Thursday, December 31, 2009

Round Up Weed Killer

I really like Round Up. This product is weed and grass killer. We don't have much grass in our back yard, so I spray just about everything. The Pump-n-Go container is great; just pump 25 times and you'll have enough pressure to spray for 5-10 minutes (I don't really count, I just keep pumping until the sides are bulging). The Pump-n-Go container isn't very expensive (under $20) and you can buy a gallon of Round Up liquid refill (under $15) when you run out. It's easy to carry around and use. There is a little safety latch that retracts the nozzle and an easy to press lever to release the weed killer.

This is our before picture:
It didn't kill them completely because I was using the Round Up sparingly; it was almost gone and I was trying to spray as much of the yard as I could. It also rained a couple times, so a few more weeds grew in.Here is a photo of a weed a few days after being sprayed. Last year, I waited until the rainy season was over and had SO many weeds to spray, so this season I thought I would spray them as they come in so it won't be so overwhelming when the rain stops.
Here is a photo of a section of our yard March 2009 - all the green you see are weeds I had to kill last season; not a single plant or patch of grass hiding in there. These and many more weeds were dead a few days after being sprayed.

I'm out of Round Up and plan on buying a refill jug (or two) the next time we go to Lowe's.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shark Steam Mop & Shark Vac

I bought these because I have really bad allergies and thought the steam mop would be fantastic, because I wouldn't have to use chemicals to clean and disinfect my floors. Performance wise, it is phenomenal! You just fill with water, plug in and you are set to go! It generates steam really quickly and gets anything and everything off the floor.

I would, however, give one warning... do a spot test several times in a VERY inconspicuous area before going wild on your floors. This mop works so well, it literally took the finish off of my ceramic tile floors!!! On about 5 tiles in my kitchen, there are large white spots where the mop took the color off. So, buyer beware.

The vacuum, in a (Pun intended) It is cordless, light and easy to use, but it doesn't pick up very well. After I used it on my kitchen floor, I had to go get my Swiffer Vac and redo the floors. I do not recommend this at all.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

I learned about these little "erasers" a couple years back and thought, "No way do they work that well." Oh my gosh, they work better than I could have imagined. I just cleaned our bathtub with them last weekend and it looks brand new. I should have taken before and after photos. They work on tubs, counters, walls, floors, etc. All you have to do is get it wet, wring it out and clean away. It begins to disintegrate as you use it, then just grab a new one. There are some things the package warns not to use it on, like colored walls, polished finishes, and some other things. I did use it on our polished chrome in the bathroom and didn't have any problems, but I didn't press too hard or use it too much. I HIGHLY recommend these!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Euro Pro Toaster Oven

We bought a Euro Pro Convection Toaster oven and love it. We use this just about as often, if not more than our full size oven. This toaster oven toasts, bakes, broils, and has convection heat. It's extended in the back to fit a 12" pizza. It cooks just about everything and anything we put in it - there is an exception though, I tried to cook a meatloaf in it so I wouldn't heat the house during the summer, but after an hour it was still pretty cold and had to cook another hour in the full size oven. Moral of the story....cook large meat products in the big oven.

This toaster oven is digital too; it also has a nice, annoying beep when the food is done and it shuts itself off (unlike our oven, it just beeps a couple times and if we aren't nearby we don't hear it and the food continues to cook). We've had this oven for about 2 years and I really hope it never breaks, I love it. We regularly cook: cinnamon rolls, tater tots, chicken nuggets, BBQ chicken wings, Pillsbury cresents and/or dinner rolls and a few other things I can't think of.

When we bought this toaster oven it was about $90, but of course we had our trusty Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon, so we paid 20% less. I should get paid for endorsing Bed, Bath and Beyond :) As a side note, we do have to alter the temperatures and times a little because the heat is in a compact area.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Silicon Baking Mat

Item description:
Reinforced, siliconized rubber mat makes any baking sheet non-stick replacing the need for parchment paper. Mat can be used 3,000 times and is easy to clean. Heat resistant up to 480 °. No greasing required. Mat measures 11 5/8" W x 16 L" for use in a 13" W x 18" L baking pan . FDA approved.

My mom has been using these mats for quite some time and loves them. I finally bought a couple a month or 2 ago and they are as great as she says. They're about $25 each at Bed Bath and Beyond, but don't forget to take your 20% or $5 off coupons. You can use as many coupons as items you have, it's amazing! I love Bed Bath and Beyond for the way they let customers use coupons; and their coupons don't expire so don't throw them away! The last trip with my mom I saved $60 using 13 coupons.

You can see my cookie marks in the photo above; no sticking, no mess and no greasing.

I'm going to get a couple more because I used wax paper the last time, thinking in my head parchment paper and filled the house with smoke. You'll have to check out my personal blog for that photo.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Are you "rockin' a pony"??

I haven't mastered the larger Bumpits, but the little one for adding a bump to the bangs works pretty well - but it's not really needed since my bump is higher than the Bumpit. The idea behind these is that you will have added volume to your hair. If you want your hair as high as the girl in the picture, you still have to tease your hair and use bunches of hair spray. When you get your bump all set and looking nice, the hair shifts and then you can see the Bumpit underneath. The little claws they have along the edges work well though.
In the picture, you can see the curve they have; the taller one doesn't really fit the curve of my head.
If you have thin hair, save your money - you'll be able to see the Bumpit.
If you don't mind teasing and spraying your hair still, then spend $8 at Walmart for them. At least you won't have to do as much teasing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wilton Large Muffin Pan

Recipe Right® 6 Cup Jumbo Muffin Pan by WiltonThis pan is so cool! Rather than making little muffins I can make BIG muffins!! It works REALLY well too. I worried about the middle being under cooked, but it comes out perfect. I used the directions on the muffin mix box and had to bake them about 5 minutes longer.

To describe the size of these muffins - they are Costco size muffins, or another way to gauge the size is the 6 muffins take a whole box of muffin mix. The cup papers can be found at JoAnn's or Michael's, but I recommend buying them online - it's much cheaper.

I've made muffins and cupcakes using these pans and they both come out perfectly. These pans are easy to use too.

Oh, speaking of buying things online. I found these pans much cheaper online at Amazon. I bought 4 of them along with the muffin papers and spent just about as much as if I only bought 2 1/2 at a store.

P.S. A percent of all my Amazon purchases help the National Adoption Foundation through as well as help Mike and Tammy with their adoption fees. Check out their site: Completing Our Circle
You can help too! Leave us a comment and we'll help you get started.

Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan

I'm pretty glad I didn't buy this pan. I borrowed it and maybe I just didn't have the finesse to get a cupcake that looked like the photo. I couldn't find directions anywhere, not even on the Wilton website. I used the cake box instructions; it took quite a while longer to bake (after all, you have to put A LOT of batter in each side). I had a very hard time getting the bottom of the cupcake out of the pan and even more trouble getting the top out. After Doug helped me get the 2 pieces out, it took frosting to put the pieces back together. I think with some practice it could be a really fun pan, but it takes too much energy and cake batter for me to put the effort into it. I think this pan in a silicon version would be much easier to use.Oh yeah, note to self....put it together AFTER you arrive at your destination. That was a hard lesson learned. This cupcake is pretty top heavy and of all the things I have in the kitchen, I couldn't find anything to put it in. I braced it as well as I could in a large bowl, but it still tipped over.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Welcome Tammy!

My gal-pal Tammy likes to try new things and loves to share her thoughts and ideas about products too. I'm excited to have her posting on this blog.

The Magic Bullet

So many little time.

After watching the infomercial many times, Doug watched one with me and thought this is a pretty cool gadget. So we called and ordered it. When you call or order online you get one free (or at least you used to). You pay for shipping and handling which is almost as much as the regular price. No matter...I was excited! Smoothies, cheese dip, tuna salad, etc, HERE I COME!

And, there it went. After being sent a replacement base for one that had a rattling piece inside, I now have 3. The customer service was very nice; even when I had to call back because I was AUTOMATICALLY entered into a "Magic Bullet weight loss powder" delivery that was being charged and sent every month.

Really though...

Save your money....just buy a blender and/or a food processor.

"Any job in 10 seconds or less" Yeah sure. 10 seconds and then 10 more seconds and then 10 more seconds and then it starts to smell funny. Then you realize the smoothie you were making looks pretty much like broken ice with half pieces of fruit in it. We now have a refrigerator that will give us crushed ice, so smoothies work better now (but you have to start with crushed ice...kinda defeats the purpose).

I tried to use it to "chop" water chestnuts and green onions - well lets just say by the time all the pieces were in a decent size, most of it looked like baby poo, so I just made all of it look like baby poo and mixed it into my spinach dip. It would have been festive if it were Christmas or St. Patrick's day.

It pretty much sits under the counter. I haven't even taken the second one out of the box (I think I know what to give my mom for Christmas HAHA -just kidding mom). We occasionally make a smoothie, but it certainly takes longer than 10 seconds, even with crushed ice. And honestly it's more of a pain to make 2 of them rather than throwing it all in a blender and making them at the same time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yoplait Delights

Hello everyone! April was so kind to invite me to be a contributor on her awesome product review blog: A Honu Product.

My first review will be of the new Yoplait Delights. In a word....

I love Yoplait yogurt. It is the only type I buy. Not for snobbish reasons... it's a texture thing. So, of course when I saw the commercial for these, (I swear, it seems like ALL ads are written just for me) I just had to try them. So far, I have tried the Chocolate Strawberry and the Lemon Torte.

At Wal-Mart, they are priced the same as regular Yoplait, at .50 each, in a box of 4. Albertsons, they are almost $2 more.

So, if you are looking for a low-cal tasty sweet treet, I would recommend these babies!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Aqua Globes

Aqua Globes, what can I say....they do what they are supposed to do. It keeps me from over-watering my plants or forgetting to water them. This plant looks a little sad, but the weather is colder so the flowers went away. When the globe gets to the end of its water level, I usually shake it to make all the water come out and then fill it. The Aqua Globe is a little annoying to fill because there's a little hole that you have to hold under a small stream of water for a while. Try to stick it in the same hole each time or you'll keep breaking the roots each time you push it back into the dirt.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bra Baby

I bought this ball because I was tired of the hooks on my bras getting caught on clothing or torn off in the wash, not to mention the weird creases and folds my bras would have after a wash. I haven't been terribly impressed with this product. The idea is to tuck the straps into the inner ball and the cups go around the inner ball and are protected by the outer ball. It works alright, but most of the time it breaks open. In the picture you can see a small clip that you twist when you close it. That clip stays in place, but the other side of the ball that snaps together does come apart in the wash. The ball doesn't completely open, but it can cause the bra to fold and move like it's not supposed to. I tried lingerie bags in the past, but they don't hold the shape of the bra and there is still a hook issue. This ball isn't too bad compared to what is out there, I just wish the back part wouldn't come apart. I will say that large size cups probably won't fit very well in the ball; I would bet the bra in the picture above is a B and you can see there's not much more room.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hunter Ceiling Fan

I just threw the box away, so I can't remember the model number of this Hunter fan. We've had these fans installed for about 9 months now and they live up to their name and cost. They are more pricey than a cheapy Wal-Mart fan - which we own as well (its much more noisy and the light occasionally rattles). These Hunter Fans are really quiet, just like they claim to be. I love having a remote for the light and fan as well.

The only issue I have with these fans is we have a second one upstairs and they are on the same frequency. When you turn the switch on - the light comes on and not the fan. They took a little bit to get used to, meaning:

If I had the fan on light on downstairs and wanted to turn the light off upstairs it will turn both off. Or if I want to turn the fan on upstairs, but wanted to leave the light on downstairs, you have to turn the light off downstairs using the remote, then flip the switch upstairs, then push the light button on the remote to turn the light off on one and on for the other. That all probably doesn't make sense.

SO, here's the FUNNY part about these fans. I'm a really light sleeper... At night if I have the fan running while we sleep, I will hear a *click* and then see light. I open my eyes and the light is on and the fan is slowing down. WHAT??!! Why did it just shut itself off and turn the light on!??? One night it did this twice to me (only to me because Doug can sleep through it)...while trying to sleep and being really annoyed with the fan I could hear a train in the distance. Sure enough, a train went by on a 3rd occasion and guess what?? I hear *click* and the light is on again and the fan is slowing down. WAIT, WHAT?? The train runs on that frequency too??? Or it was quite a coincidence. Doug was going to change the frequency it runs on, but that requires taking the fan down from the ceiling, so we're just dealing with it and don't run them at night.

**I even tried to see if the remote would turn lights on in the neighbor's homes to make sure I wasn't crazy thinking a train was turning our fan of and light on.

I really do like these fans. And it makes for a funny train story.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bread Maker

Breadman TR520.
I love this bread maker. It's simple to use, looks nice, comes with a recipe book with clear instruction - and the recipes are GOOD. I was a little worried about my first loaf, but it gives tips to follow if a loaf rises over the pan, sinks in, etc. The other day I made pizza dough; I hadn't tried dough yet. It was GREAT! I didn't have powdered milk for the recipe, so I made it without it and it still turned out perfect.

The dough working inside...

After 1 hour 20 minutes, we had fresh pizza dough; and a homemade pizza 20 minutes later!
The crust was really thick, which is really yummy, but next time I'll split the dough or get a larger pizza stone.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Link - not showing updated

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but this blog link shows up as being updated a week ago (on my other blog) when I just did it a couple days ago....I'm confused.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dr Scholl's ouchie

I bought the Ball of Foot Cushion and Heel Liners for my shoes. I like the ball of the foot cushions, but couldn't seem to get them set in just the right spot. Here is a photo of what the heel liners left - blisters and sores on both sides of my heels.   OUCHIE!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Matress and Bedroom Set

June 25th, 2008

First, thanks so much to Brian for helping Doug move the mattress! And thank you Bonnie for letting us steal him to help! Okay, we've been sleeping on it for a few days now, but it took me a bit to get the pictures up. Doug built the frame for it today. We aren't going to use our headboard or footboard until we get a home. It's too much to take it all apart and move it. Here is a picture of our new mattress and what our bedroom furniture will look like when we get into a home.

The mattress is a Serta Torino Marquis - a brand specially made for RC Willey.

The furniture is made by Thornwood.

Update: We couldn't be happier with our mattress, it was fairly pricey though. My left shoulder and back get sore sometimes and I haven't had any discomfort while sleeping on this mattress. Also, not that we sleep on the mattress without the sheets and such, but it's got an very soft, velvety feel. It's a very hard mattress to move because it's a latex blend it folds in half like a taco very easily - and it's very heavy. If the mattress folds, it can cause the layer inside to shift, so be careful.

We've been in our house for a year now and the bedroom set is well made and looks great.

Space Bags

July 27th, 2008
I've been wanting to get Space Bags for a while, well I finally did yesterday. Here are my before and after photos. I want to put everything in Space Bags!!

Update: The Cube size bags don't hold as well as the smaller bags you see above. I couldn't figure out if I was doing something wrong, but I realized it wasn't me when some work, but most don't. These are great bags if you stick with the original sizes, like small, medium and large (and even extra large). If the bag doesn't work or you get a hole in it, it's like having a HUGE zip-lock bag.


November 2nd, 2008

Panasonic 50" Plasma Television

Update: This is a really nice TV; very user friendly too. It took me a little bit to get used to the remote signal - it seems to take a moment for the TV to actually change the channel. We still to have an entertainment center built in though.


January 21st, 2009

Doug, with the help of his dad, picked up our new freezer today. Now we can buy in bulk and not worry about where in the world we are going to fit things in the freezer/refrigerator we have.

Frigidaire 14.1 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer
Features include interior light, slide out basket and lock with pop out key.

Update: This freezer is great. Along with auto defrost, it also has a 2 button control on the outside of the door to increase or decrease the temperature. I keep a thermometer inside to make sure the temperature is where I want it (it stays a constant temperature all the time). We didn't really notice a change in our electric bill, which we were somewhat worried about.


February 16th, 2009

We bought CHF & You Empire Silk curtains from Beth Bath & Beyond. They have an extra backing to reduce heat in the summer and cold in the winter. We also put a shear curtain inside to let light in as well as keep our privacy while the curtains are open.

Update: We're very happy with these curtains. They look very nice and keep extra heat/sun out during the hot summer days. We had an issue trying to find curtains that were long enough for this window - after hanging these curtains they ended up being too short, but we like having them up off the floor to keep them clean from dragging on the ground. Also, being silk there are natural colors and flaws in the material and the curtain on the right has a long dark color across the top portion.

As a tip from my sister-in-law we hung the curtains from ring clips. What a great idea! They slide open easily and it looks great too.

Fix-It and Forget-It

February 19th, 2009
I bought a crock pot cookbook a while ago and wasn't fond of it after trying a few recipes. So, I was on the hunt for another book. I cruised around looking at the reviews on the various books and settled on this one; not to mention it has 1400 recipes - there's got to be a good one in it. I really like the recipes in this book!! I couldn't wait to get home and start cooking!! I HAD to make the Mexican Goulash in the picture below. It actually came out just like the picture. We weren't very hungry for dinner last night because we ate a really late lunch, but it turned out pretty good! I'm looking forward to trying other recipes. I'm hoping the soup recipes are good too, we want to freeze them in individual portions so we can grab an easy lunch on our way out the door to work.

Update: I really like this book because there aren't exotic or unusual ingredients I have to find and/or buy. I made 3-4 soup recipes last winter and they turned out okay. When winter comes around this year, I'll add more spices to taste. The soups were a little bland, but having never made them before I didn't want to add too much the first time. I like pictures when I order food in a restaurant or make something out of a cookbook and this book doesn't have a lot of pictures, but with 1400 recipes that would be A LOT of photos to fit into this already big book.

Strawberry Festival

May 2009

Yep, it was really lame (I'm late posting this since it was a few weeks ago, but I just pulled the tickets out of my purse and it reminded me). I think we got there at about 7pm. They sure didn't mention in their web page that MOST vendors go home by then - although it's advertised until 10pm. I was so excited to see strawberries everywhere; in every food, drink and decoration. Uh, riiiiiight. Johny 5 Productions put on this Strawberry festival and I'll sure think twice before I go to an event put on by them again. Oh, and there was even supposed to be a classic car show; unless it was all the cars in the parking lot there wasn't a single car to look at.

I was expecting to eat myself sick of strawberries and leave with even more. I've never been to a food festival, so I thought I had my hopes too high, but a friend of mine went the next afternoon and said it was just as bad, but they did have the classic car show. We paid $8 each to get in and unless we wanted to buy a strawberry funnel cake, we were pretty much out of luck with strawberries. We didn't have dinner, so we bought a tri-tip meal. After spending $39 on parking, tickets and our meals, we had a combined total on TWO strawberries. They sure let the air out of my balloon.

Whole House Fan

July 3rd 2009 we installed an AirScape Whole House Fan

We chose the 2.5 WHF and here are the specifications:
2516 CFM
for houses up to 3500 sq ft
industrial-grade fan
quiet: just 53 dBA on high
automatic insulated doors
draws just 395 288 Watts
16 x 24 inch hi-flow grill
easy installation
wireless remote ready


We also purchased the wireless remote kit for $79 and an additional remote for $38 - just in case we lost one (we already lost one, but only for a few days).

The picture above shows the ducting that comes with the fan. The idea is to have the fan up and off the attic floor to reduce the noise, so it hangs from the rafters.
The installation took Doug and his dad about 6 hours in a really hot attic. The space was small and where he originally wanted the fan wasn't going to work because of a light fixture.It's been a great fan to have. You can see the grating in the photo above, it's half the size of our air conditioner; it really just looks like another vent in the ceiling. I almost wish it was louder so I'd know it was working like a jet engine, but it's pretty quiet for the amount of air it's pulling - it's much quieter than a box fan or even the oscillating fan we use. I'm a very light sleeper and although this is just outside our bedroom door, I'm able to sleep while it's running. The only noise we really hear is when the shutters are opening and closing.

I'm VERY happy we chose to purchase the remote kit. When you buy the remote kit at the same time as the fan (recommended) they will send the fan with the remote already installed in the fan; all you have to do is click the buttons to turn it on low, high or off. There was no wiring or electric work to deal with. There is even a timer button, each click on the remote tells it to run for 2 hour blocks (up to 12 hours).
It costs quite a bit more than the fans you can pick up at Lowe's or Home Depot, but after checking out many fans and many reviews we didn't like how loud the other fans were, not to mention there were many complaints that the fans only lasted a couple years.
AirScape has installation videos as well as customer service and tech support available for anything you need. I've called their customer service a few times, not fan related, and they've been great every time.
Don't forget to check your utility company for rebates, we got a $100 rebate.
One last thing: I really like that AirScape also sends an extra box with a UPS label so you can send the packaging foam back to reduce landfill and cost.

New Bed and Chair

On July 12, 2009 I posted about our new bed and chair.

The headboard/footboard are made by Woodlands Designs. We put a Serta Grand Bay mattress in this room. It's a great mattress for the price - I think the queen set was around $400.

The chair is made by Best Home Furnishings. I sat in this chair while talking to a friend and fell in love with it. It is so comfortable, the back in nice and tall and it's very sturdy - I don't ever feel like it's going to tip over. A very well made chair.


As you may know, we still don't (and I won't) pay for cable. It's just too darn expensive - and they constantly raise the prices. We installed an RCA antenna in the attic. Okay, Doug did most of the work (I was pretty much a tool getter). Here is the cable we fed through the control panel into the attic. We have clear picture in each room now, without having to put foil on the smaller antenna to get a couple channels to work on one TV.
This post was originally posted on August 12, 2009 and the antenna has been working great. There are very few interruptions, but they do happen occasionally. For the cost and the results, this antenna is worth it. I'm very happy we bought it and Doug was able to install it. Hopefully with the antenna in the attic it will continue to work great through the winter. We did have to buy some hardware and the pipe you see (brass color) in the picture above in order to hang it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I have to share a great purchase we made recently. A month or so ago I watched a cooking show that was using a grill pan. Then I "HAD TO HAVE ONE!" After a couple weeks researching grill pans, I found the All-Clad Nonstick Grande Grill Pan to be the best for it's price.
Unfortunately, getting the best is not cheap. I searched and searched to find this pan, but cheaper. The lowest I could find this $160 pan was about $99. So I tried another search and ran across this pan for $60 on!! AND FREE SHIPPING! WOO HOO!! I went to their site to get a picture of the pan and now they are at about $95. Man, I sure bought at the perfect time!

Okay back to the reviews. This grill pan is awesome! It's even easy to clean. The only issue I can see is it's big enough to cover 2 burners on the stove, so not wanting to stack anything on the nonstick surface it can take up space in cupboards. We keep it in the oven for now.

We have made chicken a few times on it and the chicken comes out so juicy and perfect! We make an herb butter - butter, dried parsley, dried oregano, salt and pepper (the last recipe I added lemon zest too). Then we rub the butter mixture on the chicken and grill it. YUMMY! I "heart" our new grill pan.
I originally posted this on March 5th, 2009 and we still use the grill pan. We've used it many times and haven't had a bad meal yet. This isn't a kitchen product that will get stuck in a cupboard and forgotten about.