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

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Review of a Quality Mini Blender-Chopper

Check Out This Brand of Mini-Chopper for a Quality Product

I recommend this mini-chopper because it's lasted us nearly fifteen years.

As most of us know, it's rare for any appliance to last that long. 

What makes this mini-chopper special isn't fancy features; in my opinion, it's the company that makes it. 

A Black & Decker Product - In Business Since 1910

We've always been a fan of this company and its products. They established their beginnings in 1910 in Baltimore, Maryland, as a small machine shop. Their products range from heavy equipment, hardware, home accessories, fastening systems, power tools, and home appliances. A Black & Decker drill was even used on the moon in the early 1970s for the Apollo 15 and 16 missions. In 2010 they merged with Stanley Works to become Stanley Black & Decker.

On a personal note, my mother worked for their company in the mid-1970s. Where I'm from, Black & Decker has been known for manufacturing solid products.

What's the Big Deal About a Mini-Chopper Anyway?

I'm not one for a lot of counter appliances. I find hauling out an appliance to be time-consuming. I prefer to cut, chop and mix as much as I can without a lot of extra equipment to store and wash. However, I've made an exception for this one product. 

Our Black & Decker Mini Chopper - It's over 15 years old and still going strong

I use the mini-chopper for anything that needs shredding, cutting, or chopping. I especially like it for chopping garlic and onions. I'll chop one, two, or three heads of garlic in one go. Tonight was a chicken broccoli casserole, and its main feature was lots of garlic. Thanks to this handy item, I can dice a lot of garlic at once.

In our house, we've had to replace numerous appliances over that same time period. However, not this mini-chopper - it has never broken or needed any type of repair.

Our 15-year-old+ Black & Decker Mini Chopper

Not repairing or replacing an appliance for over fifteen years automatically earns said appliance a five-star rating. This little gadget is well made!

If you're looking for an affordable hostess gift or a small gift for someone, don't hesitate to choose the Black & Decker Mini Chopper. It's something that will absolutely get used, and best of all, last.

You can find the mini-chopper here on Amazon. You'll notice that our mini-chopper has a completely different look. Of course, the reason being, it's fifteen years old!

Don't hesitate to choose this product. Five stars.





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


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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Best Wet Brushes for Detangling Your Hair Without Damage

Detangling hair without damaging it requires time and a gentle touch. Removing snarls from wet hair requires even more patience and gentleness. A detangling brush aka “wet brush” with flexible, ball-tipped bristles is the best hair care tool for getting tangles out of not only wet but also dry tresses, especially for long, thick, curly, long or damaged hair that gets knotted easily.

In today’s review, I'll explain why and when it's important to use "wet brushes" and sharing my favorite detangling brushes to help protect the health and beauty of your mane.

Detangling Hairbrushes text over photo of woman brushing hair
Using a detangling brush aka "wet brush" to remove snarls and tangles gently helps minimize damage to your hair's protective cuticle

A “Wet Brush” Helps Remove Snarls Gently Without Damaging Your Hair

If you are lucky enough to have the type of hair that rarely gets knots and can be combed through easily, without tugging, after a shampoo or swim, I envy you! For everyone else, whose locks are prone to tangling and breaking (especially when wet), there are two very important things you will need to minimize damage to your mane when you are trying to persuade your snarled strands to separate.

The first is plenty of patience, since you will need to coax the strands apart only a few inches at a time, starting with the last two or three inches and slowly working your way up toward the scalp, moving to the next section only after the one you are working on is completely tangle-free.

The second thing you will need is a good quality "wet brush", i.e., a detangling brush designed to help you remove snarls from either dry or wet hair.

Keeping the Hair Shaft's Cuticle Healthy Is the Key to Smooth, Shiny, Strong Hair

Cuticle Damage = Fragile, Dull, Frizzy Hair and Split Ends

When we talk about hair, we usually are referring to the shaft (the visible portion outside the scalp). The cortex, which forms the majority of the shaft, is responsible for the hair's strength/elasticity, color and texture. (Very thick hairs may also have a thin core called the medulla.) The hair shaft's outermost layer, the cuticle, is composed of smooth, flat keratin cells arranged compactly in overlapping, downward-facing rows, similar to roof tiles or fish scales. The cuticle protects the cortex (and medulla, if there is one) against damage and controls how much moisture can enter it. 

The health of your hair depends largely on the integrity of the cuticle. If the cuticle is abraded, worn away, stretched, cracked, or otherwise damaged, it can no longer protect the cortex. Without an intact protective cuticle, the helix-shaped keratin protein strands (which are like coiled springs) are no longer held securely in place and can stick out, creating a frizzy appearance and weakening the hair fibers.

Healthy hair looks shiny because the cuticle is smooth and intact, so light reflects off a smooth surface at the same angle. Damaged hair looks dull because the cuticle's overlapping cells no longer lay down flat, so light refracts off the uneven surface at different angles. 

Since hair grows from the roots, the ends are the oldest part and, therefore, have had the most cumulative exposure to physical, chemical and environmental damage. The cuticle on the ends of the shaft has had the most wear and tear, and the exposed cortex is what we call split ends. (For more information about the chemical, mechanical and environmental factors that cause hair damage, please see my Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment + No.3 Hair Perfector Product Review.)

The Benefits of Using a Wet Brush for Detangling Dry or Wet Hair

Thinner, More Flexible Bristles Are Gentler on Snarled Tresses

Paddle brushes and other hairbrushes designed to be used only on dry hair often have thick, stiff bristles. For example, 100% boar bristle brushes are good for adding shine to healthy tresses because they help distribute the oils from the scalp along the shaft. 

However, because these shorter, stiff bristles have very little “give,” when they encounter a snag they tend to get stuck in the knot. Since the hair is more elastic and more fragile, especially when it is wet, those tangled strands will break rather than slide apart when they are under tension from the stiff bristles. 

By contrast, a "wet brush" designed specifically for detangling both wet and dry hair has smooth, flexible bristles that can glide along the strands without abrading the cuticle or causing tears or cracks. Some stretching and breaking is inevitable when you are trying to brush out snarls, especially if your hair is long, thick, wavy, fragile or damaged and tangles easily even when it is dry. But a detangling brush, especially one with long, ball-tipped bristles, will help minimize the damage to the cuticle when used on dry or wet hair.

Use a "Wet Brush" to Detangle Dry Hair Before a Shampoo or Swim, Then Towel Dry and Detangle Again

When your hair is wet, the shaft absorbs water and swells, causing the edges of the protective cuticle's overlapping "tiles" (cells) to lift a bit, exposing more of the softer and more porous cortex layer.  That's why your tresses are weaker and more vulnerable to stretching, breaking, and other damage than when they are dry, and why it's important to use a brush with thin, flexible, rounded or ball-tipped bristles and slide it through the strands slowly and gently.  

Before you shampoo or go for a swim, it's a good idea to use a "wet brush" to detangle your hair while it's still dry, so there will be fewer knots and snarls to unravel after you get out of the water, when your wet hair will be more vulnerable to damage from a brush. 

Make sure to dry your wet hair with a soft, very absorbent microfiber hair towel or turban to gently wick away as much moisture as possible before you begin to detangle, brush or style it. (See my VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel Product Review to learn more about the hair towel/turban that has earned my highest recommendation.) Then use a “wet brush” with thin, flexible and, ideally, ball-tipped bristles to gently ease any tangled strands apart and minimize potential damage to the all-important protective cuticle layer. 

Always Use a Detangling Brush to Remove Snarls, Whether Your Hair Is Wet or Dry

If you find a lot of strands in your shower drain or your hairbrush, or if your mane is frizzy, breaks or gets tangled easily even when it's dry, those are signs that the cuticle has been damaged. 

If that's the case (as it is for most of us who are past our twenties), you definitely will benefit from using a detangling brush on your dry hair, either exclusively or to remove any snarls before you use your regular hairbrush.

My Picks for the Best Wet Brushes (AKA Detangling Brushes)

Many years ago, the stylist at my hair salon explained that the reason my formerly smooth, silky long locks were becoming frizzy, dull, brittle and increasingly prone to snarls was the cumulative damage to the cuticle from decades of coloring, highlighting and heat styling. One of the things he recommended was to stop using my beloved (and expensive) Kent boar bristle hairbrush and switch to a good quality "wet brush" instead, since the more detangling I had to do, the more damage a brush with dense clusters of short, stiff, boar bristles would create. Since then, I have tried several different brands and styles of detangling brushes and the Wet Brush brand has worked the best for me.

Wet Brush makes many different styles and models of detangling brushes, all featuring the brand's smooth, ball-tipped, flexible IntelliFlex bristles that glide through snarls more easily than others I have tried. In fact, Wet Brush states that independent clinical trials showed that the brand's exclusive IntelliFlex bristles are less damaging than a traditional styling brush and use less force than another leading detangling brush. The brand says its IntelliFlex bristles cause 19% less damage and use 56% less force. 

Another advantage of the ball-tipped bristles is that they are good for massaging the scalp gently, without causing any damage.

For the past several years, I have been using the Wet Brush Pro Flex Dry Paddle, a vented paddle detangling brush with a flexible head that conforms to the scalp better than a traditional, rigid brush head.

This Wet Brush model is one of several styles that are vented to promote air flow while blow drying. (I assume "dry paddle" means "drying paddle.") When I was blow drying my hair, the wide vents worked really well for that purpose 

I have been using this brush on my long, easily tangled mane for several years and it has held up fine. However, there have been some customer reviews complaining that this and other vented Wet Brush models break too easily. If they were using enough force to break the sturdy plastic, I suspect that they were tugging too hard and trying to force the bristles through stubborn knots and snarls, rather than using the bristles to gently work them apart to avoid damaging the cuticle and causing the enmeshed strands to break. If my guess is correct, then the allegedly premature breakage of the brush head may well have been caused by user error, rather than a materials or design flaw.

Last year, I decided to stop blow drying my hair, so I no longer need a vented paddle detangling brush. These days, after I towel-dry and detangle my tresses, either I let it finish air drying naturally or use my oval hot air brush, which is virtually identical to the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush and produces very similar results to what I could achieve with a blow dryer and a vented round brush, but much more easily.

As a result, I have been looking at some of the company's non-vented models. Here are the front-runners under consideration.

  • The Original Wet Brush detangler. This was the brand's first product, which appears to still be its most popular model.

I had purchased an Original Wet Brush detangler in basic black quite a few years ago, which was my first introduction to this brand. I used that one for several years, until my checked luggage went astray when we flew home from a trip abroad and never turned up. Fortunately, it was one of the less expensive items I had to replace! (That was when I decided to try one of the company's then-new vented paddle brushes.)

Since I no longer need a vented paddle brush for blow drying, I'm seriously considering going back to The Original Wet Brush, especially now that it comes in a gorgeous new aqua color that is exclusive to Amazon. 

I love any shade of aqua, turquoise, teal, etc., so the Amazon-exclusive edition of this tried-and-true detangling brush is very appealing.

If aqua isn't your color, you'll be happy to know that it also comes in black as well as a rainbow of other colors, as well as in vibrant prints, such as daisy garden, dark floral, Aztec, sea life and even fun leopard, tiger and zebra animal prints. No matter your color preferences or taste, you're sure to find something you like among the many choices. (There's even a Wet Brush with a pink unicorn print, twinkling LED lights and the saying, "follow your dreams" that many teenage girls would probably adore!)

  • The Wet Brush Shine Enhancer. This style has a mix of long IntelliFlex bristles and spaced-out tufts of shorter boar bristles. It's great for detangling and brushing second-day hair in one go.

The smooth, ball-tipped, flexible IntelliFlex bristles glide through the hair, allowing you to work out snarls gently without damaging the cuticle. At the same time, the shorter boar bristle tufts help redistribute the oils from your scalp along the length of the shaft, smoothing down the cuticle and adding shine. 

Since the boar bristles are fairly short, the much longer IntelliFlex bristles only allow them to glide along the surface layers of the hair, where the shine is needed, without penetrating deeper and getting caught in any knots or snarls.

It's also fantastic for brushing out dry shampoo, which for some reason always makes my long hair tangle like crazy, even though I always use a detangling brush before applying the dry shampoo to my roots! 

Although it is theoretically okay to use on wet or dry strands, I would be reluctant to use a brush with even short boar bristles on my long, damaged hair when it is still damp. So, I probably will end up getting the Original Wet Brush for detangling just before going into the water and after my hair has been towel dried, and also the Wet Brush Shine Enhancer on my dry hair as my "regular" brush, since my hair is in need of frequent detangling even when it is dry. 

Wet Brush now makes a line of round blow-drying brushes with different types of bristles designed to stand up to the heat of a blow dryer. If I ever go back to blow-drying my hair, I will definitely look into getting one of these, rather than a vented paddle brush.

The brand recently introduced the Wet Brush Go Green Collection, a line of "earth-friendly" detangling brushes, treatment brushes and treatment combs that feature handles made from "an all-natural biodegradable plant starch" that it claims "will naturally break down in a landfill within 5 years." 

Although this collection is too new for me to feel confident about the durability of the plant-based plastic that  provides their structure, I will be interested to see the reviews in another year or two. I would be thrilled to have a more environmentally friendly option for my favorite detangling hairbrush!

Wet Brushes for Men, Kids and Pets

Men's hair needs TLC, too, which is why there is Wet Brush Men's Detangler. It is longer and narrower than the women's models and is designed to be used on "straight, curly, textured, thick and wavy hair including beards." It has the same signature IntelliFlex bristles and works well on both wet and dry hair, The guys, however, have to settle for a couple of basic color choices.

Anyone who either had long hair when they were a kid or has had a long-haired young daughter or son knows that brushing out those tangled locks can be a daily or nightly battle between the parent and child. Fortunately, there is also a Wet Brush Kids Detangler to take the tears out of this dreaded routine task. The kids' version is a smaller-scale version of the Original detangling brush and comes in cheerful prints, including one with ice cream bars. 

The company also makes detangling and grooming brushes and combs for pets, which I think would make great gifts for pet owners.


The Best Wet Brushes for Detangling Your Hair Without Damage product review by Margaret Schindel

Read My Other Hair Care Reviews:

Read More of My Product Reviews

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Julia Child's Apron

Learn a bit more about Julia Child, the famous television chef and author's apron!

The pandemic world sent many people who previously spent little time cooking into their kitchens where many learned that a good apron protects your clothing from stains and can also keep your kitchen tools (and your cellphone) close at hand. There are many styles of aprons but, if you want to follow the lead of Julia Child, the famous American chef, cooking teacher, author, and television personality, you should know that she preferred her aprons plain and sturdy. Pretty and frilly, she felt, is not useful. She once said of a pretty apron that was gifted to her, "Oh, Dearie, dainty doesn't do in the kitchen."

That quote comes from EllynAnne Geisel’s 2002 HuffPost interview with Julia Child on the eve of her ninetieth birthday. They discussed Child’s apron memory and Child told Geisel that she had not worn an apron at all until she met her husband Paul and that she then adopted the Cordon Bleu tradition of wearing a blue denim apron with a towel draped over the ties at the waist. It makes sense that the Cordon Bleu (and Child) wanted an apron that was simple and serviceable and that the towel is better for wiping hands on than the apron.

On Geisel’s blog post, she says that she recorded an hour-long interview with Child and that the recording is safely tucked away for safekeeping. Wouldn’t you like to hear that interview? 

In the 1970s, Child was a cooking icon and Saturday Night Live created a parody skit. According to the L.A. Times, Child was delighted and agreed that “cooking is often messy...” When faced with mess, Child continued on and was, I am sure, glad she had her apron on.

AN APRON LIKE THE ONE JULIA CHILD WORE?


I went looking and could not find an apron exactly like the one that Julia Child wore. However, I found this interesting denim apron by Chef Works that should prove suitably durable and that has two pockets and a tie for tucking that all important towel into. Shown here is the full-length bistro apron that is available with or without a bib as well as in varying lengths. Find Chef Works' denim bistro apron on Amazon here.

Here's an apron, reminiscent of the one Julia Child wore. Denim, with pockets for kitchen tools and an all-important tie for tucking your towl into.


JULIA CHILD APRON ADORNED ORNAMENT AND DOLL


Julia Child fabric ornament by Silk Road Bazaar


Julia Child wooden peg doll by Peg and Plum.

In my search, I also found these two great gift ideas. That is, a Julia Child fabric ornament by Silk Road Bazaar and a Julia Child wooden peg doll by Peg and Plum both of which wear an apron, are from Etsy and would make unusual gifts for any fan of the television chef.

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If you’re curious about the famous chef, you have probably already seen the movie Julie and Julia  starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. But did you know that in 2021, HBO picked up a new television drama series called Julia? It is currently in production with no release date available as of yet but I know some of us are waiting to watch the series.

See you
in the kitchen!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Sizzlin' Hot BBQ Aprons
Julia Child picture used via Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0.








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Saturday, August 7, 2021

Sleep Headphones for Side Sleepers

 I'm reviewing my Musicozy Wireless Sports Headwear aka headband speakers which I use when I'm sleeping.

Photo by Lou16, image design via Canva

Let's start with why I was looking for some headband speakers.   I have been on a bit of a health journey since the beginning of 2018.   This journey first focused on my nutrition (learn more here), then on the exercise component of good health as well as personal development.

I had always thought that personal development was a great idea for some people, but I didn't need it!  I really believe that some of the personal development practices I used helped keep me on track with my journey while enriching my life in so many ways.   If you're thinking about starting a personal development journey yourself I recommend working through The Magic by Rhonda Byrne.  

As life got in the way I started spending less time on my personal development, my morning journaling, affirmations, reading dwindled from 30 mins to 20 to 10 until I stopped doing any work at all.   Initially, I didn't really notice it, but gradually changes took place and I found myself in a really negative headspace. 

I was talking to my daughter about things and somehow the conversation shifted to sleeping and she told me she listens to affirmations and meditations as she's going to sleep.   The idea intrigued me as I thought that would be great, except I didn't think my husband would be impressed if he had to listen to them!

Not long after our conversation, my husband had to go away for work for a week so I decided to see if I could sleep listening to some of the offerings on YouTube.   Now a couple had voices that really annoyed my so it may take you a while to find the perfect fit for you, but I did find a channel that I liked.   I listened as I was going to sleep and after a couple of days, I was convinced that I needed to find a way to keep this practice up.

My daughter recommended I look for some headband speakers so I turned to Amazon.   I searched for headband speakers and then I saw that some mentioned side sleepers so I narrowed my search to these.   I ended up buying the Musicozy Wireless Sports Headwear (the official title on the box), they were actually listed on Amazon as Musicozy Sleep Headphones Headband.

Musicozy Wireless Sports Headwear - The Review

There were lots of headband speakers to choose from and I wish I could say that I did a lot of research to narrow down my choice but I basically looked for ones that said they were suitable for side sleepers, that connected to Bluetooth and weren't too expensive.   The reason I didn't want to spend too much is that I really wasn't sure I'd be able to sleep with them.

I had narrowed it down to two different ones and was trying to decide if I wanted black or the grey marl when I saw that Musicozy had an animal print design - decision made!

 So the company says (in italics):

  • Wireless headphones with excellent sound quality - the sound quality really is good, but they do say on Amazon that they are noise-canceling which they are not.  For my purposes, that's fine as I want to hear if there are any noises at night, but if you're looking at using them at the gym they may not be for you.
  • Built-in microphone, hands free talking - I haven't used the microphone as I have only used them for listening while I sleep and I can't see any reviewers talking about this feature
  • Effective wireless range up to 10 meters/33 feet - personally I have my phone on my bedside table so I haven't tested the range, but I have read a few reviewers who find they can walk around their house and remain connected.
  • Three buttons control all music/call functions - I love that there are only three buttons (I only use the middle one) as I will often wake up in the early hours and want to take it off so I can just press the middle button, without the need of my glasses or the light, to turn it off and put it on the side before going back to sleep. 
  • Built-in rechargeable li-polymer battery - on Amazon it says that the charging takes 1-2 hours and it will hold the charge for 10 hours.   I am sure mine holds the charge longer than 10 hours.  The first time I charged it I did find it a little fiddly to do, but not sure if that was just me!  It's very easy and I usually put it on charge in the morning as I'm doing things so I don't know how long it actually takes.

Note for side sleepers


I sleep on my side and although the speakers are thin I will admit that I still wasn't convinced that I should lie on my side so the first night I slept on my back which resulted in snoring which resulted in a grumpy husband and sore throat!

The next couple of nights I actually slept on my side but I rested my head on my arm so that I wasn't pressing down on the speakers.  This was quite comfortable, but I woke up during the night and took the headband off.   Finally, on the fourth or fifth night, I just rested my head on the pillow as usual and it was really good.   I did find that I could turn the volume down slightly when I wasn't on my back or rested on my arm so that was good.

I definitely found that I could sleep on my side with these speakers and recommend them to any fellow side sleepers out there.

Note for people sharing a bed


The big test for these speakers was whether or not they disturbed my husband's sleep.   Some nights he can be a light sleeper and when something wakes him up it will take him a long time to go back to sleep.   His response to my sleep headphones - "I couldn't hear a thing".

In summary, I am really happy with my purchase and hope that my review has helped anyone who would like to listen to meditations, affirmations or music while drifting off to sleep.





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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

What's Bugging You in August? A Product Review

August is the month that many people look forward to!  Why?  Well, it's the month that lots of fresh produce becomes available right across the country!

Every year my sweetie and I look forward to those open air "Farmer's Markets".  We love to let our farmer friends know how much we appreciate their work and the produce that is available is so fresh!  You know it was just picked! 
 
Image by Innviertlerin from Pixabay


Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peaches, cherries, and all manner of produce is there for your enjoyment.

The only problem that we have ever had with all this fresh produce around is those nasty Fruit Flies!  They seem to develop overnight, find my nice fresh fruit and drive me crazy!

Washing and drying the produce does not seem to help in keeping those nasty little flies away.  After a day or two,  the fruit flies seem to have invaded my kitchen and I'm hard pressed to get a handle on them.  Now it doesn't help much that I love making home-made tomato sauce and the fruit flies seem to love cut tomatoes more than anything else!  I just start making my sauce and it seems like there are fruit flies everywhere.  
 

What can you do to solve this problem?


Well, I have been researching ways to get rid of these pests!  I don't want to use "Raid" or other chemicals in my kitchen, after all, those sprays end up on everything.  Plus they are not very effective unless you get the sprays right on the bugs.  I don't want to be breathing or eating anything that has been sprayed.  So that leaves me with looking for some natural ways to get rid these pests.  

Natural traps consist of something that will ultimately bring the bugs to you.  If you check out You Tube they will show you how to make traps using a glass with vinegar and some liquid soap in the bottom.  Cover the glass with plastic wrap.  Then poke a few holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick.  The vinegar will attract the fruit flies and they will crawl into the little holes.  Once they are in, it's hard for them to find the holes to get back out.  Most will drown in the liquid in the bottom of the glass.  You can check out the how to right here if you want to go that route!  Home Made Fruit Fly Traps

Personally, I have tried this method and while it works for some fruit fly removal, I find that I have more flies that are not at all attracted to it.  And it seems that they multiply exponentially making the problem just that much worse.

Now I have found another way to get rid of these pests and not just fruit flies, but also mosquitos and fungus gnats as well.

There is nothing more annoying than heading off to sleep when you hear that buzzzzz of an errant mosquito that found it's way into your home.  Don't they always seem to follow you right into the bedroom?  Well, the method I'm employing in my home will take care of that pest too!

Fungus gnats in my houseplants should also be a problem solved with my newfound method of pest removal.  So the fact that this product will take care of them as well, just makes this product even better.  I do love my houseplants, and yes, I have had a problem with fungus gnats in the past.  

Now I'm sure you are interested in knowing what this method is and so I'm going to share it with you!
KATCHY is an indoor electronic bug zapper!  It sits on your kitchen counter (or bedroom or livingroom) and goes to work when you are sleeping.  It emits a blue light that these bugs find attractive and once they are close enough, a powerful fan draws them into the core of this gadget.  They are funneled down to the bottom and get themselves stuck on the glue board.  Once in, they will never fly out again.   



 


I love that it comes in either black or white and it's affordable!  There are  No Chemicals  used with this product either so no fumes to worry about, no smells and no residual films on home surfaces!

While I was looking for something that would work during the summer months, I'm sure that this will work all year long ridding my home of those other pests that live throughout the year. Katchy is the Number one rated home pest control traps on Amazon with lots of people giving it a big thumbs up!

It's a winner in my books for more than just ridding myself of those nasty fruit flies, but also the mosquitos, fungus gnats and moths.  

I hope this helps you have a much better summer with all the fresh produce you can eat!  Without the bugs to bug you!  Happy Summer everyone!




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


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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Is the Lemon Pod the Best Lemon Keeper?

Let's review why I love my Lemon Pod and why I think it most definitely IS the best type of lemon keeper or lemon saver around.   You could always try and convince me otherwise of course!

The Lemon Pod Review
The Lemon Pod (photos Lou16, design Canva)


I do love lemons and have over the past year discovered lemon and blueberry proats which have become my absolute favourite breakfast.   When making these proats I only use half a lemon.   What I would do before I had the Lemon Pod was - I placed the remaining half of the lemon in a plastic sandwich bag and stored it in the fridge until the next day.

Obviously, this is not very environmentally sound so I decided to look for a lemon keeper or lemon saver.   During my hunt I discovered the Lemon Pod and I thought it was the best one available so I brought it.   I absolutely love it and use it along with my lemon squeezer several times a week.

What attracted me to the Lemon Pod?  It's not a rigid container that you just pop your lemon half in, it has a top that actually stretches to fit the lemon.   The different sizes of lemons that I get throughout the year can all be catered for with the Lemon Pod.

The Lemon Pod is actually made up of two pieces.    A bottom solid piece of heavy plastic is where you put the half lemon, cut side down.   The top piece has a heavy plastic ring around the outside which twists into the bottom locking it in place.   The middle of this top piece has a stretchy material that stretches over the lemon.   When you take the lemon out the stretchy material goes back to its 'normal' size.

I believe that as this stretches to 'fit' the lemon it helps it to stay fresh longer because less air can be trapped in there.  To be honest, I couldn't tell you exactly how long the lemons will stay fresh because the longest I've kept half a lemon is two days, but I won't part with my Lemon Pod and I won't swap it for another Lemon Keeper.

If you don't fancy trying proats and you don't add lemon juice to your hot drinks you might be interested in trying a couple of sweet lemon recipes a couple of our contributors make.   First Sam makes fresh Lemon Hand Pies which sound absolutely delicious and then Mary Beth makes some amazing Lemon Cookies.





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Friday, July 23, 2021

The Best Sizzlin' Hot Barbecue Aprons

Love your grill? You need one of these sizzling hot barbecue aprons!

Grilling Something on the barbecue? Put on an apron first! It is summertime and the living is easy. Great weather, good music and your trusty friend, the barbecue, will help you prepare good food but before you throw your meat on the grill you might want to throw on a fun, spirited and practical grilling-themed apron. Here I review six. That is, six sizzlin' hot BBQ aprons. Six of the best. 'Cause only the best will do for you!

GRILL MASTER APRON


Perfect for the individual who has mastered his grill!

This grilling apron by Attitude Apron is a one-size-fits-all (which is usually the case) apron made of a polyester blend perfect for cooking and grilling.  One reviewer said, "We gave this and a grilling cookbook as a gift to my father-in-law and he loved it! The apron is just as pictured and was a perfect fit for my 5'9" father-in-law."  Find the Grill Master apron here on Amazon.

REAL MEN DON'T USE RECIPES APRON


For the man who crafts unique creations at his bbq, a real men don't use recipes apron!

This Real Men Don't Use Recipes apron is another one-size-fits-all apron. It is made in the United States from a polyester blend, perfect for cooking and grilling. Perfect for any man who likes to ad-lib as he cooks. Find the Real Men apron here on Amazon.

A MAN AND HIS GRILL MEN'S APRON


For a man who loves manning his barbecue, a man and his grill apron.

This a man and his grill BBQ apron is a 65 percent polyester, 35 percent cotton blend and features an adjustable neck and back ties. Just throw it in the washing machine after those big grilling events! "We bought this for my brother in law's birthday (along with grill utensils) and he loved it." Find the A Man and His Grill apron on Amazon here.

BOSS OF THE BBQ APRON


Boss of the BBQ - Smokin' Hot and So Is My Grill apron!

This Boss of the BBQ - Smokin' Hot and So Is My Grill apron, is yet another black, one-size-fits-most apron that will delight any man who is in charge of the BBQ...or who is just plain hot, LOL. Find the Boss of the BBQ apron here on Amazon.

WHO REALLY IS THE KING OF THE GRILL? 


This video will leave you smiling. It captures barbecuing stereotypes, whether they are true at your house or not. At our house, my husband cannot take a book out with him when he tends the grill because that only leads to disaster. The lesson we have learned the hard way is don't get between a Little and his or her reading material even if food is involved.


KING OF THE GRILL APRON


Do You Know Someone Who Is The King of the Grill?

Do You Know Someone Who Is The King of the Grill? They should definitely have their own King of the Grill Apron! Also made of a polyester blend, it is perfect for all of the king's cooking and grilling! This is an apron with attitude, making grilling even more fun! Order your King of the Grill apron from Amazon here.

Are you loving your barbecue? How about these barbecue aprons? And for interest sake, who Is The King of the Grill At YOUR House?

Tie one on! 
Brenda




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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Radio Red Flyer Wagon - Reviewed

 

Radio Red Flyer Wagon Reviewed

Four wheels, a box, and a handle, what could be simpler. What I’ve just described is a whole bunch of fun with your kids or your grandchildren. 

The Radio Flyer Red Wagon, we bought one when our grandson Bobby was almost 2 years old. We have had such wonderful times taking walks around the neighborhood, to the local playground, and to parks with all of our grandchildren.

 


Are you thinking about joining the gym to get yourself in shape? Save your money, just take the kids for a stroll in the red wagon, and you’ll get plenty of exercise, especially if you take on some hills, and I mean going up the hills not down.

Every ride we used as a time to learn new things with our grandchildren. In the spring when everything is blooming we would point out the different flowers and trees in bloom. In the fall when the leaves were turning all of the vibrant colors, we would collect them and talk about what makes them change colors.

Bobby is going to be 16 years old now, so he is a little too big to fit in the wagon. His little brother Tyler also had so much fun with this wagon, Tyler is now 10 years old.

Now the fun is with our two granddaughters Giada and Guiles. Every time they visit they enjoy the wagon rides just as much.

Radio Red Flyer Wagon

A few years ago we decorated our wagon for the local village, July 4th celebration. The village held a contest and a parade for the best-decorated bikes. So, we decorated the wagon, we didn't win but we sure had a lot of fun.

Red Flyer Wagon Features:

The wagon is made of sturdy plastic; it has 2-fold up seats, and seat belts to hold your precious cargo securely. There are four molded cup holders so you can bring along the kids’ favorite drinks. The wagon has the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval.

If you have kids or grandchildren the Radio Red Flyer Wagon makes a perfect gift. Our wagon is now 14 years old and still in great shape. We have made memories for a lifetime with our wagon.

This is the wagon we have but they make so many different styles. Check them out and find one that's right for you.

Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon, Base Red, 39Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon, Base Red, 39Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon, Base Red, 39

 

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Weather Tech Floor Liner Cleaner and Protector - Reviewed

 

Weather Tech Floor Liner Cleaner and Protector - Reviewed

We had our Kia Sorento about a year before we decided to make the investment into our Weather Tech floor liners. I am sure you have all seen the advertisements on television.

Weather Tech floor liners are laser cut to your specific vehicle and are always a perfect fit. I have to say that these floor liners are well worth the money. But this post is not about the floor liners, it is about keeping them looking like new.

The winter months here in Western New York can be brutal on your vehicle, especially the floor mats. After the first winter with our new Weather Tech floor liners, it was time to clean up the car.

I removed the floor liners and scrubbed them with soap and water using a scrub brush. They were clean, but they did not look clean. The winter dirt and scuff marks seemed to be permanent.

So, I did what anyone else would do, I searched online to see what was recommended to clean and make my floor liners look new again. What I found was the Weather Tech Floor Liner and Floor Mat cleaner, and the Weather Tech Floor Liner and Floor Mat Protector.

Weather Tech Floor Mat Cleaner:

“Exclusive foam formula immediately works to remove dirt, sand, and stains. Biodegradable and contains no phosphates.”

Weather Tech Floor Mat Protector:

“Provide long-lasting “Like New” appearance. Creates a slip-resistant and stain reducing finish that helps extend the life of the mats and liners.”

The above are the statements on the product labels, and I must tell you they are true statements. The Weather Tech Cleaner and Protector have my floor liners looking like new with truly little effort from me.

Berore
Before
This is a before photo of my Weather Tech Floor liner. Keep in mind that this photo is after I had already scrubbed it with soap and water.

After
After
Here is the photo after I used the Weather Tech cleaner and Protector, it looks brand new just like it came out of the box.

If you do not have Weather Tech Floor Liners, you can buy them here.

If you do have Weather Tech Floor Liners and want them looking like new, I highly recommend the cleaner and protector. I am so pleased with the new look of my floor liners.


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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Reviewing The Uses Of Pretty and Versatile Headbands For Great Hair




I love my versatile headbands "Sea Team 6-Pack Wide Hairbands" which come in different colours and patterns to suit the activity and my mood. I feel these headbands are very suitable for anyone of any age from a young person to a more mature person who likes the style and look of wearing a headband and perhaps needs one to keep hair out of the way while still looking lovely!

 Why I Like To Wear Headbands. 


I have medium length quite fine wavy hair but a lot of it and I often end up tieing it up when working in the garden and certainly for doing fitness activities. I love having long hair but on hot days I simply have to keep it off my face or I get too hot and uncomfortable. Before I got these hairbands I used to tie my hair up in an elastic band and that resulted in damaged hair and splitting, which is not a good look and not healthy for the hair. 

I think these hairbands would also work for thick hair, curly or straight hair and I do feel that any age can wear these if you like the colours and patterns. I initially thought these would be best for long hair but I do think they would look very cute on shorter hair too. 

My Three Fave Headbands

 When Can You Wear Headbands

These headbands are very comfortable, soft and stretchy enough to easily be worn for hours. I wear mine for every pilates and rebounder workout and my new dance exercise video classes. I think it would be great to wear at any age if you do yoga or play tennis, badminton or any other sports.

I also wear mine when out gardening so that my hair doesn't get in my eyes so much and pick up all the burrs and pollen from the plants!

They are great for when decorating too. You would just need to have one you sacrificed for decorating as if you are anything like me it will end up with paint all over it!  

Apart from wearing them for activities, I do feel that they are pretty enough to wear when out and about and I love the colours and patterns to go with or contrast with clothes.

If a new wardrobe or new dresses or jeans are not affordable right now you can easily update your look with these pretty and funky headbands!

I have to say they really came into their own during the time when we could not get to hairdressers for months and my hair was certainly doing its own thing!! Wearing one of these headbands just made it look a more put-together look. 

In addition, I am not happy about my hair going grey and it seems to be going more grey at the front than the back! I do use natural colourants but I cannot use any with chemicals. I find the natural ones do not last very long and if I have not had the time or the inclination to colour again the grey comes back! However, if I wear one of these headbands it nicely covers up the grey at the front and you just cannot tell !! 

Turquoise Headband Worn Wide


I also wear one when doing my make-up. Day to day I don't wear much makeup but I do wear SPF factor foundation powder every day to protect my skin and I find it easier to apply if I keep my hair out of the way. Then of course if I am doing full makeup for going out,  it is just neater and easier to wear a headband and sort everything. 

These hair bands are also great if you have a day when you should really have washed your hair but did not and then find that you do need to go out! Pop one of these on and the problem is largely sorted as you will look like you make an effort and covered up much of the problem!

Also, headbands are very useful if you are growing your hair from a shorter to a longer style or growing out bangs or a fringe. It keeps hair looking good and not getting in your eyes all the time or looking too messy when going through that difficult stage! 

I do feel that these suit anyone from younger girls to more mature ladies depending on your personal style and activities.

Width Of Headband At Narrow Point

About Headbands, Measurements And Materials.

I strongly recommend that whichever headbands you choose you carefully check the measurements both of your own head and of the headband. 

In addition, check or ask the seller how stretchy the headbands actually are and what the material is made from. You will likely want a quite stretchy and soft material so that you can easily put the headband over your head and that it is comfortable. Also, look for ones that are easily washable as you will want to wash them fairly often.   

The headbands I own are made from a stretchy material that is very soft. Enough stretch in it to be easily worn but not too much to be tight. If you wear one a lot it can feel a little loose after time but I found generally after washing they go back to shape. I have only hand-washed mine as really it is so easy and quick to do. 

Stretchy Soft Headband
 
They are often sold as one size fits most. The ones I own are on average around eight and a half inches long measuring one side as per the photo below on the red headband and about two inches wide at the smallest point. The widest point can stretch to significantly more.

I find these measurements are about right for my head. Some headbands in the past have given me a headache as they were way too tight, but these I find are just comfortable.

I would always recommend that you measure your own head or your child's head first then check the measurements on the listings carefully. If the headband is too tight it will hurt and if too loose will fall down and not hold the hair in place.

The ones I have are quite wide but I personally like that as I can then have them wide on my head or simply fold it over to make it a thinner band which is still comfortable for me. 

I can also wear them with the widest part at the front or flip them over and have the narrow part where the long edges join as the top piece which gives a different look. 
 
Length of Headband Folded


If you have hair you need to keep out of the way while doing an activity, be it sports or other physical work, they are very useful and you can look great as well!

If you wish to wear them as a fashion accessory, to style your own fashion, then that works too. The colours and patterns are varied and lovely.

My favourites from my "Sea Team 6-Pack Wide Hairbands" are dark blue, turquoise blue and red as shown below. 

Beautiful Colours And Patterns On Headbands


I think if you bought the pack and did not like one or more of the colours or patterns then they would make a lovely little additional birthday, thank you gift or stocking filler. Or of course, you may wish to buy the whole pack as a gift.

There are many variations of these headbands. I just have this set Sea Team 6-Pack Wide Hairbands but there are many more you may wish to take a look at in the selection below.

 








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