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Our New Apple Peeler Is A Whiz

PinExt Our New Apple Peeler Is A Whiz

We got the Apple Pro Peeler recently, which we saw on a television product demo on QVC.

When I saw it on the air, I wasn’t sure about it, because it’s made of plastic. But the presenter said she’d been using hers for many years, and so, we tried it.

Apple Peeler Pro 300x300 Our New Apple Peeler Is A Whiz

Two cooks at our house are giving this peeler a work out!

Fall is the height of apple season, and we are eating them just about every day.  And I have to say, we appreciate how quickly we can peel a lot of apples with this kitchen gadget.

The suction cups hold very well on our solid surface counter tops. No question of the peeler slipping while we use it, or damaging the counters.

The business end of the peeler — its very sharp blade — rides over the surface of an apple, kinda like the razor you might use on your face or legs. It peels the skins off in one long piece, just as advertised, and thin, too, so we retain far more of the apple than we would if peeling by hand.

The Apple Pro cleans up quickly, with just a quick sponge-off in soap and water. We’re keeping it handy, either on the counter top, or in a nearby cupboard, because it’s the easiest way to peel an apple, whether it’s just one or a bunch.

It’s funny, the sound of the gears inside the peeler reminds me of the Spirograph drawing set I had as a kid. That’s charming in a utilitarian device.

Apple crisp, apple fritters, applesauce, apple coffee cake – we’ve made them all in just the past few weeks.

Does the Apple Pro Peeler Have Any Problems?

Like any new tool, you have to get used to how to use it.

  • Getting the apple centered on the holders is important. If you don’t, the apple won’t peel evenly. And for an apple that’s misshapen, you could have a few missed spots.
  • Removing the apple from the four spike holders is a learned skill, too. It’s on there firmly, as it needs to be to hold as you crank the peeler. You don’t want to encounter the blade while pulling off the apple. I just make sure that the blade is away when I take off my apples.
  • Clean the peeler by sponge and rinse off, vs. immersing it, because water will get inside the base. I clean the peeler right after use, and it’s been fine to keep it clean, ready for its next use.

Overall, I give the Apple Pro Peeler 5 stars. I’d get another one, and give it as a gift for anyone who loves to eat or cook with apples.

We eat a lot of apples, so this gadget will be kept handy in our kitchen all the time, year round. Peel that apple a day quickly and efficiently with the Apple Pro Peeler.

Peeled apple Golden Delicious 300x300 Our New Apple Peeler Is A Whiz

 

 

Shopping for an Atomic Clock

PinExt Shopping for an Atomic Clock

I love my little atomic alarm clock. So convenient, because it sets itself. Now it’s time to add another satellite clock to my home  décor. This time, it will be a wall clock.

Atomic alarm clock self setting 300x247 Shopping for an Atomic ClockTerms like atomic, satellite, radio-controlled and self-setting are used to describe clocks that use technology to access the time  of very accurate atomic clock, via satellite.

Government agencies keep clocks that measure the activity of atoms, to an accuracy  of one second in 300 years.

When the power goes out, or Daylight Saving Time comes and goes, I can just relax. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, in Boulder, Colorado, takes care of it for me, because the operate the atomic clock and arrange for the signals to be  sent out.

Set it and forget it? Actually, the clock takes care of the setting by itself. I choose the time zone, then give it about 5 minutes to  talk to the system, via a simple antenna and receiver.

I’ve written about this atomic clock before. It’s now made by the Oregon Scientific brand. I just replace the batteries every so  often.

I want a wall clock this time, and there are a lot of models. I’ve got it down to two candidates:

One is the wood trimmed LaCrosse wall clock with moon phases, oak trim.

The other is another LaCrosse model with jumbo numerals on its LCD display.

I guess I’m spoiled. However, there are features that are important to me in addition to having another atomic clock. The most  important attributes to me are that it have:

  • Numbers are large and readable from a distance
  • Size and shape of the clock fits my space
  • LCD display, and
  • Compatible with the pictures and décor of my room

That’s why the oak trimmed model is currently leading my wish list. Most of my pictures have medium-tone wood frames. A bonus is the moon phase section, big enough but not so much data on the clock as to make it hard to read.

This one also has a wide range of worldwide time zones available, though I’ll only need the four standard US zones.

I also like the model with extra large numbers, about 4.5 inches high. That’s awesome, because the room is large and everyone will be able to read it from a distance.

Having accurate clocks helps keep everyone on time, especially when schedules get hectic.

It won’t be long before I decide which new clock to buy, and a new atomic wall clock will come to our house. Its space is waiting. Another time change will come and go, without me having to reset the clocks.

How To Choose The Best Drafting Table For Your Space

PinExt How To Choose The Best Drafting Table For Your Space

Over the years, I’ve owned several work stations or drafting tables. I’ve used them for fabric crafts, drawing and also as stand up writing work space.

Here’s my checklist of points to consider when you are shopping for your own drafting table.

 How To Choose The Best Drafting Table For Your Space How To Choose The Best Drafting Table For Your Space

Consider your décor. Does the table you select need to fit into a room with other elements, or can you go strictly functional?

Assess your needs. Will you draw, paint, scrapbook, or lay out fabric on this table? Do you need a hard or clear surface, like tempered glass, or would wood or metal be a better choice?

Measure your space. The legs make a footprint on the floor, but the table top is larger. I know from my own experience that you will want room to move around the tabletop, and not have it tightly pushed into other furniture. That way you can get a different angle on your project as needed.

Go big enough. You might normally paint or draw on paper of a certain size, but what else do you want to have close at hand? Think about everything that you will want to have nearby on the table, and allow for some extra things you might not have thought of when you evaluated the best table for your needs.

Remember the details. How high will the table go? How is it supported at height, and how top heavy will it be? Is it easy or difficult to raise and lower the table, which can be a two-edged sword. You want it to be easy enough that you can adjust it, but not so loose that it comes out of adjustment unexpectedly.

Tilt as needed. What’s the maximum tilt angle? It won’t matter if you’ll always work with the table flat, but if you need angles, can it tilt as you need it, and is the range of adjustment infinite or only fixed intervals.

Check out accessories. On a drafting station or table, that means pencil trays, attached drawer units and stands for your brush pot or even coffee cup. Many of these are attached to the legs, under the top, and may or may not extend beyond the width of the table top. Which ones do you need, based on the main use of your table.

And, do you want your table on wheels, or flat footed? If you have casters, I recommend that some have locks, so you can keep it from moving without your permission.

To complete your work area, consider any room lighting, task lighting, and additional storage like rolling carts and shelf units you might need.

I love my rolling cart for pencils, clips, paper and lots of other small things. It can go wherever I need it.

And I love using my current drafting table because it gives me extra work space, and lets me continue working without so much sitting.

In the photo: Studio Designs Glass Top Vision Rolling Drafting Table How To Choose The Best Drafting Table For Your Space

 

March Is For Maple Syrup

PinExt March Is For Maple Syrup

Maple syrup and pitcher 280x300 March Is For Maple SyrupEvery Saturday and Sunday in March is a day for maple syrup somewhere. Producers, public parks, even restaurants, organize special events to celebrate this North American treat during the season.

In states known for maple production, you’ll even find entire weeks devoted to it.

Eating pancakes with maple syrup is the immediate draw to these events. And if you’ve never had the real thing, I encourage you to try it. It’s so good, and you may never go back to anything else once you’ve had the best.

Any day you want, or a weekend, can be Maple Syrup Day at your house. You’ll need to get some syrup, of course, and the fixings to make pancakes. Along with a good skillet or griddle (stove top or electric) and you’re in business.

Then invite some hungry pancake eaters. Making pancakes is a quantity project. Hard to make only one or two.

I recommend practicing on smaller size pancakes, about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, using a recipe or mix for some good buttermilk pancakes, unless you have experience with other flavors.

And I really like a griddle because it’s open. It’s easier to flip on a large open space with no sides.

A well seasoned skillet certainly works. It just takes practice.

The most popular electric griddle on Amazon is a smaller model, which works well when making pancakes for a few people, at home or in your RV. I see it as a good way to develop and test your flap jack making skills as well.

The Presto Cool Touch is about 10 by 16 inches in size and it has a non-stick finish. It’s immersible and dishwasher safe after you remove the electrical control. Priced under $25, you can learn on this one, and if you graduate to making pancakes for a crowd, upgrade to a larger model.

Visit Maple Syrup Festivals

Maple tree tapped for sap 300x300 March Is For Maple SyrupAnother way to celebrate March as Maple Syrup Month is to organize an outing to the woods, or sugar bush, if you live in an area where syrup is produced.

That means New England, the Great Lakes and Eastern Canada.

It’s interesting and educational to see how maple tree sap is boiled down to become maple syrup. A search online will help you find programs in your area.

Some areas even have events where you can participate in tapping the trees and making the syrup.

If you decide to do this, be sure to check ahead. The sap won’t run if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Many of us are looking for spring, come March, when we’re often tired of winter. Maple syrup is one of those things that lets us know that it won’t be long.

Pancakes with maple syrup on a cold Saturday or Sunday morning…I can think of worse ways to spend the longer days when spring is not too far away.

 

 

Easter Home Decorating Ideas

PinExt Easter Home Decorating Ideas

Easter homekeeping 300x300 Easter Home Decorating IdeasAs you’re decorating your home for Easter, the subject of Easter baskets is bound to come up.

Are there alternatives to a candy-filled Easter basket, to treat any age group? Easter is early this year (March 31, 2013) but there’s still time to plan.

Stores are stocking up, you’ll have lots of variety to choose from, whether you’ll look for new goods or vintage items.

Thrift stores are one of my favorite plates to get ideas and find unique items to use at home, and to decorate for eclectic parties and table settings. New and vintage items can easily mix around an Easter theme.

Outline Your Easter Decorating Ideas

Light color: Easter is often about pastels, because they are also considered spring colors. Pink, blue, green and yellow convey lightness to your décor.

Bold color: Emerald Green is Color of the Year for 2013, as designated by the color experts at Pantone. That’s a full, rich green that can be a backdrop for just about any other Easter element you want to bring to it. Peacock Blue, Honeysuckle Pink and Goldenrod Yellow are some other bold colors that provide the background for an eye-catching Easter display.

Motif: Cute baby chicks, bunnies and eggs in all shapes and sizes are perfect for Easter. Using toys and figurines, for example, you can set up your display long before Easter and it will last as long as you need it.

Symbols: Religious items that mix with your family’s beliefs, or items that have special meaning that comes into harmony with the traditions of Easter can be the centerpiece for a holiday decorating scheme. This could be items that say “renewal” to you, or special treasures from the history of your family and friends.

Mix and match home décor is fun to create and enjoy. Once you determine a starting place, write yourself some notes, and do a little scouting to see some of the possibilities, the ideas will flow.

More Tips For Easter Home Decorating

Decide on the main goal for your Easter decorating. Is it for a special Sunday dinner, or a kids Easter party? You’ll want to choose items that serve the end results.

Print out item info that you find online. This is one easy way to keep track of your finds.

Collect color samples such as fabric swatches or paint chips. You may not be painting a room to get ready for Easter, but the colors will help you keep track of your palette.

Shop your own cabinets and storage spaces for things to use. Pull out some of the family treasures that don’t see daylight very often, if they are appropriate to your holiday plan, and see them in a new light. After all, Easter is traditionally a time of renewal.

Take a tour of your favorite stores, and looks at their special Easter displays. New goods are coming into the marketplace all the time, and you may find something new is the perfect piece to tie your décor together, such as, a special tablecloth with all the right colors and motifs.

Remember thrift stores for vintage finds. You might just find some of grandma’s china, that you can incorporate into your special Easter celebration, or another unique and thoughtful gift for the people close to you.

Then just set your budget, and you’re on your way to creating a charming setting for your Easter celebration at home.

Toy Easter chicks Schleich 150x150 Easter Home Decorating IdeasAbout the photos: Examples of non-candy Easter theme items. China egg cup, vintage stoneware bunny figurine, new baby chicks toys (See  Schleich toys available on Amazon Easter Home Decorating Ideas) and a cute chicken weathervane place card holder.

See more ideas in my gallery of gift ideas here, Alternative Easter Basket Alternatives And Non-Candy Easter Gift Ideas.

 

Time Change – Atomic Clocks Set Themselves

PinExt Time Change   Atomic Clocks Set Themselves

Spring is coming and it’s time to reset the clocks. Self-setting satellite or atomic clocks take care of the time change themselves.

Satellite clock detail 300x300 Time Change   Atomic Clocks Set ThemselvesThis month we spring forward for Daylight Saving Time in North America. I find that losing the hour is a tougher adjustment than adding the hour in the fall. But one bright spot is my atomic clock. I enjoy gadgets that save me time.

Because these clocks update themselves automatically, they get my vote for one of the best home electronic devices.

Top benefits of satellite clocks

  • Save time by resetting themselves when the time changes
  • Battery operated, no resetting if the power goes out
  • Styles and sizes for any room decor
  • Extra features, like weather, can make them more useful

I’ve been so happy with the clocks I have that I wrote a product showcase for atomic and satellite clocks (link will take you to my Squidoo lens). Check out the Oregon Scientific model, comparable to my Sharper Image clock.

Self-setting clocks are available in all kinds of styles and sizes, small and large. Alarm clocks and wall clocks. There are models with built-in radios, weather stations and even displays that show the phases of the moon. Many are digital, but there are also analog versions.

Use search terms like satellite, atomic, self-setting or radio controlled in the description of the item, to locate even more models.

Satellite clocks are very accurate. They reference the time via a radio connection to the US Atomic Clock in Colorado. The reference clocks use the vibration of cesium atoms to keep ultra-accurate time, so exact that the error rate is only one second in 100 million years.

These clocks use batteries, and are handy when there’s a power outage too.

The model I have includes a time projection feature, which is fun and practical. No fumbling around if you want to see the time on the ceiling all the time. Just plug in the clock and let the battery act as a back up feature. For occasional time projection, batteries alone work fine. The room does need to be dark. You won’t see the time if there is any ambient light.

When it’s time to change my other clocks, I use my little atomic clock as the reference, and carry it around as I reset the other clocks. When I add or replace a clock, I’m getting another self-setting model.

I use the Fourth of July as my battery changing date, for these clocks, smoke detectors and similar items. I love having clocks that keep time on their own, truly a practical, set-it-and-forget-it item for the home.

Add a Bat House to Your Property

PinExt Add a Bat House to Your Property

WhBat house 225x300 Add a Bat House to Your Propertyen you host a bat house, you provide a replacement for disappearing bat habitat. A bat house is an eco-friendly gift for the gardener or homeowner, including yourself.

A colony of bats will eat hundreds or thousands of mosquitoes or other insect pests every day during the season. They shy away from humans, and migrate in the winter.

Installing a bat house in the fall will give it time to weather a little, making it more likely to attract some beneficial bats into your environment.

Our guest blogger and fellow Ezinearticles author, Bob Urbanek, is just one provider of pre-built bat houses.

The Benefits of Installing a Bat House

By Bob Urbanek

Mosquitoes and other flying pests can ruin a relaxing summer evening on the patio. The first reaction for most people is to grab the repellent, but there is an effective pesticide-free alternative.

Contrary to popular belief bats are not the hideous creatures portrayed in the horror movies. Bats do not attack humans or intentionally fly into your hair. The truth is that bats play a vital role in the control of insects.

A single bat can consume from 600 to 1200 insects in just one hour, more if nursing young. Just imagine how out of control the insect populations would be if there were no bats to keep them in check.

Sadly, bat populations are declining at an alarming rate. Currently close to 40 percent of American bat species are listed as endangered, threatened, or in rapid decline. The result of this decline in bat populations is an increasing insect population, and a marked increase in the use of toxic pesticides.

By installing a properly designed bat house you can help to increase the declining bat population, thus helping to preserve this valuable ecological resource.

Bats prefer to live in colonies, so at least a mid-sized bat house is recommended. These mid-sized houses can support a colony of 100 to 300 bats. A bat colony numbering 300 can consume 360,000 mosquitoes and insects per hour.

Your bat house should be mounted on a pole or building for best results. Houses mounted on trees tend to have a lower occupancy rate. Your bat house should be mounted under the eves and receive some sun exposure. A mounting height of 15 to 20 feet above ground is optimal, as well as a location that is not exposed to bright lights at night.

By installing a bat house you not only reduce insect populations around your home, you are also helping to protect a very valuable ecological resource.

View the most popular bat house. We make it easy for you to add that special touch to your lawn and garden! URB Distributing

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

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