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

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Your Back Will Love This Practical Laundry Bag Backpack

Carrying laundry to and from the basement laundry room in our old house has always been a bit nerve-wracking, thanks to the narrow, steep basement steps that wouldn’t meet today’s building codes. I can’t navigate them safely without holding onto the handrail (which is only on one side). So, when I was perusing Amazon and accidentally happened upon a laundry bag backpack, I got quite excited.

Today, I’m sharing my review of this spacious, practical laundry bag backpack that turned out to be the perfect solution to my clothes-toting challenge.

Lightweight, comfortable laundry bag backpack great for college students!

Whether you have a large family, hate doing laundry or know a busy college student who makes trips to the washer and dryer only when they're running out of clean clothes, toting around large loads of laundry can be a real pain in the back, especially for those of us who already suffer from back pain. Fortunately, the smart folks at √Ézhido have made toting multiple loads' worth of dirty or clean clothes back and forth to the laundry room or laundromat a lot easier on the back with their extra-large laundry bag backpack.

Here's what I love about it.

Hands-Free, Comfortable, Back-Sparing Design

Because it's a backpack, my hands are free to hold onto the banister as I lug my tops, pants, underwear, socks, etc. up and down the stairs to the washer and dryer. There is also much less strain on my back, thanks to the lightweight fabric and the weight load of the contents being balanced behind me and distributed evenly between the comfortable, thick, foam padded straps. 

As a result, I can easily carry multiple loads' worth of apparel to and from the laundry room in one trip, something I could never manage with a conventional laundry bag or basket.

Extra-Large Capacity

Excluding the gray, drawstring-top extension gusset (which folds down into the bag when not needed those dimensions increase to 39.4"L x 15.1"W x 15.1"H with a 115-liter (4.06-cubic foot) capacity, easily enough space to accommodate three to four loads' worth of clothing.

There is also a 15” x 11.2” outer pocket to hold laundry detergent and other items, which is especially useful if you are going to and from a laundromat. I have also used it to keep delicate, hand-washable items separate.

partially filled laundry bag backpack
Even filled with two loads' worth of clothing, the bag is just half full.

Perfect for Bedding and Oversized Items

Because of its generous capacity, this laundry bag backpack can be used to carry large quilts and comforters, king-size bedding, pillows, down coats and others large, bulky items that can be unwieldy.

Adjustable Size

Just as the extension gusset at the top accommodates extra-large loads, the webbing strap can be folded over the top and securely latched to make the bag more compact when carrying smaller loads. The length of the shoulder straps can also be adjusted to fit the wearer and balance the weight optimally.

Man wearing laundry bag backpack
You can gauge the size of this extra-large laundry bag backpack on my 6' tall husband. The gray webbing strap can be folded over the top and securely latched on the other side to make the bag more compact for smaller loads. You can also see the large outer pocket for detergent, delicates, etc.

Sturdy Fabric and Durable Construction

The main body and padded straps of this laundry backpack are made of sturdy, rip-resistant 600-denier oxford cloth fabric. All points of wear have reinforced stitching, and the durable webbing straps and secure locking catches are also made for heavy-duty wear and tear over the years.

laundry backpack with foam padded straps
You can see the reinforced stitching and sturdy webbing on all the straps as well as the loop for hanging on a hook or doorknob or to carry the bag by hand for smaller loads.

Convenient Carry Handle / Hanging Loop

The sturdy loop made of heavy-duty webbing can be used to hang this laundry hamper backpack from a doorknob or hook or even carry it if your load is light.

Wide Opening

The wide opening at the top makes both filling and unloading this laundry bag extremely easy.

Wide opening in laundry backpack
You can see how easy it is to fill and unload the bag, thanks to the wide top opening (the gray extension gusset is opened up here to accommodate up to 3–4 loads).

Compact Folded Size

When not in use, this laundry bag backpack folds down to a very compact size for storage.

laundry bag backpack folded to compact size

Wide Choice of Colors

At the time of this review's publication, this laundry bag backpack comes in a choice of 13 colors: Teal (the one I chose), Army Green, Black, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Khaki (a pale tan, like chinos), Light Purple (a plum color), Orange, Pink, Purple (a grape color), Red (a deep crimson), Yellow and Charcoal Grey. The wide selection of colors is especially nice if you plan to give these as gifts.

Very Affordable

At the time of this review's publication, the price of this extra-large, heavy-duty laundry bag backpack on Amazon is on sale for less than $22 ($20.49 TO $21.49, depending on the color), regularly $22.99-$26.59, making it an affordable and effective solution to a frustrating problem.

Makes a Great, Practical Gift

The manufacturer emphasizes the usefulness of this product for college students, and I agree that these would make wonderful graduation gifts for high school seniors or anytime gifts for college students.

I also think they would be terrific gifts for anyone who uses a laundromat, has their laundry room on a different floor from the bedrooms or just does a lot of large loads on a regular basis.


Your Back Will Love This Practical Laundry Bag Backpack by Margaret Schindel

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Char-Griller Smokin Champ Review

 Ghar-Griller Smokin Champ Review: The Smokey Goodness of Grilling

Char-Griller Smokin Champ Review

Most people love the taste of smoked food. And, if you are one of those people you need a good quality smoker grill in your life. The Char-Griller Smokin Champ is one of the best affordable smoker grills for the market, and it's perfect if you love to cook with smoke.

This grill is designed to give food that perfect smokey flavor, and it will not disappoint you. The Smokin Champ will deliver consistent results with its even heat distribution and adjustable vents. Whether you're grilling, smoking, or even baking the Smokin Champ will help you get the perfect results every time.

In the photo above is my Smokin Champ just after we assembled it. My daughter got this for me four years ago for Father's Day and it's everything that I expected. This grill has served us well for the last four years and I expect many more.

My Char-Griller Smokin Champ is made of high-quality steel that lasts years. It has a large cooking area of 614 square inches with a warming rack of 315 square inches, making it easy to cook for a large group of people. Or, it's just as convenient to cook for two people as most time it's just me and Fran grilling some burgers and veggies.

Features of my Smokin Champ:

  • Large cooking area
  • Warming rack
  • 3 cast iron cooking grates
  • Side firebox
  • Easy slide-out drawer to clean the firebox
  • Built-in thermometer to monitor the temperature 
  • Side shelf for utensils
  • Ashpan with hangers for charcoal grilling

Char-Griller Fire Box

This is a photo of the firebox, it is also made of heavy-duty steel with a drawer that pulls out for easy cleaning. The firebox is separate from the main chamber making it easy to add wood or charcoal without losing heat in the main chamber.

My smoker is known as an offset smoker. There are many other types of smokers on the market. But, I prefer the offset smoker, it takes a little time to learn how to control the temperature, so there is a little skill involved. Once you have mastered it you will be very happy with the results of the food you cook. 

Overall, Char-Griller Smokers are an excellent and affordable choice for anyone who just loves to cook with smoke. Or, if you don't want to use the smoker you have the option to just grill over charcoal. It's perfect for backyard barbecues and family gatherings. This smoker and grill has served our family well over the last four years and I'm looking forward to this year's grilling season. Every grill master in the family needs a fun apron. Check out my article on Funny Grill Master Aprons.

Here is a link to some of my favorite grilling and smoking recipes:

Main Dishes/Grilling

If you like cooking with charcoal, Char-Griller has a great affordable selection of Smokers and Charcoal Grills.

Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, 50 Inch, BlackChar-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, 50 Inch, BlackCheck the Price

 

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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.”


Friday, May 5, 2023

Pull Out Drawers For Kitchen Cabinets Reviewed

Pull Out Drawers For Cabinets
I have recently been focused on getting my kitchen cabinets better organized.  I have a tall cabinet pantry with deep shelves.  Items or cans stored toward the back of the cabinet pantry are very hard to get out.  I am required to take everything out from in front of whatever I need and then put it back afterwards.  That process is time consuming and rather tiresome.  

I was thinking one day that what I really need are pull out shelves in that cabinet that would allow me to easily access things in the back, plus see what is there.  I went in search of a solution and found the SlidingSusan Pull Out Drawers for Cabinets.  I measured my cabinet and immediately ordered one drawer to try it.

I was very excited when it arrived and my husband offered to install the drawer for me.  I took everything off the shelf and he went to work.  According to him, it was easy to install.  

This drawer makes a world of difference! It is like doubling the size of the cabinet simply because I can easily access everything stored on that shelf.  

Previously, I forgot what I had and would end up buying more as needed for a specific recipe.  Unfortunately, that meant I would end up with a few cans of food that passed their expiry date before I used them.  

After using the first SlidingSusan drawer for a few weeks, I bought two more pull out drawers for additional shelves. They are truly fabulous and save a lot of time when grabbing a can of something from the cabinet.  Plus, I will no longer discover unused cans that have expired because they got pushed toward the back.  The Sliding Susan pull out drawers are expensive, but when I consider how convenient they are, plus how much of a toll they spare on my back and shoulders, I believe they are well worth the cost.

 

The Sliding Susan Pull Out Drawers for Cabinets

 SlidingSusan Pull Out Cabinet Organizer - Fully Assembled Pull Out Drawers For Kitchen Cabinets - Dovetail and Soft CloseCheck PriceThese drawers come in several different sizes.  It is important to measure the opening and depth of your shelf before you place your order. 

The drawers have 3" sides which do a great job of holding cans in place so they won't slip off and hit the floor.

The slides allow the drawers to fully pull out, plus they have soft closure that helps keep the items secure.  I did put a liner on my drawers to help keep the cans and bottles from sliding around on the shelves.

The drawers arrive completely assembled. We only had to screw the base to the original shelf.  

I love being able to pull out the cabinet drawer and grab whatever I need quickly, without having to take everything out every time I need something.

 

Additional Tools Needed for Installation 

  • Center Punch (to start the holes in the existing shelf)
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Wood Glue (my husband used wood glue in the drilled holes to make the screws more permanently secure)

  

 


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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.”


Monday, May 1, 2023

JobSmart and DieHard: Reviewing Two Extremely Durable Adjustable Beam Flashlights

I am tough on flashlights. I frequently drop them and have lost them outside for months. I rely on them at least twice daily. I depend on flashlights both for regular chores and for checking on things outdoors in the middle of the night when my dogs indicate that there is something outside that shouldn't be. The two flashlight brands I depend on are Jobsmart and DieHard. 

JobSmart and DieHard: Reviewing Two Extremely Durable Adjustable Beam Flashlights


I have a small homestead and am fairly new to many homesteading activities; such as raising chickens. This past year and a half has been a learning experience. One thing I have noticed is that dependable lighting is a MUST and I was fortunate to choose two flashlights that have been more dependable and durable than I would have ever imagined. 

JobSmart 350 Tactical

The JobSmart line of flashlights are available at Tractor Supply Stores. I purchased mine very soon after I moved to the homestead when I realized that my camping lanterns, lights, and headlights weren't quite bright enough. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm slightly afraid of the dark when walking around on my mountain ridge land after dark and want a very bright light. However, my budget doesn't allow for the highest lumens and big-name brands. 

I chose the flashlight that was in the middle of the price range offered at Tractor Supply at the time. It happened to be the JobSmart 350 Tactical. It turned out to be a fantastic choice for me. It uses 3 AAA batteries and the batteries seem to have a long life. I only had to replace the batteries after losing it outside for months when it was turned on.

The JobSmart 350 Tactical is thinner in size than my DieHard and lighter weight. It has a twisting adjustable beam that focuses in a wide swath or a thin beam that is very bright and reaches the chicken coop from my house so I can check on things in the middle of the night without going outside. 

Product Details from the website:

Light your way with the JobSmart 350 Lumen LED Aluminum Flashlight.

  • Up to 350 lumen output
  • High/low mode
  • Twist to adjust focus lens
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Working time: 1.5 hr. in high mode; 4 hr. in low mode with alkaline battery
  • CREE XPG LED bulb
  • Aluminum and Rubber construction

DieHard 1700 Flashlight


When I dropped my original flashlight over the edge of the deck and couldn't find it, I bought a replacement. That happened to be the DieHard 1700 Flashlight. This flashlight clearly has more lumens than my JobSmart which is great because the smaller, focused beam could reach to the top of my yard when the shed sits - about twice as far away as my chicken coop. The DieHard is thicker and weighs more so it does seem clumsier to carry for daily chores. This flashlight sits on a shelf next to my front door so it is easily and quickly accessible for scanning my yard at night. 

It has been an excellent flashlight; durable and bright. 

Product details from the website:

  • Ultra Bright 1,700 Lumen LED Flashlight
  • Pro grade anodized aluminum construction & heavy-duty true grip design
  • Precision flood-to-spot beam through twist focusing
  • 3 power modes—high/medium/low
  • Includes 6 AA DieHard batteries
There are many reasons to have dependable lighting; emergencies (roadside and household), power outages, hiking, camping, and homestead chores. I need dependable lighting since my homestead chores occur before dawn in the mornings and often after sunset in the evenings. My chores have to be done during inclement weather. While these flashlights do not claim to be waterproof I have used them during all weather and have dropped them onto wet ground. I can't afford to buy tools that will easily break or wear out. That is why I am glad to recommend the JobSmart 350 Tactical and the DieHard 1700 flashlights. 



Perhaps you prefer to shop Amazon due to remote locations or delivery preferences. Or perhaps you prefer USB rechargeable flashlights or flashlights with different specs. There are plenty of flashlight brands and varieties to choose from HERE.





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.”


Sunday, April 30, 2023

Indoor Plant Grow Light - Bought it, Use it, Love it

If you're looking for a grow light for your indoor plants, check out this indoor plant grow light that I'm using and love.

I recently relocated one of my plants from near a window to a dark corner, and knowing it would suffer from lack of light, I invested in this plant grow light, and I swear I heard my plant thanking me! Here's a photo of it:

Indoor Plant Grow Light
Indoor Plant Grow Light - Available on Amazon

Here are Some Benefits of an Indoor Plant Grow Light:

  • Energy Efficiency: The grow light uses LEDs. It is designed to be energy-efficient.
  • Adjustable Height: It has a 31-inch telescope grow rod, so you can adjust it to the height of most medium-height house plants.
  • Full Spectrum: The grow light offers a full spectrum of light wavelengths, providing the highly-uniform light that plants need to grow. 
  • Self-Dimmable Control: The grow light can automatically simulate the intensity of natural sunshine, making it an excellent option for plants that need varying light levels. You can also adjust the light manually if you prefer.
  • Full Range Timer:  The remote control lets you set the auto stop and start times automatically between two and twenty-four hours.
  • Nice Lighting Ambiance: When the grow light comes on automatically in the dark corner, it provides lovely lighting decor.
Easy to Use: 

The grow light is easy to use and doesn't require any tools to set up:
  • Plug the connecter into the top of the lamp
  • Then plug it into an electrical outlet
  • Adjust the rod extension bar to the height you need for your plant
  • Put the rod directly into your plant 

I took a guess about the light my plant needed, comparing it to its previous location, which was by a window. I chose the option "Real Sunshine" on the remote, and 4 hours.

The steps to use the remote are easy:

  1. Press "On" for the automatic timer settings ("M" is for manual settings, I don't use that one)
  2. I selected "S" for Real Sunshine
  3. I selected 4H for four hours of light
  4. Note: The real sunshine option slowly brings the light on, like the rising sun on a plant outside
Here's a photo of the remote:


I'm not a gardening guru by any stretch of the imagination, but my plant is even happier with the grow light than it was by the window. It's perkier, and I'm hoping the dark unhappy edges on a few leaves cease to occur. 

However, I've recently read that those dry burnt-looking edges on the leaf tips may be from inconsistent watering and letting my plant dry out too long in between waterings - yep, I am guilty of that sometimes. I prefer to under-water, but in this plant's case, I may be under-watering too much. 

This plant should do much better with this grow light and a better watering schedule.

Five stars for this grow light.




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.”


Monday, April 24, 2023

Ziploc Variety Pac Review

 Does your storage bag drawer need SOS? Drowning in quart size bags, but you need pint or sandwich size bags! May all of our kitchen issues be so easy to solve! Ziploc Variety Pac and Amazon Brand to the rescue to replenish your kitchen storage bags with ease and convenience.

ziploc variety pac


This year is the first time I have come across (and it has certainly been a kitchen want for quite awhile!) plastic storage and freezer bags in a package which includes multiple sizes of bags. Having multiple sizes on hand makes food preparation, storage and freezing so much easier.

What Bags Are Included In The Ziploc Variety Pac?

  • 54 Freezer Quart Size Bags
  • 38 Freezer Gallon Bags
  • 52 Storage Gallon Bags
  • 125 Sandwich Bags

Note: Both Freezer and Storage Gallon Size Bags are included.



Slider Storage Bags Variety

If you prefer the slider storage aka zipper storage bags, Amazon brand offers a few varieties of sizes. 

Variety One offers quite a selection including a few 2 gallon size bags:

  • 50 pint bags
  • 50 quart bags
  • 25 gallon bags
  • 25 2 gallon bags

I have found quite a few non food uses for the two gallon bags. They are indeed quite large, but nice to have a few on hand. 

Recommendation

I have ordered and used both brands. I do find the ziploc brand to be slightly stronger. It is a trade off between a higher priced brand and the online store brand. The use determines my need; I do prefer a very sturdy and strong bag if using to freeze foods.

I have tried the brands at the local dollar store and those bags  I have found over priced (over a dollar for a very small box) for a very low quality bag - disappointing because I usually love the dollar store, but as with all stores and brands there are preferences. Stocking a new kitchen is always expensive and the variety pac serves the purpose quickly and conveniently.




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.”


Friday, April 21, 2023

Rubbermaid Folding 1-Step Steel Step Stool Reviewed

1 step steel step stool in the kitchen
One Step Step Stool
I recently purchased a Rubbermaid 1-step step stool because I need that extra 10 inches of height to easily reach the upper cabinets and shelves in my kitchen.  I especially need the extra height to access the cabinet over my oven where I store my baking pans.  It seems I need that extra step up somewhere in my kitchen on a daily basis.   

I have several step stools that range from two steps to four steps stored in various places throughout my home.  The more steps they have, the heavier they are to move.  While I love my 4-step foldable step stool, it really is too heavy for me to constantly be moving around or using on a daily basis.  While the 4-step ladder is still necessary to reach the top shelves of the cabinets, I rarely need the items I have stored on those shelves. Frankly, I am surprised I haven't previously bought the much lighter weight 1-step step stool. 

Because the Rubbermaid 1-step step stool is so thin (2") when folded for storage, I can slip it between the end of my counter and my refrigerator.  That keeps it close at hand when needed.


Features of the Rubbermaid 1-Step Steel Step Stool

 Rubbermaid RMS-1 1-Step Steel Step Stool, 225-pound Capacity, WhiteCheck Price

I recommend this specific step stool for several reasons.  It has a lock to keep the from folding up when I am standing on the stool.  Plus, I really like the rubber grip on the top and the rubber feet that keep it from sliding.

  • Lightweight - 7.5 lbs
  • Slim Profile - Folds up thin - 2 inches
  • Holds up to 225 lbs 
  • Steel Frame
  • Tread Insert on Step to prevent slipping
  • Soft Comfort Grip
  • Step Locks in Place - Easy Press Button Release 
  • Non-slip, Non-marring Feet



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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.”


Thursday, April 20, 2023

KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper

 

KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
My KitchenAid 3.5 Cup food chopper review. There are so many tools for the kitchen, one of my favorites is my KitchenAid food chopper. 

We had a smaller food chopper for years, and it worked just fine. For cooking and baking, I wanted something larger.  After doing some research and reading reviews, I decided on this KitchenAid 3.5-cup chopper.

Food choppers are great and will save you time over using a knife to cut larger amounts of ingredients for a recipe.

 This is where I particularly find it handy when a recipe calls for ingredients to be chopped, diced, or minced. It saves me time. To be honest with you, I'm not that good with a knife.

I'm okay using a knife when a recipe calls for small amounts to be diced or chopped. Such as a couple cloves of diced garlic or a couple of chopped carrots.

When a recipe calls for larger amounts of diced or chopped ingredients for soups, stews, or other dishes it's time for me to use the chopper. 

Salsa recipe
Chopped Cilantro, onion, garlic, and jalapeno for salsa

I recently made some homemade salsa. I needed to chop large amounts of ingredients for the recipe. My KitchenAid food chopper made short work of this task. You can find my homemade salsa recipe here: Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa.

Features of the KitchenAid Food Chopper:

  • Chop, mix, and puree
  • Two speeds with a pulse button
  • One touch operation
  • Stainless Steel Blade
  • 3.5 cup bowl with a pour spout, Handle, and locking blade
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
Since this is a 3.5-cup food chopper it is best to cut larger size onions, carrots, and other larger vegetables into quarters before chopping.

KitchenAid is a trusted name brand. We have several KitchenAid products in our kitchen. We are very happy with the performance of all of them. 

KitchenAid Queen of Hearts Food Chopper KFC3516QHSD, 3.5 Cup, Passion RedKitchenAid Queen of Hearts Food Chopper KFC3516QHSD, 3.5 Cup, Passion RedCheck Price

 

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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.”


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Reviewing Window And Door Alarms For Affordable Home Security


Window Alarm


We have been looking for how to increase our home security recently. While not in a high crime area, it only seems sensible to do what we can to protect our home and ourselves just in case. 

We can't afford to put in a complete home security system that links to the Police at present and do not want to invest in anything too expensive as we will likely be moving house in the next couple of years, so we are considering and installing more affordable alternatives. 


Window Alarms For Home Security

Our friend recently went to a talk by security and the police to gain ideas and discussed them with us. One of the main things the Police suggested was to make sure windows have window locks and to always keep doors and windows locked while not in the house. 

When in the house it is also best to keep all external doors locked. At night make sure that all windows on lower levels are shut and locked.

Doors need to be secure and fit well with any glass being safety-reinforced or toughened glass.

One of the other recommendations was to fix door and window alarms.

The idea of window alarms is that most burglars want to do the crime as quietly as possible while not alerting anyone to their actions. The Police said it is surprising how quietly thieves can access a window that is not alarmed.

Of course, a professional or very determined burglar wanting a priceless painting or specific expensive jewelry will never be deterred. However, we and most people don't have those things and here we are talking about the opportunist thieves who carry out most household burglaries, casual or amateur burglars looking for easy gain.


Open Window With Alarm

If we fit these alarms it is essential that we notify trusted neighbours so that they recognise the sound and can look out to see if there is anyone around -while keeping themselves safe of course- and then call the Police if they see anyone lurking around or any signs of attempted entry. 

All too often house alarms sound and everyone ignores them thinking they are going off by mistake so this step with neighbours is essential. Of course, we reciprocate with them and keep a watch on their homes. 

In addition, the good aspect of window alarms is that when we are at home at night and one of the alarms goes off because of a thief or attacker entering, there will be time to lock ourselves in a room and call for assistance. The noise may even deter the burglar from bothering.    

However, the Police said that most crimes take place during the day when they think you are out. I am not sure why but I always assumed crime would take place at night but apparently, with burglaries that is not generally the case. 

It is of course essential that we also have window locks on all windows and ideally double glazed with toughened safety glass on at least the most vulnerable windows. An active neighbourhood community watch on each others homes is of course a real bonus.


window alarm

 Fitting A Window Or Door Alarm

The window alarms we bought are very discreet and simple to set up and use. They are relatively small but do sound a very loud alarm. 

All you need to do is fix the adhesive strips to the two main parts of the alarm. Then position lightly, one on the fixed window frame and one on the mobile window. 

Do make sure the little arrows if they have them point to each other. You do have to make sure that the two parts of the alarm are within a specified distance of each other otherwise it will not work.

Once they are in place lightly fixed, you can test them simply by switching to alarm and then opening the window or door. Then if working well you can firmly press on the alarm parts to fix it securely. 

They are fitted to the inside of the window itself and the frame of the internal window. They are very secure and ours have never just dropped off. As they fit so firmly you would need to take them off carefully but that would be possible if required. 

There is no wiring required, no drilling or screws and no damage to the windows or the frame. If you wanted to you could take them off when you move house so ideal if you are renting a house or likely to move soon. This was a big plus for us. 

There are three settings on ours off, alarm and bleep. When the seal between them is broken for example by an attempt to prise open the window, or force exerted against the door, the alarm or bleep sounds. 

  

      
As they do fit so discreetly and on the inside of the windows you cannot see them from outside, so if they are to act as a deterrent it is also worthwhile buying a few stickers that alert people to the fact that you have window or door alarms fitted. Some alarms come with stickers, while others do not.
       

Reasons For Fitting A Window Or Door Alarm

  • Our main reason for getting them is as a deterrent and an alert, so ours are all set to alarm when the windows are closed.
  • Some people have said that the quieter but distinctive bleep setting is invaluable for use on doors when they have small children or elderly, vulnerable relatives who might leave a door open or wander out the door when they should not. The noise alerts them to a door being opened. 
  • They can be useful for small businesses when you just want an inexpensive easy to fix way to alert you to a customer entering your premises for business. Clearly then you would look for an alarm with a bleep setting. A full loud alarm setting is useful for when you are leaving and locking the premises. 
  • People may find them useful to fix up when traveling and staying over in motels for added peace of mind in a new or strange place. Perhaps fit them lightly in these circumstances as you are removing them very soon. Check with owner to make sure it is Ok to fix them. 
  • They could be useful for students going away to University and living in halls or a flat. Check with the University first. 
  • People are also using them when traveling in their RVs or Caravans for a security measure. 

window alarm


Testing The Alarm

The alarm noise setting ought to be very loud and when testing the alarm as you will be very close. It is wise to either put it on the lowest noise setting if it has one, or cover the alarm part with a cloth to dampen down the noise or wear ear defenders.

Certainly do not stay near the alarm while it is going off for any length of time, as over time hearing can be damaged. 

It is important to test the alarms every so often, maybe once a month. If it has batteries they will need replacing after a while. The length of battery time you get from the battery may depend on if the alarms have been sounded often or not.  

 

            

At first, we were concerned that they would be too sensitive and that we would get lots of annoying false alarms but that has not been the case with ours. The window cleaner also did not set them off when he cleaned the windows. 

So it appears that with ours there has to be some force exerted to initiate the alarms. This is good for us as we have neighbours living close to us and we did not want to be annoying them or have lots of false alarms. A more rural or isolated location may not have these concerns. Some are very sensitive indeed and may or may not suit your needs. 


Features Of Window Alarms To Consider 

There are various window alarms with slightly different features. It depends on what is important to you personally and why you are using the alarms. 

Here are some features to consider whether or not they are important to you when choosing a window/door alarm. 

  • Does it have a high/low sensitivity feature and is that important to you?
  • What are the alarm sound or sounds options such as a high pitched alarm sound or bleep noise.
  • The length of time the alarm sounds may be important to you whether it is continuous until stopped, lasts only 60 seconds or repeats.
  • Do you need to switch it off manually or does it have a remote control? 
  • Does it include warning stickers or do you will need or want to buy these separately?  
  • We went for the system where the alarm has two parts you fix to the window and the frame but there are also alarms that are just one part that stick to the window pane itself, which is another option. 
  • Do check how easy or difficult they are to remove once in position, especially those you stick to the window pane glass itself and if you know you will need to remove it for moving or because you are renting. 
  • Some like the one below have a blinking light feature to alert would be burglars to its presence. 

 

My experience is with very simple affordable manual window/door alarms, but you can also buy ones that link to wifi, phone app alerts and many other features that you may be interested in considering. 

What it has given us is a little extra peace of mind. It is not and should not be the only home security measure we utilise, but it does give another layer of protection and security.


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Monday, April 17, 2023

Reviewing Single-Tube Wind Chimes Known as Windbells

 I love wind chimes. All types of wind chimes; metal, wood, agate, polished glass, shell, tuned, and every type you can imagine. Having moved to an area that experiences high winds on a frequent basis, I'm concerned about putting my traditional, multi-tube, chimes outdoors out of fear that they will tangle. I miss hearing my wind chimes. Especially, my tuned wind chimes. But I've learned there is a wonderful compromise. They are called Windbells. Windbells are a single-tube wind chime. A single-tube eliminates the risk of tangling while creating the sound I love. 

Heroic Windbell (large) by Woodstock Chimes

I have a friend who fabricated her own single-tube windbells. They are made of very large metal tubes, the height of a small adult, with an inner diameter the approximate size of a fist. They hang from her carport and they sound amazing. I knew I had to figure out how to buy or fabricate my own single-tube chimes.

On a visit to a Hobby Lobby, I found a windbell in the shape of a metal bottle. I had to have it. It emits a metallic sound that reminds me of sitting at the marina and listening to the sounds from the sail boats as they rock on the waves and shift in the wind. I love the sound. But it is not quite the same deep, meditative sound created by larger windbells.

Rustic Metal Bottle Wind Chime from Hobby Lobby

The sound I'm looking for, in addition to my metal bottle windbell, is the sound that is created by the Heroic Windbell (Large) made by Woodstock Chimes. 

The Heroic Windbell by Woodstock Chimes

In looking for a quality, long-lasting, windbell with a pleasing, deep sound I found the Woodstock Chimes company. They have a good reputation that seems to stem from their love for windchimes. 

"In 1979, Grammy award-winning musician and instrument designer Garry Kvistad created the first Woodstock Chime from an aluminum lawn chair he found in a landfill; Garry and his wife Diane founded Woodstock Chimes in 1979 And still develop the chimes today." - Woodstock Chimes

Woodstock chimes offer a huge variety of chimes, bells, crystal light catchers, and gongs. I have a long wish-list of their items but I am trying to stay focused on the windbells here.

The Heroic Windbell comes in medium and large. The large is 40" in length and is offered in "antique copper", "harbor gray", and green colors. They are created to sound like distant harbor bells. The Heroic Windbell is meant to be hung in a breezy spot. It is designed to sound like a bell and has an internal hollow section that "sounds like an organ pipe". The two sounds combine to create a deep and beautiful tone.

What Are Tuned Wind Chimes?

I mentioned tuned wind chimes and being concerned about hanging my tuned wind chime out here and have it tangle in the winds.  Tuned wind chimes are musically tuned to play the familiar notes of songs. Of course, the wind chimes move in a random manner but the notes of the song are easy to recognize. The Amazing Grace tuned wind chime by Woodstock Chimes is a good example of a tuned wind chime.

If you are shopping for wind chimes, I recommend checking the Woodstock Chimes store. They are highly recommended with consistent 5 star ratings on the chimes they offer. 






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