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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Kray Spray Mop Kit Reviewed

Mopping Floors Made Easier

floor mop
Mop and bucket image courtesy of pixabay.com
Let me review my new favorite tool the Kray Spray Mop for you today. This wonderful addition to my arsenal for cleaning is so much better than what I have been using. 

For the last several years I have used a combination dust mop and wet mop made by a well known company. It is fine but I constantly had to buy replacement pads that were for dry dusting of the floors or the wet ones when I wanted to clean the floors. I found it to be inconvenient and after a while costly to be always buying the refill packs. That won't be a problem any longer. 

As I looked into getting a spray mop, I almost purchased the one from the same company who makes the one that I have now. What I didn't like about that particular brand was that the mop required batteries to operate the spray action. I noticed in the some of the reviews that some people experienced problems with the battery operation so I kept looking. That is when I found this one that does not use batteries at all. 

Another feature that I did not like about the competitor was that you had to use their solution (another thing to have to replenish) and those bottles could not easily be refilled. The Kray Spray mop kit comes with three refillable bottles that I can put my own solution in. I like that idea a lot! I can mix different cleaners for the different floor types in my home. 

I also love that the kit comes with five microfiber pads that attach to the mop head with a velcro type system. The pads are re-usable and I can throw them in the washing machine when they become soiled. No more having to buy replacements! The pads can be used for dust mopping or I can just use the spray feature when I want to wet mop. Easy peasy! 

For me, this mop kit will be so much easier to use and much more economical, too. How about you? Does this mop kit appeal to you? 



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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Whimsical Throw Pillow Covers Reviewed

Fun Ways To Cover Your Pillows

throw pillows
Pillows image from Pixabay.com
Today, I would like to show you a fun option to cover your throw pillows in an economical and whimsical way. If you are like me, you have several around the house that could be changed with your mood or even the season of year. 

I love the thought of covering pillows that I already have instead of having to go out and buy more pillows. Getting a few pillow cases that match the size of my pillows is an easy solution. 

I should mention that if you don't have many throw pillows, you can purchase the cover and a form to use. That just is not a problem in our home because I own more pillows than most already. 

For less than ten greenbacks you can surely find at least one pillow cover that you like. The option that I found has 43 different patterns to chose from. There are several that have a phrase about books and reading but there are also some for the different holidays during the year like Easter and Christmas and even some nice ones with an autumn theme. 

The cases or covers that I found fit 18 by 18 inch pillows and do not come with the pillow insert. They are made from a cotton linen fabric and are machine washable. The printing is on one side only and did I mention that they are really inexpensive? I did? Well, it was worth noting again. 

These are so fun that not only will I be getting one or two for myself but they will make a great gift for Christmas or a house warming party. 

What do you think? Do you like the idea of being able to have a few pillow covers to change the look of your throw pillows? 



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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Unique Gift for The Blogger in Your LIfe


Is there a Blogger in your life, your mom, dad, grandmother or aunt?  Let's review a great gift idea for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting!


If anyone tells you that blogging is easy, they are wrong.  It requires spending a lot of time researching and writing and then re-writing to get your blog or post just perfect.

Do you need a really creative and useful gift idea for the blogger in your life?  Believe me when I tell you that this is one gift they will enjoy for years to come!




All that time is spent with your backside down on a chair. You may find that your tailbone becomes sore after a little while.  Concentrating on your subject matter is difficult when your tailbone is screaming for you to get up.   Don't let that become a discouragement for you.  There is relief!

As we get older our natural padding tends to become less cushioned.  It doesn't become smaller, just less dense.  This can lead to sore back-sides and no one I know likes to have a sore derriere.  When you are in the middle of a great blog post, you don't want to drop your line of concentration just because your backside is complaining.  Once you get up, you might lose your train of thought (that's an age related thing too).   Better stay where you are and finish that part of your blog.  But oh, to stand up for just a minute or two!  

Well I'm here to tell you there is relief for sore backsides.  I was complaining to a friend of mine who is wheelchair bound.  Now if anyone is getting a sore rear side, it has to be someone who has no choice but to sit.  So when we were together for coffee, I asked him, "What do you do when your rear end is complaining about being sat on all day?"  After laughing at me, he quickly replied that he has a special cushion on his chair that let's him sit comfortably for the whole day.  

Well I thought that was a great idea.  Let me see what I can find out about this!  Well, I guess I am not alone in thinking of ways to make my backside happier.  There is a whole line of memory foam cushions made just for those of us who spend a lot of time in a sitting position.  Truck drivers, transit workers, school bus drivers, computer gurus, and many more people enjoy the benefits of specialized cushions made just for them.




There are several styles of cushions available and all of them are portable, so you can use them in your car or whenever you know you will be sitting for a while. Taking them to a ball game is a great idea too, those bleacher seats are killers for older people.

Now my other half loves hockey games.  I know from experience that it gets really cold in those arenas.  When we watch our grandkids, sitting on the bleachers is a pain in the assets!  So these cushions would not only make that pain go away, but it will also insulate your posterior from the cold benches.  It's a win-win situation for me, that's for sure.
memory foam cushions, sore tailbones, sitting a long time


These cushions are lightweight and most come with a carrying handle.  I know that my backside will be much happier when it spends some time on an extra well padded chair seat.  They are affordable, comfortable and they do the job!  My tailbone has never been happier.

With Christmas coming, this would make a great gift idea for any grandparent, aunt, uncle, or anyone else you know who will spend some extra hours in the sitting position.  I'm hoping that your backside will be happier for knowing about these great cushions!




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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rectangular Serving Plates Reviewed

Serving Platter For Large Dinners

turkey needs plate
This turkey needs a serving plate (image from Pixabay.com)
Let's review an option for rectangular serving plates, today. I know, as I write this we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet this year. Before we know it, it will be time to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner and then in December there will be the Christmas Dinner. Do you have enough serving plates to accommodate those larger portions of food?

I have found a set of three serving plates that will come in mighty handy for those dinners or parties that we often host during the year. What I love about this set is that they do not have a design that will make you feel like you can only use them for one specific holiday. I have always been fond of those wonder old turkey platters with the turkey design on them but they look a little silly if you use them for anything other than Thanksgiving. So, they sit in the cupboard to be pulled out once during the year. That is not very practical is it? 

What I love about this set of three is that you have three different sizes of plates to serve on: small, medium and large. The largest plate is 15.6 inches by 8.8 inches and will serve nicely for a large turkey, ham, or pot roast. The medium size is 13.8 inches by 7.5 inches and will work well with a variety of dishes for the dinner or party. The smallest plate is 12.2 inches by 6.5 inches and is perfect for appetizers or just about anything! 

I also love that they are white in color. There is nothing that will distract from any pattern we might have on our dinnerware. They can be used for any occasion we plan to serve a lot of people and will stack nicely in the cupboard. 

This set of three rectangular serving plates are made of porcelain so that can be used in the freezer or oven and can be washed in the dishwasher. Now, I think that makes them even more practical! 

How about you? Do you think that this set of serving platters would function well for your large gatherings of family and friends during the year? 





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

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

How to Make Your Fall Garden Clean UP a Breeze

Fall Garden Clean-up Can be EASY with the right tools!  Let's Review two that will make your work so much easier!

Gardening is a hobby that tugs at my heart, but after a day out there, my hamstrings, back and arms are aching.  Did you know there are some really great tools available that will make the garden clean-up much easier and less labor intensive?

If you have trees in your yard, you know that there will be some clean up required before Ole Mr. Winter rears his head.  If you have trees that produce nuts, pine cones or fruits, there will be even more clean up required.   I'm here to tell you not to get your overalls in a knot!  I just saw and revelled at a new garden tool that I'm sure everyone will want.  No more stooping over to pick up all those "presents" that so many trees give us.

Leaving fruits and nuts on the lawn over the winter months is not a recommended practice. It is much better for you and your garden to get that mess cleaned up in the fall.  You will have a nice clean area to work with come springtime. Many fruit trees, nut trees, and evergreens can harbor diseases and small animals (rodents) and you really don't want that. Nut trees like Black Walnuts will damage your yard as they contain chemicals that prohibit the growth of other plants. Plus you will have to deal with the hassle of cleaning up in spring when it's wet and messy! This makes fall a much better choice. This Nut Harvester, will pick up nuts, acorns, pine cones, fruit that has dropped before ripening, lemons, limes, apples and more. Left in the ground these fruits are a magnet for wasps and other critters that bite! If you have children playing in the yard, that is definitely a no-no. Personally I have gone out to the garden and turned my ankle on an apple that had fallen off the tree. So I know that this is not a pleasant experience.

Walnuts, acorns, pine cones, crabapples, chestnuts and more can be easily removed from the yard before that last mowing takes place.  There is a new tool that lets you roll over all this detris and make it a thing of the past.  Made by the same people that gave you the Garden Weasel, this tool is lightweight, easy to handle and makes stooping down a thing of the past.



If you have a teenager living at home and a golf course nearby, they could get a job collecting golf balls too! Dual purpose and easy to do too.



Now the other tool that I really like will help you gather all the leaves that will be falling soon. This tool will require a little bit of stooping over, but your "Garden Hands" will help make each bend over much more productive.By increasing the size of your hands, you are able to pick up that much more and make the gathering of leaves a job that gets done likety split. 

The other option as far as leaf gathering goes, is to leave them on the lawn and mow them over a few times. Hopefully you have a mulcher option on your lawn mower, so that the leaves are broken up into small pieces that will nourish your lawn as they break down. This option is for gardens that don't have a lot of leaves. If you have trees everywhere, and lots of leaves on the grass, you are much better off to pick those leaves up. Breaking them down into smaller pieces will only smother the grass underneath if the layer of mulched leaves is too thick!  The grass needs nourishment, but doesn't like to be smothered under a blanket of rotting leaves.

Those are my two suggestions for making your Fall Garden Cleanup and much easier routine.  Besides enjoying the crisp fall air, you will get a great level of exercise in before winter hibernation routines kick in. 


Fall is one of the most beautiful times in nature and it's great to get out there and enjoy the sights, sounds and the beauty all around us.  



For more Gardening Reviews you can Check out this link:  Review This Gardening  There are lots of articles from fellow members of the Review This team!




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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dukes Real Mayonnaise Reviewed

Not just for sandwiches!

sandwich with mayonnaise
Sandwich with mayonnaise courtesy of Pixabay.com
My new favorite mayo is Dukes Real Mayonnaise! From what I can gather those of you who either live in the southern part of the United States or perhaps grew up there are very familiar with this condiment. Those of us from the northern regions and perhaps the western regions of this country most likely haven't tried it. Well, I'm here to tell you; we didn't know what we were missing!

Honestly, I have never been a big fan of mayonnaise. About the only time that I used it was when it was called for in a recipe. Since I have discovered Dukes mayonnaise, that has changed. Now, I eat it on sandwiches and use it in those recipes. Shoot, I'm even adding it to recipes that don't really call for it but I think it makes a nice addition. 

This mayo is so creamy! It also has a different taste to it. Personally, the brand that I used previously didn't have much of a flavor to it at all but not so with Dukes. I don't know how to explain it other than there is a bit of a zippiness to the flavor. It is really very tasty! So, now I actually like mayonnaise on a sandwich.

One of my favorite things to have for lunch is an egg salad sandwich. Making my recipe using Dukes makes it even more enjoyable than it was before!

Bev's Egg Salad Recipe


8 hard boiled eggs that have been chopped after peeled
1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the ingredients with the chopped eggs until mixed well. Spread on bread, bun or crackers.

For those of you who are health conscious enough that you don't use mayo; Dukes is healthier than most brands. There is no sugar added and the cholesterol is lower than most brands. 

If you haven't tried Dukes or perhaps you are not able to get it near you; it can be purchased at Amazon and shipped right to your door. It doesn't get much easier than that folks! I love this stuff so much that I am finding ways to use it that I would have not done in the past with the former brand. Last night, I fixed homemade baked macaroni and cheese and decided to add about a 1/2 cup to my recipe. Oh my goodness! I love my mac n' cheese anyway; adding Dukes just made it even better! 

How about you? Have you tried this brand of mayo? What do you think?




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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Marlowe Extra Moisturizing Body Lotion Reviewed

Relief For Dry Skin

Baby soft skin image from Pixabay.com
Aging skin is often difficult to keep moisturized. I recently discovered Marlowe Extra Moisturizing Body Lotion to help my skin feel more like the silky softness of a baby's foot. Well, not quite that soft but my skin is looking and feeling much better.

I absolutely love this product for my skin! It helps to hydrate while nourishing and restoring my skin to a more youthful look and feel.  One of the ingredients that helps with this is deep sea algae extract. The algae extract gives relief to sensitive or inflamed skin without causing more irritation. My skin can be so sensitive at times that some body lotions actually worsen the condition instead of helping. 

Marlowe body lotion uses passionflower fruit extract which is high in vitamin C and iron. This aides in skin restoration and moisturizing. Green tea extract is another ingredient which is rich in antioxidants to help fuel repair of skin cells and to protect our skin from environmental stresses. Another ingredient that helps with reduction of inflammation and irritation of the skin is willow bark extract. All of these work together to give a soothing, moisturizing and pleasant treatment to our skin. 

What is not in this body lotion is paraben or phthalate! It is not tested on animals, either. Another selling point for me when I was considering purchasing this lotion was that it is made in the United States. An additional bonus was to find out that the company distributes soap to people at risk for hygiene-related illnesses for every product that is sold.

I have been using this lotion for a couple of weeks now and I am very pleased. My skin looks and feels better than it has in years. Another bonus was that the scent is not overpowering or too feminine so my husband doesn't mind using it, too. In the long run it turns out to be a money saver because I don't have to purchase a brand for him to use and a brand for me to use. We are both very pleased with how soft and moist our skin feels. There is no greasy residue after application and my skin feels a cool sensation when I apply the lotion.

If you have dry, sensitive skin or are starting to see the effects of aging in your skin; I highly recommend giving Marlowe Extra Moisturizing Body Lotion a try. I do not think that you will be disappointed. 



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

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Reviewing uses for tea tree oil
Click here to buy some Tea Tree Oil
I was first introduced to Tea Tree oil over 20 years ago and absolutely love it.  At the time that I was introduced to it I was managing a health food store in New Zealand and the brand I used was Thursday Plantation.  Thursday Plantation was the first company to make tea tree oil commercially, but over the years many other companies have followed suit.

I was really excited when Arbonne released their new products for the year and tea tree oil was one of them.  As a company I love the ethics of Arbonne, the fact that all of their products are of high quality, PETA approved, vegan and so much more means that I will be using their tea tree oil.

How Do I Use Tea Tree OIl

Treating Things with Tea Tree Oil


Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried.

Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide, in fact according to Valerie Ann Worwood (The Fragrant Pharmacy) it's antiseptic properties are thought to be 100 x more powerful than carbolic acid.

I have used it in a diffuser or burner when I've been sick (although to be honest I prefer lemon oil as it doesn't make the house smell like a hospital!).

My husband used to get a recurring fungal infection on his toe nail and was constantly using a cream from the doctor which would help it, but it would never go away completely.  I decided that we should use tea tree oil (much to the dismay of my sceptical husband!)  I put one drop of tea tree oil onto a dampened cotton bud and wiped it over the nail twice a day.  Much to my husband's disbelief it actually worked and the fungal nail infection went away completely.

The owner of the health food store I managed used to get dandruff and he found that once he used a tea tree shampoo and conditioner it cleared up.  Well to be honest I didn't think my husband would like the smell of the shampoo and conditioner and I already had the oil so I told him to put the shampoo onto his hand and then add one drop of tea tree oil, mixed it together and then use it on his head.  Lo and behold his dandruff disappeared.

It's amazing how over the years my husband has been much less of a sceptic!

Beauty Uses for Tea Tree Oil


When I worked at the health food shop there were a few products for acne that were based on tea tree oil that were very successful for our customers, but I heard of a couple of cool ideas on a training I recently attended.

Tea Tree Skin Tonic

2 drops of tea tree oil
40 drops of witch hazel

Use this on your skin in place of a toner.  I think this is awesome as I know a couple of years ago I worked with a young lady and she used straight witch hazel to clear up her problem skin, coupled with my previous customer's experience with tea tree I think this is a winning combination.

If you have blemishes anywhere on your body you could add a couple of drops to coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to your skin.

You can add 1-2 drops to your existing masks, scrubs or face creams.  The only thing you can NOT do is add it straight onto your skin.  This is a pure essential oil which means it's highly concentrated and should always be diluted before using.

Steam Bath for Acne

Of course you can always add hot water to a bowl with 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil and then pop a towel over your head and the bowl and let the combination of steam and tea tree work it's magic.  As a disclaimer although I remember my friends steaming their face as an 'acne cure' as a teen I didn't suffer from acne so I'm not sure if it worked.  My daughter tried it a couple of times, but didn't like the smell as it reminded her that I used tea tree on her when she had nits!  (I can't remember the ratio I used for that).  As she wouldn't give it a chance it didn't work.

Arbonne Essential Oils
Purchase Arbonne Essential Oils here

Household Uses for Tea Tree Oil

My favorite way to use tea tree oil around the house was in the toilet!  I would lift the cistern up and pop a dozen drops of tea tree oil to the water in there.  Every time you flush you get a very faint odour of the tea tree oil, when I couldn't smell it anymore (or a week had passed) I would add more drops.

Now I wasn't doing it for that fragrance by the way, I did it because it really helped to keep the toilet bowl cleaner.  I haven't done this in a while because with our last toilet I couldn't easily access the cistern, but with our newer toilet and Arbonne releasing their tea tree oil I will start this again!

I have also used tea tree oil for removing scuff marks off of lino floors (add a drop to a damp cloth and wipe).  Talking of floors you can also add 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 1 1/5 gallons of water and use that to wash your floors.  My husband's response was that it smelt like a hospital, so the next time I also added a couple of drops of lavender to try and mask the smell.  I no longer do this because my husband really didn't like the smell and sometimes you just accept defeat in some areas!

If you like the smell of tea tree oil you can also add it to your vacuum bag when vacuuming - I tended to only use lavender essential oil (see above re husband's complaint!), but I now have a bagless vacuum so I don't get the lovely smell as I'm cleaning the house!

Dogs & Tea Tree Oil

Now dog's have very sensitive skin so do NOT put tea tree oil directly onto a dog's skin, but it can help if they have sores or are itchy, it just must be diluted.  If your dog is itching a bit then simply pop 1 drop into the shampoo before washing him/her. 

My late dog got a nasty sore on his tummy so I diluted a drop of tea tree oil in a natural base cream (I can't remember the name of it) and rubbed that on it.  It worked really well.  For my current dog I've always used pawpaw ointment (no need to mix anything).

Have You Used Tea Tree Oil?


There are lots of uses for tea tree oil which I haven't even touched on, I'd love to know if you've used it and what your experiences of it have been.





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

Friday, March 30, 2018

KitchenAid Pizza Wheel Review

KitchenAid Pizza Wheel Review
To be honest, I take my KitchenAid pizza wheel for granted these days. Until recently, I had totally forgotten my search for a good pizza cutter.  My sister was visiting and I pulled out my trusty KitchenAid pizza wheel.  When she exclaimed "where did you get that pizza wheel!", I momentarily stopped cutting the pizza and glanced down at the utensil I was using.  The memories of old wobbly pizza wheels filled my mind.  The years of having to roll the wheel back and forth a dozen times on each cut resurfaced.  I instantly appreciated the wonderful pizza wheel I was holding.

KitchenAid has become a name we can trust to make sturdy, serviceable kitchen utensils.  The pizza wheel is truly among my favorites, along with the previously reviewed ice cream scoop.  The designers at KitchenAid clearly understand what a cook needs in the kitchen.  They make durable kitchen utensils that are strong enough to hold up under daily use.


The KitchenAid Pizza Wheel


A KitchenAid pizza wheel is not what I would call sharp when compared to my chef knife, but it will easily cut pizza crust.  Unless I have burned the pizza crust, the pizza wheel will cut in one smooth stroke.  Frankly, I don't want an extremely sharp pizza wheel since my pizza pan is not self-healing. 

The blade wheel does not wobble, which is a huge improvement over previously owned pizza wheels.  It is made of stainless steel, therefore will never rust.

The handle is hefty and easy to grip.  Plus, the KitchenAid pizza wheel is dishwasher safe.

I would like to address comments about the center metal bolt rusting.  By simply rinsing the pizza wheel after each use, before I put it in the dishwasher, I have avoided any rust issue.  If you do see rust, clean it off with salt and lemon.  Simply coat the bolt with salt, squeeze lemon juice over the salt and let it sit for a few hours.  Then, wipe it clean.  Be sure to rinse with clear water after you have wiped it clean.  That will remove rust when it first starts and you will avoid having to replace your pizza wheel due to a rusty bolt. 

Every home should have at least one reliable, sturdy pizza wheel.   Now that I know my own sister doesn't have one, I'm sure you can guess what she will be receiving for the next gift giving occasion.    


Another KitchenAid Pizza Wheel


While writing this article, I noticed there is another Kitchenaid pizza cutter available that I have never seen before.  This one clearly has a sharper blade.  It comes with a blade protector for safer storage.  It does cost about twice as much as my pizza wheel featured above.


Read More Product Reviews On
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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Food Storage With Egg Holder Trays Reviewed

Convenient Food Storage Especially For Eggs

Need a place for your Easter Eggs?
With Easter rapidly approaching it might be time to think of food storage ideas that will accommodate those colored eggs you will have around after the "hunt" takes place. Eggs are not the easiest to store with their rolling tendencies. Know what I mean? 

One of the things that I like to do with those eggs that the kids find is to make deviled eggs with several of them. That requires a special kind of storage, too. I have a solution for those storage needs whether it is at Easter time or any time that you have hard boiled eggs or deviled eggs to store in the refrigerator. These little storage units are also useful for other types of foods but I particularly love them for storing my eggs.

Let's see what you think:

There are actually two layers for storing your eggs in! One layer sits comfortably on top of the other and then sit nicely on your refrigerator shelf. So, it acts as a space saver, too. That is really convenient when it is family dinner time and there is a lot of food to be stored.

What I love is that I have options. If I want to store hard boiled eggs to use later for egg salad or a different recipe these storage units work. I can also make my deviled eggs and store them until they are ready to be served. Either way the eggs are safely on the shelf and not taking up a whole lot of room in the fridge.

I've used this little two layered unit for transporting cupcakes too. It just comes in real handy when I have some taller foods that I don't want to get squished during transport. The other nice thing is that when I am not using these little containers in the refrigerator, they do not take up much room on my cabinet shelves.

I love my food storage containers with the egg trays and use them often. They make a great gift for a bridal shower or a house warming gift, too. How about you? Do you think you would use food storage with egg trays much?


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

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Irish Mug Reviewed

For St. Patricks Day Or Any Day

Irish Scene image courtesy of Pixabay.com
I have been looking for an Irish mug to add to my cupboard for a couple of reasons. As I write this we are fast approaching St. Patricks Day so there is one reason that I would like to have one. The other reason is that I have been working on my genealogy in the last few months and it turns out that I have several Irish ancestors. 

When I got my DNA testing results back the report indicated that about 22% of my DNA is from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. To be honest, I was a little surprised by those results. Now, that I have spent so much time looking for ancestors; I am a little surprised that the numbers aren't higher than that 22%. The chart did show the entire area of Ireland but then it was also quite specific for Ulster, Munster and Connaught. As I plodded through the hints of possible people who belonged in my family tree at first I was only finding people who came from Ireland but their origin was not very specific. Then one day I found it! Well, eventually I found several "its". It may seem silly but I got really excited to find family from those areas that were specifically mentioned. I am still amazed that the DNA results could be so exact especially since those connections go way back in time.  I am not talking a couple of hundred years, folks. Those family members go way back to the 200's, 300's, 400's and 500s in the Common Era! My ancestors came from those areas of Ireland when Ulster, Munster and Connaught were kingdoms in and of themselves. 

So, I have become quite fascinated with Ireland and its history. That is why I have been looking for things pertaining to Ireland which led me to wanting an Irish mug to drink my coffee in. I found one that I particularly like. 

As I continue to work on my genealogy, I can enjoy my coffee in a colorful cup that reminds me of where many of my people came from. I also like that the Irish blessing can inspire my day:

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

I am thrilled that I took the DNA test and am finding ancestors from several countries, not just Ireland. It has been quite an interesting journey into my family's past. How about you? Do you know for sure that you have Irish ancestry?



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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Google Pixel 2 Smartphone Reviewed

If you are in need of a new smartphone

Not a smart phone image courtesy of Pixabay.com
A few weeks ago my husband and I purchased the Google Pixel 2 smartphone to replace our other cell phones. The phones that we replaced were not really very old but my husband is extremely hard on his phones. His was no longer working properly. So, off we went to find new ones. 

It never ceases to amaze me, the advancements in technology is just incredible! I have said this before and I will say it again. My phone is actually smarter than the first, second and even third computers that I owned! I love my new phone, so let me tell you why!

You might have heard through the grapevine that this phone has an excellent camera. They are not just whistling Dixie...it really is an incredible camera. The images are really remarkable and there are some fun editing features to use, too. I don't usually choose which phone that I want for the camera but this was a very nice bonus to get.

I am amazed at how fast my new smartphone reacts to anything that I want to do. I also like that Google Assistant is a part of the phone. You can set it up in a matter of seconds during the getting started process. It is pretty cool! The other night we were watching television and all I said was OK and the silly thing came on wanting to know its next command. You can also call up the assistant by squeezing on the sides of the phone.

The battery on a phone is a source of concern for me. How often am I going to have to charge it and how long will it take? I have had phones that seemed to run out of juice very quickly and then take forever to get a full charge. This Google Pixel 2 has been a very nice surprise. The battery lasts quite a long time and it charges very quickly. It was a good thing that the phone came with its own charger because my old charger won't work on the new phone. The jack is slightly wider than my old one.

Not that I want to ever try this feature out but it is supposed to be waterproof. That is pretty neat! I have known a few people who have accidentally dropped theirs into places that I wouldn't even have my phone near (another story for another day!) and the wet phone was done for. I still don't plan to have my phone close to that particular receptacle but it is nice to know that it should survive getting wet.

Probably the most impressive part of this smartphone is the software that it runs on. The Android Oreo is the best that I have encountered.

We are very happy with our choice and I would highly recommend this smartphone to anyone who is in the market for a new one. I sincerely believe that you will not be disappointed.





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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Black Rifle Coffee Reviewed

Good Coffee Supports Veterans

Coffee Made With Vets in mind. Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Black Rifle Coffee is more than just a good cup of brew for your enjoyment, it is a company with a purpose that I can get behind and I think you might, also. 

I have reviewed several blends of coffee over the years and that is because I really do love a good cup of coffee. Recently, my husband saw a piece on television that piqued his interest and he ordered a variety pack of coffee from the Black Rifle Coffee Company. We have not been disappointed with the coffee and we are happy to support their mission.

What? A coffee company with a mission? Well, I guess most do have a mission and that would be to sell a lot of coffee. Am I right? This company is different. Oh sure, they want to sell a lot of coffee but let me explain about these guys. 

The company was started by military veteran Evan Hafer in his garage with about $1800 dollars as working capital. He wanted to create good coffee because during his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan he found that the option for coffee was pretty awful and he loves a good cup of 'Joe'. Then he had an idea that he presented to one of his veteran buddies. What if, they made coffee and employed veterans in the process? There are many unemployed vets around the country that they would like to help, not with handouts but with employment. That is where the dream started and it is working!

Right now, they have two actual stores that employ veterans along with a manufacturing facility that also employs vets. They are working on getting more stores built around the company and have gained quite a presence with online sales. The last report that I saw says that they have something like 104 employees with that number including about 47 or more veterans. Another thing that I like about these guys is that they also have several women in the company, many of which are in upper management.

So, what about the coffee? Well, I'm here to tell you that it really is good! In our variety pack we received:

  • AK47 
  • JB (Just Black)
  • BB (Beyond Black)
  • SS (Silencer Smooth)
All of them make a great tasting cup of coffee! My favorite is the AK47 with a solid boldness about it. My husband likes all of them but his favorite is the JB blend. There are other blends that we can try but we wanted to start with the variety pack first. 

I like that this company was formed by Veterans of our military and that they support the hiring of veterans in their company. They know first hand what a soldier goes through when he or she returns from deployment in war torn areas. PTSD, disabling injury, and depression are common in Vets from any conflict. Who better to help them cope than people who have been through the same experience?

Some find the company a little controversial because of their support of guns. I personally do not. These guys were in our military, they put their lives on the line and of course they know guns. It was very much a part of their jobs while they served our country. To me, that isn't something to condemn them for, we should applaud that they are providing opportunities for their fellow veterans while operating a worthwhile business. 

I think that families that have members who have served will appreciate this company and its goals along with getting the pleasure of drinking a really great cup of coffee. 





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

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Brita Water Pitcher Reviewed

Easy Way To Filter Water

brita water pitcher
My Brita Water Pitcher
Recently, I purchased a Brita Water Pitcher to use in my home. We have a serious problem with hard lime scale in our water so I was looking for something that would help with having water that was fit for drinking, cooking and using in my coffee maker.

My daughter is the one who clued me in on this amazing little pitcher. I had spent a few days at her place while she was gone on a business trip. Her water is even worse than ours is! She had purchased a Brita to use for her water needs and showed me how to use it before she left. I was duly impressed with how easy it is to use and how much better the water tasted. 

After arriving back home, I decided that this water filter system was perfect for our house, too. It is so very easy to use! After placing the filter into the top part of the pitcher, you just fill up the reservoir and let it filter the water to the area below. Yep, it is that easy!

I purchased the 10 cup capacity model and I love it! A neat feature on the top of the pitcher is a little indicator that tells you when you need to replace the filter. The manufacturer states that an average household will need to change the filter about every two months. My daughter told me that her filter lasts about 40 to 45 days. Obviously, it depends on how much water you use as to the mileage you will get out of one filter. 

The filter takes care of that chlorine taste and odor if it exists in your water. It also takes out copper, mercury and cadmium that might be found in your tap water. It also removes lime scale from your water. For several years now, I have purchased distilled water to use in my coffee maker. It made the coffee taste better for one thing and it also helped my coffee maker to last longer due to no lime build up on the inside. Now, I can use the water that has been filtered in my pitcher. Even though, I have to purchase replacement filters every so often, the cost per gallon works out to be cheaper than buying the distilled water as we have been doing. So, in my case I will be saving money.

If you have hard water like we do, you know that when you boil water for cooking there is a lime residue left in your pan. I hate that! I spend extra time trying to get the scale out of my pans. Now, with the Brita, I can use water from the pitcher and not have to waste more water by cleaning the pan of scale left behind.

I am really happy with my new purchase and am grateful that I learned something from my daughter. The pitcher is easy to use, relatively inexpensive and I feel that it will pay for itself in a short period of time. Plus the water that we now consume will be healthier for our bodies.

How about you? Have you considered getting a pitcher that filters your water? Possibly, you already have one; if so, are you glad you purchased it?



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

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.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Logitech Wireless Mouse M525 Reviewed

My Corded Mouse Died

wireless mouse
My new wireless mouse
Last week I found myself with a computer mouse that no longer worked, I purchased the Logitech Wireless Mouse M525 to replace it. There are several reasons that I love my choice, so let me tell what they are.

To begin with, the size surprised me. Let me explain. I have small hands which may seem like a silly thing to bring up. In this case, the size of my hands is relevant. You see, my hands are small enough that to get the best fit in gloves I have to get a size for children. To get back to my point, most of the computer mice that I have owned were rather big for my hand. My wrist would have an uncomfortable bend to it while I used the mouse. Not so, with this wireless mouse! It is small, fitting nicely into my hand. My wrist now lays flat which is much more comfortable. When I made my purchase this was not a factor that helped me make my decision; it was just a very nice surprise.

My first choice was that it was compatible with several OS (operating systems) so I wasn't concerned that it might not work with my older laptop. I plugged it in and voila it worked immediately. 

The tiny little USB receiver can be stored in a little compartment on the underbelly of the mouse. That makes it convenient for travel. I also liked that the batteries have a considerably long life. Depending on how much mileage you have on your clicking and scrolling activity, the batteries can last up to 3 years. Another feature on the underbelly is an on/off switch. I love that! I can save some juice on those batteries by turning off the mouse when I power down each evening.

Now for the important part, the performance! I am thrilled with how this mouse allows the moving of the cursor across the screen, it is smooth and precise. What really impresses me is the scrolling wheel. Those long pages on the internet are not so difficult to scroll through now. Another feature is that I can use the wheel to go forward and backward on pages by pushing the wheel to the left or right. My corded mouse couldn't do that. It has turned out to be a nice feature.

So, if you are in the market for a new computer mouse, I can highly recommend the Logitech Wireless Mouse M525. I am extremely happy with my purchase. It fits nicely in my hand, works with speed and precision and it did not put much of a dent into my budget. You will even have a choice in the color of the mouse, I loved the red but you might like the black, navy or white one. 



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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Samsung MU6300 HDTV Reviewed

Treat Yourself To A Quality Viewing Experience

before hdtv
Vintage TV image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Remember when we watched TV on a set similar to the one on the left? We actually have a set similar to it that we use as a TV stand for a flat screen television in our kitchen. Last week my husband and I decided to upgrade our main TV that was an LED flat screen to a larger sized HDTV. Oh my goodness, why did we wait so long?

If you are in the market for a new television, I can recommend a great one to consider. Now, I must admit that I was willing to settle for a lesser model but my husband convinced me to follow the old adage..."Go big or stay home". We differ in that respect. I am a little "cheap" when it comes to purchasing items. I want quality but am willing to get something that isn't necessarily the latest and greatest or newest shiny thing to save a few greenbacks for a rainy day. My husband on the other hand doesn't want to grab the brass ring; he would rather go for the gold one. (Why save money when you can spend it now?...is kind of his motto.) You can imagine our two views create a healthy discussion when it comes to purchasing a major item for our home. We usually compromise for something in the middle.

So, last week we agreed to get a new television for our living room. I agreed to get a larger screen and to get a high definition model. I also agreed that it should be a Smart TV. I had one in mind that I felt fit our budget; we just needed to go see one to make sure the quality of the picture was satisfactory. The model I had picked out was pretty awesome and if my darling hubby had not been along on the shopping excursion, I am sure he would have loved it. He was duly impressed with my selection until his wandering eyes spotted another one; a TV that was a few inches larger and instead of the 1080 pixels had 4K pixels. (I swear I think I heard angelic music coming from above and a light surrounded him! There might have been a little bit of drool slipping from his lips!) The next thing I knew the absolutely delightful salesclerk was bringing the box to the counter with the required HDMI cable and ringing up the sale. 

Arriving home (I'm still a little in shock at that point), I began to get the new HDTV set up for our viewing pleasure. It isn't that my hubby can't do this sort of thing, he just has less patience than me and doesn't think that reading instructions is a necessary step to bother with. That is another story for another day, however. Getting the Samsung MU6300 HDTV set-up was an extremely easy and painless process! The TV is so smart it actually does some of the steps for you and walks you seamlessly through the rest of it. I was impressed!

I did have a little trouble with the remote in the beginning. Being so used to just pressing a button to accomplish a task, it took me a little bit (and watching a video) to realize that the buttons for changing channels and the volume also move up and down. Pressing it in does one thing, pushing it up or down does something else. Once I got that down, it was smooth sailing!

We watch a lot of movies both from DVDs and streaming and I am here to tell you the quality of the picture on this television is amazing! The detail is absolutely incredible! You feel like you are in the room with the actors or the woods or whatever the location. I am really happy with my husband's choice! I was a tad upset until we watched the first program and then I realized that he was right. This is a much better TV for us and I am glad that we got it. I realize now that with the newer technology that this set offers; we won't have to replace it anytime soon.

If you are in the market for a new television, consider the Samsung MU6300 HDTV. I am pretty sure that you will not be disappointed.





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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Double Black Diamond K-Cups Reviewed

Darkest Roast Coffee From Green Mountain

Cup of Dark Coffee image from Pixabay.com
Starting a k-cup in my brewer is one of the first things that I do in the morning. My husband accidentally purchased the Double Black Diamond k-cups recently when I had asked him to get me the usual dark roast that I keep in our cupboard. (I'm guessing he didn't have his glasses on, saw a D in the title and threw it in the cart.)

I will admit that I was a little upset but decided I would give this blend a try. It was a dark roast after all and that is what I prefer. My first cup seemed just a tad strong but I quickly became used to it. Now, I'm actually glad for his mistake because I really like the flavor. The packaging states that it is the darkest roast that they make. I chuckled at their claim on the box that says on a scale of one to ten this one rates an eleven.

The coffee is also an Extra Bold which is a term that is often confused with the roast profile of a coffee. It has nothing to do with the roast which could be light, medium or dark. The roast is determined by how long the beans are roasted in the machine for that purpose. The longer the beans are roasted the darker the beans become. The term extra bold actually has to do with how much coffee is in the k-cup. They don't specifically say how much more coffee is in the cup but often the standard is as much as 25% more. Depending on one's taste buds that could result in a richer body or a better flavor.

I personally like a strong flavor to my cup of coffee; often a light roast almost tastes watered down to me. So, I enjoy the dark roast of Double Black Diamond and since it is extra bold (with more coffee) a k-cup gives me a nice strong cup to start my day.

One might think that because you are brewing the darkest roast with a little more coffee that it would just be exploding with caffeine. Actually the amount of caffeine in any cup of coffee (light, medium or dark) is pretty darned close to the same. Oh there might be a minimal difference but not much. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee actually has more to do with how the grounds were measured out to make a cup or pot and not by the roast. The roasting process doesn't alter the amount of caffeine much at all.

To me it is about flavor. I like a lot of flavor to my coffee and that is why I am glad that my husband made a mistake when he brought home a box of Double Black Diamond K-cups instead of my usual choice.



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