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

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

WHAT SOLD ON EBAY? FIRST EDITION

Visit this post and discover a few of the interesting items that sold from my eBay store one fine fall weekend in September.
Frequently, friends and acquaintances often ask me what’s sold on eBay lately and I often receive interesting comments when I do share some of my latest sold items on social media. Therefore, I thought that I would do a review of exactly that – what has sold on eBay recently from my own eBay store. Please come along with me and we will check out a few of the interesting things that I sold one fall weekend in September of 2021.

The items that sold are as varied as the stock is in my eBay store, Treasures By Brenda. However, this weekend the sales included just a few gently used and vintage items and none of my new stock although I do have many new items in store. I have actually heard it said that about 80 percent of the items on eBay are new though I think the platform is best when it helps unite buyers with items that are no longer produced and therefore hard-to-find. I have had the pleasure of reuniting many buyers with beloved items that they had as children or even as adults.

I would like to start by sharing my favorite item but I find myself hard pressed to pick just one so here then are the four fun items that sold arranged in no particular order:

HANDMADE BABY OR LAP QUILT


The colors, the stitching lines and the wavy edges of this handmade lap quilt were absolutely darling and I think made it quite special. If I needed a throw blanket, I might have added it to my collection even though it really featured fabrics that are meant for babies. Someone somewhere put a lot of work into making this lovely piece and now it has gone to a new home where someone new will treasure it. You can see the other quilts that I have in my eBay store by clicking right here.

VINTAGE ORIENTAL DIPPING BOWLS


I am not actually sure what these tiny bowls are for. If you know, I’d love to hear. At two inches, they are too small, I think, to be used for dipping though I have called them dipping bowls. Have you any thoughts on what their original purpose might have been? If you are interested, you can discover some similar oriental dipping bowls on eBay by clicking right here.

MOUSETRAP CHEESE BOARD


This is a novelty gift idea, for sure and one that is sure to surprise guests at your next cocktail party. It is a very realistic Acme mouse trap that is oversized so that you can use it as a cheese or small charcuterie board and we know those boards are very trendy right now. I thought of gifting this item to a family member who once had quite a struggle at home with mice. I’m sure she would have responded with a roll of her eyes and exclaimed, “Oh, Brenda!” You can find your own Acme cheese board here on eBay.

TREMAR CORNISH CHIMNEY SWEEP FIGURINE


Finally, I sold was a little vintage Cornish art pottery chimney sweep or cleaner by Tremar. The company Tremar was located in and named after a village in eastern Cornwall that started producing pottery in the early 1960s. They made pieces that were popular with tourists and that included items like animals, people, vehicles and buildings. Some 'sets' were created to encourage buyers to collect multiple pieces, a technique we know today but was used less often in the middle of the century. The Tremar pottery company closed its doors in the 1980s. You can see all of the Tremar Pottery pieces on eBay by clicking here.

While these items are no longer available in my store, I do have a large stock of interesting and unusual items in my shop. Do drop in!  You can visit my store, Treasures By Brenda, on eBay by clicking here!  

You never know
what I might have
in store for you!
Brenda



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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Monday, October 4, 2021

Gift Baskets for every Occasion - Reviewed

 

Gift Baskets
Photo By Pixabay

The idea of giving gifts in baskets is centuries old, gifts delivered in baskets have been around ever since someone figured out how to weave a basket.

 

The Holiday season is without a doubt the most popular time of the year to give a gift basket. In the Holiday season, many corporations send gift baskets to their valued customers as a way of saying thank you for your business.

 Many companies give their employees gift baskets during the season, or all year long as a way of saying, “great job”.

 

The Holiday season is a time to bring family and friends together, but sometimes that’s not always possible, as family members or friends move away. Sending a gift basket to a faraway family member or friend is a perfect solution for gift giving.

 

Gift baskets are a practical gift, as the basket or container can be used after the gifts are consumed. Many Holiday basket containers can be used after there’re empty, by filling them with some sort of festive Holiday décor and placing it as a centerpiece on a table.

 

The Holidays are not the only time of the year to give someone a gift basket. The gift basket industry has grown into a multibillion-dollar business a year. Today you can find or make a gift basket for any theme or occasion.

 

Here are some other popular times to give a gift basket, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Halloween, New Home, New Baby, Birthday’s. I guess that I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. As they say, Gift Baskets are for all occasions.

 

Making your own Gift Baskets:

 

Making your own gift baskets is fun and easy. For one thing, you can choose the items in the basket to be specific to the person you are giving them to. For example, a coffee or tea basket, a chocolate lovers’ basket, how about a fruit of a cheese basket. Here is a neat idea, A Bakers Basket for someone who loves to bake.

 

Here is something that many of you may not know. Some years ago, when I was out of work for a while, I started making and selling gift baskets.

 

No, I didn’t get rich or turn it into a thriving business, but I sure did have fun making and selling gift baskets. I finally had to give it up when I got a new job but I still enjoy making my own gift baskets.

 

Here is an article that I wrote on my review site. Make a Halloween Gift Basket. It is a gift basket for kids, look and see just how creative you can get with the different ideas for items. The instructions in this article would apply to any gift basket that you want to make.

As I said, making your own gift basket is fun, easy, and creative. So, you can make your own or buy one. Either way gift baskets are a great gift giving idea.


More Gift Ideas from ReviewThis here: ReviewThisGifts.com

Wine Country Gift Baskets Gourmet FeastWine Country Gift Baskets Gourmet FeastCheck the PriceSpa Baskets for Women, Spa Luxetique Spa Gifts for Women, 8pcs Rose Bath Gift Set Includes Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, Best Gift Set for WomenSpa Baskets for Women, Spa Luxetique Spa Gifts for Women, 8pcs Rose Bath Gift Set Includes Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, Best Gift Set for WomenCheck the Price

 




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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Friday, October 1, 2021

Coleman Classic 2-Burner Propane Stove Reviewed

The Coleman Stove is essential for camping and emergencies!

We are all accustomed to everything in our homes working with the flip of a switch or the turn of a dial.  However, when a recent hurricane hit Louisiana, I was reminded of how quickly everything powered with electricity can go out like a light for days, perhaps even weeks.

We have a lot of family in Louisiana and all have been hit hard by the extreme weather in the last 2 years.  Multiple hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding have taken their toll.  Anyone who lives on or near the coast knows they must be prepared for a disruption of utilities, often for extended periods of time.  Because they are so well prepared, we are rarely called on for help.  However, after the last hurricane, our cousin's 1960's Coleman stove stopped working.  They depend on that stove to cook, brew coffee, and even boil water as needed.  It truly is an essential appliance for a home during post hurricane recovery.

He called us and my husband went into immediate action, searching for a new Coleman stove for him.  Here in Tennessee, there were plenty available at the normal low price. He ran down to the local store and purchased the replacement stove for his cousin.

This experience reminded me of how something as simple and common as a camping stove can become life saving in emergency situations.  We need water to survive.  Being able to boil water for purification is an absolute necessity.  

There are several things that become essential for survival in extreme situations.  I would probably rate a generator as number one to keep a refrigerator running, but the Coleman stove would follow close behind. 

 

The Coleman Classic Propane Stove

There are several styles of Coleman stoves available. We opt for the two burner that will accommodate a griddle, two pans, or one pan alongside a water boiling kettle.  It is small enough to be easy to store, but large enough to really be serviceable.  

The Coleman stove does require a bottle of propane (shown in my photo on right), which is also easy to store, inexpensive, and readily available in many of the stores around established camp sites or parks.

Features of the Coleman Classic Propane Stove

  • 2 Adjustable Burners
  • Side Panels to Protect & Block Burners from Wind
  • Uses Attachable/Detachable Propane Cylinder Bottle
  • Easy to Light Flame Burners
  • PerfectFlow Mechanism (regulated, consistent performance)
  • Removable Chrome-plated Grate
  • Easy to Wipe Clean 
  • 3 year limited warranty
  • Portable

 

 






I Also Highly Recommend the Coleman Lantern 
Click the Image to Read the Lantern Review

 

 


Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com

 


House of Sylvestermouse



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, September 29, 2021

Nice Fingernails Don't Have To Be Difficult to Achieve! A Product Review

Have you ever just finished polishing your nails and then got an itch somewhere?  What happens?  You scratch and ruin all the hard work you just did trying to get your nails looking pretty!  There is a certain amount of "drying time" needed to keep that polish you just applied, looking as good as it should. 


 


Then to add to your misery, you have to remove all that polish that you just mucked up without messing the other hand that you didn't scratch with!  Unless you have three arms, you know that this is just about impossible to do! 

No wonder so many women  have given up on having nice looking nails, or they pay the price to go to a nail salon and have someone do their nails for them.

Now personally I have done that too!  Paying someone to do your nails for you is pricey!  You have to be careful that the nail salon you go to is clean, sanitized and not spreading diseases (fungus especially).  I have had more than one friend end up with an infection in their fingernails because of less than perfect sanitary conditions in a salon they used.  That is truly adding insult to injury!  

Color Street Nail Strips to the rescue!

When you are the master of your own manicures, you don't have to worry about the conditions of the salon!  If you follow ReviewThisReviews.com, I know you have seen Margaret Schindel's write ups on good nail health and the best tools to keep your nails looking good (https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2021/05/14-secrets-grow-strong-healthy-beautiful-nails.html) (https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2021/05/best-manicure-tools-strong-healthy-nails.html).  These are very important and if you have daughters, it's a great way to teach them how to take care of their hands and nails.  Good health involves taking care of all your body parts!  It's also a great way to have some fun and spend some quality time with your girls!  Make it a Saturday or Sunday night date to have those hands and nails looking lovely for the whole week to come!

Color Street Nail Strips are relatively new on the market.  They are NOT artificial nails that you paste on your own fingers, but rather they are fully cured nail polish strips that you place right on your own fingernails.  What makes these nail polish strips so nice is that they are dry immediately after application.  No time is needed to dry the polish before you can scratch your nose or ears or any other parts that could itch.  So no way to muck up the freshly applied color.

I have put these nail strips on my own fingers and after a few minutes, washed and dried dishes and then  gone for a swim!   Amazingly these nail strips stayed put, and lasted on my fingers for over two weeks without peeling, cracking or chipping.  They are incredibly strong and beautiful!

Margaret also does some amazing manicures using Color Street Nail Strips either in one set or sometimes mixing different sets to make something truly unique and lovely.  Just take a look at this manicure she did:


I love the combination of these three different sets of  nail strips.  

Let me explain a little more about these strips:

  • each set contains 16 real nail polish strips  (sized for the average nail beds)
  • each set comes with an alcohol pad to make sure your nails are oil free pre application
  • a small emery board to help with removing the excess nail strip
This is what they look like when you receive them:

And this is what is inside each package:

When you open the package right up, you will find easy to follow instructions on how to apply these strips to your own nails.

You can see for yourself that there are only 5 easy steps to applying these nail strips to your fingernails.  Once they are on, you don't have to wait for anything to dry.  You literally can get up and go!  

I know that this is one of the things my other half likes the best, no waiting 10 to 15 minutes for nail polish to dry before you can do anything else.  Those critical minutes when all of your efforts can go up in smoke!  It just doesn't happen with Color Street!

The other part I love is that there are so many choices.  I happen to love glitter and Color Street offers 17 different glitter strips and 4 Prism FX strips (holographic glitter).  There is even a "Glitter Dipped" overlay that makes your nails look like they are dripping with shiny sparks of color.  

But for my more tame days, I can choose from 30 different solid colors too!  Or two different French Manicures.  

Special occasions, no problem, there are 14 different nail art designs (it makes your nails look like someone did some fantastic paintings right there on your fingers).

That is a lot of choices!  Can you just imagine how many bottles of polish you would need to have in order to have all these choices?  

A friend of mine loves mermaids, so there is even an overlay for her and 5 other overlays that change up a plain color to something amazing. The combinations are endless.  Use your imagination and creativity to create something special that is yours and yours alone.



If you want to know more about Color Street, please feel free to leave me a message in the comments!  You can also see the whole catalogue of colors and styles available on my website www.colorstreet.com/olivia72!  I'd be pleased to be of any assistance to you!  Color Street is available through the website in the USA and Canada without any problems!

Here's to lovely hands and even prettier nails!  Believe it or not, little things like nice hands can make a difference in how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you!  It's a little thing, but, it is important to give that totally polished (no pun intended)  and put together look.

www.colorstreet.com/olivia72



Thank you Margaret Schindel for your permission to use your lovely manicure picture!







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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Monday, September 27, 2021

Luxtronic HDTV Antenna Reviewed

If you have cut the cord for cable than you have already discovered an antennae is a prime component of successful cable cutting. Old school rabbit ears is another name. The function is the same, but the styles and choices have greatly increased these past years.



My old antenna



Anyone else remember a rabbit ear antenna with foil! Ah the memories. Recently my hdtv antenna stopped working which really emphasized how necessary an antennae is for any viewing. When I scanned the over air channels without the antennae I had 5 channels. Five channels which looked to be all the same programming resembling informercials.

I quickly started surfing for a replacement and was happy to discover the design of antennae's have vastly improved. A few years ago when I cut the cable cord I had an antenna which was not only  large, but had to be hung in the air for maximum reception. Not pretty, not practical, but still better than a cable bill.

I chose the HDTV Digital Antenna with a very small footprint and am very pleased. So pleased I have purchased a few more to upgrade from the hang from the window antenna version!

The Antenna by Luxtronic is very small and unobtrusive. It can be used indoor or outdoor with a 50 mile range. 

A simple install by connecting to the TV antenna input and then auto scan the over the air signals and the antenna works wonderfully. If you are looking to aesthetically upgrade your set of rabbit ears, I highly recommend this antenna to access all your over the air channels without the cost of cable.



Free Streaming Options For Cable Cord Cutters

Kanopy Review

Use your library card to access a huge library for free streaming. Focus on Indie films. No contracts, no subsrciptions!

Hoopla  Review

Hoopla offers free books, movies and television shows through your local library.

Freegal Review

Giant Movie Library featuring Sony's catalog. Another free service offered in combination with your library card. Weekly limit of downloads.

Amazon Prime 

 Amazon Prime is not free, but if you'd like to give the service a spin a 30 day trial subscription can be accessed. More movies, music, tv shows and Amazon Prime content than one imagine!





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, September 22, 2021

The Best Loud, Easy to Read Multi-Event Digital Timers

The ThermoPro TM02 Digital Dual Kitchen Timer is the best, most intuitive, easiest to read and loudest multi-event digital kitchen timer I have owned in many years. In this product review, I will share the features my husband and I love most about this recent addition to our kitchen, as well as a few others considerations to help you decide whether the ThermoPro TM02 might also be the best multi-event digital timer for your needs. 

If you want to be able to time three dishes, activities or other events concurrently, the OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer is another excellent option, as long as you don't mind having more (and smaller) buttons and a more compressed display for the three countdown timers.

The Best Multi-Event Digital Kitchen Timers - Easy to Read Display, Loud Adjustable Volume Alarms

I often need to set timers for concurrent tasks and activities, especially during holiday cooking and baking marathons and when entertaining. A multi-event digital timer is less expensive, more convenient and more space-saving than two or three single-event models. I prefer ones with intuitive, easy-to-read controls that I can pause and restart with a touch, unlike mechanical dial units.

Digital Kitchen Timers Have Gone Down in Price, Quality, Longevity and Ease of Use 

The best timer I've ever owned was an OXO Good Grips triple digital kitchen timer that I bought roughly 20 years ago. Setting and switching between the three timers was simple and intuitive. The numbers on the backlit digital LCD screen display and the labels on the buttons were easy to read. The alarms had distinct beep patterns (single beeps, double beeps, and triple beeps for events one, two and three) that made it easy to identify which timer was going off, even when I was in a different room. This model was a workhorse that performed reliably in my kitchen for many years before the LCD display eventually started to fail (as these types of digital display screens inevitably do). 

When I went to order another one (about 10–12 years ago), I learned that the manufacturer had discontinued that model. The newer version had more bells and whistles, which I neither wanted nor needed. As a result, navigating, setting and clearing the multi-event digital timers (the unit's core functions) was less straightforward and intuitive on the redesigned OXO Good Grips triple kitchen timer versus its predecessor. Based on the many negative product reviews, I wasn't the only customer who was upset by the design and functionality changes in the newer model. 

Finding a worthy replacement has been a surprisingly challenging, time-consuming and lengthy undertaking. Unfortunately, like many other products, digital kitchen timers have declined substantially in quality. Over the past 10 years or so, every model I have purchased, regardless of price, has had to be replaced 12–18 months later, when one or two segments of the digital numbers no longer show on the LCD display. 

After the display on my second replacement multi-event timer developed a "dead spot," I decided to replace it with a pair of single-event digital kitchen timers. I had hoped that a simpler display screen might not fail as soon, which turned out to be wishful thinking. However, switching from a multi-event model to two bare-bones ones did have one benefit: Whenever the display started to fail on one of them, there was another that still worked and could tide me over until a replacement arrived.

Resuming the Search for a New Multi-Event Digital Timer, Using Updated Requirements

When the LCD display on one of our most recent basic timers developed a "dead spot" a few weeks ago, I decided to see whether any new multi-event kitchen timers had been introduced since the last time I had looked several years earlier and, if so, whether one of them might be a good fit for my husband's and my current needs, which had changed somewhat since my previous searches. 

My first step was to reevaluate, update, and reprioritize our multi-event digital timer requirements list. For example, we no longer entertain as frequently or elaborately as we used to do when we were in our thirties and forties, and our vision and hearing aren't as sharp as they were back then. These days, we would much rather have a dual event kitchen timer with larger, easy-to-read numbers than a three-event timer with a more cramped digital display and smaller numbers that are harder to read. A bright, backlit screen, loud alarms with adjustable volume, large, well spaced buttons with easy to read labels, and an intuitive interface that is simple enough to figure out (and remember) without referring back to the instruction guide or manual. 

My Favorite Easy to Read, Loud Alarm, Multi-Event Digital Timer (Two Event Countdown Timers)

ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Kitchen Timer

When I was evaluating and comparing products against our new "wish list," I was excited to find the ThermoPro TM02 Digital Kitchen Timer, which seemed to tick all our most important boxes. To my surprise, my husband became just as excited as I was when I took him through the photos, description, specifications and product reviews on Amazon. 

The ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Timer has a large, easy to read LCD display. The bright blue backlight comes on for 10 seconds when a countdown timer starts or stops and when the alarm goes off.

We have been using our new ThermoPro TM02 multi-event timer several times a day since it arrived a few weeks ago and we're both delighted with our purchase.  

Of course, only time will tell how long the LCD display will last, but we're really impressed with the thoughtfulness and attention to detail that went into this timer, so we're cautiously optimistic. 

Even when the backlight is off, the large numbers of both countdown timers are very easy to read. The front has five large buttons with high-contrast, intuitive labels. 

Why We Love It:

  • Accurate. Unfortunately, not all digital timers are!
  • Easy to read, tilted display with large digits. Unlike many of the smaller, cheaper kitchen timers we have used, the ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Digital Timer's large, sturdy kickstand stays put and keeps the display at a good angle on the countertop for hands-free viewing. 
  • Large, bright, backlit display. The oversized* LCD display takes up most of the real estate on the front of this timer, which provides enough room for both countdown timers to have large, numbers that are easily legible even when viewed from an angle versus head-on, and even when the bright blue backlight is off.
    * The manufacturer describes it as a 2.6-inch LCD screen. Mine measures 2.375" tall by 2.125" wide and 2.875" on the diagonal. 
  • Simple, intuitive, clearly labeled controls. There are just five large, clearly labeled buttons on the front, plus one mode selector switch and the volume adjustment button on the back. 
  • Ten-second backlight conserves batteries. The blue backlight comes on any time a button is pressed, e.g., to set, start, pause, restart, or stop the timer. Since it's very bright (which is wonderful), it only stays on for 10 seconds each time, so it doesn't chew through batteries like some others we've owned.
    • Some customers have complained that the backlight doesn't stay on long enough. We haven't found that to be an issue, especially since pressing any button turns the light back on for another 10 seconds.
  • Loud alarms with adjustable volume and silent alarm/mute mode. Pressing the small volume button on the back allows you to cycle through four alarm volume settings. The low, medium and high volume levels range from 70-105 dB. We find the medium volume setting loud enough to hear from one or two rooms away. There is also a volume Off setting that mutes the alarm so you can see when the timer goes off without disturbing anyone else. 
  • Convenient memory function. After the countdown finishes, the timer automatically returns to the previous setting. For example, I make a large mug of herbal tea almost every day, and the kind I make most often steeps for seven minutes. After Timer 1 goes off and I press the Stop button, it automatically reverts to seven minutes unless I actively clear the memory, so that all I have to do is press the Start button the next day when I want to make tea. 
  • Set each countdown timer for up to 23 hours 59 minutes. Some digital timers have a maximum time limit of only 60 to 90 minutes! 
  • Choice of 12/24 hour clock format with date function. Although this feature isn't important to us, many people love it. 

A sturdy pull-out kickstand keeps the ThermoPro TM02 dual channel multi-event timer stable on your countertop, or use the two strong magnets to attach it to your refrigerator or another metal surface. A simple, three-position switch toggles between the timer, clock and clock set modes, while the small button underneath controls the adjustable volume alarm loudness settings.

Other Considerations:

  • You can't program seconds. We don't anticipate this being an issue for us. However, there are certain recipes (and other uses) for which the ability to time in 15- or 30-second increments is essential. So, if you work in a commercial or restaurant kitchen, this could be a deal-breaker. Otherwise, if you need this capability only infrequently, you can set the timer to the next full minute and monitor the digital display until there are 15 or 30 seconds remaining in the countdown (or use a countdown timer app on your mobile phone for those situations).
  • Some people find even the low volume (70dB) setting too loud. My husband and I have not found this to be the case. Your mileage may vary.
  • No dedicated "Clear" button. It's quite common for digital timers to be reset by pressing the hour and minute buttons simultaneously, rather than having a dedicated "Clear" button, and it's a practice the America's Test Kitchen reviewers said they didn't mind as long as the buttons were clearly labeled and intuitive. However, some customers still object to it. 
  • This model doesn't switch to clock mode automatically when the countdown timers are not in use. Since the clock on our microwave oven displays the time whenever we aren't microwaving something, we prefer having the display remain in countdown timer mode unless we actively switch it to clock (or clock set) mode. However, some customers have complained about having to switch from timer to clock mode manually.
  • The neodymium ("rare earth") magnets on the back are very strong, but the foam adhesive discs holding them in place are not. My husband and I prefer to keep our kitchen timers on the counter, so this isn't an issue for us. However, if you plan to keep your digital timer on your refrigerator door, one Amazon reviewer recommends prying out the magnets with a thin screwdriver or awl, completely removing the foam adhesive pads and any glue residue, and then using a strong epoxy adhesive to glue the magnets directly into the round, recessed areas in the housing. Be sure to follow the epoxy manufacturer's instructions for preparing the surfaces and applying and curing the glue.
    • Note: Customers who complain that the magnets are not strong enough are mistaken. The problem is not the neodymium magnets, which are extremely strong. It's the cheap foam adhesive discs that are too weak, and there's an easy fix for that. 

The Best Easy to Read, Loud Alarm, Multi-Event Digital Timer (Three Event Countdown Timers)

OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer

Although I still haven't found a three-event digital timer that I like as well as my old OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer, if I still needed one I would definitely go with the current version, which has gone through multiple revisions and iterations since the one I owned and loved. 

The current generation OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer was rated Highly Recommended as the best multi-event digital timer in the June 2021 Cook's Illustrated Kitchen Timers Equipment Review (subscription required). 
The OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer has a full numeric keypad and three dedicated event timer buttons.

Why You'll Love It:

  • Accurate. For us, that's a baseline requirement.
  • Upward angle and sturdy base. Designed for one-handed setting and countertop stability. 
  • Large screen with inverse backlit digital display. Easy to read at a glance, even in low light.
  • Adjustable volume. Three different loudness levels to suit your preference. 
  • Each event timer can be set for up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. I'm not sure why someone would need a 100-hour maximum time limit unless they were an NBC producer timing one of Al Roker's multi-day Rokerthons, but it's nice to have the option available.  
  • Easily identifiable event alarms. Just like my old OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer, the current model also has three distinct beeping patterns, so you can tell which event alarm is going off just by the sound, even if you are in a different room. 
  • Numeric keypad lets you set the clock and event timers faster. It also uses a numeric keypad instead of the more common -/+ buttons to set the countdown timers and clock. According to the June 2021 Cook's Illustrated Kitchen Timers Equipment Review, it took the America's Test Kitchen product testers, on average, less than half the time to set the timers on models that had full keypads than on models that did not.
  • Convenient memory function. All three event timer remember their last settings until you clear them from memory.

Other Considerations:

  • More buttons to press. The numeric keypad means you need to press more buttons to set the timers or clock (versus just two -/+ buttons to increase or decrease the time).
  • Smaller digits. Fitting three event timer displays on a smaller LCD screen than that of the ThermoPro TM02 Dual Event Kitchen Timer means "the digits on the screen are slightly smaller than ideal," as the America's Test Kitchen reviewers wrote.
  • Backlit screen display goes blank (“standby mode”) after 60 seconds. A frustrated Amazon reviewer who loved nearly everything else about this OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer called this issue a deal-breaker.


The Best Loud, Easy to Read Multi-Event Digital Timers product review by Margaret Schindel


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Monday, September 20, 2021

Epson Wireless Printer Review

 

Epson Wireless Printer Review

We had our desktop computer for years with a printer that was linked via USB cable. When our desktop computer finally gave up on us it was time for a new computer. We decided it was time for a laptop. With a laptop we could use it anywhere in the house and take it with us when we traveled.

Now the problem became that every time we needed to print something we had to take the laptop to the printer and plug everything in. This got old very fast, so we thought that it was time for a new wireless printer. 

We were out shopping one day and while walking by the computer section of the store we noticed the Epson WorkForce WF-2850 wireless printer. We knew that we wanted a wireless printer, so we bought it.

We brought it home and I just couldn’t wait to get started, you see I’m one of those people who like to jump right in. On the other hand, Fran is a stickler for following step-by-step instructions. So, I sat back and let Fran set our new wireless printer up. In about 15 minutes she had it working. We were delighted because now we can print from anywhere in the house.


Epson WF-2850 All in One Printer:

The Epson WF-2850 is a 4-in-1 wireless printer, copier, scan, and fax. It features fast printing speeds, with 2-sided printing and a 30-page Auto Document Feeder.

The wireless capability makes it easy to print from your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, or any smartphone.

When we were all forced to work from home last year, Fran found it easy to download the printer drivers to her work computer. This gave her the capability of using the scan and fax function from her work computer.

The instructions tell you to only use Epson ink cartridges. I can tell you from personal experience this is true. I tried third-party ink cartridges and they don’t work.

This is a perfect home office printer choice that I would recommend to anybody. We have had many good years of quality use from this printer.

Epson WorkForce WF-2850 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet PrinterEpson WorkForce WF-2850 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet PrinterCheck the Price

 

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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Disposable Feeding Bowls for Dogs Reviewed

Disposable Dog Bowls
Disposable dog bowls are essential when traveling, on vacation, or using a pet sitter for times when you must be away.

We found out how practical these disposable feeding bowls for our dog were when we helped our daughter move across the country. Since we couldn't take our dog, Merlin, with us in the U-Haul, we left him at home with our adult son.  

Adding the care of a pet to a daily routine can initially be very stressful for anyone, but is especially challenging for someone with a full-time job.  While we were away, our son had to feed Merlin every morning before he went to work, come home during his lunch break to let him out and feed him a snack, then come home right after work.  Merlin's dinner was usually a few hours later.

I'm certain our son would have washed Merlin's food bowls several times a day like we do, but that seemed like an easy task to eliminate with the disposable bowls.  

We did start feeding Merlin from the Glad bowls a few days before we left to let him know they were okay for his meals.  I'm really glad we thought to start him on those bowls before we left because he did find them odd at first and was hesitant to just start eating from them. After a few feedings, he didn't even question the bowls. No doubt, that made feeding him easier for our son too.  Both "boys" had enough adjustments to make in their daily routines without adjusting to new food bowls.

Because these bowls are disposable, it was easy for our son to simply toss them in the trash once our pup finished his meal.

Since our return home, these disposable bowls have become handy to use when giving him water in the car or outdoors.  It is nice to have the convenience of being able to throw the bowls away instead of washing them, especially when we don't have access to a sink, running water, & dish soap.


Disposable Feeding Bowls for Dogs by Glad

 Glad for Pets Disposable Feeding Bowls | Large Dog Bowls in Gray Pattern | 3.5 Cup Feeding Size, 50 CountCheck PriceGlad is a name we all trust for kitchen products.  I was thrilled to see they made these disposable pet bowls.  The bowls are leak-proof which makes them suitable for food or water.

They are available in 2 sizes to accommodate a variety of dogs.  Since Merlin is a grown Labrador Retriever, we opted for the large size.  They are perfect for him! They hold 3.5 cups of food or water.

The smaller size holds 1.75 cups of food or water and would be great for smaller dogs.

I now consider these disposable bowls "essential" for dog owners. There will always be times that we need the convenience and cleanliness of a "one use" dog bowl. 


Now, Merlin keeps nudging me toward the door.  He wants "his boy" to come back to take care of him for another 2 weeks of grand adventures!





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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How to Choose the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers

Fine mesh strainers are used for many different types of cooking, baking and food preparation tasks, from sifting powdered dry ingredients for baking or garnishing baked goods to straining sauces and custards, rinsing uncooked rice, quinoa or beans, and draining pots of cooked pasta. 

When the sieves I inherited from my mom that had served us both for decades eventually needed to be replaced, shopping for replacements turned out to be more challenging than I could have anticipated. 

In this review, I'll share my advice on how to choose the best fine mesh kitchen strainers for your needs as well as my product reviews for the fine mesh sieves I purchased nearly five years ago and recommend highly.

How to Pick the Best Fine Mesh Strainers for Your Needs: 3 Pro Shopping Tips
Learn how to be a savvy consumer when shopping for fine mesh kitchen strainers.

3 Pro Shopping Tips for Choosing the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers for Your Needs.


Think About How You Will Be Using Them.

When shopping for fine mesh strainers, the best choice will depend on what you want to use them for. The ideal diameter, depth, handle, weight balance, durability, wire mesh size and stiffness will be very different for mesh sieves used primarily for sifting cocoa powder, flour or powdered sugar than for those used mainly for straining fresh raspberry seeds or draining a large quantity of just-cooked pasta. 

So, before you start researching or shopping for new fine mesh sieves, take a few minutes to think about the types of tasks you want, need and expect your new strainers to perform well.

Consider the Most Important Product Features and Characteristics for Your Specific Uses. 

Once you have made a list of the things you want to use your new strainer(s) for, it's time to educate yourself about the different types of materials, construction, mesh fineness, and other options available in models at different price points and think about which ones might be best suited to your needs, priorities and budget. 

For example, if you are shopping for a small strainer for steeping loose tea in a cup or travel mug, an inexpensive model made of a very finely woven nylon mesh material might do the best job of filtering out the tea leaves. On the other hand, if you also want to be able to sift or dust small amounts of cocoa powder or confectioners sugar, you might decide to go with a more expensive, stainless steel model that has a stiffer wire mesh and a slightly looser weave, the tradeoff being that it wouldn't be quite as effective at filtering out the small, powdery bits of tea leaf. 

Similarly, having a comfortable, contoured, riveted handle (and preferably two) may be a priority if you are looking for a large-capacity, heavy-duty strainer, but a thinner, flatter handle attached with spot welding might be fine if you only need a small or medium size strainer for lighter-duty tasks.

Stay Focused on Your Needs As You Compare Fine Mesh Strainers and Read Product Reviews.

Whether a review is positive or negative, consider the author's praise or complaints in the context of your own needs and priorities. Also keep an eye out for negative fine mesh strainer reviews based on inappropriate assumptions or unreasonable expectations. 

Reviews by reputable industry experts can be extremely valuable, but it's important to consider how well the reviewers' evaluation and rating criteria match for your own needs, preferences and intended uses for the product. 

I learned this firsthand at the beginning of 2017. A few weeks after I bought a Cuisinart set of small, medium and large strainers that I wanted just for the two smaller sizes, Cook's Illustrated published a fine mesh strainers equipment review (subscription required) that rated the Cuisinart set as "not recommended." Since I trust and respect the America's Test Kitchen staff's opinions, I was dismayed by the low rating for the set I had just bought. However, when I looked at the reviewers' product selection criteria and the performance tests they had devised, I saw that many of the features, specifications and use cases they had focused on (e.g., approximately 9" diameter, stiff, extremely fine wire mesh baskets, handles that were comfortable to hold over an extended period of time, long, wide hooks that fit easily over both medium and large pots and bowls) weren't relevant to the small and medium Cuisinart strainers or the types of tasks for which I had chosen that set. 

On the other hand, those criteria and tests were extremely relevant to my needs and wants for the much sturdier Kukpo 9-inch strainer I had purchased to complement the small and medium sized Cuisinart sieves. If that Cook's Illustrated equipment review had been published one month sooner, I might have had second thoughts about buying my $14 Kukpo, despite the $45 price tag of the only "highly recommended" model, the Rösle 7.9-inch Stainless Steel Round Handle Kitchen Strainer

So, keep your own needs in mind as you are reading fine mesh strainer reviews and looking at product features and specifications. Also, remember that no strainer can do every job equally well and be open to the possibility that investing in more than one might be your best bet, depending on how many things you want to use them for.  

Recommended Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainer Reviews 

Here are my personal product reviews for the best fine mesh kitchen strainers I purchased to replace the much older ones I had inherited. The ones I am recommending have been in frequent use in my kitchen for at least several years, show minimal signs of wear and continue to meet my quality and performance needs and expectations.

Kukpo Stainless Steel Double Fine Mesh Strainer Review

If you are looking for a large, versatile, affordable sieve that does a good job at a variety of kitchen tasks, the Kukpo Stainless Steel Fine Double Mesh Strainer, 9 Inch Diameter is an excellent choice.

This sturdy, inexpensive Kukpo 9-inch stainless steel fine double mesh strainer can handle most straining, sieving and sifting tasks well.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Practical size. The basket rim is 9" across and the fine wire mesh basket itself is about 8" wide at the top and 3.25" deep, large enough to easily drain a pound of cooked pasta, but not so large that it's unwieldy.
  • A versatile workhorse. If you're looking for a single, good quality, inexpensive fine mesh food strainer that performs well for most uses, I highly recommend this 9-inch Kukpo model. It's great for straining stock, sauces, yogurt, custard, frying oil and coffee grounds; separating milk solids from melted butter for clarified butter or ghee; rinsing rice, beans, lentils and grains such as quinoa; straining seeds from fresh berry purée; and sifting flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa or powdered sugar.
  • Durable construction, including two riveted handles. Unlike many fine mesh strainers, this one has no gap between the wire mesh screen and the rim/frame where bits of food residue can get stuck and be hard to remove. It also has two handles that distribute the weight more evenly and are riveted to the rim rather than spot-welded, making it more comfortable and well balanced to hold when draining a large volume of heavy food, such as cooked pasta.
  • Two layers of fine wire mesh for better strength, stiffness and filtering ability. Doubling the mesh creates a stronger, sturdier basket that holds its shape better and resists denting, despite its size, even when mashing fresh strawberries, raspberries, or confectioners sugar firmly against the mesh to strain the seeds or break up hard lumps.
  • Dishwasher safe stainless steel. I generally prefer to wash my fine mesh sieves by hand, but it's nice to be able to run them through the dishwasher occasionally to sanitize them more thoroughly. This one has an all stainless steel construction that doesn't rust, not only in my own experience but also in those of many other customers, according to their product reviews. 
  • 100% money back guarantee. Although I couldn't find any details about the terms of this guarantee, quite a few Amazon customers have raved about the company's outstanding customer service in their reviews. 

Cuisinart Set of 3 Mesh Strainers

I've found that pairing this set of three Cuisinart stainless steel strainers with the larger, sturdier, 9-inch Kukpo double mesh strainer covers all the bases for any use I can think of.

This set of three Cuisinart mesh strainers is excellent for light-duty tasks like dusting desserts with cocoa or confectioners sugar, rinsing berries and juicing lemons.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Three useful sizes. This set includes 3 1/8”, 5 ½”, and 7 7/8” diameter fine mesh sieves.
  • Great for less strenuous tasks. The two smaller sizes in this set are ideal for things like straining loose tea leaves, dusting powdered sugar or cocoa over desserts, washing a cup of fresh berries or string beans, or straining the seeds while juicing a lemon. The largest one is fine for sifting a couple of cups of dry baking ingredients and similar light-duty tasks, but the spot-welded handles and thinner wire mesh make it too delicate for heavier contents and more demanding applications that require the sturdier Kukpo strainer.
  • Surprisingly inexpensive. At the time of publication, this set of three cost less than $14 on Amazon. Even though I prefer the 9" Kukpo to the 7 7/8" strainer in the Cuisinart set, I consider that a very good value, even for just the small and medium sizes.
  • Dishwasher safe stainless steel. I haven't found a single speck of rust on any of mine after nearly five years of frequent use.
  • Limited lifetime warranty. Cuisinart offers a limited lifetime warranty for its products if you register your purchase with them. I haven't been able to find any information about what it covers for this strainer set. 

Bonus Tip: Use a Stiff, Thin-Bristled Brush to Dislodge Any Food Particles Stuck in the Fine Mesh

Whether you plan to wash your strainers by hand or in the dishwasher, I highly recommend inspecting the fine wire mesh carefully for any bits of food residue that might be stuck. It's best to wash and check the mesh as soon as possible after use, since any clogs will be much harder to dislodge if they are allowed to dry inside those tiny openings. If you need more time, just submerge the strainer in hot water and until you are able to clean and inspect it properly. 

I have found that small, dense brushes with thin, stiff bristles, like the two in the OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set, are the most effective tools for clearing stubborn food particles from the fine wire mesh. 


How to Choose the Best Fine Mesh Kitchen Strainers by Margaret Schindel


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