television program, the Big Bang.

An adult-level set for those appreciate grocery stores or markets of the old-fashioned style.


Lego Gift Ideas a page full of 'em!







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Monday, November 21, 2022

Reviewing Why the Sitivien ST139 Knife is a Great Gift Idea

 I recently gifted myself with a Sitivien ST139 knife and immediately wondered why I let "knife" languish at the bottom of my to-buy list for so long. I know little about things such as blade material (what makes a knife sharp versus durable) so I finally accepted help and recommendations from others who know knives. As soon as I began sharing my experience with this knife there were others that said this would be a great gift; hint-hint.  


As I said, I am not a knife afficiando. Quite the opposite.  I only recall owning 3 or 4 folding knives before this. Most recently, two of those were Kershaws that I really liked. And two others prior were really cheap knives - one of which I kept clipped to my kayak life vest because I had a terrible fear of capsizing and becoming entangled in some underwater mess.  I know, I know, a somewhat irrational fear and yet I felt better having a blade handy in case I wanted to cut myself from my vest or my 'yak leash. Since that specific knife was junk, it didn't take more than 2 seasons to corrode.

The Sitivien ST139 Folding EDC Knife

In order to educate myself about knives, and stay within my very low budget, I began listening to people who know much more than I about the subject. Of course, being knife collectors and daily users, they have their eyes on high quality knives and carry knives with a smaller price tag than their "next" knives. That smaller price is still out of my range. One day I was brave and asked point blank for a recommendation for someone with with a very tight budget. Sitivien was the answer. 

The ST139 was my choice because it looked like the handle would be the best for my weak hand grip. And I chose the yellow and black handle so I could find it more easily if I drop it in the woods.

In the description online it states:

  • Knife dimensions: Overall length: 7.48" inches(19cm); Blade length:3.15" inches(8cm)
  • Handle length: 4.33” inches(11cm); Weight of Knife: 4.37 Ounce OR 124 grams
  • Blade: Sandvik 14C28N Steel Knife : Durable 14C28N steel blade hardness 60-61 HRC, provides a perfect balance of edge sharpness, edge stability and corrosion resistance. 
  • Handle: Micarta Handle Ensures a secure and confident grip during use and comfortable in-hand feel.
  • Ball Bearing knife can open extremely smoothly on its ball bearing pivot,
  • Lock: has a simple and reliable Liner lock [that] is resistant to dirt and prevents unexpected closure.
I did NOT verify the dimensions but overall length sounds right.


I do know that the Amazon description was wrong about 2 things; a leather sheath was not included and the clip isn't (in all the research I've done since getting my knife) interchangeable from right-handed to left-handed.

I am a lady in my late 50's who just moved to my land and is homesteading. I need a knife for many reasons.  Just a few I can think of at this moment are:
  • I could have used it with garden plants, pruning, and cutting tomato stake ties.
  • Harvesting... if I had veggies to harvest this year (it wasn't a good gardening year for me).
  • Building my chicken coop and similar projects (cutting paracord and zip tie ends).
  • I needed a good knife to cut that Black Gorilla tape I needed to use (that was a nightmare with dull scissors and tin snips).
  • I've used it for opening boxes. 
  • I've used it for cutting up meat (it was FANTASTIC for that purpose as the handle did not become slippery).
  • I desperately needed a sharp knife last year when I installed my water line heating cords under the house.
I think that others who could use this would be people who:
  • do simple or emergency household and/car repairs
  • go hiking
  • go camping
  • live/work on a farm or homestead
  • people who hunt and fish
  • are crafters or artists (whittling, trimming, sharpening, and who need a sharp cutting tool larger than an Xacto blade)
  • collect knives
  • and people who have the skills to use it for self-protection and/or emergency situations
  • perhaps in medical kits - I imagine it would be good for cutting those large band-aid wraps

Why Did I Choose to Review a Knife on Review This? 


I believe that our readers are more females than males. So why would I review this here?  I almost didn't. Then I changed my mind.  Women also need quality tools that suit their needs. I think we tend to overlook that. Also, buy gifts for our fathers, husbands, and sons. I'll never forget when my dad had started to down-size and he had many new shirts to get rid of. And I wondered if that pile of shirts were many of the shirts that he had received as gifts over the years. And that it was too bad we didn't have a better idea of what to get for him.  When he was elderly and in an apartment he might not have appreciated the knife but when he was a builder and a farmer he sure would have put it to good use (if only for cutting bale twine).

If you'd like to see more, you can see my personal video review and how the knife fits in my hand you here:






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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Don't Buy This Fudge - It's Too Good!

 

Best fudge ever

Warning! If you're a fudge-a-holic, this fudge will be completely impossible to resist!

My Mom's Homemade Fudge Was the Best! Store Bought Fudge Couldn't Come Close to Her Fudge

Until now.

I rarely enjoy bakery fudge, or any store-bought fudge for that matter, because it doesn't taste right to me. 

After having my mother's homemade fudge for a lifetime, store fudge just lacks something.

The other day, my hubby showed up with a box of fudge. My first thought was, nope, it's going to suck. 

Well, I ate those words and the whole box of fudge too! So much for my low-carb life last week!

It was so good that I told my husband to NEVER buy it again because I could not resist it.

He Purchased This Fudge at Costco, But It's Also Available via Amazon Canada (I Can't Locate it on Amazon USA, Though)

You Can Find it Via Amazon Canada Here

This fudge is the closest to my mother's homemade fudge I've ever tasted. Being French Canadian, she called her fudge as per the box above; Sucre a la Creme; we just called it fudge. 

My mom's fudge was so good that my friends would request her to make it or ship them a box! So to my friends who loved her fudge, try this one.

This Laura Secord Fudge has a buttery, brown-sugar flavor. 

Mom would make her fudge two ways, either hard or soft. I preferred the hard fudge. 

The creamy fudge above is more on the soft side (medium texture). Each piece is individually wrapped, so you'll absolutely eat six at once (lol) ... it's that good!

If you're looking for a nice treat to bring to someone's home, I recommend this incredible Laura Secord Fudge.

On second thought, don't buy it! Resist it!

Happy Holidays :)

P.S. I haven't enclosed my mom's fudge recipe because fudge is all about boiling, stirring, timing and cooling - it's more of a technique. After making her fudge a few times, I managed to get the technique down. Not sure I could even explain it!




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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Christmas is Coming ~ A Lovely Gift Idea for All the Ladies in Your Life!

The Holiday Season is on it's way already.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you know that after that Christmas shopping will be on everyone's mind.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a lovely gift for all the women on your shopping list.  This gift is one that will fit all sizes and even all ages!  

It is a great gift for those office gift exchanges or makes a great teacher's gift that won't break the bank.  

It will fit into an envelope or stocking and is sure not to be duplicated!  

What could it possibly be?

If you have never heard of Color Street Nail Strips, then you are in for a great surprise.  I am a Color Street Lover and Stylist.  What does that mean?  Well Color Street Nail Strips are only sold through home parties or on-line parties that are hosted by a Stylist.  

These nail strips are like nail polish, without the mess and fuss that nail polish application requires.  It is also so much easier and less time consuming than sitting and waiting for nail polish to dry!  

I love nice looking hands, it's one thing I notice right away when meeting new people.  When you take the time to care for your hands it shows.  


Color Street Nail Strips are easy to apply.  Each package comes with `16 different sized nail strips.  JJust clean you nails with the alcohol wipes to make sure no greasy residue is on your nails before application.  Then one at a time peel the preformed nail strip and place it on your fingernail.  Press it down firmly and trim off the excess with a quick rub with the emery board.  Start at the baby fingers and work your way to your thumbs.  


https://www.colorstreet.com/Olivia72/beautysocial/3783173



With a little practice you can get this done in less than 10 minutes!  That's all it takes to have nails that look well groomed and cared for.  These polish strips once applied, can last 2 weeks or more depending on how quickly your nails grow out!

When I do my nails they last and last with no chipping or peeling!  Two weeks and my hands always look nice.  I even do my dishes, laundry and cleaning without using rubber gloves and my nails still hold up!  I find this product to be amazing.

If you'd like to get something "different" and really inexpensive for a special lady in your life feel free to use the link to my Beauty Social that is currently running till the 23rd of December!  

https://www.colorstreet.com/Olivia72/beautysocial/3783173


Color Street has nail applications for every season, holiday and even special commemorative times like Breast Cancer Awareness.  They also give back to many different organizations with percentages of sales from these special nail sets.  So you get beautiful nails and do a good turn at the same time!  It's a "Twofer" and a winner at the same time!

If you have family and friends that live far away, this is a nice way to send a greeting for the holidays and a gift in the same envelope!  That is a win-win for everyone and I'm sure the recipient will be pleased as punch to get such colorful mail.  

Happy Holidays to all and may your hands look beautiful this year as you are enjoying the holidays!  

Look for the Link here:  Holidays, Holidays, Holidays!

Just in time for Thanksgiving and the start of your Christmas shopping, you can buy one and get one free on all nail sets.  Plus if you want to try their Lip Sticks they are 25% off on Wednesday, Thrusday and Friday this week.  Have some fun and get yours now! 

Here is a link just for you: Holidays, Holidays, Holidays






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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Reviewing The Benefits Of Battery Motion Sensor Lights

 


 

We have had these portable battery-operated motion sensor lights for about a year now and I can say that we are so happy to have these useful lights. We have the Beams ones which we are happy with, but there are many choices depending on your needs. 

Essentially they are battery-powered lights that come on automatically when they sense movement. They stay on as long as movement is detected then quickly go off if all is still. 

They have a bright white light and for their size do give out a surprisingly useful reassuring beam of light. 


Palm-sized battery Motion Sensor Light


We have found the batteries to last a very long time with our usage.

They only come on when motion is detected and go off again quite quickly if there is no movement detected so they do not use up the battery quickly. 

They are not large and easily fit on a table, sideboard, kitchen sink, or window ledge.

We find them very light and easy to carry around in the palm of your hand. 

You can easily move them from place to place and comfortably carry one or two around with you to light the way.



 

We are used to having electrical lights whenever we need them. However, there are many potential occasions when these electric lights may fail, for example, a power cut or outage whether it is planned or sudden, storm damage or simply running out of replacement bulbs for the main light.

Some of these lights are designed for indoor use only or indoor/outdoor and some are especially suited for outdoor use and can be fixed securely to buildings so do check descriptions carefully so you get the right ones for your needs. It is probably best to have a variety to be prepared. 

Some lights you can place on a surface or stick onto a surface or have the option to be fixed more permanently, so check what suits you best. 

Keeping a few battery-powered lights around can be a real help when electrical lights fail for whatever reason. We can use candles of course but while they are lovely for a romantic meal,  I do question the safety of flames in a blackout situation and especially where older people, children and pets are around.  So we prefer to use these portable lights. 

 

Photo showing size of motion sensor lights against a coffee mug


Uses For Portable Motion Sensor Battery Lights

We have personally found many uses for them including the following.

In the hallway so that at night we do not need to switch on the main lights just to walk to the bathroom.

In the garden patio in order to light up the garden area near the house.

On the floor by the skirting board when we thought we had mice to see if any were actually around! If they ran past the light it would come on. 

On the porch where we do not have an electrical light to help when we returned home in the dark and for the postie and milk delivery to be able to see better in the early dawn 

They were very handy when there was a power cut as we had them on the stairs and hallway, living room, kitchen and bedroom to easily light our way and keep us safe from trips or falls. 

We also had a couple to carry around in the power cut as they are much safer than candles and more effective with a good strong beam of light. 

In event of a power cut or if you do not have outside lights it is useful to position a couple so that if you need to go to the bins or let the dog/cat out in the dark there is some useful light. 

Keep one or two in the car so that in the event of a breakdown or emergency, you will have some light. 


 

Further Benefits Of Motion Sensor Battery Operated Lights

We also think they are very useful and have real benefits for the following situations. 


For Elderly relatives or vulnerable people to position around the home permanently so that even if the lights are not on or they forget to turn lights on or have a power cut or outage they have light automatically. I do feel this is crucial to help prevent trips and falls and the worry that comes with darkness. 


Children to have them in their rooms or in the hallway so that if they do not turn the lights on or there is an outage during the night they can still move around safely and have some light.


Pets. If your home is in complete darkness it is all too easy to trip up over a dog or cat or any other pet that may be around. With these lights just position a couple on the floor and you will see where your pet is so you can safely avoid him or her. 

 

In a dark closet or wardrobe, cupboard or larder so you can instantly see better. 


Security- A wired-in electrical security light system is great when you have electricity. However, if you do not have any installed or if there is a power cut it is good to have a backup system. You can place a portable motion sensor light on a porch or in the patio or window box where it will detect any movement.  I would advise they are kept away from heavy rain though unless they are sold as fully waterproof. Ours which are sold as indoor/outdoor have been fine on a porch and when positioned in a large container and covered by a large waterproof plant pot so just the sensor part is visible.

However, if you want a more permanent backup system or instead of electrical security lights outside, I would think it's best to go for ones that are designed especially for outdoor use and bad weather and can be securely installed. 


 

Where I live we are being advised that there may be periods of blackouts or power cuts this winter and they are expected to last for 3 to 4 hours at a time so these lights will be essential during those times. We are going to set them up in key areas around the home so it is all ready. This will take the stress out of searching for candles or torches when it is pitch dark! 

We do not like to be without lights and I think it can be very dangerous to either try to move around in the dark or equally to carry candles or other light that may be easily flammable. These lights are so portable and give a very useful beam. 

I think these portable battery-operated sensor lights are a very useful household item, but especially if you have older people, children or pets living in your home I think they are essential. 


 


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Friday, November 11, 2022

Lightweight Acrylic Cake Plate with Dome Lid Reviewed

Domed Acrylic Cake Plate
Let me start by saying, I absolutely love my new acrylic cake plate!

Domed Acrylic Cake Plate

I rarely buy anything for myself.  I usually keep a running wishlist for special occasions. Normally, if I want something new for my kitchen, I add it to the wishlist and try to forget it.  That way, my family can select things they know I will want and I can be surprised by a new gadget, utensil, or cookware.  

For some time now, I have been searching for a lightweight, pretty covered cake plate that I can easily move from the refrigerator to the table.  For decades, I have used my domed glass cake plate, but in recent years I have noted that it is heavy for me to carry.  

I hate the way wrap or foil messes up cake frosting and much prefer the domed cake plates, so I have continued to use the glass domed cake plate in spite of the weight.  My glass cake plate is also footed, which makes it rather tall.  I have to move my refrigerator shelf to accommodate the height, which is another inconvenience.

When I found this footless acrylic domed cake plate on Amazon, I thought I would try it.  I wasn't sure it would work well for me and I didn't want to wait for Christmas to receive it.  With several birthdays to celebrate in October & November, I really needed the cake plate now.  Therefore, I bought it for myself.  

Because it turned out to be exactly what I wanted and needed, I wish I had waited for a beloved family member to gift it to me so it would have that memory attached to it.  I'll have to settle for the memories of the birthday cakes that were first served and stored in it.

 

The Lightweight Acrylic Domed Cake Plate

This cake plate is perfect!  It is very lightweight, almost feather light.  Because it is not footed, it easily slides into my refrigerator without having to adjust the shelf height, even with the handled tall dome.


 

I was concerned that the dome would not be tall enough, however, it easily accommodates our two layer lemon cake (shown below) or chocolate cake without touching the frosting.

I use a glass plate under my cake because they turn easily on the table when frosting a cake.  The dome is tall enough and the plate is wide enough to accommodate the plate and the cake together.  As you can see in the picture below, my husband used a dinner plate for the lemon birthday cake he made for me.  The cake is not touching the lidded dome on the top or the sides, and there is plenty of room for the dinner plate underneath the cake.

 

The diamond pattern of the plate itself is very pretty on the table and compliments any dessert. 

I am thrilled to have a lovely domed cake plate that will protect my frosted cakes and that I can easily move from the fridge to the table.  The dome does get fogged between fridge and table, but that is easily wiped away with a paper towel, leaving the cake in a clear and lovely domed display.

 AVLA Acrylic Cake Plate with Dome, 13 Inch Cake Stand with CoverCheck Price




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