Thursday, December 26, 2013

(Product Review) Old World Christmas Glass Ornament - The Pickle

Old World Christmas Glass Ornament - The Pickle

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-12-25

Product Rating: 3

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Kids might enjoy searching for the pickle. Could start a new Christmastime tradition.

Cons: Glass ornaments could break, but this one seems fairly sturdy. Gift box was rather plain.

Summary: If your family follows the old tradition of hide the pickle, you will probably enjoy this ornament. If not, you may enjoy a new tradition.

Recently, a friend gave me an early Christmas gift of this Old World Glass Christmas Ornament. I had never heard of a pickle ornament before, so she went on to explain the old tradition of hiding a Pickle Ornament on the Christmas tree. She told me that the pickle is always the last ornament to be added to the tree, and it is hidden deep within the tree branches. The first child to find the pickle receives a special blessing for the year and an extra gift. I knew nothing of this tradition, but found it interesting. I took my new Pickle Ornament home and hung on my own Christmas tree.

The Pickle is a glass ornament, so even though it is does not seem extremely fragile, I'm sure that it could be broken if dropped hard enough. For this reason I did not hang it on the lowest part of my tree where very young children or pets would be likely to knock it down.

As you may have guessed, the pickle ornament is green in color, and blends nicely with the tree branches, making it a bit more challenging for the children to find among the other ornaments. I thought that this might be a fun game for my grandchildren to play when they arrived.

The Pickle is approximately 3 inches long, and has a gold colored cap with a loop for hanging. It is rather attractive, at least for a pickle, except that the seams are very obvious. Even so, I doubt that the kids will notice or care that it doesn't look exactly like a real pickle. It certainly looks authentic enough for them.

This Christmas ornament is made by Old World Christmas. It was first released in July of 2013, and is recommended by the manufacturer for children over the age of one month. The Pickle ornament comes in a small white gift box.

Originally published on Epinions.

Monday, July 1, 2013

(Product Review) Telebrands Pocket Hose (As Seen On TV)

Telebrands Pocket Hose (As Seen On TV) Review

Telebrands Pocket Hose

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-06-30

Product Rating: 3

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Lightweight, compact, easier to handle than heavy garden hoses. 

Cons: Made in China. Light duty hose, not made for commercial use or higher psi uses.

Summary: Good light-duty hose. Not recommended for heavy use, commercial use, or high pressure, but works fine for general purposes.

Are you tired of dragging around heavy garden hoses? I was. Having several areas of my yard that need watered on a regular basis, I found myself dragging a garden hose from place to place around the yard constantly. I had seen advertisements for the Telebrands Pocket Hose on the TV and wondered how well these would work. I was talking with a friend who had purchased one, and she told me how much easier these were to handle than an ordinary garden hose. I decided to try it out.

I picked up one of the 50 Foot Pocket Hoses for around $20, however these are also available in other sizes ranging from 25 to 100 feet long. They all appeared to be about the same other than the length, but the 50 foot long hose seemed to be about the appropriate length for most of my watering needs. You should use your own judgement as to which size is best for your needs.

When I opened up the package, the first thing I noticed was that the exterior of the hose appears more like a wrinkled fabric, rather than the vinyl hoses I was used to using. I wasn't sure how well this type of material would hold up against being dragged across the yard, but I have had no problems with it. It seems to be holding up well to everything we have used it for, and doesn't have problems with kinking like I have had with most other hoses I have used.

The hose is much shorter when you first take it out of the package, and expands to the proper length as it fills up with water. Once the hose is emptied, the hose contracts again to a much more manageable size.

This hose is approximately 1/2 inch in diameter, and comes equipped with plastic connectors on each end, which helps to keep the hose as lightweight as possible. The instructions tell you to always turn the lever on the outlet to the off position before turning on your faucet unless you have an attached spray nozzle that can be turned on and off manually. This will allow the hose to expand while the water fills the hose. Once fully expanded, simply flip the lever to the on position and use your hose as you normally would. Once you are finished using the hose, you can turn the water off to allow the hose to shrink as the water is removed.

The manufacturer suggests that you disconnect the hose after each use, which could be a bit of a pain, but will extend the live of your hose. Personally, I found it easier to add a quick connect fitting so connecting and disconnecting takes only a second or two. The manufacturer also provides several other warnings which are pretty much standard for most hoses these days. Drinking from the garden hose as we did when we were kids is no longer recommended, and using this hose for hot water or high pressure is also not recommended. I am not sure what my water pressure is, but the rating on this hose is 80 psi, so if you have a higher pressure, you might have trouble with this hose. It has worked out well for me though, and my friend has been using hers for several months now with no problems as well.

My favorite part about this hose is how easily portable it is. Once the water is drained the hose weighs about 2 pounds, so it is easy for just about anyone to pick up and carry to wherever it is needed. Because it shrinks down small, it also stores easily in a very compact space.

Originally published on Epinions.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

(Product Review) Express 500 Piece Wooden Barrel Bead Assortment

Express 500 Piece Wooden Barrel Bead Assortment Review

Express Wooden Barrel Bead Assortment (500 pc) (482349)

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-06-01

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Medium size works well for children or adults, beginners or experienced beaders. Nice color variety.

Cons: A few beads had rough edges. Can be choking hazard for young children.

Summary: These beads work well for children or adults, beginners or more experienced crafters. They are lightweight yet sturdy with bright colors.

Quite often while I am working on one of my latest jewelry projects, I need something to keep little hands busy. Since they enjoy making their own projects, I like to keep a supply of beads handy for them to use for their own crafts. One of the beads that they enjoy working with is the Express 500 Piece Wooden Barrel Bead Assortment.

For around $8 you can pick up a 500 piece assortment of these wooden beads featuring a nice variety of bright colors  that the kids will love. These medium sized beads measure 3/8 inches long by 1/4 inch wide, with a hole size of 1/16 inch. These work great for stringing on yard or a thicker cord, and the kids love stringing them to make their own jewelry or other craft projects.

The beads are lightweight, yet sturdy enough to hold up to most anything they have used them for. They have created some beautiful necklaces and bracelets from them, and I must admit that I have used these in a few projects myself.

These are nice beads for beginners as well as more experienced beaders. The bright colors work well for a variety of projects, and the kids really enjoyed working with them.  

Originally published on Epinions.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

(Product Review) Beadalon Big Eye Needles Review (2.25-Inch 4 Pieces)

Beadalon Big Eye Needles Review (2.25-Inch 4 Pieces)

Beadalon Big Eye Needles 2.25-Inch 4 Pieces

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-05-31

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Easy to thread, sturdy, flexible, works well for a variety of beading projects.

Cons: None.

Summary: These needles work well for a variety of beading projects. They are sturdy, flexible and easy to thread.

I have been making jewelry for myself, as gifts and to sell for many years. Much of the jewelry I make is made with beads. I recently picked up a package of these Beadalon Big Eye Needles after I got fed up with many failed attempts at threading some of my other needles.

These needles come in a package of 4 needles that are 2.25 inches long. They are made from high-tensile stainless steel Beadalon wire. They are strong, yet flexible enough to easily string beads individually or from a beading tray. One of the best features of these needles though is the big eye design. The eye actually covers much of the length of the needle, and the flexibility of these needles makes it easy enough for nearly anyone to thread without a problem. If you have poor eyesight or unsteady hands like me, you will really appreciate these needles.  

These are a great size for many projects. According to the manufacturer, this needle fits all sizes of bead cord and is very flexible. Obviously I haven't tried every type of wire and cord to test this out but I have used them on a variety of materials with no problems. The needle easily handles anything from size .005 thread to multiple sizes of beading wire and cords that I have tried. They work well for many types of beads as well. I have used them for a variety of seed beads and small bicone beads as well as for larger beads, and never had any problems. They worked well for all projects I have used them on, and saved me a lot of time that was previously spent trying to get some of my other needles threaded.

I recommend these needles for anyone who enjoys beadwork. They work well for a variety of projects and are easy to thread, even for those with poor eyesight or unsteady hands. I have been very pleased with this purchase and I think you will be too.

Originally published on Epinions.

Monday, April 1, 2013

(Product Review) Wilton 6-Mix Sprinkles: Easter

Wilton 6-Mix Easter Sprinkles Review

Wilton 6-Mix Sprinkles: Easter

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-03-31

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Made in the USA. Certified kosher. Seasonal colors work well for Easter/spring themes.

Cons: Seasonal colors aren't always easy to find when not in season.

Summary: Great for bright and beautiful Easter goodies to brighten up your cakes, cookies, ice cream and other treats.

When decorating cakes and cookies, I like to provide a variety of sprinkles, confetti, sugars and other decorations to add to our baked goods. One of the latest additions to my collection of edible Easter decorations is Wilton 6-Mix Easter Sprinkles. This set of 6 different sprinkle toppings contains a nice collection which includes one ounce each of bunny and duck sprinkle mix, egg sprinkle mix, and springtime confetti mix, plus 1.3 ounces each of lavender, pink and yellow sugars.

Each of the sprinkle mixes features a variety of brightly colored pastel shapes including yellow, blue, pink, orange, white, green and purple. All six decorating products are housed in a single container with 6 separate cavities so you can open whichever section you like and either sprinkle directly from the container, or pour a little into a smaller container and sprinkle it by hand for more even distribution of your decorations. When working with my granddaughters, I prefer to give each one a small amount of each type of decoration in separate containers. This eliminates the majority of spills, messes and wasted ingredients.

The girls enjoy creating their own masterpieces by sprinkling their choice of decorations onto freshly frosted cookies and cupcakes, and we all enjoy the finished products when they are done. Although Wilton makes a large variety of edible decorations in many colors, shapes and sizes, this one is specifically geared toward Easter. You can also pick up similar packages with other themes.

One thing I like about these is that they have a long shelf life so you don't have to worry about using them all up right away. As long as you keep them tightly closed and in a cool dry area, they will keep for a long time. The most important thing is to keep them away from moisture because if they get damp you will end up with a big clump instead of sprinkles.

This assortment works well for any Easter themed project. The girls loved using them on our cookies and cupcakes, as well as sprinkling the leftover pieces onto their ice cream. You can use them in a variety of ways, but keep in mind that if you add them to anything that contains a lot of moisture, the colors may run a bit. Around my house, this isn't usually a problem but if you are decorating a dessert for a party you might want to be careful to keep the moisture to a minimum for best results.

These candy sprinkles and sugars don't add much in the way of flavor to your desserts, but the do make an attractive addition to their appearance. Because they are mostly sugar, you should eat them in moderation, especially if you are watching your waistline. In addition to the color and flavor, the texture of some of the sprinkles might add a bit of crunch to your treats as well. It won't be a big crunch since they are relatively small, but they aren't going to dissolve instantly either.

I recommend these colorful Easter Sprinkles for anyone who enjoys making attractive baked goods for Easter.

Originally published on Epinions.

(Product Review) Blank White Plastic Easter Eggs

Design Your Own Easter Eggs With These White Plastic Easter Eggs

Design Your Own Easter Eggs

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-03-31

Product Rating: 3

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Plain white eggs for creating your own unique Easter eggs.

Cons: None.

Summary: Kids love decorating their own Easter eggs and my grandchildren loved decorating, hiding and finding these eggs.

Every year we hide plastic Easter eggs for all of the children to find. They enjoy our annual Easter egg hunts and every year they come back for more. From time to time we need to purchase additional eggs since sometimes the become lost or broken. Although we generally buy colored eggs, we decided to pick up a supply of Blank White Plastic Easter Eggs for the kids to decorate this year.

Aside from having white shells instead of the usual colored ones, these plastic eggs are similar to many of the others we have bought over the years. Each egg is approximately 2 1/4 inches long and 1 3/4 inches wide. They pop apart in the middle so you can easily fill the empty eggs with small toys, party favors, coins, candy or other prizes, or leave them empty. The hollow shells are lightweight, yet sturdy enough to hold up to several Easter egg hunts, and the kids will enjoy finding them even more when they have painted their own masterpieces on each one.

This batch of eggs included 144 plain white egg shells. Each one is ready to be decorated by your little artists, or by you if you prefer. They are easy to draw on using markers, crayons or acrylic paints. If you prefer you can use a variety of other techniques to decorate these eggs as well. Some other ideas include gluing on bits of trim, glitter, wiggle eyes, sequins or other items. You can decorate them any way you like, and the kids really enjoyed designing their own eggs this time around.

These Easter eggs work well for egg hunts or Easter baskets, and what could be more special than making your own Easter eggs together as a family. My grandchildren loved these, and I recommend them to anyone who enjoys creating their own unique designs.

Originally published on Epinions.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

(Product Review) Wilton Spring Confetti Sprinkles

Wilton Spring Confetti Sprinkles Review

Wilton Spring Confetti Sprinkles, 2-Ounce

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-03-30

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Seasonal colors work well for Easter/spring themed baked goods, but can be used any time.

Cons: Seasonal colors aren't always easy to find when not in season.

Summary: Great for bright and beautiful Easter or spring baked goods, or use any time to brighten up your cakes, cookies, ice cream and more.

Holiday baking can be fun for both children and adults. Decorating your baked goods is a great activity to share with the kids too. For Easter, one of the decorations we chose for our cookies and cupcakes was a 2 ounce container of Wilton Spring Confetti Sprinkles.

These brightly colored confetti disks are a beautiful addition to your baked goods. My granddaughters and I enjoyed sprinkling a few on top of our cookies and cupcakes, giving them a personal touch. The plastic bottle is clear so you can tell at a glance which color of sprinkles you have. You can either pour or sprinkle the candy sprinkles from the bottle, however I suggest sprinkling them by hand instead for a more even spread. This is especially true for children. I usually place these and other decorations into smaller containers where the girls can take a few into their hand at a time to sprinkle them onto the freshly frosted cookies or cupcakes.

You can use these Confetti Sprinkles alone or in combination with other decorations. The most important thing to keep in mind is to add the larger ones first, then fill in the gaps with the smaller sizes of decorations. If you add the smaller ones first, you may have trouble getting some of the larger ones to stay in place. The kids really didn't care though, they had fun picking up the dropped pieces and eating them while they worked on their masterpieces.

This bottle of sprinkles contains a nice variety of bright spring colors including blue, green, yellow, purple, white, pink, and orange. They work well for any Easter or spring themed project, or can be used any time for bright and colorful baked goods. These have been a big hit at bake sales as well as birthday parties and graduations in addition to the holiday cookie trays. They also look nice on other treats such as ice cream or pudding, although if you add them to something that contains a lot of moisture the colors may begin to run a bit.

These sugary treats do contain calories so if you are watching your waistline, you should probably eat them in moderation. They are made of compressed sugar with color added, and don't really add to the flavor of your baked goods, but they do add to the attractiveness of your goodies. In addition to the color, they can also add a bit of a crunch. Because they are relatively thin, it will not be a big crunch unless you add an extreme amount, but they aren't going to instantly dissolve either.

Another thing I like about these sprinkles is that they generally have a long shelf life, so you don't need to worry about using the entire bottle up before it goes bad. Just close the bottle tightly and store them in a cool dry place, and the decorations will stay fresh for a long time. One thing I should mention though is that the dropped pieces that I mentioned earlier should never be returned to the bottle because even a slight bit of frosting or moisture from little fingers could cause clumping in the bottle. It is best to either replace them onto your baked goods, or pop them into your mouth to avoid ruining the remaining sprinkles in the bottle.

I recommend these colorful confetti sprinkles for anyone who enjoys making attractive baked goods.

Originally published on Epinions.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

(Product Review) Darice Craft Designer Patriotic Red/White/Blue 6x9mm Pony Beads

Darice Craft Designer Patriotic Red/White/Blue 6x9mm Pony Beads Review: Bright & Beautiful Craft Supplies

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-03-29

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Versatile beads that work well for a variety of beading projects.

Cons: Not made in USA, but are good quality beads.

Summary: These red, white and blue pony beads work well for a variety of patriotic jewelry and craft projects.

Whether working alone or in groups, jewelry making can be a fun and rewarding passtime. I enjoy crafting, and it can be a wonderful way to spend time with my granddaughters. Among my craft supplies is my bead collection, and we have made many things using an assortment of Darice Pony Beads.

I recently wrote a review of the  Darice Neon Multi-Colored Pony Beads, and today I will be reviewing the Patriotic Mix of Red, White and Blue Beads. Much like the neon beads, these are the 9mm by 6mm size, which are a good size for little hands to work with. These work well for various jewelry projects such as necklaces and bracelets, and can also be used for a variety of other craft projects as well. Some of the other projects we have made using this type of bead include candle holders, clothing accents, hair decorations, ornaments, and a bead curtain. These are very versatile beads that are great for both children and adults.

There are 720 beads in this package so you will probably have enough for several patriotic craft projects. These are also available in larger bags though, which would be ideal for group projects such as girl scouts or classroom uses where you will be using a large amount of the red, white and blue beads. I bought several bags of different colors so I could make a larger variety of projects with more color combinations so the smaller bags were perfect for me.

These beads are not recommended for children under the age of 3 because they could be a choking hazard for younger children. They are recommended for adults and children who are 6 years old or over. I have used them with younger children, but always in a well supervised environment.

These are great for anyone who loves crafting, and work well for a large variety of projects. I wish that they were made in the USA, but even so, they are a good quality bead that can be used in a variety of ways. I recommend these to crafters of all ages.

Originally published on Epinions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

(Product Review) Beaded Holiday Charm Bracelet Craft Kits

Beaded Holiday Charm Bracelet Craft Kits Review

Oriental Trading Company Beaded Holiday Charm Bracelet Craft Kit - Crafts for Kids & Jewelry Crafts ...

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-03-11

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Inexpensive, easy-to-follow instructions, fun for kids, individually packaged kits, great group project.

Cons: Some beads closed, low quality elastic, some beads missing but includes packet of spare beads.

Summary: Cute and inexpensive kids craft project. Sold by the dozen, these are available for under $1 per jewelry making kit. Each is individually packaged and includes easy to follow instructions.

I have always enjoyed crafts, and enjoy making a variety of different craft projects with my grandchildren. I have made a lot of assorted jewelry items over the years and usually pick up my materials in bulk, but there are times when the kids and I work from a kit. I picked up a few different Bead Craft Kits to make with the kids. One of the kits I chose was the Beaded Holiday Charm Bracelet Craft Kits from Oriental Trading Company a while back and we made some cute Christmas bracelets together.

The kit contains everything you need to make 12 Beaded Holiday Charm Bracelets. I liked that each bracelet kit was packaged separately so you can just hand out the packets to each child. Unfortunately there were beads missing from several of the packets, but luckily, there was also a packet of spare beads which helped to make up for the missing ones. There were also some of the beads that did not have the holes all the way through them. In some cases I was able to punch it through with a needle, but some of them needed to be replaced from the spare parts packet.

These bracelet kits come with red and green plastic beads, plus two different styles of silver beads, and 6 charms including two each of the gingerbread man, Christmas tree and candy cane charms. I was disappointed to find that the charms were only painted on the one side so the backs were plain, although not a big deal for the kids. The beads range in size from 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter, and the enamel charms are 5/8 inches. The cord is approximately 12 inches long which gives plenty of room for stringing the beads and tying the completed bracelet together.

The instructions are easy for the kids to follow, and the kids enjoyed making their jewelry. These kits were fun for my granddaughters to put together, and would also be a good project for day care, girl scouts, Christmas parties or other groups of children and also work well in gift bags for the kids. They are recommended for children 8 years or older, although some children as young as 4 or 5 years old would probably enjoy it as well. You should use caution when putting these together around young children because the parts are small and could present a choking hazard for little ones.

These bracelets worked well for the the kids, although for larger wrists you might need to combine a couple of kits per bracelet in order to fill out the bracelet. Additionally, the elastic cord was not a very good quality and may break if the kids are rough with their bracelets. Even so, the total price worked out to less than a dollar per bracelet, so I was happy with these inexpensive craft projects for the kids.

Originally published on Epinions.

Friday, March 1, 2013

(Product Review) Yaley Extra Large Bleached Flat Braid Candle Wicking

Yaley Extra Large Bleached Flat Braid Candle Wicking Review

Yaley Candle Wicking: Bleached Flat Braid Extra Large 4 Ft.

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-02-28

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Easy to work with, burns well, inexpensive, works with a variety of waxes

Cons: None

Summary: This wicking works well for extra large sized candles ranging from approximately 4-6 inches in diameter. Other sizes are available for other candle sizes.

I have always loved candles and have been making them since I was a child. Keeping a variety of candle making supplies on hand is important to me so I always have just what I need to start a new project. Whether working from a kit, or making candles from scratch, there are certain must have candle making materials that you just cant get by without. Some of these materials include such things as waxes, candle dyes, candle scents, candle molds, wicking materials, and other assorted items depending on the type of candles you are making.

When making candles, choosing the correct wick size is important. I have used several sizes of wicking over the years including small, medium, large and extra large. This review is for the Yaley Extra Large Bleached Flat Braid Candle Wicking.

The package reviewed here contains 4 feet of extra large candle wicking for around $2 although this wicking is also available in larger package sizes. The wick is made of cotton and is a flat braid. It burns well without excessive smoking or flareups. I have had no problem with the candles I made going out or burning unevenly.

Although Yaley makes two types of wicking, I prefer the flat braid type over the wire type for most of my candle making projects. The flat braid wicking is a four sided wicking that is easy to work with. It works well with most, if not all wax types including soy, paraffin, gel, beeswax, and crystal. I have used it for years with no problems.

This particular size works best for candles 4 inches in diameter and over, although it can be used in some other candles depending on your needs. Varying the wick size can affect things like flame size and the amount of dripping from your candle, so it is important to select the proper size for the desired results. It can be fun to experiment for different effects but for general purposes, I usually follow the manufacturer's recommendations for most candles.

I have made several of the extra large 6 inch pillar candles and a few extra large container candles using this wick and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys making these types of candles.

Originally published on Epinions.

(Product Review) Yaley Candle Wicking: Bleached Flat Braid Medium

Yaley Candle Wicking: Bleached Flat Braid Medium

Yaley Candle Wicking: Bleached Flat Braid Medium 6 Ft.

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-02-28

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Easy to work with, burns well, inexpensive, works with a variety of waxes

Cons: None

Summary: This wicking works well for medium sized candles ranging from approximately 2-3 inches in diameter. Other sizes are available for other candle sizes.

I love candles. Not only do I enjoy burning them but have enjoyed making my own candles for many years, and still enjoy it today. As I child, I started out with several assorted candlemaking kits, then added to my candlemaking supplies as time went by. Over the years I have experimented with a large variety of candlemaking materials including assorted types of waxes, candle dyes, candle scents, candle molds, wicking materials, and other assorted items.

One of the essentials for making any candle is some sort of wicking material, and one of the ones I have used most often is  Yaley Candle Wicking. This review will cover the Yaley Bleached Flat Braid Medium Candle Wicking, which is a good size for most medium sized candles ranging from around 2-3 inches in diameter. I paid around $2 per package for 6 feet of this wick. In addition to the medium size reviewed here, this wicking is also available in various sizes including small, medium, large, and extra large, so be sure to choose the appropriate size for your candle making project.

This wicking is made of cotton, so it burns well and consumes itself as it burns down evenly rather than leaving pieces of burnt wick floating around the top of your candle. This is a flat braid wicking which has four sides and is easy to work with. It is the wireless type, which is what I generally prefer to use for most of my candles. It works well for most, if not all types of waxes including paraffin, gel, soy and crystal.

Unlike some of the other brands I have used, the wicks do not flare up, burn down too quickly, smoke excessively, or refuse to light. They burn well the first time, and every time. I have used it for years, and have always been happy with the results of the Yaley brand.

If you enjoy making your own candles, I recommend this wick for medium sized candles. You can also use it with other size candles to control the amount of drip you get from the candle. With a little practice and experimentation, you can find the perfect size for most any candle making project.

Originally published on Epinions.

(Product Review) Darice Craft Designer Neon Multi-Colored 6x9mm Pony Beads

Darice Craft Designer Neon Multi-Colored 6x9mm Pony Beads Review: Bright & Beautiful Craft Supplies

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-02-28

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Bright and beautiful fluorescent colors, versatile, great for kids and adults

Cons: Imported

Summary: These bold neon colors work well alone or in combination with other beads to make a variety of beautiful craft projects of all kinds.

I have always enjoyed crafting, and keep a large variety of craft supplies on hand for all sorts of craft projects. I work on a lot of projects alone, and also enjoy spending time working on them with the kids. Among my craft supplies are a large assortment of beads of all shapes, sizes and colors. The Darice Neon Multi-Colored Pony Beads are one that we work with a lot for a variety of projects.

As the name implies, these beads come in a variety of neon colors including pink, green, yellow, blue, and orange so you can make your projects using an assortment of color combinations for your craft projects. The bright colors have made some beautiful and eye-catching projects.

These beads measure 9mm by 6mm so they are large enough for small hands to work with. The kids enjoy stringing these beads together to make jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets. In addition to jewelry projects, we have used these for a variety of other purposes including candle holders, clothing accents, hair decorations, ornaments, and a bead curtain. This is a very versatile bead that is great for children as well as adults.

This package of pony beads contains 720 beads, which is enough for several projects, although these are also available in larger bags as well. This size is perfect for many users, however I would suggest buying the larger bags for classroom use or for those who plan on making many craft projects with this particular bead. I bought several bags with different color combinations (sold separately) for even more variety than what if offered in this single bag.

These beads are recommended for adults and children 6 years old and over. These are not recommended for children under the age of 3, and you should use caution when beading around young children as these can be a choking hazard.

I recommend these beads for anyone who loves crafting. These are great for kids as well as adults, and look beautiful for a variety of projects. The only thing that could make these better is if they were made in the USA. Still they are a good quality bead and one of the most versatile beads I have in my collection.

Originally published on Epinions.

Friday, February 15, 2013

(Product Review) Bazzill Basics Vibrant Blue A7 Envelopes

Bazzill Basics Vibrant Blue A7 Envelopes Review

Product unavailable

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-02-14

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Pretty color, nice size, easy to seal

Cons: None

Summary: These vibrant blue envelopes work well for store bought greeting cards, handmade greeting cards, or a variety of other purposes.

When purchasing store bought greeting cards, you can generally expect to get envelopes with your purchase. Sometimes though, I have accidentally ruined an envelope, and more often I need additional envelopes for hand made greeting cards. I found the Bazzill Basics Envelopes in a variety of colors for around $5 for a package of 50 envelopes.

This review features the Bazzill Basics Vibrant Blue A7 Envelope, which is a bright blue envelope that is well suited for a 5x7 inch greeting card. These work well for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, baby showers, Valentines Day, Birthdays, or any other holiday. Since I make many of my own greeting cards, these work well for my needs.

These envelopes are brightly colored, and thick enough to keep greeting card designs from showing through. The paper is textured, with a wet and stick flap which sticks well. It is easy to write on using a pencil, ink pen, or sharpie marker. If using markers, I would suggest writing on the envelope before adding the card though, as sharpie markers do tend to soak through some surfaces. This hasn't been a problem for me though, especially with the fine tip sharpies.

It is easy to add any 5x7 inch holiday card to these envelopes, and I have also enclosed family photos along with some of my cards. They fit well and are easy to send through the mail.

This is just one of the colors offered by this company, but it is one that I found particularly appealing. I would recommend these envelopes for anyone who needs replacement envelopes for there holiday cards or extra envelopes for handmade greeting cards or for any other purpose.

Originally published on Epinions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

(Product Review) Apex Pill Splitter

Apex Pill Splitter Review

Apex Pill Splitter (colors may vary) (AP70028)

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Made in USA, small, inexpensive, easy to use

Cons: None

Summary: This product is easy to use, and works well. I recommend this to anyone who needs to split medication doses for personal or veterinary uses.

I take several medications and supplements, and on occasion I have needed to split pills in order to take a smaller dosage of one pill or another. I have cut them in half with a knife or razor blade for years, but decided to pick up a pill splitter in an effort to simplify things.

The Apex Pill Splitter is available in a variety of colors. I ordered mine for around $5 each. When ordering online you get a random color rather than a choice, however I was happy with the blue one I got.

This item is made in the USA, and feels fairly sturdy. It is made of plastic with a steel blade for cutting the pills. To use it, simply lift the hinged top, slide your pill into the notched v-shaped slot, then gently close the cover. As long as your pill is lined up correctly, it should cut fairly evenly. The only time I had problems with this is when I got in a hurry and didn't have the pill lined up straight in the slot.

I have seen comments by others stating that they ended up with lots of crumbs or uneven cuts. I haven't had a problem with this when using it correctly. Yes, you do need to make sure the pill is straight or you obviously won't get a straight cut. Also, if you slam the lid shut rather than closing it slowly, your medications might crumble somewhat rather than a nice smooth cut. Aside from that, it seems to work rather well.

Another nice feature of this pill splitter is that it has two little compartments in it where you can store your split pills. If cutting a couple of types of pills, just drop one into each compartment. You can even store them in the compartments if desired, or pour them out into your pill bottle or pill box.

You can use this on both coated and uncoated pills up to a half inch in diameter. I have used it for larger pills as well as smaller ones, and for both round and oval pills. It worked well for my medications as well as for pills for my pets.

I recommend this product to anyone who needs an easy and convenient tool for splitting pills.

Originally published on Epinions.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

(Product Review) Amscan Pirate Eye Patches

Amscan Pirate Eye Patches Review

Amscan Pirate Eye Patches (12 count)

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-02-08

Product Rating: 2

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Inexpensive pirate themed item for loot bags

Cons: Cheaply made, falls apart easily, won't last through even a short party

Summary: If you are looking for something very cheap to tuck into loot bags, these are better than nothing, but don't expect them to last through the entire party...

I enjoy throwing themed parties and one of the themes I have used in the past was a pirate themed birthday party. I purchased a variety of pirate themed items including gold coins, pirate tattoos and stickers, Amscan Pirate Eye Patches and other pirate loot items.

This 12 count package of pirate eye patches is one of those instances where you get what you pay for, and you really shouldn't expect much when you pay around a dollar for a dozen eye patches. Still, I had hoped that they would at least hold up well enough that the kids could at least use them at the party. Unfortunately, out of a dozen eye patches, there was only one left intact at the end of the party.

These eye patches are made of black plastic with a skull and cross-bones image and elastic cord attached. The pirate themed patches looked as if they would suit my purposes, but the elastic cord was so fragile that it broke on nearly every patch within a few minutes.

Luckily, I had some elastic thread on hand and was able to put a few of them back together well enough that the kids could wear them, but even so, I was disappointed in how quickly they fell apart and the fact that I had to fix them so quickly.

I would only use these as a last resort, and suggest paying a bit more for a higher quality product, preferably one that was made in the USA. I didn't expect these to last long, but it would have been nice if they could have at least lasted through the party.

These are not intended for younger children, and could present a choking hazard for children under three years old.

Originally published on Epinions.

Friday, February 8, 2013

(Product Review) TeleBrands Original Chef Basket Deluxe (As Seen On TV)

TeleBrands Original Chef Basket Deluxe (As Seen On TV) Review

TeleBrands Original Chef Basket, Deluxe - 4615

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-02-07

Product Rating: 2

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Folds somewhat flat, works for some foods, I only paid a dollar for mine.

Cons: Made in China, poor construction, sharp edges, difficult to clean

Summary: It was probably worth the dollar I paid for it, but I'm glad I found it at the dollar store instead of paying full price.

If you have ever watched the infomercial for the TeleBrands Original Chef Basket Deluxe, you may have thought to yourself how useful this gadget might be, but like so many of these products from the infomercials, this product is more little more than hype.

The Chef Basket claims that this product has a "12-In-1" design and can be used "on the stove top for cooking, boiling, deep frying, steaming, poaching, blanching or par-boiling, and as a colander for rinsing, washing, draining, straining, storing." Yes, this sounds like a pretty versatile gadget. Unfortunately, I did not find this basket to be very useful.

The first thing I noticed when removing it from the box was the poor construction. This basket is made of steel wire that isn't put together very well. There were some parts where the seams were not attached well, leaving openings, and sharp points to the woven basket. In addition to small pieces of food slipping through some of the openings, this also makes hand washing nearly impossible. Even though they tell you that this is dishwasher safe, I wasn't happy with how well it cleaned up in my dishwasher either.

So, how useful is this gadget? It certainly would not replace my colander because it just isn't large enough to get the job done, and is much harder to clean. The same is true for most cooking tasks I tried. I can use it to wash a few veggies, then insert it into the pan of boiling water, but can't cook a large enough batch of most things to feed my family. I used it for french fries, steamed veggies, pasta, and boiled eggs, but couldn't only make small quantities of any of these things. It could cook a box of macaroni & cheese except that stirring was difficult and some of the noodles fell through or got stuck in the holes. I could make around 8 hard boiled eggs, or a few smaller boiled potatoes. It may be large enough for a single person, or maybe even a couple, but the size was too small for most purposes I would normally use it for.

When expanded, the basket measures about 5 inches deep by around 9 inches in diameter. Since the handles must extend horizontally outside the cookware but not near the flame, you have to be careful of the pan size you use it with or the handles to heat up. There is a warning about proper positioning of handles, but doesn't tell you that you have to use a specific sized pan to keep them from burning your hands. Even when used according to the directions, they still heat up to some extent, but you will probably at least be able to handle them if you are careful.

They also claim that it folds flat for easy storage. Even though it does collapse to take up less space, it does not fold completely flat like the commercial shows. It looks good in the box, but once removed would not fold up as small again. Still, it doesn't take a lot of space, so I could live with this if the product worked as well as described.

The box also offers the "Amazing Chef Knife" that never needs sharpening for free, but instead of including this bonus knife in the box, there is a certificate for the knife which will cost you around $6 shipping and handling... not exactly free in my opinion.

Overall, I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this kitchen gadget. I found mine at a dollar store, so for the price of a dollar, I got to try it out. I'm not sure what the online price was for this basket, but I do recall seeing a buy one get the second one for an extra shipping and handling charge. Whatever the price, it was too much.

Originally published on Epinions.

Friday, February 1, 2013

(Product Review) Office Snax Starlight Peppermints

Office Snax Starlight Peppermints Review

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-31

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Sweet, nostalgic, convenient, low in calories

Cons: No nutritional value.

Summary: Handy and flavorful hard candies come individually wrapped for added freshness and convenience.

I have been enjoying Starlight Mints ever since I was a child. Although these mints come in different flavors and colors, the Starlight Peppermints are the ones I have enjoyed the most over the years. Some of the other varieties available include wintergreen, spearmint, cinnamon, and fruit flavors.

This 2 pound tub of Office Snax Starlight Peppermints gives me enough of these minty hard candies to last for quite a while. I use this disposable plastic container to fill one of the candy dishes in my home, and leave the remainder of the container in the kitchen where we can simply reach in and grab a quick snack if desired. I prefer to purchase these in the tub, however they are also available in plastic bags as well.

These classic red and white hard candy discs are great for those times when I need just a bit of something sweet, without filling myself up. They are great as a breath mint, an after dinner mint, or for anytime I need just a little something sweet.

These candies are individually wrapped so they are also convenient to take along with me wherever I go. I often carry a couple of these mints in my coat pocket, and sometimes in my car for those times when I need a breath refresher or something to cure a dry mouth when there is nothing handy to drink. Individual wrappings also help to retain the freshness of these candies.

Another nice thing about these nostalgic candies is that there are 3 pieces per serving, and this only contains 20 calories. This means that snacking on one or two of these from time to time won't add a lot of pounds to your waistline. This is great for those of us who could stand to lose a little weight. Of course, if you are looking for nutritional content, you won't find it here. Since these are mainly made of sugar, you aren't going to find a lot of nutrition here. Still, when I can pop a sweet treat into my mouth without wrecking my diet, they can't be all bad.

Originally published on Epinions.

(Product Review) Mod Podge Satin Finish Decoupage Glue

Mod Podge Satin Finish Decoupage Glue Review

Mod Podge Satin Finish 8 Oz.

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-31

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Glues, seals, protects, non-toxic, dries clear, easy cleanup, versatile product works on most surfaces.

Cons: None

Summary: Great for gluing, sealing and protecting. This versatile product is non-toxic, easy to clean up, and can be used on many surfaces.

As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I have always enjoyed crafting. I loved it as a child, and throughout the years have enjoyed creating various projects with my children, and more recently my grandchildren.

I keep a good variety of craft supplies on hand, and try to always be prepared for whatever craft project we decide to make. One of the items we used recently was Mod Podge Satin Finish. I like the satin finish for some projects, although there are also other finishes available such as a glossy finish if you wish to give your project a bit more shine or a matte finish if you want to eliminate the shine.

The kids enjoyed helping make handmade Christmas ornaments by decorating styrofoam balls. One type of ornaments was made by attaching various materials onto the balls using Mod Podge. They enjoyed making them, and they looked beautiful on our Christmas tree.

Mod Podge comes in an 8 ounce bottle. It looks similar to Elmer's glue, but not only works well for gluing things together but also acts as a sealant for the finished product. You can dip a paintbrush directly into the bottle of Mod Podge, or you can do as we did and pour a little into small paper cups so everyone can have their own small container. This works much better when working with young children because even though you may have a few small spills, it won't be as bad as if the entire bottle were spilled.

I like to put down newspaper to catch the worst of the mess when making this type of project. Then, I put a variety of styrofoam balls on the table and let each child choose which size and shape they want to work with. We started out by poking a small hole in the ball and adding a hanger made of their choice of a pipe cleaner or a yarn loop. They also got to choose from assorted holiday napkins, and wrapping paper. They can basically design their balls any way they like by either cutting or tearing designs from the gift wrap or napkins, then gluing it to the balls. The Mod Podge dries clear and once painted a light sprinkling of glitter works well to add a bit of sparkle to the ornament. These make beautiful handmade ornaments once the Mod Podge dries completely.

There are many ways to vary this project, but I think you get the idea. This is a great group project for children or adults because the Mod Podge is easy to work with and there really is no wrong or right way to make these ornaments. They were all different, and they all looked beautiful.

In addition to our Christmas ornaments though, there are many other uses for Mod Podge Decoupage Glue. This 40 year old product still works great for most any decoupage project, and can be used on a variety of surfaces including wood, paper, foam, fabric, candles and more. We have used it on flower pots, plaques, jewelry, picture frames, wreaths, and many other projects. Because it dries clear in around 15-20 minutes, it can be used to glue things together or as a top coat or sealer. You can even use this in multiple layers to apply texture or added dimension to your project. This is non-toxic, so I don't have to worry about the kids using it, and it cleans up with soap and water, so I don't worry much about spills and messes. Just be sure to clean up spills while they are still wet because once it dries, you won't be able to remove it.

I have been using Mod Podge for around 30 years, and find it a very useful to be something no crafter should be without. 

Originally published on Epinions.

(Product Review) Mod Podge Gloss Lustre

Mod Podge Gloss Lustre Review

Mod Podge Gloss Lustre 16 Oz.

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-31

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Glues, seals, protects, non-toxic, dries clear, easy cleanup, versatile product works on most surfaces.

Cons: None

Summary: Great for gluing, sealing and protecting. This versatile product is non-toxic, easy to clean up, and can be used on many surfaces.

I have loved crafting since I was a child and have always enjoyed working on a variety of crafts with my children and grandchildren. It is important to me to keep an assortment of craft supplies handy so we have everything we need for whatever craft project we decide to do next.

In a recent review, I discussed Mod Podge Satin Finish Decoupage Glue and some of the uses. Mod Podge is available in several types ranging from a matte finish to the Gloss Lustre Mod Podge discussed here so you can choose the variety according to how much shine you want on your finished project. I have used several different varieties of this product for various purposes. My most recent project using this particular variety was making wall hangings with the kids.

The Gloss Lustre has a high gloss finish and is well suited to projects where we want a lot of shine. Unlike the Christmas ornaments I discussed in my previous review, the projects made with this type of Mod Podge won't need any glitter to help them shine.

I have used this on a variety of crafting and home decor projects including hand painted planters, wall plaques, picture frames, keepsake and jewelry items, and more.

For this project we started out with a variety of wooden and plaster bases and created some beautiful wall hangings. Some of the children drew pictures on their bases, while others cut or tore pictures from magazines and newspapers, then glued them to the bases by painting a coating of Mod Podge onto the surface, placing the picture on the base, then painting more of the Mod Podge over the pictures to seal the project and add a nice luster to the project.

I made a few different ones, mostly either cutting or tearing the pictures as the children had done, but added a special touch of my own when I made them without the kids around. For a unique look, I took a few of the pictures and added a burnt edge, although I didn't want to do this with the little ones watching. Just be careful if you try this so you don't catch your picture (or anything else) on fire. I prefer working over the sink for this part.

The Mod Podge works well to coat and seal most porous surfaces such as wood, paper, fabric, plaster and more. You can use it as a glue, sealant and protectant on a large variety of craft projects.

You can dip your paint brush or sponge brush directly into the bottle if desired, or when working with children or groups it works well to pour a little into paper cups so everyone can have their own container to work with. This is the best way to work with children because any spills will be minimized when each child has just a little at time.

Just paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the surface, position any pictures onto the surface, then paint one or more additional layers over the entire plaque to coat, seal and protect your wall hanging. You might want to help younger children to get their pictures aligned properly because it isn't always easy to rearrange the pictures once they are placed.

A single layer of Mod Podge should work well to coat your project, however since this product dries in approximately 15-20 minutes, it is easy to add additional layers if desired. Additional layers can be used to add more shine, to add texture, or to fix any irregularities in your surface. Just be careful not to coat it too thickly unless you want your surface to be slightly bumpy and irregular. This is fine for some projects but not for everything.

Mod Podge is great for kids because it is non-toxic and cleans up easily with soap and water. Just be sure to clean it up before it dries because you won't be able to remove it once it dries completely.

I have been using various Mod Podge products for around 30 years, and find these products to be something no crafter should be without.

Originally published on Epinions.

Monday, January 28, 2013

(Product Review) Schylling 13-piece Boxed Ladybug Tea Set

Schylling 13-piece Boxed Ladybug Tea Set Review


Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-27

Product Rating: 3

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Adorable ladybug pattern, porcelain tea set brings back fond childhood memories, teaches coordination.

Cons: A bit smaller than I would like. Uncertainty as to lead content.

Summary: Somewhat smaller than I would like, but kids enjoy it. The porcelain seems to hold up well with my grandchildren. Fun pretend play for children, but possible lead content.

I remember how much fun I had holding tea parties as a child. My brother and sisters and I would enjoy sipping tea in my little tea set. I saw the Schylling 13-piece Boxed Ladybug Tea Set at Wal-Mart and it reminded me of those days. I purchased this set for around $10 for my granddaughters to play with when they come to visit.

The set contains 13 pieces. There are 4 cups with saucers, a tea pot with lid, a sugar bowl with lid, and a spouted creamer. This worked out well because there are usually anywhere from 2 to 4 children who wish to attend one of these tea parties at a time.

The set is made of porcelain, so it is not meant to take a lot of abuse. My two youngest grandchildren are probably a bit to young for this set, which is fine because not only is it breakable, but also contains small parts which could present a choking hazard for the very little ones. Even though the manufacturer states that this is intended for children 8 years and older, my 3 year old granddaughter enjoys playing with it. Of course, this will depend on the child, and younger children should always be well supervised during playtime.

This porcelain set is a glossy white with an adorable ladybug design and the words "Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home!" adorning the pieces. It is an attractive set for display, and the kids enjoy the parties they hold with this set.

On the downside, the pieces are rather small with the cups measuring only 1¼ inches tall. Even though they do sometimes serve tea in these cups, they appear to be made more for appearance than actual use. The set I had as a child had cups about twice this size, and this is what I would have preferred. Even so, the kids enjoy them, so who am I to complain.

With the set being so small, it is just right for little hands to use. It helps them to gain the coordination needed to pour the tea from the little pitcher into the tiny cups. Yes, there are sometimes spills, but it is all a learning process. Even the 3 year old is getting much better at pouring the tea for her cousins.

On another note, the view details link suggests that this product may contain lead. I saw no mention of this issue on the box, on the manufacture's website, or in multiple online listings, so I can not verify whether or not this is true. The only warning I found was that it could be a choking hazard for children under 3 years old. Still, I thought it should be mentioned so readers can make their own decision regarding this issue.

Even so, I recommend this set because of the fun my grandchildren have had with it. I will continue to search for details on the lead issue, however I don't feel that there is enough evidence to discount this product because of it at this time.

Originally published on Epinions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

(Product Review) Penn Plax Mini Female Wizard Aquarium Ornament

Penn Plax Mini Female Wizard Aquarium Ornament Review

Mini Female Wizard Fish Ornament Decoration (Penn)

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-22

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Safe for fresh or salt water aquarium, small size for tight spaces

Cons: Too small for larger aquariums, but works well in small tanks

Summary: This is a cute little decoration that works well in either fresh or salt water aquariums. This figurine works well in small medieval themed aquariums or fish bowls.

As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I am always looking for new and different decorative pieces to add to my collection of aquarium ornaments and other decorations.

Several years ago I found a great deal on aquarium ornaments so I picked up several of them including the Mini Female Wizard Aquarium Ornament shown here for just a couple of dollars each. To be honest, she spent a lot more time on a shelf display than she did in one of my aquariums at first, but eventually was moved to one of the smaller tanks.

This adorable Female Wizard Aquarium Ornament from Penn Plax is made of resin and measures approximately 4 1/2 inches tall with her base measuring just over 2 inches in diameter. This is a perfect size to decorate some of the smaller aquariums or fish bowls, although for larger aquariums you might want to get a larger version which is also available in this style. The medium sized ornament that matches this one measures about 7 inches tall and would work better for a larger fish tank.

This ornament is handcrafted and has some pretty nice detail to her. She is decked out in a red wizard robe and hat with blue and gold accents. She carries a staff in one hand and holds an orb in the other. She is adorned with a tiny pendant around her neck, and even has nicely detailed facial features.

She can be used in either a freshwater or saltwater tank, and looks great in my medieval themed aquarium. She goes well with many color schemes, and looks great with any or all of the male wizards I bought along with her, and also with one of my castle ornaments.

I clean this ornament the same way I do many of the others. A quick rinse keeps the worst of the debris from sticking to the ornament, and a soft bristled toothbrush works well for cleaning them before putting one ornament away to replace it with another design. She cleaned up easily with no problems until it was time to bring her back out recently.

She has been hanging out with my fish for a little while now, and they seem rather indifferent to her presence. Perhaps this is because I change the decorations in their tanks often, and they have become accustomed to a variety of different decorations being added. They swim happily around her and the other wizard characters in the tank.

Originally published on Epinions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

(Product Review) Produex Ultra Thin Glass Scale

Produex Ultra Thin Glass Scale Review

Produex Ultra Thin Glass Scale

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-21

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Ultri-thin, attractive, tap on/automatic power off, large display, inexpensive, works well

Cons: Made in China (would have preferred USA product),  must tap hard to turn on

Summary: This is a nice looking scale and seems fairly accurate. It has a 396lb capacity, tap-on and automatic shutoff, and it is much less expensive than similar scales.

On a recent visit to Kmart, I found the Produex Ultra Thin Glass Bathroom Scale on sale for around ten dollars. This is about half of the price as similar scales I have seen online.

This scale comes equipped with four non-skid feet which keep it firmly in place so you don't need to worry about it sliding around the floor when you step on it. The sleek silver color of this scale goes well with my bathroom, and would probably look nice with most color schemes. For those who wish to tuck the scale away between uses, the slim styling makes it a breeze to slip into even a small area. As the name implies, this bathroom scale is ultra thin, measuring approximately 3/4 inch thick. The platform is 11.75 inches square, and made of durable tempered glass that is approximately 8 mm thick and impact-resistant. The scale has a digital LCD display that measures 3 1/8 inches by 1 1/4 inches. The numbers are a good size so it is easy to read, even with my failing eyesight.

The Produex Ultra Thin Glass Scale uses one 3-volt lithium battery which is included in the package. Just pull the plastic strip out, and the scale is ready to go. To use the scale, just give it a tap to turn it on or zero it out then wait for it to calibrate. When the number stops blinking, it is ready for you to step on the scale. I was happy to see that I had lost a few pounds when I stepped on the scale but wanted to find out how accurate it was, so I asked various other family members to check their weights as well. Everyone agreed that their weight was within a pound or two of their last weighing, so this scale seems reasonably accurate. When weighing ourselves repeatedly, the readings are very close, if not exactly the same for multiple weighings. The scale even turns itself off when finished to save power.

This personal electronic scale displays increments of .2 pounds (0.1kg) is rated for weights ranging from 13.2 pounds to 396 pounds. According to the box, it measures in pounds, kilograms and stone by pressing a small red button on the bottom of the scale, however I have never changed the setting since I prefer having my weight measured in pounds. It also has an error display to notify you in the event of overload or low battery, however I have not seen either of these warning messages as of yet. My son did get some sort of an error message on his first attempt to use the scale however, after stepping off and back on the scale it registered his weight correctly. I'm not sure, but I think he may have stepped on the scale before it finished calibrating, causing the error because it has worked correctly every other time we have used the scale.

This scale is available in 3 different capacities. This is the mid range one with the other two having top weight ranges of 330 and 440 pounds. It appears that all three scales are identified as model number PEB-215N, with the capacity being the main difference among them.

I had no trouble using this scale. It powered on easily, and was easy to read. After the first use I was certain that I would be happy with my purchase. My daughter in law was the second to try the scale, but when she tapped it to turn it on, nothing happened. She tapped again, and still nothing. She took the battery out and put it back in, then tapped again. She ended up having to tap it a bit harder, and it finally came on. She then checked her weight, and the weight of my grandson with no trouble. After this, two of my sons tried the scales out for me. The first had no problem, but the second said that there was an error mentioned above. His weight did register correctly on the second attempt, and every attempt since. I have not been able to duplicate the error, so I can only assume that it was a calibration error as mentioned earlier.

Because of the difficulty my daughter in law had in getting the scale to power on I thought that I might need to replace the battery, however after a bit of testing, we discovered that we just needed to tap the scale harder. It takes a good, firm tap to turn this scale on, not a gentle touch like some similar scales I have used. Even so, it works well with a harder tap.

I can't really comment on the battery life of this scale because we have only owned the scale for a couple of weeks, although it is working well so far through multiple weighings. I haven't always had good luck with pre-installed batteries, but this one is doing fine so far. Either way, the button cell batteries that fit this scale are inexpensive to replace, and since the scale automatically powers off after use, I don't think that this will be a problem.

Overall, I am happy with my new Produex Ultra Thin Glass Scale. Just be aware that it may be necessary to tap the scale harder than you might think. Maybe we were being too careful because of the glass, but it seems sturdy enough to take it.

Originally published on Epinions.

Friday, January 18, 2013

(Product Review) Soft White Decor Flame Tip Incandescent Sylvania 25 Watt Decorative Light Bulbs

Soft White Decor Flame Tip Incandescent Sylvania 25 Watt Decorative Light Bulbs Review

Sylvania Lighting 25W/WHT/MED/FLAM2 Decorative Light Bulb 25W (pack of 6)

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-17

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Made in USA, inexpensive, no toxic mercury, soft white light is easier on sensitive eyes.

Cons: Incandescent bulbs may be phased because they are less energy efficient than some newer types.

Summary: Eventually I may have to give up the fight if incandescent bulbs are phased out, but for now I prefer them for most areas of my home.

If you enjoy soft lighting as much as I do, these Sylvania Soft White Decor Flame Tip Decorative Light Bulbs may be perfect for some areas in your home. Although they don't put out a lot of light at 25 watts each, they provide a nice ambiance to a room, and provide enough light to see well enough for most activities without hurting my eyes.

These decorative bulbs have a medium base, which means that they fit well in any standard sized lamp or light fixture. I have used them in a ceiling fan, which provided a total of 75 watts of lighting from the 3 light fixtures. This was plenty bright enough for me, and a lot less glaring than some of the brighter bulbs. These also worked very well in a chandelier which used multiple light bulbs since there was plenty of light without bothering my sensitive eyes.

These are incandescent bulbs, which means that they are not as energy efficient as some of the newer types of bulbs. Even so, these bulbs only use 25 watts as opposed to the higher 40, 60, 75, or 100 watt bulbs that are often used in light fixtures.

For those who are not sure what the difference is between the various types of light bulbs, an incandescent bulb is the one most us us are familiar with. It is a standard light bulb that works by passing electricity through a filament, heating it to produce a warm, white light. They are usually less expensive than other types of light bulbs, and have a shorter lifespan.

Some other types of light bulbs are halogen, LED, and CFL bulbs. They all have their advantages and their disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that they are more expensive, at least on the initial investment. The longer life, in many cases makes up the difference though.

I don't recall just what I paid for these bulbs, however I found them on sale plus had a rebate offer on them at the time. Because of this I got my light bulbs for free or close to it. Of course, unless you luck out and find sales, coupons and/or rebates, your cost will likely be higher.

These bulbs are soft white in color, and are the popular flame shape. Even though the medium base works well in any standard light fixture, the bulb is a bit smaller, making it a better fit for some lamps. The only time this would likely be a problem is if you have lampshades that clamp onto the light bulb. In this case, they may not fit correctly. In addition to my ceiling fan and chandelier, these also were a nice fit for the pair of can style light fixtures over my bar. These fixtures are smaller in diameter and because you must reach inside the shade to change the bulb, it can sometimes be awkward for larger hands. These smaller bulbs are a breeze to change.

As I mentioned earlier, these 25 watt bulbs provide a sufficient amount of light for smaller areas, especially when used in fixtures that make use of multiple bulbs. Additionally, they save energy as opposed to higher wattage bulbs. They are rated at a 1,500 hour average lifespan. Although I can't vouch for this since I have never attempted to time any of my light fixtures, these lasted for a long time.

Although it is my understanding that incandescent bulbs will eventually be phased out in this country as well as others because they are less energy efficient than some of the newer styles available, I will continue to use these for the time being because I prefer the soft glow of these light bulbs as opposed to harsh glaring lights or CFL lights containing toxic mercury. They also provide better ambient lighting, rather than the more directional lighting or harsh glare that some other lights offer. I also prefer to pay less per bulb as opposed to paying many times the price for some of the other bulbs out there.

From the Manufacturer

25 Watt Soft White
120 volt
Average Rated Life (hr): 1,500
Medium Aluminum Screw Base
Soft White Incandescent
Flame Shape
White Light
Made in USA
Contains no toxic mercury

Originally published on Epinions.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

(Product Review) Sylvania 11669 40 Watt A19 Soft White Incandescent Light Bulbs

Sylvania 11669 40 Watt A19 Soft White Incandescent Light Bulbs Review

Sylvania 11669 40 Watt A19 Soft White Incandescent Bulbs, Pack of 4

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-16

Product Rating: 4

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Made in USA, inexpensive, no toxic mercury, soft white light is easier on sensitive eyes.

Cons: Incandescent bulbs may be phased because they are less energy efficient than some others.

Summary: Eventually I may have to give up the fight if incandescent bulbs are phased out, but for now, these are my preferred bulbs.

Several light bulbs around my home seem to have burned out at about the same time, so I needed to restock. Although most of the family prefers brighter lights, there are some light fixtures where I prefer a 40 watt light bulb rather than a higher wattage bulb. For these lights, I chose Sylvania 40 Watt Soft White Incandescent Bulbs.

I picked up a package of these light bulbs for around $3 for 4 bulbs. These bulbs fit in any standard light fixture, and for those with light sensitivity like mine, these are a perfect bulb. The 40 watt bulb is not as bright as the 60, 75, or 100 watt bulbs that are readily available, which suits me just fine. Additionally, the Soft White Bulbs don't give off as much glare as some of the other bulbs.

Additionally, these bulbs work well in most lamps and light fixtures. Some of the higher wattage bulbs do not. We have a few lights around our home that state that you should never use a bulb over 40 or over 60 watts in them. These bulbs work perfectly for every light in our home, even those attatched to a dimmer.

They may not illuminate things as much as some of my family members would like, but they light things up pretty well in most cases. I guess it depends on the layout of the room and where the light is located, as well as what type of work you need the light for. I use these for all of my personal areas, and use brighter bulbs in some of the other living spaces.

Besides the fact that these light bulbs do not blind me like some of the others, they also use less electricity than the higher wattage bulbs. I think we get a pretty good bang for our buck with these bulbs, and that they are a good multipurpose bulb.

For those who are not sure what the difference is between the various types of light bulbs, an incandescent bulb is the one most us us are familiar with. It is a standard light bulb that works by passing electricity through a filament, heating it to produce a warm, white light. They are usually less expensive than other types of light bulbs, and have a shorter lifespan.

Some other types of light bulbs are halogen, LED, and CFL bulbs. They all have their advantages and their disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that they are more expensive, at least on the initial investment. The longer life, in many cases makes up the difference though.

Even though I have heard that incandescent light bulbs will eventually be phased out in this country as well as others because they are less energy efficient than some of the others, I will continue to use them as long as I can because I prefer the soft glow of these light bulbs as opposed to harsh glaring lights or the CFL light bulbs that contain toxic mercury. They also provide better ambient lighting, rather than the more directional lighting or harsh glare that some other lights offer. I also prefer to pay less than $1 per bulb as opposed to paying many times this amount for some of the other bulbs out there.

From the Manufacturer
Fully dimmable
40 Watt Soft White medium base bulb
120 volt
A19 Medium Screw (E26) Base
Soft White Incandescent
Made in USA
Contains no toxic mercury

Sunday, January 13, 2013

(Product Review) Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System

Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System Review

Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2013-01-12

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful

Pros: Disposable snake included, effective, pours through standing water, easy to use, guaranteed, recyclable packaging

Cons: Costs a bit more than some of the others, but definitely worth the difference.

Summary: Recommended for stubborn clogs in all sinks and tubs.

From time to time we all eventually need to deal with a clogged drain. Finding a product that works well can sometimes be a daunting task. After experimenting with several products and various results over the years, I decided to try something new this time around.

My kitchen sink drain clogged a couple of weeks ago. After using a less expensive product to clear the drain, we did manage to get it draining, even though the water drained a bit slower than we would have liked. Unfortunately, the other product must not have cleared the clog very well because it was only a short time before the water stopped draining again.

This time I picked up a bottle of Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System to see if this product would do a better job of clearing my drain. One of the things that drew me to purchasing this product was the packaging. This drain cleaner comes in a silver colored plastic bottle that is easy to grip. It has a long narrow neck with a larger base. The thing that really caught my attention though is that there is a small disposable drain snake included in the package.

I had noticed what appears to be a similar drain snake in the "as seen on tv" products a while back and wondered if they would work. I hadn't ordered one, but this reminds me of one of those. In any case, the snake 23 inches long and is red in color. It has two loops at the top for easy gripping, a pointed end to help it break through clogs, and barbs along the sides to help it catch whatever is blocking your pipes. It is made of a flexible plastic material so it bends easily to go around the curves of your pipes with just a bit of encouragement. I did reach one bend that took a bit of jiggling to get through, probably due to the snake being coiled up like a hose. It only took a minute or two though, and I managed to maneuver the snake around the corner. From there on, it was smooth sailing.

Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System states that it is guaranteed to clear clogs the first try. It also claims that it works well even in standing water and that it also works well on slow drains, and even to keep your drains from clogging. You can go to their website to download a form for the warranty if needed, although I did not have a need for this.

According to the directions, you should use the snake first. When snaking your drain, just slide the tip of the snake through the hole in the drain of your sink or bathtub. This is not made for, and should not be used on toilets or garbage disposals. The snake is narrow enough that it should easily fit into just about any drain, and worked quite well on my kitchen sink as well as my bathtub drain. Slide the snake in as far as you can, then gently glide it up and down to break through the clog. As you slide the snake in and out, the barbs will catch excess hair, gunk, or other debris that is left in your pipes, so when you pull the snake out of the drain, it really isn't a pretty site. When used in my kitchen drain the barbs were covered with black gunk when I pulled it back out. Using it in the bathtub added hair to the gunky mess. In any case, once you have finished snaking the drain, simply toss the messy snake into the trash. Personally, I found it easy enough to wash off the worst of the gunk and reuse the snake to remove a partial hair clog in my bathtub drain before disposal though. This is a matter of personal preference, but these are intended as disposable tools.

After the snaking is done, you should pour the entire contents of the bottle into the drain. The product is a gel, which will quickly sink to the bottom of the drain, even through standing water. I like this feature because even though I generally bail most of the water from my sinks before trying this type of product, it isn't always possible to get all of the water out.

In this instance, the snake was all it really took to get the water flowing, although I still used the product to speed things along and move whatever was clogging the drain on down through the pipes. I would hate to think that I just pushed the clog further down so that it would re-clog later. Anyway, I followed the directions and carefully poured the contents into my drain, being cautious not to splash the gel. It went down into the drain where I allowed it to work for just over the 15 minutes the directions call for. The directions state that it can also be left overnight if desired, which is good to know since I generally wait until just before bed to do this type of task. This wasn't a problem this time though since the snake had the water moving already.

The final step of the process is to flush the drain with hot water. I turned on the faucet and allowed it to run for several minutes to be sure it was thoroughly flushed. It worked like a charm, my sink was now draining freely. There was no sign that the drain had ever been running slow, let alone completely clogged.

Keep out of reach of children and pets. Harmful if swallowed. Avoid skin contact. Avoid splashing. Clean up any spills immediately. Not for use in garbage disposals or toilets. Do not mix with other chemicals. Snake should be used before the chemical product only. In case of accidental ingestion drink a full glass of water and contact your doctor or poison control center immediately. For eye contact, flush with water for 15 minutes. For skin exposure, wash immediately to avoid chemical burns. Most of this is typical for such products, and you should always check the label if in doubt.

sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, biodegradable surfactant, and sodium silicate (corrosion inhibitor). Contains no phosphorus.

The manufacturer states that this product is great for attacking stubborn clogs or maintaining squeaky-clean pipes. They also tell us that it is safe for all septic systems and pipes, including PVC, plastic, copper, and old pipes. I can tell you that I was very impressed by it. I have tried many different products over the years and never found one that worked as well as this.

Originally published on Epinions.