Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts

Sunday, January 31, 2021

6 Handy Work From Home Office Gizmos and Gadgets

Review of Handy Home Office Accessories & Gadgets

Since many of us are working from home these days, acquiring just the right gadgets and gizmos for our desks can be fun! 

For me, it's fun. Maybe, you're like, "no clutter, please." These six items don't really clutter the office up; they're all useful.

My family tends to give me gifts that fit nicely into my home-office set-up. Since I spend so much time here, I appreciate every little thing I get from them.

Here are six handy items that I've either purchased or received as gifts you may also want to consider.

Handy Home Office Gizmos and Gadgets

1. A Calendar Mousepad

My 2021 calendar mouse pad is on order. Last year, I decided that I needed a handy calendar that didn't have to hang on the wall or be buried in a drawer. The perfect solution was a mouse pad that doubles as a calendar. Sure, you can't write on it, but who cares! If I need to quickly glance at a particular date while viewing the whole year at a glance .... bingo! Problem solved.

Here's My 2020 Mousepad Calendar - 2021 Just Ordered - Waiting for Arrival

I find the calendar mouse pad handy when I travel to my mother's house. I'll work from there, and since the year is displayed in one handy spot, boom, I have a calendar at my fingertips, literally. The best part is I don't have to look at my phone or google a calendar. The mousepad gives me immediate access when working.

I'll end up with a collection of calendar mousepads as the years go by, but how cool is that? After many years of collecting them, God willing, I was considering sticking them in a photo frame for the wall and pinning a small photo in the middle of each year to represent the major event for that year. I guess the covid virus will be the 2020 photo? Um, maybe not. We'll see. 

I would love 2021 to represent something positive about my riddle books, or better yet, my first grand-daughter due in August. There you have it, she gets the 2021 photo billing.

2. HomeMedics Hand-Held Massager

This thing is so darned convenient! This massager is very inexpensive and needs batteries - yah, that part sucks, but honestly, it's worth having on hand. Sitting at my desk can cause tightness and cramps in my thighs and knees. When I'm in the middle of a project and not willing to get up and walk around, I grab that little massager and use it in those painful spots. Works great. 

3. Motivational Words

These can come in many forms. For some, it's a quote on the wall or a plaque on the desk. For me, it's a gift from my grandsons. They gave me three rocks, each printed with a motivational word; "wish, hope, dream." I love these rocks! Here they are:

Wish, Hope, Dream Rocks on My Desk

4. Candles, Yes, Candles, Lots of Candles

Over the holidays, I received three new candles, and I've used two of them completely, and it's only the end of January, lol. These particular candles came in lovely pastel-colored, small glass containers. They fit perfectly on our kitchen window ledge, so I've cleaned them and plan on planting herbs inside in the spring. If fire freaks you out, go for the led battery operated version. The ambient light, no matter which you use, is lovely, and of course, the scent of a real candle can be calming. Lemon, my fave - #anythinglemon.

5. Plants - Plants Are a Must

Plants clean the air. For that reason alone, I include them in a room. Certain plants are ideal for rooms with a lot of electronics, such as Spider Plants. I have one of those plants by our family room TV.

 Fresh flowers are nice and are normally only on my desk when given as a gift. For that reason, I keep plants. I have two plants, one on my desk and one on my credenza: They're easy to keep, they can handle indirect light, and I only water them once a week. I insert a fertilizer stick once a month or so. They're self-sustaining, and the greenery is lovely. This year I plan on adding a floor plant to the room.

Here's the plant on my desk. It's approximately six years old. It was originally at my mom's house, and during her snowbirding days, she'd give her plants to me.

Plant on my Desk - About six years old now - Easy to care for

6. A Portable Heater or Cooler

There's an electric fireplace in my office; however, I prefer the stand-up portable heater. I live in Canada, it's winter, and we're having a cold spell right now. The heater is a gawd-send during the winter months. You can find ones that offer both heating and cooling. However, with central air, the cooling option isn't necessary for us. 

What I like most about the heater is the soothing effects of it at night. When I'm working late, and the room is cold, I pull the heater within one foot of where I'm sitting, and the heat pours over me. When I've had enough, I turn it off. I'm actually turning it on and off all night long. This was a gift that I said I didn't want (since I have a fireplace) - I was wrong. Best gift evah!

I hope your workspace is cozy and filled with encouraging and handy gizmos and gadgets; working from home is much better when it is. Turn your office or desk space into a reflection of yourself.




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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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.





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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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pineapple Corer and Slicer Review

Pineapple Corer and Slicer Review
This pineapple corer-slicer is a relatively new addition to my kitchen gadget collection, one I use often and always enjoy. This week when I prepared and served a fresh pineapple I documented the event with my camera, so I figured this was a good time to share a brief review. (Photos below are all mine.)

Who needs a pineapple corer/slicer? Anyone who loves to eat fresh pineapple but hates the cutting-it-up process!

Here's what I used to do. I'd see a display of pretty pineapples in the store that looked so tasty and reminded me of our long-ago trip to Hawaii, so I'd lovingly select one, gently put it in my grocery cart, take it home, and set it on the counter where I'd let it stay for days, until the leaves started drying up. Eventually, I'd pull out the cutting board and two or three knives to tackle the cutting and slicing, then grab the poor pineapple. After 10 or 15 minutes of slicing, dicing, changing knives, trimming, and chopping, I'd have my pineapple chunks, but I'd also have a big mess to clean up.

No more!

Now, I simply grab the pineapple then pull out my stainless steel pineapple corer-slicer, one sharp knife (for cutting off the top), and the cutting board. It takes just seconds to cut a few inches off the top of the pineapple then no more than a minute or two to line up the cutter with the pineapple core, twist the handle to work the cutter to the bottom of the luscious fruit, and pull out the gorgeous pineapple slices.

Let me show you how it works:

Using the sharp knife, lay the pineapple on the cutting board and cut a couple of inches off the top.
Using the sharp knife, lay the pineapple on the cutting board and cut a couple of inches off the top. 


Holding the pineapple with one hand, line up the cutter with the core of the pineapple then start turning. You'll need to apply just a bit of pressure.  Continue turning and slicing until you reach almost to the bottom of the pineapple.
Holding the pineapple with one hand, line up the cutter with the core of the pineapple then start turning. You'll need to apply just a bit of pressure. Continue turning and slicing until you reach almost to the bottom of the pineapple. 

Use the handle to firmly pull the pineapple slices out of the pineapple.
Use the handle to firmly pull the pineapple slices out of the pineapple. Hold everything upright so the juice doesn't run out like it did here.
(I had to lay it down to take the picture.)

Remove the handle to easily slide the pineapple slices off the cutter.
Once you've pulled the slices out of the pineapple, push the two black buttons below the handle to remove the handle, then slide the pineapple slices off the cutter. Use a knife to cut the slices into chunks if you prefer. Use the empty pineapple "shell" to serve fruit salad or a fancy drink. Replace the "lid" for an elegant presentation.

Which Pineapple Corer Slicer Works Best?


There are basically three types of pineapple corers. I'm very satisfied with the simple stainless steel model, the style that is most widely available and comes with mostly excellent reviews. There's also a plastic model that works the same way but, based on reviews that I've read, may not cut the pineapple as smoothly and will eventually break. Or you might want to consider the ratcheting model that costs about twice as much (still less than $20), but the ratchet mechanism makes it easier to turn the handle without continuously re-positioning your hand. Some plastic models come with a convenient wedge cutter; most do not and judging by the videos I've watched, you won't miss it.

Compare the three types at this Bed, Bath and Beyond link and watch a video of each, showing exactly how they work. Or check out the huge selection and low prices of pineapple corers on eBay.

Should you buy a pineapple corer and slicer to add to your kitchen gadget collection? If you enjoy eating or serving fresh pineapple, it's a no-brainer. You'll spend from about 6 to 20 dollars and never again have to let another beautiful, fresh, delicious, good-for-you pineapple go bad as it wastes away on your kitchen counter. I say go for it!  

~ Susan
Read More of My Reviews




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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Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Best Picture Hooks for Drywall

Available on Amazon
These hooks for hanging pictures are so amazing I'd be willing to do an Infomercial about them!

I first noticed the hooks advertised on TV a few years back, and remember thinking I really should give these a try. Well, I finally did...and yep, they're amazing. 

They're called 'The Monkey Hook', in fact the package says 'The Amazing Monkey Hook', with each hook holding up to 50lbs. Actually, they have hooks for various weights, so be sure to check the package to ensure it's the weight you wanted.

You don't need any tools whatsoever to put up a picture..not one tool. There's no mess, no major damage to the walls, no hammers, no plugs for the wall, and no nails for screws. Best of all, there's no need to try and find wall-studs. Use these directly on the drywall, where there isn't a stud, even for those heavier pictures.

For women, or at least for me, I found these hooks to be a HUGE time saver. I no longer ask my husband to put pictures on the wall.

How They Work:


They're shaped in a curve.

With the end of the curved hook, simply work a little hole into the wall then turn it upwards inside the wall where the hook then grips onto the drywall, leaving you with a nice little, but strong hook to hang your pictures on.

The absolute best part is they barely leave a mark on the wall. All you see when the photo is taken down is a tiny pinprick where the hook initially was.

If you've never tried The Monkey Hook, don't hesitate because it works exactly as it claims it does. I highly recommend these hooks. They're all I use now.

I'll add that I trust the hooks more than I do hooks that just stick to the wall, especially for heavy items.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reviewing The Can Strainer

What Is A Can Strainer?

I am fairly certain that you know what a colander or strainer is in the kitchen. They are usually a bowl shaped tool that we use often in cooking. Straining the water off of pasta comes to mind. What in the devil is a can strainer, then? Well, it is a handy dandy little tool that I did not even know that I wanted until I got one as a gift. Now, I use it quite often! 

Many times in the cooking process we are using a canned ingredient in the recipe. It could be a can of crushed pineapple and the recipe says to separate the juice from the pineapple and set the juice aside. In the past, I partially opened the can and drained the juice into a bowl or measuring cup by applying pressure on the lid. That could get messy and for goodness sakes it is a real pain to then get that lid back up and out of the way. I would have to use a butter knife or something to pry it up. I found out the hard way that using your fingers is not a good idea! Those can lids are sharp!

Well, let me tell you, that is no longer a process that I have to deal with. I received a can strainer as a gift one year and now the process of draining liquid out of a can is easy peasy! Just remove the lid and place the strainer over the can and turn upside down. Voila! Drained with no muss or fuss!

Have a can that is larger around than the strainer? A can of tuna? It might look like you won't be able to use this little gadget, but think again. Flip the strainer the other way, flip the can upside down and apply pressure to the strainer, badda bing badda boom the liquid is drained out and you have dry tuna.

You Don't Have To Wait...

I was lucky enough to get my little can strainer as a gift but you do not have to wait for someone to give you one. You can purchase one for yourself. 

You even have an option of getting a different color if the white doesn't appeal to you. I have seen them in a turquoise and even stainless steel. I just love my little can strainer and honestly do not know how I managed without one for all of those years. Well, I do but it was a pain. Now, I don't have to worry about cutting my fingers on the can lid and there is never any food that spills out of the can when I drain it.

I usually buy several at a time and hold them for when I have a bridal shower to go to or a housewarming gift to give. I just add them in with whatever else I am giving. One year, I placed one in the canned goods I was donating for the local food pantry drive.

The can strainer is one of those handy dandy little gadgets for your kitchen that you probably would never think of getting for yourself but once you have one, you find you use it all of the time. Clean-up is a breeze! It is dishwasher safe and once cleaned is ready for the next time you need to drain a can of ingredients. It does not take up much space to store, either. I keep mine in my little gadget drawer near the sink.


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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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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reviewing Jenaluca Kitchen Scoop Set

Set Of Kitchen Scoops: The perfect gift for a bride



Recently, I was invited to a bridal shower for one of the neighbor girls down the street. There wasn't even a hesitation as to what I would get for the shower. I have a favorite gift to give when it comes to brides, a set of kitchen scoops.




Why scoops you ask? Well, for one thing I feel that every cook needs a good set of scoops whether she or he realizes it. Once they have them in their kitchen, they find that there are so many ways to use them.

Wouldn't one scoop be enough? Actually, I like having the different sizes in my kitchen, let me explain.

The Large Scoop: Not just for ice cream

Included in the set above is the large size that immediately brings to mind scooping ice cream. Yes, I use it for ice cream and sherbets all the time. I also use it for scooping portions of mashed potatoes onto our dinner plates along with any other mashed veggie that we may be having. When making cupcakes, I use the large scoop to put my batter into the baking cups so that my cupcakes are a uniform size when baked. It also works nicely for serving portions of pudding into a pretty dish for dinner guests. The large scoop holds 3 tablespoons of whatever you are scooping so it is easy to find all kinds of uses for it. 

The Medium Scoop: Cookies anyone?

The medium sized kitchen scoop holds 1 1/2 tablespoons of ingredients so I use it the most for my cookie dough. It is a perfect size and I love that my cookies are a uniform size when baked. It is also the kitchen scoop that I grab when I make meatballs. Once the grandchildren came along, I also use the medium scoop for serving the little ones their portion of mashed potatoes. I like to use this size for smaller cupcakes and muffins, too.

The Small Scoop: A fruitful tool

The third and smallest tool in this kitchen scoop set holds 2 teaspoons of ingredients. I love to use it for melon balls and any other fruit that can be scooped. It is also handy when I want to make smaller meatballs. Since I know that it holds the two teaspoons, I will often grab it to measure out ingredients for recipes, too.

Choose Scoops That Last: 

There is hardly a day in my kitchen that I'm not grabbing at least one of my kitchen scoops for something. When I first started out, I had a fairly cheap ice cream scoop and it wore out pretty quickly. I replaced it with a relatively inexpensive one and that one wore out, too. Finally, the light bulb came on in my head! These are tools in your kitchen that are used often so buy a good one that will last. In the long run, I've saved myself money by purchasing the better quality scoops that last for what seems forever. 

That is why when I have a gift to purchase for a bride, I choose a good set of kitchen scoops like the Jenaluca set. I know she will use them for a very long time in her own kitchen. I know they are good because I use them myself.  





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