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

Friday, May 17, 2024

Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Reviewed

tide washing machine cleaner
Throughout our children's college and establishing careers years, there were many moves.  For 10+ years we were annually moving our children in and out of dorms, apartments or rented houses with used appliance.  Even now, as they buy homes, they still have used appliances.  Only once, in all of those moves, have either of them purchased a new washing machine.  Therefore, one of the first things we have done on moving day, was to start the empty washing machine with a Tide washing machine cleaner packet.

Often, the washing machines have set dormant for a week or longer.  Plus, we have no way of knowing what might have been washed in them previously.  Prior tenants clothes could have been muddy or heavily soiled.  Some of the washing machines even had a damp, nasty smell inside.  I've always felt like the washing machine tub needed to be cleaned.  We frequently opted to run them twice with the cleaning packets before regular use.

I associate the washing machine cleaning packets with moving.  However, I have recently started using them in my own washing machine.  Merlin, our Labrador Retriever, will be 16 years old this month.  He sleeps in his doggy bed at the foot of our bed.  As the years have crept up on him, he doesn't move as fast and his bed occasionally gets soiled and must be washed.  After I wash his bed cover and pillow, I use the Tide cleaning packet in our washing machine.  It might not be necessary since I set the machine for 2 rinse cycles, but I feel better knowing the machine has been washed and cleaned before I put our clothes in it.


Tide Washing Machine Packets

 Washing Machine Cleaner by TideCheck Price Because of the scented smell, I don't use Tide detergent on our clothes or towels, but I do love the Tide packets for cleaning the empty washing machine. 

As you can see in the photo above, I have a top loading machine but the packets are safe to use in the front loading machines too. 

I can tell you from experience that the Tide packets do leave the washing machine smelling good and clean.  

According to Tide, the cleaning packets activate faster than the regular washing tabs.  Plus, they have added Oxi to the washing machine cleaner to "boost the cleaning action".

To use:  Simply add one packet into the empty washing machine tub and run a normal wash cycle using hot water.

You will be amazed by the difference it makes!


For more moving tips, be sure to visit Sam Monaco's review, "How to Plan for a Move"



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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

How to Organize and Digitize Old Slides EASILY ~ A Product Review

My other half and I had a big problem! We both grew up in the 1960's and 70's when cameras were filled with films that had to be taken to the store  and then processed.  We would have to wait a week or so until we knew whether the pictures were any good or not.  Most of the time we used our Kodak Brownie Cameras, as the better ones were way out of our price affordability.  Even our parents took pictures with those cameras. Now what happened to all those pictures and were they memories that we wanted to keep or were they just garbage photos?

Well it's spring time and that means cleaning up, clearing out and donating lots of things to various charities.

But one box had us in a quandry!  It was full of slides and negatives from who know when, where or how long they were in there. 

Could these be long lost family pictures or just a bunch of scenic areas that we would not recognize without some obvious sign posts?

This is the mess that we were faced with. We were pretty sure there would be some pictures in there that we would like to keep.  But, how do you do that without taking this mess to a dedicated service that will scan these?  And at what cost to us?

Looking into a professional service, we found out that it would cost us .25 cents to 1.00 per slide to be digitized.  

That was a cost that we just could not swallow.  You would pay for each slide whether they were worth keeping or just junk shots.  So this was not an option for us.

Thank goodness for the internet and Amazon!  A quick search and you can find out just about anything.

For just under 15.00 you can get a PICSCANNER !  What, you may ask is a Picscanner?  Well it's a small platform for your mobile phone.  The platform is about 3 inches away from the bed of the scanner.  This allows your phone to actually take a picture of your slide or negative. This is what the box looks like and you can see exactly how it works:

 Upload it to your computer and voila, you have a digital copy of what was a slide or negative. Just like this one:

This is a digital copy of a negative film strip. With a few programs on the computer it is easy to turn this negative into a proper picture.  Like this:

It works great!  What I really like about this easy to use slide digitizer is, that it is inexpensive and it lets you see what is on that slide or negative without having to print it first.  Once you see what's there, you just might decide that is is worth having it printed professionally!  But, I bet that most of them will just go into a Picture file on your computer. You have not spent hundreds of dollars on getting worthless (to anyone but yourself) pictures digitized.  

Today with our cell phone cameras and digital professional cameras, we can skip this step completely.  But again if you were born in the 50's , 60's and 70's, I'm sure that this Picscanner will be a valuable tool for anyone who has boxes and boxes of negatives or slides kicking around. Just imagine being able to take all those slides and negatives, organize them and keep the great ones and discard all the rest.  It's a job to do it, but, when it's done you will enjoy the fruits of your labors!

As an added bonus, this would make a great Father's Day Gift too!  Most of the Dad's I know are the techy types that love to fiddle with a new toy!  

Happy Photo Editing to all!

**These pictures are my own, the Cups in the Photos are "One of a Kind" handpainted and fired by my uncle!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, May 13, 2024

DASH Everyday Stand Mixer Review

Ready to downsize? Has the stand mixer become a counter hog? A kitchen tool that can be decorated but is too heavy to move? Looking for a smaller or mini stand mixer? The Everyday Stand Mixer by DASH is a mini mixer with six speeds and a 3 quart bowl with a retro look. 

The Dash Everyday includes a set of beaters and a set of dough hooks along with a book of directions and recipes. Six colors are available: black, aqua, cream, pink, red and white accented with silver trim.


The weight or lack of is one of my favorite features of the mixer. So easy to move on the counter. So easy to store under the counter. The power the mixer generates with such a light weight is quite unexpected!


The light weight of the Everyday stand mixer was a major factor in my consideration of a mini stand mixer. The prior stand mixer was heavy and needed alot of space on the counter. The space the Everyday stand mixer needs is minimal.

Measuring in at 1.93 pounds for the DASH Everyday compared to 25 pounds for the well known brand 5 QT stand mixer, the Everyday is so easy to move and store whether on the counter or in a kitchen cabinet. The low weight is my favorite feature of the Everyday mixer,


The DASH is very loud. The reviews mentioned the unit is loud. It is. Not so loud to need earplugs, but definitely loud enough to prevent conversation.

Again, no comparison between the big name brands. My five quart model was not whisper quiet; but a conversation could be held in close proximity while the mixer was working. 


The look of the mixer is pleasant to the eye. Sleek and minimal. The exterior and buttons are plastic; the buttons are push buttons which do require a bit of labor to push.


Apples to oranges stereotype comparison. $449 for the 5 qt namebrand stand mixer vs $49 for the Everyday mixer.


I have been experimenting with recipes I have made for years in the higher priced stand mixers; so does the Everyday get the job done. It has and it does. Is the process as streamlined or as quiet as the name brand stand mixers? No. 

The speed of the mixer is very very fast! At times the mixer does seem a bit out of control with the speed, but the stability has been solid thus far.


The reviewers were correct. As a consumer the information is easily accessible so I was not surprised regarding the features. I highly recommend sifting through the reviews particularly if you are downsizing from the larger capacity big name brand to this mixer. 

I purchased the Everyday with the hopes it would feel a void between the large steel stand mixers and hand mixersf. The Everyday did mix dough and recipes which require a long mixing time such as meringue with ease.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Revitalize Your Lawn with Scott's EZ Seed Lawn Patch and Repair - A Five Star Review

Revitalize Your Lawn with Scott's EZ Seed Lawn Patch and Repair - A Five Star Review

Let me start by saying that this is the only seed I use to repair and replant small and large lawn sections. I'm an absolute fan of this product! It works! 

It's pricier than regular seed, but you can read why it's worth every penny below. I especially love it because there's little prep to do. I'll usually rake, slightly turn the dirt a bit on the exposed sections, give it a bit of water, and then toss the seed on. I like to use a healthy amount. Just be sure to water it regularly during the growing process. 

Within six weeks, often before that, the lawn is fully grown.

A lush, green lawn is the pride of any homeowner, but maintaining it can be a challenge, especially when faced with bare patches and thinning grass. Enter Scott's EZ Seed Patch and Repair, a revolutionary solution designed to breathe new life into your lawn effortlessly. Packed with essential nutrients and cutting-edge technology, this product has become a go-to for homeowners like me who want to rejuvenate outdoor spaces with minimal effort.

What's in Scott's EZ Seed Patch and Repair?

  • Water-retaining mulch: Holds moisture around seeds for better germination.
  • Premium seed blend: Contains a mixture of high-quality grass seeds suited for various growing conditions.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilizer is included. It provides essential nutrients for seedling growth and establishment.
  • Biodegradable tackifier: Helps seeds adhere to the soil, preventing washout and promoting vigorous root development.

Why is Scott's EZ Seed Preferred?

  • Easy application: Simply spread water and watch it grow – no special tools or equipment are required - although I do a little bit of prep as described above just to help things along.
  • Versatility: Suitable for repairing bare spots, thinning areas, and overseeding existing lawns.
  • Quick results: Visible improvements in as little as 7 days, with full coverage in 4-6 weeks.
  • An all-in-one solution (the best part!): It eliminates the need for multiple products, saving time and money.

What Do People Use Scott's EZ Seed For?

  • Patching bare spots: Whether caused by pet damage, heavy foot traffic, or harsh weather conditions, EZ Seed seamlessly fills in gaps.
  • Thickening thin areas: Sparse patches and thinning grass can be quickly addressed, resulting in a more uniform lawn.
  • Enhances existing lawn: Enhances the overall health and density of existing lawns, promoting a lush, vibrant appearance.
  • Revitalizing problem areas: Troublesome zones such as shaded or high-traffic zones can be rejuvenated easily.

Why Does Scott's EZ Seed Work So Well?

  • Triple action formula: Combines seed, mulch, and fertilizer for optimal growth conditions.
  • Advanced technology: The tackifier component ensures seeds stay in place, even on sloped surfaces, for improved germination rates.
  • Proven performance: Trusted by homeowners and lawn care professionals alike, Scott's EZ Seed has established a reputation for reliability and effectiveness.

With Scott's EZ Seed Patch and Repair, achieving a lush, green lawn has never been easier. Say goodbye to unsightly bare spots and thinning grass – with just a few simple steps, you can transform your outdoor space into a vibrant oasis that enhances your home's curb appeal. It's our go-to lawn seed repair each year when needed.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Clean Makeup Brushes in Seconds With This Terrific Brush Cleaner Spray

As a beauty and skincare enthusiast who loves wearing makeup, I am passionate about using good quality makeup brushes and caring for them properly to keep them clean, hygienic, and performing at their best. Recently I shared my tutorial for the best way to clean makeup brushes without ruining them, including my tips for cleaning brushes with water and a good quality brush soap cleanser without getting water inside the ferrule that covers the glued join between the bristles and the handle, which can cause shedding and shorten the useful life of your makeup tools. 

In that tutorial, I discussed using an alcohol-based sanitizing spray periodically in between washings. Today, I am reviewing another type of spray-on brush cleaner: Jenny Patinkin Spray Away Instant Makeup Brush Cleaner. Spray Away is a new favorite for me that instantly removes even heavily pigmented makeup from bristles easily in just seconds and leaves my brushes dry and ready to use again immediately. It also helps keep the inside of my brush case clean and free from makeup residue.

Jenny Patinkin Spray Away Instant Makeup Brush Cleaner

Developed by a "Lazy" Professional Makeup Artist

Spray Away was developed by pro makeup artist, beauty expert, brand founder and bestselling author Jenny Patinkin, who wrote Lazy Perfection, The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying. Patinkin's eponymous line of beauty tools is all about simplicity, sustainability, and effectiveness with minimal effort. Spray Away definitely fits with her beauty philosophy. 

Cleans Makeup Brushes Completely in Seconds!

As someone who relies on good quality makeup brushes, I've tried my fair share of brush cleaners and this one truly stands out.

Watch me demonstrate how Jenny Patinkin Spray Away Instant Makeup Brush Cleaner lives up to its name, allowing me to remove all traces of a heavily pigmented, vivid blush and a dark brown eyeshadow from some of my favorite makeup brushes from BK Beauty. 

Note: If you prefer, you can watch my Spray Away brush cleaning demonstration on YouTube.

Works Beautifully on Brushes With Densely Packed Bristles

As you can see from my demonstration, Spray Away Instant Makeup Brush Cleaner works perfectly on brushes of any size, from large foundation and blush brushes to small eyeshadow and eyeliner brushes, as long as they have densely packed bristles like the ones from BK Beauty that I show in the demo.

The only thing you need in addition to the Spray Away is a towel. I prefer to use a large microfiber cloth.

If you have any brushes with long, loose bristles, you'll want to stick to washing those with water and a brush soap type cleaner, such as Jenny Patinkin Makeup Brush Soap.

Gentle Yet Effective

I also appreciate the gentle yet effective nature of the formula. Spray Away removes even stubborn makeup buildup effectively without damaging the bristles or compromising their softness.

Dries Almost Immediately

One of the most impressive aspects of this cleaner is its quick-drying formula. Spray Away evaporates almost instantly, allowing you to use your brushes immediately after cleaning. This is a game-changer for those moments when you need to switch between colors or brushes on the fly.

A Clean Beauty Product

According to the brand, Spray Away is oil-free, dye-free, waterless, paraben-free, vegan, and free from the types of chemicals commonly found in makeup brush sprays.

It also leaves behind a subtle, pleasant scent that adds a touch of luxury to the cleaning process.

A Great Gift for Any Makeup Lover

Anyone who wears makeup should be cleaning their brushes regularly: washing weekly or bi-weekly and doing quick cleanings in between washings to keep brushes hygienic and performing well.

The Jenny Patinkin Spray Away Instant Makeup Brush Cleaner, some microfiber cloths and the Jenny Patinkin Luxury Vegan Makeup Brush Soap would make a great gift!

Overall, Jenny Patinkin's Spray Away Instant Makeup Brush Cleaner has earned its place as a staple in my beauty arsenal. Its convenience, quick-drying formula, and effectiveness make it a standout product that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking to streamline their brush cleaning routine

Clean Makeup Brushes in Seconds With This Terrific Brush Cleaner Spray by Margaret Schindel

Read More Beauty Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, May 6, 2024

Reviewing Oats Overnight Flavor and Subscription

I am not a fan of subscription boxes. And I didn't think I was a fan of making oats in the fridge overnight for breakfast. Yet, here I am recommending Oats Over Night. Why? I am finding that the flavors are fantastic and having Oats Over Night brand meals at my fingertips has been very helpful. And I am very sure that the Oats Over Night meal is far healthier than the daily drive-thru choices I've been making. Did I mention that the Oats Over Night flavors are delicious?

My first few attempts at making overnight oats were failures. I made them with packets of my favorite brand of instant oats and I used milk. I also tried it with oats that are meant to be cooked when I was going on a camping trip and the oats would be soaking in a jar, in a cooler, for a longer period of time. All of my attempts produced slimy, pasty results. Yuck. Maybe it was the milk. Maybe it was the instant oats. I don't know. But it was just gross.

I was very hesitant to try the Oats Over Night brand. They seem a bit pricey and I didn't want to pay that much for yucky goo. But I have to do something. I've gotten to the point that I'm using a lot of drive-thru meals or joining my co-workers for the pick-up "gas station food".  Those options are too many calories and frankly, turn out to be more expensive than that Oats Over Night. I finally gave in and ordered a box and I'm so glad I did.

Oats Over Night Brand

The brains behind Oats Over Night thought that DIY oats were great but the flavor was inconsistent from serving to serving. Brian began experimenting to get consistent flavors, delicious flavors, and a short prep time. After many failures, and oats that didn't taste good, Brian landed on what they consider "The best oatmeal in the world". I can't say that I disagree.

To learn more, go to their official Oats Over Night site

On the site you will instantly notice the reduced price, free shipping, and free shaker bottle for the first subscription. The reduced price made it easier for me to convince myself to give it a try. You choose the number of oatmeal packets you want (16 for example) then choose the combination of flavors you want to order.  That will remain your monthly subscription (minus the "first order offers") but it is super easy to change the flavors that you want to arrive each month.

As a subscriber you are able to choose flavors that aren't yet offered to the non-subscribers. You also receive samples of products in development. Usually, that is a new flavor. This month, the sample of the product in development is a protein coffee. 

I have read reviews that it is super easy to cancel your subscription. And/or put your subscription on pause until a certain date. I cannot testify to that as I have had no desire to cancel or pause. 

Oats Over Night Flavors

The flavors of these oats are amazing. I expected the flavors to be similar to the flavored instant oatmeal varieties at the store (which - the apples and cinnamon is one that I liked very much by the way). The flavors of Oats Over Night are so much fresher and without that "artificial flavoring" taste that I dislike so much. Clearly, the bits of fruit are dehydrated or have been freeze dried. The Bananas Foster flavor is one of my favorites so far. And there are actually chunks of banana in it. Which is great in my opinion, not-so-great if you aren't a fan of bananas. 

Another of my favorites is the Banana Bread (do you see a theme here?). The flavor is very much as though I added a slice of Banana Bread to a bowl of milk. Speaking of milk... I have problems when I drink dairy. So I use unsweetened Almond Milk for my Oats Overnight. 

There are many flavors to choose from and I am excited to try them all. 

As far as nutritional values, I will let you do  your research. It will depend which flavor you choose and which milk you use. I will say that these packets reportedly have 20g of protein.

Preparing Oats Over Night

While you can make Oats Over Night in the microwave and eat it without the wait, the idea is to have a grab-and-go meal.  The prep is super easy. Add 8 oz. of your milk choice (mine is unsweetened Almond Milk) to the shaker bottle. There is a line indicating 8 ozs. so there is no need for measuring. Then you empty the packet of Oats Over Night, screw on the shake bottle lid (make sure the pour spout is closed), give it a shake and let it sit in the fridge until morning. 

I am finding that I still REALLY like sausage and egg sandwiches for breakfast. So I've been prepping the Oats Over Night in the morning and placing it in the fridge at work. No more missing lunches because I'm too busy. And no more having my really boring (good - but boring) apples and cinnamon instant oatmeal. 

I will say that the main complaint I see about the Oats Over Night grab-n-go meals are that they are chunky for straws and too runny for spoons. It's very easy to adjust the milk to oats ratio to get a consistency closer to what you like. While I do use regular straws when I forget mine, I find that the wider and washable "smoothie" straws are perfect.

Related Links

Our Lou16 writes about Oats Based Breakfast Ideas that Include Fruit & Vegetables and she reviews Why a Protein-Rich Breakfast is Important. She includes a lot of interesting and important information. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Free AI Voice Generator For Content Creators - My Two Fave Choices

Free AI Voice Generator For Content Creators - My Two Fave Choices

Most of my writing associates know that I write riddle and activity books

Expanding my social media imprint has been my most recent list of things to accomplish.

I remember thinking, "Why would I ever need voiceover for online work?" Well, of course, surprise, surprise, I need it.


Essentially, I found these two Free ways to do VoiceOvers:

1. Recording Your Voice On Your Cell Phone: Then Upload it To the Graphic Program You're Using

  • I downloaded an APP on my iPhone called "Voice Memos." I presume it's available for Android phones, but I'm not totally sure
  • I recorded my voice reading one of my riddles
  • I shared, via email, my downloaded file to my own email
  • I accessed my email on my laptop/computer and downloaded my Voice Recording to my laptop/computer. (Note: Those of you who have your phones and laptops/computers synced can skip "the emailing it to your laptop part")
  • With my downloaded Voice, I could upload my recorded voice to the program I'm using to create my animated riddles and all my graphic designs; Canva.
Here's One of My Video Creations for my YouTube Account for StumpedRiddles Using MY Voice:

2. A Free VoiceOver Program, ElevenLabs: My Personal Opinion is ...Wow, I Love It! 
FREE Plan Features: 
1) 10,000 Characters per month (~10 min audio)
2) Generate speech in 29 languages using thousands of unique voices
3) Translate content with automatic dubbing
4) Create custom, synthetic voices

  • This program is free, with paid further subscription options. 
  • It's not one of those frustrating services you must upgrade at some point. Stay at the Free Level if it works for you.
  • As of this date, there is a limit on the free VoiceOver character/word usage each month, but it's enough for me
  • Your free usage numbers restart for the next month - Awesome!
  • I won't go over "how to use the program" because once you jump in, you'll be able to spend some time and learn the ropes
  • There's a massive database of voices to choose from!
  • Under the Tab "Voices" in the side panel, there are two headings at the top center of that page - VoiceLab and Voice Library
  • Click on Voice Library to review all the voices you have available to choose from and add your favorites to your "Speech" tab
  • The speech tab (on the left side panel) is where you input your words and have them read by the AI VoiceOver selection you've made
  • Once you are satisfied, hit the little arrow at the bottom right of your screen to download your VoiceOver to your laptop or computer.
Here's One of  My YouTube Video Creations Using Several ElevenLab Voices:


There's a section in ElevenLabs that allows you to add your voice: You get paid when/if it's used. I don't know how that works, but I'm considering trying it.

Of all the Free AI VoiceOver programs I researched, was the easiest and the "free-est" to use.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Black & Decker Cordless Drill - Reviewed

 Having the right tools for your DIY project makes all the difference between frustration and satisfaction. One of these indispensable tools is my Black & Decker cordless drill, the perfect companion for many of my home improvement tasks.

Black & Decker Cordless Drill - Reviewed

Black & Decker Cordless Drill Features:

Design and Build Quality: Black & Decker is a renowned name in the realm of power tools. My first impression is the drill is lightweight and fits comfortably in my hand, even for extended periods of use. The grip is rubberized, providing both comfort and control.

Performance: The Black & Decker Cordless Drill is equipped with a powerful motor and effortlessly tackles many drilling and driving tasks efficiently. Over the years I have used my cordless drill to drill holes and drive screws into wood, metal, and plastic with ease. The variable speed control allows for seamless adjustment for any of these tasks.

Battery Life and Charging: The Black & Decker is equipped with a 20V lithium-ion battery, it offers extended runtime, minimizing interruptions during long projects. Although, I have never had a project long enough where I ran out of power. I recommend a second battery if you consistently use the drill for long projects. That way you always have one charged.

Versatility and Ease of Use: The variable speed control makes it easy to transition between drilling and driving applications. The keyless chuck feature makes it easy to change drill and driving bits. Additionally, the drill has an LED light to illuminate the work area.

Value: The Black & Decker Cordless stands out as a compelling option with its performance, durability, and affordability. The Black & Decker is a reasonable price for all of the performance. I also purchased the handy accessory kit you see in the photo with many driver bits and drills. With that kit, I have always had whatever I needed for the task.

Find more product reviews on Review This

This Black & Decker Drill and accessory kit make the perfect Father's Day gift.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill and Driver, 3/8 Inch, With LED Work Light, Battery and Charger Included (LDX120C)BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill and Driver, 3/8 Inch, With LED Work Light, Battery and Charger Included (LDX120C)BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill and Driver, 3/8 Inch, With LED Work Light, Battery and Charger Included (LDX120C)BLACK+DECKER Drill Bit Set/Screwdriver Bit Set Combo, 109-Piece (BDA91109)BLACK+DECKER Drill Bit Set/Screwdriver Bit Set Combo, 109-Piece (BDA91109)BLACK+DECKER Drill Bit Set/Screwdriver Bit Set Combo, 109-Piece (BDA91109)


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, April 29, 2024

Reviewing Locally Made Candles and Soap by Wild Roots Cafe & Co.

I am thrilled that a local family has opened a cafe in a small town near me. The farm-to-table focus along with the home-made breads, biscuits, and desserts are exactly what I've been craving. In addition to the delicious meal options, they offer handmade soaps and hand poured candles. All made with fewer ingredients than mass produced soaps and candles. The great news is that even though these candles and soaps are made locally in my area the Wild Roots Cafe & Co. offers a mail order option so you can consider these for yourself or gifts even if you don't live here.

photo of soaps and a candle

Just a few years ago, I was living in a small metro apartment and dreaming of moving to a rural setting. I watched gardening and homesteading videos for entertainment, relaxation, and education. And with those videos I tuned out the noise from the adjoining apartments, parking lot, and the frequent police helicopter circling overhead. One of those channels was Wild Wonderful Off Grid. I knew that they were a family working to build their off grid home, raising their children, and raise chickens and sheep. I knew they were in West Virginia. What I didn't know is how close they were to the raw land I had purchased in West Virginia. 

Fast forward a few years and my small home was built on my land, I transferred to one of our buildings near here for work, and I am now a West Virginia resident. I continued to watch gardening and homesteading videos in order to make progress toward my goal which is retirement on my land and growing as much as my own food as I am able. I am learning to live a healthier life. Imagine my GREAT surprise when I learn that Josh and Erin from Wild Wonderful Off Grid lives somewhat in this general area AND have built a cafe in a small town near me.

Wild Roots Cafe & Co

The videos show the remodeling process of what was once a flower shop in small town Romney, West Virginia. It has been turned into a cafe that offers coffee, breakfasts, and lunches. So far, I've had the cinnamon rolls (the best I've ever had!) and a BLT. A woman named DeAnna is in charge of the kitchen and her bread recipes are amazing! The cafe only very recently opened. You can learn more about the cafe and shop on their website Wild Roots Cafe & Co. 

Hand Poured Candles

The candle selection is poured at the Wild Roots Co. in Romney, WV. I purchased the Appalachian Forest scent which is Balsam Fir, Cypress, and Cedar. I had intended to purchase the "Bare Naked" which is the unscented candle since I struggle with so many perfumes and over-powering scents these days. One whiff of the Appalachian Forest scent had me hooked. I am having no sign of sensitivity to this scent. 

Wild Roots offers seasonal scents and holiday scented candles. They have just sold out (online) of their special Mother's Day candle.  

About their candles, they say:

  • size - volume 8.5 oz
  • wick - cotton (lead and zinc free)
  • burn time - 40+ hours
  • wax - 100% soy and made in the USA
  • Premium non-toxic - phthalate-free
  • hand-poured in small batches

They also list excellent reminders about general candle care and safety on their page. 

Hand Made Soaps

I was so thrilled to learn they were making soaps. I had started to learn to make my own soaps but I'm just too busy currently with work and other obligations. In the meantime, I've wanted to buy locally made soaps from small businesses. I am a firm believer that handmade soaps are far better for our skin than mass-produced soaps. Even better if I can find these soaps locally.

With the publicity of the Wild Roots Cafe opening, there has been a super high demand on the merchandise. As I write this, I notice that several of the soap types are currently sold out. Please don't let that deter you. 

When I was at the Cafe, I purchased the patchouli sunrise and the mountain mint. These bars are 4.5 oz. Both have a very short ingredients list: saponified oils of coconut, olive, palm and castor.  

In addition to that list of ingredients, the Patchouli Sunrise also has patchouli essential oil, sweet orange essential oil, and Brazilian clay. The Mountain mint includes eucalyptus powder, spinach powder, spurline, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil. I chose both of these soaps for their scent. The Mountain Mint will be perfect when I have colds or allergies. I also like to use peppermint and/or eucalyptus on my skin before I go hiking or camping. I feel as though those scents repel some of the bugs that want to swarm me when I'm outdoors. The Patchouli Sweet Orange is a scent that I've always enjoyed. With my chemical sensitivities, I have to be careful to now use over-powering scents. I am aware that patchouli can be over-powering. But these bars are at a nice level of the scented essential oils; not too soft and not too strong. In my opinion. 

As soon as they re-stock I will purchase a bar of the Detox soap. I have used activated charcoal and tea tree soaps in the past. I look forward to getting my hands on a bar of this soap by Wild Roots.

wild roots co

I highly recommend either these candles or soaps as gifts (for someone or for yourself). I am excited about pampering myself with the natural soaps and candles that Wild Roots Cafe & Co has to offer. 

Related Links:

Josh and Erin's primary YouTube channel can be found here at Wild Wonderful Off Grid. You can see their home build, home life, the cafe remodel and and more

Wild Roots Cafe & Co has an Instagram account here.

I often find the most updated information about the cafe on the Wild Wonderful Off Grid Instagram account here

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, April 25, 2024

M&M Gifts

 Are you looking for a gift for a special occasion?  Is the recipient someone who is hard to buy for?  Try a special M&M gift.

Special Candy Gift

My husband has always been a challenge to find just the right gift for special occasions.  Last year on Father's Day my daughter and family sent him a "Dad" candy dispenser full of St. Louis Cardinal logo M&M's.  The Cardinals are his favorite baseball team and who doesn't love M&M's?  This was a perfect gift for him.  We have used it all year long.  During the holiday's we put in holiday colored M&M's.  For his birthday in April he received another pack of Cardinal logo M&M's so now we're ready for baseball season.  The photo below shows one of the Cardinal logo candies.

Special Order M&M

You can buy refill bags of the candies on the M&M website.  Here is one that my husband got for Christmas.  
St Louis Cardinal M&M's

M&M's Special Candies

Click here to go to the website M&Ms.  On this site you can find M&M's for every occasion, and you can even customize your own candies.  Some of the many possibilities include:
  • Graduation M&M's with the year of your graduation imprinted and made in your school colors.
  • Weddings and Showers (think favors for the guests.
  • Mother's Day and Father's Day.  See the dispenser at the top of this page.  This is only one of many available.
  • Birthdays- both as gifts for the birthday celebrant and favors for the guests.
  • Team parties- designed in your favorite teams' colors and logos.
  • MLB-all 30 teams' logos and colors are in the store.

M&M Containers and Dispensers

To make your gift extra special pick a special container to hold the M&M's.  For favors you can choose a special bag or perhaps a plastic see through containe, available in a variety of shapes.  Check out the website to see all of the choices.

For a big gift you might choose a wine type bottle filled with M&M's, a mug, a animal shaped container or a dispenser like the one my husband received.

M&M's on Amazon

In checking out what was all available I checked out Amazon and found they had a variety of  M&M's gifts listed.  Check out this one for Mother's Day, and this one for weddings  Amazon carries a large variety of M&M toys and other containers.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the many possibilities of gifts with M&M's!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

You'll Love This High-Quality Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

My husband and I run on very different internal clocks. I am a night owl, while he has to get up early for work (and is, by nature, more of an early bird). I have tried to reset my internal clock to align more closely with his, but that has meant going lights-out at 12:30 AM instead of at 2 AM, while his bedtime is 9:30-10 PM.

I try to keep my bedside lamp low for his sake (and to help my body get the signal that it should start winding down for the night), but if I want to read a printed book or magazine or do some needlework or beading to help me wind down after he's asleep, my aging eyes need good lighting. That's why I'm so happy to have found the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light, which has worked much better for me than clip-on book lights or head lamps.

The Best Adjustable LED Neck Light

Illuminate Your Bedtime Reading or Handiwork Without Disturbing Your Partner

In this review, we'll delve into its features, usability, and overall performance to help you decide if it's the right addition to your nightly reading or handiwork ritual.

Comfort and Convenience

One of the standout features of the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is its lightweight, ergonomic design. The flexible arms allow you to adjust the light to your preferred angle, ensuring optimal illumination without straining your neck or eyes. No more wearing uncomfortable headlamps or trying to read in low light to avoid disturbing your partner. Simply position the light around your neck and enjoy hands-free illumination. Whether you prefer to read lying down, sitting up, or anywhere in between, this reading light adapts to your needs with ease.

Versatile Lighting Options

The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light offers customizable illumination to suit your environment, thanks to six brightness levels (two independently controlled neck light arms, each with three brightness levels) and three color temperature modes (warm, warm white, and cool white). Whether you're engrossed in a thrilling mystery novel, catching up on your favorite magazine, or relaxing with a needlework project, you can easily adjust the brightness and color temperature to create the perfect lighting for your needs and personal preferences.

Long Battery Life and Convenient USB-C Charging

One of the most frustrating aspects of traditional reading lights is their tendency to run out of battery at the most inconvenient times. Fortunately, the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light features a rechargeable battery with impressive longevity. With just a few hours of charging via a common USB-C cable, you can enjoy hours of uninterrupted reading or hobby time, making it the ideal companion for late-night literary or needlework sessions.

Compact, Portable, and Travel-Friendly

Perfect for travelers, bookworms, and anyone who loves to read or do crafts in bed, this comfortable neck light will become your best friend whether you're curling up with a good book or traveling for business or pleasure. Its compact and foldable design makes it easy to stow in your bedside table drawer or pack in your bag or suitcase, ensuring that you always have access to reliable illumination wherever you go.

No Task Light? No Problem!

For people who enjoy crafts or hobbies or who need to work on the go where there may not be adequate task lighting, this lightweight, portable LED neck light is a perfect solution. Whether you're sitting on the living room sofa or in a dimly-lit hotel room, you can easily get good task lighting focused directly at your reading material, project, etc.

A Gift Everyone Will Appreciate

Good lighting makes every task, from reading to working to hobbies, easier and more enjoyable. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from one of these affordable, versatile, comfortable, and well designed neck lights.

The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is a versatile and user-friendly accessory that enhances the nighttime reading experience and makes a valuable accessory for work or leisure activities.

Its comfortable design, customizable lighting options, long-lasting battery life, and portability make it a must-have for avid readers, needleworkers, and hobbyists of all ages. Say goodbye to strained eyes and cumbersome temporary lighting setups with this inexpensive, useful, and practical accessory.

You'll Love This High-Quality Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light by Margaret Schindel

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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, April 22, 2024

3D Printing In Libraries Reviewed

Are you intrigued with 3D printing? The 3D printing market has exploded the last few years, but is it reasonable and affordable for consumers to own a 3D printer?

Look no further than your local library! Did you know your local library may provide access to 3D printers for free or at a nominal cost?  An alternative does exist to owning a 3D printer and the use maybe included with your library access (or in many areas, shared access between libraries.)

3D Printing

The possibilities truly are boundless with 3D printing projects. The libraries in my area offer a myraid of 3d printing services and/or use of the printers by patrons or the library staff. Step 1 of 3D printing is to find a design and finding a free and open source design is as easy as visiting a website, choosing the design and uploading the design to your computer, cloud or thumb drive.

Where To Find Open Source (Free) 3D Designs

The three sites I review for free designs are:

Thingiverse (my favorite)


My Mini factory, free and paid designs, niche

The sites are easily searchable and also provide visual examples if a design was made by others. I found this feature especially useful so if a chosen design has been made successfully by multiple users I view this as a possible design to use. The sites are reminiscent of open source software sites of the past, but with 3D printer design files.

I love the variety and imagination of the designs. What a great project this could be for kids and grandkids with an innovative interest: shop for the design, upload the design, visit the 3D maker space to view actual 3D printers and use the printers (depending upon the policies of the library.)

How 3D Printing Works With Library

My local library offers free 3D printing through its' on site Idealab! And the free printing is not just for patron of the library; free to anyone!

The library has a monthly que with a limit of projects. Projects are submitted via email on a google doc form. The Idealab provides 200 kg of filament per monthly project. If the project requires additional filament then the patron can provide the filament per the instructions from the library.

The STL files are uploaded with the google form and the direct link to the files is also provided to the library.

When the project is finished an email is sent from the library and the project is then picked up in the grab n go area of the library. So simple! So easy! So fun!

The majority of large libraries in my area now offer 3D printing: the policies vary per library, but the intent is to provide a service at a nominal if any, cost.

A Few Examples of 3D Printing From The Local Library

Slow Feed Dog Bowl

Painting palette


The MCM table was a special project from the lab. Reservations were required and clearly it was anticipated the project would fill up quickly. Online registration was opened and filled to capacity within minutes.

The tables were printed within approximately one month and ready for pick up from the library. The table was in three pieces, the legs, base and tabletop. All pieces fit together and could be (if desired) reinforced with glue. It took only a few minutes to assemble.

The table below is similar to the table the library printed.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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