William & Douglas “Pasta Pal” Ravioli Maker Molds

 

One thing we thoroughly enjoy around here is pasta and raviolis. We’ve grown accustomed to the frozen ones you can buy at the store, but sometimes you want to make your own, filled how you want them filled, and fresh. William & Douglas knows my pain, and offered me the Pasta Pal Ravioli maker to soothe my soul!

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Made from injection molded plastic that’s dishwasher safe (top rack!), you have a choice of 3 top dies/shapes and one back with plenty of space in the hollow for fillings. The 12-pocket tray will sit flush and flat on the counter while you make your raviolis, and won’t mar the countertops like some metal dies might. The food-grade plastic is also not very good at transferring heat, which means that the pasta won’t start heating up and sticking like metal might. Cleanup is a breeze, because you can just throw them in the sink (don’t actually throw them, though!) full of warm soapy water and with a quick brush and drip dry, they’re ready to go again!  There’s no rust to worry about like steel, or oxidization like with cast aluminum. With proper care, your Pasta Pal should last for years and years!

William & Douglas also offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your Pasta Pal, and it’s versatile enough that you can use it to make all manner of dumplings, perogi, wontons, and more. At $15.97, I think it’s priced a bit on the high side, but it’s made well and is “satisfaction guaranteed”, so take that into consideration. I would also like to see William & Douglas offer different sizes, because sometimes you want a larger ravioli or dumpling, but I like my Pasta Pal just fine.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from William & Douglas. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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U.S. Art Supply’s 40″ Professional Quality Mat Cutter

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U.S. Art Supply has single-handedly re-awoken my crafty nature. From painting to framing, airbrushing and more, the only thing I needed to have done professionally was my matting. No more, because U.S. Art Supply has made a mat cutter that puts the one I saw being used at Joanne’s to shame.

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With solid, strong aluminum hinged guide rails and aluminum mat channels (with 2 production stops) mounted securely to a solid, heavy premium MDF backer, it’s build like a tank and designed for heavy-duty use for years and years and years. There’s also a fold-able 27″ 90 degree 27″ squaring arm to keep things even and straight, and you get both straight and beveled cutting heads that use a simple razor blade to cut, so keeping a fresh, sharp blade in there is a breeze and the cost is minimal. It’s so simple to use that I can’t imagine I ever having paid someone to do this for me. Quick, sharp, precise cuts every time, and perfectly square too. And I love that I can set the bevel I want and not just have flat edges. The unit comes mostly assembled, so the box is huge, and even though I saw that it’s a 40″ unit I was still in awe of the sheer size of the system. You’ll need an extremely long counter or table to operate it on, and thankfully it has non-marring feet on the bottom as well.

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Gone for me are the days of hoarding framing discount coupons for my art projects, because with U.S. Art Supply’s Professional-Quality 40″ Mat cutter, I’ll never need to rely on someone else to cut mats for me, or pay an exorbitant or ridiculous price for pre-cut mats. after a few projects, this mat cutter pays for itself, and with U.S. Art Supply you’re also getting top-notch customer service, soup to nuts. They only want 100% satisfied customers, and always go above and beyond to get you there. I recommend this product highly!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from US Art Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Classic Safari’s 6-Piece Outdoor Kit

We like being out of doors, and we like exploring, so when the opportunity arose to try out some “outdoorsy” type stuff, I was very happy to give some of them a go. And while we’re not experienced, or even regular, outdoors folks, we found Classic Safari’s 6-Piece Outdoor Kit perfectly adequate for the occasional adventurer!

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When one is out on their own, one usually has to make due with whatever you happen to pack in your pockets or backpack. Rarely do we think about what could happen should venture too far astray or make a left at that fork instead of a right. With most of the gear packed into this kit, you could make due for a bit of time while you find your way back to where you meant to go. You get:

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-A small set of binoculars with a 8×21 magnification that fold up very compactly for easy carry, and are pretty clear. They have a rubberized no-slip grip, lanyard and rubberized eye relief as well, and they even thought to include a small cleaning cloth!

-Next you have a plastic liquid-filled lensatic compass. It held north pretty well, as evidenced by Hubby’s Casio Pro-Trek watch that was significantly more expensive than this set.

-You get a multi-tool also, with 11 tools (straight blade, file, awl, sawblade, can opener, scissors, flat and phillips screwdrivers, corkscrew and one that for the life of me I could not get to open!), with common tools one might need on a day-to-day basis.

-There’s also a 9-bulb LED flashlight that runs on 3 AAA  batteries and has a rubberized tailcap on/off switch. Sadly the batteries are not included, and the light from this flashlight is pretty anemic, even in total darkness, but it beats being stuck n pitch-black, right?

-Lastly there’s a magnesium flint firestarter that, while appreciated, gave us a heck of a time generating a spark. I wouldn’t want to depend on this in an emergency, but it’s better than nothing.

All in all, the kit is pretty basic and would be a superb gift for a Boy Scout, young child or tween, or even the occasional nature walker that might not think to grab more than a water bottle before leaving. And they are better than being stuck out there with nothing, and in a pinch might even save your life. The canvas pack and webbed-nylon belt hold everything well, except the side pouches that things can slip out if one were to move around jarringly. I think the pricing is fair for the quality you get, and while none of these tools are close to professional grade, they do let you know which ones you’d use and certainly want to upgrade. And I can’t say enough about Skivu, the company that sells this kit. My first kit came missing the 11-tool “Swiss Army” type knife, and they expedited a whole new kit to me. That’s a company that stands behind their products. There’s a lot to like in this kit and think if you give them a try you’ll find a lot you like too!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from SKIVU. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

“SWAT” Bipod with “Swivel Mount” Rail Adapter

Might as well get both bad product reviews out of the way now. A recurring culprit is back, Ohuhu. Yes, they got me again. They once again cleverly disguised their name, but I still tried and actually got a form of customer service this time, which was shocking. I say “a form of” because they actually responded. They were unable to help at all, because they have no actual knowledge of the products they sell, but at least this time there was a dialogue, albeit wholly unfruitful.

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This time I was hoping to try their “SWAT”(ug…) Bipod for rifles. Hubby was curious and even though his rifle is customized with Magpul furniture, the inclusion of a universal rail adapter (That they’re now referring to as a “swivel mount”) put his mind at ease. Silly guy. This is Ohuhu we’re talking about here. After much back and forth via email (the first few of which were simply a copy and paste of the Amazon product details and pictures. Very helpful.), it has been decided they included a rail adapter that is almost completely useless and they have no idea that it’s included nor it’s function, nor how to mount it. This was baffling to both Hubby and myself. He tried in vain to even find a way to attach it to the front sight lug, or even the original Smith & Wesson M&P 15 handgrips, to no avail. If you don’t have an integral Picatinny or Weaver rail, do not buy this bipod. The adapter is useless, perhaps copied from another product, and Ohuhu has no idea what it’s for or how it works. Yes, the onus is on us to a degree for trying out a bipod that clearly states it attaches to a rail, but we assumed the included rail adapter would allow for mounting on a variety of handgrips and barrels. We were wrong. So bear that in mind.

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The bipod seemed relatively sturdy and locked in place easily. The non-skid feet were appreciated, and while it’s painted a satin black, the paint comes off the aluminum rather easily. It’s somewhat heavy for aluminum, so leaving it mounted for carry will significantly unbalance your rifle. As an aside, the rail lug came mounted completely crooked because whoever assembled the bipod didn’t properly seat the rubber gasket. Even after disassembling the entire mounting block and reassembling it properly, the gasket was ruined and left the rail mount uneven. So do make sure if you get one that you make sure it’s assembled properly and all pieces fit true.  Other than that, it’s fairly hard to screw up a bipod but we could not test it beyond it’s looks, how it’s assembled,  and how the legs actuate. So it’s a possibly a 4 star product with 1 star customer service and 1 star description. Maybe others will have better luck.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ohuhu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Tryazon: Sterno S’mores Maker for Indoors and Outdoors Use #SmoresMaker

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I’m all for DIY cooking ways and what not better way to bring some fun, by being able to create S’mores at home. The weather is bad? No problem, as this Sterno S’mores Maker has no limitations. You can make S’mores it indoors, outdoors and at any hour. Yup, party any time and this is not just limited to giving kids smiles, you can even make “Gourmet S’mores” that are easy and even make it less messy. No longer do you have to try to hold the candy bar piece, you can literally make a chocolate bark topping that stays……yes, stays put on top of your graham piece.

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The S’mores Maker is brought to you by Sterno Products, the company that has been bringing heat to campers and the like for decades. They have created a nice line of products and kits, which make not only Summer funner, but you are not limited by the seasons when entertaining.

The kit includes:

  • 2 Roasting Forks
  • 1 Roasting Safety Screen for even roasting and protection from flame
  • 2 integrated S’mores Making Stations for an easy and clean way to make s’mores
  • Includes 1 can of Sterno S’mores Heat™ (also available for purchase separately)

I decided to make chocolate barks and all you do is make a ganache and/or melt chocolate and add toppings. Ganaches, use Heavy Cream and produce a more velvety texture and by using a 75% ratio of chocolate to 25% cream, the product firms up enough to not fall off the graham or cookie of your choice. You can also melt chocolate on low heat and then simply smear the chocolate on one part of the cookie, add your toppings and you are now pre-making S’mores!  When guests arrive, half the work is completed. I also find this controls messes. Nuts, coconut shavings and so forth can get sloppy when you are building the Ultimate S’mores sandwich. This way of building S’mores makes sure the tables and floors do not suffer from runaway toppings!

The toppings are endless and you can satisfy any picky eater by using these easy tricks:

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Now, this is how the set up looks and it took me an hour to pre-make all the cookies.  I had guests coming as I made them and my chocolate chip mini cookies were eaten up, but you can use more than just graham.  Even Shortbread minis!

 

The Sterno S’mores Maker heats evenly no matter the size of marshmallow.  Hey, I was worried the Giant ones (found at Aldi’s) would not heat up and melt in the center, they did and with ease.  The normal size ones that look like miniatures compared to the gigantic ones, those I purchased at Trader Joe’s.

 

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Verdict:

I was super excited and started purchasing ingredients before the maker even arrived.  Then it arrived!! It was beautiful and easy to assemble, meaning none was needed.  The red portion (holder) is dishwasher safe and because you can by the cans again and again, this means having a S’mores party is endless.  We will be trying more creations in the future and I can’t wait.  This is a must buy and at $35.16 currently at Amazon, it’s perfect for 4th of July or really anytime.  Make your own fun and creations.  The refill fuel cans retail for $6.99 and that is for two cans!  Each can lasts for about 45 minutes.  It’s a cinch to clean up and everyone had a blast.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sterno and Tryazon. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

MLVOC Wireless Doorbell Set (White)

Our front courtyard has a gate, and though we’ve painted the decorative scrolls around the doorbell a bright contrasting color, for whatever reason UPS, FedEx, the USPS and nearly every other delivery person seems to miss the doorbell on the gate. I can’t count the times we’ve missed deliveries or had them delayed because of this. Thanks to this MLVOC Wireless Doorbell set, that’s now a thing of the past!

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A bright white with shiny chrome trim, I don’t think anyone will be missing this doorbell unless they’re actively trying to do so. It light’s a soft blue when the button is pressed, and with the included adhesive pad, you can mount it just about anywhere. For a more traditional mount MLVOC included screws and anchors as well. For us, Hubby will probably make some kind of removable fitting so that it can be moved to paint the gate, or taken down in inclement weather, because let’s face it: though rain is uncommon in Southern California, when it does rain, it’ll soak and ruin this doorbell. What I like as well is that you can move the receiver to an outdoor location if, say, you’re doing an outdoor project or in the garage where you might not hear the normal doorbell. All you need is an electrical outlet and you’re golden. The volume is easily adjustable from the toggle button on the side of the receiver, and you can choose from a whopping 36 different chimes and tunes. The battery in the button portion is easily replaceable, and none of those tiny button cells that are hard to find sometimes, just a simple tiny 12v battery like you’d use in a car alarm fob. It transmitted easily all the way to the back of my house, and into the yard on an extension cord as well. MLVOC claims it’s good up to 1000 ft. on open ground as well, so you’re good to go in almost any residential suburban home.

There are some things we buy just to make out life a little easier, and I can safely say this is one of them. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up something like this MLVOC Wireless Doorbell Set before, but I can tell you I’m thrilled I did, and I think you will be too!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MLVOC. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Starling’s Heavy-Duty Trunk Organizer (With Bonus Sun Shade!)

 

If you’re like me you need to make more than a few stops to get groceries. Like, sometime 5 or 6 stops. All in different cities. And the one thing that gets Hubby’s goat more than anything are the “nickle-and-dime tactics” of markets that want you to pay for a bag. So thankfully, Starling’s offered us a car trunk organizer that has made our shopping trips a little less frustrating.

 

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See, we both get when a city has decided to ban plastic grocery bags. The reasoning is specious at best and the results are marginal, but hey, it’s pure profit for everyone involved (except the consumer). And charging for paper bags? When they’re made from the cardboard boxes they get their products delivered in? Give me a break! So I’m sure I’m not the only person who had things rolling around in the trunk or back seat because you’ve gotten tired of everyone having their hand in your pocket. And Starling’s is a lifesaver, because their organizer is big, spacious, sturdy and oh-so-helpful getting stuff from the truck to the house. It’s well-built and strong enough that we stuffed all our Costco purchases in it, and could easily carry everything in with no fear of dropping anything or the organizer being strained. It’s covered in water resistant nylon fabric, which means cold things sweating, or light spills, are not a problem.The bottom is rubberized to minimize sliding around, and the carry handles on the sides are strong and sturdy. You can customize the divider inside, or only open up half to minimize the space it takes up. I’m in love. And the dividers have done a fantastic job of keeping cold, warm, and non-food items all away from one another. There’s room in the pockets for more stuff, on all sides, and should one feel the need, you could store everything you’d need for any roadside emergency in Starling’s organizer, with room to spare. and when you’re done with it, it folds right back up, nice and flat and takes up practically no space at all. Starling’s even included a sun visor for the front windshield at no extra charge.

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We’ve bought cheap-o organizers for the car and truck before. They always fell apart, broke down, or weren’t made to last and got tossed. But for only $27.99, you get a rock-solid trunk organizer that holds way more than you’d think, and does more than you can imagine, and a 100% lifetime warranty? Uh, yes please! This product is a steal and when we get our new car, I know what the very first accessory we’re buying for it is: A Starling’s Trunk Organizer!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Starling’s. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

American Golden Oak Barrel, Co.’s 2L Oak Aging Barrel

From time to time, you buy those little things that are just too cute to pass up, even if you don’t have a place for them yet, or it serves no practical purpose. This American Golden Oak Wood Barrel fits squarely into this category.

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I’m a sucker for things like this, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that if you’re thinking of actually using it for spirits or beer, I would strongly advise against this. Primarily because it’s full of wood shavings and splinters, and the workmanship is so poor that the water we put in it to rinse it out leaked like a sieve. There’s also some issues with QC overall, because the stand had an exposed nail point that if not for Hubby’s rhino-skin, would have punctured mere mortals and left them bleeding. Now, to be fair, the amazon page claims that after “initial soaking and curing” there is a “NO LEAKS GUARANTEE” and should it leak they’ll replace it, but since I don’t plan on using it for liquor storage I’m not going to bother. It’s strictly decorational here. And it’s just adorable. Whether on a wine rack, in the kitchen, or in the dining room, it is a wonderful conversation piece, especially since the spigot and bung are both functional. There’s also a 356 day warranty and satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re looking to make this a party favor or use it for liquor, the worst that can happen is a little booze will be lost and you’ll still have a cute little knick-knack.

Like I said, my American Golden Oak Barrel (2L) did leak, and the craftsmanship was a little spotty, but since I don’t plan on using it for liquor, I was satisfied, but if your plan is to use it for it’s intended purpose, I’d be cautious and make sure you get one made a little better than mine, because I’d definitely be sending mine back if i were using it for more than decor.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from American Golden Oak Barrels. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ohuhu Jute Storage “Basket” Set

I’m not the biggest Ohuhu fan, and when I apply to try and review products, I try to avoid Ohuhu because of the usually poor quality of their products and the complete lack of aftersales support. Unfortunately, Ohuhu obfuscates their name on Tomoson, using many pseudonyms, for reasons I’ll not speculate about here.

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At any rate, I ended up getting these just storage “baskets”, but they’re not really baskets as much as bags of a sort, made from jute string and coated with a plastic on the inside. There’s no rigid sides or bottom, so they tend to slump and crinkle, so storing them less than completely full will lead to them slumping and semi-collapsing. And I don’t know what they coated these with in their plant in China, but there’s a funk to these Ohuhu “baskets”. I’ve left them out in the hopes that the smell will dissipate, but short of that I don’t know what I can do to get rid of the smell, because they have a water resistant coating. For $14.99 you get two sizes (Large: 16.5″ L x 13″W x 9.7″H and Small: 10″ L x 8.7 “W x 5.7″H), and they should hold a good amount of stuff so long as the bottom is supported. Without that support they turn more into the oddly shaped bags. And the goofy “ohuhu storage” logo in bold black letters on the side? Tacky and ugly. Thankfully it’s just on one side.

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For your money, you could do worse, but there’s still enough wrong with them for me that i can’t recommend them too highly. There’s no forms or support on the sides or bottom, and they smell really bad. On the plus side they’re affordable and seem like they’d be fairly durable. I’ll leave it to my readers to decide if the negatives overpower the positives.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ohuhu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Burei Men’s “Big Face” Quartz Watch with Black Leather Dial

 

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We’re no stranger to Burei watches in this house, and this one here is another winner, but more sleek and uncomplicated than the watches Hubby is used to. Suitable for dressing up or down, I think this Burei watch is fantastic.

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Made from 316L stainless steel and sporting a brushed black electroplate, this almost 43mm watch also has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a genuine calfskin 18mm band. The leather is soft and pliable and made from a single piece of leather. The push in knurled crown allows you to easily adjust the time and date, and the indices are coated with a bright, powerful lume, with traditional hourmarkers as well as minute markers and a ticking second hand. There’s a bright copper threading on the band that is much more copper-colored than the image on Amazon would lead you to believe. And while the watch is water resistant to 50 meters, the calfskin band won’t fare too well being submerged, but the occasional splash is just fine. The precision Japanese quartz keeps excellent time with no noticeable loss after a couple of weeks of regular wear.

The quality you get from Burei is second to none for the price, and is backed bu Burei’s stellar warranty of 30 days money back guarantee for any reason, 12 months replacement or full refund for quality issues and 24 months maintenance for any quality issues. I don’t know of a single watchmaker in this price range that even comes close to a warranty like this. Burei even includes a ready-made gift package with bag, box, and pillow presentation with warranty card.

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There are many choices out there for value-priced watches, but none that, for my money, match the quality of Burei.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Burei. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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