Showing posts with label gadget review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadget review. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Reachers And Grabbers Reviewed

O, the reacher and the grabber - I've known a few!  Reachers and grabbers have become an integral part of this household. The design of reachers and grabbers have evolved through the years to become lightweight, affordable, practical and indispensable!



The Difference Between The Reacher And The Grabber


The reacher and grabber I have found each perform well together, independently but each has a specialty function which is very helpful and practical.

The reacher is lightweight and can be used to easily extend your reach in both directions. Extend your reach down to help put on socks or pick up items off the floor. Extend your reach up to help take lightweight items off a shelf or even change a lightbulb.

The grabber is great for heavier items which require more strength to grab such as canned food in the pantry or medium to heavier items off the floor or under the bed. The grabber also works very well in the grocery store to retrieve items on the top or bottom shelves.


My favorite Reacher And Grabber

I and my family members have tried a few reachers and grabbers through the years and these two are the favorites.

The Duro Med 32 Inch Aluminum Reacher With Magnetic Tip

This is very lightweight, foldable and has a magnetic tip which is invaluable for retrieving small metal items off the floor or items which find their way under the refrigerator. I love the reacher can be folded up with ease to carry with you to the grocery store or store in the car.


Ettore 34-Inch Grib'n Grab


This grabber is heavier than the reacher and it is deceptive as to how heavy an item can be grabbed and retrieved. I call this the workhorse of the reacher and grabber category and many obviously agree with over 4,000 positive reviews!


Why You Need Both!


As I discovered when caring for a family member after hip replacement surgery, not only is a reacher and grabber both necessary devices to help a person perform daily living activities independently, two devices are necessary!

Two are necessary because the reacher and/or grabber somehow tends to wander and miraculously ends up NOT by the immobile person. This happens quite frequently in a two floor home; it is a reacher/grabber phenomenon akin to the missing laundry sock. If you are upstairs, the reacher is downstairs. If you are in the living room, the grabber is in the kitchen. Buy two!


Different Functions


The reacher and grabber I have found each perform well together and independently, but each has a specialty function which is very helpful and practical.

The reacher is lightweight and can be used to easily extend your reach in both directions. Extend your reach down to help put on socks or pick up items off the floor. Extend your reach up to help take lightweight items off a shelf or even change a lightbulb.

The grabber is great for heavier items which require more strength to grab such as canned food in the pantry or medium to heavier items off the floor or under the bed.


Yardwork


The grabber is a cherished member of the yard work team! A true back saver for picking up twigs, branches, debris and even fallen branches. The reacher is perfect to rearrange items on the garage shelves or retrieve items which roll under the car.

Once you own a reacher or a grabber (or both!) it is amazing the different ways each can be used to make your life easier and your back and knees happier! Reachers and grabbers also make very practical gifts a gift recipient will appreciate.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Stauber Best Bulb Changer Review

Does a light bulb going out in the ceiling elicit a sigh? Or a groan? Or I can't wait to change the light bulb? High ceilings and burned out light bulbs used to elicit dread at trying to change the light bulb, but the Stauber Best Bulb Changer is a true game changer.




This little gadget will turn sighs and groans into the routine delight of changing light bulbs in ceilings, flood lights in the driveway or any unreachable light socket with a burned out bulb.

Can You Change Me Now?

Absolutely.  I used the Stauber Best Bulb Changer to change a recessed light bulb 10 feet above the dining room table.  The two recessed lights cannot be reached without a ladder and the dining room table cannot be moved so changing the light bulb is a major logistical problem. It usually takes two people, one ladder and gymnastics to change the light bulb.

Usually when one of these lights go out the first decision is to ignore the situation.  Ignoring and tolerating the situation works until inevitably the second light bulb goes out. The thought of dragging out a tall ladder or hopping on the dining room table makes changing the light bulb a most unwelcome task. No more! The Stauber Best Bulb Changer to the rescue.

Safety First

What I absolutely love about the Stauber Best Bulb Changer is the ability to safely change a light bulb in the ceiling without a ladder! Only one person is needed to change the light bulb and I changed two recessed lights in literally minutes which included assembling the light bulb changer and reading the directions.


Tools & Tips

The Stauber Best Bulb Changer does not come with an extension pole. The pole can be bought separately if necessary. However, a broom or mop with a threaded end is all that is needed. I simply unscrewed and removed the bottom of a broom and was ready to attach the bulb changer.

The first tip is to read the directions. The second tip is to thoroughly read the directions. At first glance this little light bulb changer is deceiving and the thought expressed by many consumers is, "How can this little gadget work?" It does and it worked flawlessly. The little white cloth included is important to dust off the dead light bulb so the the suction cup can work properly.

The little white string is also deceiving and many customers wonder, "What the heck is that?" The string is used to disengage the light bulb from the suction cup once the light bulb is removed. This is where reading and following the directions is crucial (Raise your hand if you can't wait to use a new product and ignore the directions!) Do not ignore the white string!

Recommendation

I highly recommend the Stauber Best Bulb Changer. Prior to purchasing I researched light bulb changing gadgets and read many reviews of the top rated light bulb changers; I am most pleased I purchased the Stauber.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Easily Increase Your Vegetable Intake with a Spiralizer

how to make zucchini noodles with a vegetable spiralizer
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs
If you're looking to increase your vegetable intake or reduce some of the heavy carbs like pasta from your diet then a spiralizer could be the answer.  Let me review why I think you'll adore having a vegetable spiralizer - I personally love mine, I don't know why I didn't get one sooner.

At the time of writing this I'm doing the Arbonne 30 Day Plan to Healthy Living and Beyond and basically that means that (for this month at least) I can't eat pasta, I can eat zucchini however ... enter zoodles! 

I have been meaning to try and made zoodles aka zucchini noodles for ages which is the whole reason I purchased my vegetable spiralizer.

Making the zucchini noodles was so easy and I'm now seeing lots of other recipes using other vegetables in place of pasta.  What a cool way of getting your child to eat more vegetables than to make their spaghetti bolognaise with zoodles?

So my vegetable spiralizer came with three different blades like the Paderno World Cuisine one below, but you can also get them with 7 blades, Amazon's best selling vegetable spiralizer comes with 7 blades and is the second one featured.




The actual one that I have doesn't seem to be available online which is why I've given you two alternatives.  Now I've only used the blade to made noodles so I'd just get the 3 blade one personally, but...

They were super easy to make you simply placed the zucchini (or vegetable of choice) on the spiky guard, making sure that the other end is in the middle of the round thing that is going to basically core your zucchini so that it looks like a very weird toadstool after the noodles are all made.

The next step is to simply turn the handle, however if that is all you do you won't get very long noodles, you'll just get little curls (they don't say that in the instructions).  What you need to do is as you're turning the handle you need to also be applying a gentle pressure inwards (towards the vegetable) then it will work beautifully.

It is super quick and I simply popped the zoodles into boiling water for a few minutes - basically treating them like fresh pasta noodles.  I've since been told of other ways of cooking them that involve almost sauteing them in coconut oil, but I haven't tried that (and probably won't).

how to make zucchini noodles so that your kids want to eat their vegetables
Image by Louanne Cox, Arbonne Independent Consultant

I would recommend starting with zucchini as it's quite a bland vegetable which makes it ideal to replace spaghetti.  I would also recommend a pinch of salt in the water when cooking it, I didn't do this the first time and it was much better when I did do it.

You can use sweet potato, carrot, parsnips and who knows what other vegetable, just use your imagination.

I will be trying out sweet potato next as I think that will go really well with a number of dishes I enjoy.

Have you ever tired zoodles or thought about making them?  If so then why wait, just do it as Nike would say!

Let me know in the comments if you've tried any other vegetables as I'd love to hear how they went.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Personal Review of My Favorite Vegetable Peeler: The Zyliss Potato Peeler

It Took Me 45 Years to Discover the Best Vegetable Peeler

In my opinion, it's the Zyliss Potato Peeler. It's the best solution I've found for peeling celery -- the ultimate test of a peeler for me. I've pictured it next to some celery to be peeled for a soup I was making. I peeled it after I took this picture.

Personal Review of  My Favorite Vegetable Peeler: The Zyliss Potato Peeler

Here's what led to my decision to buy it. If you need an excellent peeler right now and don't need the review, take the shortcut below. 


Go straight to the Zyliss Potato Peeler on Amazon and skip the rest of this review. 


My Early Experience with Vegetable Peelers


Some of my most frustrating kitchen experiences have been while peeling vegetables -- especially celery. When I still lived with my parents, Mom often assigned the job of peeling the vegetables to me. I was the one who peeled the potatoes for the holiday mashed potatoes. I also got to peel the rutabagas to cook, and the carrots and celery for the hors d'oeuvres tray before dinner. It was a job I hated. Mom's peeler was the best to be found for the job in the 1950's. It looked a lot like this Miracle Peeler. I think it was a Miracle Peeler. It was much better than others I had used. Even so, peeling wasn't my favorite kitchen chore. 




The Miracle Peeler's handle was fairly easy to control, and I could cut bad spots out with the sharp curved attachment at the end. When I got married and bought my own peeler, I bought the Miracle Peeler. It was the best I could find 53 years ago.

My mother-in-law was using an old stainless steel paring knife she brought with her from Europe. I could not find one like it online, though I did check eBay. This is what it looked like. It's upside down. There is a peeling blade on the other side of the depression in the blade. When Paula handed this to me to peel something, I didn't know what to do with it. I'd never seen anything like it. I didn't do a very good job. When we next visited my husband's parents, I brought Paula a Miracle Peeler like mine so I could at least function if she asked me to peel something.

A Vintage Paring Knife My Mother-in-Law Used to Peel Vegetables
A Vintage Paring Knife My Mother-in-Law Used to Peel Vegetables


Why I Wanted to Replace My Miracle Peeler


Over the years my original Miracle Peeler stopped working as well. I decided to get a new one. The replacement I bought looked like the old one but didn't seem to be made as well. I picked it up at a grocery store and didn't pay too much attention to the brand name. Perhaps it was a cheaper knock-off. In any case, it didn't work very well -- especially on celery. If the celery was the least bit limp, it was almost impossible to peel. Not only that, the new one did not seem to fit my hand as well, and it hurt to use it. I decided to try to find a better one.

I Bought a Zyliss Potato Peeler

The Zyliss peeler works very well on celery and on the other veggies I peel with it. I have been using it now for about five years and it's the best I've ever used.

Personal Review of  My Favorite Vegetable Peeler: The Zyliss Potato Peeler

I've even used it to strip brown spots off the back of romaine lettuce ribs to make them look nicer. The blade is very flexible and the celery strings don't catch in it as much as in other peelers I have used. If strings do linger long enough to interfere with peeling, I rinse the strings off the blade easily under the faucet. On other peelers, I've often had to use a brush.  If I find a bad spot in the vegetable I'm peeling, I use the sharp cutting end of the Zyliss peeler to get it out easily.

The Zyliss peeler handle is more comfortable in my hand than other peelers have been. It's easy to grip and unlike the Miracle Peeler, my fingers don't have to bend to fit around a small thin metal handle that sometimes presses against my skin in a painful way. I also tried using the Zyliss to peel a stalk of celery with my left hand.  I proved to myself that left-handed people can also use the Zyliss Peeler, since the blade flips both ways.

If you need to replace your vegetable peeler, I highly recommend the Zyliss Potato Peeler. I believe you will be very happy with it, as I have been.




Personal Review of  My Favorite Vegetable Peeler: The Zyliss Potato Peeler



You may also want to check out my review of another small but essential kitchen tool: Rescued by a Brix Jar Key: A Review

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pop Holders for Phones - Another Gadget that's Popping off the Shelves

Popsocket HERE - Available in Other Design Styles
How do I know another gadget is off and running? My gadget loving son who is very much up on all 'this stuff' has one.

I noticed this funny looking door knob thingy attached to the back of his mobile phone and asked, what the heck is that?

He couldn't wait to show me the purpose of yet another little gizmo.

Honestly, I was prepared to give it an eye-roll, but after his explanation and demonstration, I thought, hmmmm, I could use one.

It's a Way to Hold Your Cell Phone, Tablet or eReader Securely, or to Stand it Up

You can attach one or two of these gizmos on the back of your Mobile Device, Tablet or eReader as a way to secure it for standing or as a way to securely hold it between your fingers. You can also use it to wrap your earbuds around (simple storage).

It literally pops open when you want to use it and closes flush against your device when not needed.

It's also the kind of gizmo you can 'play with', popping your Popsocket open and closed open and closed open and closed .... I watched my son do this most of the night. It's one of those little habits that will keep your hands busy and also drive your mother crazy! But since it serves a useful purpose, I'll let the popping go. Actually, I couldn't hear it - I could see him fidgeting with the gadget, which prompted my original question 'what the heck is that' in the first place.

Securing Popsockets to Your Device

If your device or cases are made of silicone, leather or have a waterproof coating, Popsockets may have trouble securing to them. However, for most cases and devices they'll go on without a hitch.

If you're wondering how often a Popsocket can be opened and closed, it does have an estimated life span of approximately 12,000 pops, but hey, for the price that'll take you a long way.

Watch this helpful Animated Video on Popsockets


By the way, they come in a number of cool colors and designs as well.





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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Playing Games with the Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo looks like a black Pringles can and fits in with any decor.
The Amazon Echo looks like a black
 Pringles can and fits in with any decor.
Have you heard of the new electronic gadget called the Amazon Echo? I wrote a review about it that you can read here, but let me quickly tell you a little bit about the device, then I'll let you know how you can have fun playing games with your Amazon Echo.

This awesome gadget looks a lot like a Pringles can, but it's actually a speaker that responds to its name, plays music, wakes you up in the morning, tells you the weather forecast and sports scores, reads the news to you, turns your lights on and off, and even orders stuff for you from Amazon.com, all with just a voice command from you.

You can have fun with the Echo (most people call her "Alexa;" her alternate wake name is "Amazon"), too. She has quite a sense of humor (well, as much as an electronic assistant can have) and is very cooperative if you just want to have some fun with her. Here are a few games you can play with your Echo.

"Alexa, who is singing that song?"


Play a game of "name that artist" or "name that tune" whenever you listen to music on your Echo. If you're not sure who's singing the song, just ask Alexa! Not sure of the song title? She'll answer that question, too.

"Alexa, how far is it from here to the North Pole?"


How about a game of trivia. Gather your friends and try to stump each other on facts, with your Echo as the final authority. Have your friends guess the answer to questions such as "How tall is Mount Everest?" or even "How many tablespoons in a cup?"  Closest to the correct answer wins!

Use the Echo's magnetic remote control from another room when you're too far away for the device to hear your voice.

"Alexa, Simon Says..."


Use the Echo's remote control from another room to play a game of Simon Says. Put Alexa in a room with your friends then, from another room where they can't hear you, speak into the remote control's microphone. Say, "Alexa, Simon says..." followed by whatever message you would like Alexa to repeat.

For instance, if your Echo is in a room with the kids, have Alexa say, "Kids, dinner's ready. Report to the kitchen!" They'll come running to find out how you did that!



"Alexa, I love you!"


Okay, we know she's not human, but everyone likes to feel appreciated. Let Alexa know that you love her. She'll let you know that she thinks you're pretty special, too.

"Alexa, tell me a joke." 


In the mood to laugh? Seriously, Alexa has quite the joke repertoire and most of them are pretty funny. If you need cheering up, just say, "Alexa, tell me a joke," and she will. Here's an actual joke that Alexa just now told me:
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Kanye.
Kanye who?
Kanye believe it? I tell jokes, too!

These are just a few ideas for games to play and fun things to do with your Amazon Echo. Get creative and come up with your own ideas, or use the "Things to Try" section of the Echo app to find more ideas. Don't have an Echo yet? Here's that Amazon Echo review link again where you can learn more about this fascinating and useful gadget and find out how to order one for yourself.

-- Susan Deppner
Read more of my reviews.





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